We provide science expertise in designing safe, high-value bioproducts that goes beyond traditional food and synthetic fibre technology. We provide bio-alternatives that not only reduce reliance on non-biodegradable items, but also create new value streams.

Our Science

Agricultural fibres

The benefits of wool and other natural fibres goes beyond their abilities to provide warmth, comfort and style. Wool is, in itself, an extremely versatile fibre; even when wet, it keeps the skin warm and dry. It is also hypoallergenic, and both absorbs and repels water. AgResearch has studied how wool’s burn resistant properties allow firefighters to utilise “next to skin” garments to repel flame and intense heat. 

For those in the armed forces or emergency services, a lot of the focus is on the outer garments. But here we have looked at the additional defence a base layer garment can offer.

Scientist Alex Hodgson
News Article
Wool as a 'last line of defence' for armed forces and emergency services

AgResearch scientists have been putting the heat on wool garments to see what level of fire protection they can provide to those in the armed forces or emergency services.

Find out more

Wool biodegradability

Our research has proven wool fibres are 100% biodegradable when buried in soil and when submerged in water over time.

Microplastic fibres, on the other hand, which are found in most synthetic carpet and clothing, do not biodegrade when under the same conditions.

Wool is poised to disrupt the world's reliance on microplastics.

Protein science

Modified plasticised keratin (protein from scales, skin, hair, nails, feathers, horns, claws, hooves, etc.) is also looking to be an eco-friendly alternative to plastic packaging and other petroleum-based polymers used in technology ranging from medical implants to 3D printing. 

Our scientists work to nurture and develop capability in protein and materials science, engineering and biotechnology. This enables the development of value-added, bio-based products from pastoral agriculture bioresources, while exemplifying environmental, social and cultural expectations.

Senior Scientist Sonya Scott with 3D-printed sheep made out of keratin
  • Additional capabilities

    • Data and analytics
    • Metabolomics
    • Systems biology
    • Biotechnology
    • Protein science and proteomics
    • Structural biology
    • Bio-based material science
    • Bio-based alternatives
    • Statistics

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