More than €26 million has been awarded to 51 food and forestry research projects by the Department of Agriculture, Minister Simon Coveney announced this morning.
Several of the projects are investigating novel health benefits of foods. A joint Teagasc/UCC/NUIG project will investigate the potential of omega 3, derived from marine algae, to prevent depression and boost mental health.
A University of Limerick/University of Ulster project is looking at the use of peptides found in seaweed and fish byproducts in controlling diabetes. It is also investigating the possibility that these peptides could help appetite control, by giving the sensation of “feeling full”.
Meanwhile, researchers in UCD and Teagasc are measuring the beneficial effects of grass-fed beef in areas such as glucose control and heart health.
Other projects are looking at food safety, climate change, controlling disease in crops and improving soil quality.