Nestlé invests in South African ‘indigenous’ nutrition research

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition, Africa, Food, South africa

Nestlé invests in South African ‘indigenous’ nutrition research
The world’s biggest food enterprise has teamed up with South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), to develop local nutrients and foods.

Nestlé said the timeframe-free project  will give CSIR scientists, “exposure to Nestlé’s extensive research capabilities”,​ with a focus on safe food solutions for the developing world.

“It will also allow Nestlé to better understand the nutrition needs of consumers in South Africa, and accelerate the development of products with an improved nutrition profile at the right price for consumers in emerging markets,”​ Nestlé said.

Framework agreement

Nestlé head of R&D communications, Hilary Green, told NutraIngredients any potential commercialistion streams are not yet finalised.

“This is a framework agreement,”​ Green relayed, “which will facilitate the set-up of subsequent individual project contracts.”

“The details of potential projects in the future, including the ingredients to be studied and the financial terms, are still under discussion.”

The CSIR, part of the South African government’s Department for Science and Technology (DST), will coordinate the project.

Nutrition, safety, regulation

Nandu Nandkishore (pictured), Nestlé’s executive vice president and head of Africa, Oceania, Asia and the Middle East, said the arrangement sought to drive development on several fronts.

“We expect the collaboration will help to provide the scientific basis for sound nutrition and food safety policies, as well as identify research needs for science-based regulations on food, nutrition and health,”​ Nandkishore said.

Part of the project will research how indigenous ingredients can be formulated into nutritious foods, along with research about such nutritional inputs function in the body. But no particular health conditions have as yet been pinpointed.

CSIR chief executive officer Dr Sibusiso Sibisi added: “The joint venture will add value to our indigenous resources through exposure to modern technologies for developing new food products.”

“New products developed through this collaboration will be manufactured in South Africa in compliance with international standards, leading to the development of new skills and ultimately the creation of new jobs in the biosciences industry.”

The partnership came to life after CSIR, DST and other South African government departments visited the Nestlé Research Center (NRC) in Switzerland in 2011.

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