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Nutrition and health research From January 2016

Nutrition and health research and services

Driven by member needs, nutrition and health has become a major and expanding activity for us, so here is an overview to keep you up-to-date.

As well as our long-standing expertise in nutrient analysis - proteins, fats, carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins and minerals - we also determine other nutritional properties, such as antioxidant capacity. Reformulation services are also established in helping you to make a nutritional or health claim on the label.

Our regulatory affairs team can advise on what you can and can’t say regarding claims such as ‘reduced fat’, ‘source of omega-3’ and ‘rich in calcium’, and our product developers can guide you on how ingredient formulation, packaging and processing conditions might affect the nutritional content of your product. Our consumer and sensory evaluation experts can help you find out what your customers actually think about the product and describe its taste and flavour properties.


Member-funded research includes reformulation and manipulation of food structure and composition, to provide options to offer consumers ‘healthier’ alternatives.

In a just completed 3-year project on Sweeteners and fat replacers for reducing calorie content, we have investigated alternatives for reducing the fat and sugar content of products. The use of steviol glycosides and monk fruit extracts has been explored in fruit juice-based and carbonated beverages, and recently we looked at replacing sucrose in cakes with inulin. To find recently issued Research Summary Sheets at search RSSs.

Another project is looking at the manipulation of food structure and protein content to produce satiating, energyreduced foods and beverages. The aim of this is to help members produce products that assist in weight management by exploring the manipulation of food structure and protein content to modify consumer perceptions of, and satiety responses to, energy reduced products.

A new project voted for by members for 2016 is ‘Improving the nutritional status of crops’. We will be investigating the potential for enhancing the vitamin, mineral and phytochemical content of commonly consumed food crops using agronomic approaches and/or targeted crop nutrient supplementation, to optimise raw material quality.

... on the shoulders of giants

We are involved in projects with many other organisations - such as the BBSRC DRINC projects looking at the impact of food processing on the blood cholesterol-lowering effect of cereal beta-glucan, a CASE studentship on the protective effects of coffee and diabetes, and Innovate UK research into bakery products for non-coeliac gluten-sensitive consumers. These and other projects demonstrate our collaborative commitment to helping the industry in all aspects of providing the nutritious food that consumers will buy.

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