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Nutrition and health research

Our commitment: Build knowledge leadership in children’s nutrition

We seek to support public health by investing in both individual and population-based scientific research to deliver better nutrition for current and future generations. In this context, we collaborate with leading academic bodies to build the world’s largest private nutrition research network.

Our objective

By 2016: Further develop and integrate the molecular nutrition capabilities and clinical strategies of the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences (NIHS) and the Nestlé Clinical Development Unit (CDU) to help improve the management of diseases using nutritional solutions.

Our progress

As the largest private research and development network in the industry, we employ more than 4800 people. In 2015, Nestlé invested CHF 1.7 billion in research and development, predominantly for food and beverage businesses, and filed 292 patents.

Our global network is shaped by the Nestlé Research Center (NRC), the NIHS and the CDU, supplemented by 40 Product Technology and Research and Development centres. In 2015, the NRC hosted the 12th Nestlé International Nutrition Symposium on the topic of “Cognition and Brain Health”. Key research in 2015 included: the start of a study in Southampton, Singapore and Auckland into nutrition during and before pregnancy; and research into replacing sodium with potassium to improve cardiovascular health. Nestlé Health Science and the Nestlé Nutrition Institute also hosted a symposium at the 37thESPEN Congress in Lisbon, Portugal, exploring the nutritional needs of cancer patients.

The continued debate over the definition of medical foods – foods that are specifically formulated for the dietary management of patients with diseases or conditions with distinctive nutritional requirements – represents a challenge for us, particularly in terms of how we label and market our foods and beverages.