At the Institute for the Advancement of Food and Nutrition Sciences research serves as the foundation for our actions. See our current grant opportunities below.

Current Opportunities:

Scientific integrity is a core value of IAFNS. Learn how we embed scientific integrity into every step of our research process.

Projects Funded by IAFNS:

IAFNS's mission is to advance food safety and nutrition science for the benefit of public health. View projects funded by IAFNS below, and learn how we embed scientific integrity into every step of our research process.

Heavy Metals in US Foods: Exposure Assessment by Age Group and Mitigation Strategies

Heavy metals such as arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), and mercury (Hg) have the potential to cause neurocognitive impairment to infants and young children who are exposed to them in their diets. These elements can also cause chronic toxicological effects in older children and adults. To help address these risks it is important to […]

A Framework for Heavy Metal Prioritization and Mitigation for Reducing Metal Intake: Rice and Spinach Case Studies

Rice is a significant source of arsenic and other elemental toxins (e.g. mercury and cadmium) to the human diet, particularly in foods for babies and young children. Spinach is a significant source of the highly toxic metals Cd and Pb as well as other chemicals with negative health implications (e.g., organics, perchlorate), but the processes […]

The Scientific Basis of Communicating Carbohydrate Quality

A workshop was convened jointly with Diabetes Canada to advance the dialogue between scientists and regulatory experts on science-based indices that can be used in communicating physiologic effects of carbohydrates in foods. Experts agreed that the carbohydrate quality of a food would take into account multiple factors, including whole food credentials, the glycemic response to […]

Standing Committee on Bioactive Recommendations

Growing evidence suggests that lutein for vision and flavan-3-ols for cardiovascular disease could be candidates for quantified recommended intakes. In 2014, Elwood et al. pointed out the challenges and suggested that a framework be developed to recommend bioactive intakes not currently covered by approaches used to establish nutrient intakes to prevent deficiencies. A standing committee […]

Beverage Caffeine Intake Study

A large variety of new caffeinated beverage products have entered the market in recent years, including new types of energy drinks, cold brew and ready-to-drink specialty coffees and teas, and caffeinated waters and sports drinks. With shifts towards remote work and learning, online food and grocery ordering, and rapid pickup and delivery options for consumers, […]

Identify Safety Barriers to Broad Adoption of Recycled Polyolefins for Food Packaging

Defining a path to the production of clean recycled plastics is key to their sustainable use in food and beverage packaging. Despite significant advances in recycling science, obstacles remain to broad utilization of recycled plastics including the need for reliable and predictable sources of safe and inexpensive post-consumer products. This project will identify key elements […]

Updating USDA Food Composition Databases with Common Data Elements on Flavonoids

Public health is determined not only by essential nutrients present in foods, but also dietary bioactives and their metabolites. Observational studies on diet and health outcomes rely on quality food composition databases, most of which are nearly devoid of non-essential health promoting bioactive components such as flavonoids. Lack of standard terms adds complexity, making it […]

Metabolic and Physiological Effects of Added Fibers for Children Across the Age Spectrum

Fibers added to foods may provide specific health benefits, but these relationships would benefit from research specifically on children rather than extrapolated from adults. This project will prioritize research needed to understand the relationship between fibers added to foods and support specific health outcomes at varying stages from young children through teens.  The long term […]

Addressing Perceptions of Low- and No-Calorie Sweeteners in the Healthcare Community

Misperceptions are not new about low-and no-calorie sweeteners (LNCSs) within the healthcare practitioner (HCP) community and among consumers. Some confusion can be attributed to the mixed literature on LNCSs that results from variation in study hypotheses, design, interpretation and communication. Understanding HCP perspectives on LNCSs supports science-based information delivery to patients and clients. The first […]

Advancing Exposure Assessment for Food Contaminants Through Implementation of Probabilistic Modeling

Risk assessments for foods, ingredients and additives have evolved over the past few decades to incorporate new techniques such as benchmark dose modeling, and to further develop the utility of tools such as the threshold of toxicological concern, and even to explore advancements in carcinogen risk assessment. However, exposure assessments still tend to rely on […]

Evidence Map on the Relationship Between Exposure to Dietary Sweetness and Body Weight-Related Outcomes in Adults

Dietary recommendations from numerous governmental and health organizations recommend reduced intake of added sugars due to the health risks, including the risk of overweight and obesity. Some recommendations include avoiding dietary sweetness – regardless of the source – based on the hypothesis that reduced exposure to dietary sweetness will reduce the preference and desire for […]

Cardiometabolic Effects of Low Carbohydrate/Healthy Fat Diets

Despite robust research on the implications of modifying the fat content and composition of the diet on health, this has not been systematically studied in those following various low carbohydrate diets. Recommendations for lower carbohydrate diets should be clear about how to make food substitution choices that promote overall health. Institution: Tufts University Principal Investigator: […]