Research

Each of the institutions which make up IUNA has its own active nutrition research programme. Where appropriate, collaborative research programmes are established.  The following projects are illustrative of some of this collaborative research:

1. Applied Nutrition and Food Safety Research

In recent years, IUNA has completed a number of comprehensive national nutrition surveys.  The information collected during these surveys is used to develop effective nutrition policies and health promotion campaigns throughout Ireland, and to estimate exposure to food chemicals.  The surveys conducted to date are listed below:

The North/South Ireland Food Consumption Survey (2001)

Harrington K.E., Robson P.J., Kiely M., Livingstone M.B., Lambe J. and Gibney M.J. (2001) The North/South Ireland Food Consumption Survey: survey design and methodology. Public Health Nutrition 4, 1037-1042

The National Children’s Food Survey (2005)

IUNA (2005) National Children’s Food Survey. Main Report. www.iuna.net

The National Teen’s Food Survey (2008)

IUNA (2008) National Teens’ Food Survey. Main Report. www.iuna.net

The National Adult Nutrition Survey (2011)

IUNA (2011) National Adult Nutrition Survey. Summary Report. www.iuna.net

The National Pre-School Nutrition Survey

IUNA (2012) National Pre-School Nutrition Survey. Summary report. www.iuna.net

2. Metabolic, cellular and molecular nutrition research

IUNA members have been involved in a significant number of research programmes in the area of cellular and molecular nutrition.  Under the Food for Health Research Initiative (2007-2012), funded by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, IUNA partners are creating a National Nutrition Phenotype Database.  This database will extend and add depth to traditional dietary survey databases by combining dietary, physical activity, anthropometry and lifestyle data with nutrigenomics technology data from three distinct projects.  Collectively, the database is called JINGO or the Joint Irish Nutrigenomics Organisation and the three contributing projects are:
1.     National Adult Nutrition Survey (NANS) led by University College Cork (1500 adults aged 18+ yrs)
2.    Trinity-Ulster Department of Agriculture Project (Acronym TUDA) conducted by Trinity College Dublin and the University of Ulster at Coleraine (6000 adults aged 60+ yrs)
3.    Metabolic challenge study (Acronym MECHE) led by University College Dublin (300 adults aged 18-60 yrs)
Further details of all three studies are available here (www.ucd.ie/jingo).

3. The Food Graduate Development Programme

The Food Graduate Development Programme was developed by UCD, UCC and Teagasc.  The aim of the programme is to provide skills training to postgraduate students and research staff funded under the Food Institution Research Measure (FIRM) in universities and research institutions in Ireland. The training is specifically tailored to the needs of postgraduates with a food/nutrition based background, with modules focusing on the skills required by leaders in the agri-food sector, food industry and other institutions both nationally and internationally.  Further information on the food graduate programme is available here .