Methods Paper

The Metabolic Matrix: Re-Engineering Ultraprocessed Foods to Feed the Gut, Protect the Liver, and Support the Brain
Co-authors, Mr. Wolfram Alderson, Dr. Rachel Gow, Dr. Andreas Kornstädt, and Dr. Robert Lustig

Ultraprocessed food consumption has become synonymous with poor metabolic health. Numerous epidemiological and now randomized controlled trials demonstrate its metabolic detriments. This has become even more urgent with the findings of the World Health Organization, the EAT-Lancet Commission, and the White House Conference on Food and Nutrition. However, consumer product goods (CPG) companies are challenged to make changes to improve the health of their products because a) they do not have sufficient understanding of what constitutes health for their products and b) they are concerned about both customer backlash and declining profits. This is made worse by intense shareholder focus and Wall Street quarterly reports. Clearly, a corporate-facing strategy to improve nutritional quality is required.

Over the past two years, in conjunction with a private CPG firm, the Kuwaiti Danish Dairy Company (KDD), we have endeavored to address these two concerns. Using the medical literature we have developed a novel method for determining the healthfulness of products, called “The Metabolic Matrix”. We used this method to develop a tool that categorizes products accordingly and subsequently applied this across the entire KDD portfolio. This has resulted in a massive re-engineering effort on the part of the company, with the rollout of the first of several new products to help customers mitigate their risk for chronic disease.

In this manuscript, we offer our methods as a “roadmap” for other companies to be able to undertake similar procedures.


To be published in a peer-reviewed journal in 2022.

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