Two Riddet Institute Investigators honoured by NZ Institute of Food Science & Technology

Two Riddet Institute Principal Investigators were honoured this week by the New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology. Professor Matt Golding and Distinguished Professor Paul Moughan became two of the seven new Fellows of the industry organisation, awarded at their annual AGM and awards evening hosted virtually by President Professor Richard Archer on Thursday in Palmerston North, and linked to five other main centres around the country.

The seven new NZIFST fellows were spread across the country, are nominated by the industry and are awarded for making a substantial contribution to the profession of food science and technology. This is through outstanding service in research and development leading to creation of new knowledge, technology transfer and education, development or promotion of the food industry, and development of the affairs of the Institute.

Distinguished Professor Paul Moughan is an outstanding and acknowledged world expert in nutritional quality of food proteins, digestive physiology and metabolism. His research team has contributed most strongly to the understanding of protein digestion in humans at different stages of life and methods that he has developed with his students and co-workers have become standard when measuring amino acid makeup of a protein or the digestive uptake of amino acids. This has been endorsed by the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) and is now a major international research collaboration.

Paul was one of the two founding Directors of the Riddet Institute and has co­ led this Institute from a small research centre at Massey University in 2003 to the world-renowned Institute that it is today. He is currently a Distinguished Professor at Massey University, holding a personal professorial Chair, and is a Fellow Laureate of the Riddet Institute. He holds concurrent positions at universities in Australia, the United Kingdom, and France, and an honorary Doctor of Science from Massey University and the University of Guelph. Paul has awards from, and academic appointments in New Zealand, Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, evidence of his world-class status as a scientist and educator. Paul’s publication record of 300 peer-reviewed papers, 75 book chapters, 150 conference presentations and 8 patents is clearly impressive, and shows his impact on scientific developments in his area of research. He won the Prime Minister’s Science Prize in 2012, together with Distinguished Professor Harjinder Singh.

Professor Matt Golding is professor of Food Colloids at Massey University and is a Principal Investigator at the Riddet Institute. He has experience working for one of the worlds most recognised food manufacturers, Unilever, in two of its research laboratories and the most notable research organisation in Australia, CSIRO. He brought this experience to the New Zealand food industry and Massey University in 2009. Matt’s specialist expertise is in colloids, emulsions and food structure. This expertise is relevant across many sectors of the food industry, in foods such as milk, cream, sauces, cheese, chocolate and ice cream. His research also encompasses how these foods perform during processing and digestion.

This research speciality was recognised by Fonterra and the Riddet Institute with his appointment to the Fonterra-Riddet Chair of Food Material Science in 2016. Matt is always willing to share his knowledge and experience, which is exemplified in the numerous projects and collaborations he has with food companies across the country. A dedicated teacher, his knowledge enriches his teaching of undergraduate food technology students and his supervision of PhD programmes. Matt has authored or co-authored over 110 papers, and book chapters and is a regularly an invited speaker at conferences. This high research profile attracts funding and students to the university, and results in appearances on radio and television to provide expert commentary on food issues. This activity serves to enhance New Zealand’s reputation as a leader in food, and especially dairy, research.  

The New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology (NZIFST) is the country’s leading professional association representing people working in the food industry, or in related research and teaching, who apply science, technology and engineering to the processing, manufacture and distribution of food. The awards evening encompasses several different awards including fellowships, distinguished service awards, MPI Significant Contribution to Food Safety, Allergen Bureau Best Practice in Food Allergen Management and the Institute’s most prestigious J C Andrews Award. There are local branches of the NZIFST throughout the country that organise activities, events, conferences, professional development and networking for its 1200 members of from over 400 different organisations.

Professor Maughan’s citation was compiled by Anne Scott. A full list of the awards will appear in the Dec 2020 / Jan 2021 issue of Food NZ, the official journal of the NZIFST.

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