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Doctor Food: Innovation between food and health

29 - Nov - 2021

Doctor Food is part of the Innovation Festival 2021, an open workshop on the topic "Innovation and development strategies from research to companies" , held in Bari (Italy)

The tight relationship between food and health is a fertile ground for innovation and entrepreneurial drives from startups and enlightened companies. There are plenty of virtuous examples of startup and spinoffs in the field of agrofood and health.

The event was organized in collaboration with TECNOPOLIS Science and Technology Park of the University of Bari and aimed to argument potential and challenges of the innovation, together with startups, spinoffs, companies, experts and consultants.

In this context, Prof. Patrizia Brigidi, from the University of Bologna, presented CLiMB-Out

"The project - explained Prof. Patrizia Brigidi, principal investigator of the University of Bologna for EITFood - has the objective to develop new predictive tools for the early evaluation of obesity risk factors based on the gut microbiota profile, i.e., the ensemble of microorganisms harbored in the human gut, capable of synthesize vitamins and other substances that help the human body to carry out its everyday activities."

"Such overwhelming quantity of bacteria operates in relation to all other cells in our body, thus playing a relevant role in the development of obesity, especially during infanthood, which is thereby an important period for being able to revert such trend. To develop such innovative predictive tools, CLiMB-Out is going to use the results obtained by previous studyes, such as the European Project MyNewGut, focused on the characterization of child's microbiota (6-12 years) recruited mainly in the Southern Europe (Italy and Spain) and followed in longitudinal studies lasted for several years."

"This has made it possible to identify children that maintained a normal weight, others that firmly developed obesity and others that after gaining weight came back to a normal weight condition. The gut microbial profile in all such children resulted to be highly diverse, and especially disbyotic subjects were of particular interest; which means that those one in which the intestinal microbiota was unbalanced for the number of bacteria or for the quantity of bacterial strains, identifyed in normal-weight children with an incorrect dietary habits that developed obesity over time."

"Beside the gut microbiome level, all the children have been characterized for a multitue of physiological, metabolical and immunologicla parameters, investigated through the application of the most advanced molecular biology techniques, allowing in this way to obtain wide databases that CLiMB-Out is going to analyze through Artificial Intelligence procedures. The aim is to identify specific configurations of the gut microbiota that, together with other individual characteristics, can be embedded in tools capable of predicting the potential development of pathologies."

CLiMB-Out is going to produce also new educational programs and communications, which will involve both families and schools, taking into account important parameters correlated to socio-economic conditions, to ultimately improve obesity-risk children's dietary habits and lifestyle.

Here the slides of Prof. Brigidi's speech: