Nestlé commits CHF22m to epigenetics research29 Dec 2014
Nestlé is to intensify its research in the field of epigenetics, the science of how eating behaviours and other environmental factors can affect genes, health and that of offspring, for future generations to come. The company has announced it will contribute CHF 22m to a six-year research partnership with an international alliance of researchers at institutions in Southampton, […]
Nestlé is to intensify its research in the field of epigenetics, the science of how eating behaviours and other environmental factors can affect genes, health and that of offspring, for future generations to come.
The company has announced it will contribute CHF 22m to a six-year research partnership with an international alliance of researchers at institutions in Southampton, Auckland and Singapore, who make up the EpiGen Consortium. The company said that the jointly-funded public-private partnership will be one of the largest of its kind.
Nestlé has been collaborating with the Consortium since 2011, studying how the diet and lifestyles of pregnant women influence the activity of their baby’s genes and how these subtle epigenetic changes impact the future healthy growth and development of their children.
“This is an important collaboration for Nestlé as it will help to better develop our understanding of the influence of nutrition and genetics at the beginning of life and continue to build our knowledge in this important area,” said the company’s Chief Technology Officer, Stefan Catsicas.
“To be involved in such cutting-edge research in such a vital and exciting field will enable us to create products that have a proven, positive impact on the health of mothers and their children. Ultimately, being a leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness company is about improving the quality of peoples’ lives.”
The collaboration aims to improve nutrition and reduce risk factors of pregnancy-related conditions such as gestational diabetes, a growing problem affecting about 20% of pregnancies in the South-East Asia region. Gestational diabetes is known to negatively impact the growth and development of children as well as the mother’s future health.
“Science shows that the nutrition infants and young children receive in the first 1,000 days from conception has a long-lasting influence on their health, wellness and quality of life,” said Heiko Schipper, CEO of Nestlé Nutrition.
“At Nestlé, we embrace this unique window of opportunity to nurture a healthier generation by providing them with science-based products.”
EpiGen’s member institutes and Principal Investigators welcomed the deepening of the collaboration.
“We are pleased that this important collaboration will build on the ongoing research into improving nutrition for mothers and their infants,” said the University of Southampton’s Keith Godfrey, Head of the EpiGen Science Management Group.
“The comprehensive expertise of EpiGen researchers combined with Nestlé’s scientific teams will ensure that we move closer to improving the health of future generations.
“One strength of the EpiGen Consortium is our ability to study mothers and infants across three very different populations, adding further insight into the relationship between genetic background and nutritional influences on disease burden for the mother and infant” he added.
Since its establishment in 2006, scientists from the EpiGen Consortium have made significant research discoveries in the areas of maternal and young child nutrition.
For example, EpiGen researchers have shown that the impact of nutrition in expectant women, such as a low-carbohydrate diet, is related to chemical changes in parts of their baby’s DNA, and that these changes can indicate a greater risk for these young children to become overweight or obese during childhood. (Godfrey KM et al, Diabetes 60:1528–1534, 2011).
The Nestlé scientists working in this research programme are based at Nestlé Research Center in Lausanne, the world’s largest, private food nutrition research organisation.
Digital innovations and holistic health in the Chinese market
13 Jun 2023
Health and wellness consumers in China are much younger than in the West, according to industry experts who say a tendency to act preventatively rather than reactively, coupled with a digital-first culture, gives brands an opportunity to retain consume...Read more
Brands must ‘do better’ to meet maternal nutrition needs
6 Jun 2023
Brands in the health and nutraceutical space must work harder to overcome common challenges and meet the nutritional needs of pregnant and post-natal women, says Caroline Munari, global R&D platform lead for maternal nutrition at Nestlé's sp...Read more
Most categories trading down in US supplements market, says SPINS
5 Jun 2023
Hit by the cost-of-living crisis, sales of most US vitamin and mineral supplements have declined – with the exception of probiotics, digestive aids, and homoeopathic medicines, according to SPINS data.Read more
Should brands make healthy products more affordable?
17 May 2023
Do health and wellness products need to be affordable or are consumers willing to pay a premium for a health benefit despite the cost-of-living crisis? We asked two leading market experts – and received different answers.Read more
Health innovation takes centre stage at Vitafoods Europe
26 Apr 2023
In just two weeks, Vitafoods Europe will showcase the biggest nutraceutical innovations, trends, and startups thanks to its conference programme with expert speakers, Future of Nutrition Summit, and Startup Innovation Challenge.Read more
Redefining brand value: Empower consumers to be resourceful and creative in the face of rising costs [Interview]
16 Nov 2022
With inflation, greater instability, and supply chain disruptions as a global backdrop of 2022, consumers are increasing looking for value, products with functional benefits, and convenience for the coming year, says Innova Market Insights.Read more
MicroThermics’ Formulators Guide to Process Selection for Plant-Based Beverages
15 Nov 2022
Plant-based beverages & products are mainstream! Come to FIE booth 4D122 & read our whitepaper to see how processing in the lab at commercial HTST & UHT conditions gets you to market faster for less!Read more
Affordability, indulgence, and health: Top trends for 2023 [Interview]
14 Nov 2022
Consumers want affordable alternatives that offer the same great taste and health benefits as their favourite products. Brands that can deliver on this will dominate in 2023, according to Mintel.In the food and beverage space, consumers are key in driv...Read more
Give your fermented protein drinks a clear head start
10 Nov 2022
Fermented protein beverages are rising in popularity as more consumers make efforts to strengthen their health and wellbeing. Made for the ready-to-drink segment, products such as kombucha and drinking yoghurt are gaining traction as healthier alternat...Read more
Red Bull’s ex-head of marketing shares strategies for social branding success [Interview]
21 Oct 2022
Ex-head of marketing at Red Bull Europe and current CEO of energy drink TENZING, Huib van Bockel, shares his top tips for cutting through the marketing noise and creating a socially relevant brand.Read more