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At the forefront of healthy, safe, and sustainable food

Thursday 10 Oct 19


Christine Nellemann
Director of Institute
National Food Institute
+45 35 88 77 03

The National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, prevents disease and promotes health, develops new and better food products for a growing population, and creates sustainable technological solutions. The ways in which the Institute helps solve some of the biggest global challenges are being highlighted this year, as the institute celebrates its 60th birthday.

When a decision was made on June 5, 1959 to establish a national food institute in Denmark, the focus was initially on chemical analyses and the effects of chemical substances on the health of food.

Since then, several new important focus areas have been added to what is today the National Food Institute. Today, the institute is a strong players when it comes to research into chemical cocktails, antimicrobial resistance, sustainability and gut health—and new fields of research are well underway. These include food allergies, risk-benefit assessments, sustainable diets and food technology.

Solves some of the biggest global challenges

The institute’s vision is to contribute to solving some of the biggest societal challenges the world is facing, while at the same time contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The National Food Institute:

  • Prevents disease and promotes health;
  • Develops new and better food products for a growing population;
  • Creates sustainable technological solutions.
Performs important tasks for the benefit of society

In the role of adviser, the National Food Institute helps authorities and businesses to provide consumers with good health and safe food. Innovation paves the way for new, value-adding solutions for businesses. The institute’s experience is disseminated through education around the world. And world-class research provides the foundation for finding new solutions to global problems. 

These are the current tasks of the National Food Institute, and they have developed over the years. The institute also continues to provide scientific advice to national and international authorities, and increasingly helps the industry develop better and safer products. Furthermore, the institute educates students in Denmark and abroad in areas of great importance to the global food market: Food technology, food safety and nutrition.

An international research and knowledge centre

Initially, the National Food Institute was primarily a national institute. Today the institute is an international research and knowledge centre.

The research is largely carried out in international networks and consortia. The institute's researchers and advisors also participate in a large number of expert groups, panels, committees and working groups under the auspices of e.g., the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the EU, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Nordic Council of Ministers and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Furthermore, the National Food Institute has been appointed as EFSA’s Focal Point in Denmark, and as WHO’s collaborating centre for antimicrobial resistance and genomics. The institute is also reference laboratory for antimicrobial resistance, for pesticides in cereals and feeding stuffs, for processing contaminants in food, and for metals and nitrogenous compounds in food and feed. 

Read more

Read more about how National Food Institute has developed up until the present time in an article from the National Food Institute’s 60th anniversary publication: At the forefront of health, safe and sustainable food - for the benefit of society

The anniversary publication was handed out to the guests at an Open Day event held on 11 June 2019 to celebrate the National Food Institute’s anniversary. The other articles from the anniversary publication will be published over the coming months.