The Centre for Healthy Eating & Food Innovation (HE&FI)

About Us

The Centre for Healthy Eating & Food Innovation is one of the research lines in Campus Venlo and it is focused on the promotion of healthy eating by investigating the effects of food on human health, developing innovative, wholesome food products, and advancing the promotion of good dietary habits. At the Centre for Healthy Eating & Food Innovation, research that primarily targets the general public is conducted. With that it is possible to perform research regarding the functionality and bioavailability of food & food components, in in vitro models of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of humans (TIM-1 & TIM-2) to evaluate their effects on overall health and disease. The results of these experiments can be used as basis for clinical studies that will contribute to the creation of (food) products and their health claims. This area of research would allow the rational choice of foods and food components for the maintenance and treatment of diseases, improve dietary guidelines and contribute to personalized nutrition.

TIM-1 & TIM-2

The equipment consists of two TIM simulators (TNO in vitro Model). These were developed by the Dutch Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) and are now used by researchers in the team of professor Koen Venema, who has used the TIM systems at TNO for 15 years. He has been using them in Venlo for eight years, working on two research lines:

–  digestion in the stomach and small intestine (TIM-1)

–  fermentation processes occurring by the gut microbiota in the large intestine (TIM-2)

The process is quite simple. The equipment is fed with food (TIM-1) or (digested) food and microorganisms from faeces (TIM-2). Then the researchers can study the effects on digestion of food, and on the composition of the microorganisms, which are important for health and disease.


Prof. Dr. Koen Venema e-mail: