1.0 The Member Research Programme
Leatherhead Food Research's research programme is agreed and driven by our members. It is run by the Research Steering Committee guided by member groups such as Industry Clubs or Forum Committees and is funded from our subscription income. The results are available to all members and provide both practical and cutting-edge applied technology.
We have four science departments: Nutrition; Food Innovation; Sensory, Consumer & Market Insight; and Food Safety & Product Integrity. Supporting these four departments are three Research Forum Committees and a Technical Managers Club.
To become a member of any or all of the Research Forum Committees or the Technical Managers Club, please email our Membership Team, indicating which of the following you wish to join:
- Nutrition (Research Forum Committee)
- Innovation (Research Forum Committee)
- Consumer & Sensory Science (Research Forum Committee
- Food Safety & Product Integrity (Technical Managers Club)
2.0 The Research Steering Committee
The Research Steering Committee comprises the Chairman, Chris Wells; the Leatherhead CEO; and key officers of Leatherhead Food Research. Invited industry experts and academics are consulted as Leatherhead Scientific Advisors. The interests of each Forum as well as overall policy and crosscutting issues are represented.
The primary role of the Research Steering Committee is to act as overall guardian of the research portfolio, ensuring that it is balanced with the interests of Leatherhead Food Research’s members and provides real industry benefit. Committee members play a key role in the strategic direction of the Forum Research Programme. The committee will guide the Forums on research ideas and advise on new ideas/crises that may arise but are not in the planned schedule of funding. The Committee members are:
|Dr Geoff Spriegel
||Chief Executive Officer
|Dr Roberta Re
|Dr Angus Knight
||Food Safety & Product Integrity
|Dr Rachel Burch
||Food Safety & Product Integrity
|Antoine Goupil de Bouillé
||Sensory, Consumer & Market Insight
3.0 The Research Forums
Food Innovation Department
The Food Ingredients Forum Committee looks at areas such as:
- The influence of ingredients on product properties
- Current or emerging technologies for extension and manipulation of ingredient functionality
- The role of ingredients in development of healthy products
- Applied research for the chocolate and sugar confectionery industry
- Understanding the effect of ingredients and processing
- Studying shelf-life and quality issues
- Developing methods including accelerated shelf-life tests that can be used to study quality and processing issues
- Relating microstructure to product quality characteristics
Sensory, Consumer & Market Insight Department
The Sensory & Consumer Science Forum Committee looks at areas such as:
- Research into novel sensory applications
- Shelf-life research using sensory evaluation and consumer research
- Identifying best sensory and consumer practices
- Evaluation of reduced sugar, salt and fat foods and beverages
- Understanding the perception of texture of food and drink products
- Consumer understanding of current developments in food industry
- Sensory and consumer evaluation with children and elderly
The Nutrition & Health Forum Committee looks at areas such as:
- Carrying out human volunteer studies - satiety, glycaemic response and bioavailability
- Studying the effects of diet on health
- Identifying health enhancing properties of foods
- Identifying and evaluating key nutrition trends which impact upon the food industry
- Assessing research methodologies to establish best practice
- Translating nutrition research on key topics into a clear and usable format for Members, including reference to nutrition and health claims regulation where relevant
Food Safety & Product Integrity Department
The Technical Managers Club will continue the work of the previous Food Safety Forum Committee and will look at areas such as:
- Assessment of novel techniques for measuring spoilage or pathogenic micro-organisms in food (including viruses)
- Microbial physiology in foods covering: microbial growth, survival, toxin production, adaptive resistance and recovery
- Food preservation
- Food processing method validation
- Chemical, biochemical and physical analysis of food
- Analysis of additives, contaminants, including allergens, and food adulteration
- Analysis of naturally occurring components of food including phytochemicals, vitamins and flavours
- Assessment of novel analytical technologies
- Development and validation of novel methods
- Evaluation of published methods
- Horizon scanning and emerging issues
4.0 Forum Committee or Industry Club Members
Any number of employees from a member company can belong to one or more Forum Committees or Clubs. Members can register their interest by contacting us directly. Please email our Membership Team, indicating which Forum Committee/Industry Club you wish to join.
5.0 Allocation of Funds
The annual budget for the member research programme is reviewed by the Leatherhead Food Research Executive Board each year. Research funds should target areas of research of most value to members and Industry which may mean that the spilt is not equal between the proposals of the various Forum Committees or Clubs.
When appropriate, additional Government funding will be sought in order to leverage the Member Research Funds for the benefit of the membership.
A timetable for the project proposal process is given at section 9.0.
The Research Steering Committee will meet at least four times a year. Forum Committee meetings will be held as required.
Each year there will be showcase events to disseminate the findings of the Research Programme.
7.0 Responsibilities of Committee Members
The processes for individual forum projects and cross cutting projects is shown in Section 9.0.
8.0 Publication of Reports
Work will be reported in the public domain one year after completion of the projects.
However, if something is considered ground-breaking then the Research Steering Committee can agree that this should be published early.
By the same standard, if work is considered worthy of Intellectual Property (IP) rights, then publication can be delayed. Projects supported with Government funds will be reported in accordance with that funding body’s requirements.
The members’ area of the Leatherhead Food Research website gives access to an archive of completed projects. Members must be logged into the website to access the completed reports.
9.0 Forum Project Processes
This section is currently being updated.