DPS Food Science Partnership

An apple a day

Central Coast Food Science postgraduate student Vincent Candrawinata was so successful in digesting his research on apple juice into a 180 second presentation he was named the winner of the University of Newcastle Three Minute Thesis competition for 2012.

Vincent, who is in his second year of a PhD (Food Science) under the supervision of Dr Costas Stathopoulos, took out the title from an impressive field with his presentation ‘The Extraction and Utilisation of the Polyphenolics from Apple Juice Pomace’.

The Three Minute Thesis is an annual research competition that gives PhD and Research Higher Degree (RHD) students an opportunity to develop their communication skills and their capacity to effectively explain their complex research to a lay audience within a three minute timeframe.

Vincent’s research on ways to use the core and other waste created during the normal apple juicing process to enhance the economic and nutritional value of the product is one of several RHD projects underway as part of a partnership between the University of Newcastle and the Department of Primary Industries (DPI).

The $6 million purpose-built Central Coast Primary Industries Centre was opened on the Central Coast Campus in 2011 and provides cutting-edge facilities where DPI and University researchers investigate new agricultural industries, efficient energy use in crop production, the impact of climate change on horticulture, ways to improve export market access of horticultural produce, and to reduce the use of synthetic pesticides in agriculture.

NSW DPI is the largest science organisation in the NSW government with over 220 scientists and is consistently ranked in the top one per cent of world-wide institutes working in plant and animal sciences. NSW DPI works with industry to deliver integrated, innovative programs and projects that grow and sustain not only our primary industries sector but also communities and economies across the state.

“Having access to the combined knowledge and expertise of my University supervisor and other academic staff, as well as the DPI researchers, has been invaluable to developing my project to ensure that my results will be useful for industry,” said Mr Candrawinata.

Other areas that University of Newcastle Food Science postgraduate students are investigating as part of the partnership include Gac fruit cultivation, postharvest storage of fruit and vegetables including the effects of nitric oxide on apples, and research into the bioactive compounds of fruit and vegetables such as bitter melons.

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