Project leader Cathie Martin reveals her dream: plant scientists can contribute innovative ways of looking and understanding the benefits of food in our diets
ProjectFLORA is a Specific Targeted Research Project (STREP) funded by the European Commission under the 6th Framework Program.
There is growing evidence that bioactives in the diet play an important role in promoting health. Flavonoids and related phenolics are examples of bioactives from plants that have beneficial influences on a number of important risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease (the leading cause of death in Europe), cancer and age-related degenerative diseases.
The aim of the FLORA project is to establish Europe at the forefront in understanding the link between diet and health, particularly the beneficial effects of flavonoids and related phenolics on cardiovascular disease, stroke and cancer.
This will be done by fostering a unique interdisciplinary approach between plant geneticists, plant biochemists, chemists, food technologists, medical pharmacologists and clinical epidemiologists in this project.
By providing clear recommendations of the efficacy of particular flavonoids and related phenolics to confer protection against target diseases and reliable estimates of active phenolic levels in a directory of foods, this programme will result in a recipe for promoting health through diet that will appeal to the diversity of tastes of European consumers.