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Research Overview


Areas of Research

Our mission is to deliver high-quality 'impactful research' that address societal challenges and enhance consumer confidence in food safety, nutritional health, and related matters in Hong Kong.

The research area for the Department of Food Science and Nutrition (FSN) is to enhance health by focusing on different aspects of food science and human health.

In terms of food science, our research embraces the bifacial side of food in human health, including:

  • food nutrition, functional foods and Chinese medicine in promoting human health;
  • harmful materials in food causing human diseases like food allergens, foodborne pathogens and harmful chemical contaminants;
  • food security to ensure a sufficient supply of food for humans

In terms of human health, we will conduct research to:

  • understand the interaction between food and human microbiome and the human immune system;
  • advance food processing, preservation methods and food contaminants detection methods to ensure food safety;
  • develop therapy treatment and moderate immune response to food allergens to safeguard human health

Food safety has become an important issue with the increasing globalization and expansion of international food trade. FSN will continue to develop in the following directions:

  1. Establishment of a food safety early warning system to monitor food safety in Shenzhen and Hong Kong;
  2. Development of key technology on rapid diagnosis of food-borne pathogens;
  3. Development of key technology on rapid detection of chemical contamination in food products;
  4. Development of new technology to improve food safety in food processing and preservation;
  5. Development of control measures to enhance food safety and
  6. Provision of food safety related services in the Greater Bay Area, including participation in policy-making, education and food sample detection services.

We focus on the following directions:

  1. Gut microbiome on different diseases such as metabolic diseases (obesity and hypertension), osteoporosis, inflammatory bowel disease and long COVID;
  2. Bioactive microbial derived metabolites from plant-based diet and tonic food;
  3. Use of indigenous beneficial microbes, the nutrients supporting their growth and their derived metabolites to promote health in human and animals.

We study ways to improve food production systems – with the ultimate goal of developing efficient production methods for safe and high-quality food.

We aim to conduct interdisciplinary research, including nutrition, agriculture, molecular biology and biomedical sciences, to understand the efficacy of functional foods and to develop novel food products for general health maintenance.

We serve as a unique and cross-disciplinary platform that enables collaborations amongst basic scientists, nutrition epidemiologists, healthcare professionals and industries and aim to establish an e-Health platform as a solution for the self-management of the ageing population in long run.

Apart from cutting-edge research, FSN works hand-in-hand with the recently established Research Institute for Future Food (RiFood), Research Centre for Chinese Medicine Innovation (RCMI) and Food Safety and Technology Research Centre (FSTRC) to provide interdisciplinary solutions for major social challenges through advanced research and knowledge transfer. Efforts will be made to create societal impact through partnerships and interactions with academia, industry and government, with a particular focus on the Greater Bay Area (GBA).

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