TALLINN, May 1 (Xinhua) -- Estonia has announced that it had nominated its bacteria researcher Marika Mikelsaar, who discovered the probiotic ME-3 bacterium, as a candidate for the World Food Prize this year.
Estonian Agriculture Minister Helir-Valdor Seeder said in a statement issued that Mikelsaar's contribution to the quality of food and the well-being and health of people is significant.
"We find that her work on the development of the ME-3 bacterium, which is used in the food industry, is worthy of the global food prize," said Seeder.
The healthy bacteria Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 is used in dairy products and is reportedly good for the digestion.
As a bacteria researcher of Life Science College of Estonian Tartu University, Mikelsaar has already won numerous awards for the discovery, in addition to receiving the Estonian lifetime achievement in science award.
She is also one the most-quoted female scientists in Estonia, having appeared in 2,396 publications, according to Thompson Reuters.
Her candidacy is being supported by scientists from Sweden, Finland, Britain, United States and Russia.
The World Food Prize, set up by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Norman Borlaug, has been handed out every year since 1987.