Food Processing Technology

food processing technology hero

Learn how our food processing technology service can add value to your business. 

Benefits for your business:

  • Accelerate your entry to market and launch your innovative food and health products faster.
  • Reduce R&D and manufacturing costs and capture commercial opportunities ahead of the competition. 
  • De-risk your process development and manufacturing operations by working with proven experts.
  • Trial new processing technologies before investing in full-scale equipment.

Are you an ambitious business with an R&D budget that is…

  • Currently developing a processed food, dietary supplement or functional food ingredient?
  • Wanting support to get your product to prototype stage or semi-commercial scale? 
  • Looking to add value to a by-product stream from primary processing?
  • Wanting to evaluate new food processing technologies?

If it’s “yes” to any of the above, then our Food Processing Technology team can help you.

Why work with us?

  • We’re connected: we have access to specialist expertise in process optimisation, commercial production and exporting through our partnership with New Zealand Food Innovation’s The Foodbowl, and as a founding member of the Bioresource Processing Alliance (BPA) - the gateway to primary sector bioprocessing in NZ.
  • We support food businesses at all stages of development, from process modelling to optimisation and scaling from lab to pilot production. 
  • We have specialty expertise across the entire value chain of innovative food development including analytical services, fermentation, process engineering, lipids and natural products chemistry
  • We have a range of funding support options to complement our R&D services.

What's involved?

  • After you contact our team, we’ll assess your needs and assign you a point of contact with relevant expertise.
  • We can develop highly flexible and tailored services to meet your individual business needs.

Meet our Food Processing Technology experts

Case Study


Citizen bread and beerBusiness opportunity:

Some 29 million loaves of bread remain uneaten in NZ each year, according to the Love Food Hate Waste campaign, making it our most-wasted food. Food left to fester in landfills releases harmful greenhouse gases. In addition, resources that go into the production of the bread is ultimately wasted if the food is not consumed.

What we did:

Callaghan Innovation Food Technologist Campbell Ellison worked with Citizen – alongside The Foodbowl – to develop the processes required to turn the waste bread into beer, then beer waste into spent-grain flour to turn back into bread. To minimise waste and maximise taste, Citizen wanted to capture both the barley husks from the beer mash to make flour, but also retain the leftover malty liquid for subsequent use in bread-making. Callaghan Innovation supported by developing the required processes to successfully carry out these tasks at scale, to meet the required food standards and to optimise for energy efficiency – all while producing nutritious and delicious end products. 

The result: 

Citizen’s first products – two beers (a Pilsner and a Pale Ale) and a malty spent-grain sourdough – hit retail shelves on 1 July 2020. The business is now continuing its product development, exploring further opportunities with waste bread and then turning its attention to NZ’s second-most wasted food product  – vegetables.

Mānuka Health

manuka health beekeeperBusiness opportunity:

Propolis products are consumed mainly for immune support and antioxidant activity, but there isn’t a universal standard of quality or strength. Mānuka Health saw the potential to drive further product development – and ultimately expand its market – through expert propolis research. 

What we did:

Mānuka Health teamed up with scientists from Callaghan Innovation’s Integrated Bioactive Technologies (IBT) group and seconded Chief Engineer Dr Owen Catchpole – an expert in supercritical extraction – into the business on a part-time basis. A key focus of the research partnership has been investigating the protective properties of bioactive compounds in propolis, a sticky substance that bees make from plant resins and their own beeswax, and then use to seal and protect their hive from invaders and infection. 

The result: 

Mānuka Health has pioneered a BIO rating that gives the strength of their propolis products – based on the measurement of 16 bioactive compounds that Callaghan scientists have shown have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and other health benefits. Off the back of this, the business now plans to develop and expand its range of oral propolis products into key international markets. Mānuka Health now holds 12 propolis patents in NZ and offshore, relating to gastro-intestinal anti-cancer bioactivity of BIO30™ compounds, skin anti-cancer bioactivity of BIO30™ propolis compounds, epithelial (skin and gastro-intestinal) anti-cancer activity of BIO30™ propolis complexes.