The Centre for Nutrition and Food Sciences (CNAFS) is a virtual centre established in 2003 at the University of Queensland in collaboration with the Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries. Support from within the University comes from faculties representing physical/engineering, biological/chemical, health/nutrition, and agriculture/food disciplines. The Centre aims to develop projects and collaborations that:
- exploit post-genomic biology and modern physico-chemical sciences
- take a whole-of-chain approach starting from consumer drivers ("fork to farm")
Example areas where research themes are being developed include:
- 'Nutrient metabolomics'. Characterisation of the molecular basis for nutritional benefits from selected foods through a combination of chemical and gene-level analysis of raw materials coupled with in vitro assays for bioactivity. The initial focus will be on tropical fruits.
- 'Natural structuring of foods'. Building 'molecules to materials' understanding of relevant physical properties for foods based on plant or animal structures. Aims include the extension of applications for natural materials in formulated foods, and a predictive capability for energy delivery and micronutrient bioavailability.
- 'Clean and Green Foods'. Addressing the validation of 'clean and green' positions associated with Australian foods. A risk assessment framework built on analytical data from molecular to environmental scales is envisaged as a means of defining potential markers for 'clean and green', and providing a proactive approach to identifying current / future threats and opportunities.