Research / Scottish Centre for Food Development and Innovation

Scottish Centre for Food Development and Innovation

Scottish Centre for Food Development and Innovation (SCFDI) was established in response to demand from Scotland’s high growth food and drink industry for combined R&D and innovation space to support the sector in accessing export markets in the rapidly expanding global functional and healthy food sector.  

Our mission is to be a national leader in knowledge exchange that addresses the fundamental relationships between food and health and the sustainability of the food chain in order to further the production of healthy, functional foods. Our market position at the national forefront of innovation provides an enhanced capacity to allow us to progress sustainable relationships with industry partners, particularly SMEs.

Our Research & Impact

SCDFI supports the commercial translation of knowledge exchange in Dietetics, Nutrition and Biological Sciences and builds on QMU’s growing reputation as a key provider of research and consultancy in food and drink.

Through our practical innovation support and creative business solutions can help businesses with:

• New and innovative product development and analysis;
• Development of leading edge functional, health enhancing products and ingredients

• Reformulation of existing products – for example healthier alternatives to fat, salt and sugar
• Innovative sources of raw materials to produce novel ingredients and ensure sustainability
• Ingredients to improve product processing and preservation
• Nutritional analysis, shelf life testing, consumer focus groups and taste panels

Our dedicated facilities, combined with a wealth of academic knowledge and expertise in food, nutrition and biological sciences, offer companies in the food and drink industry an unrivalled opportunity to innovate and develop new products which are underpinned by our scientific research.

Impact Case Studies

Impact within the Centre

To support the industry to meet its vision of becoming “A Land of Food and Drink” and contribute significantly towards the government agenda for a healthier Scotland, we work with a range of agencies including:


In recognition of our pioneering work with the Food and Drink industry and in partnership with our on-campus SME, AMT, we have received awards for Sustained Industry Partnership and Innovation of the Year.  In addition we were also part of QMU  team that won the Edinburgh Chamber of commerce Innovation award 2016


We continue to expand our portfolio of long-term research-focused collaborations with SMEs and contribute to innovation led growth in Government priority economic sectors. 


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Advanced Microwave Technologies

(AMT) uses cutting-edge technology that has led to a revolutionary new food processing method. With expertise in nutritional analysis Queen Margaret University has helped AMT establish a route to market. Read more.




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Black & Gold - rapeseed oil

Analysis of this product revealed its favourable omega-6 to omega-3 ratio and its retention of nutritional benefits throughout cooking. Read more  




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The Chocolate Tree

This organic certified "bean-to-bar" chocolatier has used Queen Margaret University's scientific evaluation of the antioxidant profile and mineral content of the product to promote the health and nutritional aspects of the chocolate bars. Read more








Cuddybridge Apple Juice

Queen Margaret University helped the company develop a new all Scottish apple juice drink using apples, and sea buckthorn which has excellent antioxidant properties. Read more







Eteaket - leaf teas 

The University has provided an antioxidant, total polyphenol and caffeine profile for the teas for the company to include on their packaging. Read more



Gusto - oils and dressings

The University has provided nutritional profiles for new Gusto products which incorporate marine algae oil ( DHASCO™) as a source of DHA. Read more


Innovation in Action event : 12th May 2016
12 May 2016
Scottish Centre for Food Development and Innovation Showcased on BBC's Food Detectives
15 April 2016
QMU wins top Business Innovation Award
2 March 2016
Scottish Rapeseed Oil Producers Group
8 June 2015
Seriously Good Venison
16 April 2015
Bere Barley – Ancient grain grown on Orkney
12 January 2015