Horticulture and grains: value-added opportunities for industry

We research, develop and deliver value-added opportunities for industry in horticultural and grain products.

Our specialists in post-harvest technology, food technology, process engineering and advanced separations help companies:

© Digital Planet Design, Sean Locke

  • develop technologies, strategic knowledge and intellectual property in value-added fruit, vegetable and cereal-based products
  • develop competitive advantage in new product formats and technologies, product quality and health and nutritional properties
  • extend shelf-life for increased market access, both local and export.

How we help the horticulture industry

We work with industry to:

  • value-add to horticultural and grain by-products, waste streams and oversupply using extraction, separation, concentration and stabilisation of specialised ingredients such as fibre and bioactives
  • improve fresh shelf-life by modified atmosphere packaging, post-harvest coating and dips technologies and sanitation practices
  • develop products such as fruit snacks and chilled soups and beverages such as fruit juices that retain fresh-like characteristics by using novel technologies (high pressure processing, pulsed electric field, ultraviolet, short-time heat processing)
  • develop shelf-stable, ready-to-eat produce formats such as meals, soups and salads using retort, UHT, microwave, and cooking processes
  • develop improved quality and nutrient retention of dried fruit using advanced drying technologies
  • design systems for non-chemical pest disinfestations and disease control in significant horticultural products using novel technologies such as microwave, ultrasound and high pressure processing.

We also:

  • make recommendations on strategies for whole produce and elaborately transformed products using nutritional and health technology reviews
  • characterise ingredients for nutritional, functional and health attributes as well as end product performance to assist engagement of your customers.

Horticultural value-adding case study: Preshafood

Preshafood manufactures premium fruit juices, seasonal fruit blends, smoothies and vegetable juices using high pressure processing (HPP). HPP is an emerging technology and uses very high pressures instead of heat to kill yeasts, moulds and bacteria.

The juices are the world's first single variety apple juices and owing to HPP, they retain the taste, colour and fresh-like characteristics of fruit without the need for adding preservatives. They can also be stored up to five times longer than other chilled juices.

CSIRO are world leaders in the development and implementation of HPP technology in not only juices but also across a range of product categories such as meat, poultry, seafood, fruit and vegetable products, meal solutions, dips and sauces.

Preshafood has gone from starting life in our world class pilot plant in Werribee to recently expanding their investment in HPP technology and becoming the largest HPP operation in Australia, creating new jobs and growing sales both in Australia and in export markets.

Preshafood – high pressure innovation

Show transcript

[Music plays and text appears: Preshfood, High pressure innovation]

 [Images show male walking into factory building and through factory. Image changes to show Alastair Mclachlan, CEO, Preshafood]

 Alastair Mclachlan: We produce a range of products including single variety apple juices, vegetable juices and smoothies.

 [Images flash through various factory processes]

Our life began at the CSIRO. The initial production occurred in the CSIRO food sciences labs. We were really looking for a product that nobody had ever experienced before. To provide shelf life, traditional processes have to heat their products or add preservatives which destroys the nutrition, taste, colour and flavour of juices.

[Image shows Alastair Mclachlan, CEO, Preshafood]

We don’t have to do that at all.

[Image shows factory machinery]

HPP is an emerging technology that uses extremely high pressure rather than heat to kill yeasts, mould and bacteria.

[Images flash through various factory processes]

The unique benefits of HPP are that it gives chilled foods an extended shelf life and doesn’t affect the flavour, colour and nutritional value. It’s all about taste and once you taste it you’ll never go back.

[Image shows Alastair Mclachlan, CEO, Preshafood]

The success of Preshafruit juices is great for everyone.

[Images flash through various factory processes]

From growers to bottle suppliers, carton manufacturers, everyone has been able to participate in the success. Recently we’ve worked with one of our major suppliers Montagues. Using our technology we’ve been able to develop a Jazz single variety apple juice that has spectacular taste.

[Image shows Alastair Mclachlan, CEO, Preshafood]

We see working together with Montagues as an excellent opportunity to provide the market with another superior apple juice.

[Images flash through various factory processes]

Over the past six months we’ve doubled the size of the factory, added a second HPP machine and this has resulted in 20 additional employees and significantly more opportunity for growth in the business over the next four to five years.

[Image shows Alastair Mclachlan, CEO, Preshafood]

Over the last few years we’ve been developing the market in Asia because there are very few other products that are of similar quality in their markets.

[Images flash through various factory processes]

So we see over the next five years many opportunities to grow those markets with a super premium juice that they’ve never experienced previously.

[Image shows Alastair Mclachlan, CEO, Preshafood]

Preshafood is living proof that you can work with the CSIRO to develop super premium products that have not been available to the Australian market or world markets in the past.

[Images flash through various factory processes. Image changes back to Alastair Mclachlan, CEO, Preshafood]

One thing that I am sure of is we would never be in the position that we are now if we didn’t start with the collaborative work with CSIRO.

[Image shows Alastair Mclachlan, CEO, Preshafood standing in front of Preshafood factory]

[Music plays and CSIRO logo appears with text: Big ideas start here www.csiro.au]

Hide transcript

Our key resources for the horticulture and grains industries

Key CSIRO food innovation centre resources available for industry include:

  • scientific and engineering staff with expertise in product and process development, drying, thermal processing, separation, extrusion, postharvest technology, innovative technologies (high pressure processing, ultrasound, microwave and pulsed electric field) and process systems modelling
  • food product development kitchens and laboratories for post-harvest, food technology trials
  • extensive pilot processing facilities and equipment in Melbourne and Brisbane for packaging, juicing, pasteurisation, sterilisation, extraction, separations, retorting, high pressure processing, washing and sanitation.

To discuss innovation opportunities in horticulture and grains for your business, contact

  • Dr Mala Gamage

    View full profile

    Project Leader · Agriculture & Food

    Mala Gamage has almost twenty years experience in researching post-harvest challenges, insect disinfestation technologies and fresh-cut and minimally processed horticultural products.

    • Phone:
      • +61 3 9731 3471
    Dr Mala Gamage

Welcome to CSIRO's food innovation centre

Welcome to CSIRO's food innovation centre for industry: Find out how CSIRO's food innovation centre helps food and ingredient manufacturers

Show transcript

Welcome to CSIRO's food innovation centre

[Music plays and CSIRO logo and text appears: Welcome to CSIRO’s food innovation centre]

[Images flash through of people selecting food from fridges and shelves in a supermarket]

Narrator: Consumer demand for healthy, convenient, new and safe food products is rising and market growth in the Asian region is booming.

More than ever manufacturing innovation is critical for the Australian food industry to capture these opportunities and be globally competitive.

[Image changes to show the outside of the CSIRO Food Innovation Centre Melbourne and then image changes to show employees looking at food samples of cheese and then the camera zooms in on a sample of cheese]

At our Food Innovation Centre we work with the food and beverage manufacturing industry to meet these opportunities and add value to their business.

[Images flash through of an employee looking at a sample, operating a computer, the computer screen, a heat shrink bag, a tube being filled with white liquid, an employee looking at a computer screen, the computer screen display, an employee filling a tube with bottles of juice and placing the tube inside a machine, a computer screen display and an employee emptying the tube]

We help companies innovate by creating next generation value added food products and ingredients, improving operating efficiencies, licensing ready to go technologies, making industry connections and adopting and developing new technologies and applications for safer, fresher, healthier and sustainably produced foods and more.

[Image changes to show an employee climbing up some stairs carrying a bag of maize polenta and then the camera shows employees watching a machine in use and then the camera zooms in on their faces]

In the last few years we’ve helped our clients create hundreds of millions of dollars in new food product and ingredient sales locally and in export markets.

[Image changes to show an employee operating the touch screen on a machine and then the image changes to show a machine with lots of tubes and the camera pans up the machine to the top]

This includes more than 25 new products in the retail market nationally.

[Image changes to show an employee operating a machine and then images flash through of different manufacturing machinery]

Companies are invited to use our manufacturing equipment to develop and launch new products into the market or collaborate with us strategically on breakthrough technologies.

[Image changes to show an outside view of the CSIRO facility in Brisbane and text appears: Brisbane]

[Image changes to show employees working with packaged meat and then the camera zooms in on a female writing on a clipboard, employees inspecting the meat, employees cutting a sample from the meat and an employee putting meat inside a machine]

Through our facilities in Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney we have the most significant and extensive food innovation expertise available in Australia.

[Images flash through of an employee operating a machine]

Our pilot plants are unique facilities with a mix of conventional and emerging technologies supported by world class science.

[Image changes to show three female employees walking down a corridor and text appears: Sydney]

[Images flash through of an employee pouring juice, trying a sample, a computer screen display and a female employee operating machinery]

Our expertise in sensory, flavour, consumer science and food choices is unique helping companies develop new or redefine their existing products.  We help industry manage their food safety and product shelf life and meet food safety regulations in export markets.

[Image changes to show three employees inspecting a dough sample and then the camera zooms in on an employee pulling a sample from the dough and tasting it]

We’re also helping Australian food companies meet the rapidly growing demand in Asia for high value products.

[Image changes to show an employee operating a computer with two display screens and then the camera zooms in on one of the screen displays]

Our researchers help companies reformulate to reduce salt, sugar and fat and develop fortified products with functional health benefits while still meeting the taste preferences of consumers.

[Image changes to show an outside view of the CSIRO in Adelaide and then the image changes to show a male walking through the door and speaking to the receptionist and then the camera zooms in on the paper he is writing on]

We also work with manufacturers to substantiate food and ingredient health claims with expertise in lab scale analysis through to human nutrition trials.

[Images flash through of two people at computers, a person lying down, a computer screen display, a female pouring liquid and a female operating a computer and then the camera zooms in on the liquid being poured and the female operating the computer screen]

Whether you’re a small company with a novel idea or a large one looking to outsource key R and D services companies benefit every day from partnering with CSIRO.

[Camera zooms in on the computer screen and then the camera zooms in on the female employee]

It all starts with a conversation.

[Image changes and CSIRO logo and text appears: Big ideas start here, csiro.au/on]

Hide transcript


Have an enquiry about this page?

Contact us

Do business with us to help your organisation thrive

We partner with small and large companies, government and industry in Australia and around the world.

Contact us now to start doing business