Healthy ME-3 bacteria will reach Estonians’ favourite dairy products also in the next decade
On 27 March, the University of Tartu and AS Tere extended their licence agreement for the next ten years. On the basis of the agreement, the University of Tartu allows AS Tere to continue using the Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 discovered by the UT researchers in the production and marketing of dairy products in Estonia and 12 other European countries.
According to Erik Puura, the Vice Rector for Development of the University of Tartu, the stable and substantive partnership of the University of Tartu and AS Tere is a good example of successful implementation of research results in the product development of an enterprise.
“What I particularly appreciate in the cooperation with AS Tere is its long-lasting nature: the enterprise has managed to keep ME-3 in their products attractive for the consumers, despite the fierce competition in the food industry. ME-3 clearly is a very efficient probiotic,” commented Puura on the exclusive licence agreement of AS Tere, satisfied with the continuation of the cooperation.
Alar Pink, Marketing Director of AS Tere, added that using the bacteria discovered by the University of Tartu has taken the product group of Hellus kefir among the bestselling in Estonia.
The yogurt, fermented milk and kefir products of the Hellus product line by AS Tere contain the probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 discovered at the university. This is a patented invention “Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 – an antimicrobial and antioxidative probiotic” by the University of Tartu researchers Marika Mikelsaar, Mihkel Zilmer, Tiiu Kullisaar, Heidi Annuk and Epp Songisepp.
Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 is unique as it combines two aspects: it is antimicrobial and antioxidative at the same time. Thus it has a direct destructive effect on microbes and a beneficial effect on the human organism.
In 2014, in cooperation with the French development partner VF Bioscience, the ME-3 bacteria also reached the cholesterol-reducing food supplement Reg’Activ Cholesterol. The supplement is already sold in pharmacies in Estonia, France, the Philippines and, since March 2015, also in the USA.
Additional information: Jane Luht, Technology Transfer Manager of the University of Tartu, tel: +372 737 4804, +372 529 7956, email: jane.luht [ät] ut.ee.