After four years of joint operation of the Nordic Food Lab (NFL), the NFL’s Board of Directors will transfer the entire NFL to the Department of Food Science at the University of Copenhagen (UCPH FOOD). The self-governing NFL will close down, while its activities will continue as part of the Future Consumer Lab
Chairman of the NFL Board Claus Meyer and Head of UCPH-FOOD Anna Haldrup, pictures by Thomas Grøndahl and Claues Boesen.
For four years, UCPH FOOD and the NFL’s Board of Directors have jointly operated the Nordic Food Lab, whose task has been to explore tastes and foods from the Nordic region. NFL was started by Claus Meyer and René Redzepi in 2008 and it became a part of UCPH FOOD in 2014 to bring together gastronomy and food science in the exploration of taste in relation to, among other things, resource utilisation and sustainability. The collaboration has led to many exciting results and, while the self-governing institution is closing down, the NFL’s research into taste and sustainability will continue in the Future Consumer Lab at UCPH FOOD.
The creation of NFL in 2008 was the result of an idea to raise the level of ambition for product development in the food industry by involving chefs in the conversation between the university’s basic research, agriculture and the food industry. The aim was sustainable and more palatable food products with stronger entrepreneurship and greater innovation.
“From the perspective of the board of directors, this mission has been accomplished. Therefore, we are now transferring the activities of the Nordic Food Lab to the Department of Food Science at the University of Copenhagen, which will continue the tradition of close collaboration with the world of gastronomy. Over the years, Nordic Food Lab’s employees, interns and students have created an impressive amount of knowledge and their activities have attracted international attention and inspired similar environments elsewhere. The good news then is that the University of Copenhagen is not alone in managing the legacy,” says Claus Meyer, the Chairman of the NFL Board.
“We would like to give a heartfelt thanks to Claus Meyer and the rest of the Board of Directors for the work they have done over the years. The NFL has especially contributed to the exploration of new raw materials in regional contexts with respect for resources and societal cultures in a way that has helped set the bar higher for both gastronomy and food science,” says the head of FOOD at the University of Copenhagen, Anna Haldrup. She continues:
“At UCPH FOOD we aim for an even broader approach to gastronomy, with even deeper roots in our food educational programmes and research. By collaborating at all levels with both Nordic and international partners, we are uniquely placed to come up with solutions that contribute to positive social development when it comes to food production, gastronomy, flavour, sustainability and public health. We are also very pleased that the NFL is assigning its assets to us, which will benefit both researchers and students at the University of Copenhagen.”
The Future Consumer Lab at UCPH FOOD works with food science from a consumer perspective. The research contributes to sustainable development, including improved public health, by linking consumer food preferences to the development of new foods. Gastronomy, taste analysis, sensory science, consumer analyses and the dissemination of knowledge about food and consumers are important elements of the laboratory’s work.
With best regards
Claus Meyer & Anna Haldrup