Rowett Research highlighted in University Sustainable Development Goals report
The first Sustainable Development Goals report from the University of Aberdeen includes research stories that reflect the breadth of activity across the University, and their impact on one or more of the SDGs. One of these highlighted stories is research into sustainable novel crops carried out by Dr Madalina Neacsu at the Rowett Institute.
Madi’s research promotes diet, food and agriculture biodiversity underpinning health through development of functional foods, nutraceuticals and natural products. With funding from the Scottish Government, she investigates sustainable and healthy high-protein (novel) crops (i. e. buckwheat, hemp) growing or with potential to grow in Scotland. In her work she is focussing on developing technologies to deliver specialised functional foods for chronic disease prevention/management. This is done by translating key findings from human studies into bioactive-formulations and food ingredients using a zero-waste approach, contributing to a circular nutrition and a greener economy.
Her work expanded to Brazil studying quinoa and Malawi studying moringa contributing to bring scientifically proven, patented fair-trade nutraceutical products closer to market.
Madi’s work involves working across industry and academia, contributing to scientific patents and the compilation of dossiers for successful ESFA-approved health claims. She actively participates in knowledge exchange activities, specifically raising public awareness of the importance of consuming plant-based foods for people and planet health and for delivering SDGs.
The University has also created a website to highlight research that impacts some of the Sustainable Development Goals. The section on Health, Nutrition and Wellbeing contains further research from the Rowett which has impacted some of the SDGs. Highlights include research from Professor Lora Heisler identifying targets for type 2 diabetes treatment; Professor Alex Johnstone and the impact that some of her research has had on supermarket shelves; and Professor Jennie Macdiarmid and her work into modelling health and sustainable diets.
Work from Dr Neacsu work was funded by the Scottish Government through the Strategic Research Programme