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High-Value Nutrition NZ Conference 2017

Thank you for attending the

Nutritional Science Fuelling Innovation conference

More than 200 delegates shared research, insight and experience about New Zealand’s high-value foods sector

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Download the Programme

Missed the conference? Download the full programme.
(PDF, 725KB)


Session One: The Big Picture




Mission Possible: $1 Billion more

Bob Major, Chair, High-Value Nutrition

Nutritional science fuelling innovation

Co-presenters: Joanne Todd, Challenge Director
Martin Kussmann, Chief Scientist, High-Value Nutrition

What’s our second brain thinking?- the influence of the gut-brain axis on our health and wellbeing

Pierre Déchelotte
University de Rouen Department de Medicine

Session Two: Consumers are local, trends are global




The value chain starts in the mind of the consumer

Peter Wennstrőm, founder, The Healthy Marketing Team

Measuring what counts: revenue and reputation

Bill Kaye-Blake, Partner, PWC, Caroline Saunders, Director, Agribusiness and Economics Research Unit, Lincoln University

At home with new mums in China

Introduction: Roger Harker, Plant and Food Research
Presenter: Denise Conroy,  University of Auckland

Mixes well with others

Bridget Coates, Kura Nutrition

Session Three: High-Value Nutrition and metabolic health




Metabolic health:  the diabetes tsunami –  a rising tide for Asia

Sally Poppitt, Director, Human Nutrition Unit, University of Auckland

Insights into diabetes susceptibility and resilience: outcomes from the TOFI_Asia Study

Ivana Sequiera, Research Fellow, Human Nutrition Unit University of Auckland

Unlocking Mātauranga: Collaboration in the Research Interface

Meika Foster, Nuku ki te Puku

Heath claims are not (necessarily) the Holy Grail’

Juliet Ansell, Innovation leader, Nutrition and Health, Zespri

Turning over a new leaf

Jackie Evans, Head of Product Research, Comvita

Session Four: From eureka to market




The New Zealand Food Innovation Network

Angus Brown, Food Bowl, NZ Food Innovation Network;

Navigating the high-value food ecosystem

Craig Armstrong NZTE

Liberating innovators

Lauren Smith, Callaghan innovation

Guarding your recipes for success

John Mansell, James and Wells


Session 5: High-Value Nutrition and healthy digestion




Navigating the regulatory roadmap in health claims

Donnell Alexander, Senior Adviser Food Claims, Ministry of Primary Industries

Unlocking the mysteries of gut comfort

High-Value Nutrition Science team leader Nicole Roy, Food and Nutrition AgResearch

Emerging biomarkers of healthy digestion

Karl Fraser, AgResearch

Are microbes the missing piece of the gut comfort puzzle?

Wayne Young, AgResearch

A2 milk and healthy digestion

Andrew Clarke, Chief Scientific Officer, A2 Milk


Session 6: High-value nutrition and enhanced immunity




Finding the right bioactives to build a stronger immune system

Olivier Gasser Malaghan Institute

Functional foods for keeping lungs healthy in polluted cities

Odette Shaw Plant and Food Research

Enhancing flu vaccine efficacy with functional foods

Anna Mooney Malaghan Institute

How Māori can develop new opportunities in food from science

Wayne Mulligan,  Fomana Capital, Anagenix

Session 7: High-value Nutrition and healthy babies




Good bacteria for healthy babies & Seeding through feeding

Clare, Wall, University of Auckland, Martin Kussmann, Liggins Institute

How we plan to reduce allergies

Kusal Perera, Miraka

Session 8: Designing bioactive foods




Redesigning how we develop foods with bioactives

Harjinder Singh, Massey University Institute of Food Science and Technology

Right time, right place: bioactive delivery systems

Alejandra Acevedo
Zhigao Nu
Massey University

What about the texture?

Bryony James, Research Centre for Surface and Materials Science, University of Auckland

Targeting the gut microbiome: New technology for commercially viable synbiotics

Peter Brown, Innovation and Research Manager, Goodman Fielder

Session 9: From project to programme- the future of High-Value Nutrition




From Projects to “Systems Nutrition”

Martin Kussman, The Liggins Institute


  • Bob Major, Board chair, High-Value Nutrition
  • Connie Weaver, Head of Nutrition Science, Purdue University
  • Frank Bloomfield, Director, Liggins Institute
  • Joanne Todd, Challenge Director, High-Value Nutrition
  • Kevin Marshall, Chair of the Industry Advisory Group, High-Value Nutrition
  • Martin Kussmann, Chief Scientist, High-Value Nutrition
  • Phil Calder, Professor of Nutritional immunology, University of Southampton
  • Sean Strain, Professor of Human Nutrition, Ulster University


  • Alejandra Acevedo-Fani, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Riddet Institute
  • Andrew Clarke, Chief Scientific Officer, The a2 Milk Company.
  • Angus Brown, Business Development Manager, NZ Food Innovation Network
  • Anna Mooney, researcher, Malaghan Institute
  • Bill Kaye-Blake, Director, PWC
  • Bridget Coates, Co-founder, Kura Nutrition
  • Bryony James, Professor of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Auckland
  • Caroline Saunders, Director of AERU, Lincoln University
  • Clare Wall, Assoc Professor, Nutrition, University of Auckland
  • Craig Armstrong, Director, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise
  • Denise Conroy, Senior Lecturer, Marketing, University of Auckland
  • Donnell Alexander, Senior health claims adviser, Ministry of Primary Industries
  • Harjinder Singh, Director, Institute of Food Science and Technology, Massey University
  • Ivana Sequiera, Research Fellow, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland
  • Jackie Evans, Head of Product Research, Comvita Ltd
  • Joanne Todd, Challenge Director, High-Value Nutrition
  • John Mansell, Senior Associate, James and Wells
  • Juliet Ansell, innovation Leader, Health and Nutrition, Zespri International Ltd
  • Karl Fraser, Senior research scientist, AgResearch
  • Kusal Perera, General Manager, Business Development, Miraka Ltd
  • Lauren Smith, Customer Manager, Food and Beverage, Callaghan Innovation
  • Martin Kussmann, Chief Scientist, High-Value Nutrition
  • Meika Foster, Director, Edible Research
  • Nicole Roy, Science team leader, Food Nutrition and Health, AgResearch
  • Odette Shaw, Scientist, Food and Wellness, Plant and Food Research Ltd
  • Olivier Gasser, Translational Immunology Group Leader, Malaghan Institute
  • Peter Brown, Innovation and Research Manager, Goodman Fielder
  • Peter Wennström, Founder, The Healthy Marketing Team
  • Pierre Déchelotte, Head, Clinical Nutrition Unit, University Hospital of Rouen
  • Richard Gearry, Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch
  • Roger Harker, Principal Scientist, Plant and Food Research
  • Wayne Mulligan, Board member, Anagenix
  • Zhigao Niu, Postdoctoral fellow, Riddet Institute, Massey University

Research snapshots from the Centre for High-Value Nutrition

Professor Sally Poppitt of the High-Value Nutrition science leadership team explains how better nutrition can tackle the global diabetes epidemic and what the Thin on the outside, fat on the inside profile means for Asian consumers.

Dr Nicole Roy of the High-Value Nutrition science leadership team describes how innovative research on the gut-brain axis is addressing the difficult to pigeonhole but common malady Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Dr Roger Harker, science leader of Consumer and Product Insights talks about the insights into Chinese and Asian consumers that our companies will need to succeed in our major markets.

The Centre for High-Value Nutrition acknowledges our key partners: