Tate & Lyle announces dietary fibre research collaboration with APC Microbiome Ireland


Tate & Lyle PLC (Tate & Lyle), a leading global food and beverage ingredient and solutions provider, is delighted to announce a collaborative research project on the health effects of dietary fibres with APC Microbiome Ireland, a Science Foundation Institute (SFI) Research Centre.

Representatives from both organisations joined Leo Varadkar, Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland, to discuss this project’s potential to improve global diets at Wednesday's SFI food innovation roundtable in Washington, D.C., U.S.

APC partnership

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.”


For further information please contact: Dr Catherine Buckley, Communications Manager, APC Microbiome Ireland, University College Cork. Tel +353 21 4903362; mobile +353 86 8554744; email c.buckley@ucc.ie

Tate & Lyle’s press office is contactable via Anna Taylor, Corporate PR Manager, +44(0)776636151 or anna.taylor@tateandlyle.com 

About APC Microbiome Ireland 

The SFI Research Centre APC Microbiome Ireland (APC; http://apc.ucc.ie ) is a world leading research institute which was formed in 2003 with funding from Science Foundation Ireland and in conjunction with key industry partners. It represents a seamless collaboration between University College Cork and Teagasc (the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority). It is widely recognised that the gut microbiota plays an important role in human health and has become one of the most dynamic, complex and exciting areas of research in both food and pharmaceutical arenas. Over the last decade the APC has established itself as one of the leading global centres in gut microbiota research. The APC has made several landmark discoveries and has published over 2,500 research articles in peer-reviewed journals, generating many journal covers and associated editorials. Recent research areas being led by APC include the development of new diagnostics or biomarkers of health or risk of disease (e.g. colon cancer) based on analysis of the microbiota; exploring the mechanisms by which the microbiota may be favourably mobilised or manipulated (e.g. by bacteriophage) to promote health and ‘mining’ the microbiota for new drugs (e.g. smart antibiotics) and functional food ingredients.   APC recently celebrated 15 years in operation, with the publication of a new report “Mining Microbes for Mankind - 15 years of Impact” ', produced in tandem with Cork University Business School, which outlines the impact of APC research on society and on the Irish economy.  The Executive Summary of the report “Mining Microbes for Mankind – 15 years of impact” is available to download at http://apc.ucc.ie/apc-15-years-impact/