IRELAND – APC Microbiome Ireland and the Kraft Heinz Company have announced a new collaboration aimed at developing new natural cultures for food fermentations.

Fermented foods are created using controlled microbial growth, facilitated by microbial communities, usually in the form of starter cultures, adjuncts or probiotics.

The fermentation process helps prolong shelf-life, improve food safety and quality and increase the palatability of foods.

The APC, Kraft Heinz collaboration plans to focus on a variety of these bioactive end-products and their applications in food systems.  

The research project will initially run for 12 months and will employ a team of four researchers led by APC principal investigators and Professors, Paul Ross, Colin Hill and Catherine Stanton.

“We are very excited to partner with Kraft Heinz for this research collaboration” said Professor Paul Ross, Director of APC Microbiome Ireland and leader of the new research collaboration.

 Ross explained that research on fermented foods and culture metabolites forms part of the APC’s overall strategy to manipulate the microbiome of food for quality, safety and human health associated improvement. 

Commenting on the collaboration between Kraft Heinz and APC Microbiome Ireland, Hennie Myburgh, Head of R&D, Global Growth & Technology at Kraft Heinz said, “Partnering with APC Microbiome Ireland aligns with our new global technology strategy. 

Myburg notes that the technologies that will be developed together will align with the growing consumer demand for cleaner products. 

“As a consumer-obsessed company, the output of this partnership will allow us to continue delivering novel, clean-label innovations.”

Hennie Myburgh- Head of R&D, Global Growth & Technology at Kraft Heinz

APC Microbiome Ireland is a leading Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre based in University College Cork and Teagasc Food Research Centre and is the largest and oldest microbiome research institute in the world. 

The company is currently working on research projects with more than 30 companies, including DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences in a four-year project aimed at developing solutions to establish a healthy microbiome in infants.

In 2018, the APC was ranked first in the world in the area of antimicrobials by CWTS in Leiden as measured by publication citations. 

Kraft Heinz, on the other hand, is the 5th largest food and beverage company in the world employing over 40,000 people around the globe with net sales of approximately $25bn in more than 200 countries.

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