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Microflora research centre launched in Holland

By staff reporter , 23-Apr-2009

Dutch research institute, TNO, has brought its microbial research services under one roof by launching a centre dedicated to the task and specialising in advanced DNA diagnostic methods.

Eschewing traditional “culturing and molecular detection methods”, TNO is employing DNA-chip based diagnostics that offer high throughput levels for food, personal care, cosmetics and pharmaceutical players.

The company has provided a service for companies seeking to investigate the properties of microflora in the areas of skin health, gut health, oral health and vaginal health for some time, but in different locations. With its expertise centralised efficiency and cost-savings would be realised.

The Microflora Exploration Centre will house five microbiologists with DNA expertise, said the head of microbial genomics department, Roy Montijn.

“This will improve our service and make it more affordable,” Montijn told NutraIngredients.com. “From assisting with intervention studies, performing in vitro trials, to employing the micro-gut we have here, we are better placed now.”

He said small samples could be analysed for as little as €225, a reality that had grown TNO’s business as company’s out-sourced to its expertise rather than attempt to develop costly research and analysis specialities.

The company said it could analyse 600 microflora species “within one run”.

“The food, personal care, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industry can use the services of MEC to develop products and ingredients that improve health by establishing a balanced microbial flora,” it said.

It has offered its TNO’s Intestinal Flora Chip (I-chip) to commercial partners for many years.

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