Dr John Ingram is a senior research scientist with Plant & Food Research, Auckland. The key goals for the project are the development of foods and food ingredients with optimised levels of satiety components. Scientific work of this type involves collaboration, and John explains how this operates across several disciplines and outside organisations.
Dr John Ingram
The key goals for us are the development of whole foods with optimised levels of satiety components as well as the development of cost-effective ingredients that can be incorporated into a whole range of different food types, such as breakfast cereals and breads and things like that.
Of course, any scientific work involves collaboration, and we have quite a large number of people working on this project within Plant & Food Research. The project is actually headed up by Kevin Sutton who is a chemist, but we have external collaborators as well with the University of Auckland – so with Sally Poppit in the Nutrition Unit based at Auckland, Edmund Crampin, he’s a systems biologist, Roger Lentle from Massey University who is a gastric physiologist and Martin Wickham from Leatherhead Foods who has expertise in in vitro digestion models.
What we are trying to develop is foods that can be used as a tool in weight management in conjunction with exercise and a restricted calorie diet. In many ways, what we are trying to achieve is similar to bariatric surgery in that we can deliver macronutrients further into the small intestine than what would normally occur. This would stimulate the release of many of the same hormones producing an enhanced satiety effect.
The New Zealand Biotechnology Hub
Assoc Prof Sally Poppit
Assoc Prof Edmund Crampin
Prof Roger Lentle, Massey University
Dr Martin Wickham
Allergan New Zealand Ltd