We conduct research across three broad, intersecting themes.

Our efforts have created a range of long-term outcomes

Dairy science and engineering

We collaborate with Dairy Innovation Australia Limited and the University of Melbourne on the five-year ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub. The hub aims to provide science and engineering solutions for present and future challenges in the dairy manufacturing industry.

    Food science researcher training

    We train students and postdoctoral fellows in industry-relevant research projects at the ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre. The centre is a collaboration with the Australian Food and Grocery Council and food companies including Sunrice, Meat and Livestock Australia, Simplot, Arnotts, Pepsico and Sanitarium. It covers areas including science, engineering, sensory, consumer perception studies and agribusiness.

    Food quality

    Projects include:

    • identifying and quantifying the traits that define superior fragrant rice, and assisting in the development of varieties that replace imports
    • applying nanotechnology to minimise the changes in the milk protein powders during storage
    • using genomics to identify important mutations affecting industry-relevant phenotypes in cheese starter culture bacteria to improve the cheese-making process.

    Research outcomes and impact

    We have:

    • contributed to the commercialisation of microencapsulation technologies, through the UQ spin-out company Progel
    • developed new methods for ethylene gas encapsulation
    • developed analytical chemistry methods (GCxGC-MS) for the analysis of volatile flavour compounds in foods including ingredients and processed foods from dairy, grains, horticulture and other commodities
    • achieved, by using (UPLC-MS/MS) equipment housed within the School, high-level metabolomics capability. This can be used to obtain deep understanding of the compounds that influence taste, flavour, admixture and provenance
    • introduced tribology analytical methods to assess the textural property of food materials
    • initiated 3D printing technology to design the structure of novel foods
    • developed and successfully transferred new molecular methods for the identification and genotyping of sporeforming bacteria in dairy products to the dairy industry, where they have been used to identify sources of contamination.