Speaker spotlights

Asian heritage, global health implications: Renowned academic on how natto probiotic strain provides diabetes, cognition and ageing benefits

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

Asian heritage, global health implications: Renowned academic on how natto probiotic strain provides diabetes, cognition and ageing benefits

Related tags Probiotics microbiome

A Fulbright International Scholar will be detailing how a probiotic derived from natto has the potential to deliver diabetes, cognition and ageing benefits, at our forthcoming Growth Asia Summit in Singapore.

The three day event will take place at the iconic Marina Bay Sands venue from 11-13 October​.

It will feature extensive expert insights from a raft of big-name brands, leading academics, policy experts, and the most innovative suppliers, all focusing on the region with biggest growth potential for food, beverage, supplements, functional products and nutrition – Asia.

The 2022 face-to-face summit will feature:

  • Day one dedicated to Healthy Ageing,​ incorporating our long-standing Healthy Ageing APAC Summit​, in a region where 1.3bn people will be over the age of 60 by 2050.
  • Day two will be dedicated to Probiotics, Prebiotics and the Microbiome,​ incorporating our established Probiota Asia​ summit, as we connect the worlds of business and science in these fascinating, and booming, categories.
  • And day three will be dedicated to Protein​, incorporating our Protein Vision​ event, as we shine the spotlight on one of the fastest-growing categories, plant-based protein, as well as detailing the latest innovation in the emerging cultivated product space, and of course the traditional meat, dairy and seafood sectors.

Today we can reveal that, Dr Roberto Grau Professor of Microbiology and Head of the Molecular Biology Laboratory, Universidad Nacional de Rosario (UNR) and Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Tecnológicas (CONICET) in Argentina will deliver a keynote talk.

It is titled: Asian heritage, global health implications: A long journey to discover the multiple health benefits of the millenarian probiotic bacterium Bacillus Subtilis Natto

Many healthy fermented foods are native to Asia, such as Natto from Japan; Cheonggukjang from Korea; Thua nao from Thailand; and Kinema, Hawaijar, and Axone from India and Nepal. These foods are generated by soy fermentation with bacilli bacteria, in particular the spore-forming Bacillus subtilis. In particular, Natto food (soy fermented by Bacillus subtilis natto) is recognised in Japanese folklore as the source of an extended and healthy human longevity. During the last years, our research objective has been to elucidate whether the B. subtilis natto bacterium, the ‘active’ ingredient in Natto food, indeed possesses such human beneficial attributes.

Key takeaways will include:

  • How Asia’s rich history of fermented foods created extensive research opportunities
  • A comprehensive overview of the benefits of B. subtilis natto bacterium DG101 as a novel human probiotic with excellent psychobiotic and prolongevity attributes.
  • New findings on how B. subtilis natto DG101 is an excellent adjuvant therapy to treat obesity and insulin-resistant type 2 diabetes mellitus in human patients.

Dr Roberto is a biochemist who began his studies in the School of Biochemistry and Pharmacy of Rosario National University (UNR), Rosario-Argentina. He completed his PhD in the UNR studying the regulation of lipid synthesis during cold-shock response and sporulation in the model bacterium Bacillus subtilis. He performed his postdoctoral studies in molecular biology of sporulation in The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), Department of Experimental and Molecular Medicine at San Diego, California, USA. Dr Roberto has obtained many national and international awards, and finantial funding from goverment agencies and private companies, during his 35 years of research on Bacillus subtilis and other spore-formers.

He has published more than 45 original papers in reputed journals, directed dozens of PhD thesis, formed more than fifty profesional groups in science, visited many universities and reseacrh institutes around the globe (France, Spain, Germany, India, Japan, Brazil, Chile, U.S.A., U.K.), founded and/or catalysed the creation of half-dozen biotechnological companies. He is now a professor of Microbiology in the UNR, Pew Latin American Fellow (San Francisco, USA), a Fulbright International Scholar (Washignton DC, USA), and head of the Molecular Biology Laboratory on Spore-Forming Bacteria in Argentina.

The full list of confirmed speakers is:

  • Gerben Kamps, Head of Global Business Development of Seafood Alternatives,  Thai Union Group
  • Mimi Kumar, Director Product Development, International, Blackmores
  • Dr. Zhanyou Yun, Assistant President, Yili
  • Laurent Stévenart, Singapore and UAE Country Manager, Impossible Foods
  • Dr Sunny Wong, Associate Professor, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University Singapore
  • Angela Brady, External Innovation & Partnering Director, and Regina Karim, MD, Senior Global Science Communication and Claims Manager, H&H Group (parent company of Biostime and Swisse)
  • Dr Daisuke Fujiwara, General Manager, Health Science Department, Kirin Holdings
  • Dr Shao Quan Liu, Associate Professor, National University of Singapore (NUS), Food Science and Technology
  • Aaron Yeo, Director of Operations, GOOD Meat 
  • Dr Shan May Yong, Principal Scientist, Bioefficacy and Bioactive Discovery, Brands Suntory
  • Professor Brian Kennedy, Distinguished Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Physiology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore
  • Alicia Ng, Vice President and Head of R&D for Wider Asia, GSK Consumer Healthcare
  • Jesse Gu, Head of Sales and Marketing, BYHEALTH International
  • Carrie Chan, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Avant
  • Evan Hayes, Managing Director Asia Pacific, Factors Group
  • Dr Saishreyas Sundarajoo, Head of Clinical Affairs, AMiLi
  • Nathan Cheong, CEO, Melrose Health
  • Dr Roberto Grau, Professor of Microbiology and Head of the Molecular Biology Laboratory, Universidad Nacional de Rosario (UNR) and Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Tecnológicas (CONICET), Argentina
  • Sanghyun Lim, Principal Researcher, Cell Biotech
  • Tony Hunter, Global Strategic Foresight Consultant, Food Scientist and Speaker, Food Futurist
  • Dr Dai Chen, Research Fellow, National University of Singapore (NUS) and CTO Probicient

We will also be hosting a condensed digital event, consisting of three 90-minute broadcasts on the same topics the following week, from 18-20 October.

Throughout both events, FoodNavigator-Asia.com​ and NutraIngredients-Asia.com​ will help you understand how the industry can best navigate the region’s highly diverse consumer, regulatory, cultural and economic landscape in order to reap the substantial rewards on offer.

Gary Scattergood, Editor-in-Chief of both titles and Regional Head: APAC at publisher William Reed’s Global Brands division, said: “We are delighted to be able to return to live events here in Singapore, home to our regional HQ, and are thrilled with the stellar line-up of industry experts who will be sharing their insights.

“We can’t wait to welcome everyone to our summit as we showcase the huge potential for growth across the Healthy Ageing, Probiotics, Prebiotics and the Microbiome, and Protein sectors here in Asia.”

Register as a delegate today.

Related news

Show more

Follow us


View more

Food & Beverage Trailblazers

F&B Trailblazers Podcast