Riddet Innovation (Commercial R&D)


Food Pilot

At the FoodPilot we help turn food ideas into commercial reality. FoodPilot is the largest collection of pilot-scale food processing equipment in the southern hemisphere

Food Tech

Food Innovation Team

An experienced group of food technologists which carries out contract research projects for industry from new product development through to applied Research and Development.  

Nutrition Lab

Nutrition Laboratory

A fully accredited laboratory and Ministry of Health recommending agency which offers analytical services, and nutrition and consultancy services for food labelling

Food technology

Research Programmes

Riddet Innovation provides support and project management services to a number of ongoing research progammes.

About Riddet Innovation

It is no coincidence that the hub of academic food research and knowledge transfer at Massey University is named after the University’s founding chair, William Riddet.

In the late 1920’s at a time when scientists were treated warily, Riddet bridged the divide between farmers, food processors and academic researchers. His enthusiasm, energy and endless supply of new ideas saw them collaborate to solve many food problems and set the paving stones of Massey’s pioneering approach to Food.

Today, at Riddet Innovation, we are equipped with the experience, knowledge and facilities to take the same collaborative and energetic approach to solving food industry problems and questions. Here are some of the services we offer:
  • Delivery and management of R&D projects of all scales and involving a wide range of capabilities and facilities
  • New product and process development
  • Commercialisation of knowledge from within MasseyFood
  • Analysis of food, feed and biological samples
  • Coordination of large strategic R&D programmes
  • Identification of strategic opportunities for partnership and collaboration

Dr Abby Thompson - Director

abby_thompson Abby Thompson sits comfortably in the challenging space that covers both the science and business of food.  As Director of Riddet Innovation, she leads the commercially-focused research and development activities (including FoodPilot) within MasseyFood.

After completing her doctorate in Food Technology at Massey University, Abby spent 3 years carrying out human clinical studies investigating the effects of nutrition on risk of chronic at the University of Reading (UK).  From there she headed to the world’s second largest food company, PepsiCo, as Senior Scientist - Global Projects within their R&D Nutrition team for 2 ½ years.  “It was a fascinating opportunity as somebody who has an interest in food and nutrition to understand how that knowledge can be used to inform the development of products that end up on our supermarket shelves.”

Abby returned to Massey in early 2013, and has been working with academics and the food industry on a wide variety of projects since then.  She is also part of the Riddet Institute Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE), is the Science Coordinator for FoodHQ, and is involved in the High Value Nutrition National Science Challenge.

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