Natural preservatives, powdered CO2, 3-D printed foods, foods that reduce appetite and a long-life probiotic drink were amongst the innovative products showcased at a recent food industry event hosted by UniQuest, the main commercialisation company of The University of Queensland (UQ).

The inaugural UQ Future Food Innovation Showcase: Making Smarter Foods event brought together UQ’s top food innovators with key companies in Australia’s food market in order to foster collaborative relationships.

During the event, company representatives were invited to learn about UQ’s leading food technology through a series of presentations, then given the opportunity to book meeting times with researchers whose work aligned with their company’s own goals. Meetings were held at partnering tables set up around the conference room, allowing for researchers and delegates to engage in multiple meetings.

Professor Mike Gidley, Director of UQ’s Centre for Nutrition and Food Sciences, who previously worked with multinational Unilever for over 2 decades, said UQ’s research strengths in food innovation offer real solutions for industry.

“In order for Australia to continue to compete in the global marketplace, companies need to continue to use innovation to produce unique products, that not only delight the senses but also promote health,” Professor Gidley said.

“UQ’s food research program is the largest of any university in Australia, with over 300 research staff and students all working to develop food and agriculture innovations of real value to the marketplace.”

Mr Henrik Christiansen, Group Operations Manager with Buderim Ginger said it was great to see the innovations coming from UQ.

“Companies like ours need to stay abreast of new research in the food industry so we can continue to compete globally,” Mr Christiansen said.

Mr Dirk Pretorius, Managing Director of Frosty Boy sent four staff members to the event.

“We recognise to continue to be successful we must invest in and embrace innovation to maintain global competitiveness. We are following up on a number of technologies presented at the showcase and hope to partner with UniQuest and UQ to explore these opportunities in our business,” Mr Pretorius said.

Delegates were able to taste an example of UQ innovation at the event, with samples of PERKIi – a new long life probiotic drink made possible through new food technology start-up company, ProGel.

PERKii is set to launch in June 2015, offering an entirely new competitor to the edible probiotics market.

UniQuest CEO Dr Dean Moss said the event’s interactive format provided a unique opportunity for companies to engage directly with researchers at the forefront of their field.

“Through events like this, UniQuest gives industry players and researchers the opportunity to interact and explore possibilities for positive collaboration,” Dr Moss said.

UniQuest is planning to host similar events focussing on other industry sectors in the near future.

For more information on UniQuest’s services and expertise in the food and health space, visit

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