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APC Research Presented to Chinese Food Companies


Professor Catherine Stanton from the APC Microbiome Institute and Teagasc participated in a  recent series of seminars on Ireland’s Dairy Nutrition and Infant Formula Manufacturing (IFM), R&D and Investment, which was hosted by Enterprise Ireland in China.   Catherine explined how intestinal microbiota influence health and disease, and, in particular, in the developing infant gut, and outlined some of the latest findings from the APC’s research programme.

The seminars, in Shanghai and Beijing, were planned to promote Ireland’s dairy product offerings to the Chinese market and to champion Ireland as a location for Chinese investment in the dairy industry. Representatives from Irish dairy companies, including Glanbia Ingredients Ireland, Kerry, Ornua, Aurivo, Carbery, and Dairygold also attended the seminars.  Other presentations were made by representatives from Teagasc, Moorepark Technology Limited, Food for Health Ireland, Bord Bia, the Irish Government’s Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Enterprise Ireland and the Irish Embassy in Bejing.

The seminars provided an opportunity to outline to Chinese dairy and IFM companies details of the exciting areas of dairy and nutrition research happening in Ireland, and how Chinese companies can collaborate with Ireland’s Dairy and Nutrition Centres of Excellence.  Ireland produces approximately 15% of the world’s infant milk formula, and because Irish cows are pasture-fed, the product is highly sustainable and environmentally friendly and is considered a premium brand worldwide and especially in China.

The APC has a number of collaborative links with China and alumni include Prof Yin Li (APC postdoctoral fellow), now at the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and his wife, Ms Funing Sun (APC research assistant), and Prof Fang Fang (APC PhD student), Jiangnan University.  APC currently hosts PhD student Huizi Tan and Prof Xu Bo from Jiangxi University  will spend a year here from March 2017.  UCC also operates a  combined Food Science and Engineering degree programme with Beijing Technology and Business University, whereby Chinese students spend 2 years in each institution.

Teagasc also has a number of Chinese food researchers and PhDs working in Moorepark and has recently established joint research facilities with both the University of Fujian and Biostime, a Chinese infant formula company.

Photo: Prof Catherine Stanton