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.
Orange Juice and Cardiovascular Disease Study
We need your help on the Orange Juice and Cardiovascular Disease Study. We want to find out if drinking different ... more +
Cutting sugar intake
The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) has today published its draft report on Carbohydrates and Health. Public Health England ... more +
Reducing sugar in foods
At the Institute of Food Research, we are developing new ways of reducing the overall fat content of foods without ... more +
New method for quantifying stability of emulsions
A recent paper on using atomic force microscopy to study and measure properties of oil droplets, such as those in ... more +
Food and Health Programme
More information about this area of research can be found on the Food and Health Programme websitemore +