A society in which every individual is ready and able to make a conscious choice to adopt an eating pattern precisely attuned to his or her needs. That was the dream of the various stakeholders in the public-private partnership Personalised Nutrition & Health.
The consortium Personalised Nutrition & Health, an initiative of TNO and Wageningen University & Research, researched the technology and knowledge needed to make personalised food and health advice possible on a large scale. Consumers would then be able to decide for themselves what is healthy for them, while companies can add new value and help society to become a little healthier.
Each individual is different. People differ not only genetically, physically and mentally but also in terms of their knowledge, habits, preferences and the social environment in which they live. The advice given to one does not necessarily suit another. The tone of voice and timing of the advice is also important.
Personalised food and health advice helps people to make healthy choices in a way that best suits them; choices that suit what their bodies need as well as their personality and social environment. As customisation such as this can help people learn healthy behaviour patterns it has enormous potential for avoiding and combating weight problems, diabetes and other ‘lifestyle’ disorders.
The Personalised Nutrition & Health consortium took an integrated approach that is unique in the world and involved various disciplines working closely together: from life sciences and behavioural research to data analysis and sensor technology. It researched which technologies and knowledge are needed to arrive at tailored, scientifically grounded products and services. Our partners can use these insights to develop individual shopping lists and meal boxes, for example, or apps with which people can keep a close eye on their health. The large amounts of information produced by these do-it-yourself measurements by consumers can be used to verify the health effects of products or for research into food, health and behaviour patterns. Partners throughout the entire supply chain, from farmers and food manufacturers to caterers and retailers, can use all of this information to provide new value to their consumers and contribute towards a healthier society – either independently or in partnership with other companies involved in the consortium.
Ground-breaking products and services
The consortium aimed to place in the hands of its members the technology, knowledge and insights needed to bring ground-breaking, personalised products and services to the market; concepts through which they can add new value to their products and services and through which consumers can focus on improving their health. In addition, a process of raising awareness was instigated, which will make possible further innovations in the field of personalised nutrition & health; a process through which, together with our partners, we can realise the ideal of creating a society in which each individual is able to follow an eating pattern that precisely meets their needs.