Find programmes with a research element, including the PhD.
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Search our staff database for an expert or area of expertise.
A good gut feeling for overall health
The diversity of the bacteria in our gut could be a vital marker for our overall health. Massey researchers want to test whether taste perception, dietary intake, eating behaviour, sleep and physical activity influence and modify the gut microbiome and how it impacts health, such as metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes.
Cultural factors key to health of older Māori
Findings from a study by Massey University and the University of Auckland suggests more focus in the health sector is needed to foster culturally appropriate food practices for older Māori that may lead to fewer hospitalisations and lower mortality rates.
Dairy shown to improve bone health of Kiwi children
Massey University research shows children drinking milk at school have greater increases in the size and strength of their bones, compared to children who are not involved in the Fonterra Milk for Schools programme.
Defining the New Zealand Protein Market
In this research project Professor Christoph Schumacher worked on modelling the global protein market (in terms of human and animal supply and demand) five, 10 and 15 years into the future. The project also worked to define the position of New Zealand in the context of the global protein market.
Designer ice cream
Creating a low fat ice cream that retained the creaminess and mouth feel of the full fat version was a challenge taken on by Massey researchers Matt Golding and Allan Hardacre.
Working on a hunch that interactions between starches and lipid emulsifiers might provide a new mechanism for foam stabilisation, they saw an opportunity in the low-fat and fat-free ice cream market. These food manufacturers use emulsifying or foaming agents instead of fat (cream) to manipulate the structure of their products to improve its texture.
Does a sweet tooth affect sugar intake?
Our research identifying a link between taste perception and total calorie intake and processed food consumption supports the scientific evidence for an urgent need for food reformulation to improve health outcomes.
When the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) wanted to know how to produce, process and deliver food with lower greenhouse gas emissions, they approached Massey’s energy expert Professor Ralph Sims.
He led an international team and produced a report (Energy-Smart Food for People and Climate) that addresses the challenge. The FAO plans to action the report's recommendation and will encourage local and national governments to consider developing and implementing policies and measures.
Food microbes that stick around
Embedded in their own slime, biofilms made from clusters of bacteria stick fast to surfaces in the food industry, posing potential hazards.
A team at Massey University is working to understand how biofilms are formed and why, to help the food industry better understand and deal with biofilm issues.
High performance honey
Today’s mānuka honey industry is based on wild harvest. However, most of the economically accessible wild mānuka is already being harvested by beekeepers. Honey harvesters are turning to planting elite mānuka, but how does a landowner choose which variety to plant on their particular block?
A team from Massey University, led by Professor Richard Archer of Massey’s Riddet Institute, is contributing to the science, establishing a series of field trials to identify how combinations of genetics and environment influence mānuka establishment, growth, honey yield and quality across several potential commercial cultivars.
High risk of malnutrition in older people
A study led by Professor Carol Wham from the School of Sport, Exercise and Nutrition aimed to investigate malnutrition risk in older adults at the point of hospital admission. Almost 75 per cent of older adults involved in the study were found to be at risk of malnourishment, or were malnourished, when they were admitted to hospital.
Ingredient functionality: Extracting the best out of Mamaku gum
Massey scientists have recently shown that mamaku gum delays gastric emptying, temporarily reduces food intake and induces a short-term reduction in weight gain.
This viscoelastic gum is extracted from the fronds of the native New Zealand black tree fern (well known as mamaku in te reo Māori). Massey scientists have been investigating the properties of this gum for over ten years. The gum, a polysaccharide has unique flow (rheological) properties at the shear rates in the stomach.
Keeping pre-school kids moving
Obesity rates in children world-wide are burgeoning, and those attending childcare are more at risk. Massey University student, Jeanette Rapson, hopes to discover information that may help design interventions offering simple, practical and relevant tips for early childhood education (ECE) teachers about nutrition and physical activity for pre-schoolers. The research is being supervised by Dr Ajmol Ali from the School of Sport and Exercise and Associate Professor Cathryn Conlon from the School of Food and Nutrition.
Student industry projects
In their fourth year of the Bachelor of Food Technology with Honours, students undertake research projects with industry. Contact us if your business has opportunities for student projects.
Factors Influencing the Viscosity of Manuka Honey
Industrial sponsor: Manuka Health New Zealand Limited
Manuka honey is not only known for its delicious taste, but also for its medicinal properties. Its increasing worldwide popularity means that more and more manuka honey is being processed. Due to this, efficient processing techniques are of the utmost importance.
One way of improving processing efficiency is by knowing how the viscosity of manuka honey will be affected by different parameters. These parameters include the water content, sugar composition, methylglyoxal content and temperature. The aim of this project was to measure the different parameters and flow behaviour of manuka honey, and to formulate a model for predicting the viscosity.
- Student: Rachel Waite
Awards and recognition
Massey University graduate Dushanka Hettige has been awarded the 2018 Bernice Kelly Award from Dietitians NZ for the most improved full-time dietetic student, from either Massey University, University of Otago or University of Auckland.Dushanka Hettige
2018 Bernice Kelly Award
The prestigious Dietitians NZ Award of Excellence has been awarded to Professor Carol Wham from Massey University’s School of Sport, Exercise and Nutrition in the category of Outstanding Achievement in Dietetics.Dr Carol Wham
Dietitians NZ Award of Excellence
Riddet Institute deputy director Professor Warren McNabb leads a team that was awarded $11,268,560 in funding, for their research project entitled New Zealand Milk Means More (NZ3M).Riddet Institute
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment 2018 Endeavour Fund
Associate Professor David Rowlands from the School of Sport and Exercise was honoured as the winner of the 2017 Gatorade Sport Science Institute (GSSI) - American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Sport Nutrition Award for his study entitled, Multiple-Transportable Carbohydrate Effect on Long-Distance Triathlon Performance.Associate Professor David Rowlands
Sport Nutrition Award
The BodPod is an advanced piece of equipment that accurately, easily and reliably measures body composition and then body fat using an air displacement method. Massey University has the only two BodPods in New Zealand. We also have a PeaPod for infants.
The DXA (Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry) uses two low-dose x-rays that read bone mass and soft tissue simultaneously. It is connected to specialised computer software that is able to reconstruct an image of underlying tissues, bone, fat and fat free body mass.
This technology is the gold standard for assessment of body composition as well as bone density.
Food Characterisation Laboratory
Equipment in this laboratory includes Paar Physica MCR 301 and 302 control-stress rheometers, texture analyser, Instron universal testing machine, spectrophotometers, rapid-visco analyser and Minolta colourimeter.
Facilities within FoodPILOT include equipment for both animal and human food production. Capability includes extrusion, ice-cream-making, sausage stuffing,vacuum packing, bowl chopping, spray drying, evaporation, freeze drying, canning and pasteurising. FoodPILOT hosts the largest collection of pilot-scale food processing equipment in the southern hemisphere.
Human nutrition and dietetics facilities
The Human Nutrition and Research Unit has excellent facilities for nutritional assessment and running clinical studies. Our facilities span multiple disciplines in the field, including human studies, animal studies, molecular and cellular biology, microbiology and biochemistry, and rheology.
The Massey Microbrewery is a fully functioning brewing facility on the Manawatū campus.
The facility incorporates CIP cleaning systems, plate and tube heat exchangers, pumping systems along with a sophisticated computer-based process control and a data acquisition system. It has a 200L brew capacity, 10 200L combined fermentation and conditioning tanks. The brewery is also used for teaching food microbiology.
The Nutrition Laboratory specialises in analysis of food, plant and animal products. Their facilities enable nutritional testing of food products including for shelf life, food safety, product formulation and labelling.
Centre for Metabolic Health Research
The Centre for Metabolic Health Research facilitates interdisciplinary research in metabolic health, with key aspects being the prevention of metabolic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and the maintenance of mobility and functionality throughout the lifecycle.
Centre for Postharvest and Refrigeration Research
The Centre for Postharvest and Refrigeration Research does research and consultancy to provide cost-effective solutions to industry problems. We work on a wide range of fruit, vegetable, cut flower, seafood and aquaculture products.
Massey AgriFood Technology Partnership
The Partnership is focused on working with industry on research and development to provide relevant, leading-edge agricultural and horticultural technology. We have an active postgraduate student programme and provide site-specific consultancy.
New Zealand Food Safety Science and Research Centre
The Centre, hosted by Massey University, focuses on better ways of detecting hazards in the food production chain and reducing the risk of food-borne illness to consumers. The Centre aims to provide an internationally credible science base for decisison-making in public health and the food industry.
Nutrition and Dietetic Centre
The Nutrition and Dietetic Centre combines the clinical, nutritional and research expertise of Massey dietitians and nutritionists with the enthusiasm and creativity of our dietetics students. The Centre is based on the Auckland campus.
The Riddet Institute is a premier centre for fundamental and strategic scientific research. Its area of expertise is at the intersection of food material science, novel food processing, human nutrition and gastrointestinal biology.
Vitamin D Research Centre
The Vitamin D Research Centre works to improve the status of population groups who are demonstrably at risk of vitamin D deficiency and the associated negative health consequences.