Sandwell based ‘2 Sisters Food Group’ to participate in £7m food innovation project

MORE than 50 research projects and studies aimed at developing healthier, safer and more nutritious food are to share in £7m of government investment. 
West Bromwich-based 2 Sisters Food Group has been chosen as one of the firms to be involved in the work.

The Government said the various projects and studies would stimulate innovation in the UK’s food and drink sector and lead to the development of new technologies and processes, with an emphasis on healthy and safe food. 

Funding for the research and development will be provided by the Technology Strategy Board, with support from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the Medical Research Council (MRC), Defra and Scottish Enterprise.  Including contributions from the participating companies the total value of the R&D exceeds £14.5m.
In all, 27 collaborative R&D projects have been awarded a share of £6.5m government funding.  These projects will aim to develop highly innovative technologies or processes that are novel to the sector and whose application and implementation will be technically challenging.  

The projects to be funded include novel processing methods to retain the nutritional quality of raw fruit and vegetables in processed foods; formulation technologies to enable the reduction of fat and salt in food products; identification and development of functional foods that improve heart health, and strategies to enable the control of campylobacter in poultry.
In addition, 24 SMEs are to receive up to £25,000 each to carry out small-scale technical feasibility studies, which may be taken forward later into larger scale projects.  These studies will be in areas such as extending the nutritional life of fruit and vegetables; development of novel products to increase satiety (feeling of fullness), and novel methods to identify ingredients which safeguard bone health.    
Ian Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said: “Changes in our dietary and lifestyle patterns have seen an increase in diet-related diseases such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and stroke.  

“These exciting new research projects and studies, which between them cover the whole food supply chain from agriculture through to retail, have the potential to make a positive impact in the longer term, improving public health and reducing   the burden these diseases place on our health system.”
In addition to 2 Sisters, the major collaborative research and development projects will be led by: Aquapharm Biodiscovery Ltd, AvantiCell Science Ltd, Bakkavor Foods Ltd, Bernard Matthews Ltd, Boots UK (2 projects), Cargill, Cawood Scientific Ltd, DelAgua Water Testing Ltd, eminate Ltd, First Frontera Ltd, Frutarom (UK) Ltd, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, Macphie of Glenbervie Ltd, Matrix MicroScience Ltd, Micromass UK Ltd, Monsanto UK Ltd, PepsiCo (2 projects), Provexis plc, Randox Laboratories Ltd, TasteTech Ltd, Unilever plc (2 projects), Wm Wrigley Jnr Company

aritcle from The Busienss Desk,