Alpro Foundation Research Grants – New Annual Funding Round Focusing on Increasing Dietary Fibre Intake

Support for research to better understand plant-based nutrition in European populations. The 2023 funding round is focused on improving the intake of dietary fibre.

Based in Belgium, the Alpro Foundation supports research and dissemination of evidence-based knowledge on plant-based nutrition and its impact on health and the environment.

The Foundation’s Research Grants support innovative scientific research in the field of plant-based nutrition. The 2023 funding round seeks to improve the understanding of ‘the fibre gap’, with the aim of improving overall health and reducing cost for society.

It is recognised that dietary fibre is an important nutrient within the human diet. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a daily fibre intake of 25g per day. However, food consumption data in Europe suggests that there are significant gaps between the recommended fibre intake and actual intakes. Despite the large body of evidence regarding the health benefits of sufficient fibre intake, it seems difficult for consumers to reach the recommended fibre intake in the current Western diet.

Further understanding is needed about how to improve the intake of fibre by the European population. The aim of the grant should be focused on understanding how to turn the situation around and close ‘the fibre gap’. Potential research areas for the grants could be:

  • Education/communication strategies oriented to consumers that may improve knowledge about fibre content in foods, its health benefits and to promote the intake of those foods.
  • Explore if consumers have sufficient knowledge about the health benefits of fibre beyond the gut.
  • Explore if consumers have sufficient knowledge of their personal level of fibre consumption.
  • Explore the most consumer-friendly, convenient and appealing way to support the public for closing the fibre gap (foods beyond fruits and vegetables).
  • Explore the potential role of novel fibre types in closing the fibre gap.
  • Explore the potential of fibre in plant-based alternatives to animal foods to increase the fibre intake and impact on health.
  • Explore if and which policy actions can help to close the fibre gap.
  • Research the cost for society of the fibre gap (health economics).
  • How to measure the impact for society when closing the fibre gap.

Research proposals could include reviews and/or meta-analysis, consumer research, and short-term human trials. The geographic target area of the research scope is the European population and the target age groups are adults and/or adolescents.

Applicants must be residents of European countries, be affiliated to European universities or European research institutes, and hold at least Master of Science (MSc) degrees or equivalent.

The maximum grant is €60,000 for up to one year.

There is a two-stage application process consisting of a mandatory short (outline) proposal followed by an invited long proposal. Short proposals must be submitted by the deadline of 16 October 2023 (24:00 CET).

(This report was the subject of a RESEARCHconnect Newsflash.)