De Montfort University

Who We Are

De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) is a dynamic institution with a long and vibrant history of improving people’s lives through education and research.  Originally founded as the Leicester School of Art in 1870, the university has evolved through many incarnations including the Leicester Colleges of Art and Technology and Leicester Polytechnic.  Leicester Polytechnic officially became De Montfort University on 26 June 1992.  At DMU, we have an ambitious Research Strategy which aims to make research central to our mission as a university.  As a university committed to the public good, we have a track record of research that impacts society and makes a real difference to people’s lives through improvements to health and well-being, infrastructure, creativity, economic growth, business and civil society.  As the United Nations’ (UN) designated Global Hub for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 – the only UK university to be designated as such – we have a commitment to address the UN SDGs in our research, teaching, and enterprise activity.

For more information, visit: DMU

What We Do in the Project

Our role in the project will involve highly interdisciplinary research carrying out food safety, diet, nutrition, and food behaviour studies.  Food safety, diet and nutrition research will involve analysis of diverse African food samples using an array of physical techniques including Mass Spectrometry and other spectroscopic and microscopic techniques.  We will also carry out human biomonitoring studies involving analysis of human biofluids including urine, blood, hair, and nail samples.  Our research has revealed how high consumption of rice can lead to increased exposure to toxic forms of arsenic.  We will carry out metal speciation analysis to discriminate between toxic and non-toxic forms of metal species such as organic and inorganic arsenic.  We will evaluate presence of toxic and beneficial substances in diverse African foods and conduct risk assessment.

Our other role on the project relates to psychological factors in relation to the acceptance of novel and under used indigenous foods. This will be carried out across three main activities: 1) Determinants of dietary diversity within the food environment, and emotional reactions to novel and underutilized food groups, 2) Co-design of recipes and cooking interventions to incorporate diversified diets, and 3) Impacts of interventions to encourage dietary diversification on health outcomes.

Our Project Team

Prof Parvez, Haris
Biomedical Science and Lead Researcher on the project from DMU. Research expertise on food safety, diet and nutrition.


Dr. Helen Coulthard
Lead on cluster 5.2 of workpackage 5, on developing co created recipes. Expert in food neophobia and food acceptance, in relation to sensory, emotional and cognitive factors.

Dr. Eid Brima
Post-doctoral research assistant with expertise in food safety and chemical analysis of foods and human samples.

Norah Babirye
Research Assistant, specializing in nutrition interventions.