[01 June/Otago Daily Times]

Despite some frustrations, Dr James Dekker, Fonterra Co-operative Group’s Platform Manager in Nutrition and Health, remains optimistic that New Zealand can contribute positively to the world’s USD$50billion (approx. NZD $76.7billion) probiotics market. Dr Dekker spoke to over 50 people on the second day of a symposium dedicated to ‘’Understanding Human Microbiota’’. Probiotics are live micro-organisms that, when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host. There are strong restrictions around what health-related claims could be made for pro-biotics which makes communicating with potential customers about the value of the products harder. However Dr Dekker remains hopeful that New Zealand can make an impact on the industry despite the difficulties.