The two programmes led by AgResearch are among 68 successful applications for research from the recent 2023 funding round for the Government’s Endeavour Fund, with a total of $246 million allocated.
Close to $12m has been committed over five years to a programme that AgResearch will lead called “Plant-Based Food Ingredients: a Systems Approach to Sustainable Design”.
“Crops grown on arable land are an abundant resource and already provide most of the calories in people’s diets,” says AgResearch senior scientist Alistair Carr.
“Consumers are increasingly looking to these plants to do much more – to meet a wider range of culinary and nutritional needs, and to help address global concerns around sustainable ecosystems and animal welfare.”
“Food manufacturers have been quick to respond with many novel products. However, these are often highly refined and stripped of their whole-food benefits, have poor taste and texture, carry high sodium content, and can have hidden damage to essential amino acids. The next generation of plant-based foods will need to be prepared more sensibly with gentler handling of the inherently healthy raw materials and better guardianship of environmental impact.”