Research in food science and microbiology

We believe in high-quality research that has impact and have world-class researchers and research strengths across science. Our research spans from developing sustainable food products with greater health benefits with consideration of sensory science, to the role and impact of microorganisms in food product, food safety and the environment.

We study the association of air borne microorganisms in the different size particulate matter and corresponding concentration of polyaromatic hydrocarbons. We also look at the different anthropogenic activities influencing air pollution in different urban and rural areas, comparing indoor and outdoor air quality with emphasis on young children.

We apply peptidomics and proteomics to discover the potential bioactive peptides and proteins in traditional and new food sources such as cow’s milk and plant-based proteins. With the aim to provide a variety of healthy food choices, we are working on different pathways to produce and/or extract bioactive compounds and further incorporate them in food products and other applications

We use a mixture of classical and molecular based methods to investigate how bacteria are becoming more antibiotics. This includes developing novel compounds to overcome the resistance and kill these bacteria.

This research investigates novel surface coatings and cleaning reagents to prevent and eliminate biofilms in a number of different environments including, medical, agricultural and food processing facilities.

We use a combination of food chemistry and sensory evaluation techniques to understand the influence of processing on food chemical composition and sensory quality.  We are also interested in understanding the role of auditory cues on consumer perception of food.

We look at unraveling microbes in a wide range of vital yet poorly understood environments, including Atacama desert, Antarctica, air particles around the world, and geothermal springs. We discover new organisms (and potentially useful genes) hidden in plain sight through data science and DNA sequencing technology. By filling in these missing pieces, we gain a better understanding of the biology of our rapidly changing planet.

We also look at how bacteria survive extreme environments.

We unravel the crucial role of microorganims in the health of above ground ecosystem as well as the inteaction of these microorganism in relation to different environmental factors that drive the richness and diversity of the microbiome.

We use molecular (‘omics) methods to investigate the key ecological patterns and processes shaping microbial communities, with a particular interest in how land use and management impacts soil microbial community composition and function. This helps us understand the role of soil microbes in ensuring long-term soil productivity and how they can be applied for monitoring ecosystem health.

We explore how different hygiene practices influence the human oral microbiome with enphasis on the different health state of the oral cavity.

One-third of the world’s food production for human consumption is either lost or wasted from farm to fork. In many cases, food losses occur because suboptimal foods are considered undesirable by the consumer, based on sensory and visual deviations. We are interest is in converting food waste into high-value products so that less waste ends up in the landfill.

We also focused on development of new food products with enhanced nutritional quality. Study of digestibility and bioavailability of nutrients in a variety of food matrices and food processing mechanisms is also one of our main interests.

AUT Centre for Future Foods

The gap between healthy food and a sustainable future is increasing exponentially. At the AUT Centre for Future Foods we research and develop innovative ways to create healthier food options, and identify bioactive components for new food development.


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