CORK, IRELAND — Nestle SA and APC Microbiome Ireland are collaborating to research the human microbiome.

Through the project Nestle, Vevey, Switzerland, will explore opportunities to strengthen its portfolio of infant and maternal nutrition products, said Jonathan O’Regan, PhD, head of Nestle’s R&D facility in Askeaton, Ireland. Nestle owns brands such as Gerber, Nestle NaturNes, Nestle Cerelac and Nestle Nido.

“Microbes are critical contributors to human health,” Dr. O’Regan said. “They protect us against pathogens, help our immune system develop and enable us to digest food to produce energy. This collaboration with APC, which is a global leader in microbiome research, is an opportunity for us to deepen our knowledge for future product development.”

APC Microbiome Ireland is a Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre based in University College Cork (UCC). Leading the project will be Catherine Stanton, PhD, senior principal research officer in the Teagasc Food Biosciences department and research professor at UCC, and Paul Ross, PhD, director of APC and faculty in the School of Microbiology at UCC.

“This is an exciting project, and we are delighted to team up with Nestle again on this innovative research,” Dr. Ross said. “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 Nestle develop products with health benefits.”

Last year APC Microbiome Ireland entered a two-year research projectwith Tate & Lyleto increase understanding of how dietary fiber may impact how the gut microbiome functions.