Nestlé Research Centre (Lausanne)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Nestlé Research Centre

Today we visited the Nestle Research Center, which is located in the beautiful scenery of Lausanne. We were warmly welcomed by Han Joosten who has set up this meeting. The objectives were to learn more about the research at the NRC, especially at the Quality & Safety Department and to share some research topics.

Nestlé, the World’s Largest Food Company, uses global science and technologies for local products. Worldwide the Nestlé Research Network covers a Science & Research Center (located in Lausanne, St. Louis, Beijing and Tokyo), 28 Product Technology Centers and R&D Centers and 320 Application Groups. At the Quality & Safety Network headed by John O’Brien, 10 teams are working, including the Microbiological Food Safety team (Laurence Blayo) and the Microbiological and molecular Analytics team (Stephanie Campbell). Both Laurence Blayo and Stephanie Campbell presented their team and their area in which they are active.

Marcel Zwietering presented our university, laboratory and projects. Afterwards several of our students presented their work. Clint van Melis presented his work on germination and outgrowth of organic acid-stressed Bacillus cereus spores. Elissavet Gkogka presented ‘Ranking microbial foodborne risks on a national level using Greece as a case study’. Els Biesta-Peters presented ‘Testing the Gamma hypothesis for two different hurdles, pH and undissociated acid concentration’. Era Tuladhar presented her work on viruses titled ‘Norovirus throughout the food chain: the role of food handler and transmission intervention strategies’. Ida Jongenburger presented part of her research titled ‘Random or systematic sampling to detect a localised contamination with a batch of food ’.

During a delicious lunch we were accompanied by John O’Brien. Afterwards there was enough time for a group picture. Jenny Dean of communication invited us for a ‘walking science tour’ along four areas: Food science & Technology, Nutrition & Health, Sensory & Consumer preference, and Quality & Safety.

In the afternoon Edwin Ananta presented bioprocessing and fermentation. Sachin Kadam presented ‘Mixed species biofilm of Listeria monocytogenes’. Harald Brüssow presented ‘Lactobacilli: from phenotype to genotype ….and beyond a glimpse from probiotic research at NRC’. Heike Margo presented her internship of six months at NRC ‘Use of MALDI-TOF MS for the identification of Enterobacteriaceae’. Carol Iverson presented her work titled ‘Pathogens in powder: Cronobacter and STEC in low aw foods’. Han Joosten presented an interesting case, ‘an outbreak investigation: Cerulide in Chili con Carne?’ and last but not least, Nick Johnson discussed a hypothetical case about an ice cream factory.

The visit gave us insight in different part of the microbiological research at the NRC in Lausanne. Today’s objectives were amply fulfilled. Even more, currently there are 14 interesting vacancies. That sounds very promising!
(Ida Jongenburger)