Thursday, February 14, 2019
Teamwork between University Maastricht and BASF Vegetable Seeds
Recently, Claudia Daniels, Market Research Specialist at BASF Vegetable Seeds, met 160 Master students at University Maastricht (UM). Claudia explained a new project on ‘personalized nutrition’ submitted by her department Market & Competitor Intelligence to the students. As a result, we selected 6 motivated Master students with a very diverse study background to join the project.
Personalized nutrition is an approach that uses information on individual characteristics to develop targeted nutritional advice, products, or services. For example, information can be based on DNA, stool samples, and blood markers, but it can also be based on easier to measure variables, such as weight, blood pressure, eating patterns and physical activity.
What’s in it for BASF Vegetable Seeds?
Driven by the escalating global epidemic of overweight and obesity, we see ‘personalized nutrition’ rapidly emerging as a key issue for the long-term future of the industry. Knowing how ‘personalized nutrition’ might play a role in the future, we can better define our strategy and therefore focus investments on the right output traits. If in the end this results in the development of vegetable varieties that better fit consumer needs, then this is not only beneficial for the consumers, but also for our-, and our customers’ business.
Elements of investigation
As the topic of personalized nutrition is very broad, many elements could be investigated, some examples are:
- What variables will be measured, and how can nutritional components in vegetables play a role in this?
- Are consumers willing to pay for personalized nutrition concepts?
- How will this affect the needs and characteristic of food products, and what are relevant food label regulations?
- Will personalized nutritional advice be effective, will consumers comply to this kind of diet?
Now it’s up to the Project team to decide which elements they will focus on. They will focus on elements that fit best with their background, interest, and which they think are crucial to understand to come back with a sound advice. In the coming months, until July 2019, these students will work on the project in their free time. They will be guided by a supervisor (with an expertise in consumer genetics & prevention services) and two personal development coaches.
Project member Tanya Zerbian says: “The reason why I enrolled in the project is because I believe that paradoxically, food is one of the main causes of health related problems of today's society, but it is also one of the solutions to them. In a world of accelerated technological development, personalized nutrition may be the path towards solving this "wicked" situation.”
Click here to find out more about the PREMIUM project on personalized nutrition.
About BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division
With a rapidly growing population, the world is increasingly dependent on our ability to develop and maintain sustainable agriculture and healthy environments. Working with farmers, agricultural professionals, pest management experts and others, it is our role to help make this possible. That’s why we invest in a strong R&D pipeline and broad portfolio, including seeds and traits, chemical and biological crop protection, soil management, plant health, pest control and digital farming. With expert teams in the lab, field, office and in production, we connect innovative thinking and down-to-earth action to create real world ideas that work – for farmers, society and the planet. In 2017, our division generated sales of €5.7 billion. For more information, please visit www.agriculture.basf.com or any of our social media channels.
At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The more than 115,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into five segments: Chemicals, Performance Products, Functional Materials & Solutions, Agricultural Solutions and Oil & Gas. BASF generated sales of €64.5 billion in 2017. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (BAS). Further information at www.basf.com