High-tech food centre offers innovation edge to WA food industry


Food manufacturers and start-ups were introduced to the technological capabilities of the Sustainable Innovative Food Technologies (SIFT) Centre today, during the first of eight free industry workshops scheduled for 2024.

The $12.2 million SIFT Centre – formally launched by Agriculture and Food Minister Jackie Jarvis in February – is packed with state-of the-art technology to support the development of new food products by WA manufacturers. The centre is funded through the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) and operated by the Future Food Systems Cooperative Research Centre and Murdoch University.

During today’s virtual workshop, manufacturers learnt about the capabilities of high-pressure processing (HPP), which can remove pathogens, parasites and viruses from food, while reducing or eliminating the use of chemical preservatives.

Industry experts Dr Carole Tonello-Samson from HPP specialists Hiperbaric High Pressure Technologies and SIFT Managing Director Stuart Johnson guided participants through the potential of high-pressure processing to support the development of new cold pasteurised food and beverage products with extended shelf life while preserving natural nutrition and flavour.  

The SIFT technology and innovation facility embodies our commitment to fostering WA’s food sector’s future.” - Paul Isaachsen, DPIRD

DPIRD Industry and Economic Development Deputy Director General Paul Isaachsen welcomed the commencement of regular workshops to build awareness and understanding of the equipment, facilities, services and opportunities available to WA food and beverage businesses.

“SIFT offers WA’s food and beverage industry a unique opportunity to test and refine products before deciding to invest in large scale operation, commercialisation and equipment,” Mr Isaachsen said.

“These virtual workshops offer an excellent opportunity for metropolitan and regional businesses across the State to get detailed information on the technologies, equipment and expertise available to support their innovation and expansion goals.”

Future Food Systems Cooperative Research Centre Chief Executive Officer James Krahe said the workshops were a key part of the CRC’s strategy to ensure the WA food manufacturing ecosystem was well-equipped to compete on a global scale.

“The SIFT technology and innovation facility embodies our commitment to fostering WA’s food sector’s future,” he said.

“By providing access to novel technologies and more importantly, expert guidance on their use as shown by this workshop, we aim to empower local businesses to bring new, high-quality products to market, enhance food safety, and drive economic growth.”

Professor Peter Davies, Pro Vice Chancellor at Murdoch University’s Food Futures Institute, said the SIFT Centre provided a platform for strong partnerships and collaborations between the University and business, supporting local students into food science degrees; new PhD research; and attracting pre-eminent scientists from around the world. 

The SIFT Centre is located within the Food Innovation Precinct of WA (FIPWA) in the Peel Business Park at Nambeelup. Information about upcoming industry workshops will be posted on the SIFT website. 

Feature Image: The high-pressure processing (HPP) machine at the SIFT Centre can help produce safer, tastier, longer-lasting food without the use of chemical preservatives.  

Research that secures the future

The Food Futures Institute is working to improve the accessibility and availability of sufficient, safe, sustainably-produced and nutritious food.
Posted on:

22 May 2024

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