We carry out work on behalf of a diverse range of clients from the health and food industry. We partner with manufacturers, retailers and suppliers ranging from small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) to multinational global organisations.
Our current research focus is glycaemic control, obesity and inflammation. We are internationally recognised as being a leading centre for research into glycaemic response and are the only centre accredited by the GI Foundation in Europe. We continue to be one of the largest centres in Europe working in this area. We maintain a large and growing database to support our research into glycaemic and insulinaemic response.
The metabolic response to foods and ingredients is key to understanding their impact on the health and well-being of individuals.
We offer our clients a wide portfolio of services to measure the metabolic effects of foods and ingredients on participants from our large volunteer database. Services can be commissioned individually or can be grouped into packages depending on the requirement.
Additionally, an appropriate selection of these services can be included in tailored study designs drawn from the full portfolio of our services including elements from our Weight Management and Food Components/Activity services. Detailed protocols are developed in dialogue with our clients.Metabolic tests we provide include:
- Glycaemic Index
- Glycaemic Response
- Insulinaemic Response
- Gastric Emptying
- Diet-Induced Thermogenesis
- Gut hormones (GIP/GLP-1/PYY/Leptin)
- Lipid Profiles
- HbA1c Testing
Prior to undertaking in vivo studies, it is important to understand the properties of food, their activity and their interactions. In vitro techniques allow the rapid determination of activity, interactions, digestibility and potentially available bioactive components in food and ingredients. This can help to point to the potential impacts they may have on human health.
We pursue active research interests investigating antioxidants and polyphenols and their role in human health. Detailed protocols are developed in dialogue with our clients and draw from our full portfolio to tailor our services to meet the exact requirement.
Depending on the nature of the study, elements from our Metabolic Testing and Weight Management range of services can be included. Some of our services include:
- Sensory Evaluation
- Antioxidant Analysis
- Polyphenol Analysis
- In Vitro Digestion
- Food Texture and Rheological Properties
We have completed a considerable amount of testing on the polyphenol content and antioxidant activity of a variety of foods and drinks, investigating their stability and potential bioavailability. Our research has shown products such as beetroot juice are rich sources of polyphenols.
Current studies are now focusing on the potential physiological effects of polyphenols above and beyond their antioxidant capabilities.
Weight loss followed by successful weight management is key to tackling many public health issues. Despite high prevalence of obesity during an obesity epidemic, we also consider the paradox of vulnerable groups like the elderly who need assistance to gain weight.
We conduct research and provides consultancy in weight management. Detailed protocols are developed in dialogue with our clients and draw from our full portfolio to tailor our services to meet the exact requirements. Depending on the nature of the study, elements from our Metabolic Testing and Food Components and Activity range of services can be included.
Human intervention studies are designed to meet the exact needs of each client and can include:
- Energy Regulation
- Food Intake
- Body Composition
- Diet-induced Thermogenesis
- Appetite Control and Satiety
- Weight Loss and Maintenance
- Weight Gain for Vulnerable Groups
Appetite Control and Satiety
One of our key research areas is weight management and energy balance. We explore how physiological processing of foods (such as chewing or gastric emptying) influences food intake and energy expenditure.
We pride ourselves on being able to apply these research techniques to our commercial work, for example assessing how new food products, ingredients and combinations of ingredients can be used to increase satiety or diet-induced thermogenesis.