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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

Centre for Advanced Food Enginomics

Transforming food products and processes for nutrition and health

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 of society's global challenges: ensuring a safe, sustainable and secure food supply for growing populations; addressing the increasing incidence of chronic diseases; and meeting the 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 Enginomics (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, business, chemistry, molecular biology and medicine.

Interdisciplinarity and open innovation have worked to transform food engineering into a substantive and productive engine in the wider food economy and industry. 

Enginomics integrates the human internal digestion and holistic health focus of certain bio-disciplines with the food processing and production focus of translational engineering.

This is all done within the context of sustainable and socially responsible model that encompasses general human health and environmental sensitivity.

Enginomics integrates:

  • food processing
  • health and wellness
  • food and product engineering
  • consumer safety and personalised food
  • security and sustainability in food chain
  • human digestion system.
  • 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 wholesome processed foods in conjunction with industry to ensure maximum impact.
  • Use 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, visibility and sustainability
    • educate engineers and scientists to be entrepreneurs
    • develop safe and nutritional foods to reduce the prevalence of lifestyle diseases. 

Our people

Food for health and food-omics

Future food processing researchers

Supply chain innovation

  • Professor Jennie Brand-Miller (University of Sydney)
  • Professor Paul Singh (University of California Davis, USA)
  • Professor Liping Zhao (Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China)
  • Associate Professor Eric Knight (University of Sydney)
  • Dr Alfredo Martinez-Coll (MTPConnect)
  • Dr Barry McGookin (Food Innovation Australia Ltd)
  • Dr Justine Stehn (Soho Flordis International)
  • David Coleman (Gravity Solutions Global)
  • Andrea Koch (Andrea Koch Agtech Pty Ltd)
  • Hubert Regtop (Agricure Pty Ltd)

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


  • February 2021: Karen Job, Head of Industry Engagement at Food Frontier – The alternative proteins
  • February 2021: Ben Sutherland, Principal Food Technologist, Food Standards Australia New Zealand – Novel food


  • November 2020: Dr Greg Martin, Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at University of Melbourne – Production of Novel Food Ingredients from Microalgae
  • November 2020: Associate Professor Giovanni Sogari, Consumer Behaviours at the Department of Food and Drug at Parma University, Italy – Sensory analysis for plant-based meat products
  • November 2020: Dr Julian McClements, Distinguished Professor at the Department of Food Science at the University of Massachusetts – Nano foods: and food nanotechnology: Harnessing the power of the miniature world inside our foods (a combined event with the Sydney University Nano Institute)
  • October 2020: Dr Julian McClements, Distinguished Professor at the Department of Food Science at the University of Massachusetts – Future Foods: How modern science is transforming the way we eat (a combined event with the Sydney Nano Institute)
  • October 2020: Mr Gordon Young, Food Industry Engineering – Food Drying: Why is a simple process often so poorly done? (9 October)
  • October 2020: Dr Brad Ridoutt, Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO Agriculture and Food –  A planetary boundary approach to sustainable diet
  • August 2020: Professor Roger Stanley, Food Science and Technology, Director Centre for Food Safety and Innovation, Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, University of Tasmania
  • August 2020: Professor Johannes le Coutre, Food and Health, Faculty of Engineering, UNSW
  • July 2020: SHARP Professor Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh, School of Chemical Engineering UNSW 
  • July 2020: Ms Dana Breed, Global R&D Director of Packaging and Sustainability, The Coca-Cola Company  Everything (technical) you ever wanted to know about sustainable packaging (but were too confused to ask)
  • July 2020: Professor Chin-Kun Wang, Chung Shan Medical University (CSMU), Taiwan   Food bioactives and gut healthJune 2020: Professor Ralf Greiner, Max Rubner Institute, Germany  Nanotechnology in the food sector – tiny particles, big effects
  • June 2020: Dr Alfredo Martinez-Coll, Faculty of Engineering, UTS  SARS-CoV2 opportunities for CAFE
  • June 2020: Professor Cordelia Selomulya, School of Chemical Engineering, UNSW   Designing functional microparticles for encapsulation and targeted release
  • May 2020: Ms Folake Idowu-Adebayo, Federal University Oye, Nigeria and Wageningen University and Research, Netherlands  The bioaccessibility of curcumin in tumeric-fortified cow and soy milk
  • May 2020: Dr Vitus Apalangya  Breathable, biodegradable and active hydrogels for food packaging
  • April 2020: Dr Roman Buckow, CSIRO  Healthy food through advanced processing
  • March 2020: Dr Diana Bogueva, University of Sydney  Consumer perceptions of insects as food 
  • March 2020: Loïc Bourdon, French research engineer Production of zeaxanthin using Microalgae
  • February 2020: Distinguished Professor Harjinder Singh, Director, Riddet Institute, Massey University – Engineering food structures for optimal functionality and nutrition and Dr Alejandra Acevado-Fani, Massey University   Designing functional foods for modulating the bioaccessibility of bioactive compounds during digestion


  • December 2019: CAFE PhD student seminars: Xinying Liu  Discovering the complexities of the digestion process in a human stomach using computational fluid dynamics and Andrea Talbot – Vitamin K bio-accessibility assessment using a gut simulation
  • November 2019: Dr Benedetto MarelliDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Growing structural proteins into advanced materials for food security
  • November 2019: Associate Professor Qihan DongWestern Sydney University –Preclinical evaluation of plant derived herb medicine in treatment of prostate cancer
  • November 2019: CAFE PhD student seminars: Zahra K.M. Shahrbabaki – Smart biodegradable packaging for detecting food spoilage and reducing food waste and Jacopo Giaretta – Bi-enzymatic sensor for food spoilage detection
  • November 2019: Dr Peter R Wich, UNSW – Biopolymer-based nanoparticles for applications in drug delivery and immunotherapy
  • October 2019: CAFE PhD student seminars: Wenjia Gu – Sustainable microalgal production of Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Chao Zhong  – Development of a physical stomach model
  • September 2019: CAFE PhD student seminars: Long Nguyen  – Colorimetric sensors for food safety applications and Chiara Fois  – Intestine-on-a-chip: A new platform for food testing
  • August: CAFE PhD student seminars: Katherine Blackshaw  –'Making donated milk more accessible through improved processing techniques’ and Alison Luk  – Host nutrition manipulation for gut microbiota modulation
  • August 2019: Phil Morle, Partner, CSIRO’s venture capital fund, Main Sequence Ventures  – Venture capital and the planetary health diet
  • July 2019: Associate Professor Ahmad Jabbarzadeh, University of Sydney – Thermo-mechanical effects on the crystallisation of polymers: role of processing condition, size and additives
  • June 2019: Professor Mark Morrison, University of Queensland  – Not all methane is created equally: consequences for a diet-induced inflammatory microbiota? 
  • June 2019: Professor Margaret Morris, University of New South Wales  – The intersection of palatable food, reward pathways and obesity: role of the brain-gut axis
  • May 2019: Professor Jennie Brand-Miller, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Sydney  – Carbohydrates – to love or to loathe? The role of quantity and quality in chronic disease. Presentation slides 
  • May 2019: Professor Ute Roessner, Head of School, School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne  – Metabolomics: an important piece in the ‘omics puzzle. Audio of the seminar
  • April 2019: Associate Professor Aaron Schindeler, The Children's Hospital at Westmead, University of Sydney  – Dietary supplement therapy for genetic muscle weakness
  • March 2019: Professor Bing Wang, Charles Sturt University  – Translational nutrition and food science in human biomedical research: current applications and future directions
  • March 2019: PhD candidate Juan Pablo Molina, Centre for Excellence in Advanced Food Enginomics, University of Sydney  – Modelling the community dynamics and the emergence of syntropy in the gut microbiome
  • February 2019: Dr Anne Mai-Prochnow, School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Sydney  – Cold atmospheric-pressure plasma for the treatment of biofilms and seeds
  • February 2019: Associate Professor Alessandro Martucci, University of Padova, Italy – Solution processed nanostructured materials for functional applications

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.

Centre Director

Professor Fariba Dehghani
Professor Fariba Dehghani
Academic profile

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