CRC for Evidence-Based Health Food and Supplements

The Major Challenge

Australia , like other western societies, faces a rapidly ageing population, increasing prevalence of chronic diseases and, consequently, a burgeoning health care budget. There is much evidence that whole of life health is influenced by diet and lifestyle factors.

Consumers in Australia and overseas are increasingly looking for self-management strategies to minimise the risk of debilitating chronic diseases and their consequent treatment, and governments are seeking more cost effective strategies for managing ageing populations.

Within these strategies good nutrition delivered by innovative new food and supplement products can play a pivotal role. However for the food and supplement industries in Australia to respond on the scale and diversity needed, a robust evidence base for the health benefits of such products is required to inform the consumer, to satisfy the regulatory requirements for health claims and to build lucrative differentiated markets for Australian producers and manufacturers, both domestically and overseas.


Areas of Research Expertise

Clinical Research that Underpins Health Claims on Labelling; Biomedical Science and Pharmacy; Human Nutrition in Relation to Physical and Mental Performance; Human Clinical Intervention Trials; Nutraceuticals; Cardiovascular and Metabolic Health; Psychopharmacology; Nutritional Physiology; Product Innovation; Food Processing; Horticulture; Crop and Food Sources of Bioactives; Pharmaceutical Chemistry; Chemical Analysis; Fractionation; Consumption Drivers and Barriers; Market Research and the Science of Consumer Choice.


Research Themes

Sourcing and evaluating readily available plant bioactive compounds for which there is already a large body of supporting scientific evidence will be a focus in the early stages of the CRC. Longer term success, however, will be secured though investigating promising vasoactive compounds with potential but which require a more extensive evidence base.

From the outset, research on existing and new sources of bioactives will be conducted with a view to securing regulatory approval.

By aligning research programs with product development processes and regulatory requirements, paths to commercialisation will be streamlined. Thus the CRC's research portfolio will encompass a cycle of innovation progressing from evaluation of new sources of recognised bioactives, through quantification of their specific health benefits to their delivery in formulated foods and supplements with clinically substantiated health claims meeting regulations.

Development of these products and their promotion in local and export markets will be guided by expert evaluation of consumer preferences.

The research activity of the CRC will be managed through two interactive research streams, as follows:

  • Program One: Nutrient sources, Product development and Promotion
  • Program Two: Evaluation of Human Health Benefits



University of Newcastle Swinburne University of Technology
University of South Australia Department of Primary Industries (DPI), New South Wales
Australian Food and Grocery Council Riddet Institute (New Zealand)
National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education & Research (India)  


Anticipated Bid Round

18th Selection Round (2015).



Interim CEO

Professor Peter Howe
T: +61 2 4921 7309

Administration Officer

Ms Natasha Baker
T: +61 2 4921 8616