Institute of Food Research - Articles and news items

IFR and Jiangnan University launch a UK-China Joint Centre for Probiotic Research

Industry news  •  28 June 2016  •  Victoria White, Digital Content Producer

The centre will allow the researchers to work together to tackle challenges facing both China and the UK in the probiotic research arena…

The Quadram Institute: a new £81.6m food and health research centre

Industry news  •  16 February 2016  •  Victoria White

The Quadram Institute’s mission will be to develop solutions to worldwide challenges in human health, food and disease…

Project to reduce food waste in the EU by 30% begins

Industry news  •  23 September 2015  •  Victoria White

Twenty-six partners from 12 European countries and China will work towards the REFRESH project’s goal of reducing food waste across Europe by 30% by 2025…

Planning permission granted for new centre for food and health

Industry news  •  27 July 2015  •  Victoria White

The IFR has announced that planning permission has been granted for a new food and health research building on the Norwich Research Park…

SACN report advises consumers to reduce sugar and increase fibre

Industry news  •  20 July 2015  •  Victoria White

SACN has advised the UK government to halve the recommended intake of free sugars to help address the growing obesity and diabetes crises…

IFR study reveals how Salmonella synchronises its invasion plan

Industry news  •  4 June 2015  •  

A study from the Institute of Food Research has uncovered a mechanism by which Salmonella bacteria organise the expression of genes required for infection…

Eating broccoli can lead to a reduction in blood LDL-cholesterol

Industry news  •  13 May 2015  •  Victoria White

A new study led by the Institute of Food Research has shown that eating a new broccoli variety reduces blood LDL-cholesterol levels by around 6%.

IFR study provides new insights into Clostridium spores

Industry news  •  13 May 2015  •  Victoria White

Researchers at the Institute of Food Research (IFR) have established how clostridia bacteria emerge from clostridium spores…

How Campylobacter exploits chicken ‘juice’ highlights need for hygiene

Industry news  •  14 November 2014  •  The Institute of Food Research

A study from the Institute of Food Research has shown that Campylobacter’s persistence in food processing sites and the kitchen is boosted by ‘chicken juice.’…

Botulism’s genetic triggers found

Industry news  •  12 September 2014  •  The Institute of Food Research

Clostridium botulinum bacteria produce the most deadly toxin we know of…

Profiling of intact wheat arabinoxylans by spectroscopy

Issue 4 2011  •  6 September 2011  •  Gwénaëlle Le Gall, Peter R. Shewry, E.N. Clare Mills and Geraldine A. Toole, Institute of Food Research

Wheat is the most widely grown cereal in the world and is used to make a variety of baked goods, such as bread, biscuits, pasta, noodles and breakfast cereals. On hydration of flour to make a dough, the seed storage proteins form a cohesive mass known as gluten. This protein fraction has a unique structure and viscoelastic properties1 that have allowed wheat to be used in such a versatile way. Dough properties vary between different cultivars and wheat lines – making some of them more suitable for pasta, others bread and others biscuits. Often, these products are made from white flour, and yet it is clear that there are beneficial effects of having a diet rich in whole grain and fibre derived from the endosperm cell walls and the outer layers of the grain that are found in the bran fraction. Whilst the variation in properties of gluten components has been extensively described, variation in cereal cell wall composition has been less studied yet might make an important contribution to improving the nutritional quality of cereal foods2.

IFR: the future on a plate

Issue 2 2008, Past issues  •  13 June 2008  •  Zoe Dunford, Media Relations & Science Writer, John Innes Centre and Institute of Food Research and Professor Tim Brocklehurst, Head of Microbial Ecology Platform & Head of the IFP Food and Health Network, Institute of Food Research

IFR is publicly funded and can undertake the kind of long term fundamental research that cannot economically be undertaken by industry, but will lead to product and processing innovations in years to come. Past breakthroughs include pioneering work in the 1930s on controlled atmosphere storage to enable the transport and increased shelf life of foods. Research from the 1970s underpins UK policy on dietary fibre and work from the 1990s informed policy on fruit and vegetable consumption.

Prediction of pH during food formulation

Issue 1 2005, Past issues  •  31 January 2005  •  Tim Brocklehurst and David Hibberd, Food Materials Science Division, Institute of Food Research

As part of a study into the effect of food structure on microbial growth, a need for accurate prediction of the chemistry of the food environment was identified. The project described here aimed to develop tools to predict the local pH and concentration of organic acids in products from the agri-food industry and related sectors.

pH is a key property of foods. It affects flavour, physical structure, colour and can be one of the key determinants of microbiological stability. Acidic products are intrinsically less hospitable for the growth of food poisoning bacteria and low pH also promotes the action of weak acid preservatives such as potassium sorbate. Despite this pivotal role, predicting the pH of a product from knowledge of its recipe is far from straightforward and therefore products are frequently formulated entirely by trial and error.


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