Recently published: Rational strain selection for protein transition

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Recently published: Rational strain selection for protein transition

NIZO scientist have recently published a paper on the genome comparison of Lactococci originating from dairy and plant environments. The work demonstrates how advanced statistical and bioinformatic analysis allows to condense a huge amount of data into informative figures and tables for sensible data interpretation. One example is the Figure below where you can see at a glance which strains is most applicable for a specific functionality (in red).

As we are very busy with new fermentative strategies to support the protein transition movement an important point of this study is that it demonstrates how genomic information can be exploited for rational strain selection used to ferment novel substrates” according to our Expertise Group Leader Fermentation, Herwig Bachmann. “It allows us to group strains based on full genome sequences while zooming in on specific functionalities. We can more reliably address questions on e.g. what plant isolates are predicted to have a flavor formation profile most similar to that of strains isolated from dairy environment”, says Jos Boekhorst, our Scientist Microbiomics.

The work was carried out in collaboration with a project of the Top Institute Food and Nutrition.



NIZO is now partnering member of the Pharmabiotic Research Institute

The microbiome and its role in human health represents a paradigm shift in how medicines will be developed. The Pharmabiotic Research Institute (PRI) was founded to make Microbiotic Medicinal Products a therapeutic reality in Europe. The PRI, as a neutral and financially independent non-profit association, applies a unique collaborative approach to improve market access and provide technical and regulatory intelligence for its members. PRI members have a  stake in regulatory, technical and collaboration efforts of the microbiome & human health space.

For NIZO this means an unique possibility to transfer knowledge and experience with other companies and research institutes in the microbiome and clinical area, like the Clinical Studies Task Group.


NIZO is gespecialiseerd in wetenschappelijk onderzoek op het gebied van voeding in relatie tot gezondheid. Voor voedingsmiddelen onderzoek zoekt NIZO regelmatig vrijwilligers in verschillende doelgroepen. Wanneer u mee doet aan een voedingsmiddelen onderzoek helpt u mee aan de vooruitgang van de wetenschap. Daarnaast krijgt u vaak een financiële vergoeding voor deelname. Deelname is altijd vrijwillig.

Om op de hoogte te blijven van onze onderzoeken kunt u ons volgen via deze website of via Facebook of Instagram

Via onderstaande links kunt u meer informatie krijgen over de onderzoeken die we bij NIZO uitvoeren en hoe u zich voor de verschillende onderzoeken kan aanmelden. Hierin staat ook vermeld aan welke criteria deelnemers moeten voldoen, dit verschilt per onderzoek. Nadat u zich heeft aanmeld voor een onderzoek krijgt u uitgebreide informatie over het onderzoek, daarna kunt u altijd nog bepalen of u wel of niet wilt deelnemen aan het onderzoek.

Lopende studies: 

Relation between spores in milk powders and predictability of spoilage of UHT milk products

Check out our most recent publication in the International Journal of Dairy Technology, which focusses on “Spores in Dairy – new insights in detection, enumeration and risk assessment”!

NIZO scientists Robyn Eijlander and Marjon Wells-Bennik, together with scientists from Abbott, bioMérieux, FrieslandCampina, Nestlé and U.S. Dairy Export Council, describe the evaluation of various methods that are used in the food industry to detect and enumerate heat-resistant spores in milk powders and offer practical solutions for standardization. The publication furthermore highlights new insights on modelling spore heat resistance of Geobacillus stearothermophilus.


Our Business Development Manager Food Beverage and Ingredients, Ben van der Deen, visited Alberta last February, meeting with potential business partners and laying out NIZO’s expertise in the plant-protein sector. As part of the Plant Protein Alliance of Alberta’s Global Business Network series of events, Ben van der Deen had a successful networking breakfast to an audience of industry players.

As we have to feed roughly 10 billion people in the near future, companies will need to make better use of their products and global supply chains will become very important. Besides, there’s an increasing demand for very high-value food applications. Developing these products may include researching how to produce better flavours and mouth feel, increase protein functionality, and create easier digestibility.

Owen Fieldberg, of Fieldberg Farms and Altiva Inc., near Medicine Hat, was at the breakfast session with Ben van der Deen and learned how NIZO might help propel forward his organic hemp business. “Opportunities to lean into institutions such as NIZO, with their depth of knowledge and historical experience, can only enhance our ability to create new products and lead the field,” Fieldberg said.

If you would like to know more about this subject, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Click here to read the article.

Launch of Quality control kit for miris human milk analyzer™

NIZO congratulates MIRIS on the launch of the Miris Calibration Control Kit™, quality control material for the Miris Human Milk Analyzer™!

At NIZO, we are proud to have supported MIRIS in the development of the standardized solutions found in the Miris Calibration Control Kit™.  With the Miris Calibration Control Kit™, Miris introduces standardization in the process of analyzing human milk for individual nutrition of preterm babies. Miris Calibration Control Kit™ contains standardized solutions with known concentrations of fat, protein and carbohydrates that correspond to those found in average human milk and to the high end of the Miris Human Milk Analyzer™ measuring range.

The Trade-Offs project, headed by Dr Herwig Bachmann

The TiFN Trade-Offs project, headed by Dr Herwig Bachmann, which studies the optimisation of dairy fermentations, scored 9 out of 10 at the mid-term evaluation of the project.The reviewers were very enthusiastic about the progress made in just 2 years. They noted the quality of the team. Finally they assessed the potential synergy within the project and the industrial relevance of the outcomes.

Should you wish to learn more about this project, please do not hesitate to connect with us.


Azitra’s Clinical Study of AZT-04 for Cosmetic Use Completes Enrollment

NIZO is proud to have contributed to this clinical study by assisting Azitra in development of the formulation used in this study focusing on microbiome-based cosmetics and therapeutics!

Please connect with our experts in case you would like to learn more about our capabilities in this field.

Click here to read the article

PhD defense Ellen Wemmenhove: Risk assessment of Listeria monocytogenes in Gouda cheese

Last Friday, the 1st of February, Ellen Wemmenhove defended her PhD thesis entitled ‘Risk assessment of Listeria monocytogenes in Gouda cheese’. She demonstrated that Gouda cheese does not support growth of this bacterium by performing challenge tests and microbiological risk assessments. The outcomes of her work are relevant for setting microbiological criteria for this foodborne pathogen for Gouda cheese. The research was carried out at NIZO, under the co-supervision of our principal scientist Food Safety, Marjon Wells-Bennik, in cooperation with Wageningen University (Food Microbiology and Food Quality and Design). A digital copy is available, please let Marjon Wells-Bennik know if you would like to receive a hard copy.

Just published in GUT: Iron-containing micronutrient powders modify the effect of oral antibiotics on the infant gut microbiome and increase post-antibiotic diarrhoea risk

Together with scientists of ETH Zurich (Switzerland) and the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Kenya), NIZO published a third article regarding better insights in the effects of iron fortification and novel dietary treatments on the gut microbiome in Kenyan infants in the journal Gut.

Previous studies: Prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) counteract the adverse effects on the infant gut microbiome

Worldwide, about a quarter of billion children are anaemic. At least half of childhood anaemia is partly caused by a lack of iron. Currently, iron replenishment therapies in underdeveloped tropical countries show minimal effect with severe advents, such as infections, intestinal inflammation and diarrhea. In the first study in 2014, it was shown that iron-containing micronutrient powders (MNPs) can favour the outgrowth of harmful enteropathogens at the expense of beneficial microbes such as Bifidobacteriaceae and Lactobacillaceae. It also caused intestinal inflammation and diarrhoea in some children. In the study of 2017, a new formulation of iron-containing MNPs with GOS was engineered to counteract the adverse effect of iron on the infant gut microbiome while maintaining efficacy against anaemia at a relatively low dose of iron. GOS has the potential to selectively enhance growth of the beneficial Bifidobacteriaceae and Lactobacillaceae. The conclusion of this study was indeed that GOS was able to counteract  the adverse effects of iron on the gut microbiome by stimulating beneficial Bifidobacteriaceae, while reducing the abundance of enteric pathogens. At the same time the MNP was effective in restoring iron deficiency anaemia of the infants.

Newest study: Iron-containing micronutrient powders modify the effect of oral antibiotics on the infant gut microbiome and increase post-antibiotic diarrhoea risk

The aim of the newest study was to determine the effects of antibiotics on the gut microbiome of Kenyan infants when given with or without iron-containing MNPs, as antibiotics are one of the most commonly prescribed medications to infants. Antibiotic treatment can be life-saving for children with bacterial infections. However, it is well-known that antibiotics can modify the gut microbiome composition and may increase colonization by enteric pathogens. The general finding of this newest study was that large differences were found in the gut microbiome composition comparing Kenyan infants receiving antibiotics with iron, with those receiving antibiotics without iron. Specifically, the relative abundance of beneficial Bifidobacterium was decreased and enteropathogens were increased. In addition, the prevalence of diarrhoea was higher in infants receiving antibiotics with iron compared with those receiving antibiotics without iron. Larger intervention trials to confirm these results are needed. However, if these findings are confirmed, health-care practitioners should consider temporarily discontinuing iron-containing MNPs during antibiotics treatment. NIZO contributed to this study by performing 16S microbiota profiling with in-depth bioinformatics analyses on the effects of iron and antibiotics on the gut microbiome of the Kenyan infants.

For more information about our microbiome expertise, contact Sabina Lukovaç (Sabina.Lukovaç