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Food Biochemist Acknowledged as Visiting Professor

Media Release

11 January 2006

Food Biochemist Acknowledged as Visiting Professor

One of New Zealand’s leading authorities on the health benefits of antioxidants in food has been recognised with an appointment as Visiting Professor at a national university in Sweden.

Lincoln University food biochemist Dr Geoffrey Savage has established a number of research connections with the Department of Food Science at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Uppsala, Sweden, over the past 10 years.

Dr Savage has research interests in the measurement of antioxidants, particularly in tomatoes, and has also identified the health benefits of wasabe, a Japanese herb which is now grown locally as a food condiment. He is also an authority on oxalate, a naturally occurring toxin in foods such as taro, spinach, nuts and yams, which is associated with a lowering of calcium uptake and kidney stones.

The Prefect of SLU’s Department of Food Science, Professor Anders Andren, says Lincoln University has made an important contribution to the supervising and examining of SLU students from undergraduate to PhD level. There has also been research collaboration and a number of joint publications that have resulted from the exchange of students between the two universities.

Dr Savage, who has produced more than 60 peer-reviewed articles, 23 book chapters and 70 proceedings papers, has also been promoted to Associate Professor within Lincoln University’s Agriculture and Life Sciences Division.

His current research is concerned with the measurement of secondary metabolites in plants such as oxalates and antioxidants and the effect of cooking and processing on the composition of human foods. He is also studying the measurement of nutritional factors such as fatty acids and plant sterols, found in nuts and seeds, and the stability of extracted oils from these products.

In additon to his teaching and research role in Lincoln University’s Agriculture and Life Sciences Division, Dr Savage is a course advisor for the B. Com (Food Industry) programme offered by the Commerce Division.

Dr Savage is a former president of the Nutrition Society of New Zealand and council member of the Royal Society of New Zealand, and is currently editing the Nutrition Society’s 2005 conference proceedings. He is a regular contributor to The Press, writing on topical issues relating to food and the food industries.


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