Nutrition and health

If your goal is demonstrating the health benefits of existing or new food ingredients, foods, diets or technology products that are cost efficient and appealing to your end-user, then CSIRO can help.

What we do in nutrition and health for industry and the community

CSIRO’s nutrition and health research team has substantial experience in designing and conducting a variety of preclinical and human clinical and community studies that deliver innovation to Australia’s food, health and wellness industries, resulting in significant health and economic benefits for the Australian community. 

We help food and health companies and industries:

CSIRO's nutrition and health research clinic at SAHMRI

  • understand consumer trends of in purchasing, preparing and consuming specific foods
  • understand how to reduce the poor health consequences of obesity and diabetes, and to develop and implement scientifically-based, cost effective intervention strategies to improve health and wellbeing
  • understand of the role of food and nutrition in gut health, for the development of diets, foods and supplements that improve the health of the digestive system
  • understand how our genes, lifestyle preferences and environmental factors significantly influence our health over our lifespan
  • develop foods, supplements and diets that improve the physical and cognitive health people of nutritionally vulnerable older people
  • translate the benefits of scientifically substantiated research into food labelling messages/ front of pack health claims, change diet and best clinical practice guidelines, and develop community resources including nutrition fact sheets and books.

We’ve helped industry and the community in many ways including: 

The ultimate collection of over 400 Total Wellbeing Diet recipes. © Penguin Australia

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  • CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet book series read by more than 500,000 Australians
  • Diabetes and Healthy Heart Program publication
  • Barleymax – supported successful substantiation and commercialisation
  • in vitro GI assessment – development into commercialised instrument 
  • dietary guidelines – advisor on Nutrition and Environmental Sustainability
  • Community Chef – a collaboration between Community Chef with CSIRO and Food Innovation Australia (FIAL) through the SME Solution Centre to support the long term food security and nutritional well-being of those most vulnerable in the community.

Key resources in nutrition and health available to the food industry

Key CSIRO resources available to industry include:

  • expertise design and conducting a variety of preclinical and human clinical and community studies that abide with the Good Clinical Practice International Code of Conduct, and also in conducting Systematic literature reviews  according to Johanna Briggs Institute and Cochrane guidelines
  • dedicated private consulting rooms at our new nutrition and health research clinic to assess a variety of key health outcomes including:
    • nutrition assessment and counselling
    • continuous glucose monitoring systems to assess blood glucose response
    • dual energy x-ray absorptiometry and bioelectrical impedance equipment to assess changes in body composition (i.e. fat and lean masses and bone density)
    • accelerometry to assess the quantity and intensity of physical activity/inactivity
    • cognitive Assessment Battery to assess changes in cognition
  • dedicated laboratories housing sophisticated analytical equipment including:
    • extensive in vitro and in vivo pre-clinical models of obesity, diabetes, irritable bowel disease, ageing
    • Beckman AU480 auto clinical analyser to assess biochemical metabolites
    • Magpix Multiplex reader for inflammatory marker analysis
    • high performance liquid/ion chromatography with pulse amphometric detection for vitamin, mineral and carbohydrate analysis to conduct the dual sugar intestinal permeability test
    • gas chromatography for fatty acid analysis
    • Beckman Coulter Biomek 4000 Automated Workstation fluid handling platform and Illumina MiSeq (David R Gunn Genomics Facility) for sequencing analysis.

Companies can be certain that their work with us is totally confidential.

To discuss nutrition and health opportunities for your business, contact

  • Dr Nathan O'Callaghan

    Group leader - Diet, lifestyle and health substantiation · Food and Nutrition

    Nathan's research focusses on developing and validating emerging markers for use in nutritional and health science. He is working to reduce the impact of non-communicable diseases such as obesity and type-2 diabetes, and improve health of the Australian population through diet. Nathan also manages the CSIRO nutrition and health clinic based at the South Australian health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI).

    • Phone:
      • +61 8 8303 8867
    Dr Nathan O'Callaghan

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]

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