The Riddet Isntititue leads or contributes to several Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) collaborative research prgrammes.


Fermented Foods

Fermentation is an ancient and efficient method of preserving food and producing distinctive flavours and textures, with microorganisms being both the defining feature and the limiting step. Current fermentation technologies do not meet rising consumer demand for natural foods with fewer additives and a wide choice of flavours and textures.

The research team are using the evolution of microbial strains and multi-strain communities, coupled with directed deep phenotyping, to control of the diversity of molecules produced during fermentation, to deliver safe and innovative flavours and textures.

Programme Leader: Dr Li Day (AgResearch)

Dr Scott Knowles, Dr Eric Altermann, Prof Bill Williams, Dr Julie Dalziel, Dr Stefan Clerens, Prof Joanne Hort, Katherine Allikian, Prof Richard Archer


Self-digesting ruminant milk proteins

This “Smart Idea” is to improve the nutritional quality and immune protective function of commercial infant formula by making a formula closer to mother’s milk in digestibility and function. Proteases (an enzyme that breaks down proteins) naturally present in ruminant milks may enhance protein digestion in infants. The proteases are critical for unlocking latent protective activity in the formulations but need to be protected from processing damage. There is freedom-to-operate on the function of ruminant milk proteases and their application to develop new premium NZ formula for Asian markets.

Programme leader: Prof Nicole Roy

Prof Warren McNabb, Dr Stefan Clerens, A/Prof Li Day, Dr Jane Mullaney, Prof Bruce German, Dr Abby Thompson, Dr Sharon Henare, Dr Wayne Young, Dr Karl Fraser


Dairy Products for Smarter Lives

There are some dairy-based ingredients with known effects on gut function, able to improve brain development and performance, in young, adult and ageing humans. The research team are testing these ingredients and their influence on ‘gut-brain axis’ pathways to see if they have an effect – either alone or with probiotics. This new knowledge will be used by the NZ dairy industry to develop new premium NZ dairy products with proven functionality for Asian markets.

Programme leader: Prof Nicole Roy

Dr Rachel Anderson, Dr Julie Dalziel, Dr Wayne Young, Dr Shalome Bassett, Dr Karl Fraser, Dr Simon O’Carroll, Prof Warren McNabb, Dr Ashling Ellis, A/Prof Ryan Dilger, Dr James Dekker, Sophie Gallier, Dr Jane Mullaney, Dr Gerald Clarke, Prof Nick Spencer, Dr Eric Altermann, Dist Prof Harjinder Singh


Milk Means More (3M)

This is a five year, $11 million research project, aimed at producing new high value milk products. The research team will seek better mechanistic understanding of the various milks produced in New Zealand including cow, goat, sheep and deer.

A particular aim will be to develop new products for babies, very young children and elderly people in New Zealand and, especially, for export. Other research partners are Massey, Otago and Auckland universities, AgResearch and Plant & Food Research. And it has the backing of Miraka, Fonterra, Synlait, A2 Milk Company, Maui Milk, Spring Sheep Dairy, NIG Nutritionals, Pamu and the Dairy Goat Cooperative.

Project Leader: Professor Warren McNabb