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Technology in Australia 1788-1988Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Table of Contents

Chapter 2

I Technology Transported; 1788-1840

II Technology Established; 1840-1940

III The Coming Of Science
i Education for Food Technology
ii Research Institutes

IV From Science To Technology: The Post-war Years

V Products And Processes

VI Conclusion

VII Acknowledgements



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The Coming Of Science (continued)

In the period 1921-31, Associate Professor W. J. Young (in 1938 he became the first Professor of Biochemistry) contributed a great deal to food investigations:

With the co-operation of Professors L. S. Bagster and E. J. Goddard of the University of Queensland, he guided and planned in detail investigations on meat, fish, bananas and citrus and provided room for the laboratory work in his Department .[122]

On 26 March 1926, Young lectured to the SCIV on 'Some Scientific Aspects of the Refrigeration of Meat'.[123] He was assisted greatly by slides taken by Vickery. On 26 April 1929, he spoke on 'The Science of Fruit Preservation'.[124]

Something else of importance happened in that same period. In 1923, Fred Walker, chief executive of the struggling company which bore his name, appointed a chemist, C. P. Callister, to develop a yeast extract for retail sale. Callister did this and the product, Vegemite, which has been the subject of active R & D from that day to this, is now part of the Australian ethos. Callister found it necessary to establish basic parameters for the controlled autolysis of brewers' yeast and thus began the practice of R & D in the company which joined with Kraft in 1926 to introduce processed cheese and which later became Kraft Foods Limited. As already noted, Callister broke fresh ground in the study of cheese; he also introduced the technology of vacuum tray drying in the manufacture of a pharmaceutical liver extract.[125] In the course of all this work he was in touch with Young who encouraged him in a successful submission for a Doctor of Science degree which he received in 1931, the year in which the CSIR Section of Food Preservation was established. Callister's doctorate was almost certainly the first such higher degree based on food studies to be awarded by an Australian university. Perhaps even more important was the group of young men he gathered round him, some of whom made significant contributions of food science and technology in Australia, and the laboratory which he established. It became the largest R & D facility in the Australian food industry and from it came fundamental work in food science and significant contributions to food technology. But Callister was not alone in this period. F. W. J. Clendinnen had joined Carlton Brewery in September 1922 and set up a laboratory. He made significant contributions to brewing chemistry through his work on wort proteins and haze measurements and was the first in a line of chemists who distinguished themselves in brewing chemistry.[126] CSR in Sydney also was supporting an active research programme.

By arrangement with the Queensland Meat Industry Board, the new CSIR Section began its meat work at the Cannon Hill abattoirs in Brisbane. A thousand miles away it joined forces with the Victorian department of Agriculture at the latter's cool stores at Victoria Dock to extend and develop fruit investigations already under way, and in Sydney studies on the ripening of bananas were begun.[127]

Experiments at the Low Temperature Research Station at Cambridge had already indicated that a combination of low temperature with an increase in carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere would double the life of beef held under refrigeration. This was taken up in Brisbane by the Australian team, which had facilities for trials. Vickery's group was brilliantly successful, its major contribution being the demonstration of the vital role in storage life of pre-storage factors. A most successful shipment was made to England and the overall success of this work emphasized to an extremely receptive part of the food industry the value of the help which science could give. The fruit storage work also was extremely productive, far more so than could reasonably be expected from the very limited resources available to CSIR. Its success was made possible by collaboration with Departments of Agriculture in all six States, a policy which has been continued with profit down through the years.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Carlton Brewery; CSIRO; Kraft Foods Limited; Queensland Meat Industry Board; Victoria. Government Departments

People in Bright Sparcs - Callister, C. P.; Clendinnen, F. W. J.; Vickery, J. R.; Walker, Fred; Young, Assoc. Prof. W. J.

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© 1988 Print Edition page 117, Online Edition 2000
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