As part of The Dannon Company’s continued commitment to encouraging Americans to eat yogurt every day and to future scientific leaders, the company announced the launch of the third annual Dannon Yogurt and Probiotics Fellowship Program. The Fellowship program offers a unique educational opportunity for one incoming or current graduate student who shows a strong interest in research of the nutritional value and importance of regularly consuming yogurt and probiotics.
Dannon began making yogurt in 1942, and the company’s mission is to bring great taste and better health through food to as many people as possible. In 2012, the Fellowship was created as a way for the company to specifically support scientific exploration of the rapidly growing probiotics category by empowering the next generation of food scientists. Today, the company is more committed than ever to support young scientists and the evolution of yogurt by building on the first two years of the successful program, and the 2014 Fellowship will continue to promote the importance of yogurt and probiotics in the diet. As in previous years, the winning student will receive a scholarship of $25,000.The announcement of the continued Fellowship program follows Dannon’s recent commitment to the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), an initiative to further improve by 10 percent the nutritional density of its products by increasing vitamins and minerals while reducing total sugar and fat. According to the latest nutrition science and authoritative guidance from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), Americans should consume more nutrient dense foods, like yogurt. Most yogurts - already nutrient-dense - provide three of the four nutrients of public health concern lacking in American diets as identified by the 2010 DGA: calcium, potassium and Vitamin D. These initiatives support Dannon’s goal to have Americans eat one yogurt every day.
“As the leading maker of yogurt in the USA and worldwide, it is important for us to educate about why it is so beneficial to eat yogurt every day, and we have the opportunity, resources and expertise to support continued innovation in the field of probiotics, yogurt and general nutrition,” said Dr. Miguel Freitas, Vice President of Health Affairs at The Dannon Company. “Investing in the next generation of scientists and researchers is an important way to achieve this advancement. We are continually inspired by the enthusiasm and intelligence displayed by applicants of the Fellowship Program, and pleased to once again offer an invaluable opportunity for students. That’s why we continue to focus even more on the nutritional value of eating one yogurt every day.”
Last year’s fellowship was awarded to Kurt Selle, a doctoral candidate within the Food Science, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Science Department at North Carolina State University. With the goal of determining further ways probiotics can benefit human health, Selle utilized the scholarship to explore probiotics and their impact on human health by investigating the genetic basis and benefits of probiotics and lactic acid bacteria.
“The Yogurt and Probiotics Fellowship Program gave me the opportunity to pursue specific areas of interest within my field, specifically studying the benefits of probiotics,” said Kurt Selle. “The scholarship has been a pivotal step in launching my career as a scientist, by giving me access to research, industry events and an opportunity to learn from some of the brightest experts in the field.”
Scholarship applications are currently being accepted, and must be submitted by November 15, 2014 to be considered. The winning applicant will be determined by a cross-functional panel of experts specializing in the field of yogurt, probiotics, and nutrition. The application and full scholarship details are available at http://www.dannon.com/fellowship.