The Riddet Institute’s vision is to generate knowledge and skills required to address the unprecedented challenges facing the food sector in a rapidly changing world. It will be the world’s top institute in discovery-led research at the frontier of food materials science, nutrition and health, and will develop high calibre human capital to ensure rapid innovation, a vibrant food sector and long-lasting socioeconomic benefits for New Zealand. 

The Riddet Institute will:

Strive for excellence in all activities and endeavours,

Operate ethically and with integrity,

Be collaborative and inclusive, sharing knowledge and resources for mutual benefit,

Be committed to its responsibilities under Te Tiriti,

Embrace equity and diversity,

Pursue research and training that supports both commercial and public good outcomes’

Create an enduring global network of scientists to facilitate knowledge transfer across disciplinary boundaries.

A sustainable food supply is one of the contemporary challenges facing humanity. New technologies have the potential to disrupt and change the very basis of food production are also. There are opportunities to be exploited and threats mitigated, not only in how to create high-value-added food products for export markets but also in how to respond to global trends in sustainable foods, sustainable nutrition and health. The economy is highly dependent upon the food sector, and must be front and centre in addressing these challenges, both through research-based knowledge and through the provision of highly skilled knowledge custodians.

The Riddet Institute’s world-class expertise in food structures and its impact on sustainable nutrition will continue to allow the development of high value, sustainable foods. New Zealand will need to move towards a more environmentally sustainable balance of plant and animal food production that both is profitable and can be sustained by the natural ecosystem. The Riddet Institute will provide the food sector with and science and skills to transition into foods that are more sustainable and superior nutritionally.

World-class expertise in food sciences and related disciplines fostering inter-disciplinary collaborations and showcasing New Zealand’s excellence and leadership in research.

An enhanced capability and capacity for research and innovation in the New Zealand food sector through targeted postgraduate and postdoctoral education and training.

Innovation in the New Zealand food sector for economic benefit through original research and connecting with food companies and catalysing investment by industry.

World-leading and engaged food sector in New Zealand by providing leadership in food innovation and promoting informed public debate on food and its sustainable production.

Improved economic and educational outcomes for Māori and Pacific peoples through innovation by Māori food companies; and supporting education and career opportunities.

Contributing to the prevention and management of lifestyle diseases through knowledge on the effects of food on human health.

Promoting equity, diversity and inclusion in all we do.

The Riddet Institute’s research programmes highlight the theme Future Foods in Harmony with Nature. The Institute provides the fundamental science to support tomorrow’s innovations in advanced foods. These foods will be sustainable, support optimal nutrition and human health, and appeal to tomorrow’s global consumers. The next generation of food products will need to address nutrition and health, and the most pressing environmental and ethical issues of our time. 


There is an urgent need for foods to become more sustainable; environmentally; nutritionally; socially; economically. This will require the introduction of better materials into the food production chain. To meet this challenge, an innovative, systems-based scientific approach is needed; with the rational selection of materials and the design of foods based on a sound fundamental understanding of their molecular and structural properties, and the multiple and diverse interactions that occur during food processing. Sustainable food processing technologies will need to be implemented to maintain their structural and nutritional integrity.

 Pictured right is the graphic depiction of the three research projects (in second ring in centre), with the over arching themes: The Human Dimension, and Complex Systems Science around the outside rings.


Our programmes comprise three interlinked themes and two overarching supporting elements. Each theme has several tightly connected projects that will generate new knowledge. Investigators work across themes and projects to collectively contribute to our overall vision of Future Foods in Harmony with Nature.


About our Director: 

Harjinder Singh is a Distinguished Professor and Director of the Riddet Institute, a National Centre of Research Excellence in food science and nutrition.


Professor Singh’s research has focused on food science, food proteins and ingredient functionality, functional foods and the food structure-nutrition interface, dairy science and technology. He is a world-renowned food scientist, with a high academic profile (over 350 publications, H-index 64) and extensive experience in working and consulting with the New Zealand and international food industry (e.g. Nestle, PepsiCo).

Harjinder Singh

Distinguished Professor and Director

He aha te mea nui o te o?
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.

(What is the most important thing in the world?
It's the people, it's the people, it's the people.)

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