UKs best food science University formalizes collaboration with the Riddet Institute

Professor Harjinder Singh and Professor Alan Mackie
Friday 25th January 2019

The Riddet Institute, hosted by Massey University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Leeds, UK, to formalise the existing relationship between the two institutions. The School of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Leeds and the Riddet Institute have been long time research collaborators, with funding from UK’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) international partnership grant. This new partnership, agreed for the coming five years, opens the gate for collaborative programmes in the field of food science, the common interest of both institutions. The agreement will also strengthen international connections for both education and research between the universities.

Distinguished Professor Harjinder Singh, Director of the Riddet Institute, has high praise for the University of Leeds: “The University is one of the largest higher education institutions in the UK. The School of Food Science and Nutrition is renowned globally for the quality of their teaching and research across the whole spectrum of food, from the molecular level to how food affects our body and how diet influences our health. Recognised as world-leaders in food colloids, diet and health, their research tackles major and emerging problems in food science and nutrition. They apply fundamental scientific principles to address issues of food quality, safety and sustainability, diet quality and consumer behaviour, from food production to the consumer's plate.”

The new agreement will create a pathway for increasing joint publications, third party funding applications, recruitment of post-graduate students, even potential recruitment of undergraduate students and collaborative visits by researchers, as well as developing joint research programmes. Already the renewed collaboration has seen Dr Anwesha Sarkar from the University of Leeds, visit the Riddet Institute and publish several joint papers from both universities as a result. In the last year for example, there was a workshop held at the University of Leeds on the subject of elderly and infant digestion and the 17th Food Colloids Conference held in April, where many New Zealand based researchers presented their work. The Riddet Institute hosted a number of visiting academics from the University of Leeds in November, and as part of the exchange programme, a Riddet Institute PhD student is spending over 4 months at the University of Leeds from October 2018 to March 2019.

Professor Alan Mackie, Professor of Colloid Chemistry and Head of School at the University of Leeds says:

 “The School’s international reputation is of great importance to us. We maintain it by collaborating with the best institutions around the world. The Riddet Institute offers a very high degree of complementarity with our research and we look forward to building on our combined strengths in food research”.

A collaboration between the University of Leeds and Massey University further strengthens the Four University Consortium. This comprises of the University of Leeds, Riddet Institute/Massey University, Wageningen University and Zhejiang Gongshang University of China. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding at a forum held in China in 2016. It is a very significant relationship, bringing together some of the top universities in food and nutrition research in the world to collaborate on joint opportunities in food science research in China.