Food Group

Food group logo

The Food Group is one of the Royal Society of Chemistry's many Interest Groups. The Interest Groups are member driven groups which exist to benefit Royal Society of Chemistry members, and the wider chemical science community, in line with the Royal Society of Chemistry's strategy and charter.


The aims of the group are to promote the role of chemistry in food and enable transfer and sharing of information and networking between academia and the food industry. This includes analytical, biochemical , chemical , physical , nutritional and toxicological aspects of food and food ingredients and the composition and relationships between structure and functionality throughout the entire food chain in a way to enhance sustainability and food and nutrition security.

  • To foster an awareness of the importance of chemistry in the food chain.
  • To encourage interactions between scientists and technologists engaged in food R&D.
  • To help transfer such scientific research from ideas to applications.   

Hot Topics

Inspirational Chemists
Food Group Committee Member – awarded Scientist of the Year 2017 by FDF

Wendy Russell – 2017

The food and drink industry offers a great range of exciting careers including for scientists and engineers. There are many excellent role models working in food and drink that can inspire new recruits to consider a career in the industry.  Dr Wendy Russell is the Gut Health Theme Leader and a principal investigator in natural product chemistry at the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute. Wendy won Scientist of the Year at the 2017 Food and Drink Federation Awards. 

Photo of Wendy Russel
Having always had an interest in the bioactive compounds in plants, Wendy studied chemistry at the University of Bristol, followed by a PhD in natural product chemsity. This led to research on how plant-derived compounds impact on disease and Wendy now investigates the complex relationship between diet and human health. Her current research aims to establish the metabolic phenotypes defining population groups and with a strong focus on the functional role of the gut microbiota, the effect of dietary change on disorders such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. However, as several challenges impact of our food supply system, Wendy’s research contributes towards ensuring that our food system is resilient. This includes topics such as maintaining biodiversity, protein provision for the future, relvalorisation of food waste and emerging technologies in crop breeding and food formulation. This involves working across a wide range of stakeholders, leadership of food groups in the learned societies and collaboration with industry by chairing International Life Science Institute expert groups, as well as working directly with individual and local companies to help with product development. This requires a truly transdisciplinary approach and with inititaives such as the Leverhulme artists-in-residence scheme Wendy is also looking at new ways of working to bring food science to the general public. Through Scottish Government-funded research within SEFARI, Wendy is addressing some of the challenges faced by the Scottish Food and Drink Industry to be able to provide affordable, acceptable and nutritious food by sustainable practices. This collaborative and joined up approach is also essential  as we move forward to tackle global issues and Wendy has active research funding to contribute to global food security, exploring high value crops that can be grown in contries such as Malawi and Brazil.



Junior Medal 2017 Award

We are pleased to announce the 2017 junior medal winner is Dr Tolgahan Kocadagli, Research Assistant, Department of Food Engineering at Hacettepe University, Turkey. This award is based on his contribution to food chemistry, particularly in relation to research and publications on the Maillard reaction, aroma and acrylamide generation.

We wish to recognise excellence in early career scientists in the application of chemical sciences to the study of all aspects of food and believe that his work merits such an award. The medal presentation is planned at Burlington House, 21st February 2018.


We also have an online community, which is based on MyRSC, for anyone who shares our interests.

Get Involved

We are always looking for new members who are keen to get involved and to help organise our activities. If you would like to find out more please contact the Secretary.

Join this Interest Group

If you are a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry and would like to join an Interest Group, please contact Membership Department using the email link below with:

  • your name
  • your membership number
  • state the name of the group you wish to join    

Downloadable Files

Food Group Annual Report 2016
Download the full report here
PDF iconPDF (698k)  

Food group vision and mission
Download this PowerPoint presentation to find out more about the Food group vision and mission
Related file iconPTX (674k)  

RSC Food Group History
This document covers 35 years from 1973 to 2008 and provides a historical record of the Chairmen, Hon. Secretaries and Hon. Treasurers of the Group, meetings organised, publications and winners of Food Group Medals.
PDF iconPDF (124k)  

PDF files require Link icon Adobe Acrobat Reader

Related Links

Link icon BFR York 2017
More information about the International Symposium on Flame Retardants Conference

Link icon Food Oral Processing
More information about the Food Oral Processing conference

Link icon MyRSC Food Group
This group is open to anyone with an interest in food science. You will be required to register for MyRSC, then you can sign up to become a member of this group

Link icon European Technology Platform
Follow this link for the "Food for Life" Newsletter

External links will open in a new browser window

Contact and Further Information

Membership Department
Thomas Graham House, Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge, CB4 0WF
Tel: +44 (0) 1223 432 141

Dr Kathy Ridgway CChem MRSC
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