New research collaboration for improved personal health tracking

Industry News 01/21/2020

3min read

Talking Nutrition Editors

Working together with TRAQ

  • Getting accurate and actionable results through professional blood and fitness tests can be both expensive and time-consuming. Hence, personal health and wellness tracking continues to grow in popularity, especially through non-invasive solutions such as wearables, sweat and urine measurements.
  • DSM has announced a new research collaboration with TRAQ – a start-up company that is developing a point-of-need test that can track activity and health data through saliva sampling. Saliva can provide highly detailed insights into health and fitness and doesn’t require the same level of intrusive testing that blood does.
  • The research will be used to measure a health biomarker from saliva, and to test if a supplementation with specific vitamins, minerals and other nutrients can improve this biomarker to further sports performance.

Optimizing health through science and data driven nutrition

As interest in personalized nutrition increases, the demand for non-invasive, accurate tests and solution-driven applications has also grown.

To further the pursuit of personalized health and wellness science and data, DSM has entered into a new partnership with TRAQ – a start-up company spun out from University of California San Diego (UCSD) research, which is developing a point-of-need platform that can track health data through saliva sampling. The research will be used to assess a key health biomarker from saliva and to test if a supplementation with specific vitamins, minerals and other nutrients can improve this biomarker and further sports performance.

Accurate point-of-need testing made easy

While the demand for personalized nutrition and wellness solutions is rising, getting the insights and data required to make individually tailored programs can be costly. If blood tests are still the gold standard for getting reliable results, medical assistance and laboratory analysis can be expensive and slow. Some at home blood sampling solutions are already on the market and bypass this disadvantage, creating response times below two weeks. Fitness tests can also be effective, but they often require a personal coach to get the required results, adding more time and expense into the equation. In addition, we see many new technology solutions and sensors for non-invasive measurements being developed, using sweat, tears, breath, interstitial fluid (ISF) and urine as easily accessible biological samples.

TRAQ was borne out of a market need for an easy-to-use, inexpensive and reliable way of collecting personalized health data. The technology platform is a point-of-need test using saliva that’s being developed to read a variety of health biomarkers such as levels of cortisol or lactate. Users simply need a small device and some disposable saliva tips, for carrying out the test at home or on the go. Moreover, the device can communicate and share test results to a smart phone or tablet. The platform can then make recommendations on how to improve health status, which are shared with the user directly.

The TRAQ test is a saliva-based, on-demand test platform and is based on a patented technology that uses electrochemical sensors to detect analytes in saliva. Offering high levels of accuracy and results within ten minutes, TRAQ is a reliable and convenient way for individuals to collect data without the need for medical assistance.

Test and learn with TRAQ

DSM’s collaboration with TRAQ will focus on the development of a proof-of-concept for an assay platform. It will be created with athletes and active consumers in mind, to provide a non-invasive, point-of-need device, bolstering DSM’s portfolio of personalized nutrition solutions.

During initial research, TRAQ’s platform will be used to assess the amount of lactate in saliva. This marker will be used to test how supplements containing vitamins and other micronutrients can impact or reduce cases of lactic acidosis for overall improved performance during athletic training. Ultimately, the research will explore both the power of the TRAQ platform, and how DSM ingredients can positively impact biomarkers in the saliva.

Shaping a more personal future

Adhering to guidelines for personalized nutrition solutions, DSM is working towards the development of tools and solutions that are appropriate for the user capabilities and level of understanding, with the aim of improving overall health and wellbeing. Having also recently acquired AVA, a state-of-the-art digital health platform that leverages machine learning and AI to facilitate behavior change and brand engagement, DSM is furthering its expertise with the TRAQ research collaboration. By working towards this mutual goal, both DSM and TRAQ are committed to powering the development of science-backed and accessible personalized nutrition solutions.

To find out more about how DSM can help you develop targeted personalized nutrition solutions, contact us today.

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