Academic and industry partners combine to address food sector issues

Three new multidisciplinary food partnership projects involving collaborations between academic and industry partners have been recommended for a share of £1m of new funding to carry out research to stimulate advances to deliver “healthy nutrition for consumers”.

Supported by the MRC, BBSRC, EPRSC and ESRC, the projects emerged from an ideas-sharing event held in September 2016 which attracted representatives from 15 food companies and 24 academics from 19 different UK research organisations.

“The three-day event fostered transdisciplinary partnerships across the food supply chain and stimulated the development of innovative research projects that address challenges faced by the food and drink industry,” said a spokesman for the support group.

The three selected projects will seek to develop models of digestion to:

  • inform the design of novel food products,
  • generate multidisciplinary approaches to developing high-protein foods for healthy ageing, and,
  • investigate the effects of reducing the fat content of foods on feelings of ‘fullness’.

“We are delighted that some of the UK’s most forward thinking companies and researchers have come together to develop innovative research projects to address the challenges faced by the UK’s food and drink industry,” said BBSRC Chief Executive, Professor Melanie Welham.

Food manufacturing is the UK’s single largest manufacturing sector with the national food and drink supply chain accounting for 7% of GDP, employing 3.7 million people and generating £80 billion a year.

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