Food flavour facility to explore sustainable plant-based foods

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Professor Ian Fisk using the MS-NOSE at the University of Nottingham
Professor Ian Fisk using the MS-NOSE at the University of Nottingham

Related tags: Flavours

The University of Nottingham has joined forces with the University of Adelaide to launch a new international food flavour facility to improve the taste of sustainable, healthy, plant-based food and ingredients.

Located at the University of Adelaide’s Waite campus in South Australia, the $2.5m (£1.8m) facility will expand the University of Nottingham’s International Flavour Research Centre.

The facility will bring together scientists from across flavour chemistry, food and agriculture under the one roof, tasked with the challenge of getting more sustainable, healthy, plant-based food into people’s diet.

Professor of Food Chemistry and academic lead for the International Flavour Research Centre Ian Fisk said: “Due to the globally interconnected nature of our food supply chain, we need to work together to identify sustainable alternatives in our diet to ensure a safe, reliable supply of high-quality nutritional foods that consumers enjoy.

‘Step change for diets’

Sustainable healthy diets require a rethink of food ingredients and crops, new agricultural and food production processes and novel packaging systems and new routes to market. Ultimately this is how we go about a step change for diets and more sustainable eating habits.”

The new laboratories will house the latest flavour chemistry tools, with a range of bespoke interfaces to track flavour development and understand the role of food ingredients in flavour perception.

Sustainable products to be explored by the new research team, which will include a new post-doctoral and PhD position, included alternative proteins, meat free substitutes and healthier versions of existing plant-based products.

New projects

Professor Rachel Burton, head of department of Food Science at the University of Adelaide’s School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, added: “The initiative will expand the research capability at our Waite campus and enable us to work on new and interesting projects in flavour chemistry and sustainability.”

“We are excited to be part of this global approach to the challenge of producing food that is healthy, delicious and is part of the solution to a more sustainable approach to feeding future populations.”

The International Flavour Research Centre is funded by v2food, the University of Adelaide, University of Nottingham and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

Meanwhile, Givaudan innovation director Thomas Ullram discusses alternative protein trends and the launch of a new Protein Hub​ in this exclusive podcast interview.

MS-NOSE

One of the cutting-edge analytical tools that will be used in the research is the MS-Nose (pictured above), developed in the Nottingham laboratory.

The MS-Nose is a high end analytical technique that acts like an artificial nose, allowing real-time measurement of aromas while you are eating.

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