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US$7 mn allotted for Next-gen Food and Beverage Research, to be used for New Zealand’s National Science Challenges Operation

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Published on : Dec 03, 2015

Among the several National Science Challenges of the government to address, project ‘High Value Nutrition’ has granted US$7 mn on research projects for the development of foods that will help babies sleep through the night to food proteins that will help older people to be more mobile. 

To carry out the seven projects in this regard, it involves science and industry collaborations with a focus on the Asian market. Each project gets an investment of US$1mn in the period of next three years after a contestable funding round.

Of the 11 National Science Challenges, High Value Nutrition (HVN) is one that has received a budget of US$81 mn to be spent in the next 10 years from the government so that New Zealand may be known as an international leader for health food and to grow exports by US$1bn by 2025.

As stated by the HVN research director, the aim is to establish New Zealand as the ‘Silicon Valley’ for health food which is the new trend globally. The executive further added that the country may not be capable of feeding the world, but can certainly expand returns if it occupies the high value, innovative space. He further added that New Zealand does not want to sell health food to the whole world, rather to a small percentage of Asian population who have a bend for these foods for their validated health benefits.

As a part of this, the projects include research initiatives by Otago University on developing foods that have novel dietary fibers that will sustain babies longer and will allow them to sleep the full night. In this endeavor, the university hopes that it may sell the new food to quite a few manufacturers of baby food.

The dairy company Miraka and AgResearch have collaborated to discover the natural traits of milk and the ways in which these can be preserved in specially processed milk.