Guide to Current Research in Victorian Universities Department of State and Regional Development
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Cooperative Research Centre for International Food Manufacture and Packaging Science

http://www.foodpack.crc.org.au/
Cooperative Research Centre for International Food Manufacture and Packaging Science Contacts Page
Contact Details

The following programs have been sponsored by the Cooperative Research Centre for International Food Manufacture and Packaging Science which is located at Swinbume University of Technology, Hawthorn, Victoria. The seven Programs detailed in this guide are all structured to examine issues in packaging.

The aim of the research is to develop the level of scientific and technical expertise in the food and packaging industries to maintain world competitiveness. The research programs will develop a world-class scientific research centre with outcomes of strategic value to Australia's economic and environmental future.

The novel presentation methods include active polymer packaging, natural peptides such as bacteriocins, energy sources specific to spoilage organisms and novel delivery systems. The programs also address environmental issues associated with packaging of food products, with research into biopolymers for use as packaging materials and recycling of fibre based packaging.

The Cooperative Research Centre is one of a number of Centres that represent collaborative ventures bringing together researchers and research groups from universities, Commonwealth and State funded research organisations such as CSIRO, and business enterprises. The Centres are jointly funded by the Commonwealth Government and participating organisations.

It should be noted that research may be carried out concurrently at different campuses.

 

Program 1: Minimal Processing

Minimally processed horticultural food products.
Key Researcher: Hickey Dr M, University of Melbourne, Faculty of Agriculture Forestry & Horticulture, Gilbert Chandler College.
Description: Development of manufacturing and packaging protocols for extended shelf-life for a range of fresh and minimally processed horticultural products.
Research Institutes:
Australian Food Industry Science Centre;
CSIRO Division of Food Science & Technology.

 

Program 2: Manufacturing & Logistics

Development of monitoring and control systems and mathematical modelling of material supply.
Key Researcher: Mayfield J, Arnott's Biscuits Limited.
Description: To develop flexible monitoring and control systems that allow for optimum performance of food manufacturing and packaging operations when using variable raw materials.
Research Institutes:
CSIRO Division of Food Science & Technology;
Macquarie University;
Department of Electrical Engineering.

 

Program 3: Smart Packaging

The development of controlled permeability film for fresh produce.
Key Researcher: Christie Dr G, CSIRO Division of Materials Science & Technology.
Description: To develop a range of optically clear commodity polymer films with varying permeabilities to be matched to the requirements of specific fresh horticultural produce.
Development of biocidal film for fresh produce, cheese and meat.
Key Researcher: Christie Dr G
CSIRO Division of Materials Science & Technology Description: To develop polymer surface structures that actively inhibit microbial growth.


The development of film to absorb deleterious gases.
Key Researcher: Christie Dr G, CSIRO Division of Materials Science & Technology.
Description: To produce films that selectively absorb unwanted chemicals from the storage atmosphere and prolong the storage life of the produce. Gases that will be investigated include water, ethylene, carbon dioxide and oxygen.


The development of active polymer/paper laminates.
Key Researcher: Christie Dr G, CSIRO Division of Materials Science & Technology.
Description: To combine the active polymer film properties and paper carton properties by lamination; hence greatly increase the efficiency of packing lines particularly for fresh produce.


Development of enabling technology in polymer processing and extrusion.
Key Researcher: Christie Dr G, CSIRO Division of Materials Science & Technology.
Description: To produce and characterise polymer materials systematically compounded with reactive components under a range of compounding conditions; to develop a fundamental understanding of the relationship between the additives, polymer rheology, polymer surface energy, compounding conditions and the morphology and performance of the active material.


Investigation of molecular transport and reaction mechanisms in polymer films.
Key Researcher: Christie Dr G, CSIRO Division of Materials Science & Technology.
Description: To develop enabling technology for the development of active packaging.
To develop a mathematical model for describing the mass transport through active membranes and further, to develop an understanding of the relationship between size, dispersion and morphology of active components and the performance of active films.
Research Institutes:
CSIRO Division of Materials Science & Technology;
Department of Agriculture Energy & Minerals;
Institute of Horticultural Development;
Australian Food Industry Science Centre.

 

Program 4: Biopolymer Packaging

The development of biopolymers for production of naturally degradable packaging materials.
Key Researcher: Christie Dr G, CSIRO Division of Materials Science & Technology.
Description: To develop biopolymer materials with properties suitable for processing on conventional plastics processing machinery to yield both and flexible packaging materials. This will give a totally biodegradable and/or recyclable water resistant package that will find immediate use in the local and export markets.


Development of water resistant biopolymers as an enabling technology.
Key Researcher: Christie Dr G, CSIRO Division of Materials Science & Technology.
Description: To improve the water resistance of the starch-based polymers.


The investigation of biopolymer water resistance and bioactivity.
Key Researcher: Christie Dr G, CSIRO Division of Materials Science & Technology.
Description: To develop a fundamental understanding, that can be used as a predictive tool, that relates the macromolecular starch structure to its interactions with water including enthalpy of immersion and swelling and its enzyme and microbial activity.


Processing techniques and rheological characterisation of biopolymers.
Key Researcher: Christie Dr G, CSIRO Division of Materials Science & Technology.
Description: To develop a fundamental understanding of the chemical structure of the biopolymer and the flow mechanics of the molten state including complex viscoelastic behaviour brought about by both molecular interactions and polymer chain entanglement; and its physical properties such as melt strength and tensile strength.
Research Institutes:
CSIRO Division of Materials Science & Technology;
The University of Queensland, Department of Chemical Engineering;
Swinburne University of Technology, Centre for Applied Colloid & Bio Colloid Science;
Queensland Department of Primary Industry, Gatton Research Station.

 

Program 5: Packaging & Preservation Microbiology

Development of bacteriocins.
Key Researcher: Davidson Dr B, University of Melbourne, Department of BioChemistry & Molecular Biology.
Description: To develop new food preservation systems, based on naturally occurring bactericidal peptides (bacteriocins) and related synthetic analogues, suitable for application in the packaging of export food stuffs.


Rapid detection technologies for the assessment of food preservation and microbial safety.
Key Researcher: Davidson Dr B, University of Melbourne, Department of BioChemistry & Molecular Biology.
Description: To apply and develop existing rapid DNA-based technologies and other rapid molecular and microbiology techniques to identity and enumerate food pathogens and spoilage organisms.
Research Institutes:
University of Melbourne, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology;
CSIRO Division of Food Science & Technology; Australian Food Industry Science Centre.

 

Program 6: Sensory Studies

Asian perceptions of food and packaging.
Key Researcher: Bell Dr G, CSIRO Division of Food Science & Technology Sensory Research Centre.
Description: Determine perceptual and other drivers of acceptability of products and their packaging, by consumers in countries of importance to participating companies.


Cognitive and physiological mechanisms.
Key Researcher: Bell Dr G, CSIRO Division of Food Science & Technology Sensory Research Centre.
Description: To determine the cognitive and physiological mechanisms that determine optimal responses to chemical attributes of food products and packaging.
Research Institutes:
CSIRO Division of Food Science & Technology, Sensory Research Centre;
Swinburne University of Technology, School of Biophysical Sciences & Electrical Engineering; Macquarie University, School of Behavioural Sciences;
The University Of NSW, School of Physiology & Pharmacology.

 

Program 7: Packaging Recycle and Disposal

Life cycle assessment.
Key Researcher: Mainwaring Prof D, Swinbume University of Technology.
Description: Complete life cycle assessment of the developed technologies for recycling paper.


Recycle paper enhancement.
Key Researcher: Mainwaring Prof D, Swinburne University of Technology.
Description: Improve recycle paper quality and increased use of recycled products.


Biological pretreatment.
Key Researcher: Mainwaring Prof D, Swinburne University of Technology.
Description: The development of an industrial enzyme biotreatment process for the economical production of recycled paper.
Research Institutes:
Swinburne University of Technology, Centre for Applied Colloid & BioColloid Science; Victoria University of Technology, Department of Packaging Transportation & Storage.

 


Published by the Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre on AustehcWeb, March 2000
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