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Unique EU-wide partnership drives interdisciplinary excellence at Reading

Colour photograph of EIT Food members

The University has reconfirmed its position as a world leader in food research and innovation following its huge success with the most recent funding call from EIT Food, with a total project value of €3m for 2019.

The Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health (IFNH), which coordinates the University’s interaction with EIT Food, reports that Reading academics are collaborating with industry and research partners and other universities across the EU in 28 new research, communication and education projects for 2019. Interdisciplinary in nature, these projects draw on the University’s expertise in agriculture, environment, food, psychology, nutrition and health and involve a diverse range of disciplines from Schools across the University.

Project highlights include:

  • A digital toolkit to better communicate health claims that draws on expertise from the Schools of English Language and Applied Linguistics, and Agriculture, Policy and Development, and the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication
  • A new food manufacturing technology and B2C concept (Health SnaP) for at-site customised production of healthy snacks- a project involving colleagues in the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, and the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
  • Smart targeting  of personalised food advice (O-Live) -  a project involving colleagues in the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, and the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences

Professor Ian Givens, Director of the IFNH said,

“The variety of projects that we are involved in is testament to the broad expertise that exists within the University of Reading and reminds us that the solutions to the challenges that exist within the food and health sector must be tackled with an interdisciplinary approach.

In addition to the funding available through EIT Food, most importantly this consortium also provides a vital network of engaged academic, research and industry organisations  from which the IFNH aims to help Reading academics deepen their interactions with industry and with complementary disciplines. ”.

EIT Food seeks to transform the way in which we produce, distribute and consume food throughout Europe to improve consumer confidence and health. It is a unique partnership of over 50 leading companies, universities, and scientific partners covering the entire food value chain.

Reading academics have already undertaken 15 projects funded through EIT Food in 2018, including:

  • Reducing the saturated fat and carbon footprint of dairy products
  • Providing free educational resources on ‘superfoods’
  • Creating sugar-reduced biscuits and cakes that don’t compromise on flavour or texture

The full list of 2019 EIT Food funded projects at the University of Reading can be seen on the EIT Food website.

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