Industry signs up for health and diet research club

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nutrition

A dozen leading companies have signed up for a £10 million
partnership with the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research
Council (BBSRC) to research bioactives and the role of nutrition in

Dr Andy Cureton, business interaction manager for the BBSRC told "There is increasing recognition of the link between diet and health. However, the complex interactions between components of diet and the consequences for health are not well understood. By signing up to this club the companies have enabled additional funding to be concentrated on research to understand what these complex interactions are, the results from which will enable the food industry to develop new foods of benefit to consumers in the long-term."​ The Diet and Health Research Industry Club, initially a five-year project, will see £10 million (€14.8 million) being made available to any organization (mainly UK universities and research council sponsored institutes) eligible for Research Council Funding The founder company members include Britvic, Campden & Chorleywood Food Research Association, Cadbury Schweppes, Danisco, GlaxoSmithKline, Leatherhead Food International, Marks & Spencer, National Association of British and Irish Millers, Nestlé, the Sugar Bureau, Unilever and United Biscuits. Between them the companies are contributing £1 million, with Cureton confirming that, of the remaining £9 million, the majority will come from BBSRC with EPSRC also providing some funds. "I am delighted with this transparent development between public funders of research and an industry in an area of high public interest. It will help ensure that the UK food industry can access the best of UK science to address major challenges, such as obesity, that our society,"​ said Professor Julia Goodfellow, BBSRC chief executive. Two research themes have been identified - research relating to bioactives in food that benefit health, and research leading to an improved understanding of healthier diets. The first area will include research demonstrating the efficacy and mechanism of bioactives, ways of maximising the production, yield and delivery of bioactives (including active delivery of nutritional/nutriceutical benefit to the stomach and gastrointestinal tract), and the best practice for proving the action of bioactives for health benefit claims. The second area will include research to boost understanding of the role of food in a health diet, with improvements in the understanding the functionality of food components, the basis of taste, texture and flavour at a fundamental level, the influence of food structure on human nutrition and physiology, and the methodology of satiety. "Eligible institutions will propose research projects in these areas when the club announces its first call in July. The club steering group will then select which proposals it wishes to support,"​ said Dr. Cureton.

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