Food-pharma convergence? Keep an eye on Nestlé, says nutrition professor

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By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Professor Witkamp: Cautious enthusiasm for food-pharma sector
Professor Witkamp: Cautious enthusiasm for food-pharma sector

Related tags: Pharmacology

There was a lot of discussion about the convergence of food and pharma at this week’s NutrEvent and NutriConference in Lille, France, but a €1bn+ Nestlé commitment does not a category make.

So says Renger Witkamp, PhD, Professor of Nutrition and Pharmacology at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, who, while excited by the prospect, said the real progress may come from outside expected channels.

“At this very moment I don’t see that the traditional food companies will really merge with pharma companies or will take over their drugs, their molecules, maybe with the exception of Nestlé…But I don’t think Nestlé will become a pharma company.”

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1 comment

Nutrients as drugs

Posted by Richard Wurtman, M.D.,

Folic acid, consumed in a food, is an essential nutrient for protecting against anemias. But given in higher doses to well-nourished pregnant women it is a drug for protecting the fetus/infant against neural tube defects and even slowed linguistic devenlopent. There are many other examples of such dual functions, and Danone seems to the company most sophistocated in using this insight to develop medically-useful products.

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