Ensuring food security is as topical as ever. Providing people worldwide with healthy and safe food is an enormous challenge. However, there is an urgent need for sustainable solutions regarding food production as well as taking a closer look at the optimum nutrient utilisation. A key requirement of global food supply is not only the quantity but as well the quality - the nutritious value - of food. Thus, a full and detailed study of the entire production sequences and the value chains is needed, including topics such as the effects of food on health, the environmental and social impact of dietary patterns and consumer preferences, optimum nutrient utilization, or animal welfare. It is an interdisciplinary challenge to define hypotheses and research questions and to develop innovative approaches to come closer to solving the dilemma of sufficent and sustained food production and supply.
Finding answers to these questions requires the bundling of expertise and competencies, and conceptual thinking beyond disciplinary borders. Complex societal tasks need progressive approaches. Precisely, the aim of the Leibniz Research Alliance 'Food and Nutrition' is to build on valuable disciplinary expertise while taking in new perspectives, evaluate potentials and plan solutions for a sustainable food production and healthy nutrition.
The Leibniz Research Alliance "Sustainable Food Production and Healthy Nutrition" focuses on five research areas that are interlinked and aim to optimize synergies between scientific knowledge and competencies.
Research in this area addresses global food security in consideration of the qualitative and quantitative challenges of food and feed production. By research at global level - considering region specific parameters - the research area will continue to find solutions that ensure access to nutritious, high-quality and affordable food for the entire population.
To develop a sustainable agricultural production system that includes ecological, economic and social aspects, an intense interdisciplinary exchange of scientific knowledge is needed.
The Initiative Agriculture 4.0 of the Leibniz Research Alliance works on sustainable livestock farming, sustainable crop farming and horticulture, food safety and non-food safety with an emphasis on sensor-technology, linking the agricultural with the food sector.
The food markets' development worldwide is affected by a number of variables. Consumption patterns and consumer preferences change in the course of economic development, just as the focus of EU and worldwide agricultural, environmental and nutrition policies change. The influence of processors and distributors on agricultural and food markets increases. In the view of these considerations, the research area analyses the multiple direct and indirect relations and feedbacks between the different actors and their respective decisions.
To obtain high-quality and safe food for an ever-growing number of consumers world-wide, a development of innovative and intelligent techniques and infrastructures along the value chain is called for. Thereby animal welfare and consumer protection have to be increased. The analysis of plant compounds and the optimisation of feed and food quality are to be the central tasks of research.
The focus of the research area "Nutrition and Health" is on the importance of an adequate age-based diet for a healthy life and ageing. This includes, among other things, the development of customised food, the analysis of dietary and consumer habits and the biological basis of food choice.
Leibniz Research Alliance 'Sustainable Food Production and Healthy Nutrition'
Dr. Vera Tekken (Coordinator)
Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy (ATB)
' +49 331 - 5699 854