New $3.5m research centre to focus on grain growth

A new $3.5 million research centre, the Australian Research Council Centre for Functional Grains, aims to make the country’s grain industry a high value export market.

According to, the research centre is being established in Wagga Wagga as part of a plan to move the grains industry away from a commodity-based system and will be a research hub for scientists from CSU, NSW Department of Primary Industries and CSIRO.

The centre will focus on three commodities – rice, pulses and canola – and is expected to be up and running in six months.

We’ll be conducting research to add value to our (Australia’s) grain products and developing new products to help add that value,” said CSU associate professor in Food Science, Chris Blanchard, who will head the project as centre director.

“The Graham Centre (for Agricultural Innovation) we have here already has a major focus on this same issue.
“You could say we’re taking it to the next level.”

The aims of the new centre include identifying the preferences of Australian and international grain customers; improving grain storage; developing new grain based products with enhanced sensory and health attributes; and training the next generation of food science researchers.

Partners of the project include GrainGrowers, MSM Milling, Flavour Makers, Teys Australia, Woods Grains, Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council, Grains Research and Development Corporation and Rural Industry Research and Development Corporation.

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