NEWZEALAND – Global dairy producer Fonterra has joined forces with APC Microbiome Ireland (APC), a world-renowned science center, to establish an advanced research hub located at University College Cork in Ireland.

The newly created Fonterra microbiome research center is anticipated to be operational by the close of 2023 and will have a specific focus on the human microbiome with the aim of developing novel probiotic products that offer health and wellness benefits.

APC Microbiome Ireland has earned a reputation for its expertise in microbiome research and its capacity to support the development of new products in collaboration with industry partners.

“This new partnership with APC is a fantastic opportunity for Fonterra to collaborate with world-leading experts in the field of probiotics and microbiome research,” Mark Malone, General Manager for Science and Technology at Fonterra said expressing his enthusiasm about the partnership.

“Fonterra has a track record of developing probiotics, including strains such as Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus HN001 and Bifidobacterium animalis HN019, at its research facility in New Zealand. The company boasts one of the largest dairy culture collections globally, featuring over 40,000 strains.”

He highlighted the company’s ambition to introduce multiple cutting-edge probiotic strains in the coming years and emphasized the pivotal role that the new research center in Ireland will play in achieving this objective.

According to Paul Ross, Director of APC Microbiome Ireland, the partnership marks a significant development for APC.

“We are thrilled to be working together with Fonterra. This underlines APC’s reputation as a global leader in microbiome research and our expertise in supporting new product development with our Irish and international industry partners,” he noted.

Additionally, Professor John O’Halloran, UCC President, noted that the collaboration aligned with UCC’s commitment to providing evidence-based products that promote lifelong health and underscores the institution’s global reputation in science and innovation.

“It forms part of UCC’s overarching strategy, “UCC Futures – Food, Microbiome, and Health,” which seeks to address significant contemporary challenges.”

APC Microbiome Ireland routinely collaborates with leading industry suppliers to substantiate health claims, drive innovation, and make pioneering discoveries.

In recent collaborations, APC partnered with Arla Foods Ingredients and Health and Happiness Group (H&H) on a project focused on early-life cognitive development through dietary interventions.

They also worked with Tate & Lyle to explore the impact of dietary fibers on gut microbiome function and teamed up with King’s College London and the SFI Research Centre at UCC to investigate the effects of exercise on gut microbiota and brain health in middle age.

With a shared dedication to scientific excellence, this collaboration is poised to make substantial contributions to the field of microbiome science and its practical applications in the food and dairy industry.