The hub based in Switzerland has joined forces with the industrial platform of the Kluyver Centre for Genomics of Industrial Fermentation, Netherlands. This platform consists of a variety of companies involved in the area of functional genomics and systems biology. Members of the group will benefit from direct access to results in bacterial genomics. One aspect of the increasing use of genomics is expected to help support the potential benefits of probiotics by confirming their mechanism of action in the body. Chr Hansen in the past has been one of the firms already active in this area, using genomic tools to help it develop new probiotic bacteria with superior benefits. Membership will also enable the Nestlé Research Center access to an extended network of world class scientists active in genomics. Knowledge A Nestlé spokesperson said the move was a logical step involving state-of-the art technologies to better understand fermentation techniques using beneficial bacteria. This knowledge can be used for development of novel and better fermented food products such as yoghurts. Dr Carl-Erik Hansen, group leader of biotransformations, said: "We have searched all over the world for suitable collaborations in the area of biological systems for fermentation and we found an ideal partner in the Kluyver Centre. "The Kluyver Centre will provide opportunities for collaboration in bacterial genomics, bioinformatics and fermentation." Other companies who are part of the platform include: Akzo Nobel Diosynth, Applikon, Bird Engineering, DSM, Friesland Foods, Heineken, Purac, Royal Nedalco and Tate & Lyle. The Kluyver Centre seeks to further expand its partnerships with companies active in the field of industrial fermentation. Research at the centre covers six programmes, including yeast, fungal and lactic acid fermentation, genomic tools and society and genomics. Genomics is increasingly becoming the hottest scientific tool in the area of nutrition. Companies, including DSM, have ploughed money into the science of nutrigenomics, which looks at how genes interact with nutrients. It is hoped that nutrigenomics can have potential in the future for helping with a whole host of health problems, including obesity.