The combined pressures of a growing population and improved living standards in the developing world means that there is a greater demand for food production and processing that are water-, land- and energy-efficient.
Chemical engineers are addressing these challenges by applying scientific and engineering solutions to food production, in terms of improved processing for quality enhancement and energy reduction, within a systems view that clarifies how food interacts with other aspects of human activity and endeavour.
In the School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science we carry out research in life cycle analysis and the overall environmental impact of food manufacturing, and in understanding specific food operations and processes. Cereals underpin the food supply, providing more than half of what we eat globally and crucially influencing international trade, relations, politics, food security, health and well-being. We have a substantial research activity understanding process engineering aspects of cereal-based foods such as bread and beer, and how the demand for cereals to lead the development of biorefineries for sustainable chemical and energy production impacts on and interacts with the food supply. Cereals are also the basis of healthy diets, and our work aims to encourage production of healthy and appealing foods through, for example, probiotic foods or wholegrain products of enhanced consumer appeal.