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Food & Health case studies

Research available from the University of Auckland through UniServices. 

Talk to us so we can pull together the right team of researchers for your project.  


New research aims to seamlessly span fundamental and applied aspects of ecology, evolution and population biology using an experimental approach; especially as applied to wine yeast in relation to diversity, distribution and effect on wine aroma, flavour and general quality. The beauty of using yeasts is they are model research organisms and there is an enormous understanding of the molecular genetics of these organisms. One can use experimental populations of yeast to test fundamental biological questions. The output of such experiments with  yeast is wine; thus an understanding of yeast biology, genetics, population biology and ecology also provides a greater understanding of the process of making wine

 The aim of Dr Silas Villas-Boas’ research project has been to screen pigment-producing microbes from the New Zealand environment. The microbes selected are primarily isolated from stream water and as such they present considerable potential for production of food-grade pigments.

The University of Auckland has a 2 L machine for high pressure processing (HPP) of food. A smaller version of the machine (0.3L) has been used to study the fundamentals of HPP but the 2L machine provides the University with the capacity to treat  a range of food and liquids including fruit and vegetable. Work includes: 

• Patented a new technology of pressure assisted thermal sterilization.
• Extended the use of HPP in other applications including ceramic manufacturing
• Collaboration with Plant and Food Innovation.

New Zealand’s only purpose-designed long-stay residential nutrition trials unit is based at the University of Auckland. It is a facility where food companies can commission product trials that meet FDA standards, ensuring that results can be used to make claims to international regulatory authorities. HNU provides independent research and consulting for the food industry across a wide range of products from whole foods to food components, bioactives and neutraceuticals.

  • Nutrigenomics  Foods and diets tailored to genes for health and disease management.

UniServices offers nutrigenomics services from genetics research, population testing and human nutrition to bioinformatics, efficacy testing, claim validation and food/ health state connections.

Our food scientists can work with food processing engineers, nutrition, medical and business experts co-design health and wellness foods, screen foods for novel bio actives, develop foods with novel structures, textures and applications, explore new ways of processing food to achieve longer shelf life, or carry out human intervention studies or clinical trials that test performance and consumer acceptance in the market place. 

Process systems engineering is where the systems approach is applied in the planning, design, control and optimization of food processing plants and products. Technologies include process analysers; design, data acquisition and analysis tools; process control tools; and knowledge management and continuous improvement tools.