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Distinguished Professor Harjinder Singh staff profile picture

Contact details +64 (06) 356 9099  ext. 84317

Distinguished Professor Harjinder Singh MSc, PhD, BSc(Hons)

Director, Riddet Institute

Riddet Institute

Distinguished Professor Harjinder Singh, Director of the Riddet Institute (a National Centre of Research Excellence in Food Science), is a world-renowned food scientist, honoured for his outstanding scientific achievements, his international profile and his academic leadership and commitment to Massey University and the wider scientific community.

He received his PhD in Food Science and Technology from University College Cork, Ireland in 1986 and has been with Massey University since 1989. His research has focused on food colloids, food ingredient functionality, functional foods and food structure-nutrition interface. He has published 350 papers in international journals, and is one of the highly cited researchers in Agricultural Sciences, with a current H-index of 63. He is co-inventor of 16 patents forming the basis of several commercial innovations. He has mentored 54 PhD students and 37 postdoctoral researchers from around the world, and has received more than $50 million in research funding from both NZ and international food companies and government organisations. He has delivered about 115 keynote addresses at international conferences and sits on the editorial boards of 12 food journals. He has served on several national and international committees, playing a significant role in food strategy development and implementation. 

His international standing and outstanding contributions to food science have been recognised by several prestigious awards: the William Haines Dairy Science Award (USA) and the Marschall Rhodia International Dairy Science Award (USA), Massey University Research Medal, JC Andrews Award and the Shorland Medal. He is an Elected Fellow of the United States Institute of Food Technologists (2015), an Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand (2002) and of the International Academy of Food Science and Technology (2006). In 2012, he was the co-recipient of the Prime Minister’s Science Prize, the highest science honour in New Zealand.

Distinguished Professor Harjinder Singh, Director of the Riddet Institute (a National Centre of Research Excellence in Food Science), is a world-renowned food scientist, honoured for his outstanding scientific achievements, his international profile and his academic leadership and commitment to Massey University and the wider scientific community.

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Contact details

  • Ph: 84317
    Location: Ecology
    Campus: Turitea


  • Master of Science (Honours) - Punjab Agricultural University (1981)
  • Doctor of Philosophy - National University of Ireland (1980)
  • Bachelor of Science (Honours) - Punjab Agricultural University (1979)

Research Expertise

Research Interests

Structures and interactions of polysaccharides and proteins under different environmental and processing conditions.

-  Structural changes in food materials under oral and gastro-intestinal environments.

-  Mechanisms of release of nutrients in the GIT from different food structures

-  Development of encapsulation and delivery systems for bioactive compounds


Health and Well-being, Future Food Systems

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Engineering (090000): Food Sciences (090800): Food Sciences not elsewhere classified (090899)


Food structures and functionality, interactions of food components, particularly proteins, during food processing; food colloids and emulsions; behaviour of food structures during gastro-intestinal digestion; Protection and delivery of sensitive nutrients and bioactives in foods, nanotechnology and its application in food science. Dairy science and technology, in particular milk protein products and milk powders.

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Not Specified 1 1
Project Leader 23 37
Team Member 2 6

Current Projects

Project Title: NSC - High-Value Nutrition - Ko Nga Kai Whai Painga

Date Range: 2019 - 2024

Funding Body: University of Auckland

Project Team:

Project Title: Project 4.3 - Consumer and Innovation

Date Range: 2018 - 2020

Funding Body: Tertiary Education Commission

Project Team:

Completed Projects

Project Title: NSC - Bioactive Food Systems (High-Value Nutrition National Science Challenge)

Bioactive Food Systems will address the need to protect the health-promoting compounds (the 'bioactives') in foods during their journey from raw ingredients to finished food products. We will design food ingredients and processes that keep those bioactives in top condition within food products, then release them to the body when those food products are eaten.
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Date Range: 2016 - 2019

Funding Body: University of Auckland

Project Team:

  • Distprof Harjinder Singh - Project Leader
  • Dr Simon Loveday - Team Member
  • Dr Abby Thompson - Team Member
  • Ms Lynley Drummond - Team Member

Project Title: NSC - MultiProMo (High-Value Nutrition National Science Challenge)

As we age we lose muscle mass and function, and many older people find that muscle weakness limits their ability to stay physically mobile and remain independent. Protein and the amino acid leucine are the major nutrients required for muscle maintenance, and in this project we will research how to combine proteins together to improve digestibility and protein uptake for older people. Using this research, we will develop scientifically validated high-protein foods that help to support muscle maintenance in seniors while also meeting their flavour and texture preferences. Many countries, especially in New Zealand's major export markets in East Asia, are faced with ageing populations and skyrocketing healthcare costs. The high-protein muscle maintenance foods that we develop will be targeted towards seniors in China, and will contribute to improving the wellbeing of older Chinese as well as providing substantial export revenue to a New Zealand food manufacturer.
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Date Range: 2016 - 2019

Funding Bodies: University of Auckland; Goodman Fielder New Zealand Ltd

Project Team:

Project Title: NSC - Scanning the Horizon - High Value Nutrition Science Challenge Agreement

Date Range: 2015 - 2017

Funding Body: University of Auckland

Project Team:

Project Title: Future foods - a new capability for New Zealand's leading industry

Date Range: 2007 - 2012

Funding Bodies: Foundation for Research, Science & Technology; Heinz Wattie's Ltd; Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited; Meat Biologics Research Ltd; Independent Fisheries Ltd

Project Team:

Project Title: The Investigation of Drying & Re-hydrating of powdered dairy products with magnetic resonance imaging - FRST postdoc - Jason Hindmarsh

To develop immediate and long term interventions for reducing the incidence of noise-induced hearing loss as well a directing potential future research.
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Date Range: 2006 - 2007

Funding Body: Foundation for Research, Science & Technology

Project Team:

Project Title: Psycho-Oncology

A longitudinal study on work life balance and health.
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Date Range: 2006 - 2010

Funding Body: Meat Biologics Research Ltd

Project Team:

Research Outputs

Teaching and Supervision

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
Supervisor 8 22
Co-supervisor 9 10

Current Doctoral Supervision

Supervisor of:

  • Natalie MacBeth - Doctor of Philosophy
    Phenotypic variations in sheep milk proteins and the effect on milk characteristics.
  • Patrick Tai - Doctor of Philosophy
    The release of lipids from dairy food matrices under in vitro gastrointestinal digestive conditions
  • Joanna Nadia - Doctor of Philosophy
    Modelling Gastric Digestion of Rice- and Wheat-Based Foods
  • Xin Wang - Doctor of Philosophy
    Dynamic digestion behavior of dairy-based foods
  • Taciana Lunelli - Doctor of Philosophy
    Functional foods for prevention of Alzheimer's disease
  • Natasha Nayak - Doctor of Philosophy
    Complex emulsion systems in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Hoang Du Le - Doctor of Philosophy
    Carbohydrate systems for delivering bioactives to the colon
  • Debashree Roy - Doctor of Philosophy
    Structural changes in milk during digestion

Co-supervisor of:

  • Mengxiao Yang - Doctor of Philosophy
    Study on the interactions between milk protein and digestive enzymes (pepsin)
  • Zheng Pan - Doctor of Philosophy
    Structure and digestion of milk and dairy products: Influence of composition and processing treatment
  • Haroon Qazi - Doctor of Philosophy
    Nano-carriers for delivery of bioactive compounds in food systems
  • Giovanna Castillo Fernandez - Doctor of Philosophy
    Determining the influence of emulsion composition and structural dynamics on lipaemic inflammatory response.
  • Akashdeep Beniwal - Doctor of Philosophy
    Development of food analogues using dairy and plant proteins
  • Lirong Cheng - Doctor of Philosophy
    Physico-chemical properties and stability of nano-droplet stabilized emulsions
  • Duc Toan Do - Doctor of Philosophy
    Designing Biomimetic Plant Foods
  • Nan Luo - Doctor of Philosophy
    Structured emulsion gel systems for delivery of bioactive compounds
  • Siqi Li - Doctor of Philosophy
    Understanding the Impact of New Zealand Milk Seasonality on Dairy Product Quality

Completed Doctoral Supervision

Supervisor of:

  • 2019 - Arup Nag - Doctor of Philosophy
    Studies on the stability of probiotic bacteria during long term storage
  • 2016 - Christiane Schmidmeier - Doctor of Philosophy
    Adherence interactions between milk proteins and human intestinal surface layer components
  • 2016 - Devastotra Poddar - Doctor of Philosophy
    Stability of the probiotic Lactobacillus paracasei CRL 431 under different environmental conditions
  • 2016 - Amit Taneja - Doctor of Philosophy
    Spray Dried Milk-Protein Stabilized Emulsions with High Oil Content
  • 2015 - Vikas Mittal - Doctor of Philosophy
    Interaction of iron, protein and orthophosphate in milk systems
  • 2015 - Sebastian Riedle - Doctor of Philosophy
    Dietary titanium dioxide particles and intestinal health
  • 2015 - Anant Dave - Doctor of Philosophy
    Structural Aspects of B-Lactoglobulin During Self Assembly into Amyloid-like Fibrils
  • 2013 - Emmanuelle Riou - Doctor of Philosophy
    Comparative study of the effects of added calcium on the heat-induced changes in three complex whey protein systems
  • 2012 - Visaka Anantawat - Doctor of Philosophy
    Studies on the effects of heat and high pressure treatments on fat globule surface layers in recombined milk
  • 2010 - Anwesha Sarkar - Doctor of Philosophy
    Behaviour of milk protein-stabilized oil-in-water emulsions in simulated physiological fluids
  • 2009 - Daniel Ries - Doctor of Philosophy
    Studies on the antioxidant activity of milk proteins in model oil-in-water emulsions
  • 2009 - Jiahong Su - Doctor of Philosophy
    Formation and stability of food-grade water-in-oil-in-water emulsions
  • 2007 - Janina Kuhn - Doctor of Philosophy
    Studies on Interactions of Milk Proteins with Flavour Compounds.
  • 2007 - Hasmukh Patel - Doctor of Philosophy
    Studies on Heat and Pressure-induced interactions of Milk Proteins.
  • 2005 - Kim Goh - Doctor of Philosophy
    Structure and Functionality of exo-polysacchorides in Dairy Systems
  • 2004 - Maya Sugiarto - Doctor of Philosophy
    Studies on the Binding of Iron and Zinc to Milk Protein Products.
  • 2001 - Anthony McKenna - Doctor of Philosophy
    Effect of Processing and Storage on the Reconstitution Properties of Whole Milk and Ultrafiltered Skim Milk Powders.
  • 1999 - Magesh Srinivasan - Doctor of Philosophy
    Formation and Stability of Oil-in-Water Caseinate Emulsions.
  • 1999 - Palatasa Havea - Doctor of Philosophy
    Studies on Heat-Induced Interactions and Gelation of Whey Protein.
  • 1999 - Anil Kaw - Doctor of Philosophy
    Properties of Milks Concentrated by Reverse Osmosis.
  • 1997 - David Oldfield - Doctor of Philosophy
    Heat-Induced Whey Protein Reactions in Milk Kenetics of Denaturation and Aggregation as Related to Milk Powder Manufacture.
  • 1994 - Ranjan Sharma - Doctor of Philosophy
    Studies on the Surface Layers of Fat Globules in Recombined Milk

Co-supervisor of:

  • 2019 - Sarah Priour - Doctor of Philosophy
    Stabilisation of dried Lactobacillus rhamnosus against temperature-related storage stresses
  • 2019 - Sewuese Okubanjo - Doctor of Philosophy
    Studies on formation, oxidative stability and plausible applications of food-grade ‘droplet-stabilised’ oil-in-water emulsions
  • 2016 - Lucile Tercinier - Doctor of Philosophy
    Study of the interactions between milk proteins and hydroxyapatite particles
  • 2015 - Qing Guo - Doctor of Philosophy
    Behaviour of Emulsion Gels in the Human Mouth and Simulated Gastrointestinal Tract
  • 2011 - Prabhu Balan - Doctor of Philosophy
    Effects of orally administered ovine serum immunoglobulin in the normal and Salmonella enteritidis-challenged growing rats
  • 2008 - Amelie Deglaire - Doctor of Philosophy
    Gut endogenous protein flows and postprandial metabolic utilization of dietary amino acids in simple-stomached animals and humans
  • 2003 - Alan Welman - Doctor of Philosophy
    A Metabolic Model of Exopolysaccharide Production in # Lactobacillus delbrueckil subsp. bulgaricus.#
  • 1999 - Alistair Carr - Doctor of Philosophy
    The Functional Properties of Milk Protein Concentrates.
  • 1999 - Khalid Moughal - Doctor of Philosophy
    Solubility of Casein Products.
  • 1999 - Veera Chilukuri - Doctor of Philosophy
    Membrane Fouling During Microfiltration of Protein Solutions.

Media and Links


  • 20 Feb 2014 - Newspaper
    Manawatu Standard - Paul Moughan & Harjinder Singh
    Research partnership a mutual boost
  • 18 Feb 2013 - Magazine
    NZ Listener - Paul Moughan & Harjinder Singh
    Something to chew over
  • 14 Nov 2013 - Newspaper
    Paul Moughan and Harjinder Singh - NZ Herald
    The future of food
  • 11 Feb 2014 - Online
    Paul Moughan and Harjinder Singh - MU News
    Riddet agreement aims to boost Maori primary produce
  • 04 Mar 2013 - Online
    Massey University website
    Massey's three new Distinguished Professors
  • 02 May 2013 - Radio
    Newstalk ZB - Harjinder Singh
    Science on Anchor's side with light-proof bottles
  • 01 Nov 2012 - Newspaper, Magazine, Television, Online, Other
    Prime Minister's Science Prize - Numerous media ar
    Prime Minister's Science Prize - Numerous media articles and interviews
  • 01 Jun 2012 - Newspaper
    India, NZ to collaborate in agriculture, dairy tec
    Media - India, NZ to collaborate in agriculture, dairy technology. Haryana Plus
  • 01 Jan 2013 - Other
    NZ Food Technology Annual Directory 2013
    Food innovators win top science prize
  • 01 Jan 2012 - Newspaper, Magazine, Online, Other
    "A call to Arms" launch - Numerous media articles
    "A call to Arms" launch - Numerous media articles and interviews
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    2007 College Research awards, Vol.14, p.9 - Massey News article
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    H Singh - Media Interview - TV1
  • -

    Media - 7th NIZO Dairy Conference to focus on flavour and texture innovations in dairy - advertisement
  • -

    Media - Accolades, Shorland Medal - In Defining NZ and Science Award - The Dominion Post
  • -

    Media - Food colloids: Clever comestibles - Chemistry World, Vol.8, Issue No.8, pp 38-41
  • -

    Media - Food innovation, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, p1. Global food innovation brand backed by new Zealand's best, p6.
  • -

    Media - Groundbreak conference on future food research - In Scoop Independent News
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    Media - H Singh & P Moughan - International Symposium: Dietary protein for human health. In Food New Zealand, pp12-14
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    Media - H Singh & P Moughan. Strategy - In: Massey University: The Road to 2020, pp4-5
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    Media - H Singh and PA Munro - Munro returns to Massey. In Food Industry Week (page 5). Massey to get chair in food material science - Scoop Independent News
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    Media - High-tech icrecream good for the heart, Gisborne Herald, p39. Scoop: Icecream that licks illness, Bay of Plenty Times, pNews-4. The guilt free scoop is here, NZ Food Technology, p24.
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    Media - Indian professor of Punjab origin makes a mark in Kiwi land - India News 123. Researcher keen on Indo-Kiwi collaboration - Indiana Publications (NZ) Ltd, p6.
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    Media - Indians and kiwis discuss means for food and nutritional security. In Webindial123.com - India, Karnal
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    Media - JC Andrews Award - NZIFST Awards and JC Andrews Award Address: From Punjab to Palmerston North: A journey of basic science, dairy research and food research leadership. In Food New Zealand, V
  • -

    Media - Joint venture takes Omega-3 to the world market, Massey News article, Vol.11, p3. Joint venture to develop, market omega-3, Food Business News article, p55. Omega 3 emulsion, TV1 interview.
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    Media - Korean collaboration at Riddet - NZIFST Food New Zealand, Vol.10 p6. Riddet Institute seals major Korean collaboration, p5.
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    Media - Moughan, PJ & Singh, H. Abolishing subsidies can yield higher growth rate, Massey News article. India has big scope for knowledge exchange with New Zealand, Massey News article.
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    Media - Omega 3 - Croda Europe enters major world markets with Speirs Nutritionals - Croda media release. Manawatu company gets international contract - Clearnet Business article. Massive Omega-3 deal
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    Media - P Moughan & H Singh - NZ food partnership to combat global malnutrition - Hayley Media, p.1. Riddet tackles global nutrition - The National Business Review, p.3
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    Media - PJ Moughan & H Singh - New GM for Riddet Institute, NZIFST Food New Zealand
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    Media - Scientific advisory panel announced. NZ Food Technology, p1
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    Media - The vital ingredient in New Zealand's economic success. National Business Review, p32.
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    Media - William C Haines Dairy Science award - Dairy award, World-6. Emissions network formed, Manawatu Standard, p6. First New Zealand recipietn of Dairy Science Award, Massey News article and press
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    Moughan, PJ & Singh, H - Big cash boost for scientific research, Manawatu Standrd, p.1. Centre had eye on CoRE status, Manawatu Standard article, p.4.
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    Singh, H & Moughan PJ - Searching for white gold: Agrifood's the answer, diversity the key, Opinion Piece, C4.
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    US food giant seeks local research - Media article mentioning work on protein by Harjinder

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