Today, we know 13 vitamins that are essential in a healthy human diet. The 13 vitamins differ significantly in structure, chemical properties and functions in humans. For the past 80 years, our laboratory has played an important role in the challenge of establishing and improving analytical methods for the vitamins in food and supplements. In 1939, the Dane Henrik Dam discovered the last of the 13 vitamins based on related deficiency diseases. Research has shown that these essential vitamin compounds have many other essential functions in our body and that the vitamin activity differs between the compounds executing the same vitamin activity.The platform for vitamin research at the National Food Institute is the development and validation of specific high-precision analytical methods for compounds with vitamin activity in foods and for biomarkers of exposure. Our focus is on the vitamins of which the Danish population has an insufficient intake and vitamins for which the data in the Danish Food Composition Databank are inadequate, non-specific, or missing. The new specific methods have initiated research for the purpose of investigating the activity of each of the vitamin-active compounds performed in animal and human models. Our aim is to understand the origin of the vitamins in order to produce new bio-fortified food, i.e. with increased content of vitamins due to changes during production. Using the principles from farm to fork, the changes during processing are essential and one of our competencies.
Universities and private companies