Fonterra and APC Microbiome Ireland partner to establish cutting-edge research centre

By Nikki Hancocks

- Last updated on GMT

Getty | ChrisChrisW
Getty | ChrisChrisW

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Global dairy producer Fonterra has partnered with world-leading science centre APC Microbiome Ireland (APC) to establish a cutting-edge research hub in University College Cork, Ireland.

The newly established Fonterra microbiome research centre, is set to be based in UCC and operational before the end of 2023.

The partnership will focus on the human microbiome with a view to developing new probiotic products that have health and wellness benefits.

Paul Ross, Director APC Microbiome Ireland, said: “This is a significant development for APC and we are thrilled to be working together with Fonterra. This latest collaboration with industry underlines APC’s reputation as a global leader in microbiome research and our expertise in supporting new product development with our Irish and international industry partners.”

Professor John O’Halloran, UCC President, said: “This collaboration reinforces the commitment APC shares with Fonterra to develop new, evidence-based products that support lifelong health. It reflects UCC’s international reputation in science and innovation and is an important milestone in our UCC Futures – Food, Microbiome and Health strategy which aims to provide solutions to some of the most important challenges of our time.”

Fonterra has developed probiotics like Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus HN001​ and Bifidobacterium animalis HN019 ​at its centre in Palmerston North, New Zealand. The firm maintains one of the world's largest dairy culture collections, comprising over 40,000 strains.

Mark Malone, General Manager for Science and Technology at the New Zealand based firm, added: “This new partnership with APC is a fantastic opportunity for Fonterra to collaborate with world leading experts in the field of probiotics and microbiome research.

“Our ambition is to launch multiple cutting-edge probiotic strains in the next 5-10 years. To achieve this goal, we’re forging partnerships with world-leading research institutions.

“The establishment of the new Centre signifies a pivotal milestone in our journey. It will serve as a crucial hub for identifying and substantiating the health benefits of our probiotics, accelerating our ability to introduce innovative strains to the market with greater speed and precision."


The Irish research centre regularly partners with leading suppliers in order to substantiate health claims and make new discoveries to drive innovation opportunities.

In July of this year, APC partnered with Arla Foods Ingredients and Health and Happiness Group​ (H&H) to collaborate on a project focused on diet for early-life cognitive development.

The one-year project between the two early life nutrition manufacturers and the research centre will investigate new opportunities for early life nutritional interventions.

Tate & Lyle has partnered with the research firm​ on a project aiming to boost understanding of the effect of dietary fibres on the function of the gut microbiome.

APC also head up a collaboration with King's College London and the SFI Research Centre​ at University College Cork (UCC), looking into the influence of exercise on gut microbiota and brain health in middle age.

Recent research

APC Microbiome researchers are regularly conducting world-leading studies.

Recently, they conducted a study revealing a link between gut-friendly diets and stress reduction.​ They found the closer participants stuck to a gut-friendly diet, the more they noticed a benefit in their stress levels 

A prior study conducted by the team in 2022​, concluded that levels of the Prevotella​ and Megasphera​ bacterial genera correlate positively with pain sensation thresholds in women.

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