New ARC food manufacturing training centre opens in Sydney

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 5th November 2014
Researchers at the new ARC food manufacturing training centre opened in Sydney
Researchers at the new ARC food manufacturing training centre opened in Sydney

A new centre that will help Australian food manufacturing companies stay globally competitive has been officially at the University of Sydney.

The “ARC training centre for the Australian food processing industry in the 21st Century” (ARCFPTC) was awarded $3 million over three years from the Australian Research Council through its Industrial Transformation Research Program.

The key objectives of the Centre are to boost the Australian industry’s capacity to successfully compete in global market by developing cost effective processes and produce high value products such as nutraceuticals with health benefits for the prevention and treatment of chronic and acute diseases.

According to Professor Fariba Dehghani, from the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and co-director of the new centre ARCFPTC has been designed to boost the nation’s food technology and manufacturing capacity.

“The new centre aims to boost the Australian industry’s capacity to compete in a global market, particularly in the production of nutraceuticals for pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements, or food ingredients,” Professor Dehghani said. “The centre will design cost-effective and sustainable processes for producing these types of products with a view to minimising waste while enhancing efficiency and reducing energy consumption,” she said.

Multidisciplinary research environment

The Centre will provide a multidisciplinary research environment that includes fourteen researchers from engineering, agriculture, science and medicine, as well as international collaborators, and ten food and biotechnology industry partners.

The ARCFPTC will work with Australian businesses to develop more advanced manufacturing techniques in order to reduce costs and increase energy efficiency. The funding of the Centre has been supplemented by its ten industry partners through cash and in-kind contributions.

“This particular ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre has an important focus and it covers a key research sector identified in the Australian Government’s recent Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda-food and agribusiness,” said Professor Aidan Byrne, ARC CEO. “This centre will educate a new generation of engineers and scientists and foster the capacity of Australian Food industries to further develop advanced technologies in manufacturing and product improvement,” he said.

Centre will work with industry partners

Professor Byrne said another key objective of the centre was to work with industry partners “to develop improved processes for the production of nutraceuticals-such as nutrients and dietary supplements-for the promotion of health and well-being”.

“These high-value products have the potential to significantly increase Australian exports in agribusiness,” Professor Byrne said.

Partners in the Centre include Agricure Pty Ltd, Lang Technologies Pty Ltd, AB Mauri Technology and Development Pty Ltd, Peanut Company of Australia, Ecopha, Marine Biotechnology Australia Pty Ltd, Batlow Premium Juices, PharmaCare  Laboratories Pty Ltd, Perfection Fresh Australia Pty Ltd and Stahmann Farms Enterprises Pty Ltd.