Innovative food technologies - Queensland


Innovative Food Solutions and Technologies (IFST) group supports the Queensland food industry by helping companies, farmers and harvesters develop new and improved value-added foods and food ingredients for local and overseas retail markets consistent with the priorities of the Department.

Innovative Food Solutions and Technologies core business is to identify, develop, undertake and deliver innovative research and development outcomes that will provide economic benefits to the subtropical and tropical horticultural, cropping and seafood industries, and better meet consumer needs in the area of food safety, quality, health and convenience. Activities within IFST will be undertaken with the expectation of providing the Queensland food and agribusiness sector with:

  • increased market value of harvested products through improved varietal attributes and/or post-harvest processing and packaging;
  • new trade options through value added products that improve their competitive position in target markets or open up new market opportunities;
  • improved skills and capacity to engage in food product innovation.

IFSTs Post-Harvest Seafood Team has industry backing for more than 25 years. The team provides new and enhanced value-adding opportunities as well as post-harvest technical support to both the aquaculture and wild-capture seafood industries. It has experience in all segments of the value-chain from point of harvest through processing technologies and transport chains to consumer preference end-point.

IFST has a focus on functional foods innovation in response to strategic opportunities for:

  • Queensland's food and agribusiness sector;
  • significant global market growth in health-related foods;
  • competitive advantage in sub-tropical and tropical products; and
  • Queensland's R&D capacities to drive new product innovation.

IFSTs Food Quality and Health and Food Production and Consumer Research Teams undertake research and development activities in close partnership with other Department research and development units, universities, CSIRO and commercial partners in order to identify natural functional foods and food ingredients with defined and substantiated health and well being benefits.

IFST is supported by research and development in:

  • processing enhanced products;
  • development of nutrient dense and satiating foods;
  • maintenance of nutritional value through the supply chain;
  • food quality and safety.

IFST shares a food pilot plant facility that services Queensland. The facility supports the development of new and enhanced value-adding opportunities in addition to post-harvest technical support. The pilot plant maintains and operates a range of equipment suitable for the manufacture of a variety of food products including dairy, meat, seafood, fruit and vegetables.

IFST also operates a Cairns based food technology service which includes a National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accredited microbiology laboratory which undertakes certification testing for food products to facilitate product export. The Cairns centre is home to the Rapid Assessment Unit (RAU), a collaborative initiative between the Department and James Cook University (JCU). The RAU has an ongoing research program encompassing non-invasive rapid assessment technologies for determining quality and safety parameters of food and fibre products.

Service type

Support Service

A service offered by government to aid in running a business.

Eligibility requirements

No specific eligibility criteria apply.


Fees apply upon consultation.

Administering agency

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

Agri-Science Queensland

Crop and Food Science

Contact details

Contact Email, Phone and Address Details for this service in simple two column table format, header then data.

Customer Service Centre

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

Phone: 07 3404 6999
Phone: 13 25 23
Website: Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Customer Service Centre (Opens in new window)