New tools to improve nutrition and health
Innovative and high-performance technologies are revolutionising medical research with their ability to assess individual health indicators, and thus allow the examination of multiple human and environmental conditions simultaneously. This is proving powerful in targeting and preventing human diseases more accurately.
SPECIFIC R&I BREAKTHROUGH TOPICS
Personalised nutrition: Personalised nutrition is based on the use of genetic, phenotypic, medical, nutritional, and other relevant information about individuals to deliver specific and targeted advice, products, or services, to achieve a dietary behavioural change proven to be beneficial for health. Consumers are increasingly more proactively involved in the design and production of the food they purchase through co-creation and innovative technologies.
Multi-Omics: Starting from genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics; a variety of omics subdisciplines (epigenomics, lipidomics, interactomics, metallomics, diseasomics, etc) has emerged, offering the opportunity to understand the flow of information that underlies disease. Foodomics is a new, comprehensive approach to food and nutrition that intends to correlate the intrinsic food characteristics (for example related to food composition, biochemical properties of active ingredients, food processing and technologies used in food production), with the impact on human health.
Nutraceuticals: Nutraceuticals refer to dietary supplements, functional food, medicinal food, and pharmaceuticals. They have attracted considerable interest due to their potential nutritional, safety, and therapeutic effects in improving health, preventing chronic diseases, postponing the aging process, and generally supporting body functions and integrity.
Functional foods: Functional foods exert specific health benefits on the human body, that extend beyond those associated to nutritional value, improving overall human health status, and reducing the risk of certain diseases. Functional products refer to several categories of foods; conventional foods that are naturally rich in nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and heart-healthy fats; food fortified with additional nutrients (eg juices); food enriched with new ingredients (eg pre- and probiotics); or food altered by removing/reducing/replacing particular components.
Human genome knowledge and application: Gut, oral, respiratory, and skin microbiomes play an important role in shaping an individual’s response to diet, and have the capacity to rapidly respond to environmental factors like diet, lifestyle, and climate.
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