In 1942, Victor Lindlahr published You Are What You Eat: How to Win and Keep Health with Diet, which appears to have popularised this now proverbial wisdom about the relationship of diet and self, in English at least. Of course, this insight has appeared in numerous forms throughout human history, but with the benefit of decades of intensive research, it has rarely seemed so true. Diet has been linked with almost every aspect of human health, from the carcinogenic effects of certain foods (red and processed meats) to the impact of diet on mental health.
Alongside this vast expansion of research into diet, no other subject has become home to as many myths, fads, and suspiciously-reasoned advice. Between the large industry dedicated to promoting new products and the sometimes sensationalist reporting of the media, knowing exactly what is or isn’t ‘true’ about diet today has become an even harder task than ever before.
Thankfully, the AFTP’s training portfolio has a wide variety of different modules in this area, each designed and led by experts in their respective fields. Diet Quality and Health, for example, addresses many of the points raised above, and will introduce you to the impact of diet on a wide range of public health concerns, including cardiovascular disease and obesity. Through online lectures campus workshops you will explore the science behind healthy eating, the role of dietary guidelines, and the role of industry in communicating healthy eating practises to the public.
On the question of regulatory guidelines, International Food Law: The Basics offers a chance to get an up-to-the-minute understanding of food law in an international context. Online lectures and discussions will guide you through recent historical developments in food law, before tackling the current legal requirements imposed on a number of different industries. In the face of the UK’s changing international relationships, this module will provide you valuable knowledge about the future of food regulations.
Turning from legal frameworks, Food Flavour and Sensory Evaluation – Statistical Methods and Interpretation both provide a closer look at food itself, particularly the way that we experience flavour, and what research methods can be brought to bear on this area. In Food Flavour you will explore the biochemical origins of flavour, key chemical processes (such as caramelisation and the Maillard reaction), and the interaction of flavour with the nose and mouth. As a counterpart to this detailed look at flavour biochemistry, Sensory Evaluation will provide you with a robust set of statistical tools for analysing flavour data. This is a crucial module for those looking to work with data to create new flavours for products, but the skills you will develop here have broad relevance across the industry as a whole.
Finally, if you would like to gain a better appreciation for how individuals act when it comes to buying food products, Understanding and Influencing Consumer Behaviour will provide a scientific overview of consumer motivations. As well as exploring the psychological and socio-cultural influences on consumer behaviour, this module will also allow you to develop customer profiles for your products.
Poor diet linked to one in every five deaths according to a new study the Guardian reports.
Fasting is the new frontier in ‘longevity science’ suggests CNBC.
Katie Langin hypothesises what would happen if all Americans went vegan.
Science Daily reports that mushrooms may have antiaging properties.
A study suggests that people eating slowly and mindfully are less likely to gain weight or develop metabolic syndrome, the Telegraphs reports.
AgriFood Training Partnership
The University of Reading
PO Box 226, Whiteknights
Reading RG6 6AP