Smartfood research aims to integrate the existing knowledge on molecular mechanisms of metabolism and chronic diseases, with the emerging awareness on the influence which nutrients exert on systemic metabolism. The quantity, quality and frequency of foods we consume are the most powerful environmental factors that affect health status and life expectancy. The body of scientific literature that distinguishes this observation includes: (i) epidemiological studies, which analyse the associations between food habits and the onset of diseases; (ii) nutritional intervention studies, which assess the effects of food consumption, on markers of disease risk, and inspect the mechanisms of these observed effects; (iii) studies using cell and animal models.
This area of the program focuses on surveys and epidemiological studies, in particular on the role exerted by nutrients on specific metabolic pathways, which in turn affects the health status and thus lifespan.
Smartfood program is also aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle, providing practical tools to adapt the information, obtained through scientific research, to people's daily eating habits. Basing each activity on the results of scientific research, the communication program is focused at supplying useful tools for making practical and well-informed food choices, on a daily basis. All this is in agreement with the fact that a healthy diet can also be varied, appetising and adequate for every age group, thus satisfying any nutritional requirements. Therefore, the program covers several mass communication areas such as: books, magazines, newspapers, radio, television, internet and social networks.
Education and Training
The deep knowledge in nutrition sciences allows the Smartfood team to translate national and international guidelines, recommendations and scientific studies into practical tools, which can be useful for both healthcare professionals, in their clinical practice, and company's employees in their everyday life.
Smartfood activities include also the "workplace health promotion", which provides not only the opportunity to improve health and well-being at work, but, importantly, to allow non-communicable diseases (NCDs) prevention, by improving healthy lifestyle and changing modifiable risk factors. Specifically, Smartfood team works in both ameliorating food choices in cafeterias and vending machines, and organising workshops about healthy eating, for the employees.
Examples of activities:
- Participation in public events and accredited courses.
- Advice services for HORECA retail, catering and food industry (R&D).
All these activities are organised with the contribution of Fondazione IEO-CCM.
New Food Products Research and Development
Applying scientific knowledge to healthy eating, the Smartfood team develops new food products following: (i) food law regulations, (ii) international guidelines on healthy eating and nutritional parameters.
This emerging activity allows Smartfood program to practically fill the gap between the nutritional recommendations to the population and their daily eating habits, thus offering novel food products designed to reach specific nutritional goals.
Also this project is developed with the contribution of Fondazione IEO-CCM.