Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) recently launched its NutRI Research Group. NutRI, Nutrition Research and Innovation, is a newly designated research and innovation group from the Department of Biological Sciences. NutRI has undergone a rigorous process of peer review to ensure that it has the expertise, capacity, and relevance to thrive in a world where the production of good quality nutritious food from strained resources is of increasing importance to us all.
NutRI is a multidisciplinary research group comprised of experienced Nutrition Scientists, Food Scientists, Microbiologists, Biochemists and Biomedical Scientists. Collectively these researchers have in excess of 200 publications published in the last 5 years. The group was established to facilitate knowledge exchange and collaboration in gaining a deeper understanding of the role of food and nutrition in human health. NutRI’s expertise and scholarly interests are in the areas of food bioactives, new product development, food safety, food derived anti-microbials, healthy aging, intervention trials and nutrition surveillance. Made up of three key research areas: Food Innovation; Food Microbiology; and Public Health Nutrition, NutRI’s aim is to address a number of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, including No Poverty, Zero Hunger and Good Health and Well-Being, by delivering innovative solutions to these global challenges through direct engagement with industry and society. Such collaborations have the ability to drive industry and innovate and foster good engagement with CIT. Engagement with industry allows integration of the research base and enterprise, ensures research is feasible and remains relevant. Through engagement with external collaborators in the food industry, NutRI’s research in areas of food safety, nutrition, and health, will also help develop the curricula in undergraduate courses. NutRI will contribute to CIT’s mission: to provide student-centred career-focused education and research for the personal, professional and intellectual development of the student and for the benefit of the broader society in the region and beyond. Currently there are more than 50 postgrads linked to the NutRI Team.
NutRI is being launched at a critical time in the development of the region, given the forthcoming designation of MTU, and will be an important contributor to Making Munster a Global Exemplar forSustainable, Healthy and Responsible Regions. Through funding awarded by Enterprise Ireland, The Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine, Health Research Board, The Irish Research Council, Science Foundation Ireland, CIT Rísam Scholarships and the Marine Institute (Cullen Fellowship), NutRI will help develop Ireland’s capability to manufacture safe, value-added and innovative functional foods and aligns with the National Research Prioritisation (NRPE) Priority areas ‘H’ Food for Health and ‘I’ Sustainable Food Production and Processing. NutRI’s research area ‘Food Innovation’ aligns with SHARP’s (Sustainable Healthy Agri-Food Research Plan) objectives by determining food interactions in food matrices. By advancing knowledge in the use of more sustainable food sources for new product development it will support growth in the Agri-Food sector and the Food Harvest 2020 vision of ‘Acting Smart, Thinking Green and Achieving Growth’.
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