The research sub-group Food Processing and Innovation (FPI) within FMD addresses the key challenges of sustainable food processing with a focus to deliver science and technology unlock for climate smart food innovation. The research programme of FPI encompasses how to (a) further decarbonise the food processing/manufacturing (focus will be to develop capacity in non-thermal and bio- processing), (b) deliver novel product technologies including alternative protein based food, (c) delineate inter-relationship between ingredient functions, process, and product qualities (e.g. organoleptic attributes like flavour and texture) for food that does good to the people and planet, (d) understand consumer behaviour and (e) expand the shelf life of fresh produce and processed foods. This FPI research group has successfully secured fundings from Innovate UK, GCRF, STFC Food Network+, Defra, ERA-NET SUSFOOD2, Eat It Up etc. and had also contributed to a UKRI report on emerging opportunities and challenges of alternative protein sector in the UK (New report reveals next steps for the alternative protein industry – UKRI). Besides that, the emphasis of this group is on the enterprise support to promote knowledge exchange which includes strengthening industry partnership via securing contract research and delivering food research and innovation support for regional agri-food businesses through our food accelerator programme. The group also supports M.Sc. Food Innovation students undertaking thesis project by providing access to the food processing and product development laboratories at the state-of the-art Medway Food Innovation Centre.

Group Leaders

Dr Parag Acharya

Senior Fellow in Food Innovation, Innovation Growth Manager, Growing Kent & Medway Cluster

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