Personalised Nutrition & Health

The focus of the theme is to understand the significant variability in an individual’s susceptibility to diet related disease and/or response to dietary interventions, as well as conduct national nutrition surveys, with an understanding to promote health.

Related Projects



‌‌a diet bigger logo

Researchers will investigate the development and acceptance of the concept of the 'nutritype' - the expression of dietary intake in a metabolomics profile. This concept will be further developed within A-DIET.


The difficulty of accurately assessing dietary intake is one of the major stumbling blocks in assessing the link between diet and metabolic health or disease. Metabolomics provides a new strategy for defining biomarkers that reflect dietary exposure. 

This research group has been involved in the development and acceptance of the concept of the 'nutritype' - the expression of dietary intake in a metabolomics profile. This concept will be further developed within A-DIET.

A-DIET is a large project, funded by a prestiguous ERC Consolidator Grant awarded to Professor Lorraine Brennan.  You can read more details about Prof Brennan's Reserach Group and their work here.



European Research Grant - Consolidator Award

NUTRIMAL (Novel NUTRItional solutions to combat chronic MALnutrition in the elderly)



NUTRIMAL is a collaborative research project co-ordinated by University College Dublin in collaboration with Teagasc, colleagues in the HSE, and industry partners. The project seeks to understand determinants of malnutrition and sarcopenia, develop novel nutritional food products for older consumers to specifically target malnutrition, and examine their effects on limiting loss of muscle mass and physical function.


Chronic malnutrition is widespread in the Irish elderly population, and has detrimental effects by accelerating the loss of muscle mass (sarcopenia) and physical function. NUTRIMAL (Novel NUTRItional solutions to combat chronic MALnutrition in the elderly) is supported by funding from the Department of Agriculture Food and Marine under the FIRM programme. This work will be co-ordinated by UCD IFH PIs Prof. Helen Roche and Dr. Brendan Egan at UCD, in collaboration with Teagasc, the HSE, and several food ingredient companies with a view to developing new food products to combat malnutrition. This is a multidisciplinary research programme that encompasses malnutrition and sarcopenia surveillance, consumer behaviour of older adults, derivation of new food products to target sarcopenia, and will investigate the effect of dietary intervention targeting malnutrition-related sarcopenia. Individuals with an interest in healthy aging and prevention of malnutrition in older adults are welcome to contribute to this research project. Please feel free to contact the research team to discuss opportunities by contacting Brendan or Helen.



Funding for NUTRIMAL is provided by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) under the Food Institutional Research Measure (FIRM), reference number 14/F/822

Dr Sinéad McCarthy, Teagasc Food Research Centre
Dr Maureen McGowan, Dietitian Manager, HSE
Margaret O'Neill, National Dietetic Advisor, HSE
Dr. Nora Khaldi, Nuritas

UCD Twin Study

This project involves a national study of diet, metabolism and genetics in Irish twins


The Institute is currently conducting a national study which aims to establish a clearer picture of the relationship between food choice, food intake and metabolism of Irish twin adults.  Metabolism is influenced by a combination of factors including our genes, our diet and our lifestyle.  Studies that involve identical and non-identical twins allow us to separate aspects of metabolism that are influenced by our genes from those that result from our environment. 

If you are identical or non-identical twins aged 18-65 years and would like to take part in our study please contact us at or on 01 716 2808.



To upload data from the JINGO Project Databases and that from Other Irish-Led Initiatives to a Central European Nutritional Phenotype Database.


‌The European Nutritional Phenotype Database Sharing Initiative within the Joint Programme Initiative (JINGO-JPI) was recently funded through the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, FIRM Programme facilitate the the uploading of all data from the JINGO Project and those of 2 other large research initiatives to a central European Phenotype Database. This project will ultimately suppoty the standardisation of data collection, storage and management through the development of a common methodology and a shared ICT infrastructure.

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, FIRM Programme Ref. 13F407  

University College Cork, University of Ulster Coleraine, Trinity College Dublin

National nutrition databases for public health and new product development

This project will examine data collected as part of the national food consumption surveys of adults and preschool children to support product development and policy formation.


The aim of this project is to carry out analysis of the IUNA National Food consumption databases to support the development of new knowledge and understanding of what we are eating and to help underpin public health policy, particularly healthy eating guidelines for preschool children and older adults. The information gathered from the project will also be used to inform new product development for Irish food companies in the context of lifestage nutrition.

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, FIRM Programme



NutriTech is a European Union funded research project which will quantify the effect of diet on “phenotypic flexibility” i.e. an individual`s capacity to adapt in time and space to alterations in external conditions.

Funding agency

The goal of NutriTech is to quantify the effect of the diet on “phenotypic flexibility”. Phenotypic flexibility extends on metabolic flexibility (the capacity to adapt fuel oxidation to fuel availability) and includes all underlying mechanisms and physiological processes of adaptation when homeostasis is challenged. Methods will in the first instance be evaluated within a human intervention study, and the resulting optimal methods will be validated in a number of existing cohorts against established endpoints.

NutriTech will use cutting-edge analytical technologies and methods to comprehensively evaluate the diet-health relationship and critically assess their usefulness for the future of nutrition research and human well-being. Technologies include genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, laser scanning cytometry, NMR based lipoprotein profiling and advanced imaging by MRI/MR.

EU Framework Programme.

The project has 23 international partners including UCD. Details of the partners are available here.

Food4Me: Personalised Nutrition - An Integrated Approach

Improvements in the delivery of information and advice on food risk and benefits could lead to fewer food-related illnesses, a reduction in economic losses related to food scares, and improved consumer confidence in foods.


Personalised nutrition involves the delivery of nutritional advice, which takes into consideration both the genotype and the phenotype of an individual. Using the science of nutrigenomics, dietary recommedations can be more focused and tailored to meet the specific needs of an individual rather than the broad requirements of a population. will investigate if an ideal nutritional diet can be designed based on a person's genetic make-up.

This project is funded under the European Commission FP7 programme

The project consortium is a multi-disciplinary team of 25 European partners and also includes collarboration with key players in the area of personalised nutrition globally.

Functional Foods

Identifying foods with specific health benefits, or indeed components within those foods, is central to much of the work conducted within the Institute. At the core of this research is the Food for Health Ireland programme. Focusing on milk and in its second phase, this large multi-centered project seeks to look for ingredients that promote infant development, help to control weight and related health issues, boost immunity or support healthy ageing.


The initial phase of this project (2008-2013) identified bioactive peptides (short protein chains) that have specific health benefits. In this second phase due to continue until 2018, research will predominately focus on the incorporation of these bioactives into foods, their commercialisation  and the exploration of new markets such as sports performance and foods for the elderly population. The project will also look at the challenges of eventually bringing these products to market by ensuring that all scientific and health claims made are fully substantiated and ensuring that they fulfill all legislative requirements.

Funding bodies

The project is funded jointly by Enterprise Ireland and industry partners, including:

  • Kerry Group
  • Glanbia
  • Dairygold
  • Carbery Milk Products
  • UL
  • UCC
  • DCU
  • Teagasc