APC Microbiome Ireland, a Science Foundation Institute (SFI) Research Centre, is delighted to announce a collaborative research project on the health effects of dietary fibres with Tate & Lyle PLC (Tate & Lyle), a leading global food and beverage ingredient and solutions provider. Representatives from both organisations joined Leo Varadkar, Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland, to discuss this project’s potential to improve global diets at the SFI food innovation roundtable in Washington, D.C., U.S. this week.

Certain dietary fibres have been found to have prebiotic effects, feeding ‘good’ bacteria in the gut and promoting a healthy composition of ‘gut microbiome’. For this new research project, which is funded by Tate & Lyle, APC Microbiome Ireland will screen dietary fibres to identify potential health benefits for specific age groups and to explore the benefit of these fibres for specific improved health outcomes, particularly relating to cardio-metabolic health. 

APC Microbiome Ireland is a global leader in most aspects of microbiome science.  Based at University College Cork and Teagasc, APC Microbiome Ireland is ranked number one globally for research in antimicrobial and therapeutic microbes and is in the top five institutions in the world for microbiome research.  APC Microbiome Ireland has expanded the research and development capabilities of Ireland in an area of immediate relevance to the food and pharmaceutical sectors of industry.

Welcoming the announcement Prof Fergus Shanahan, Director APC Microbiome Ireland, commented: “This collaboration is an exciting opportunity for APC clinical and microbiome researchers to engage with Tate & Lyle, a global provider of ingredients and solutions for the food and beverage industries. APC’s expertise will enable Tate & Lyle to understand further the additional health benefits that its fibre portfolio offers.

Andrew Taylor, President, Innovation and Commercial Development, Tate & Lyle, who attended the event in Washington, said: “Dietary fibre provides a wide range of health benefits, including digestive health, keeping blood glucose levels healthy, weight management, cholesterol reduction and possibly even bone health. At Tate & Lyle, we are excited by the potential our fibres have to address significant societal health challenges, and by working with APC Microbiome Ireland we’re committed to building further the evidence base around the positive role fibre can play in improving public health.”

Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General, Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said:By growing and expanding international links through partnerships and collaborations with such world-leading organisations, the SFI Research Centres are creating opportunities for innovation and global knowledge transfer. It is a tribute to our researchers in Ireland that Tate & Lyle is committing to this research partnership and I look forward to seeing the fruits of this collaboration in the future.”