Foods for Special Medical Purposes


Managing disease with effective medical nutrition from infancy to old age is crucial

Medical nutrition products, also known as Foods for Special Medical Purposes (FSMPs), are used in all healthcare settings across Europe. Crafted to address the nutritional needs of patients across all age groups, FSMPs play a crucial role in the care of individuals with chronic medical conditions or those recovering from serious illnesses. In Europe, SNE collaborates closely with MNI (Medical Nutrition International Industry) on FSMPs. For more information, please refer to our joint educational package.

FSMPS are…

For the dietary management of patients unable to achieve a suitable nutritional intake using regular foods: →

FSMPs assist patients suffering from a disease, disorder, or medical condition that either temporarily or permanently affects their ability to achieve adequate nutritional intake through regular foods. They either supplement or replace the diet of those patients entirely.

Developed based on scientific and clinical insights →

FSMPs are often developed in close collaboration with scientists and healthcare Professionals. They are supported by sound medical and scientific data which may include national, international or professional guidelines.

To be used under medical supervision & recommendation →

This necessary and continued healthcare professional supervision clearly distinguishes FSMPs from other types of food. They are consumed across all healthcare settings – in hospitals, care homes, clinics and in private homes.

FSMPS can help

40% of adult hospital patients in the EU

Approximately 40% of adult hospital patients in the EU experience malnutrition, a challenge associated with estimated costs of 120 billion EUR in the EU and 170 billion EUR in Europe.

300.000 Children in the EU
Around 300,000 children in the EU will require FSMPs in the early stages of their life when supporting nutritional intake is critical to growth and development.
1 out of 3 cancer patients
More than 1 in 3 patients with cancer are malnourished.

Consumed across all healthcare settings.
A key role in battling malnutrition.
Also used in low birth-weight and pre-term infants


FSMPS are consumed across all healthcare settings – in hospitals, care homes, clinics and in private homes – under the supervision of healthcare professionals. These products play a key role in battling malnutrition when patients are ill for extended periods of time, for example those recovering from stroke or with severe food allergies. Until these patients can resume a normal diet, it is essential that they receive appropriate balanced nutrition. FSMPs are also made specifically for low birth-weight infants and pre-term infants who often have special nutritional requirements which cannot be met by breast milk or standard infant formula alone.

Our products

We develop and produce a range of medical nutrition products that help patients in the dietary management of a wide variety of medical conditions, for example food allergies, weight loss during cancer treatment, stroke and neurological disorders. Some examples of FSMPs are:

Enteral tube feeds
  • ube feeding is the delivery of a feed into the gastrointestinal tract, via a feeding tube. It may be required due to loss of swallow; partial functioning of the gut; high nutritional requirements e.g. stroke, short bowel syndrome, cancer, Cystic Fibrosis.
  • Patients can receive tube feeding for a short time e.g. via a nasogastric tube (NG) tube or for life in some conditions e.g. via a Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG). Feeding regimens also vary depending on patient’s need, and this influences which feed, formats, and delivery systems are used – sterile, with compatible packs to fit feeding sets.
Infant FSMP
  • Specialised Infant FSMP are essential for normal growth and development in infants with medical conditions.
  • Examples of conditions include: Faltering growth, Cow’s milk allergy, Food protein allergies, Malabsorption/maldigestion, Metabolic conditions, Rare conditions (epilepsy; chlylothorax/cardiac conditions; galactosaemia).
Oral nutritional supplements (ONS)
  • ONS are liquid, semi-solid or powder products consumed to increase oral nutritional intake.
  • ONS are useful for all people considered to be malnourished.
  • ONS have proven nutritional, functional, clinical and economic benefits. E.g: increased muscle strength, activity levels, weight etc.; decreased falls, depression and fatigue which improve patient quality of life and significantly reduce hospital admissions/re-admission and length of stay.
  • Some ONS are designed for to cover specific conditions: examples include reduced electrolytes for patients with renal disease or increased n-3 fatty acids and antioxidants for patients with cancer.
Other – Thickeners, Modulers, FSMPs for rare conditions
  • Thickeners: Food and fluid thickeners are used to manage dysphagia, allowing patients to be able to consume normal food and drinks, helping to enable them to meet nutrient and fluid requirements. Dysphagia can result from many conditions including stroke, cancer, motor neurone disease (MND), etc.
  • Modulers: FSMP that contain one or just a few nutrients e.g. energy, protein etc. These are essential for bespoke regimens for patients and are an important part of the dietetic toolkit for patient-centric care.
  • FSMP for metabolic and rare conditions: Phenylketonuria (PKU) is a disorder of amino acid metabolism. Use of medical nutrition and compliance to regimen is essential for life in many of these conditions. Examples include: Protein substitutes excluding the “toxic” amino acid; specially formulated low protein foods.

Commitment to the highest quality and safety standards

  • FSMPs are developed based on scientific and clinical insights, often in close collaboration with scientists and healthcare professionals.
  • FSMPs are supported by sound medical and scientific data which may include national, international or professional guidelines.

Read more

About how these specialised nutrition products are regulated in the EU.