Research

With more than 350 laboratories and research groups, EPFL has a diverse, committed and stimulating research community that is active over a wide range of disciplines. The INFC spans the various research projects and find their applicability in the domain of food and nutrition.

It exists an endless amount of complex challenges related to food and nutrition and EPFL's numerous areas of research offer many opportunities to provide solutions, especially through interdisciplinary collaborations. The IFNC identified the following research orientations:

Studying and understanding how the human body works and how each individual reacts to different nutrients for a better health. Amongst others, the IFNC aims to strengthen our knowledge and provide solutions related to:

  • Nutrigenomics – studies on the links between genome and nutrition requirements.
  • Metabolism – research on various metabolites, organelles, nutrients, receptors, contaminants.
  • Microbiomes – for food-based therapy or prevention
  • Obesity and weight management
  • Ageing mechanisms
  • Encapsulation and delivery mechanisms
  • Consumer choices & behaviors
  • Digital epidemiology

Being aware that food packaging amounts to 50% of the yearly 141 million tons of packaging waste, it’s necessary to reinvent the whole supply chain by developing sustainable and life-cycled engineered packaging alternatives.

Getting food from the farm to our plate involves complicated supply chains.

Applied science, such as food chain digitalization, blockchain, algorithms or captors and sensors technologies – in other words, the Internet of Things – can help us improve transparency in the food industry and rebalance supply and demand. As a result, we should be able to reduce food waste and run a more efficient production as well as taking into account the stakes related to the consumers: trust, food safety, food security and integrity.

Some of the most common and efficient production methods, such as intensive agriculture and livestock farming, can be an ecological or an animal welfare disaster. Thanks to EPFL’s expertise in the areas of robotics, drones, artificial intelligence, satellites, machine learning and many more, we aim to do the research that will enable the development of new technologies more respectful of natural resources and dramatically reducing the need for chemical intrants. Welcome to the world of precision agriculture!

The IFNC will also consider requests for ad-hoc research projects. Such inquiries will have to go through the following process:

  • Presentation of the research project to the Scientific Director of the IFNC;
  • Depending on the nature of the request and EPFL’s capacities to come into play, the Center will either put the researchers in touch with a relevant Professor, or submit an open “Call for Proposals” to the entire faculty.

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One of the IFNC's missions is to connect EPFL's research expertise with the industry know-how in order to generate research around food and nutrition and translate it into real collaboration opportunities. And real impact!