About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 4651
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain


J. Salcedo1, R. Lacomba1, A. Alegría1, R. Barberá1, MJ. Lagarda1, E. Matencio2

1Nutrition and Food Chemistry. University of Valencia, Burjassot (SPAIN)
2Instituto Hero Baby de Nutrición Infantil. Alcantarilla, Murcia (SPAIN)
The collaboration between university and industry is often used due to the benefits on both sides. For the university, such collaboration is important because it allows the development of research projects related to applied topics, and the financial contribution obtained is used to train new investigators by offering grants to students for obtaining a PhD degree. For the industry, the most important benefit is the inclusion in R&D projects certified by research institutions such as universities. It is in this context in which our research group, the Bionutest Group - working in the Nutrition and Food Chemistry Area of the University of Valencia (Spain) - collaborates with the Hero Group to investigate and developing infant foods that are healthier and more attractive for consumers.
The Hero Group is one of the most important companies in the European food industry, with a presence in over 15 countries, and their products are exported to 5 continents. Due to the geographic dispersion of the Hero Group companies, the Hero Institute for Infant Nutrition has been created to ensure coordination in all the activities of Research, Development and New Technologies within the Hero Group - it being in this setting where we are currently working. The correct feeding of infants is a fundamental aspect for correct growing and development, especially in the first stages of life. Furthermore, scientific evidence points to a correlation between infant food at early ages and the risk of appearance of certain typical diseases of modern society.
It is well known that human breast milk is recommended as a unique food for neonates, due to its known properties. However, when the production of milk by the mother is not sufficient, or the mother is unable to feed her child, the use of infant formulas is a good alternative. Collaboration with the infant food division of Hero has as ultimate objective the development of new infant formulas to offer better products, more close to human breast milk, and with added value. We are currently working on bioactive compounds in infant formulas, particularly gangliosides, which are natural compounds that can be found in many tissues of vertebrate species. Gangliosides play many roles: they are well known and widely described as a constituent of cell membranes, have bioactive functions in the intestinal tissues and plasmatic cells of the gut, act as protective factors against enteric pathogens, and exert prebiotic effects. On the other hand, they act as immune regulators and synaptic transmission modulators. In sum, they gangliosides essential for the correct development of newborn infants, and we are attempting to develop an infant formula containing such compounds in the same degree and composition offered by breast milk.
Derived from this line of research, a direct benefit is obtained by the food industry, since it is able to improve products destined to feed infants, resulting in increased company competitivity. On the other hand, the Bionutest Group also derives direct benefit, since there are two PhD students working in this line of research with a grant from the Hero Group, producing scientific results that are presented at international congresses, in international scientific journals, and as the obtainment of PhD degrees.
author = {Salcedo, J. and Lacomba, R. and Alegr{\'{i}}a, A. and Barber{\'{a}}, R. and Lagarda, MJ. and Matencio, E.},
series = {3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-7578-6},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {9-11 March, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {4651}}
AU - J. Salcedo AU - R. Lacomba AU - A. Alegría AU - R. Barberá AU - MJ. Lagarda AU - E. Matencio
SN - 978-84-612-7578-6/2340-1079
PY - 2009
Y1 - 9-11 March, 2009
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2009 Proceedings
SP - 4651
EP - 4651
ER -
J. Salcedo, R. Lacomba, A. Alegría, R. Barberá, MJ. Lagarda, E. Matencio (2009) NUTRITIONAL IMPROVEMENT OF INFANT FOODS: A MODEL OF UNIVERSITY-INDUSTRY COLLABORATION, INTED2009 Proceedings, p. 4651.