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New technology adds value to dairy

7 February 2007

New technology adds value to dairy

Scientists are creating new economic opportunities in our dairy industry, Pete Hodgson, Minister of Research Science and Technology said during a visit to AgResearch campus near Hamilton today.

Agresearch is one of New Zealand’s 9 Crown Research Institutes.

“New Zealand has a strong national identity associated with farming and agriculture, but increasingly we are seen as smart innovators who are adding sustainable value in these areas,” said Pete Hodgson.
Research conducted at Ruakura includes animal molecular biology (genomics and cloning), reproductive technologies, agricultural systems modelling, land management, dairy science, meat science, food processing technology and safety and animal behaviour and welfare.

“AgResearch is carrying out some really exciting research, and I’ve been fortunate to see a small fraction of it today. One of the most interesting things I’ve seen today is their work on hyper-immune milk. The potential applications of this technology are extremely promising.”

AgResearch has developed technology to increase the levels of an immune protein in milk, which is normally very low in cow's milk, but high in human milk. By increasing the levels of this protein, the milk and products derived from it can be used in various health applications. Potentially this technology could be developed to fight the bacteria E coli which, if it enters the food chain, can have serious human health consequences.

“Agresearch is working closely with dairy companies on this and other technologies and believes there are significant export opportunities in the Asian market.

“It is exciting to see so much innovative, top class research happening in one place. I look forward to returning soon.” said Pete Hodgson.


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