With the food market producing a total revenue of US$8,66tn1 in 2022 worldwide and £151.10bn2 in the UK, it’s surprising that on average only 0.5% of this is spent on R&D. With the market set to grow at a CAGR of 6.72% between 2022 and 20271 and new pressures from legislation, customer demands and the rising cost of raw materials, this trend is sure to end.
Most innovation has traditionally come out of the big brand companies, or more recently from small artisan producers who are more agile to change. However, the market has started to change and more food companies are now investing in dedicated product development teams and some even outsourcing this to save on overheads.
Diamond works with a number of companies in the food industry – from exploring the effects of new formulations and processing conditions to investigating packaging materials and trace food contaminants. All of this is only possible by exploring the science behind the product, and here at Diamond we have advanced characterisation tools to enable this to be done at a molecular level.
Our dedicated industry team are all experts in different fields of synchrotron research techniques and work closely with our clients to fully understand requirements before recommending the most effective approach. They can support you throughout your experiment, or indeed collect data on your behalf and provide a detailed report analysing the results.
We work within a highly confidential framework so we’re unable to share details of most of our work. However, below are a few examples of research we have conducted with food companies at Diamond.
A team from the University of Nottingham used X-ray diffraction at Diamond to determine the high-resolution structure of a novel β-Glucosidase. They needed to understand how these enzymes function in extreme environmental (industrial processing) conditions for their application within the food industry.
Our food poster demonstrates the opportunities for food research at Diamond and showcases the applications. Take a look to find out more.
In order to improve plant yields, a team from the University of Sheffield used Diamond and ISIS to conduct X-ray and neutron imaging experiments of plants in different soils. This allowed them to determine how variable aggregate size affects the early root architectural establishment in wheat plants.
Claire Pizzey, Deputy Head of Industrial Liaison speaks to the Institute of Food Science and Technology to demonstrate the benefits of using Diamond for the characterisation of foods and food ingredients, to understand their properties and behaviour. To find out more, read the article.
Claire Pizzey from our Industry team recently spoke to representatives from the food industry at Harwell's Food Technology event. If you missed her talk, here's your opportunity to watch it.
Nestle study the properties of the fat crystals contained in oleogels to optimise manufacturing processes and product quality.
Scientists investigate the Se location in wheat grain and its chemical speciation at different stages of wheat growth.
Iron in cornflakes
Scientists study two leading brands of breakfast cereal to determine the speciation of the iron present & therefore the level of absorption into the body.
Researchers investigate the temperature dependence of microstructural changes, and the underlying physical mechanisms that control microstructural stability.
A European research team engineer barley to concentrate zinc in the edible portion of barley grain.
We have used many different techniques to research food, Here are a few of the most used to date.
For structural analysis of materials from the atomic to macro scale. Find out how this technique can be applied to the food industry
For chemical analysis of local atomic structure in materials. Find out how this technique can be applied to the food industry
A high-resolution, non-destructive technique for high speed visualisation of a sample. Find out how this technique can be applied to the food industry
Diamond Light Source is the UK's national synchrotron science facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.
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