History of Danone Nutricia Research

Nutricia Research has been dedicated for more than 50 years to the scientific study of early life nutrition for mothers and young children. This research is based on the wonder of human breast milk, which has a highly complex composition that seems to continuously evolve as infants develop, to deliver optimum nutrition at every stage of a young life. The naturally occurring nutrients in the breast milk of a mother provides for growth and development, as well as impacting both short-term and long-term health for her child.

Nutricia Research invests a significant amount into research and development on the correlation between specific nutrients and the healthy growth of children from pre-conception throughout the stages of pregnancy and into early childhood. This led to one of our most significant breakthrough innovations in early life nutrition: in 1994 the Nutricia Research team were the first to detect short chain and long chain human milk oligosaccharides, which have been shown to promote the growth of beneficial gut microbiota and the development of the immune system.*

*Stahl B, Thurl S, Zeng J, Karas M, Hillenkamp F, Steup M, Sawatzki G, Anal. Biochem. 1994, 223, 218-226


Historyresearch 1896

Martinus and Jan van der Hagen produce the world’s first infant milk formula based on research by Prof. Backhous in Germany on optimal nutrition for children.


Historyresearch 1901

The van der Hagens adopt the name Nutricia, now a brand known worldwide for expertise in early life nutrition.


Historyresearch 1946

Nutricia opens its first research centre dedicated to baby nutrition in Zoetermeer, the Netherlands.


Historyresearch 1968

Nutricia Research identifies the whey protein to casein protein ratio in human milk.


Historyresearch 1980S

Nutricia Research discovers the importance of a certain whey quality to establish amino acid balance in infant nutrition.


Historyresearch 1982

Nutricia Research is the first to detect Long Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (LCPUFA) in human milk.


Historyresearch 1994

Nutricia Research is the first to detect short-chain and long-chain milk oligosaccharides.


Historyresearch 1997A

Nutricia Research expands, relocating from Zoetermeer to its current home in Wageningen.

Historyresearch 1997B

Nutricia Research discovers that human milk oligosaccharides (HMOS) are based on the gene predisposition of mothers, as well as four different profiles in different HMOS directly linked to specific genes of the individual mother.


Historyresearch 2000

Understanding that the lipid architecture in human milk is important for lipid absorption and physiology, Nutricia Research focuses on the modulation of lipid structure on metabolism and potential risk of obesity.


Historyresearch 2007

Nutricia is acquired by the Danone Group.


Historyresearch 2010A

Danone Nutricia opens in Biopolis, a state-of-the-art research centre in Singapore, to lead clinical trials in the Asia Pacific region.

Historyresearch 2010B

Nutricia Research demonstrates in a lactational study that specific differences of HMOS patterns exist. Other research groups found that depending on HMOS groups, the microbiota profile of the breast fed infant was also different.


Historyresearch 2011

Nutricia Research discovers that bacteria in human milk plays a role in mothers' and infants' health.


Historyresearch 2013

Expanding once more, Nutricia Research moves from Wageningen to a new state-of-the-art centre in Utrecht, Netherlands.

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