‘Are milk and dairy products nutritious?’ and ‘Are milk and dairy products healthy?’ Apparently simple questions that can lead to very complex answers based on a vast amount of health and nutrition research. Add to that the question ‘Why are milk and dairy products nutritious and healthy?’ the field for discussion and debate widens even further. At this point, nutrition or health research alone is not sufficient and boundaries need to be crossed, because the important of milk and dairy products in relation to human nutrition and health is in many cases not related to a single component, but also to the matrix in which these components are found. In this session, dairy nutrition and health will be covered from a product perspective. By understanding the interactions within the product and how these are affected by various stage of the digestion process, often leading to synergies. We will also consider the product, and its constituents, in a broader perspective, i.e., within multiproduct meals, highlighting the importance of complementarity between foods.
Dairy microbiology has a long and successful past, particularly because of the continuous scientific development within the field. Even though dairy microbiology will continue to thrive with existing cultures, methods and products, there is also a need to look into the future, with an increasing focus on sustainability and energy reductions. Likewise, the increased focus on plant materials for human food consumption, also offers new opportunities to expand the boundaries so that the cultures and methodologies from dairy microbiology can be applied to novel products that are a mixture of dairy and plant raw materials. This workshop will address the challenges and opportunities of this brave new world.