Probiota 2021: A conversation with Wesley Carpentier

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Probiota 2021: A conversation with Wesley Carpentier

Related tags Probiota microbiome Probiotics

With one week to go till Probiota, NutraIngredients took the opportunity to chat with one of the panellists for the event to hear his thoughts on where the industry is heading towards in the next few years.

Wesley Carpentier, Chief Commercial Officer at S-Biomedic is due to take part in Wednesday 10 February’s​ panel entitled: ‘Agents of Beauty: scratching the nutricosmetic surface.’

Wesley has accumulated around two decades of experience in developing and commercialising fermentation-based products that address unmet health and nutrition needs.

Prior to his role at S-Biomedic, he served as Director of Global New Market Development for DuPont Industrial Biosciences and the Danisco Health & Nutrition business.

He was Chief Commercial Officer for Inbiose, developing ingredients for infant and adult health. Wesley has also been a consultant, assisting VC’s, start-ups, scale-up ventures and food ingredient firms.

The panel is due to talk about probiotic applications notably for nutricosmetics. Could you comment on probiotic functionality and the potential of enhancing the body’s microbiome communities?

Wesley Carpentier
Wesley Carpentier, PhD Chief Commercial Officer, S-Biomedic.

“2020 has been a year where ‘disinfection’ has become prominent in our daily life. We see tremendous consumer interest in naturalness, fermented foods and indeed an overall intuitive understanding, at least regarding the gut, that bacteria are more often than not beneficial, and even essential to life.

“I am happy to see that more people are intuitively learning to take care of the gut microbiome through healthy foods, avoidance of unnecessary antibiotics, and supplementation with probiotics.

“It seems it is becoming rather mainstream to our societies, despite there being essentially no EFSA approved food-probiotics health claims.

“Correcting skin issues such as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and acne is now increasingly the topic or research and one of the new frontiers for the probiotics industry and scientific community. 

“We have on the one hand “beauty from within”, the nutricosmetics approach that seeks to address maintenance of a healthy skin and contributing to avoiding or correcting skin issues. Indeed, scientific studies shows correlations between skin issues and gut microbiome dysbiosis, and the beneficial effect of certain orally administered probiotic strains.

“We also have the topical dermatology approach, where we apply probiotics to the skin. This approach is at least complementary, and in some cases perhaps the only path to lasting resolution of certain skin problems that are caused by an unbalanced skin microbiome – and imbalances in the natural bacteria-skin interactions.

“A challenge for nutricosmetics and topical approaches is to understand the mechanisms of action. While microbiome-disease correlations can be more readily identified, it is only through understanding the mechanisms of action that we can move beyond correlation and proof causation.

“Clearly further research is still required before we fully understand the intricate gut-skin interactions and skin-microbiome interactions.”

Are you able to comment on the importance of the gut, particularly as this research area appears to play such a prominent role in other areas such as sports nutrition, personalisation and cognitive health?

“It is indeed interesting how in the last few years such a volume of research has correlated gut health status with skin health, brain function, sports performance, as well as a large array of disease conditions.

“Many health challenges and diseases have a significant inflammatory component, and the immune system affects all areas of the body, its functions. The endocrine system and nervous system are already implicated as pathways whereby the gut health status affects the rest of the body.

“This therefore explains why the gut microbiome plays such a prominent role in these other areas.”

Are you able to briefly describe some of the microbiome-related research or business interests either yourself or S-Biomedic are involved in? Could you describe the significance of these areas?  

“At S-Biomedic, we are developing skin microbiome-derived ingredients that modulate the skin microbiome and bring the skin back to a healthy state.

“We are unique and different in that we work only with bacteria that come from the skin and naturally belong on the skin.

“Analogous to the gut, we see imbalances in the skin microbiome ecosystem which are correlated with a growing range of skin problems.

“We see the presence or absence of specific strains, with specific genetic and metabolic capabilities correlate with conditions such as acne, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, rosacea and even types of skin cancer.

“At S-Biomedic we have identified mechanisms of how the skin microbiome interacts symbiotically with our skin and have focused particularly on the bacterial species ‘Cutibacterium’, which is naturally the most prominent species on most places of our skin.

“Through extensive research, we have identified a number of these beneficial mutualistic interactions with our skin cells, that allow us to address for example acne, counteract skin ageing and more.

“We are therefore developing a range of ‘live’ probiotics products based on specifically selected strains of Cutibacteria for topical cosmetic and therapeutic applications.”

This is the first time that Probiota has gone online. Do you see any advantages to switching to this format or do you prefer the face-to-face events?

“My personal preference remains to attend face-to-face events; however I am very grateful that modern technology is enabling us to keep moving forward.”

As a first-time panellist at Probiota, are you able to comment on the importance of these kind of events in informing the microbiome science community of the latest discoveries and innovations?

“I have been regularly attending the Probiota events for a number of years now, and I have found the conferences to be very important indeed to stay in tune with the evolving insights, learnings and evolutions in the microbiome science community.”

Finally, is there any subject/research area or theme you’d like to see at future Probiota events that we don’t feature enough of and you see becoming a lot more significant in the future?

“Obviously I would suggest moving further beyond nutricosmetics, and to include to a greater extent the topical probiotic approaches.”

Wesley Carpentier is due to take part in Wednesday 10 February’s​ panel entitled: ‘Agents of Beauty: scratching the nutricosmetic surface.’

Register​ for this session and others​​ below and join us for a three-day exploration of the probiotic, prebiotic and microbiome space.

9 - 11 FEBRUARY, 2021      3-DAY SUMMIT

Connecting the business and science of the microbiome


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