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.

It has recently announced the development of FoodFort, which forms part of the Institute’s work on the High Value Nutrition (HVN) National Science Challenge Ko Ngā Kai Whai Painga.

FoodFort is a new tool to help researchers, food manufacturers, food scientists/researchers, lecturers and policy makers, make decisions about the fortification of foods with bioactive compounds (compounds that have beneficial effects on human health).

It is directly beneficial to anyone wishing to build or understand food products with added bioactives.

Consumers will benefit from functional foods and the health advantages they offer, as they are designed based on scientifically proven functionality.

FoodFort can help with quick and efficient filtration of the information around bioactive delivery and the user can then choose the suitable delivery method, for the specific bioactive they want to include in their food product, or choose the right food to carry the encapsulated bioactive.

The database, accessed via a new portal, was built with summarised information from the published scientific literature about fortification of foods.

This information includes techniques for encapsulation or delivery of bioactives such as probiotics, polyphenols, carotenoids, vitamins, minerals, and peptides, all currently used to deliver health properties to consumers through food.

Important information is available on the application of different food-grade materials for the protection of bioactives, current functional foods supplemented with encapsulated bioactives, and the main improvements/outcomes achieved by encapsulation.

High-Value Nutrition has the mission to grow New Zealand’s science, to take high value healthy foods to the world.

The HVN Science of Food team at Riddet Institute worked on the FoodFort project, led by Dr Ali Rashidinejad, and they assessed the available information, filtered, and summarised, according to its suitability and scientific validity, before entering it into the portal.

In this way, Riddet Institute is able to support the development of the right foods in the best format to deliver proven health benefits.

Riddet Institute Director, Science of Food team leader and Massey University Distinguished Professor Harjinder Singh is delighted with the new tool.

He says it is a significant advancement in food product development and design.

“This tool – which can be used by industry and researcher alike – will significantly reduce time and effort with food prototype design,” Professor Singh says.

“Many food products tested in a shorter time, means products with significant health benefits can reach consumers quicker.

“Riddet Institute is delighted to have taken the lead in this endeavour that will support our industry colleagues.”

Contact Dr Ali Rashidinejad at Riddet Institute for more information.

Register to use FoodFort HERE.