HEALTHGRAIN: Exploiting bioactivity of European cereal grains for improved nutrition and health benefits
HEALTHGRAIN is a large European project which aims to improve well-being and reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome related diseases in Europe by increasing the intake of protective compounds in whole grains. It involves plants breeders, food scientists and nutritionists along with groups interested in consumer behaviour. The University of Surrey input is on consumer beliefs and expectations about whole grain products and consumer understanding of health claims relate to such products.
I previously worked at the Institute of Food Research, Health Education Authority and University of Oxford. My expertise is in the area of public health and behavioural nutrition research, gained on a variety of projects. My research is wide ranging both in terms of topics covered (e.g. food choice, policy development, food safety) and methodologies used (e.g. qualitative, quantitative, stakeholder consultation). I have also been involved in the evaluation of health promotion programmes and developing tools for use in nutrition education.
Since my arrival in 2000, I have played an instrumental role in the success of the University of Surrey’s Food, Consumer Behaviour and Health Research Centre, securing over £5.4M of research funding, of which over £3.3M as PI. With a start-up investment of £250K in 2000, the centre has brought over £7.1M into the University.
To date I have published over 125 refereed papers, numerous non-refereed publications including 20 book chapters and have edited two booksand edited two books ("The Psychology of Food Choice" (2006) and "Food for the Ag(e)ing Population" (1st edition 2009; 2nd edition 2016).
I am one of the founding members, member of the Board of Directors (2001-2006) and was secretary (2004-2006) of the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. The society was set up to combine interests in diet and physical activity; and to stimulate, promote and advocate innovative research and policy in the area. The society now plays an important role in fostering excellence in research in this field through its annual meetings and journal called the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.
Richard Shepherd is an Emeritus Professor of Psychology, having retired in August 2011. He obtained degrees in Natural Sciences from Cambridge and in Psychology from Cardiff and Southampton. He was a Research Fellow at the University of Surrey and then worked at the Institute of Food Research from 1982 to 1998, initially in Norwich and then in Reading, before joining the University of Surrey as a Reader.
He has carried out research on a range of issues related to the factors influencing food choice. In particular this has involved the development and application of social cognition models to food choice issues and the exploration of the factors influencing dietary change. He has also conducted research on the perception of risk and risk communication particularly in relation to food issues. He has published widely in all of these areas of research, including editing two books.
He has directed research funded by BBSRC, ESRC, MAFF, FSA, Wellcome Trust and industry, in addition to several collaborative European projects funded by the EU. He is a Chartered Psychologist and a Fellow of the British Psychological Society. In the past Richard has been a member of the UK Food Standards Agency Social Science Research Committee, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Social Science Expert Advisory Group and the ESRC Grant Assessment Panel.
Dr Moira Dean
Arvola, A., Lahteenmaki, L., Dean, M., Vassallo, M., Winkelmann, M., Claupein, E., Saba, A., & Shepherd, R. (2007). Consumers' beliefs about whole and refined grain products in UK, Italy and Finland. Journal of Cereal Science, 46, 197-206.
Dean, M., Raats, M. M., Shepherd, R., Arvola, A., Lahteenmaki, L., Saba, A., Vassallo, M., Claupein, E., & Winkelmann, M. (2007). Consumer perceptions and expectations for healthy cereal products. Journal of Cereal Science, 46, 188-196.
Poutanen, K., Shepherd, R., Shewry, P., Delcour, J. A., Bjorck, I., & van der Kamp, J. W. (2008). Beyond whole grain: the European HEALTHGRAIN project aims at healthier cereal foods. Cereal Foods World, 53 (1), 32-35.
Vassallo, M., Saba, A., Arvola, A., Dean, M., Messina, F., Winkelmann, M., Claupein, E., Lahteenmaki, L., & Shepherd, R. (2009). Willingness to use functional breads: Applying the Health Belief Model across four European countries. Appetite, 52, 452-460.
Poutanen, K., Shepherd, R., Shewry, P. R., Delcour, J. A., Bjorck, I., van der Kamp, J. W., & Ranieri, R. (2010). More of the grain - Progress in the HEALTHGRAIN project for healthy cereal foods. Cereal Foods World, 55 (2), 79-84.
Saba, A., Vassallo, M., Shepherd, R., Lampila, P., Arvola, A., Dean, M., Winkelmann, M., Claupein, E., & Lahteenmaki, L. (2010). Country-wise differences in perception of health-related messages in cereal-based food products. Food Quality and Preference, 21, 385-393.
Shepherd, R. (2006). Consumer attitudes towards healthy cereal grain products in four European countries. Invited presentation at IUFoST 13th World Congress of Food Science and Technology 'Food is Life', Nantes, 17-21 September 2006.
Shepherd, R. (2006). Consumer perceptions of functional cereal products – evidence from four European countries. Invited paper at HEALTHGRAIN Workshop 'Cereal products and health – consumer perceptions and market opportunities', Munich, 2-3 October 2006.
Shepherd, R. (2007). Consumer attitudes towards healthy cereal products.
Invited presentation at 'Consumer Driven Cereal Innovation: Where Science meets Industry', Montpellier, 2-4 May 2007.
Shepherd, R. (2007). Consumer attitudes towards healthy cereal products. In P. Weegels, C. Courtin, M. Silvestri & A. Arrachid (Eds.), C&E Spring Meeting 2007 Proceedings. St Paul, MN: AACC International.
Winkelmann, M., Claupein, E., Arvola, A., Dean, M., Vassallo, M., Lahteenmaki, L., Saba, A., & Shepherd, R. (2007). Consumer's presumption of grain based functional food and whole grain (Verbrauchererwartungen bei getreidebasiertem Functional Food und Vollkornprodukten). Poster presented at the Congress of the German Nutrition Society, March 2007.
Shepherd, R. (2008). Introduction and outline of the Healthgrain consumer study. Invited presentation at HEALTHGRAIN Workshop ‘Cereal products and health – Consumer perceptions and behaviour’, Paris, 3-4 November 2008.
Shepherd, R. (2008). Consumer attitudes towards healthy cereal products. 2008. Invited presentation at PepsiCo 'Advantaged Bakery & Grains Workshop', Campden BRI, Chipping Campden, 8-9 December 2008.
Shepherd, R. (2009). Grains and health - expectations of European consumers. Invited paper at 'Grains are Functional' 17th International Conference at IGV, Bergholz-Rehbrucke, Germany, 11-12 May 2009.
Shepherd, R. (2009). Consumer responses to grain products and health claims. Invited paper at AACCI Annual Meeting, Baltimore, Maryland, 13-16 September 2009.
Research groups and centres
Our research is supported by research groups and centres of excellence.