Build biomedical science leading to health-promoting products, personalized nutrition and digital solutions
Why it matters
Around the world, people are living longer. However, healthcare systems may not be able to provide the support an older population requires. Biomedical science – which focuses on how cells, organs and systems function in the human body to help healthcare – enables us to understand, treat and help prevent disease at all stages through life. Our work also helps us see the role nutrition, as well as genetics, family history, environment and lifestyle, has in health and well-being.
What we are doing
In 2019, we developed our work in nutritional profiling to deliver more customized solutions to consumers. Building on this expansion into personalized nutrition, we acquired Persona, a personalized vitamin business. Read more about it in our 2019 progress report.
Demonstrating our commitment
A new nutrition-based approach for the dietary management of Crohn’s disease
A new study has shown that a whole-food-based dietary approach – the Crohn’s Disease Exclusion Diet – combined with Modulen IBD, a Nestlé Health Science medical nutrition product, is effective for dietary management of Crohn’s disease, a chronic condition that causes inflammation of the digestive system.
Nestlé Health Science leveraged the results of the study to create ModuLife, a new solution to support dietary management for people with the illness. ModuLife includes a website and app, which enables people to personalize and manage their diet through access to recipes and meal plans, diet-tracking and guidance from specialists, all under the guidance of their healthcare provider.
Personalized nutrition for cancer patients
Nestlé Health Science launched COPES, a healthcare provider-supervised program available from any smartphone, tablet or computer. COPES provides patients throughout their cancer journey – from initial diagnosis through to remission – with round-the-clock access to nutrition and wellness experts’ support and information.
We have also launched an innovative nutritional drink for cancer patients, BOOST Soothe. Developed with the input of cancer patients, the drink provides protein and calories as well as a cooling, soothing effect. It helps patients receive the nutrition they need while dealing with side effects of their treatment such as oral discomfort and taste changes.
Delivering nutrition solutions for pets
Nestlé scientists have found a way to significantly reduce the active levels of the major allergen produced by cats, Fel d1. Produced primarily in cats’ salivary and sebaceous glands, Fel d1 is transferred to a cat’s hair and skin during grooming, then dispersed in the environment via hair and dried skin flakes.
By incorporating a key protein sourced from eggs into a cat’s diet, the allergen can be safely neutralized. This groundbreaking research highlights the opportunity for the innovation of feline-friendly nutritional solutions that help manage cat allergens. We are currently exploring how this knowledge can be applied in the development of new products.
Additionally, in searching for new ways to address anxious behaviors in dogs, we found that controlling gut bacteria through probiotic administration can have a positive influence on anxious behavior. To help veterinarians manage dogs with anxious behavior, Nestlé Purina applied this research to launch new Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Supplements Calming Care, which contains bifidobacterium longum (BL999), a probiotic strain that has been shown to help dogs maintain calm behavior.
Reinforcing microbiome research for the next generation of health-promoting products
To further increase the understanding of the microbiome’s impact on human health and to accelerate the development of innovative nutritional solutions promoting health and well-being, we entered into a partnership with the University of California San Diego Center for Microbiome Innovation (CMI). The partnership builds on the CMI’s world-class microbiome expertise, which complements Nestlé’s research capabilities on the connection between nutrition and the gut microbiome. The microbiome is the vast community of microbes such as bacteria, fungi and viruses that live on and inside the body. An important part of the microbiome is located in the gut, where they are essential to digest the food we eat, the immune system and other aspects of health.
The CMI partnership opens new opportunities for accelerating microbiome discoveries through joint research programs and access to scientific and technological capabilities, complementing those that already exist within the Nestlé R&D network. The partnership will also provide the opportunity to work with young talents in the frame of CMI’s PhD student and postdoctoral programs.
Developing a nutritional score for Nestlé website recipes
To help consumers prepare nutritionally balanced, home-cooked meals, we’ve developed a meal nutritional score for recipes on our website. Each recipe is rated based on daily nutritional requirements using a scientifically validated algorithm developed by Nestlé Research. Consumers can see how nutritionally balanced recipes are and, where needed, get suggestions for complementary dishes.
The system was piloted in Mexico and went live in late 2019. Ninety-six percent of all recipes (more than 5000) on our Mexico website now have a meal nutritional score. We are assessing opportunities to further roll out the meal score in other markets.
Combating aging through a new class of nutrition
Advancing cellular nutrition is a key component of our strategy to bring new benefits to consumers and patients. Nestlé Health Science has invested in and partnered with Swiss-based Amazentis, licensing the rights to cutting-edge technology that uses nutrition to revitalize the powerhouses of our cells, the mitochondria.
Amazentis’s Mitopure, a proprietary, highly pure form of urolithin A has been proven to boost cellular health. Using this novel technology, together with other proprietary ingredients, we will be able to target cellular nutrition. Urolithin A can be naturally produced by the gut microbiome after consuming foods. Most people, however, cannot get enough of this specialized nutrient from food alone. Nestlé’s investment will support further research and development of Celltrient and help bring new cellular nutrition products to market so consumers can enjoy the benefits.