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Do the structure of food and the process of digestion hold the solution to the obesity crisis?
Do the structure of food and the process of digestion hold the solution to the obesity crisis?

Press Release - 04 June 2008

Bath Science Café: ‘Healthy’ chocolate and beer could solve obesity crisis

Obesity is a major 21st century disease which threatens to overwhelm the health service. Do we understand enough about food and digestion to design healthy foods that taste as good as the unhealthy foods we consume in such quantities? Professor Peter Fryer will discuss the challenges of the modern diet at the next Science Café (7.30pm Monday 9 June in The Raven pub, Queen Street).

Professor Fryer, Head of Chemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham, believes the way to reduce fat, sugar and salt from our diets is to design foods which retain the taste and flavour, so deliver the ‘unhealthy functionality’, whilst being significantly healthier.

In his talk The engineering of eating - what happens from the mouth down? he will discuss current research in this area, whether we understand enough about how we eat to design new products, and show the directions which food manufacturers are thinking of taking.

He said: “Foods are structurally complex and this structure determines the taste, texture and eating pleasure of food. We need to develop our fundamental engineering understanding of eating and digestion to enable food manufactures to produce foods that are both attractive to consumers and that deliver optimal nutrition and health.”

Professor Fryer leads a group working on applying engineering principles to food manufacture, with current projects on the design of healthy foods as well as on both beer and chocolate.

The talk will be held in The Raven pub in Queen Street in the centre of town. No tickets or reservations are required - just turn up at 7.30pm for an 8pm start. Organisers will ask for a small voluntary donation to cover travel costs for the speakers.

The next Bath Science Café event will be: Extrasolar planets: can we find another Earth? on Monday 14 July.

To register for email alerts about forthcoming Science Café events, please email Melissa Spielman, contact details above.


The University of Bath is one of the UK's leading universities, with an international reputation for quality research and teaching. View a full list of the University's press releases: http://www.bath.ac.uk/news/

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