Food and Health
Ensuring diets are sufficently high in nutrition to maintain health is an important part of food security.
Lead scientist: Richard Mithen
Many plant-based foods contain bioactive compounds that may help maintain health or prevent disease. The IFR is improving our understanding of how these bioactive compounds work, by working out how they are taken up by the body and how they can then modify our bodies’ internal processes to prevent the development of chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.
The physical structure of foods is complex and changes during digestion, altering how nutrients and bioactive components are delivered to the body. We want to understand more about how the physical structure of foods at the molecular level affects how it interacts inside our bodies and how this impacts on health.
To maximise the impact of the fundamental knowledge gained from these studies, we will work with food manufacturing companies to develop new foods, ingredients or crops with enhanced nutritional value. Our studies will also provide the best quality evidence for for policy makers and govenrments providing diet and health advice aimed at improving the overall health of the nation.
Heroes of Food Research celebrated
IFR recently celebrated its Heroes of Food Research –the volunteer participants in its dietary studies.more +
Heroes of Food Research exhibition and talks
The Institute of Food Research is holding an exhibition celebrating its Heroes of Food Research – you! The event is ... more +
The importance of nutrition in food security
IFR welcomes recognition of nutritional issues in wider challenge of ensuring food securitymore +
Probing the structure of saliva’s protective film
IFR scientists have shown how common chemicals found in foods and oral hygiene products can alter the structure of the ... more +
Food and Health Programme
More information about this area of research can be found on the Food and Health Programme websitemore +