Future foods centre to super-charge new product development in WA

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Murdoch University is the first Western Australian university to partner with the State Government in a new commercial food factory that will help food and beverage businesses develop value-added food products for local consumption and global export.

The Sustainable Innovative Food Technologies (SIFT) Centre – the result of a WA Government partnership with the Future Food Systems CRC – is being delivered by Murdoch University to enable the transformation of ingredients produced by famers into value-added food products using state-of-the-art equipment and new technologies. 

Manjimup avocados, for example, could become extended shelf-life guacamole by partial inactivation of an enzyme that causes browning while other processes could lock in nutritional value or improve taste. 

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Today, the Hon. Jackie Jarvis MLC, Minister for Agriculture and Food, Forestry and Small Business; and Fiona Simpson, Chair of the Future Food System Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) joined Murdoch’s Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Innovation, Professor Peter Eastwood, to officially unveil the plaque at the SIFT Centre, located at the Food Innovation Precinct Western Australia in Nambeelup.  

Murdoch Vice Chancellor Professor Andrew Deeks said the SIFT Centre was the latest addition to a best-in-class food manufacturing ecosystem in WA.

“It provides, at a commercial scale, a pathway to grow and value-add our food businesses to make new products,” he said.

“This is important because real market potential and subsequent success can only be measured by placing products into the market and having customers buy them, repeatedly. 

“The facility provides an opportunity for small to medium sized enterprises to scale batch test new food products for local markets and for export. Such products are being developed and tested in the Murdoch Research and Development Centre managed by the University’s Food Futures Institute.” 

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The Hon. Jackie Jarvis MLC and Robyn Clarke MLA trying the technology.

Agri-businesses looking to develop new products will be supported by industry experts, backed by Murdoch University research and development.  

Director of Murdoch University’s Food Futures Institute Professor Peter Davies said while the SIFT Centre provided a platform for strong partnerships and collaborations between the University and business, it would also support local students into food science degrees; support PhD research; and attract pre-eminent scientists from around the world. 

“The SIFT Centre represents a major commitment by Murdoch to support industry development throughout the State, renewing our commitment to creating value for the agricultural sector; strengthening the excellence of our teaching and research facilities; and supporting our businesses – small and large – to make better, more nutritious food.” 

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The Sustainable Innovative Food Technologies Centre is located at the Food Innovation Precinct Western Australia in Nambeelup.

Professor Davies thanked the State and Federal governments, Food Futures CRC and Shire of Murray for investing in the Food Innovation Precinct WA and supporting the WA food industry. The total investment in the Centre was around $15 million.  

This week, a who’s who of global agricultural and food industry representatives are in Perth for the evokeAG 2024conference to connect the agri-food innovation community, and the Future Food Systems For Food’s Sake summit at Murdoch University’s Boola Katitjin building. Many delegates from these major gatherings also attended today’s event.  

Learn more about the how Murdoch's Food Futures Institute is developing smart, sustainable, resilient food systems at the new home of food innovation in Western Australia.

Posted on:

23 Feb 2024

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