What’s Cooking, January 2024

What’s Cooking is an update on all things related to SHUFood: Sheffield Hallam University’s food research cluster, comprising, CHEFS (exploring the socio-cultural dimensions of food and drink), SWEFS (exploring drivers and interventions to address food waste), and SHARe (exploring appetite regulation and modulation). What’s been cooking since our last edition?

Mark your calendars! On 24 April, 2-5pm, we’re looking forward to our SHUFood Annual Discourse event, which will be open to all. More details to come, but expect to hear some fantastic presentations about food-focused research reflecting our three cluster themes. It’ll be a busy day: 24 April is also the date for the annual Food and Nutrition All Student Conference, which is an internal event. With the theme “FoodZ”, the event will explore what food means to GenZ, with featured speaker Zoe Hunter from Sheffield’s Food Works.

Check out our recent blog posts from our December focus on sustainability and food:

  • Sustainable Food and Drink: An immersive tasting and learning event: On 7 December, SHUFood and the National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering (NCEFE) teamed up to deliver a research event as part of Sheffield’s Local Food Action Plan. The event offered members of the public a chance to think differently about sustainable food and drink, testing their knowledge with a sustainability quiz while sampling sustainable wine, whiskey and canapés.
  • Di Dean contribute a blog post, ‘To bin or not to bin, that is the question!’ to help get into the holiday spirit, with a focus on creative ways to use up holiday surplus food and reduce waste and a range of helpful recipe and website suggestions.

We’re excited to see our passion for food further reinforced at Sheffield Hallam with the recent appointment of Tim Smith CBE as the University’s Chair of the Board. Tim is the Chairman of Cranswick plc, a leading supplier in the food sector, and the Co-Chair of the Food and Drink Sector Council. He has been the Chairman of the Government’s Trade and Agriculture Commission, was previously Chief Executive of the UK’s Food Standards Agency, and was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to agriculture, food, and drink trade policy in the 2022 New Year Honours.

Below, we have:

  • updates on recent outputs and activities from across SHUFood;
  • resources and calls for papers;
  • the usual call for contributions and content for the March 2024 edition of What’s Cooking. Our newsletter has moved to alternate mid-months: the deadline for submissions (research news and updates, calls for expression of interest, relevant calls for papers/conference/event announcements) to Google Form by Friday 15 March, 9am.

The SHUFood Team!


Cluster Updates

Congratulations to John Dunning, who has been appointed as Non-Executive Director, Trading and Enterprise Board, Yorkshire Sculpture Park. John has also recently been active in his role as member of the Academic Board at HRC Hospitality and Culinary Academy in Sofia, Bulgaria, and as external examiner at César Ritz, in Switzerland, drawing on his expertise with regard to wine research and teaching.

Dr Jordan Beaumont and Lucie Nield, on behalf of the Sheffield Hallam Appetite Research (SHARe) cluster, hosted the regional Association for the Study of Obesity (ASO) meeting in December. This half-day conference brought together students, academics, researchers and industry partners to explore appetite and eating behaviour research from across the Yorkshire region. Over 70 delegates attended the hybrid event, with presentations from Dr Jo Pearce and Claire Wall (Sheffield Hallam University), Bixuan Yan (University of Sheffield), Clarissa Dakin (University of Leeds), Dr Alice Kininmouth (University of Leeds), and Dr Sundus Mahdi (University of York).

Updates from Sheffield Hallam’s Food and Nutrition subject group:

Dr Jo Pearce and Claire Wall have recently published a paper exploring the energy and nutrient content of school lunches that are provided for children attending school-based nurseries (https://doi.org/10.1017/S1368980023002331). Jo and Claire also presented this work at the Sheffield Hallam Appetite Research (SHARe) cluster and Association for the Study of Obesity (ASO) co-hosted regional event in December, which explore appetite and eating behaviour research across the Yorkshire region (https://aso.org.uk/event/aso-yorkshire-network-event-appetite-and-eating-behaviours-children-and-adults-insights). The event was organised by Lucie Nield and Dr Jordan Beaumont in collaboration with the ASO regional team.

Dr Rachel Rundle has just submitted a manuscript with Anna Hawkins (Department of the Natural and Built Environment) titled: “School Food Hero and the Battle of the Food Foe: a story of public health policy, power imbalance and potential”. We ask a lot of school food with very little input and funding, expecting to battle evils of the food industry and competing choice. The paper shows that the School Food Hero is one in a team of Avengers fighting the battle!

Lucie Nield presented a workshop around how to implement research using other people (with international perspective) at the Evidence-Based Healthcare conference in Sicily in October.

Dr Caroline Millman and Anna Sorsby have recently been awarded funding from the RIPEN Hub (https://www.ripenhub.co.uk/) to conduct sensory work on products containing chickpeas, which will include measuring satiety and energy intake. Caroline is also doing some very exciting work with vegan cheese – currently looking to at scaling up recipes and processing changes.

Meg Flint is powering through a mountain of data on plant-based meat alternatives. Meg, along with her supervisory team (Jenny Paxman, Dr Simon Bowles and Dr Tony Lynn) are working on a publication around the sensory attributes of plant-based meat alternatives, which includes some exciting lab analysis on nutrient composition to help better compare meat-based and plant-based products.

Lots of successful funding bids, including two recent internal small grants to explore packed lunches in early years settings (Dr Jo Pearce and Claire Wall) and preliminary work on the perceptions of food addiction (Dr Jordan Beaumont and Jenny Paxman). Even more bid application and successes to share soon, in addition to exciting outputs on perceptions of body morphology, adolescent food choice, food insecurity and childhood obesity, behavioural weight management, school food, food safety, food addiction, nutrition and self-regulation of eating, natural green space and psychological wellbeing, non-invasive brain stimulation techniques, and so much more…

Recent publications:

Badjona, A., Bradshaw, R., Millman, C., Howarth, M. & Dubey, B. (2023). Faba Beans Protein as an Unconventional Protein Source for the Food Industry: Processing Influence on Nutritional, Techno-Functionality, and Bioactivity, Food Reviews International. https://doi.org/10.1080/87559129.2023.2245036

Wall, C., & Pearce, J. (2023). Energy and nutrient content of school lunches provided for children attending school-based nurseries: A cross-sectional study. Public Health Nutrition, 1-26. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1368980023002331


Resources and Calls for Papers

16th Annual Conference of the American Association of Wine Economists (AAWE). Lausanne, Switzerland (July 1-5, 2024). Abstract Submission Deadline: January 31, 2024
Abstracts must be 500–1,200 words long. AAWE membership is required for abstract submissions. Information: www.wine-economics.org


Call for content for the next edition of What’s Cooking

The next edition of What’s Cooking will be mid-March. Please send content (research updates, calls for expression of interest, relevant calls for papers/conference/event announcements) by 9am Friday 15 March via this Google Form.

SHUFood blog

Interested in writing a blog post? These are usually 800-1200 words and written for a general audience in an informal style. Blogs can revisit work you’ve already done (e.g., highlighting a recent output/publication); discuss research or research-related activities (teaching, public engagement, etc.) that you are working on; offer your informed take on contemporary food/drink issues or policy; provide a profile on your research. If you’d like to contribute a piece, please get in touch with Jen (j.smith1@shu.ac.uk).

Want to stay updated? Follow us on X (the platform formerly known as Twitter): @SHUFood. You can also subscribe to the blog and/or join our Jisc email list: see information on the very bottom of each SHUFood blog page.


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