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.
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.
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.
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.