Dole Food Company
Dole Food Company, the world’s largest seller of fruits and vegetables, moved its Dole Nutrition Research Institute (DNRI) to the NC Research Campus from California. DNRI focuses on research that helps educate consumers about the benefits of fruits and vegetables in their diet. Dole plans to study its fruit and vegetable portfolio to identify and qualify phytochemicals, the substances in fruits and vegetables that can offer protection against disease or may enhance nutritional value. The research will allow Dole to change its agricultural practices to produce healthier fruits and vegetables through selective breeding and growth processes. The latter includes everything from how long an item ripens to how much water it gets.
DNRI is located in a 10,000 square-foot laboratory at the Plants for Human Health Research Institute. Nicholas Gillitt, PhD heads the DNRI in Kannapolis. Dr. Gillitt provides scientific support to Dole divisions regarding new product development and ongoing leadership for the development of the NCRC based Dole Laboratory.  The DNRI research goals fit well with the Campus mission of improving human health through agriculture and nutrition. Westlake Village, California-based Dole joins the growing list of private companies at the 350-acre, NCRC life sciences hub.
DNRI currently collaborates with:
1)     Appalachian State University on Banana Athletic Performance; Murdock Juice Oxidative Stress/Immune Function; Chia Weight Loss; and Chia Athletic Performance studies.
2)     DHMRI: Metabolomics components for the above studies.
3)     NC A & T: Investigation of bacterial metabolites from black tea polyphenols.
4)     MONSANTO: Proposed protein NMR study using Dole instruments.
 Nicholas Gillitt, PhD., Director of Nutrition Research
Nicholas Gillitt, PhD., assumed the position of Director at the DNRI at NCRC in March 2010. Nick holds a BSc in Applied Chemistry from Newcastle Polytechnic and PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Northumbria at Newcastle. He completed his doctoral work in Physical Organic Chemistry at UC Santa Barbara and has authored 39 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals.