Nutrition and Global Food Security

Nutrition and Global Food Security

Increases in the population and life expectancy over the next 40 years are predicted to result in  a doubling in global food requirements. Furthermore, the economic development predicted in many highly populated countries, is likely to lead to increased demand for processed food, dairy produce, meat and fish. These changes in demand, set against a background of predicted climate change, present one of the biggest challenges ever faced by the world’s food production systems. The extensive expertise of researchers at the University of Nottingham, in both crop and livestock science, is being applied to the urgent need for novel and sustainable approaches to increased food production.

Global Food Security


Improving efficiency of farm animal growth while maintaining nutritional quality is a major focus of ths research programme.

Key aims and expertise

Utilizing our expertise in biochemistry, physiology and molecular biology we are engaged in research associated with sustainable crop and livestock production, while maintaining the nutritional quality of such foods. Work includes:

Study of underutilized plants as potential sources of nutrition for both direct human consumption and animal(including fish) feed.

Optimising farm animal production while maintaining both nutritional and eating quality

Reducing the impact of livestock farming on greenhouse gas emission and water usage

Investigating barriers to reducing meat consumption and identifying alternative protein and micronutrient sources.

Current projects

Pig Feed Efficiency (BBSRC funded in collaboration with Zoetis). A Systems Biology –based project aimed at identify novel targets to increase efficiency in pig husbandry

Control of Muscle Growth and Meat Quality in Sheep (BBSRC funded in collaboration with Pfizer Animal Health). Specifically looking at the impact of calcium on protein metabolism in sheep muscle

FishPlus (In collaboration with Crops for the Future Research) – Investigating novel plant –based food for use in tropical aquaculture

Significant results

  • Established the critical metabolic pathways involved in feed conversion efficiency and identifying potential candidate genes for further intervention
  • Establishing analytic techniques that assess gene expression in food production animals utilising tools based on the extensively characterised human genome
  • Characterisation of the consequences of improving feed efficiency on product quality

Nutrition and Global Food Security

The University of Nottingham
31 North Laboratory, Sutton Bonington Campus
Loughborough, LE12 5RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 6120