In October 2014, senior scientist Elaine Vaughan joined the Scientific and Regulatory Affairs department of Sensus, building on previous pioneering research on inulin applied to human health.
Elaine has extensive experience and knowledge from both academic and industry settings with prebiotics, including experiments with inulin, probiotics and other food ingredients that impact our health via our intestinal microbiota. She has in-depth understanding on molecular ecology approaches for studying human and infant gut flora that she has applied in human interventions with prebiotics and other food ingredients. According to Elaine, our human microbiome is currently being unraveled by the revolutionary advances in next-generation DNA sequencing; this will ultimately allow the prediction of future disease states (e.g., type 2 diabetes) in humans. This will in turn stimulate the manufacture of foods that prevent the disease by promoting the correct gut microbiomic and metabolic profiles.
The team will pursue in-depth research in the field of prebiotics for our worldwide customers, and especially for the so far elusive gut health benefit. Prior research has shown beneficial effects of inulin on gut health but translation to perceivable consumer benefits appears to be lacking and no European health claims have yet been approved by the European Food Safety Authority. Thus more research in this area is essential so that a health claim related to this topic, and others, may be applied for in the future.