Traditional plant and animal foods made from raw materials from the Swiss agricultural sector make a valuable contribution to human nutrition, and occupy an important place in the food pyramid.
Since 2015, Agroscope has placed its emphasis in the food sector on microbial systems. In the Human Nutrition Division, the physical and biochemical effects of fermented or cultured foods (especially yoghurt and cheese) thus form the focus of research, with the aim of enabling the identification and evaluation of potential health benefits and risks. Furthermore, the influence of specific foods on human microbial systems (gut flora) as well as the contribution and effect of substances created during fermentation (e.g. vitamins and peptides) are investigated. For this, conventional clinical parameters such as lipid profile, glucose and insulin are examined, and nutrigenomic analyses (i.e. transcriptomic and metabolomic analyses) are carried out. Added to these are sensory- and flavour-analysis investigations, since, in addition to health, enjoyment plays a particularly important role in nutrition.
In previous years, milk, meat, meat products and honey as well as assorted plant-based foods and specific food components formed the focus of Agroscope‘s research, in addition to cultured dairy products. An overview of these studies can be found in the 2008–2010 and 2011–2013 Nutriscope Syntheses.