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Projects sought for diet and health research

By Rick Pendrous , 03-Sep-2007

Projects are currently being sought for a new UK initiative set up to fund research into the relationship between diet and health.

The £10M Diet and Health Research Club Drinc is an industrial partnership set up earlier this year under the direction of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). It now includes 13 leading food and drink companies.

Drinc’s steering group comprises six independent academics and six industry members and will be chaired by Leatherhead Food International’s (LFI’s) chairman Dr Alistair Penman. The steering group will award funding for projects based on their scientific quality and strategic relevance in two themed areas.

The first themed area is bioactives in foods, which will look into how beneficial compounds work and how claims may be verified. The second theme will cover improved understanding of healthier diets. It will examine, for example, the effect of food components on energy intake and how foods might be designed with specific nutritional properties.

The six academics on the steering group include professors Peter Fryer from the University of Birmingham, Stephen Harding from the University of Nottingham and John Mathers from the University of Newcastle. Peter Morgan from the Rowett Research Institute, Hilary Powers from the University of Sheffield and Dr Clare Mills from the Institute of Food Research complete the complement.

The industrial members are: Dr Paul Hebblethwaite from Cadbury; Dr Julian Stowell, Danisco; Dr Henglong Hu, GlaxoSmithKline; Dr Paul Berryman, Leatherhead Food International; Dr Sue Bell, Marks & Spencer; and Dr Mark Fowler, Nestlé

For further details contact BBSRC’s Dr Katie Tearall