AgResearch opened a new food research building at Massey University called Te Ohu Rangahau Kai last year with largest collections of food scientists.

One of the largest collections of food scientists in southern hemisphere is now under one roof in Palmerston North.

AgResearch opened a new food research building at Massey University called Te Ohu Rangahau Kai last year and now staff from AgResearch, Massey and food research centre the Riddet Institute are working there.

There are three floors with labs and workspaces, as well as a pilot plant for working on food. Work started on the $45 million building in early 2018.

AgResearch associate research director Jolon​ Dyer said the building was about staff from the three organisations working together and sharing quality food scientist capability.

AgResearch has food science centres in Palmerston North and Hamilton, but with the Riddet Institute in Palmerston North, AgResearch recognised the ability of food science teams to work together.

“It’s a new way of working. Previously we had two separate buildings, but not people from the university and a [centre of research excellence] with everyone in the same lab together.

“That’s unique. It’s early days but hopefully that culture will develop.”

It’s hoped having the teams working together will lead to new innovation and ideas.

Riddet Institute director Harjinder Singh said having the new building allowed the organisations to work together on different disciplines with high-quality facilities, sophisticated analytical teaching and a pilot-scale food processing plant.

“People here are able to talk to each other and discuss ideas in the work environment. This will be the only building of its kind.

“It’s maybe the largest concentration of food scientists in the southern hemisphere.”

Study can cover meat, dairy or general food, Singh said.

It’s believed the new facilities will attract talent nationally and internationally.

Research and PhD students can use the building, but there is space for students nearby in Riddet’s old building across the road.

The name of the building comes from a cooperative community of food research.

Originally published at STUFF