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IFR at the Norfolk Food Festival

25th August 2011

The Institute of Food Research will once again be supporting the EDP Bidwells Norfolk Food Festival, which takes place between September 4th and October 2nd. As well as being one of the Festival's sponsors, IFR's scientists will be taking part in a variety of different events. From the Tallest Jelly Competition, games and shows to debates and lectures on the most pressing issues surrounding food today, IFR will be dishing up something for everyone.

"At the IFR we are very happy to be supporting the Norfolk Food Festival. I am delighted that the Institute will be bringing its world-leading research in food, diet and health to the people of Norfolk through the Festival." said Professor David Boxer, Director, Institute of Food Research 

Norwich Food Festival Weekend

Saturday 10th September - Castle Gardens - from 10:00am - More info

Dr Ken and Dave

IFR will be joined with some of Norfolk's finest producers for a day of foody fun. There were demonstrations to show how your sense of taste works, and how you perceive flavour, IFR scientists were on hand to answer questions about food science and on the Cookery Stage IFR’s Dave Hart and Ken Farquhar from The Inspirational Science Theatre Company presenedt their show Pizza Science – the science behind how to make the perfect pizza. Visitors also had the chance to express their relationship with food through art in a horsebox, with travelling arts emporium ME AND ER. In addition, restaurants, cafes, delis and venues across the city will be hosting special events and promotions during the weekend. Free to attend

Norwich Science Cafe - Understanding food labels

Wednesday 14th September - The Maddermarket Theatre Bar - from 19:30

food labelAre you confused, frustrated or just plain annoyed by the information on food labels?
What information would you like to see and how would you like it presented?
Come and find out what has to be displayed by law and what the advantages and disadvantages of the traffic light system are. Many foods have information about their manufacture and nutrition on the back or side of the packaging. These labels usually include information on energy (calories), protein, carbohydrate and fat as well as portion size and ingredients. An increasing number of retailers and manufacturers are including the same information on the front and back of packing in different formats explaining how that product fits into your daily diet. How useful is this information? Does it have to be there? What information would you like to see?.

Free to attend

IFR in the City Cator Lecture - The importance of water and climate change in food productionIFR in the City

Thursday 15th September - The Assembly House - 19:00-22:00 - More info

Dr Jean Venables CBE FREng, Cheif Executive of the Association of Drainage Authorities will talk about how competing demands on the fresh water cycle, compounded by the pressure on our finite land resource, has increased the challenge of providing food for an increasing population with rising expectations. The lecture will explore the implications of these issues, the increasing demands on water resources and the proportion that is available, or can be made available, for food production, and the concept of virtual water in the context of the global trading of food.
Attendance is free, but places must be booked by emailing

The Tour of Britain Finish Line Event

Saturday 17th September - Sandringham - 11:00-16:00 - More info GI Game

Norfolk Food Festival and IFR are taking part in the family fun event at the finish line of the Tour of Britain cycle race at Sandringham. We are familiar with counting calories, but for elite sportsmen such as the cyclists taking part in the Tour of Britain, it is the glycaemic index that is more useful in putting together nutrition plans. IFR and their experts in food databanks will be on hand to explain the difference, and how this affects what we eat and how we fuel our bodies, with a new fun boardgame.

The Great Folic Acid Debate

Monday 19th September - The Forum, Norwich - 18:30-21:30 - More info

Go Folic! (before you frolic) is a new campaign, led by the Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (ASBAH) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and in Scotland by the Scottish Spina Bifida Association calling all women who could become pregnant to take folic acid each day. Low intake of the B-vitamin folate is an established cause of neural tube defect (NTD), which can result in miscarriage, neonatal death and lifelong disability; folic acid supplementation reduces this risk. In 2009, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition SACN recommended for the second time mandatory fortification of bread flour with folic acid, not just to reduce spina bifida but also to address nutrition deficiency in the wider community. Following a successful debate at the British Science Festival last year IFR's Dr Siân Astley and ASBAH's Laura Read OBE will explore the benefits and risks associated with the fortification decision, covering the state-of-the-art science and why ASBAH is pursuing a new campaign encouraging women to Go Folic! before they frolic. Healthcare professionals want to hear your views on the new campaign and how they can improve awareness of folic acid to reduce the incidence of NTD-affected pregnancies.

The Big Norfolk Food Debate

Wednesday 28th September - The John Innes Centre, Norwich - 19:00

The Big Norfolk Food Debate gave members of the public the chance to put questions to a panel of experts. The panel will debate the motion 'Farmers should have the choice to grow, and consumers the chance to eat, GM food.'
The debate was chaired by BBC Radio 4's Anna Hill and the panel consisted of scientists, farmers and others representing the spectrum of views on this controversial subject. Attendance is free but places must be booked by emailing

The Tallest Jelly Competition

Friday 30th September - The Forum, Norwich - from 11:00 - More info



Teams from primary, secondary and sixth form schools across Norfolk took on IFR's challenge of building the tallest jelly possible. Could pupils use engineering, food technology and chemistry skills to make their jellies even taller than last year?

For further details, or to enter a jelly, please contact


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