Internship Danone

Characterization of commercial amino acid ingredients in medical nutrition products

Period: 6 months, starting February/March 2019.

Location: Danone Nutricia Research, Utrecht Science Park


  • Leonardo Cornacchia & Penny Jennings, Danone - Nutricia Research
  • Paul Venema, WUR

About Danone Nutricia Research

Danone Nutricia Research, Centre for Specialised Nutrition, is a state of the art Life Science innovation centre for the development of new product concepts for Early life Nutrition and Medical Nutrition. We create formulas that provide clinically substantiated health benefits to vulnerable consumers – infants, toddlers, elderly and patients.

Our products are marketed under the brand names Nutricia, Milupa, SHS, Dumex and Blédina, amongst others. Capitalising on our numerous international preclinical and clinical collaborations, we aim to identify new nutritional intervention opportunities and develop innovative product forms. Nutricia Research, part of Groupe Danone is located in the Utrecht Science Park in the Netherlands

Project outline

Amino acids are used in medical nutrition for the dietary management of infants with cow’s milk allergy, allergy to extensively hydrolysed cow’s milk proteins, multiple food protein intolerance, allergy to breast milk. A balanced mixture of all the essential and non-essential amino acids considered necessary to support the normal growth and development of infants.

When producing amino acid-based formulae, physical properties of the amino acid ingredients, such as particle size and distribution, particle shape, are important for the characteristics of the end product and for the optimization of the manufacturing process.

In order to optimize the sourcing of ingredients for medical nutrition applications, physical data need to be collected from commercial amino acid powder ingredients. Therefore, in this project we aim to:

  • Characterise the physical properties of commercial amino acid powders from different suppliers (particle size distribution, particle shape
  • Study the technofunctional properties of single amino acids and amino acid blends (e.g., Flow properties, solubility etc.)

Key responsibilities

  • Literature study
  • Ideate, design and carry out lab analysis
  • Analyze results.
  • Prepare reports or presentations of experimental results.
  • Maintain accurate record of laboratory work

Desired Skills and Experience


Please be aware that this position is open for registered students only.

  • Master’s degree: Food Science, Food Engineer, Food Processing
  • Experience in powder research and familiar with lab equipment.
  • Independent in the execution of experiments and in the implementation of methods, good data management skills, good reporting and scientific writing
  • Fluent in English
  • Curious and able to easily connect to people.
  • Well-organized, responsible, creative and pro-active.


For more information about the position or to apply please contact:

Leonardo Cornacchia, Danone - Nutricia Research (