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Food Bioscience Research

Food Bioscience staff

Dr Alistair Carr

Alistair Carr Alistair's research is driven from an interest in the manipulation of proteins to optimise nutrition and functional properties through chemical, enzymatic, microbial and standard processing techniques on an industrial scale to enable the development of ingredients and products. Techniques employed in Alistair’s research cover the range from nanoscale protein structuring analysis via small angle X-ray scattering, IX mineral binding, and protein/peptide sequencing through to imaging techniques and determination of end use application properties such as thermal stability, rheology and bioavailability.

Research Students

PhD Current

Alice Smialowska: Development of an iron-binding ingredient from caprine and bovine milks
Gad Erlangga: Understanding iron binding in bovine and caprine milks
Abbas Khodamoradi: Impact of fermentation on cheese milk functionality

PhD Completed

Hemang Batt: Prevention of plasmin-induced hydrolysis of casein
Jeremy Smith: Assessment of structure and component mobility within Mozzarella cheese
Khairul Kasim: Phytochemical variation during blueberry juice processing
Norfezah Md Nor: Development of expanded snack foods containing pumpkin flour and corn grits using extrusion technology
James Woolnough: Standardisation of in vitro carbohydrate digestion methods for predicting the relative glycemic response to foods

Professor Steve Flint

Steve Flint Prof Steve Flint
Professor of Food Safety and Microbiology & Team Leader Food Bioscience - School of Food and Nutrition
Ph: ext 83009

Steve Glasgow

Steve Glasgow
Technician - School of Food and Nutrition
Ph: ext 83418

Dr Wannita Jirangrat

Wannita Jirangrat Wannita Jirangrat is a highly skilled sensory specialist with +10 years of experience in the field of product development and sensory evaluation. Her specializations are in the area of consumer science, new product development and statistical analysis as well as being well-versed in relevant sensory software such as SPSS, Minitab, XLSTAT, Statistica, Fizz and Compusense.

She got her Bachelor (Hons) and Master of Science (Hons) from Kasetsart University in Thailand. She has been invited as a guest lecturer for several universities. She received her Doctor of Philosophy from Louisiana State University, USA. Several awards and diploma was offered for her outstanding experience. She had joined an internship program with Kellogg (USA) and worked for PepsiCo (Asia Pacific region) as an associate sensory scientist. She is now working for Massey University. She has brought in her knowledge and FMCG industrial experiences to serve as a lecturer for Food Technology department.

 Postgraduate students:

  • Dayna McCormick, PhD candidate : Vanilla Extract Improvement
  • Pitchayapat Chonpracha, PhD candidate : Visual Cues Affected Constructing Sensory Visual Experiences

Consultancy activities

  • PepsiCo Inc
  • GSK
  • KiwiEnzyme
  • Crest PD challenge
  • Sensory consultancy for various universities in Thailand

Dr Lovedeep Kaur

Lovedeep Kaur Dr Lovedeep Kaur specialises in food biochemistry and nutrition; and has a particular interest is exploring the use of in vitro digestion models to understand structure-digestion relationship in foods. She has established and is leading an internationally recognised research program on meat structure and protein digestibility at the Riddet Institute since 2010. She has been appointed as an Associate Investigator in the Riddet CoRE programme and a Co-investigator in the Food Industry Enabling Technologies (FIET) project to work on meat structure; digestibility and meat tenderisation. She has also been working on understanding the synergistic interactions of kiwifruit with food proteins in collaboration with Zespri International Ltd. (NZ). In her 11 years of research career, she has produced around 50 publications which include books, papers, review articles, and book chapters. She has also co-edited special issues on potato and rice chemistry, nutrition and technology published in Food Chemistry (Elsevier).

Postgraduate students:

  • Xiaojie Zhu: The effects of exogenous enzymes on meat tenderisation and digestibility in vitro
  • Feng Ming Chian: Effect of processing on muscle protein structure and digestibility in vitro

Light Micrographs of raw (left) and pressure processed (600MPa, right) bovine longissimus dorsi muscle stained using toluidine blue. Kaur et al., Food Funct., 2016,7, 2389-2397.

Rachel Liu

Rachel Liu
Food Technician - School of Food and Nutrition
Ph: ext 43090

Tony Mutukumira

Tony Mutukumira Dr Tony Mutukumira is a Senior Lecturer with the School of Food and Nutrition at Massey University’s Albany Campus.

Dr Mutukumira gained his Doctor Scientiarum (PhD) in Dairy Sciences and Technology at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, in Norway. His doctoral research was on the development of fermented milks using novel lactic acid starter cultures. Tony’s current research includes food fermentations, food preservation using conventional and novel technologies, and product development. He has particular interest in food preservation using natural preservatives and emerging technologies such as HPP and UV-C. Tony is a scientific reviewer to several international peer-reviewed journals which include the International Journal of Food Microbiology, Food Science and Technology International, Journal of Natural and Mathematical Sciences, Food Pathogens and Diseases, and Journal of Food Science and Technology. He is a member several professional bodies which include NZIFST, SAAFoST, SASDST, and IUFoST Committee on Distance Education. Tony is presently Secretary of the Food Safety Working Group of the International Commission of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (CIGR). He has published more 70 papers in scientific journals.

 Synopsis of research activities in ‘Food Safety, Food Fermentations and Product Development’

  • Persistent contamination of Salmonella, Campylobacter, E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus at broiler farms.
  • Preservation of fish using Sphagnum moss.
  • Tea water kefir beverage as a new generation of probiotic fermented drink.
  • Kombucha beverage: development and characteristics.
  • New Zealand Honey and Gut Health.
  • Development of bread products containing Chordaria cladosiphon (Mozuku) and its bioactive extract fucoidan.

Dr Jon Palmer

Jon Palmer Dr Jon Palmer is interested in the growth and control of biofilms in food, medical or industrial situations.  Biofilms have become problematic in many food industries and consequently can be a threat to food safety and quality.

I’m also interested in novel non-thermal processing techniques, like HPP and how microorganisms can become resistance to HPP.


  • PhD - Massey University (2009)
  • Masters in Microbiology - Massey University (1995)
  • Bachelor of Science - Massey University (1993)
  • Approved Person Course for Thermal Processing of Low Acid Foods - CSIRO (2013)

Post grad students

Dong Zhang - The effect of raw milk quality on final dairy product quality
Emmanuel Kyere - Colonization of lettuce by Listeria monocytogenes
Haoran Wang - The influence of ions on biofilm formation by Yersinia enterocolitica
Jessika Nowak - Identification and understanding the roles of biofilm formation-related genes in Listeria monocytogenes isolated from seafood.
Michael Dixon - biofilm formation of bacteria from a dairy plant wastewater irrigator system


Run the school for supervisors of low-acid canned food thermal processing Systems in NZ

Dr Rana Ravindran

Rana Ravindran Dr Ganesharanee Rana Ravindran graduated with BSc (Agric.) Honours degree from the University of Sri Lanka and, MSc and PhD degrees in Food Chemistry from the University of Reading, UK and Virginia Tech University, USA, respectively. She joined Massey University in 2001 after 25 years of academic career, first 20 years with the University of Sri Lanka as a lecturer/associate professor which also included a sabbatical at Virginia Tech University, USA and the next five years as a Research Associate at the University of Sydney, Australia.

Rana has been an active researcher for over 35 years, despite substantial teaching commitments. Her research interests are in the areas of Food and Feed Chemistry, and Nutrition. Dietary fibre, specifically non-starch polysaccharides (NSP), has always been my main area of research with the recent focus on lowering the glycaemic response of cereals by incorporation of different types of NSP and via extrusion technology. Her skills have a focus on Food and Feed evaluation which enables her to interact across disciplines that requires an integrated analytical approach.

Dr Rana Ravindran was part of a research team that is internationally recognised for its research in amino acid (AA) nutrition and feed enzyme technology. Establishment of assays for the determination of ileal digestible amino acids in poultry feeds was the primary focus, which embodied networking; developing new methodology for tryptophan (an AA that cannot be determined by routine assays) and generation of the first data set on tryptophan digestibility and scientific oversight of determination of digestibility of other AA. Evaluation of NZ grown legumes as a protein source is another research area in recent years.

Rana has co-authored a book, 10 book chapters, 88 peer reviewed journal papers, 66 refereed conference papers, 52 conference presentations published as abstracts and several scholarly presentations to professional organizations and media to promote science. There is a good history to date of graduate supervision having mentored 11 doctoral, 11 Masterate and several Honours students. Her scientific expertise has been recognised by over 1850 citations of her publications, invitations to write book chapters, to review manuscripts for a number of international journals and to serve in the editorial boards.

Supervision/Co-Supervision of Postgraduate Research

PhD: Nipuna Perera, ‘Evaluation of barley cultivars’, Current
PhD: Anwar Naveed, ‘Digestible calcium in feedstuffs’, Current.
PhD: Khaldoun Shatnawi, ‘Nutrient Partitioning in Broilers, 2015
PhD: Ruvini Mutucumarana, ‘Digestible Phosphorus in Feed Ingredients’ 2014
PhD: Yashpal Singh ‘wholegrain feeding in poultry. 2014
PhD:  Piyamas Tancharoenrat, ‘Fat Digestion in Poultry’ 2013
M. Dairy Sc Tech: Kirsty Davidson ‘Kauri Milk Iodine Variation Investigation’, 2011.
PhD -   Shay Rutherfurd, ‘Dietary carbohydrate in companion animals and its effect on blood glucose, animal health and performance’, 2010
M. Dairy Sc Tech:    Hui Low, ‘Feasibility of using the Farinograph in characterising high protein bars’, 2009.
PhD, Catootjie Nalle, ‘Legumes in Poultry Nutrition’. 2009
M. Dairy Sc Tech., Jennifer Hadfield, ‘Healthy bar layers’, 2008.
PhD -   Mohammadreza Abdollahi “Effects of feed processing on poultry performance”, 2008-
M.Dairy Sc Tech: Francis Headley, ‘Development of a probiotic yoghurt spread with 6 month shelf life’. 2007.
PhD, Hew Lap Im. Studies on Amino Acid Digestibility in Poultry. University of Sydney. 1999.
MSc, Smile Cabahug. Microbial Phytase and Nutrient Availability in Broiler Diets, University of Sydney.
MPhil, G.S.S. Gunasekera. Nutritional Properties and Consumption Patterns of Green Leafy Vegetables, 1991.
MPhil, S. Suntharalingam. Preparation and Evaluation of Nutritional and Functional Properties of Green Banana Flour, 1990.
MPhil, Fermentation Characteristics of Millet, Rice and Black gram blends, 1994. K. Sashippraba.
MPhil, Effects of blending on made tea characteristics in the up-country Dimbulla Region, 1993 – B.W.S. Kariyawasam
MPhil, Varietal Difference and the Effect of Domestic Processing and Storage Time on Some Nutritional and Anti Nutritional Components of Yams (Dioscorea spp.), 1990   J. Wanasundera.
MPhil, S. Gajameragedara. Biochemical Composition of Winged Bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus) during   Seed Development with emphasis on Polysaccharides, 1987.
PhD.  R. Ranatunge.  Formulation; Sensory and Nutritional Evaluation of Weaning Foods.

Haoran Wang

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