Personalised nutrition isn't only something for the future – a foretaste of Anuga 2019

2 October 2018

More than 150 participants from throughout Europe came to Lübeck in mid September at the invitation of the industry network foodRegio e.V. for the Personalised Nutrition innovation summit to discuss the chances and challenges of this theme and to let themselves be inspired by leading experts from the economy and a variety of concepts. The message of the speakers: personalisation is not simply one option among many – it is the central mechanism for preventing and combating diseases of civilisation over the long term. Especially examples of the practical implementation of the nutrition concept made clear that this "revolution" in nutrition has already begun. For this reason, a second NEWTRITION X congress in the context of Anuga in Cologne is also being dedicated to the theme of Personalised Nutrition.

The current state in science and medicine
The Kiel-based human medicine practitioner and nutritional researcher, Prof. Manfred J. Müller, MD, questioned the established nutritional guidelines in his lecture: these have been accepted as a general dogma despite a sketchy studies basis, and have in the meantime been refuted. The task of today's science is to question new findings independently and critically. The microbiome, which was presented by the molecular biologist, Prof. Karsten Kristiansen from Copenhagen, is today viewed as one of the central foundations of healthy nutrition. Although links between intestinal microbiome and diabetes, inflammation and even psychological disorders are in the meantime known, this is only the tip of the iceberg. That personalisation is not limited to nutrition is explained by Rudi Schmidt, company group division head for Precision Medicine, Asklepios Clinics. Up to now, one always searched for the "single smoking gun" and failed with this approach. Precision Medicine, on the other hand, focuses not only on the treatment of individual illnesses, but also on individual factors like genetic differences, environmental influences or lifestyle.

Joana Maricato, Head of Market Research at New Nutrition Business, dedicated herself to Personalised Nutrition from a consumer perspective. People are unsettled by changing nutritional guidelines and the large number of recommendations, especially in the new media. The consequence: consumers increasingly designed their own individual nutrition – a market gap that primarily benefited smaller brands and companies from the e-commerce. For Dr. Jo Goossens, shiftN, Personalised
Nutrition can only be successful with a 360° approach. A network from the food industry, medicine and pharmacy, of health service, technology and analysis providers is what is required. The NGO and EU-sponsored digital platform Quisper is an example of this networking and the central information platform revolving around Personalised Nutrition.

Implementing in practice
Dominik Burziwoda, CEO of Perfood, presented the MillionFriends program, with which the start-up offers personalised nutrition solutions. The collected data had shown that not only reactions to food are individual; some test subjects even
reacted to apparently healthy food like whole grain or tomato with high blood sugar levels. Food manufacturers were able to have their product tested in a study, and in this way find out how it influenced blood sugar and intestinal microbiome in order to further optimise it. Michael Gusko, Managing Director of GoodMills Innovation, suggested utilising the current boom revolving around self-optimisation for Personalised Nutrition, and presented innovative solutions from the fields of
technology, nutritional supplements and the food industry.
In an accompanying exhibition, the conference participants were able to exchange ideas with the speakers and become more familiar with their work on Personalised Nutrition. Prof. Björn P. Jacobsen from the organiser foodRegio e.V.: "Personalised
Nutrition is the path to a healthy future, and this was made clear in the presentations. We hope that our visitors will take not only knowledge with them, but also the spirit of optimism of this summit. Such revolutionary concepts now require the innovation and vigour of the food industry."

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