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Biography Sigrun Bjørge Løken

Simon Ballance is a scientist within the Food and Health research group. His undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, in Geography and Environmental Biochemistry respectively, are from the University of Manchester, UK. Since moving to Norway in 2001 Simon has worked with carbohydrate polymers. His first position was as a Post-Doc at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim (2001-2007). He moved to Nofima AS in Novemeber 2007. Research Details Dietary Carbohydrates and human health The overall aim of my research is to study the link between carbohydrate nutrition and human health. At present my research portfolio consists of (i) basic research on the mechanisms responsible for the positive health effects of barley, oat and yeast ß-glucans, (ii) dynamic in vitro modeling of cereal digestion and associated glycaemic response, and (iii) applied research in collaboration with industry to develop an industrial process to remove glucose from fruit juice in order to make a new class of healthy functional foods. ß-glucans are, due to their simple structure, an ideal model to study the effects of dietary fiber on human health. Although ß-glucans have already been shown to lower postprandial glucose and blood cholesterol there is still debate on whether they, or fragments of, are bioavailable. As part of the EU 7th Framework programme (KBBE) “Dietary fibres supporting gut and immune function – from polysaccharide to health claim” we will develop new methods to determine and quantify oral ingested ß-glucan uptake. In project (ii) we study, in collaboration with the Institute of Food Research, Norwich, UK and Leatherhead Food Research, UK, the digestion and associated glycaemic response of simple oat and barley cereal meals using a state-of-the-art in vitro dynamic gastric model. The aim is to validate the model with in vivo measurements of blood glucose and to elucidate the key factors responsible for starch digestion and the associated glycaemic re