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.

Updating the Metal Dietary Exposure Screening Tool

The IAFNS Food and Chemical Safety Committee invests in the training and education of future scientists and leaders in the fields of food and chemical safety and food toxicology by supporting a Summer Fellowship Program for doctoral students. This project focuses on updating the Metal Dietary Exposure Screening Tool. Detection of heavy metals at trace […]

Effect of the Use of Potassium-Based Sodium Replacers on Sodium and Potassium Intakes of the US Population

Sodium intake in the US population exceeds recommendations, and efforts have long been underway to reduce the amount of sodium in foods. Salt in the form of NaCl is the largest source of sodium in processed foods. Given the particular roles NaCl plays in foods (functional, taste, food preservation), it is difficult to remove it […]

Protein Intake and Human Health: Implications of Units of Protein Intake

Current dietary recommendations for protein intake are expressed as grams per kilogram of body weight in recognition of its role as the structural building blocks for lean body mass. Although FAO/WHO acknowledges that this recommendation is appropriate for those in the ideal weight-for-height ranges, it may not be appropriate for those who are overweight. This […]

Sampling of Post-Hurricane Florence Floodwater for Human Foodborne Pathogens

Heavy rainfall and flooding following a hurricane can massively impact water quality, especially via runoff from agricultural and industrial operations. The IAFNS Food Microbiology Committee is supporting researchers at North Carolina State University to examine the emergence, potential routes of contamination and proliferation, as well as virulence and susceptibility of three major foodborne pathogens in […]

Application of Acceptable Daily Intake Values in Nutrition Research Studies that Consider the Safety of Low-Calorie Sweeteners

Several recent publications on the intake of low-calorie sweeteners (LCSs) have compared intake data to the corresponding Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) values. This indicates a use of ADI that may not be appropriate, since ADI is not meant to be considered a threshold for a safety concern at one moment in time. This may lead […]

Nutrient Adequacy and Diet Quality in a Randomized Controlled Trial with Normal and Higher Protein Intake

Foods that are high in protein are often rich in other nutrients that are unique to specific categories of foods (e.g., iron in red meat, vitamin E in nuts). When individuals select a protein-containing food on a calorie-controlled diet, it is at the expense of other foods in the diet. It is unclear what foods […]

Impact of New Labeling for Daily Values on Total Nutrient Intakes from Foods and Beverages

Changes to the Nutrition Facts Panel are underway following recently issued regulations by the FDA to correspond with current Institute of Medicine (IOM) Dietary Reference Intakes. However, the expected impact of this new labeling of Daily Values (DVs) on nutrient values is unknown. The objective of this project is to use the 2009-2010 and 2011-2012 […]

Opportunities for Improvement in Nutrition-Related Research: Implications of Overall Quality and Risk of Bias Domain Ratings

Nutrition research informs consumer eating habits, public policy, healthcare practice decisions and research agenda development. Yet, virtually every individual scientific study has limitations in design and methodology. The purpose of this study is to examine these limitations and identify ways to improve scientific methods and in turn, research quality, in the future. Institution: EF Myers […]

Key Findings and Implications of a Recent Systematic Review of the Potential Adverse Effects of Caffeine Consumption in Healthy Adults, Pregnant Women, Adolescents, and Children

Scientific findings lose their value if they cannot be easily translated for comprehension by diverse audiences. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) also recognizes this fact, and their guidance related to systematic reviews suggests that plain language summaries can improve the work’s usability for general audiences (IOM, 2009). Thus, the aim of this paper is to […]

Investigating the Potential Risk of Untargeted Iron Supplementation Among Cambodian Women

There is a lack of evidence on the safety of untargeted daily iron supplementation in women, especially in countries such as Cambodia, where both anemia and genetic hemoglobinopathies are common. Our aim is to assess biomarkers of potential adverse outcomes in Cambodian women who received daily oral iron supplements in accordance with the recent 2016 […]

Blood Fatty Acid Fingerprint to Predict Risk for Total Mortality

Circulating levels of blood fatty acids are being used to stratify patients into risk categories with regard to the development of chronic disease and death. The fatty acids most clearly associated with reduced risk for cardiovascular disease (CDV) and for death from any cause are the marine omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. However, these […]

Simulating Large-Number Bulk-Product Sampling to Improve Food Safety Sampling Plans

Drawing an accurate conclusion about whether a food ingredient or product is safe based on the result of a test is important to the evaluation and management of food safety risk. It is critical that sampling plans maximize the probability of finding a target hazard in an ingredient or a finished product, particularly with non-uniform […]