Early-Career Scholar Forum

The development and future of functional foods in Japan: what we eat defines our lifespan

Friday, 18 November 2022 | 12:15 - 13:00
Zoom Meeting
  • Peng Lu Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the University of Tokyo
  • Sawako Shirahase Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, the University of Tokyo
Event Description

Have you ever thought why we must keep eating food? The food we eat can have both good and bad effects on our bodies. For the good ones, the most basic merit for food is to provide energy and biological substances to maintain our life. The second level is to provide deliciousness for comfort. The third level is to provide functions that improve our health and prevent our body from disease (e.g. cancer, metabolic disorders, age-related diseases, infectious diseases, and psychiatric disorders). This brings us the conception of functional foods. There is the oriental philosophy that “medicine and food have a common origin”, which indicates that what we eat defines our lifespan. In this lecture, we will go through the history of food and nutritional sciences, introduce the development and the future of functional foods in Japan.

About the Speaker

Peng Lu is an Assistant Professor in Laboratory of Food Biotechnology and Structural Biology at the University of Tokyo. His research is primarily concerned with the iron uptake transporter from bacteria and the characterization of bacteriostatic agents from food components to inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria by iron restriction. Furthermore, he has participated in a study on the identification of a citrus-derived polyphenols with potential anti-aging function.