In the Division of Food and Nutrition Science in the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, research is under way that aims to raise the quality of food, reduce food waste and use alternative sources with which to produce nutrients sustainably. This includes making use of residual products and improving various properties of foods. One research field in the division is focused on nutrition in low-income countries and concerns two of the largest health problems linked to diet, namely iron and vitamin A deficiencies.
In Tanzania 75% of the population is employed in farming, but productivity is among the lowest south of the Sahara. Households in rural areas are much more vulnerable than those based in urban areas – the food supply is very uncertain for no less than 22% of the rural communities, compared to 8% for Tanzania as a whole. Researchers at Chalmers and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences are participating in a research project at the university in Dar es Salaam with the aim of securing access to food by improving the productivity, processes and value chain in farming.
The equivalent of about 23,000 truckloads of food (1.2 million tonnes) is thrown away each year. Most of it is thrown away by consumers, but logistics systems also account for a large proportion of the food waste. At Chalmers research projects are in progress in the Department of Technology Management and Economics into how actors in the food supply chain can work on reducing their environmental impact
. Both food waste and the environmental impact of transport can be reduced through the use of specific tools, such as filling trucks more effectively and strengthening collaboration between various actors in the food supply chain.