Innovate UK has launched a competition to fund up to £10m’s worth of collaborative research and development projects aimed at reducing sugar, salt and fat, and increasing dietary fibre in food and drink products.
The competition is designed to help the industry to develop innovative products to meet and anticipate evolving consumer preferences, and to help the UK build on its reputation for safe and sustainable food production of the highest standard, the organisation said.
The health profession has specifically cited the need to reduce salt, sugar and saturated fat in food and drink, while there are also concerns about a lack of dietary fibre.
Innovate UK said that it hoped the challenge would “stimulate the availability of healthier food and drink choices for consumers and open up new market opportunities for the British food industry”.
Innovate UK Agriculture and Food Team lead technologist Helen Munday said: “Innovate UK believes that healthier ingredients in packaged and pre-prepared foods have a part to play in improving our nation’s diet. This is not the entire answer to poor dietary habits or the obesity epidemic, but the companies that win funding and the innovations and healthier products that they develop will be part of the solution.”
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