An academic from the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health is collaborating in an international research consortium which has been established by leading global supplier of natural ingredient solutions to the food, nutritional, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries, Chr. Hansen.

Professor Harry Flint will lead the Aberdeen contingent of the team which will develop bacterial products that can improve human health for example by treating and even preventing gastro-intestinal and metabolic diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and colitis.

The project, which also includes The University of Groningen and the University of Wageningen, has been funded by Chr. Hansen for the next three years. This is an important step forward for Chr. Hansen in its venture into new generations of probiotic products and therapeutic microbes that are intended to benefit health. Through the creation of this consortium, the company will strengthen its capabilities and gain access to unique banks of cultured human gut bacteria, held by the partner universities.

Professor Flint said: “This is an extremely exciting project to be involved in and I am delighted to be working closely with such an important global bioscience company as Chr. Hansen, which has been a world leader for 140 years.

“The strain banks of anaerobic bacteria, that we will use to advance this project already cover 500 strains, including novel strains as well as some of the best documented in the field. These strains will be subjected to a deep analysis of their health functional activities and their potential for production and formulation.

“We anticipate that this research will produce real progress towards a new generation of health-promoting microbial products.”

Johan van Hylckama Vlieg, Senior Director of Chr. Hansen’s Microbiome Innovation, added: “This partnership will accelerate our development of a new growth platform for the company and help us strengthen key competences within the production of this special type of bacteria.”

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