The chair of Leatherhead's Nutrition Research Committee, Dr Julian Stowell (Danisco's vice president of scientific affairs), hosted a small but beautifully formed gathering to discuss the latest nutrition and health research initiatives.
Julian and I were joined by some high- profile experts. Professor Peter Schroeder (ex-senior research manager of Unilever and Nestlé) is coordinating the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council's (BBSRC's) DRINC initiative a £14M Diet and Health Research Industry Club supported by Leatherhead and Danisco. He described the 25 cutting-edge university projects funded over the past three years.
The beauty of this research is that it is influenced by the top minds in academia and industry. Projects include the effect of diet on eating behaviour and satiety; how ingredients can improve gut health; the effect of diet on cardiovascular function and even one on skin health.
Professor John Mathers of Newcastle University updated us on his DRINC project, which investigates the impact of non-digestible carbohydrates on biomarkers of gut health. It is an extraordinarily good human intervention study and club members are all eagerly awaiting the results.
Danisco scientists described exciting new research in food ingredients: especially probiotics, enzymes, vitamin K and weight management factors. I was impressed with the robustness of the science, the friendliness of the scientists and the excellent track record of this team's peer-reviewed journal articles.
Leatherhead scientists are hoping to co-publish with Danisco, following a successful human study showing the effect of its [low-calorie speciality carbohydrate and fibre-source] Litesse on satiety.
Paul Berryman is chief executive of Leatherhead food Research.