On Monday December 20, Renate Akkerman will defend her thesis entitled ‘Non-digestible carbohydrates for application in infant formula: studying fermentation and immune effects’ at the University of Groningen. Renate was a PhD-student in the CarboKinetics program and closely collaborated with her colleague Madelon Logtenberg (WUR). The research of Renate and Madelon focused on studying new non-digestible carbohydrates (NDCs) from various sources and their possible application in infant formulas for infants of specific ages and with different immune backgrounds.
Important findings of their research are that NDCs are fermented in a structure- and infant age-specific fashion and that the process of fermentation of NDCs highly contributes to their immune attenuating effects in infants. Together Renate and Madelon have already published 7 scientific papers in which they describe their results. The obtained knowledge is highly valuable for the tailoring of more specific NDC mixtures for infant formulas.