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:

Advancing Exposure Assessment for Food Contaminants Through Implementation of Probabilistic Modeling

The IAFNS Food and Chemical Safety Committee is pleased to announce it is accepting applications for the above project.

Risk assessments for foods, ingredients and additives have evolved over the past few decades to incorporate new techniques such as benchmark dose modeling. Additionally, risk assessment approaches have evolved to include thresholds of toxicological concern, and advancements in carcinogen risk assessment. While these advancements have enhanced the way in which health-based guidance values are derived, exposure assessments still tend to rely on deterministic approaches utilizing very conservative inputs. Deterministic assessments are easy to conduct and easy to interpret; however, as point estimates of exposure, they do not account for variability in the level and/or likelihood of occurrence of a chemical/contaminant or population differences in exposure inputs (e.g., food consumption amount and frequency). Probabilistic assessments can further refine deterministic assessments using distributions for various exposure inputs and, as such, better account for exposure variability and uncertainty.

Building from analysis of the current state of adoption of probabilistic exposure modeling by regulatory agencies to inform risk management decisions and regulation for food contaminants, this project will highlight the value of further integration of probabilistic exposure assessments into regulatory frameworks and discuss factors that hinder widespread adoption of probabilistic exposure models. Details and full instructions can be found in this RFP form.

Please submit proposals by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on April 10, 2021 to Neal Saab at



Knowledge Mapping Opportunity: Metabolic and Physiological Effects of Fiber Sources for Children Across the Age Spectrum

The IAFNS Carbohydrates Committee is pleased to announce it is accepting applications for the above project.

The objective of this effort is to publish a qualitative scoping assessment on metabolic and physiological effects of added isolated or synthetic fibers among children from 1 to 18 years of age in order to identify evidence, research gaps and priority research needs, as well as determine whether there is sufficient evidence to conduct a quality systematic review on a specific added fiber and health outcome.

Proposal information is available here. Instructions for submissions can be found in this RFP form

Please submit pre-proposals by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on April 30, 2021 to Barbara Lyle at



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.

Simulating Powdered Product Sampling to Improve Food Safety Sampling Plans

Drawing accurate conclusions about whether an ingredient or finished product is safe based on the results of a test is important to the evaluation and management of food safety risk. With the expected prevalence of contamination in today’s food system at less than 1%, extremely large samples sizes are required to reliably detect contamination, and […]

Assessing the Effect of Medical Nutrition Therapy That Employs the Use of LCSs on QOL Measures Using Family Patient Surveys

Low- and No- calorie sweeteners (LNCSs) have been acknowledged as a tool for reducing the intake of total carbohydrates and particularly added sugars in the nutritional management of diabetes. LNCSs may also help to improve Quality of Life (QoL). QoL is an important aspect in management of diabetes as reduced QoL can negatively affect diabetes-related […]

Broader Dietary Value of Food Category Contributors to Sodium Intake

As noted in the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee report, there is significant overlap between food categories that contribute to sodium intake and to vegetable intake. To ensure appropriate and effective messaging, dietary guidance, and food development or modification, it is important to understand the totality of nutrients and food groups provided by commonly consumed […]

Assessing the Value of Dietary Live Microbes: Toward a Recommended Intake That Supports Health

Scientific evidence points to a role for dietary live microbes in human health. There is an opportunity to evaluate the degree to which existing evidence supports development of a dietary recommendation for live microbes, as well as to identify gaps in the evidence toward such a recommendation. This project is envisioned as a long-term initiative […]

The Identification of Microbially-Derived Metabolites as Biomarkers: What Changes of Which Metabolites Matter for Health?

Identifying microbially‐derived metabolites that may serve as biomarkers for health, or metabotyping, is a necessary step to understanding the role of the microbiome in human health. Ultimately, knowing what metabolites (including presence and quantity) matter for health can inform development of a nutritional strategy for health benefits and the prevention of adverse health outcomes such […]

Development of a Research Framework for Evidence-Based Assessment of Potential Carcinogens in Human Diets

Risk assessment of chemicals that are potentially carcinogenic in humans often relies on extrapolation from carcinogenicity bioassays. There is a growing belief in the scientific community that evidence-based risk assessment can replace historical, over-protective guidance-based approaches. However, there is no consensus within the scientific community on an approach or framework for the application of an […]

Guiding Principles for Sodium Reduction Strategies in Food: A Compendium

Significant knowledge exists about sodium reduction in foods, some of which is captured in Food & Drug Administration guidance documents. But progress made to date has not been captured in a publicly accessible format, and where it is available, it is not in a domain typically accessed by the public health community. Developing a compendium […]

Impact of Dietary Sweetness Exposure on Future Dietary Intake: Reanalysis of Existing Intervention Trial Data

Several global health authorities recommend avoidance of sweetness in the diet from both sugar and low-calorie or non-nutritive sweeteners, due to concerns that intake of sweet taste drives a preference for more sweetness, with ultimate negative consequences for energy intake and weight. However, the scientific data available to understand the role of sweetness in the […]

Effect of Low-Calorie Sweetener Intake on Glycemic Response

Globally, dietary guidance recommends reducing added and total sugars in the diet to reduce caloric intake and chronic disease. Low-calorie sweeteners (LCS) present an option for reducing calories while providing sweetness in the diet, but questions remain regarding the effects of LCS on health, including its effects on glycemic response and diabetes. This project will […]

Standardizing Method and Development of Normal Values to Measure Human Small Intestinal and Colonic Permeability

Maintaining—or restoring to normal—gut barrier function is not currently recognized as a physiologic benefit of fiber consumption, in part due to lack of agreement by experts in the field on how to define and measure normal gut barrier function in human nutrition research. An IAFNS sponsored expert panel published an article in 2019 summarizing the […]

Metabolic and Physiological Properties of Rare Sugars Review Paper

Rare sugars are monosaccharides or disaccharides that exist in small quantities in nature and have unique metabolic and physiological properties that help distinguish them from more commonly consumed sugars like fructose and glucose. Due to their unique properties, rare sugars offer potential health benefits as part of an overall healthy diet pattern, including slower intestinal […]

Global Comparison of How Short-Term Blood Glucose Response to Food is Measured and Translated

The wide range of methods used to describe the impact of food on short-term glycemic response makes it challenging to apply research results broadly, including but not limited to its use on food labels. The choice of approach should be informed by selecting a validated method that translates into a meaningful consumer and public health […]