Agri-Food & Wine

  • Photonics technology for real time milk quality analysis

    Our research

    Through the support of a new State Government initiative started in 2016, the $2.4 million South Australian Rapid Commercialisation Initiative (SARCI), IPAS members and Investigators from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics, led by Professor Mark Hutchinson, are collaborating with the dairy industry to develop sensing technologies for real time milk quality analysis.

  • New photonic analytical methods to improve the quality of brewed products

    Beer barrels

    IPAS members within the Adelaide Proteomics Centre have launched a new service for breweries across Australia based on the work under a project in collaboration with Coopers Brewery Ltd, funded by the Photonics Catalyst Program.

    The early detection and rapid identification of beer spoilage microorganisms is vital for breweries to monitor quality control, since the recall of distributed contaminated products is expensive and damaging to brand reputation.


  • Hand-held probe to provide objective measurement of the red meat eating quality

    Prof Mark Hutchinson in lab coat in front of microscope

    The red meat industry has its holy grail within grasp. Meat Standards Australia studies show that 77 per cent of consumers would eat more red meat if it was always tender; representing a huge market opportunity for the red meat industry.

    IPAS/CNBP researchers are collaborating with SA-based company MEQ Probe to develop a hand-held probe that would provide objective measurement of the eating quality of carcases.

    The probe is inserted into the carcase and sends a laser beam into the meat. Detecting the reflectance of this light and treating the signal with the help of machine learning gives a measure of the shear force and intramuscular fat of the carcase, strongly linked to the tenderness, juiciness and taste of the meat. All of the measurements are in real-time, so it easily keeps up with chain speed, and it can be used on hot carcases which currently isn’t possible.

    In 2017, the technology has been trialled on lamb and beef carcases in multiple abattoirs and the team is now working to deliver a probe which will be operational in an abattoir by the end of 2018.


  • New tools to guarantee ethical meat consumption

    PhD student observes a vial containing orange liquid

    This project aims to create new cutting-edge chip-based technology that will be able to quantify the pain in livestock, not only the extent of current pain experienced but also a cumulative life measure of pain an animal has experienced.

    IPAS and CNBP scientists have been trialling its technology in the field in pigs and hope to extend this to beef cattle in 2018.

    This project has incredible implications for addressing livestock productivity and quantifying animal welfare. The team is really excited about the potential to guarantee to consumers that post culling an animal has lived a pain-free life. Not only could we know Australian livestock are clean and green but that they are also happy and healthy.