Is it possible to design a better, healthier and more individual diet? Understanding the relationship between food and gene expression may make this a reality. Food4Me is a university led, EU funded research project investigating all aspects of this exciting field.
The complete mapping of the human genome sequence in 2000 introduced the possibility of individualised medicine, including personalised nutrition. During this time the field of “nutrigenomics” emerged, which examines the relationship between food and gene expression. Many were hopeful about the ability to plan diet recommendations based on an individual’s genetic profile.
However, the promise of personalised nutrition has failed to develop as a commercial service, and matching dietary advice to genetic profiles has proven difficult. Some companies offer genetic mapping and health reports, but these services are often based on inaccurate information.
There is a need to comprehensively analyse the opportunities and challenges in the field of personalised nutrition. In addition, the fundamental question remains, “how can we best use our current understanding of food, genes, and physical traits to design healthier diets tailored for each individual?”
To address these concerns, Food4Me has gathered an international group of experts to survey the current knowledge of personalised nutrition, and to explore the application of individualised nutrition advice. The Food4Me project will also investigate consumer attitudes and produce new scientific tools for implementation.
The strategic aims of Food4Me are:
- To determine the application of personalised nutrition, through the development of suitable business models, research on technological advances, and validation of delivery methods for personalised nutrition advice.
- To compile current scientific knowledge and consumer understanding of personalised nutrition—including best practice communication strategies and ethical boundaries—to be shared with the EU institutions, the food industry, and other stakeholders.
For more information please visit the website Food4Me.