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FOODNUTRI: national infrastructure in to practise in Northern Savo´s Profile image

FOODNUTRI: national infrastructure in to practise in Northern Savo

01.01.2023 - 31.12.2025
Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences


Main funder

FOODNUTRI: national infrastructure in to practise in Northern Savo funder logo FOODNUTRI: national infrastructure in to practise in Northern Savo funder logo

The project is funded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The project is implemented by University of Eastern Finland (coordinator) and Savonia University of Applied Sciences.


Contact persons


Food environment is in drastic change and there is a huge need for e.g. moving to ecologically sustainable food production and consumption. For consumers the transition to plant-based proteins is, however, not very fast. New alternatives are needed on the market so that the consumers could find tempting, easy-to-use and delicious plant-based choices. The importance of the food’s gut-related and gut microbiome-related effects is recognized in the promotion and maintenance of health and well-being. Food quality has an impact on the gut microbiota and thus also on human metabolism. However, the mechanisms related to the characteristics of the food and human physiology are poorly known, especially related to new foods, such as plant-based proteins.

Health and well-being can be measured in many ways but there is no general, quickly and easily used measuring instrument for diet quality even in the health care. However, diet has a major role in health and risk for chronic diseases. The need to utilize self-reported health-related data in health care is also emphasized in the implementation plan of the regional developing program. Currently used methods to measure diet quality and to give feedback require a lot of time and strong expertise.


The aim of the project is to 1) strengthen regional expertise and platform of research and development as a part of national infrastructure, develop the research platform parts into open research and development products and services, 2) produce a digital application to measure individual’s diet quality and to give automated feedback, and 3) investigate consumers attitudes towards new foods and ingredients in addition to the digital diet quality feedback system.


This project forms a single entity with an investment project we also apply for. We will set up a modular in vitro gut model. With this gut model it is possible to investigate the health-related pros and cons of e.g. plant-based proteins or so called novel foods or their components already in the early stage of the product development. We will also create new models to gather information from consumers related to e.g. opinions, attitudes, and acceptability towards new food sources. The Healthy Diet Index is a scientifically validated, rather short questionnaire that measures diet quality and enables to give feedback of diet quality. We will create, by utilizing service design and the user needs, a digital application in which the individual fills in the questionnaire and receives automated feedback of one’s diet. The feedback includes concrete tips of ingredients, foods and lunch options.

The project partners are University of Eastern Finland and Savonia University of Applied Sciences. The project has a close link to the national FOODNUTRI research infrastructure project.

Results and effectiveness (regional effects):

This regional FOODNUTRI project enables active participation as a part of large, national development project of research and development infrastructure. The main aim, at both regional and national level, is to explore the possibilities to make the research and development platforms open for different stakeholders. The project brings solutions to the aforementioned needs by a) supporting the development of more and more innovative foods, emphasizing the foods’ quality, healthfulness and safety, with the international scientific level research platform, and b) creating novel digital solutions to personalized dietary monitoring. Kuopio region has strong expertise in health and well being technology and nutrition science, both of which we can utilize in the project and produce an entirely new digital service into the regional innovation ecosystem and for the use of research, health care, health and wellness sector, and consumers. The project will increase the importance of the developmental work in North Savo region both nationally and internationally.