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Supporting Patients with Food Fortification

23 November 2021

Malnutrition affects about a third of patients admitted to hospitals in England1. There are numerous unwanted effects of malnutrition, many of which result in delayed recovery and longer hospital stays2.

Many patients in hospital, either due to being malnourished or to help them recover from their illness or operation, need a boost of extra nutrition (calories and protein).

One solution is called ‘food fortification’. This is a well-established practice involving enriching everyday foods with extra calories and protein without increasing the portion size.

A very easy type of fortification that you can do on the ward or in the hospital kitchen is to fortify milk using dried milk powder.

The new Ambient framework – launched on 15 November 2021 – contains a new range of dried milk powders, which can be used for food fortification.
Our dietetics team have analysed the nutritional composition of these dried milk powders, and to demonstrate how they can be used the team developed a short video for NHS trust catering and ward staff.

How to fortify one pint of ordinary milk with an extra 300 kilocalories and 15g protein*. This should take only 1 – 2 minutes.

What you will need:

  • Tablespoon
  • A 1 litre jug
  • A small whisk
  • A packet of dried milk powder
  • 1 pint of full cream (whole) liquid milk.

See our Downloads ▼ section for the product listing.


  1. Add 4 heaped tablespoons (20g) of dried milk powder to a 1 litre jug
  2. Pour a small amount of the liquid milk to the jug (approximately 100mls)
  3. Stir with the whisk to make a lump free paste
  4. Add the remaining liquid milk whilst whisking
  5. The fortified milk is now ready to use.

Serving suggestions for fortified milk:

  • Use like ordinary milk in tea and coffee drinks
  • Make milkshakes using fortified milk
  • Use instead of ordinary milk when making custard
  • Use instead of ordinary milk when making rice pudding
  • Use instead of ordinary milk when making mashed potato.

*Note that the additional nutrients added will vary depending on the milk powder chosen to use. We recommend the milk powders with the highest amount of protein per 100g of powder.

All information provided is accurate at the time of publication. Customers are advised to log in to our online catalogue to view details on nutritional values and to access product specifications/datasheets. If you are uncertain about the suitability/safety of certain products for your organisation/patient, please consult your own trust food service dietitian before use. All products mentioned are done so under the standards advised by the British Dietetics Association Standards of Personal Conduct that can be viewed here. Members are regulated by the statutory regulator, the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC).

  1. Stratton RJ, Green CJ, Elia M. Disease-related malnutrition: An evidence-based approach to treatment. Oxford: CABI Publishing; 2003.
  2. Saunders J, Smith T. Malnutrition: causes and consequences. Clinical Medicine 2010; Vol 10, No 6: 624-7.