Kraft Heinz and APC Microbiome Ireland have announced a new collaboration aimed at developing new natural cultures for food fermentations.
Fermented foods are created using controlled microbial growth, facilitated by microorganisms or microbial communities such as starter cultures or probiotics. According to APC, the fermentation process helps prolong shelf-life, improve food safety and quality, and increase the palatability of foods. It can also enhance the nutritional and functional properties of foods.
Through the collaboration, the companies plan 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.
Based in University College Cork and Teagasc Food Research Centre, APC Microbiome Ireland claims to be the largest and oldest microbiome research institute in the world.
It 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.
“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,” said Professor Paul Ross, director of APC Microbiome Ireland.
Hennie Myburgh, head of R&D, global growth and technology at Kraft Heinz, says the partnership aligns with the company’s new global technology strategy.
He said: “As a company with a long history in fermented products, we are very excited by this collaboration with APC Microbiome Ireland as this partnership will further strengthen our research platforms, enabling the next generation of fermented products and ingredients.
“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.”