In this article:
- What does Personalized Nutrition mean?
- An integrated approach to help people.
- How blockchain will impact on the food choices.
Personalised nutrition revolves around concepts related to the medicalization of food system through nutrigenomics and other biomarkers analyses. In Europe foods are not and cannot be considered medicines. Therefore, changing the nutritional regime is one the first approach of medical doctors to alleviate certain metabolic disorders. The paradigm of the personalized nutrition is based on individual differences in terms of genetics, physical and mental approach to the food. We are all different for genetic, biological and cultural reasons; however the best nutrition for each individual should be personalized and tailored, taking into account specific needs and characteristics. Indeed, the best approach would require an integrated view in providing knowledge, new habits, preferences and building a supporting social environment. Personalized advices helps people to make healthy choices that better suits their bodies needs in the environment where they live. In that context, Wageningen University & Research in April 2016 began the “Personalised Nutrition & Health” that is a long-running public-private partnership involving leading players in the Agri & Food sector consisting of sub-projects lasting two to three years. As presented on their pages: “The Personalised Nutrition & Health consortium takes an integrated approach that is unique in the world and involves various disciplines working closely together: from life sciences and behavioural research to data analysis and sensor technology. It is researching which technologies and knowledge are needed to arrive at tailored, scientifically grounded products and services. Our partners can use these insights to develop individual shopping lists and meal boxes, for example, or apps with which people can keep a close eye on their health. The large amounts of information produced by these do-it-yourself measurements by consumers can be used to verify the health effects of products or for research into food, health and behaviour patterns. Partners throughout the entire supply chain, from farmers and food manufacturers to caterers and retailers, can use all of this information to provide new value to their consumers and contribute towards a healthier society – either independently or in partnership with other companies involved in the consortium. “ The current trend of the nutrition industry is expanding the idea of “personalized nutrition,” or “condition-specific nutrition.” This concept recognizes the role of the food as a way to reach determinant health results. The notion of educating the public through generic healthy eating messages has pervaded dietary health promotion efforts over the years and continues to do so through various media, despite little evidence for any enduring impact upon eating behaviour. In this context the meeting between the demand for personalized food and the supply by the catering industry is still at the dawn and at present there is no element that can convey the information in a precise, punctual and localized manner. Studies have consistently indicated that although the public hold positive views about nutrigenomics and personalised nutrition, they have reservations about the service providers’ ability to ensure the secure handling of health data. Technological innovation has driven the concept of personalised nutrition forward and now a further technological leap is required to ensure the privacy of online service delivery systems and to protect data gathered in the process of designing personalised nutrition regimes. Blockchain holds the promise to encrypt data and solve some of the issues of the current technolgy in an unprecedented manner.
The main charactheristics of Blockchain that can be applied to the personalized nutrition and in general to the food industry are:
- Decentralization, that primarily enables users to keep under control all their information and transaction;
- Distributed ledger, that allows to create tracking tools for the authenticity of goods and fraud protection.
MyCibus is a new startup incorporated in the South of Italy working in the Personalized Nutrition developing an ecosystem and software platforms, based on AI, that interact at the best level with users to give healthy and tasty solutions and find the best match detailed offers from restaurants. My Cibus helps people find the best food for their individual needs, in terms of taste, health, wellness and satisfaction. The deep understanding of biogenetic aptitude, of personal taste, of specific health commitments, is necessary reach each personal goal of wellness, fitness and health. My Cibus is the innovative system that supports people in finding the best local food productions and the correct restaurants proposals. With My Cibus you will have the guarantee to easily follow your best diet in any location and to enjoy any meal with the awareness that it’s the maximum for your health.