Making healthier foods

We research how the microscopic structure of food and how food is processed affect the quality of everyday food products. This work helps support the food industry develop an innovative and healthier supply of manufactured foods and ingredients to Australian consumers and export markets.

The Challenge

Food and health

Dietary guidelines recommend we limit our intake of salt, sugar and saturated fats and increase fruit, vegetables, fibre and protein. Nevertheless, Australia has increasing rates of obesity and lifestyle diseases, with unhealthy eating being a major contributor.

Eighty percent of our daily diet is packaged foods such as bread, cheese, breakfast cereal, yoghurt, sauces and soups and science can help understand how we can make foods such as these as healthy as possible.

Our Response

Making the Australian food supply healthier

Our scientists help the food manufacturing industry with technologies and expertise to decrease salt, sugar and saturated fats and increase the fruit, vegetable, fibre and protein in processed food products, while still tasting just as good. We also help them improve their processes and formulations (recipes) so that products are manufactured cost effectively and sustainably.

This research involves understanding the different structures and materials that make up food, how food behaves when we chew and digest it, and food’s biological function, to promote health and wellbeing at all life-stages - young, old and in between.

From on-farm, to manufacturing, exporting and for consumers, we work at all stages of the food supply chain with food companies - in particular the meat, dairy, horticulture and grains industries, other researchers, the Commonwealth Department of Health and  state health and innovation departments to make a difference to the healthiness of foods stocked on Australian supermarket shelves.

Case study

  • Virtual mouth

    Our favourite everyday processed foods could taste just as good but be healthier in future, thanks to our virtual mouth technology that is revealing the science of chewing.

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