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

RSC Food Group Naturals in Food Conference, October at Burlington House, London 

This day meeting was organised to address pros and cons of the use of natural v artificial components in food and beverages. Discussions covered a range of topics from regulation and risk assessment to key challenges in product development as well as consumer perceptions. 

  • Regulations
    Do rules always make sense for naturals as well as artificials? Might they mislead consumers?
  • Risk assessment
    How to evaluate long term risks and benefits for all food ingredients. How to disseminate the risks appropriately .
  • Consumers
    Attitudes towards natural v artificial, how do they form their views and what influences their choices?
  • Product development
    Including ingredients such as flavours and colours as well as pet food.
  • Perspectives
    How do naturals and artificials fare in a more ethical and sustainable culture?

Pictures of speakers at the RSC Food Group Naturals in Food Conference, October 2018

RSC Food Group Naturals in Food Conference, October 2018

Inspirational Chemists
RSC Food Group Past Junior Medal winners

Stephen Harding, Professor of Applied Biochemistry at the University of Nottingham 
Professor Stephen Harding was the winner of the RSC Food Group Junior award, back in 1991 when he was 35 years of age and classed himself as a” new blood lecturer” at the time.  Stephen recently advised what a great honour receiving the medal was at the time, and confirmed that “recognition in this way opened many doors, especially in setting up links with Industry and helped his subsequent promotion to Reader shortly after and to Professor in 1997”. 

Stephen has continued to have a successful and fulfilling career at the University of Nottingham and is an active member of the RSC Biotechnology Group (Chair of Group 2004-2007)

Supporting early career chemists - 2018 Junior Medal Nominations

We would like to thank this years’ nominators for supporting and encouraging early career chemists, and this year’s winner will be announced in early December.  

It is worth noting that various studies have shown that award success can mean picking up twice the funding over a decade, with the “Matthew effect” in science funding offering one explanation. A recent study in The Netherlands showed this effect was bigger than expected and can have a very positive impact (References: T.Bol et al, Natl Acad Sci USA, 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 2017
Download the full report here
PDF iconPDF (84k)  

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 Food Oral Processing Conference 2018 - Abstract Book
Download the book of abstracts

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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