Food & Bio-Based Products

agresearch food and bio based products meat frying pan flame
Our science has a strong focus on agri-food and bio-based products and agri-technologies, to support the development of a new generation of livestock and plant-derived products. Our breadth of expertise sees us working in areas ranging from new foods to fashion.

agresearch food bio based products wool hands2

The role of the Foods & Bio-based Products group is to create the knowledge and tools to develop high value foods, ingredients and products from pastoral-based agriculture.

We focus on the production and supply of high-value premium consumer goods that are the end result of the agricultural value chain, with the outputs tailored to global market and consumer preferences.

We provide the underpinning research and development capabilities for a diverse range of consumer materials from meat and dairy foods, wool carpets and fabric, health and beauty products, as well as to the tools and machinery to support these industries.

Teams within this group:
  • Dairy Foods
  • Food Assurance & Meat Quality
  • Food Nutrition & Health
  • Proteins & Biomaterials
  • Textiles

Our Team

Dr. Jolon Dyer
Dr. Jolon Dyer

Science Group Leader
Food & Bio-based Products
Email Jolon

Andy Cooper
Andy Cooper

Science Impact Leader
Wool Products & Supply

Email Andy

Dr. Cameron Craigie
Dr. Cameron Craigie

Science Impact Leader
Meat Products & Supply

Email Cameron

Dr. Gale Brightwell
Dr. Gale Brightwell

Science Team Leader
Food Assurance & Meat Quality
Email Gale

Dr. Stefan Clerens
Dr. Stefan Clerens

Science Team Leader
Proteins & Biomaterials

Email Stefan

Dr. Stewart Collie
Dr. Stewart Collie

Science Team Leader
Textiles

Email Stewart

Dr. Nicole Roy
Dr. Nicole Roy

Science Team Leader
Food Nutrition & Health

Email Nicole

Dr. Mike Weeks
Dr. Mike Weeks

Science Team Leader
Dairy Foods

Email Mike

Dr. Li Day
Dr. Li Day

Sector Manager
Food & Fibre
Email Li

Megan Skiffington
Megan Skiffington

Sector Manager
Meat & Fibre
+64 27 707 0407
Email Megan

SPOTLIGHT ON SCIENCE

Hogget fertility and what it means for farmers

Featuring Dr. Jenny Juengel

Hoggets are female sheep that have lambs for the first time at one year old, whereas typically on New Zealand sheep farms the female sheep first give birth at two years of age. Often the impediments to hogget lambing are the changes required to farm systems, and inefficiencies in reproduction. AgResearch has studied this area of reproduction to better understand it, and look at ways to improve the efficiency of hogget lambing. Principal scientist Dr Jenny Juengel talks through the issues and potential benefits it can bring sheep farmers, including improved profitability and a reduced environmental footprint.

Strategic winter grazing

Featuring Dr Seth Laurenson & colleagues

With farmers always on the lookout out for simple, cheap methods to improve their farm systems, AgResearch and partner DairyNZ undertook practical research to provide just that. This strategic winter grazing research has developed low–cost approaches for farmers to better manage their land in winter conditions. Our scientists say the pick-up from farmers has been amongst the highest we have seen here at AgResearch – which tells us it’s making a real difference. Here the team talk about how they went about it, the methods, and what the areas of benefit are for the farmers.

Sharon the mutant sheep

Featuring Dr Jeff Plowman

Sharon the Felting Lustre mutant sheep has become somewhat of a celebrity since the media spotlight came on in her in early 2017. She was even featured on the BBC!
This rare kind of sheep has straight wool instead of the usual crimped wool, and presents opportunities for our scientists to learn more about the wool structure and how it might lead to new wool products, as well as what it can tell us about human hair.
In this video, AgResearch scientist Jeff Plowman – who has researched these mutant sheep - talks about Sharon and how she is helping add to our understanding.

A new generation ryegrass

Featuring Dr. Greg Bryan

AgResearch, supported by Government and industry partners, is developing a new kind of ryegrass we think could be a gamechanger for agriculture. The genetically modified High Metabolisable Energy ryegrass has been shown in the lab to grow up to 50 per cent faster than conventional ryegrass, to be able to store more energy for better animal growth, to be more resistant to drought, and to produce up to 23 per cent less methane (the largest single contributor to New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions) from livestock. Our principal scientist Dr Greg Bryan talks about the next stage - field testing.
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