Active projects


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FoodBud - 2022/23

Foodbud is a machine learning based food recommendation platform that provides its users personalised food recommendations based on their food allergies, dietary and taste preferences.  

The Food and Nutrition NBRI team supported Foodbud in nutritional analyses of selected recipes as well as retrieving allergen information, using resources such as the Composition of foods integrated dataset (CoFID). 

The Food and Nutrition NBRI team have been selected by FoodBud to deliver this based on their expertise in the project area and previous engagements.

Food Safety Network 2022/24

The UK Food Safety Research Network connects food industry, food and health policymakers and academia to collaboratively pursue shared research priorities that will protect the UK from foodborne hazards.

 The network is hosted by Quadram Institute funded by BBSRC and the Food Standards Agency and serves as an innovation hub to coordinate and fund cross-sectoral research and training activities that address current and emerging challenges.

 We are currently scoping our network activities and updates will be provided on this page pending the launch of the network’s dedicated website.

 The network’s objectives are to:

  •  assemble a community of UK food producers, food policy makers and scientific researchers who collectively can take robust actions toward improving food safety
  • identify areas of research need and opportunity that, in the view of food stakeholders and network members, will have meaningful impacts on UK food safety
  • coordinate new collaborative research activities that will promote the application of science towards the food safety challenges identified by our food system community
  • host training to promote skills development, interoperability and relationship-building between our food system community
  • translate the knowledge generated within the network to food safety stakeholders, and to upcycle existing information and technologies relevant to food safety that have not yet been applied more broadly

The network is led by Quadram Institute group leaders Dr Matthew Gilmour and Dr Maria Traka.


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EFSA FCD - 2022/25

EU FCDB Open aims to design, develop, and deliver an Open Access European Food Composition Database for at least 16 European countries covering generic foods, fortified foods and food supplements mapped to FoodEx2 (Exposure hierarchy) including all relevant facets,  A quality system will be developed to provide EFSA and expert users with more confidence in using the values for risk benefit and other nutritional research.

FNS-Cloud (Food and Nutrition Security) - 2019/23

The Food Databanks team are part of FNS-Cloud,, a four-year EU-funded Horizon 2020 project (from 1st October 2019), which includes 35 partners across Europe and will also involve collaborations with other researchers at QIB. The project aims to bring together data across a variety of research domains linked to Food and Nutrition Security (FNS), such as diet, health, consumer behaviour and agriculture, and to improve access and use of the data via ICT cloud infrastructure and services, which will also be integrated with the European Open Science Cloud initiative. The project is led by RTDS in Austria with Paul Finglas as the Scientific Coordinator.

The Food Databanks team leads Work Package 5: Demonstrators, which is designing, implementing and testing a number of Demonstrators to showcase the FNS Cloud functionality and resources. QIB is also currently undertaking a pilot study (DIME study) to generate microbiome and diet data for the Cloud, which will also be utilised as a Demonstrator.

Project aims

FNS-Cloud will contribute to overcoming European research infrastructure fragmentation by uniting FNS data essential for addressing diet, health, and consumer behaviour as well as sustainable agriculture and the bioeconomy. The implemented cloud solution will reduce knowledge gaps that inhibit public health and agricultural policy and will benefit the food industry, reducing development and production costs and will facilitate informed consumer choice and ultimately, healthier European citizens. Sustainability of the FNS Cloud will be achieved through value added services linking research infrastructure data. FNS Cloud data will be open access and FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable and re-useable) and will be interoperable with other proposed/existing Research Infrastructures such as FNH-RI, MetroFood and ELIXIR. The four identified scientific and technical objectives are to: 1) develop, integrate and test innovative cloud services; 2) implement and test ‘cloud platform’ (FNS Cloud), Use cases and Demonstrators; 3) integrate different existing and emerging data, sources and formats; and 4) develop a governance model and business operations.

FNH-RI (Food Nutrition and Health Research Infrastructure) - ongoing

The Food Nutrition and Health Research Infrastructure (FNH-RI) is an initiative to develop a European research infrastructure relevant to Food, Nutrition and Health that will uniquely link the data and expertise in the research domains of the food supply chain, consumer behaviour and health, through sharing and integrating data, tools and services, and focussing on active contribution of consumers and citizens to generate data. Existing international RIs in food and health do not currently cover such diverse research themes, and do not utilise online technologies to harness consumer and citizen generated data.

The RI will be structured as a series of National Nodes, each representing the national organisations undertaking research in the relevant domains. FHN-RI already has the backing of The Netherlands, Denmark, Slovakia and Italy, where Member States’ Ministries of Science have committed to supporting these National Nodes. The UK was one of the four countries that initiated the FNH-RI concept and is a leading ‘potential partner’ due to the advanced status of nutrition and food science in the country. Our participation in the FNH-RI proposal was recently supported by three of the UK Research Councils.

The Food Databanks National Capability team is co-leading the development of the UK National Node with the University of Surrey. To initiate activities, an introductory workshop was held in London in July 2019 at the MRC Conference Centre, and a number of online workshops have been organised since to develop the UK participation. A total of 20 UK partners across a variety of research domains have now expressed an interest in being part of the UK Node of FHN-RI ( The FNH-RI concept has been submitted to the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) for consideration for the 2021 Research Infrastructures Roadmap, and the UK Node is currently exploring opportunities to fund initial activities for further establishing the initiative.

If you are interested in finding out more about the FNH-RI UK National Node development, please contact us at

PERNUG (personalised and connected food service providers) - 2020/22

PERNUG project, an EIT-Food Innovation Activity that aims to develop affordable kitchen vertical garden units with the capacity to improve nutritional intake of key micronutrients for consumers via biofortification of domestically grown fresh produce, such as herbs and salads.

The current plant supply chain is often centralised, wasteful and environmentally damaging, with plant produce that is low in nutritional quality and freshness due to lengthy supply chains. Domestic hydroponic vertical garden units offer consumers the opportunity to grow produce in their home all year round, ensuring absolute freshness and quality of the produce. It is possible to tailor the specific plant species or variety to the nutritional needs of the user, and to further improve intake of specific micronutrients via biofortification. This process involves supplementing the plant growth media with additional micronutrients, such as iron and vitamin B12, to produce naturally fortified plants ready for consumption.

Together with project partners at KU Leuven and StudioKapp, and in collaboration with the QIB team led by Paul Kroon, we will design and test affordable garden units, develop personalised seed and growth media collections, create tailored recipes to help users incorporate the produce in to dishes and to address their dietary needs, and create a bespoke app to manage the garden units and deliver recipes to the user.

The FDNC team will lead the work to develop recipes for the consumer, utilising the fresh biofortified produce grown in the garden units, as well as compiling recipes that contain other foods that are naturally rich in the micronutrients of interest.

Personalised and Connected Food Service Providers - 2020/22

Personalised and Connected Food Service Providers (Project ID 20291)

PERSFO is our second EIT-Food funded project, following on from Quisper (2018-19). The project aims to deliver personalised nutrition advice direct to consumers in their workplace, taking in to account the daily menu and catering options that are available to them from the service provider. The advice and menu information will be delivered via a smartphone application linked to the PERSFO platform. The workplace can be a stressful environment, which can often lead to poor food choices by workers – PERSFO aims to encourage users towards more healthy dietary choices at work using a specifically designed recommender system, and by utilising a connection to the Quisper personalised nutrition platform, thereby building on the outputs of our previous project.

The FDNC team are managing the project, which is composed of a small team of diverse partners (KU Leuven, Sodexo, Alberts, EuroFIR and shiftN (2020 only)). Despite the difficulties posed by COVID-19, the project made great progress in 2020, with the recommender system and app designed via a series of consumer-led sessions. The initial version of the PERSFO architecture is complete, and the links to Quisper resources have been tested. In 2021, the primary task is to test the fully integrated and improved PERSFO system in a work-place environment (in Belgium) to ascertain the effectiveness of the concept in facilitating dietary improvements. Ultimately, it is hoped that PERSFO can be offered as a commercial tool to support employee wellbeing.

Further information about PERSFO can be found here.

Personalized and connected food service providers (PERSFO, Project ID 20291) has received funding from EIT Food, the innovation community on Food of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the EU, under Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.

Completed Projects


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Partnership for Improvement and Innovation in Dietary Assessment Technology (MRC, 2014-2017)

DIETary Assessment Tool NETwork (DIET@NET)

DIET@NET is a partnership funded by the UK’s Medical Research Council which brings together a core group of experts in the field of dietary assessment, nutritional epidemiology, public health and clinical studies from eight universities and institutions in the UK (University of Leeds, Imperial College London, Institute of Food Research, MRC Human Nutrition Research in Cambridge, MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit in Southampton, University of Bristol, University of Oxford, University of Southampton).

To help improve the quality, consistency and comparability of dietary data in epidemiological and clinical studies, DIET@NET aims to:

  • establish expert consensus on best practice guidelines for the collection and analysis of dietary intake data in population and clinical studies;
  • create an interactive web-site,, to guide researchers to an e-library of validated, expert-reviewed Dietary Assessment Tools (DATs);
  • provide online access to DATs with, where possible, an online facility for data entry and ‘real time’ food/nutrient analysis;
  • develop a Food Questionnaire creator and provide links to useful dietary assessment resources.

In collaboration with other researchers from QIB, FDNC have been awarded a £250,000 BBSRC Global Challenge Research Fund Impact Acceleration Account Extension (GCRF IAAE) Award to continue research projects addressing nutrition and health in Africa. Alongside other experts and working with FAO/WHO, we will be carrying out training, sharing our knowledge and skills to help produce improved African food composition data and tools. This will underpin the development and implementation of local food and nutrition policies, regulatory measures and health advice.

FDNC together with  Hetti Schonfeldt (University of Pretoria), Henrietta Ene-Obong (AFROFOODS coordinator), Paul Hulshof (Wageningen University NL) and Karl Presser (EuroFIR/PremoTec, CH) will be providing training to food data compilers from 10 African nations at the University of Pretoria in February 2018.  The event” Global Challenges Research Fund workshop on Production, Management and Use of Food Composition Data to support AFROFOODS” has the following objective and outcomes:
Intended Outcomes

1) Improved knowledge of the production, management and use of food composition data
2) Development of networks, including AFROFOODS and regional networks, that can effectively share resources and expertise to build datasets that are up-to-date and accessible to researchers in Africa
Specific learning objectives:
• Current status of food composition datasets in AFROFOODS region
• Design of sampling protocols
• Review of methods of nutrient analysis and analytical performance
• Options for contracting laboratory analysis
• Review of food description and indexing systems with focus on FoodEx2
• Principles and examples of calculating nutrient values for composite foods
• Tools for data compilation, management, and data sharing
• Introduction to FoodCASE food composition data management system
• Review of documentation of data
• Review of approaches to using data from other sources, including literature, manufacturer’s data
• Assessing data quality
• Implication of errors in food composition data on dietary intake assessment

MRC GCRF Eastern Mediterranean
Food Databanks are working with teams from the University of East Anglia (UK), Wageningen University (NL) , Institute of Medical Research (RS), and WHO EMRO Egypt in another GCRF project, this one funded by MRC “Capacity building in dietary monitoring and public health nutrition in the Eastern Mediterranean Region”. Food databanks, via training workshops, will be providing technical and scientific support for food and nutrition clusters in the Eastern Med region to improve standardised methodologies for food composition and food intake methods used to underpin dietary monitoring and policy and nutritional research needs in low and middle-income countries.


Updated food composition database for nutrient intake

(CFT/EFSA/DCM/2011/03; Dec 2011-Sept 2012)

Food composition data is essential for calculation of nutrient intake from consumption data and is available in most countries). There is a need for composition data to be collected and presented in a standardised way to enable comparison between countries and across Europe. This problem has been addressed by several European projects, most recently by the completed EuroFIR NoE project (FP6), which has led to the development of a draft European standard for food data, and the establishment of the EuroFIR Food Data Platform in Europe. The work is ongoing through the EuroFIR Nexus project (FP7; 2011-13), and led by Institute of Food Research.

The Dietary and Chemical Monitoring Unit of EFSA collects and collates consumption and chemical occurrence data for risk assessment purposes. The Comprehensive European Food Consumption Database consists of detailed food consumption information collected in 2008-9 from 20 countries for adults and 12 countries for children. The FoodEX food description and classification system was developed by EFSA to harmonise collection of food consumption data and link it to the collection of chemical occurrence data. FoodEX is being refined by EFSA’s Working Group with the aim of serving a broad range of needs, including nutrient intake calculations.

EFSA requires an updated food composition dataset to cover both foods and supplements and to link the data to existing food consumption information for calculation of intake and exposure. This requirement will enable EFSA to evaluate nutrient composition of European foods and estimate nutrient intakes and patterns in Europe and to respond to information requests from the Commission.

The current project brings together the expertise and resources of 14 national food database compiler organisations across Europe, supported by EuroFIR AISBL, under the overall coordination of IFR’s FDNC.  Its main aim is to provide EFSA with an updated food composition database covering approximately 2,000 foods included in the EFSA food classification system, and to expand the dataset to include harmonised information on the most common composite recipes of European countries and harmonised information on dietary supplements. 


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EIT Food MOOC (Massive open online course)

The Human Microbiome: Online Course

Food Databanks, teamed with a consortium of food scientists, food microbiologists, nutritionists and medical doctors, have received EIT-Food funding to create a massive open online course (MOOC), The course, which starts on 30th November 2020, is for anyone interested in subjects related to the human microbiome, how food can influence it, and how this may impact on human health. Find out more and sign up for free to join the course here: The online course, “The Human Microbiome”, will have a 3-week duration and has an aim to deliver a clear, simple and scientifically based message to the general public on the importance of the human microbiome in human health in connection to food.

There is a wealth of knowledge within the Quadram Institute we will call upon to create interesting and informative articles, quizzes, infographics and videos. These include; early life microbiota,; the influence of different food components on the gut microbiome; and microbiota used to treat and prevent severe infections.

The project is being coordinated by the University of Turin, and includes partners from The University of Reading, CSIC (Spanish National Research Council) and Microbion (a company that innovative products in the field of agro-industrial microbiology).

EIT Food / Quisper

Quality Information Services and Dietary Advice for Personalized Nutrition in Europe

The Food Databanks National Capability at Quadram Institute Bioscience (QIB) is leading an international project to develop a digital platform that will enable effective delivery of scientifically-validated nutrition advice across Europe, giving everyone the confidence to make more informed diet choices.

The project

The goal of the EIT Food-funded project, Quisper®, is to put in place a digital platform that provides scientifically-validated nutrition data and services to organisations that can be used to create and deliver effective personalised nutrition services for consumers and patients across Europe.

To maximise outreach and trust, Quisper®, which involves partners that include Pepsico and the University of Munich, will be managed as a non-profit association and will be informed by a scientific advisory board.

In collaboration with the University of Reading, an improved version of the E-Nutri mobile app, which provides personalised dietary advice using individual preference, diet and lifestyle, will be integrated into the platform along with information such as data from national food composition databanks, dietary reference values, consumer-perceived food attributes and diet-quality scores.

Data, tools and technology from ‘Small to Moderate sized Enterprises’ (SMEs) will also be integrated into the platform, helping them achieve wider audiences for their products. It is anticipated that these companies may sell their improved services to parties such as insurance, public healthcare, hospitals, medical professionals, dietitians, nutritionists, wellness / fitness centres, employers and retailers that will provide information and services for the public and other businesses, such as app interface providers, household appliance industry, analytical laboratories, diagnostics industry and the medical appliance industry, which could profit from the services provided.

More information here. Project website here.


REFRESH Resource Efficient Food and dRink for the Entire Supply cHain” (REFRESH) is an EU research project taking action against food waste. 26 partners from 12 European countries and China work towards the project’s goal to contribute towards Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 of halving per capita food waste at the retail and consumer level and reducing food losses along production and supply chains, reducing waste management costs, and maximizing the value from un-avoidable food waste and packaging materials.

FDNC were partners in the project and led a work package on ‘Valorization of waste streams and co-products’. Key tasks will be to identify waste streams that have significant environmental impact to enable development of the most effective approaches to ensure that waste streams can be significantly reduced through improved chain management and business and consumer behaviour. FDNC’s main role will be to develop a compositional database which provides users with access to biochemical composition of agri-food chain waste streams in order to identify market opportunities.


RICHFIELDS (Research Infrastructure on Consumer Health and Food Intake using E-science with Linked Data Sharing) is a 3 year project funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme that will design a world-class infrastructure for innovative research on healthy food choice, preparation and consumption of EU citizens, closely linked to their consumer behaviour and lifestyle. This unique research infrastructure will link the agri-food and nutrition-health domains and account for the regional, social and economic diversity of the EU to produce a scientifically, technically and legally robust evidence base that will enable scientists to efficiently collect, connect and share research data.

QIB leads a work package within the project that will explore the potential for delivering data and content to the RICHFIELDS Consumer Data Platform from existing or currently under development Research Infrastructures. Four separate case studies will investigate food composition data and food attributes, food intake data from population based surveys, data from clinical intervention trials and data from mobile applications that collect personalized information on food intake and lifestyle. The case studies will investigate examples of what data is available and how it is structured to identify:

• How the data is stored and made available;
• How datasets can be exchanged and linked;
• Potential ethical issues related to linking into a RI (e.g., data privacy, ownership rights etc.); design of future data structures and interfaces for RIs.

The case studies are led by QIB, The Centre for European Nutrition and Health, (France) and AALTO University (Finland).  Partner organisations include Aalborg University (Denmark), Jozef Stefan Institute (Slovenia), German Institute of Food Technologies (Germany), Wageningen University (Netherlands), ETH Zurich (Switzerland), GS1 (Denmark), and EuroFIR AISBL (Belgium).
For more information see