A world class research and innovation ecosystem.


FoodHQ has a unique critical mass of facilities available primarily within the 1km radius of our headquarters in Palmerston North. Below is a selection of the extensive range of food related facilities and technologies available through our Partners.


Designing our food

FoodHQ partners can assist with the integration of design along the food development pathway:

  • Generation of concept designs and aethetics of food products and packaging

  • 2D and 3D visual design, physical and mixed-reality prototyping of food products and packaging

  • Visual and time-based communication design and branding

  • Evaluating in-market cultural resonance of proposed food products and packaging

  • Service Design in B2B supply chain and retail systems.



With their future facing facilities, FoodHQ partners have the capability to investigate the consumer-food relationship, including:

  • Consumer and expert panels for evaluating acceptability and sensory characteristics of foods.

  • Multiple controlled environment sensory booths

  • Adaptable immersive space and mixed reality environments for understanding context specific responses

  • Instrumental measures of physiological responses tapping into the consumer’s emotional responses to food.



Across our partners, FoodHQ has access to:

  • Mass spectrometry and NMR metabolomics facilities for qualitative and quantitative metabolomics

  • Advanced proteomics capability for detailed protein and peptide identification and structural characterisation

  • Microbiome and metagenomics expertise for understanding microbial function and gene regulation

  • World-leading researchers with published track records in the application of ‘omics technologies to food



Understanding the structure of foods and the interactions between food components can unlock opportunities for developing products with desirable characteristics. We can combine state-of-the-art X-ray diffraction, NMR (including metabolomics and imaging), computational, biochemical, and biophysical approaches. We also provide access to a wide range of microscopy techniques and image analysis, including transmitted light and fluorescence (widefield and confocal), atomic force, Raman, and electron (TEM and SEM/EDS).

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The Centres for Feline and Canine Nutrition specialise in nutritional research to support the development of foods for our furry friends. They can assess the impact of complete foods, supplements, or individual ingredients on all aspects of animal wellbeing across their lifespans. Palatability trials utilising real-time intake and feeding behaviour recordings can describe the food's attractiveness to fussy felines. The School of Veterinary Science extends capacity to the effects of nutrition on disease, immunity, and microflora.


Pilot-scale food processiNG

The FoodHQ Partners have one of the largest collections of pilot-scale food processing equipment in the world. It includes state of the art equipment for the thermal treatment of liquid and solid products, spray dryers of varying sizes, a microbrewery, aseptic liquid packaging, and a wide range of items for other applications.  The partners also have the workshop and testing capability to develop and validate new technologies for new or niche applications.

To find out more about the facilities available at FoodHQ please get in touch