|December 2005||National Research Flagship||www.csiro.au|
- F r o m t h e D i r e c t o r -
The important role of food and food ingredients to our health and well being is becoming a major focus in our community. Functional foods can provide health benefits above basic sustenance, examples of which can be seen in many of the foods we eat today containing added calcium, oils and other nutrients.
The emerging science of nutrigenomics – the study of how the foods we eat interact with our genetic profile – has the potential to deliver major health and economic benefits to the community and the food industry. The Food Futures Flagship is participating in the first international conference on nutrigenomics at the International Life Science’s Institute conference for the Southeast Asian Region this month. In the article, Take Three Times a Day, you can read about the benefits of functional foods and the Flagship’s research developments in this area.
At the recent AusBiotech conference held in Perth, CSIRO was prominent in showcasing our latest biotechnology research initiatives. The Food Futures Flagship presented an overview of the emerging trends in consumer health and global food demands and the technologies that are being developed to address these. A range of the Flagship’s research portfolio was highlighted, including the application of gene technologies to produce omega-3 oils in land plants and novel wheats with high levels of health-promoting resistant starch, the developments in the production of an electronic ‘cybernose’ and the application of biotechnologies in food processing and ingredients, such as bioactives and flavouring agents. These new technologies are paving the way for mainstream developments in the food production and food processing industries.
I am also pleased to announce the success of a Food Innovations Grant (FIG) for the commencement of the research project to develop Single Cell Oils (Omega-3 oils) from Thraustochytrids, involving Clover Corporation, CSIRO through the Food Futures Flagship and Marine and Atmospheric Research Division, and the Bioproducts CRC. Research with recently isolated CSIRO marine organisms is well underway and the project will examine further CSIRO strains. Also as part of this project, proposed animal feeding experiments are planned involving CSIRO’s divisions of Marine and Atmospheric Research, Livestock Industries, and Human Nutrition.
At Food Science Australia, Dr Anthos Yannakou has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer and we look forward to working with Dr Yannakou on joint projects with the Food Futures Flagship. With over 30 years experience in the food industry in technical, business development and managerial positions, Dr Yannakou has worked for leading food industry organisations including Unilever, Nutritional Foods, Fedfood and the Tiger Group. Most recently, he worked for CSIR South Africa, first as Director of their Food Technology division and subsequently as Director of the Environmental Technologies division.
The presentations for the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science for excellence in science and science teaching were held in October in the Great Hall of Parliament House. The ceremony was attended by CSIRO’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Geoff Garrett and a number of our organisation’s leaders. The evening was uplifting as these awards are a tribute to the important contributions that our scientists and inspirational science teachers are making to Australia's current and future scientific capabilities and highlight the significant need to continue to develop our science capacity as a nation.
Earlier this year, in July, CSIRO hosted a visit by the President of Chile, Ricardo Lagos Escobor Canberra, where the President met with Dr Geoff Garrett, CSIRO’s Chief Executive Officer and staff involved in a number of key research projects. The President visited the CSIRO Plant Industry laboratories and Discovery Centre at Black Mountain where he met with the Food Futures research team conducting research in the Advanced Genetics Omega-3 oil project. An account of the President’s visit is highlighted in this Update.
Other research projects featured in this Update newsletter include the novel breeding techniques being developed for Australia’s northern cattle herd, the benefits of fibre and resistant starch in the diet, fingerprinting DNA for superior prawns and microencapsulation of bioactive food ingredients.
In meet the scientist, we profile Dr Gregory Harper, Theme Leader for the Flagship’s Breed Engineering Theme. We also feature three of our younger scientists in this Update, all award winners in their respective fields.
The new CSIRO website has been launched in December and I encourage you to visit the Food Futures site at www.csiro.au/foodfutures for information about our major research themes and highlights of our achievements.
I trust you enjoy reading Food Futures Update and welcome your feedback on the Flagship’s articles.
Seasons greeting from the Flagship team!
Dr Bruce Lee
|IN THIS EDITION:|
The Food Futures Flagship is a CSIRO initiative and part of the National Research Flagships program that aims to deliver scientific solutions to advance Australia's most important national objectives. One of the largest scientific initiatives ever mounted in Australia, it aligns closely with the Federal Government's National Research Priorities. The initiative brings together our national research resources to deliver breakthroughs in fields ranging from healthcare to light metals and the environment.
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