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New facility aims to unlock potential

Plant & Food Research opens new Bioprocessing Laboratory in Nelson

 

New facility aims to unlock potential value from marine by products

NELSON, November 11 th 2009 - Plant & Food Research’s Nelson based Seafood Research Unit is set to formally open a new Bioprocessing Laboratory on November 12th . The new facility aims to provide a means for developing science discoveries in the laboratory into real-world commercial successes – particularly related to new products made from fish processing waste.

The new bioprocessing pilot plant will offer companies access to a wide range of small-scale processing equipment, and technical expertise for private commercial projects.

“We are particularly pleased with the new facility and the future opportunities it offers” says Dr Susan Marshall, Natural Extracts Team Leader with Plant & Food Research.   

“As a bioprocessing facility specialising in biological extractions from natural resources, we are able to work with companies involved in developing products that may not otherwise be welcome in conventional food processing pilot plants.”

Extracts obtained from seafood processing discards currently have many unexplored and under-exploited properties, with a wide range of unique biological, chemical or physical functionalities.

Susan and her team are currently looking at new and improved processing technologies to deliver novel types of functional ingredients and nutraceuticals from fish by-products. By utilising the Bioprocessing Laboratory, her team are able to carry out larger scale trials to demonstrate that production of the new products can be achieved in a cost-effective, environmentally friendly and food safe manner.

The new facility, with processing floor, attached laboratory and office is also being use for training and education. In particular, post-graduate students working with Plant & Food Research are being given the chance to transfer their lab based science skills into a ‘real-world’ factory environment.

“Our ability to now scale up from lab bench to pilot plant means that we can develop and deliver near-commercial processing and product innovations in this area” says TC Chadderton, Plant & Food Research Business Manager.

“Our hope is that the new facility will provide New Zealand businesses with the tools they need to develop and commercialise new products, at less risk, before securing lucrative new business.”

The formal opening of the site will take place at a ceremony on November 12th, where government and local politicians, representatives from the seafood industry, as well as staff and management of Plant & Food Research will be given a first hand tour of the new complex.

For futher information about the Bioprocessing Laboratory, please contact Dr Susan Marshall on 03 539-1811 or susan.marshall@plantandfood.co.nz or Mr TC Chadderton on 03 539-1813 or tc.chadderton@plantandfood.co.nz

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