Food and nutrition

Our broad-ranging research covers areas such as food processing, functional foods, nutraceuticals, human nutrition and sensory and consumer science.

Vegetables

Plant & Food Research’s technologists and scientists have industry experience and understand the commercial production and efficiencies required in all aspects of product development, including sourcing materials, processing, packaging and delivery. We develop methods for the separation and fractionation of plant and seafood extracts, deliver concepts and prototypes, run pilot and commercial production trials and optimise existing food processing methods.

Our scientists also work with industry to identify opportunities for finding value in co-product streams from primary and secondary processing. Links with other science teams across the Institute ensure products deliver benefits supported by scientific validation, using a range of tests including human clinical trials.

At the University our world-renowned scientists working in cell wall characterisation, structure-function characterisation of proteins and polysaccharides, and their use in solutions, gels and emulsions. We have extensive expertise in the characterisation of functional food components, antioxidant activity and the science and technology of processing of various types of food products.

The microstructure of foods and plant foods, in particular, is of special interest since these comprise a large component of the food we eat and contribute to the texture and fibre component of the diet. The architecture of cell walls remains a challenge as does understanding the effects of its composition in terms of human health. Cell wall integrity is important during fruit ripening and in maintaining fruit and vegetable quality. Understanding the processes of cell wall control is therefore important in determining successful preservation and storage techniques. Food microstructure is also important in understanding the functionality of food components in human health and well-being.

Our researchers

University of Auckland staff

Professor Mohammed Farid

  • Food processing

Associate Professor Michael Hautus

  • Human nutrition

Professor Bryony James

  • Food processing
  • Food science

Associate Professor Paul Kilmartin

  • Functional foods and nutraceuticals

Associate Professor Duncan McGillivray

  • Food processing
  • Food science
  • Functional foods and nutraceuticals

Dr Jennifer Miles-Chan

  • Human nutrition

Professor Sally Poppitt

  • Human nutrition

Associate Professor Siew-Young Quek

  • Food processing
  • Food science
  • Functional foods and nutraceuticals
  • Sensory and consumer science

Dr Viji Sarojini

  • Food science
  • Functional foods and nutraceuticals

Professor Brent Young

  • Food processing

Plant & Food Research staff

Dr Graham Fletcher

Email: graham.fletcher@plantandfood.co.nz

  • Food processing
  • Food science

Sravani Gupta

Email: sravani.gupta@plantandfood.co.nz

  • Food processing
  • Food science

Dr Roger Harker

Email: roger.harker@plantandfood.co.nz

  • Human nutrition

Dr John Ingram

Email: john.ingram@plantandfood.co.nz

  • Functional foods and nutraceuticals
  • Human nutrition

Dr Sara Jaeger

Email: sara.jaeger@plantandfood.co.nz

  • Human nutrition

Dr Tony McGhie

Email: tony.mcghie@plantandfood.co.nz

  • Food science
  • Functional foods and nutraceuticals

Dr Suman Mishra

Email: suman.mishra@plantandfood.co.nz

  • Food science
  • Human nutrition

Dr John Monro

Email: john.monro@plantandfood.co.nz

  • Food processing
  • Food science
  • Functional foods and nutraceuticals
  • Human nutrition

Marco Morgenstern

Email: marco.morgenstern@plantandfood.co.nz

  • Food processing
  • Food science
  • Sensory and consumer science

Dr Doug Rosendale

Email: doug.rosendale@plantandfood.co.nz

  • Food science
  • Functional foods and nutraceuticals
  • Human nutrition

Dr Daryl Rowan

Email: darryl.rowan@plantandfood.co.nz

  • Food science
  • Functional foods and nutraceuticals

Dr Allan Woolf

Email: allan.woolf@plantandfood.co.nz

  • Food processing