Development and characterisation of foods and placebos for human and other studies

Workpackage 2 is developing appropriate foods and beverages for use as placebos in randomised clinical trials (RCTs) overcoming existing problems, such as no placebo or easily distinguished alternatives. Placebos are important because simply being on a study can affect the outcome. The availability of appropriate placebos means improved and more robust methods of analysis for key bioactive polyphenols in order to facilitate better characterisation of bioactive-rich foods with health benefits (better methods for characterising products).


  • Prepare test foods and extracts containing bioactives and appropriate control foods (placebos) for use in RCTs (WP6)
  • Develop accurate and fit-for-purpose analytical methods for quantifying key bioactive peptides and polyphenols in foods and extracts
  • Complete detailed compositional analyses of test foods and extracts that will be further investigated within WP4 (Bioavailability and metabolism), WP5 (Mechanisms of action) and WP 6 (Physiological effects in humans)
  • Produce new bioactive composition data for foods / ingredients consumed in Europe that can be used to predict population intakes in WP3

Workpackage leader: Institute of Food Research, UK