Human Nutrition Research Centre


Protein for life: Towards a focussed dietary framework for healthy ageing

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Protein for life is funded by the Research Councils UK's ‘Priming Food Partnerships’ initiative which is supported by four councils: BBSRC, MRC, EPSRC and ESRC.

The 'Priming Food Partnerships’ initiative supports pre-competitive research, with the ultimate aim of stimulating innovative research and technological advances of relevance to the food industry.

There is a severe lack of mainstream food products that can help meet the protein needs of an ageing population that are functional, taste good and are affordable. The purpose of this research is therefore to identify and develop guidelines for protein products for healthy ageing that are sustainable, cost effective and enjoyable. This information will then inform the food industry for new product development and reformulation of existing products that are appropriate for this population.

Our study will take a number of different approaches to ultimately develop and disseminate guidelines to the food industry for the formulation of palatable higher-protein foods. This information will then be used to provide the food industry with a set of 'design rules' for new products. Working with our industry partners, we will then develop and trial some exemplar products based on the design rules. The products will then be tested for palatability and acceptability in groups of mid-life and older adults and then refined accordingly. Importantly, we will ensure that the findings of the study are then disseminated to key stakeholders including the public, policy makers and the food industry. We hope that this research will also provide a more general roadmap to inform future product development.

Protein for life is a collaborative project led by Newcastle University (PI Prof Emma Stevenson) with academic collaborators from The Universities of Bristol, Sheffield, Liverpool and Aberdeen. This project is also supported by seven industry stakeholder partners – Campden BRI, Sainsbury’s, Mondelez International, Bradgate Bakery, Pladis, Nestle and Premier Foods.

For further information on Protein for Life please contact Professor Emma Stevenson.

For further information on the Priming Food Partnerships, go to the BBSRC website.