New tools to advance personalised nutrition released by EU project Stance4HealthLast Updated : 22 June 2023
Brussels, 22 June 2023
Due to unhealthy lifestyles, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) – such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart diseases – are on the rise, representing by far the leading cause of mortality across the EU. To fight this wave, the EU-funded project Stance4Health has worked during the past five years on how personalised nutrition (PN), based on insights from the gut microbiome, can improve human health and well-being. The tools developed by the project offer not only promising opportunities to improve public health but also open new avenues for empowering individuals to make informed decisions for their overall well-being.
The key achievements of the Stance4Health Project:
- Tailored food products and supplements to optimise gut microbiota. The Stance4Health project has successfully formulated tannin-based products that have shown remarkable potential in promoting a balanced and diverse gut microbiota composition.
- i-Diet Stance4Health mobile app. A mobile application named i-Diet Stance4Health has been developed as part of the project. This user-friendly app empowers individuals to make informed dietary choices by providing personalised recommendations based on their gut microbiota profile. The i-Diet Stance4Health app builds the base for future platforms and aims to optimise gut health through tailored nutrition plans, improved nutritional knowledge and ongoing monitoring.
- Comprehensive Food Composition Database. Stance4Health has compiled a comprehensive food composition database encompassing over 2000 different foods and 800 nutrients and bioactive compounds.
- Novel Gut Microbiota-Based Food Ranking Algorithm (AGREDA). One of the highlights of the Stance4Health project is the development of an advanced gut microbiota-based food ranking algorithm (AGREDA). This innovative algorithm evaluates and ranks food items based on their potential to positively influence gut microbiota composition.
Consumer insights to develop Personalised Nutrition (PN) apps
Consumer research conducted by the project has found that consumers have a strong intuitive understanding of personalised nutrition and are interested in using apps to improve their eating habits.
"The motivation to eat healthily is decisive for getting started in using a personalised nutrition service, but the ease of use and user experience is crucial to keep users going," said Klaus Grunert, Professor of Marketing and specialist in food and consumer behaviour, Aarhus University.
More specifically, the results revealed that:
- Only consumers interested in healthy eating are likely to use PN services.
- To gain consumer trust, it is essential that the science behind PN is solid and that the privacy of their data is ensured.
- When PN is provided by an algorithm, consumers like to have the option of contacting an advisor.
- Once consumers have adopted a PN app, its ease of use and ability to deliver benefits are decisive for continued use.
This study's findings provide valuable insights for projects and companies developing PN apps, and the results highlight the importance of addressing consumers' concerns. To ensure their success in the market, it is crucial that a PN app can accommodate individual differences in food preferences. Learn more about the key features of a PN app here.
- Recording of the final conference: Taking a Stance4Health – Personalised Nutrition for Public Health
- EUFIC article for lay audiences: Shaping the gut microbiome through personalised nutrition
- Infographic on personalised nutrition
- Project publications
- DRG4Food project press release: Data rights & digital responsibility for the food sector
Stance4Health is a project funded by the European Commission through the Horizon 2020 programme. The overall objective of the project is to develop a complete Smart Personalised Nutrition (SPN) service based on the use of mobile technologies as well as tailored food production that will optimise the gut microbiota activity and long-term consumer engagement. Led by the University of Granada, Stance4Health brings together 19 entities from 8 European countries (Spain, Germany, Denmark, Romania, Italy, Greece, Belgium, UK), including non-government organisations, research hospitals, technological centres, and industry partners from the fields of food production, diagnostics, and software development.
Stephan Kampshoff, European Food Information Council