In celebration of 100 years since creating its first yogurt, Danone has opened its collection of 1,800 strains for research purposes, including access to its current collection of 193 lactic and bifidobacteria ferment strains deposited at the National Collection of Cultures of Microorganisms, held in the Biological Resource Center of Institut Pasteur (CRBIP). Danone says it will also open its collection of more 1,600 strains at its Research & Innovation center in Paris-Saclay to researchers around the world. Danone reports promoting open science, a movement toward openness in scientific research, sharing and development of knowledge through collaborative networks.
In line with its “One Planet. One Health” vision, which is designed to reflect a belief that the health of people and that of the planet are interconnected, the yogurt company has introduced its 2030 Goals. These are aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, which have been constructed on the basis of a holistic strategy. The set of nine integrated goals is built on three interdependent pillars. The business model includes the goal to be certified as a B Corp on a global level, speaking to a commitment to transparency and trust. Danone reports that it wants the company to generate growth in an inclusive way, through internal and external collaborations.
The first Danone yogurt was made in Barcelona in 1919 by Isaac Carasso, who was inspired by the immunologist Elie Metchnikoff’s research at the Institut Pasteur into the role of ferments in gut and overall health. Faced with the poor gut health affecting Barcelona’s children, Isaac was moved to act, and began selling his first yogurts fermented with lactic ferments in Barcelona’s pharmacies.
Lactic and bifidobacteria ferments may have a range of additional uses, for both food and non-food applications, many of which have not been fully explored. They could potentially help address a series of health, societal and environmental challenges including:
- Increasing the diversity of natural fermented food products, and developing higher value-added dairy products to secure a greater revenue stream for farmers;
- Reducing crop and food losses, by preventing the growth of fungi, bacteria and viruses on crops, as well as on harvested and stored food;
- Protecting and regenerating soil;
- Mitigating methane emissions from cows;
- Reducing antibiotic use and the spread of antibiotic resistance, in both animals and humans;
- Developing easier methods to deliver drugs or vaccines to humans.
Danone Nutricia Research recently joined forces with the California San Diego Center for Microbiome Innovation (CMI) to advance the understanding of the connection between the diet and human gut through The Human Diets & Microbiome Initiative. Through scientific partnerships and wider collaborations to encourage open science and innovation, Danone progresses on its journey towards its 2030 Goals, and more specifically serving the food revolution with partners. Danone reports that these initiatives connect with the company’s ambition to become a global B Corp, using business for good to create sustainable value for all.