£10m partnership boost for the food industry
A dozen leading companies, including three based in the East of England, are joining forces in a £10 million partnership with the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) to support research aimed at helping the food industry develop products that deliver enhanced health benefits for consumers.The founder company members of the new Diet and Health Research Industry Club are: Britvic Soft Drinks Ltd (Chelmsford), GlaxoSmithKline (Hertfordshire), Danisco (Wellingborough), Campden & Chorleywood Food Research Association, Cadbury Schweppes, Leatherhead Food International, Marks & Spencer plc, the National Association of British and Irish Millers, Nestlé, The Sugar Bureau, Unilever and United Biscuits. Between them they are contributing £1 million to the club.
The club will support research to improve understanding of the complex interactions between components of diet and consequences for health, nutrition and wellbeing and so enable the UK food industry to develop and deliver new foods that are designed with additional benefits for health.
It will be managed by BBSRC and research projects will be awarded as BBSRC grants using peer review processes as for fully public funded research.
A steering group, comprising six independent academic scientists and six industrial members, will make the awards on the basis of scientific quality and strategic relevance to two research themes:
• Bioactives in foods: Includes, for example, understanding of how beneficial compounds work and how health claims may be verified
• Improved understanding of healthier diets: This includes, for example, the effect of food components on energy intake, and how foods might be designed to have precise nutritional properties.
The club is also supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council for projects which have an engineering and physical science component.