Researchers from the University of Turku analysed the contents of a medieval latrine to study the life and diet of people who lived in the 15th and 16th century Turku. One of the most interesting finds was melegueta pepper, which grows in Africa and was used as a spice similar to black pepper. The research shows that, in addition to using the resources of the surrounding nature, the citizens of medieval Turku also had contacts abroad.
The time is now ripe for changes in the Finnish food system. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the universities of Helsinki, Turku and Eastern Finland, the Natural Resources Institute Finland, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, and the Finnish Food Safety Authority set the direction for food research, which aims is to make Finland a key player in the transition to a healthy and sustainable global food system. At the same time, new opportunities for economic growth are being created in Finland.
In 2018, the University of Turku received a donation from the Raisio Research Foundation worth of €500,000 for funding the first five years of the professorship in Food Development with special focus on Nordic foods and their health effects. The new professorship focuses on the study of the plants cultivated in Finland, supports the export of Finnish foods that are based on sustainable development, and promotes well-being by advancing the development of healthy foods.
According to consumer evaluations, quinoa as well as Andean and narrow-leaved lupins are well suited for smoothies and snack products. Researchers studied how crops with promising qualities, namely quinoa and lupin, can be used in sustainable food production.
A new study shows that living or moving to a neighbourhood with a higher socioeconomic status is clearly associated with better adherence to dietary recommendations. Researchers studied the connection between neighbourhoods’ socioeconomic status and dietary choices from data covering over 16,000 Finnish adults.