At the forefront of improving health, wellness and quality of life through food innovation, Food for Health Ireland (FHI) has announced the start of its second term of funding.

The organisation has also extended its existing work programmes and expertise by collaborating with the Irish Dairy Board, National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway and NUI Maynooth, and Dublin City University.

Promoting a healthy diet for a healthy life, FHI focuses on industry-led research in infant nutrition, glycemic management, appetite modulation, healthy aging, and healthy cheese. Based on the foundation of a world-class scientific research programme, FHI aims to identify bioactive ingredients that can be derived from milk, ensure that any components found satisfy real consumer needs and accelerate their commercialisation.

Established in 2008, the consortium has seen a successful first term of funding, and is now announcing promising results from human intervention studies on its glycemic management and healthy ageing research platforms.

Jens Bleiel, CEO FHI, commented: "Our second term has got off to a great start. A 24 week human intervention study into the effects of a reverse-engineered milk protein-based nutritional supplement on lean muscle mass and quality of life showed significant results in 50-70 year olds, particularly when combined with an exercise programme. This is promising news for the prevention of age-related muscle loss and demonstrates that milk-derived products could meet the growing demand for functional food and beverage products that support healthy ageing and improved quality of life."

Bleiel added: "We’ve also seen interesting results from our second human intervention study, a randomised crossover trial into the effects of a new milk based ingredient on glycemic management in 40-65 year olds that are either overweight but healthy, or have Type 2 non-insulin dependent diabetes. The FHI ingredient significantly reduced postprandial blood glucose levels in obese, healthy subjects, and also helped reduce it in Type 2 diabetics. These results show great promise to improve blood glucose control, a key risk factor in a number of chronic metabolic diseases."