Nestlé, the world’s largest food and beverages company, and APC Microbiome Ireland, a world-leading SFI Research Centre, have announced a new collaboration that will focus on various aspects of the human microbiome that could ultimately benefit new product development with the potential to improve human health and wellness.
According to Jonathan O’Regan, Head of Nestlé’s R&D facility in Askeaton, Co Limerick, this project will explore new opportunities to strengthen our portfolio of health and wellbeing products building on our understanding of the human microbiome. “Microbes are critical contributors to human health, they protect us against pathogens, help our immune system develop, and enable us to digest food to produce energy. Microbes can affect health in many ways and can even affect how we respond to certain environmental substances. This collaboration with APC which is a global leader in microbiome research is a tremendous opportunity for us to deepen our knowledge for future product development,” said O’Regan.
The project will be led by APC Principal Investigators Professor Catherine Stanton, Senior Principal Research Officer in the Teagasc Food Biosciences department and Research Professor in University College Cork (UCC), and Professor Paul Ross, Director of APC and faculty in the School of Microbiology, UCC. With the funding contribution from Nestlé, the project will recruit two PhD students who will be based in Teagasc Moorepark.
Paul Ross, Director APC Microbiome Ireland, said: “This is an exciting project and we are delighted to team up with Nestlé again on this innovative research. It underlines APC’s world-class credentials as a leader in the microbiome research arena and how we can help leading global food and nutrition companies like Nestlé develop products with health benefits.”
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About Nestlé in Ireland
Nestlé is the world’s leading nutrition, health and wellness company. Nestlé has over 70 brands across seven categories in the Irish market: beverage, confectionery, cereals, food, pet care, dairy and infant nutrition. Its iconic brands include Nescafé, Kit Kat, Rowntrees, Cheerios, Maggi, SMA, as well as Bakers and Felix pet food. Nestlé has a manufacturing and R&D site at Askeaton, Co Limerick. Nestlé employs over 700 people in Ireland.
APC Microbiome Ireland is a world-leading SFI Research Centre based in University College Cork and Teagasc. It was formed in 2003 with funding from Science Foundation Ireland and in conjunction with key industry partners. APC represents a seamless collaboration between University College Cork and Teagasc (the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority).
It is widely recognised that the gut microbiota plays an important role in human health and has become one of the most dynamic, complex, and exciting areas of research in both food and pharmaceutical arenas. Over the last decade APC has established itself as one of the leading global centres in gut microbiota research.
APC has made several landmark discoveries and has published over 3,000 research articles in peer-reviewed journals, generating many journal covers and associated editorials. Recent research areas being led by APC include the development of new diagnostics or biomarkers of health or risk of disease (e.g. colon cancer) based on analysis of the microbiota; exploring the mechanisms by which the microbiota may be favourably mobilised or manipulated (e.g. by bacteriophage) to promote health and ‘mining’ the microbiota for new drugs (e.g. smart antibiotics) and functional food ingredients.