The SUN Study: Seeding through feeding - nourishing the infant microbiome to support immune health

We are looking for 300 babies to take part in a complementary feeding study that aims to explore how a prebiotic food introduced with baby’s first foods influences their gut bacteria and immune health.

What's involved?

The purpose of the SUN study is to compare the impact of consuming a standard kumara powder with increased resistant starch (from green banana) on the infant gut bacteria and how this supports infant immune health. The duration of the study is four months. This is a randomised study, which means it will involve the following:

  •  100 babies will randomly be selected to receive commercially available freeze-dried kumara powder.
  • 100 babies will randomly be selected to receive commercially available freeze-dried kumara powder with added resistant starch (derived from green banana).
  • 100 babies will randomly be allocated to the control group and won't be given freeze-dried kumara powder for consumption.
Your participation in the study involves the following:-
  • Data and sample collections from you and your baby.
  • Three clinic visits every two months at the Clinical Research Centre in the University of Auckland's Grafton Campus.

Eligibility criteria

Your baby will be eligible for the study if they meet the following criteria:

  • Has not started solids yet
  • Is healthy
  • Will have their first foods introduced around 6 months of age
  • Was born >32 weeks gestation
  • Has no developmental disability
  • Has no significant health problems
  • Has no feeding problems
  • Is not currently taking antibiotics
  • Is not currently taking a probiotic or prebiotic
  • Immunised according to the New Zealand Immunisation Schedule

Contact details

Robyn Lawrence


Phone: 022 152 556

This study has been approved by the Health and Disability Ethics Committee (20/NTA/9).