With great pleasure we present to you the conference programme of the TNO Beneficial Microbes Conference
to be held on 29-30 May 2008 in the NH Barbizon Palace Hotel, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
The microbiota in the gastro-intestinal tract of man and animals has been
shown to be important for health and disease. For instance, a clear role has been established for the endogenous microbiota in inflammatory diseases such as ulcerative
colitis and Crohn's disease. But also a role in colon cancer has been suggested. Even a role in such diverse diseases or disorders as obesitas and autism has been
Moreover, over the past decades, the benefit of probiotics has been shown in various areas, including allergy, inflammatory disease, competitive
exclusion of pathogens, stool habit, and even reduction of sick-days in the case of flu or stress at work. Furthermore, probiotics and prebiotics are used in infant
formula to direct the development of the endogenous microbiota. For probiotics, an interaction with the mucosal immune system seems the major mechanism by which these
beneficial microbes exert their benefit to the host. Numerous hypotheses on how they might work have been postulated recently. The role of prebiotics in directing the
composition and activity of the endogenous microbiota is also studied widely.
The TNO Beneficial Microbes Conference
will highlight the most recent advances in the understanding of the mechanisms behind the health benefit of probiotics and how the endogenous microbiota influences health and disease. Novel tools will be presented and the implementation of the '–omics' technology is this research area will be highlighted. An important aspect is application of beneficial microbes, both probiotics and through the endogenous microbiota, for product development in food and feed industry.
The specific topic areas are the interplay between beneficial microbes and nutrition, the epithelium, the immune system and future developments in the field of
beneficial microbes in the food and feed industry.
We aim at a networking meeting to inform you on the latest scientific developments and the industry's
requirements and to create a European platform for the new initiatives for the application of beneficial microbes in the food and feed industry.
On behalf of the Organising Committee,