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Health and Nutrition - which Research and Products do we need?
A. Pfeifer, AC Immune, Lausanne
Vortrag im Forum Technik & Gesellschaft, Basel 16.10.03
The traditionally strong link between food, nutrition and health has
recently received a strong support through the revolutionary progress in
nutritional science. The scientifically proven benefit of nutrition and
food has led to the development of a new class of foods, the Functional
Foods. Some successful concepts of foods with proven health benefits were
built on the effects of pro- and prebiotics; unsaturated fatty acids;
dietary fibers and minerals such as calcium.
The revolution in science induced by the sequencing and functional
assessment of the human and numerous plant and bacterial genomes will
establish a new dimension of nutritional research enabling the transition
from today's prevention of obvious deficiencies in a population to
tomorrow's optimal nutrition in an individual. The genomic and post-genomic
era will contribute to the discovery of new targets for nutritional
intervention; the discovery of new active ingredients; the discovery of the
mechanism and benefits of new or existing ingredients or combinations
thereof. The expected benefit is the creation of new products and even
product categories for maintenance of health and well-being and disease
prevention covering the genetically variable metabolic needs of individuals.
However, the development of foods with proven health benefits and
successful in the market place will require an orchestrated approach of
Life Sciences, Food physics and Consumer Sciences to transform the "science
push" into a "consumer pull". Therefore, the enormous progress in the Life
Sciences need to complemented with with innovative research in Food Physics,
Consumer and Sensory Sciences.
Only food and nutrition, which combines health benefits, sensory attributes,
safety and convenience, will make the expected impact on performance and