Switch to different measurement method

MixMasters approached TNO after they had already conducted their own research into developing food based on DNA profiles. ‘We saw this as a great way to personalise nutrition and supplements. The next step was to determine how to market this in an accessible way. We came to TNO asking whether it was possible to develop a DNA self-test whose result would be known within an hour, like a pregnancy or COVID-19 self-test.’

‘The problem is that the typical saliva test has to be sent in by the user to a laboratory and has a relatively long analysis time and high cost. It proved infeasible to do such a self-test at home. On the advice of TNO, we then quickly switched to nutrition based on phenotypes, in other words, physical characteristics and lifestyle, which is better suited to personalising nutrition in a user-friendly way,’ Geleijnse says.

From phenotype to personal profile

TNO developed a phenotype test for MixMasters that combines an online questionnaire with anthropometric measurements such as weight and abdominal girth. The questionnaire asks about personal matters such as gender, age, physical activity, and diet, including fibre intake and preferences. In addition, participants measure their height, weight, and abdominal, hip, neck, and wrist circumferences.

‘This test is a low-threshold way to identify a lot about a person’s lifestyle and metabolic and physical health. People fill in the questionnaire and are given a tape measure to measure various circumferences. Then, using TNO’s intelligent recommendation system, which uses an algorithm developed by TNO, the results of the phenotype test are converted into a personal profile. Such a profile includes, among other things, an individual’s optimal macronutrient mix,’ Geleijnse explains.

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