A new company offering glycaemic index (GI) and novel food testing in human volunteers has been spun off from NHS nutrition and dietetic research at Hammersmith Hospital in London.

Hammersmith Food Research said it plans to offer companies throughout the food chain measurement and advice, as industry interest in GI measurement increases.

"The link between low GI diets and reduced risk of diseases such as diabetes and heart disease is strengthening," said Dr Gary Frost, head of nutrition and dietetics at Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust and a director of the new company.

"This may be responsible for an increasing interest in GI from the food industry. Hammersmith Food Research can put into practice over ten years of research, making that expertise available and accessible. We also offer the backing an important research hospital confers in terms of infrastructure and access to human volunteers," Frost added.

GI testing involves measuring the effect different foods have on blood sugar in comparison with pure glucose. Foods with a lower GI cause smaller peaks in blood sugar levels over time. It is this that is believed to offer better protection against diabetes and other diseases compared with higher GI diets.