Scientists start functional foods research

Updated: 2011-09-27 11:38


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WELLINGTON - New Zealand and Japanese scientists are teaming up to develop healthier foods under two government-funded "functional foods" projects.

One project, to be led by New Zealand's Massey University, will work with New Zealand food companies to create and develop a functional food with specific health enhancing effects for menopausal women, New Zealand Science and Innovation Minister Wayne Mapp announced Tuesday.

The other project, to be led in New Zealand by Plant and Food Research, would use mass spectrometry to develop a "metabolic atlas" of the chemical composition of allium vegetables, such as onions and garlic, which the horticultural industry could use to develop new food products with health benefits.

Mapp said the two research projects would be awarded a total of 1 million NZ dollars ($782,000) in funding to strengthen collaborative research relationships between New Zealand and Japan, Mapp said.

"These research projects have strong commercial potential, including through the Japanese market, and so have the potential to benefit our economy," said Mapp.

"The government is committed to building and strengthening research relationships with other countries that will achieve world-class scientific results and lead to new innovative technologies."

The two projects awarded funding under Ministry of Science and Innovation's Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) funding round focus on functional foods. The ministry and Japan each fund half the cost of each research project awarded funding.