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The challenge

More foods, fewer resources

We all like to try new and exciting foods and flavours. Convenience, great taste, nutrition and quality are also important to modern day consumers. New food products and new and better ways of manufacturing food helps Australian companies satisfy consumer demands such as these as well as make Australian companies competitive in domestic and global markets.

We are world leaders in new food technologies such as high pressure processing.

But in a world of diminishing resources (water, arable land, phosphorous and energy) and variable raw material quality due in part to climate change, the sustainable and consistent conversion of raw food materials into everyday food products can be challenging.

Our response

New foods, sustainable foods

From ready-to-eat meals to dairy protein powders and more, we research the science of transforming agricultural raw materials from Australia's primary sectors - meat, dairy, grains and horticulture - into food products.

Take wheat as an example. We normally do not eat raw grains of wheat. Wheat is converted into flour which in turn may be converted into bread, cakes, biscuits, pasta, noodles and a wide range of other food products. This transformation of raw material into food products is a necessary part of providing convenient, long lasting and nutritious food to our manufactured food supply.

We can't eat raw grains of wheat, but food processing makes many wheat products.

Our work also helps food, ingredient and technology companies improve the safety, quality, stability and sustainability of manufactured food products and develop brand new ones. A key focus is helping companies develop premium products for export markets such as Asia.

We are world leaders in helping companies adopt new food processing technologies, such as high pressure processing and megasonics (sound waves), and extract valuable components such as proteins from by-product streams.

Our work includes understanding the processing requirements of new materials coming about through climate change, for example drought resistant crops, as well as the variations in raw materials across the seasons, particularly important to the dairy industry.

[Music plays and CSIRO logo and text appears: Clextral, New technology; new foods]

[Images flash through of Maxime Collado walking through a factory and then working on a computer and then the camera zooms in on Maxime Collado and text appears: Maxime Collado, Project Engineer, Clextral]

Maxime Collado: Clextral is a French company manufacturing extrusion production lines.

[Images flash through of Maxime Collado and two other employees working in the factory]

With the Australian company Innovo we’ve developed award first technology that could lead to big changes in the food industries.

[Camera zooms in on one of the employees and then images flash through of the employee looking at a screen and then the image changes back to Maxime Collado again.]

 The possible future commercial impact for this technology is estimated in hundreds of millions of dollars. 

[Image changes to show Maxime Collado and another employee operating a machine, looking into a stainless steel pot and then the camera zooms in on the powder in the pot]

Extrusion porosification technology, or EPT, is a technology used to dry high concentrated products. 

[Image shows Maxime Collado taking a sample of the powder from the pot]

EPT can handle much more viscous solids than conventional spray drying.

[Image changes back to Maxime Collado and then images flash through of employees working and then image reverts to Maxime Collado]

Advantageous for EPT compared to conventional spray drying technology are better functionality for the products, the flexibility of the platform, energy savings and finally better flavour retention. 

[Image changes to show an employee inspecting the sample in the pot and then images flash through of machinery]

We’ve searched globally for a partner to set up our first pilot plant. 

[Image changes to show an employee looking at a computer screen then the camera zooms in on the sample again]

We’ve choosen to come here to CSIRO because they were the only one able to provide the technical and analytical supports.

[Image changes to show Maxime Collado and then the camera pans along the machinery in the factory and images flash through of an employee operating a machine, Maxime Collado, Maxime Collado inspecting the samples of coffee and then the camera zooms in on the sample]

In collaboration with CSIRO and FIAL through the SME solution centre we’ve piloted EPT applications for high protein dairy and coffee products and we were able to confirm that coffee made with our technology retained more aroma than conventional spray drying does. 

[Camera zooms out to show Maxime Collado and another employee looking at a sample and then images flash through of Maxime Collado in the factory]

This means we’re able to make a soluble coffee powder which tastes the same as fresh roasted coffee. 

[Image changes to show Maxime Collado again]

The funding through FIAL means that we could develop new commercial prototypes and it gets new potential customers at the door.

[Image changes to show an employee working on a computer then the camera pans up to show the employee at his desk]

Overall the work showed that this technology offers real innovation opportunities for the food industry. 

[Image changes to show an employee walking into the Flavourtech building and then images flash through of employees working in the Flavourtech factory]

Our first commercial partner was Flavourtech based in regional New South Wales.  They’ve decided to license our technology for the coffee industries. 

[Image changes to show an employee pouring coffee beans into a hopper]

Partnering with global major company like Flavourtech gives us an access to the coffee and tea industries. The flexibility of the EPT is what is exciting for customers.

[Image changes back to show Maxime Collado and then images flash through of Maxime Collado with two other employees pouring samples and then the camera zooms in on the samples] 

We are able to imagine new ingredients for products such as probiotics, bioactives or flavour that could not be made on standard and conventional drying technologies. 

[Image changes to show Maxime Collado and then the image changes to show two employees operating a machine]

We wouldn’t have been able to do this without the help from CSIRO and their access to a world range of equipment and expertise in the food industry.

[Image changes to show Maxime Collado]

The food application we’ve explored so far is only the tip of the iceberg and there’s a lot more potential application that could go through this technologies.  Companies are welcome to come knock on our door to see how this technology could help them.

[CSIRO, FIAL and Australian Government logos appear with text: The SME Solution Centre, A collaboration between CSIRO and FIAL]

[Music plays and CSIRO logo appears with text: Big ideas start here]

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