Nutrition and health research

Our commitment: Lead the industry in nutrition and health research through collaboration

Our commitment: Lead the industry in nutrition and health research through collaboration

Our objectives

By 2016 – Further develop and integrate the molecular nutrition capabilities and clinical strategies of the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences (NIHS) and the Nestlé Clinical Development Unit to help improve the management of diseases using nutritional solutions.

By 2016 – Refocus the Nestlé Research Center (NRC) on five key platforms where we can make a positive difference: Healthy Ageing; Healthy Pleasure; First 1 000 days and Healthy Kids; Sustainable Nutrition; and Food Safety and Integrity.

Our progress

In January 2014, the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences signed a long-term agreement with a USA-based developer of stem cell technologies, Cellular Dynamics International (CDI). The agreement will give the Institute access to cell products, obtained from adult non-embryonic stem cells (iPSCs), to support research programmes on maintaining health and managing conditions such as diabetes and obesity.

Also in 2014, Nestlé entered into a strategic partnership with the Singapore government’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research, A*STAR, with the goal of setting up global research programmes in food science and technology.

The research teams at NRC are now focused on five research programmes: Food Safety and Integrity, First 1 000 days and Healthy Kids; Healthy Ageing; Healthy Pleasure; and Sustainable Nutrition. At the end of 2014, the NRC had 33 clinical trials, 10 trials briefed by NRC and 23 trials briefed by Nestlé businesses and managed by NRC.

Our perspective

We have a responsibility to use our knowledge, research and development capability to make a positive difference to society. Through investing in innovation and leveraging leading-edge science, we are striving to forge a new industry between food and pharmaceuticals based upon inherently safe nutritional therapies with relevant levels of quality of life benefits and proven clinical and health economic value. Nestlé Health Science aims at advancing the role of nutritional therapy to change the course of health management for consumers, patients and our partners in healthcare. However, converting scientific research into a commercially viable product is a long and complex process. One of the challenges relates to the definition of medical foods – foods that are specifically formulated for the dietary management of patients with diseases or conditions for which there are distinctive nutritional requirements. There are still many questions around the definition of medical foods, which have knock-on implications for product claims, labelling and marketing.

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Nestlé does not do any research using human embryonic stem cells.