Overview: The intersections of food, biotechnology, digital technologies and robotics are beginning to disrupt and transform the global food industry. ‘Food Tech’ is now considered to be the final frontier of disruptive innovation. New and emerging technologies are being harnessed to design new ways to produce and consume food, responding to both consumer trends and an imperative to improve sustainability and human health.
Many of the innovations are based on the use of synthetic biology and bioengineering approaches to produce animal protein foods in non-traditional ways, leading to the emergence of synthetic, cultured and engineered foods.

There are two research projects under this theme:

Project 3.1: Cell-based production of animal meat protein products.
Project leaders Dr Laura Domigan, Prof Jillian Cornish and Prof Warren McNabb
This project will develop lab-grown meat from New-Zealand-sourced livestock cell lines, as well as find methods to produce cultured cells and cell-based animal meat protein products with enhanced nutritional properties.

Project 3.2: Recombinant technology for food protein production.
Project leaders Prof Emily Parker, Prof Renwick Dobson and Prof Geoff Jameson
The aim of this project is to develop and exploit new recombinant methods for the expression of novel proteins or current food proteins (e.g., milk proteins). A long-term vision is to build the capability and technology to produce genetically modified protein-rich macroalgae, grown in seawater.