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Day 1 – Wednesday 17th October



18:00 – Poster viewing and networking reception

The Scientific Frontiers poster session presents the latest state-of-the-art developments in all aspects of prebiotic, probiotic and microbiome science relevant to health, wellbeing, consumers and industry. Posters will be selected based on abstracts submitted and reviewed by our Scientific Committee.

Day 2 – Thursday 18th October


08:55 – Welcome from the chair
Gary Scattergood, Editor-in-Chief, NutraIngredients-Asia

09:30 – Microbiota Shift and Health – Infancy to Elderly
Dr Amy Smith, Probiotic Global Lead for Regulatory Affairs, DuPont Nutrition & Health

There are many aspects of gastrointestinal (GI) health that attribute to overall health.  During the stages of life from infancy to elderly, microbiota changes can determine health and happiness, including digestive health, immune response, and even mood.  In this presentation, we present an overview of research that demonstrates a positive benefit in establishing a better microbiota through both HMO and probiotic intervention.  The presentation highlights the role of GI microbiota in producing beneficial metabolites, resulting in specific health benefits throughout various stages of life.

10:00 – Regulations Global IPA
George Paraskevakos, Executive Director, International Probiotics Association (IPA)

10:30 – Refreshments

11:00 – Evolving and urgent – understanding today’s probiotics regulations in South East Asia
Wai Mun Poon, Regulatory Affairs Consultant, Wong SJ Asia

Academics and consumers alike now recognise the important role that gut microbes play in human health.  As the demand for probiotic and prebiotic products grows, more and more probiotic foods are being introduced into the ASEAN region.  In response regulatory agencies are developing regulations and guidelines to govern sales and marketing of probiotic supplements and functional foods.  Wai Mun offers a guide to the current status and application of regulations across ASEAN demonstrating the challenges thrown up by diverse regulatory systems in key countries. Her insights will help manufacturers avoid common pitfalls and maximise opportunities for success.

  • Diverse, complex and evolving – an introduction to the current ASEAN regulatory environment
  • Progress and obstacles – permitted health claims and how they vary
  • Harmonisation – progress towards a shared ASEAN regulatory framework

11:30 – Embracing digital technology for precision nutrition
Puspita Roy, Senior Digital Programme Leader, Precision Nutrition D-Lab, Danone Nutricia Research

In the past, the research team at Danone Early Life Nutrition found it difficult to monitor real time data to demonstrate the impact of the company’s nutrition solutions in the real life of babies and their families. Today it’s using high tech digital solutions and connected health technologies to integrate data from various sources, including the gut microbiome, nutritional status, diet and lifestyle.  The accessibility of this information is helping researchers at Danone Nutricia Research to develop strategies for ‘precision nutrition’.  Puspita explains how digital technologies, from machine learning to image recognition, chatbots to big data analysis, will help to target and adapt the application of Danone’s integrated solutions and make precision nutrition a reality for moms and babies during their first 1,000 days journey.

  • Precision nutrition – a revolutionary approach to managing mother and baby health
  • Digital technologies in Danone Nutricia Research’s Precision Nutrition D-Lab
  • Developing 1,000 day strategies – interpreting real time data to  provide targeted nutrition solutions

12:00 – Extended networking and poster viewing – Take time to build your network or a second chance to view the Scientific Frontiers Posters.  Your opportunity to make new contacts and investigate areas of mutual interest.

12:45 – Roundtable lunches – Tables will be hosted by an expert from industry or academia who will lead an informal discussion on an industry hot topic. Join the table that suits you best, subject to availability.


14:15 – Emerging and Future Opportunities for Modifying Gut Microbial Populations
Dr Michael Conlon, Senior Research Scientist, CSIRO Health & Biosecurity

Academics and consumers alike now recognise the important role that gut microbes play in human health. As a result, demand for probiotic and prebiotic products is growing fast. As the market accelerates, there are opportunities to broaden the range and effectiveness of new products that use or modulate gut microbes for health benefits. Michael examines the market opportunity and the science that will unlock it.

  • The as yet uncharacterised adult gut microbes that are proving to be likely new targets for probiotic and prebiotic innovations
  • New evidence that dietary polyphenols can beneficially modulate gut microbes
  • Faecal microbial transplantation and microencapsulation – new delivery technologies that are now proving their worth

14:45 – Probiotic market growth, the danger of commoditisation and the impetus for innovation
Paul Mannion, Director of Product Innovation, Blackmores

The microbiome is truly on the map and consumer demand for solutions to restore microbial balance has never been stronger.  This consumer demand is underpinned by a growing body of science, increased health care practitioner recommendation and, ultimately, by consumers achieving positive health outcomes.  Despite this the probiotic industry is at a cross roads, with new trends emerging which threaten ongoing commercial success and consumer acceptance.  Looking to the future Paul’s presentation will highlight:

  • Strategies for successful market launches and boosting consumer awareness
  • Commoditisation and the probiotic potency arms race – what it takes to succeed
  • Medical microbiome therapies and the future of supplemental probiotics

15:15 – Interactions between probiotic bacteria and yeasts: How yeast might preserve probiotic potency during manufacture and distribution
Dr Mingzhan Toh, Research Fellow, Food Science and Technology Programme, Department of Chemistry, National University of Singapore

The health promoting properties of probiotics depend on the number of live microorganisms present at the point of consumption. That means it’s crucial that probiotic foods have high levels of probiotic cells at the end of the manufacturing process and that these are maintained throughout the distribution chain.  Given that there are many intrinsic and extrinsic factors that could negatively impact the survival of probiotics, this is no small challenge. Recent research suggests that yeast could help.

15:45 – Refreshments

16:15 – Sensing the gut’s state of health. The ingestible device that’s set to transform gut health monitoring and diagnosis
Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh, Professor, School of Chemical Engineering, University of New South Wales, Australia

Ingestible sensors have been hailed as the next big thing in human health monitoring and diagnostics. Among the first is a low-cost human gas sensing capsule developed by Kourosh and his team to diagnose gastrointestinal disorders and assess the impact of diet on the gut. The electronic capsule, which consists of gas sensors, micro-electronic circuits, tiny batteries and telecommunication components, does its work and then leaves the body naturally after passing through the gut. This presentation summarises the results of animal and human trials and assesses the market potential for this breakthrough device.

  • What the capsule can tell us – from the concentration of the gut’s natural gases to internal temperature, and how the information can be used in diagnosis
  • Discovering the unknown – immune system performance and the role of oxygen in the colon
  • Transferring information – from the gut to the smartphone, how data is collected and verified
  • Market ready? What animal and human tests tell us and how soon the capsule will be market-ready

16:45 – Panel discussion
Chair: Gary Scattergood, Editor-in-Chief, NutraIngredients-Asia

Panellists include:
Professor Yuan Kun Lee, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore
Najla Guthrie, President/CEO, KGK Science
Josh Baisley, Director of Clinical Trials, Nutrasource

18:30 – Probiota Asia Reception

Day 3 – Friday 19th October


09:15 – Chair’s re-cap of Day 2 and welcome back
Gary Scattergood, Editor-in-Chief, NutraIngredients-Asia

09:20 – Probiotic futures: A global analysis of current clinical trials and what they mean for the industry
Ger Rijkers, Professor of Biomedical and Life Sciences, University College Roosevelt, the Netherlands

On behalf of the IPA, Ger and his team have completed a comprehensive review of over 1,000 probiotics related clinical trials currently underway worldwide (as registered in www.clinical This gives the industry its first global snapshot of what’s happening in the world of probiotics; the scientific discoveries we can expect to see over the next five years and the product development opportunities they will give rise to. To complete the review, he has interrogated data from the US National Institute of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO), making this the most both exhaustive and reliable information source available. Studies from countries like Japan, Australia and Iran are mainly posted on the WHO website. He will reveal:

  • What’s happening where – and why Europe has emerged as a global hot spot for probiotic research and innovation
  • What’s coming next – neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinsons and Alzheimers heads the list of treatment areas currently under scrutiny
  • What’s in it for you – implications for your product development pipeline and why you need to engage with the research now

09:50 – Probiotics and mood: The ‘gut-brain’ axis
Dr Ng Qin Xiang,University of Singapore

Generally safe and palatable, probiotics have garnered significant attention in recent years for their purported role in bi-directional signalling between the brain and the gut. Mood states may alter gut function while gut health may influence mood and brain function. Ng’s team, comprising of researchers from the National University of Singapore and the University of Nottingham, has undertaken a systematic review and meta-analysis of this subject, which found that probiotics can deliver positive benefits for people suffering from depression. In his presentation he reveals the details of the research, what it might mean for the treatment of depression, and the next steps to developing treatments.

  • Passing signals – a summary of recent research into the gut-brain axis
  • Reasons to be cheerful – how probiotics may impact the mood states
  • Towards a treatment – what we need to know before translation into clinical practice and meaningful health outcomes

10:50 – Refreshments

11:20 – Scientific Frontiers session
The author of our highest rated Scientific Frontiers abstract – selected by our Scientific Committee – presents key findings and impacts of their research.

11:35 – Broad-spectrum probiotics – using human gut microbiota transplants to restore gut microbiome diversity
Jon Chang, Co-founder, Asia Microbiota Bank

Human microbiota transplantation (aka fecal transplantation) is being used for an increasing set of patient conditions as better clinical data emerges about the procedure. The Asia Microbiota Bank (AMB), the first commercial stool microbiota bank combined with Transplant Center in Asia, shares their story, how they identified healthy donors, conducted transplants, and analyzed the clinical and metagenomic data. AMB will share case studies on the clinical outcomes from patients with irritable bowel syndrome, intestinal bowel disease, chronic diarrhea, gut dysbiosis, ulcerative colitis, ALS and more. These cases are paving the way to discovering new bacterial strains not yet offered in an isolated form. Co-founder, Jon Chang, will share:

  • Where HMT is taking microbiome treatments in the next 5 years
  • Why current over-the-counter products cannot reproduce the deep diversity found in the human gut
  • What can people do to maintain or improve a balanced microbiome

12:05 – Combining advocacy and science: How Herbalife is seeking to increase awareness of probiotics
Dr Alex Teo, Herbalife  International

12:35 – Broad-spectrum probiotics – using human gut microbiota transplants to restore gut microbiome diversity
Jon Chang, Co-founder, Asia Microbiota Bank

13:10 – Networking Lunch

14:10 – Departures