The mission of the public-private collaboration in FOCOM is to achieve innovative breakthroughs in our knowledge about how food and the brain influence each other. This could lead to novel ways to develop foods, which are lower in calories but nevertheless equally ‘wanted’.

Central in FOCOM is the development of predictive model systems that, after validation on high-quality equipment (such as MRI, available at the Donders Institute and WUR), will be translated in a number of dedicated, low cost behavioral and brain observation techniques (provided by Noldus IT, Green Dino, TMSi, and Artinis). These model systems will integrate the right functions for testing and evaluation and can contribute to a more effective product development.

The partners possess knowledge about food and nutrition and brain mechanisms relating to perception, decision making and cognition. The interaction between food products and the corresponding brain responses combined with recent technological breakthroughs can deliver a new generation of products and services with a big economical and societal impact. FOCOM contributes to what is commercially seen as the ‘Holy Grail’ of the food industry: understanding the relationship between product properties and food preferences (liking and wanting) and using that understanding to optimise healthy food products with respect to the consumer’s perspective. As such, FOCOM provides an important contribution to big societal challenges, such as obesity.

For FOCOM products such as the Food Experience System and the Food Choice Simulator, please visit the website below.

Start- end date


Funding source

EFRO (European Regional Development Fund)


Coordinating Organisation  Radboud University
Name  Esther Aarts
E-mail  E.aarts@donders.ru.nl
Website  http://www.focom-project.ruhosting.nl/products/



food cognition modelfood cognition modelfood cognition model