Science at the Institute of Food Research
Research at IFR is focussed on the physical and chemical nature of food and how it interacts with the body to influence health.
Our scientists are advancing understanding of:
- the fundamental biological processes within the gut, involving the interaction between food, the microbes that live in the GI-tract (microbiota) and the human gut epithelium
- how nutrients and other food components pass into the blood stream and affect our health
- the survival and growth of foodborne microbial pathogens
The Institute is uniquely positioned to contribute to understanding how food can enhance health, thus contributing to the quality of life of individuals and the economic health of the nation. We address the Biological Sciences Research Council's three key strategic research priorities :
- Food Security bioscience for a sustainable supply of sufficient, affordable, nutritious and safe food, adapting to a rapidly changing world
- Basic bioscience underpinning health driving advances for better health across the life course and improved quality of life, reducing the need for medical and social intervention
- Bioenergy and industrial biotechnology biofuels and industrial materials from novel biological sources, reducing dependency on petrochemicals and helping the UK to become a low carbon economy
|Exploitation of co-products and wastes|
|How the GI-tract functions|
|Microbial food safety|
|Biomathematical approaches in food safety & gut health|
|The National Collection of Yeast Cultures|
National Capability is defined as a capability (e.g. personnel, infrastructure, facilities, biological collections, databases) that is essential either as a single point of capability, or part of capability, required for UK national strategic purposes, or as an essential, strategic component of the international research base.
National capabilities are by definition externally facing and engaged with the user community e.g. UK, international, commercial, general public; available for access by appropriately qualified academics in UK academic institutions and to international academics and the commercial sector.
Our skill-bases in Analytical Sciences and Proteomics, are key to the effective delivery of IFR science. We maintain a Human Nutrition Unit for non-residential metabolic studies with human volunteers and are planning a Gnotobiotic Facility in collaboration with the Disease Modelling Unit at the University of East Anglia.
We have a particularly important role helping to ensure the long-term competitiveness of the UK agri-food industry - working in collaboration with companies, often funded by Government schemes designed to drive economic impact, but with advances always grounded in academic excellence. A trio of activities directly addresses industry needs:- IFR Extra, the Food and Health Network , and FHN Direct (email@example.com) for 1:1 confidential research