Building, sharing and applying nutrition knowledge

Our ground-breaking studies examine the link between nutrition and health across the generations. From maternal and children’s health to healthy ageing, we adopt a holistic approach, focusing on nutrition, physical activity and their combined impact on metabolic health. We use our findings to improve our own foods and beverages.


  • Following our ground-breaking discovery in sugar structure in 2016, we are preparing to launch our first snack using hollow sugar in the second quarter of 2018.
  • We launched NAN Optipro with human milk oligosaccharides (HMO), the first infant formula with two oligosaccharides.
  • Nestlé Health Science continues to deliver science-based nutritional solutions to support healthy ageing, such as launching our Boost nutritional drink range in China, Japan, the Philippines and Mexico.
  • To help keep healthcare professionals up to date on the evolving science, we supported developing the global postgraduate programme in Paediatric Nutrition.

Our approach

Our ground-breaking studies examine health across the generations. From maternal and children’s health to healthy ageing, we adopt a holistic approach, focusing on nutrition, physical activity, and their combined impact on metabolic health.

Our two main studies are:

  • Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study (FITS): This is deepening our understanding of the eating patterns and nutritional intake of infants and toddlers from birth to age four; and
  • Kids Nutrition and Health Study (KNHS): This focuses on in-depth eating and lifestyle habits of children aged 4–12. These are crucial years, when many behaviours that influence health later in life are established.

We use our findings to improve our own foods and beverages, and share our knowledge with others to help address key health and nutrition challenges. We work with like-minded partners, exploring better ways to support healthier lifestyles, and contribute to fact-based conversations about health and food policies.

Read more about children’s eating habits

Studying the health of mothers and babies

In one of the largest public–private partnerships of its kind, we partnered with the EpiGen Global Research Consortium to conduct wide-scale research. The study is exploring whether a specific combination of nutrients and probiotics, taken before conception and during pregnancy, improves the health of mothers and their babies.

For healthier generations today and tomorrow

Our research found that many breastfed infants fall short on vitamin C. While some competitors are no longer fortifying fruit purees, our research highlights that babies could potentially be at risk of inadequate intake if vitamin C is removed from baby food. That is why we fortify our fruit purees and presented our findings to the United States Department of Agriculture to encourage others to do the same.

The ‘Itch Tracker’

Nestlé Skin Health has released a new application, the ‘Itch Tracker’, developed to collect data on scratching during sleep. In addition to its intended use by individuals, the application will also collect and analyse data in the form of a study, using an open-source framework for medical research introduced by Apple.

Helping to manage seizure control through diet

To help people manage seizure control, we are exploring the high-fat, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet (see My Ketogenic Diet). In 2017, we launched KEYO, a unique ready-to-eat, semi-solid food for use in the ketogenic diet to better manage epilepsy. The product is suitable for children from age three.

The importance of early diagnosis

More and more people are suffering from food allergies and intolerances, and early diagnosis is important. Our scientists help to find new ways to assess and cope with many food allergies and sensitivities. For example, we have been collaborating with DBV Technologies to develop a simple allergy test for cow’s milk protein allergy in infants.

Transforming therapeutic approaches

Together with our partner Enterome, we created Microbiome Diagnostics Partners to develop innovative microbiome-based diagnostics. This joint venture will transform therapeutic approaches to health conditions, including inflammatory bowel and liver diseases. In 2017, Prometheus, a subsidiary of Nestlé Health Science (NHSc), also launched four diagnostic tests to help healthcare professionals monitor patients with persistent diarrhoea, Crohn’s disease, liver fibrosis and inflammatory bowel disease.


Read more about our research and findings

See the full report for progress on our two commitments to building, sharing and applying nutrition knowledge (pdf, 12Mb)