Skip to main content
Close up of lime and lemon slices

Facts & figures

  • 2.4 billion World population increase by 2050 (UN)
  • 4 million tonnes Amount of food Australians waste each year
  • 11 million Australians (50%) self-reported that they had a chronic disease in 2014-15
  • 28% of Australians were obese in 2014-15, a 19% increase since 1995
Centres and institutes_

Centre for Advanced Food Engineering

We develop technologies for promoting sustainable food systems, good health and nutrition

We address global issues arising from growing and ageing populations and increasing chronic disease, while helping the Australian food industry to deliver a safe, sustainable, secure and competitive food supply.

Food is at the centre of many global challenges. These include ensuring a safe, sustainable, and secure food supply for growing populations; addressing the increasing incidence of chronic diseases; and issues arising from an ageing population.

There is also an increased demand for high-quality food, the need to minimise food waste and to ensure that the Australian food industry remains competitive in the global marketplace.

The Centre for Advanced Food Engineering (CAFE) aims to meet these challenges by providing innovative solutions in food products, processes and supply chains to promote human wellbeing globally.

CAFE comprises of a cross-disciplinary cluster of high profile and industry-focused researchers specialised in engineering, agriculture, nutrition, chemistry, molecular biology and medicine.

  • Conduct transformational research with commercial value for the Australian agri-food sector.
  • Solve ambitious and large-scale problems in food and health to achieve maximum positive impact.
  • Create customised healthy and sustainably processed foods in conjunction with industry to maximise impact.
  • Add value to underutilised agriculture crops to create new products.
  • Nurture the shift from the 20th century to the 21st century:
  • change the food manufacturing drivers – taste, profit and safety – to health, environment, transparency and sustainability
  • educate engineers and scientists to be entrepreneurs
  • develop safe and nutritional foods to reduce the prevalence of lifestyle diseases.

Our people


Deputy Director

Centre Manager

  • Dr Diana Bogueva

Food for Health

Future Food Engineering

Food Safety and Quality

  • Professor Julie Cairney, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research – Enterprise & Engagement), University of Sydney
  • Professor Jennie Brand-Miller, Human Nutrition, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, The University of Sydney
  • Dr Barry McGookin, General Manager Innovation, Capabilities and Skills, Food Innovation Australia Ltd
  • Dr Justine Stehn, Global Head of Research, SFI, Conjoint Senior Lecturer, UNSW
  • Professor Andrea Koch, Principal, Andrea Koch Agtech Pty Ltd
  • Dr Alfredo Martinez-Coll, Director Business Relationship (Biomedical) at Faculty of Engineering, UTS
  • Mr Hubert Regtop, Director, Agricure Pty Ltd
  • Professor Timothy Gill, Professor of Public Health Nutrition | Research Programs Director, Boden Collaboration for Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise & Eating Disorders, Central Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney
  • Ms Karen Job, Head of Industry Engagement, Food Frontier

News bulletin board

CAFE currently has several opportunities available for talented PhD students wanting to undertake research with us.

Research Scholarship in Engineering Processable - Tough Hydrogels

This scholarship aims to support a PhD student undertaking research in designing a tough and versatile hydrogel with self-healing properties.

Applications are now open

Advanced Food Enginomics Research Scholarship

This Australian Research Council funded research project on sensors for smart food packaging is open to two PhD students. Funded scholarships are available in two areas:

  • Project A: Sensor Design for Food Safety, Quality and Traceability
  • Project B: Food Sensors Integrated in the Internet of Things

Applications for both are now open

Postgraduate Research Scholarship in Computational Modelling

This scholarship aims to provide financial support to a PhD student student undertaking research in computational modelling.

Applications are now open

  • 19 February 2021: Pablo Juliano, Group Leader Food Processing and Supply Chains, CSIRO – High end circular economy solutions to maximise value return from Australia’s horticultural waste
  • 27 February 2021: Tatiana Koutchma, Research Scientist, Agriculture and Agri-Food, Canada – Sensory analysis for plant-based meat products


  • 5 March 2021: Dr Dilip Ghosh, FACN Director, Nutriconnect, Sydney and Adjunct Fellow-NICM Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University – Pharmaceutical (Phyto) potential of nutraceuticals and functional foods
  • 12 March 2021: Professor Dora Marinova, Professor in Sustainability, Curtin University – Planetary Health
  • 19 March 2021Professor Michelle Colgrave, Future Protein Lead in CSIRO Agriculture and Food - Emerging protein sources – insects, algae, yeast and more
  • 26 March 2021Tony Hunter, Food Futurist at Future Cubed - Plant Molecular Farming and the Future of Food


  • 9 April 2021Dr Chris Bryant, Research Associate, University of Bath, UK and Director of Bryant Research Ltd - Assessing consumer readiness for alternative proteins
  • 23 April 2021Professor Richard Archer, Logan Campbell Professor of Food Technology, School of Food and Advanced Technology, FoodPilot, Massey University - Do’s and don’ts in setting up and running food pilot plants
  • 30 April 2021Associate Professor Andrew Homes, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Sydney


  • 7 May 2021Emma Weston, Director and founder of AgriDigital - Blockchain in agriculture technologies



M. A. Nawaz, T. Singh, R. Stockmann, H. Jegasothy, R. Buckow (2021). Ultra-high temperature treatment on quality attributes of high protein faba bean emulsions.

Nadal-Rey, G., McClure, D.D., Kavanagh, J.M., Cassells, B., Cornelissen, S., Fletcher, D., Krist V., Gernaey, K.V. (2021). Development of dynamic compartment models for industrial aerobic fed-batch fermentation processes. Foods.

Wali, J.A., Milner, A.J., Luk, A.W.S. et al. (2021). Impact of dietary carbohydrate type and protein–carbohydrate interaction on metabolic health. Nature Metabolism (2021). Chemical Engineering Journal.

Mohammadpour, H., Zarei, M., Cullen, P.J., Valtchev, P., Schindeler, A., Dehghani, F., (2021). Potential application of non-thermal atmospheric plasma in reducing the activity of Pseudomonas-secreted proteases in milk. International Dairy Journal.

Kaczmarska, K., Taylor, M., Piyasiri , U and Frank, D. (2021). Flavor and Metabolite Profiles of Meat, Meat Substitutes, and Traditional Plant-Based High-Protein Food Products Available in Australia. Foods.

Oveissi, F., Fletcher, D.F., Dehghani, F., Naficy, S. (2021). Tough hydrogels for soft artificial muscles. Materials & Design.

Bourdon, L., Andreas A. Jensen, A. A. , Kavanagh, J., McClure, D.D. (2021). Microalgal production of zeaxanthin. Algal Research.

Giaretta J., Oveissi, F., Dehghani, F., Naficy, S. (2021). Paper-based chemiresistive sensors for hydrogen peroxide detection. Advanced Materials Technologies.

Mai‐Prochnow, A., Alam, D., Zhou, R., Zhang, T. ; Ostrikov, K, Cullen, P.J.  (2021). Microbial decontamination of chicken using atmospheric plasma bubbles. Plasma Processes and Polymers.

Mai-Prochnow, A., Zhou, R., Zhang, T. , Ostrikov, K, Mugunthan, S, Rice, S.A., Cullen, P.J. (2021). Interactions of plasma-activated water with biofilms: inactivation, dispersal effects and mechanisms of action. npj Biofilms Microbiomes.

M. A. Nawaz, T. Singh, R. Stockmann, H. Jegasothy, R. Buckow (2021). Ultra-high temperature treatment on quality attributes of high protein faba bean emulsions. Foods.


The purpose of this workshop was to explore the intersection of food engineering and personalised food. The workshop brought together academics, industry and government professionals and focused on the key questions on the future of personalised food engineering and food engineering for health.

Topics covered included:

  • the physical mechanism for the digestion of food in the gut
  • the gut microbiome and personalised food
  • future trends in food processing for health.

Presentations included:

  • Professor R. Paul Singh, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, UC Davis (USA) on understanding physical mechanisms in gastric digestion to develop next generation of foods for healthful benefits. Download slides
  • Dr Mark Read, Faculty of Engineering, University of Sydney on delivering pre/pro-biotic health benefits and getting them to market by moving beyond the ‘one size fits all’ paradigm. Download slides
  • Associate Professor Gail Bornhorst, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, UC Davis (USA) on utilising food process engineering to optimise food functional properties. Download slides
  • Professor PJ Cullen, Faculty of Engineering, University of Sydney on future uses of plasma in food production and food safety. Download slides
  • Professor Fariba Dehghani, Faculty of Engineering, University of Sydney on challenges for future food processing. 
  • Juan Molina on the gut microbiome: a path to personalised medicine. Download slides
  • Katherine Blackshaw on human milk for humanitarian aid. Download slides
  • Chiara Fois on a gut-on-a-chip for the study of food effects on human health. Download slides
  • Dr Farshad Oveissi on flexible sensors for detecting food spoilage.
  • Jessica Tieng and Alison Luk on dietary fibre effects on small intestine structure and function.

CAFE research team has a strong track record of successful collaborative research with several food and biotech companies.

For further details and enquiry for establishing research contract and collaboration please contact Dr Peter Valtchev, CAFE External Engagement Manager.


Centre Director

Professor Fariba Dehghani
Professor Fariba Dehghani
Academic profile

Deputy Director

Professor David Raubenheimer
Professor David Raubenheimer
Academic profile

Latest news