The food, health and wellness analyst at Lux Research, in Amsterdam, will give a rundown of all things innovation during her presentation at Probiota 2019 in Copenhagen next month (February 13th-15th).
Giving a taster of what’s to come, she told NutraIngredients that the microbiome is such a trendy subject that nearly every industry wants to get involved.
“The microbiome is such a huge topic – it spans a number of industries, from food and beverage, to medicine, personal care, and even agricultural businesses. It’s awesome in terms of its implications.
“Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen industry players from different areas of the value chain trying to get a bit of the microbiome pie, looking to find legitimate opportunities in this space.
“Research has also exploded but developers have barely scratched the surface when it comes to aligning science and product development."
Treading a fine line
Venkataraman argues that companies have to to try and be innovative enough to find a USP but also have to prove their work is backed by established scientific evidence otherwise they won't be trusted.
“Day Two is a startup company that is addressing Type II diabetic population and has a real legitimate effect through its coupling of microbiome analysis and nutrition.
“It’s a great example of a company that has a valid science backing. It recently announced a partnership with Israel's largest healthcare provider, Clalit Health Services, solidifying its position in the microbiome-based personalised nutrition space.”
The rapidly evolving universe of probiotics, prebiotics and the microbiome will be discussed in-depth at the upcoming Probiota 2019 in Copenhagen on February 13-15.
From microbiome advances, to start-up game changers, market stats, crucial clinical science and regulatory knowledge, this is a congressional must-have.
The analyst points out other start-ups are pioneering entirely new ways of managing the microbiome.
“Thryve is an example of a company that’s providing personalised probiotics. Whereas most other companies in this space are giving personalised food recommendations, Thryve is additionally delving into the personalised probiotics field which is quite unique but which has less proven scientific backing."
Venkataraman adds that, in the past couple of years, the industry has witnessed a number of key acquisitions which show how valuable collaboration can be: Kerry’s acquisition of Ganeden, DSM's acquisition of BioCare, Nestlé's acquisition of Atrium Innovations, and ADM's acquisition of Protexin.
“It’s not easy to come up with consumer facing gut-benefiting products but if they can know who to partner with, such as a start-up doing microbiome-based analysis, they can combine their knowledge to create a great business opportunity.
"We expect to see more investment activities around the probiotics space by players both upstream and downstream the food value chain in a bid to expand their health and wellness offering."
The microbiome has captured the heart and minds of consumers and the media in recent years. Probiota will bring together experts and leaders from global industries and academia under one roof to present top level insights and provide otherwise impossible networking opportunities.
Organised by the publishers of NutraIngredients, Probiota will combine the latest insights from science, regulation and business to provide delegates with the ultimate event to bridge the gap between the worlds of business, regulation, research and product development in the rapidly growing and overlapping fields of probiotics, prebiotics and the microbiome.
On the agenda are engaging sessions on the scientific and commercial potential of the fermented foods trend, dealing with and making sense of big data and bioinformatics, the importance of our microbiome in metabolism. In addition there will be sessions looking at the latest microbiome start-up trailblazers and a deep dive into the growing field of microbiome therapeutics and drug development.