With the objective of tackling the nutritional value of food, food safety, specific dietary requirements and food waste, the new Nutrition for Life funding has awarded 39 different research projects with funds totalling £8.5m. The initiative is designed to bring innovation to the fore in the UK, support the health and well-being of consumers, and confront the increasingly pressing issue of food waste.
A low-calorie chocolate that tastes just as good as the real thing, and a white bread with high fibre, are just two of the projects being funded that could make a difference to diet and health in the future.
Other innovations include a project to identify foods that could treat osteoporosis, and studies assessing the potential for using pumpkin and mulberry extracts to help treat diabetes and obesity.
Bernard Matthews Ltd heads a team that includes Cranswick plc B&V Water Treatment, the University of Birmingham and Business Stream Ltd, that has received support to address the nutrient recovery from meat processing effluents enabling water reuse, while Branscan (lead), Arden Photonics, Aston University and Warburtons will be looking at how a distributed UV and near-infrared and fluorescence sensing system can be used for real-time monitoring of food quality and contamination and process control.
Iain Gray, chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said at the launch of the new funding: “Businesses need to put innovation at the heart of product development to stay competitive. The ideas funded today have the potential to improve profitability in the future, as well as to enhance our diet and encourage healthier lifestyles.”
Critically, the Technology Strategy Board is dedicated to stimulating innovation through enabling people and companies to collaborate and share ideas; helping business understand future markets and innovation opportunities; bringing together partners to maximise innovation investment and work on common goals and offering funding to de-risk the development of new products and services.
By actively stimulating knowledge sharing and collaboration for mutual benefit, the Board’s activities make a big difference to smaller entrepreneurs trying to bring new ideas to market, as well as larger companies endeavouring to extend their remit into new areas.
I’m inspired by these objectives and look forward to monitoring the Projects’ progress. If you’re involved in one of these projects, or similar funded initiatives in your own country, please do contact us directly to let us know.
I look forward to hearing from you and sharing the news with a wider audience, to help stimulate and inspire others into putting their ‘innovation hats’ on!
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