International Research Collaboration Promoting Healthy and Nutritious Food
The Food Chemistry and Food Development unit leads an international research project that aims to enhance global nutrient supply and nutritiousness of food. An Indian research group visited the concluding seminar of the Nutri-Concept project in Finland.
Professor Baoru Yang, Senior Principal Scientist Sridevi A Singh, Principal Scientist S. V. N. Vijayendra, Senior Researcher Marko Tarvainen, Scientist Ramaprasad Talahalli, Senior Lecturer Oskar Laaksonen, and Doctoral Candidate Mikael Fabritius.
The Food Chemistry and Food Development unit of the University of Turku coordinates the Nutri-Concept project that is funded jointly by Business Finland and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and that aims to develop innovative technologies and new product concepts in order to produce health-promoting foods using legumes and grains.
In the consortium project, the University of Turku and the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) produce their own sub-studies with a joint objective. The Indian CSIR-Central Food Technology Research Institute (CFTRI) is the international partner of the project.
– The co-operation with Luke and CFTRI has been productive, and the organisations’ areas of expertise complement each other well. Our objective is to guarantee the global supply of good nutrition particularly for children and elderly people. In the project, there is also extensive company collaboration with local operators, Professor of Food Chemistry and Food Development Baoru Yang says.
The concluding seminars of Nutri-Concept were organised in both India and Finland. The first seminar, where researchers from the University of Turku and Luke gave presentations, was organised by CFTRI on 15–16 May in Mysore, India. The latter seminar was organised in Helsinki on Monday 18 June. Researchers from the Indian CFTRI had been invited as guests of honour to the event. The objective of Nutri-Concept is to operate globally especially in areas where food production and nutrient supply need to be improved.
– In India, one third of all children are undernourished, and we need to seek solutions particularly for the lack of certain proteins in the diet. We have a lot of expertise and knowledge of plant-based proteins, but by collaborating, we wish to gain more technical expertise of RTD, says Senior Principal Scientist of CFTRI Sridevi A. Singh.
CFTRI was founded in 1950 after India had become independent, and it is one of the world’s largest independent research centres related to food and nutrition.
– In the Food Chemistry and Food Development unit, we have been collaborating with CFTRI for quite a while already in two earlier projects, but now we got to introduce the research centre for Luke, too, and we have decided to continue the operations of the collaborative network also in future. We are thus eagerly waiting for new research openings, Yang says.
Text: Heikki Kettunen
Translation: Aura Jaakkola