Four dairies in Ireland are to research how the natural properties of milk can be used to deliver health benefits for consumers.
It has received €20 million in funding from Enterprise Ireland to meet this end.
The National Functional Foods Research Centre plans to look at enhancing infant formula, dairy spreads, yoghurts and cheese to help maintain health and alleviate conditions associated with serious diseases.
Speaking to the Irish Times, Gerald Fitzgerald, professor of food microbiology at University College Cork and interim chief executive of the new centre, said: ‘We are looking at preventing infection – it can be anything from serious infections like C difficile and Staph aureus, then you have [other] infections such as dental caries right through to tummy upsets, which are not devastating but they have an impact on quality of life.’
It is anticipated that the National Functional Foods Research Centre will grow to include more companies and will therefore extend its lifespan beyond the five years outlined this month.