Riddet Institute seals major Korean collaboration

The Riddet Institute, hosted by Massey University, and the Korea Food Research Institute (KFRI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, establishing a collaborative research programme on health promoting food ingredients.

The MoU was signed by the President of the Korea Food Research Institute, Dr Mooha Lee, Massey University Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey, and Riddet Institute co-directors Professors Harjinder Singh and Paul Moughan.

The major collaborative project between the Riddet Institute and KFRI is entitled FOODKONZ, which focuses on developing ways to protect and enhance health promoting activities of ingredients such as ginseng, medicinal plant extracts, milk peptides, kiwifruit extracts and honey. Other specific research projects focus on sleep-enhancing effects of various food ingredients; modulation of gut microbiota and integrity; and investigating the beneficial effects of various Korean and New Zealand traditional plants.

This collaboration arises from the Focal Point Programme in Innovative Foods, initiated by New Zealand (through MoRST and FRST) and the Korean Governments. The Focal Point Programme provided funding to support New Zealand and Korean researchers for visits and to hold scientific meetings and workshops. Professor Harjinder Singh led these initiatives in his role as the co-ordinator of food innovation for the Korea-NZ Focal Point Programme.

Professor Harjinder Singh said, “This MoU is the culmination of series of research interactions developed through the Focal Point Programme. This agreement will unite two of the world-class institutes of food and will be a valuable means of generating collaborations among researchers and exchanges of scientists. These joint efforts are certain to lead to new knowledge and discoveries that will be of great value for New Zealand and Korea.”

After the signing ceremony the KFRI President presented the Riddet Institute with a commemorative plaque.


The Riddet Institute is one of New Zealand’s eight national Centres of Research Excellence, funded by Government and devoted to transforming the New Zealand food industry into a knowledge-driven business with high margin products. The institute is a partnership organisation headquartered at Massey University, Palmerston North. More than 130 people across the country are contributing to its scientific programmes, including 45 post-graduate scholars, who represent capacity building for New Zealand for the future. Riddet Institute partners are the Crown research institutes, AgResearch and Plant & Food Research; and the University of Otago, the University of Auckland and Massey University (host institution).

The Korea Food Research Institute (KFRI) is a government-affiliated research institute established in 1988 to contribute to the improvement of national agriculture, fisheries and the food industry through advanced food science and technology. Its role is to conduct research on functional food, food safety and food nano-technology with the aim of improving human health and quality of life for the Korean people. One of its objectives is to globalise Korean traditional foods. KFRI leads the future of the Korean food industry and to further its goals it is building co-operative networks with foreign and domestic universities, research institutes and industry.

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