NC State University

NC State University Plants for Human Health Institute

pic Through groundbreaking, transdisciplinary discovery and out-reach, North Carolina State University’s Plants for Human Health Institute (PHHI) is pioneering a dramatic shift in the way the American public views and uses plant-food crops from sources of nutrients and flavorful calories to powerful resources for components that protect and enhance human health. Through integrating research in metabolomics, biochemistry, pharmacogenomics, plant breeding and post-harvest attributes, PHHI is working to develop fruits and vegetables with enhanced health benefits and to introduce new or underappreciated crops and products. One benefit of this research is to allow consumers to make proactive, responsible dietary choices that benefit their own and their family’s health. Another benefit is to increase the local and national competiveness of agricultural families by improving the health-promoting potentials of fruits and vegetables and plant breeding, horticulture and post-harvest technologies.

PHHI’s specific research focus includes:

Improving the health-enhancing properties of food crops
This research is aimed at discovering how biologically-active natural plant compounds confer protection against chronic diseases and enhance overall human performance. Specifically elucidated are the ways in which natural dietary mixtures of plant compounds enhance vigor and endurance and allow a consumer to take more control of health for themselves and their families.
Increasing farm sustainability and profitability
Multidisciplinary research teams are developing new plant varieties and production systems that emphasize product quality, efficiency, availability and environmental stewardship. Research is providing genetic solutions to prevalent pests and diseases, reducing pesticide usage and delivering highly competitive food products that are nutritious and delicious.
Developing Post- Harvest applications to improve health benefits of food
Research targets using storage and other applications following harvest to improve the phytochemical content of food crops, looking at the profiles of plants after treatment and the use of these strategies to tailor diets for prevention of chronic diseases. Multidisciplinary research teams are developing new plant varieties and production systems that emphasize product quality, efficiency, availability and environmental stewardship. Research is providing genetic solutions to prevalent pests and diseases, reducing pesticide usage and delivering highly competitive food products that are nutritious and delicious.

PHHI is a leading institution at the NCRC sharing 100,000 square feet of office and laboratory space with the Dole Nutrition Research Laboratory and initiating numerous collaborations with campus partners. Their researchers partner with the Piedmont Research Station, located outside of Salisbury, NC, to grow and test field crops. Plans are on the board for greenhouse space and fields for crop development to be built in Kannapolis near the NCRC.

 

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