Public Summary

Principal investigators: Dr Jane Coad, Dr Janet Weber, Dr Matt Barnes – Massey University
Industry partners: Southern Pastures Investments Ltd and Ovation Ltd
High-Value Nutrition funding: $859,674


Effects of collagen hydrolysate on enhancing joint comfort, improving skin appearance, and promoting recovery after sport


The Research

This project builds on emerging evidence that collagen preparations may improve inflammatory conditions such as joint pain, enhance skin appearance and be beneficial in sports recovery. 

This project will run two related trials to explore the effects of a novel collagen preparation, derived from bovine hide. These studies will investigate:

  • the effects of collagen hydrolysate on joint comfort and skin appearance
  • the effect on recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage.

Growing demand

There is a growing demand for collagen in the international food ingredient market, particularly for end-use applications in the food and beverage sectors and the cosmetics and healthcare industries. 

The New Zealand meat and dairy industries produce collagen-rich by-products that they extract on a relatively small scale for a broad range of uses including:

  • medical dressings
  • tissue engineering
  • dietary supplements/food additives
  • cosmetics.

The benefits of New Zealand-sourced collagen

Collagen sourced from ‘Brand New Zealand’ has a valuable reputation for its safety, quality and for being ethically and sustainably sourced.  

The collagen source and extraction method will have a positive effect on the profile of collagen-derived bioactive peptides. These peptides contribute to dietary protein intake and stimulate endogenous collagen synthesis to help heal and reduce inflammation.

Identifying the underlying mechanisms involved is crucial in determining the effectiveness of different collagen extraction methods. This knowledge will provide the evidence base for health claims supporting collagen as a functional food.

Developing high-value foods to drive economic growth

The project aligns with the High-Value Nutrition (HVN) aim of developing high-value foods with validated health benefits to drive economic growth. 

Collagen products have the potential to lessen the effects of ageing and optimise health. Promoting demand for the product will, however, require a rigorous evidence base. 

Transforming a low-value waste stream ingredient into an innovative high-value export product with demonstrated sustained health benefits and consumer acceptance will contribute to increased economic growth for Aotearoa. This is tightly aligned to the core purpose of HVN.

This project will contribute to an in-depth understanding of the mechanism by which specific products of collagen hydrolysis affect endogenous collagen synthesis.

Research team

Associate Professor Matthew Barnes

Associate Professor Matthew Barnes

Matt is an established researcher for the School of Sport, Exercise and Nutrition at Massey University, Palmerston North.

Matt’s research interests include investigating interventions that enhance recovery and adaptation to various forms of exercise, with a particular focus on muscle function, inflammation and pain responses to exercise-induced muscle damage.

Dr Janet Weber

Dr Jane Coad