A SCIENTIST whose work is boosting the $3 billion-a-year dairy export sector has been recognised with one of Australia’s top awards.
Lydia Ong from the University of Melbourne has been presented with ICM Agrifood award at a gala event in Sydney, organised by the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering.
Dr Ong, who is part of the ARC Dairy Innovation Hub at the Department of Chemical Engineering, uses microscopy to study the behaviour of food components, such as protein and fat on a molecular level.
She uses this to work out how to improve processes in the Australian dairy manufacturing sector.
Dr Ong said her aim was to improve food quality and minimise waste by improving the texture and microstructure of dairy products.
“I am currently working on a range of projects including the microstructure of cheese and the processing of yoghurt, cheese and milk.”
Academy president Hugh Bradlow congratulated the winner.
“The ICM Agrifood Awards recognise early-career scientists or technologists who have demonstrated excellence, innovation and impact in relation to food and agriculture in Australia,” Professor Bradlow said.
“The nation’s future prosperity depends on embracing new technology to address critical national challenges.
“More than ever, we need knowledge creation, technology and innovation that can be harnessed to drive commercialisation and economic and social benefit.
Winners of the ICM Agrifood Awards each receive $5000.