A dedicated partner for agri-food innovation
Teagasc, an internationally recognised centre of excellence, is Ireland’s leading agency for agri-food innovation. Its food programme spans the entire chain from farm production to food processing and innovation. Teagasc focuses on food research of relevance to industry. The agency also works with individual food companies through collaborative and contract research as well as technology transfer. In addition, it provides the food industry with access to specialised laboratory equipment and unique pilot-plant scale food processing facilities.
Download Teagasc Food Research Programme [pdf]
Collaborative and contract research
In addition to industry-focused ‘public good’ research, the food team actively engages on a one-to-one basis with food companies in both collaborative and contract research. It offers excellent infrastructure and extensive, modern and well-equipped research and processing facilities, with a number of unique facilities and specialist equipment.
The programme is run from two state-of-the-art locations: the Teagasc Food Research Centre at Ashtown, close to Ireland’s capital city Dublin, and Teagasc Moorepark in North Cork – both internationally recognised sites of excellence. In addition, Teagasc collaborates with universities and research institutes in Ireland, the European Union, and around the world.
Teagasc Ashtown is located near Castleknock on the outskirts of Dublin
The site extends to 30 hectares, which includes a category-3 food safety facility, a pilot-scale abattoir, meat processing plant, product development plant, a sensory analysis suite and a nutraceutical facility. The Teagasc Food Research Centre at Ashtown has an excellent research track record in microbiological and chemical food safety, meat and meat products, cereal and bakery products and in the field of nutraceuticals. Horticultural research is also undertaken at this location.
Dairy Industry Research: Teagasc Food Research Centre, Moorepark, Co Cork
Teagasc Moorepark is located on a 110 hectare site in North Cork. The primary focus of Teagasc’s Food Research Centre at Moorepark is dairy research, and it has a proud history in the development of microbial cultures, new dairy ingredients and hybrid cheese varieties for dairy companies.
- A separations/dehydration and ingredient facility supports the development of dairy-based ingredients and is specifically designed to support R&D associated with the infant milk formula industry.
- Bioactive bioengineering capability: Researchers in Moorepark are world leaders in the use of bioengineering to carry out structure-function analysis of bioactives and the generation of food-grade derivatives of existing bioactives with a view to enhancing activity and stability.
- A modern pilot plant facility: Moorepark Technology Limited offers services which include pilot plant rental, contract research and development, pre-commercial manufacture and technical assistance/advice/support for food producers.
Facilities for large-animal feeding trials
Teagasc’s Animal and Grassland Research and Innovation Programme, also located at Moorepark, operates its own dairy and beef cattle, sheep and pig production units, which are available for large-animal feeding trials, milk and animals for processing and quality determination.
Marine-based functional foods
Teagasc delivers support through the Marine Functional Foods Research Initiative or NutraMara, a joint initiative of the Marine Institute and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, which aims to support the development of marine-based functional foods.
Teagasc provides the food industry with opportunities to access its intellectual property through joint development and/or licensing agreements. Its portfolio of completed research projects can be accessed online.
Pilot plants available to industry
The Meat Industry Development Unit encompasses a pilot scale meat facility, incorporating a licensed abattoir (cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry); production units for processing and packaging of meat under controlled refrigeration systems and a cooked meats facility (curing, cooking, smoking). Process technologies include Tenderbound TM (hot boning and PiVac), electrical stimulation.
A modern dairy pilot-plant facility, Moorepark Technology, contains up-to-date and versatile pilot scale processing equipment. Services include pilot plant rental, contract research and development, pre-commercial manufacture and technical assistance/advice/support for food producers.
The Cereal Chemistry Laboratory and Test Bakery Facilities include a mill room, test bakery and dough rheology laboratory that support industry-led research into the use of a range of flours and novel formulations for baked goods and extruded snacks.