Research at the Functional Foods Forum

Functional Foods Forum (FFF) is a research unit in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Turku and combines the best knowledge and expertise of different disciplines. By conducting scientific research on carefully selected food components, we aim to develop healthy and safe food products for the future.

Following our operating principle, we build networks between Finnish and foreign scientists and research groups and, hence, create new international opportunities for innovative research activities.

The core competencies of our research are individual food experiences and how they connect to health and well-being as part of the society.

Our research facilities include different types of laboratories: an ISO standardized sensory lab, two multisensory labs, Flavoria® Research Platform, Flavoria cohort, and a microbe lab.

Our fields of research comprehend:

  • nutrition and nutritional education research
  • research of the microbes promoting gut health, including probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics, and postbiotics research
  • sensory research
  • consumer research
  • legislation of functional foods
  • connection between research, gastronomy and art

Disciplines that complement our core competencies:

  • sensory research
  • microbiology / probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics, and postbiotics
  • nutrition and health
  • food products and their functionality
  • human sciences, communication, and art
  • technology development

Research Groups

Probiotics Research Group

Professor Seppo Salminen, the Director of FFF, leads the Probiotics Research Group.

The research is based on co-operation with the children’s clinic and focuses on supporting the microbiota for healthy maturation.

Seppo Salminen's contact information

Taste and Health Research Group

Food Development Professor Anu Hopia leads the Taste and Health Research Group.

Central topics are, among others, the research of health promoting, multisensory eating environments and healthy & tasty food products following the principles of sustainable development.

Anu Hopia's contact information

Senses and Food Research Group

Professor Mari Sandell, who represents both the University of Turku and Helsinki, leads the Senses and Food Research Group.

The study focuses are the individual differences in sensory perception, its connection to human health, multisensory experiencing of food and eating behavior.

Mari Sandell's contact information in the University of Turku and in the University of Helsinki

Recent publications

Flavor challenges in extruded plant-based meat alternatives: A review (2022)

Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety
Wang Yaqin, Tuccillo Fabio, Lampi Anna-Maija, Knaapila Antti, Pulkkinen Marjo, Kariluoto Susanna, Coda Rossana, Edelmann Minnamari, Jouppila Kirsi, Sandell Mari, Piironen Vieno, Katina Kati
(Refereed review article in scientific journal (A2))