Natural products and food chemistry

We have a global reputation for our work on crops and in for particular using high-throughput phenotyping approaches, such as metabolomics and transcriptomics, to assess a range of quality characteristics and their genetic control.

The overarching objective is to conduct international level research into the chemical, biochemical and genetic bases of quality and bioactivity in plant-derived food, drink and non-food sectors. We aim to enhance the health benefits of these products by improving the nutritional and organoleptic properties of both raw and processed materials and to stimulate diversification in the non-food crops sector via plant product research.

We employ and exploit the unique genetic and genomic resources available to The James Hutton Institute and are focused on linking genotype and quality attributes often via metabolomic approaches. Understanding how environmental changes, for example, climate change or farming practice changes such as sustainable cropping systems influence crop and product quality, safety and security is also a key issue.

Gary Dobson, Gordon McDougall, Tom Shepherd, Derek Stewart, William Allwood, Alexandre Foito, Sabine Freitag, Ceri Austin, Diane McRae, Raphaelle Palau, Simon Pont, Julie Sungurtas

We are committed to, and experienced in, communicating our research to a plethora of distinct audiences such as academics, industry, stakeholders (for example NGOs), policymakers and the broader public.