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20 February 2012

Blocks to healthy food research

There are lots of new ideas out there for giving you extra protection against chronic diseases through the food you eat. But many good ideas may never make it to market.

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There are lots of new ideas out there for giving you extra protection against chronic diseases through the food you eat. But many good ideas may never make it to market.

Researchers at the University of Guelph, led by Brian McBride, have found a way to enrich milk with docosahexaeonic acid (DHA)—an essential nutrient that many people are lacking. Researchers at the University of Manitoba, led by Rotimi Aluko, discovered that certain protein fragments from yellow field pea seeds can lower blood pressure.

Rickey Yada is a professor of food science at the University of Guelph and an expert who studies the quality of potato chips and french fries.

"Many researchers end up looking outside the country for partners to develop their ideas — which means R&D opportunities, economic growth and good jobs in food processing go to other places too," said Yada.

At this week's meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Vancouver, Yada will outline how the innovation pipeline in the food industry is slowed down by several challenges. These include a shortage of proof-of-concept funding; and lack of market intelligence, industrial partners, and a taxing approval and regulatory environment. The requirements often exceed the resources of researchers, so that potentially game-changing innovations are stalled.

Yada will lead the discussion in the AAAS symposium Do Public Health and Food Safety Policies and Regulations Impede Innovation?

EurekAlert, February 2012)  

 
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