Traditionally thermal processed foods (eg. canned) have very long shelf lives without the need for refrigeration, but this often comes at the cost of organoleptic [sensory] and nutritional properties. The long shelf life also easily opens the market to international processors. To remain competitive, the Australian industry needs to continue to develop innovative, high quality products efficiently.
Christopher Bourne is currently employed as a Project Engineer for Foodstream Pty Ltd, a consulting company that provides engineering, food science and training services to the Australian food industry. He was awarded a GAF Fellowship at ISSI in 2011 which provided the opportunity to learn the world's best practice in thermal food processing.
'The future of the Australian food processing industry needs a focus on the development of innovative, high quality, sustainable products. The George Alexander Foundation International Fellowship will give me the opportunity to learn from the world leaders in the thermal processing field and bring that knowledge back to Australia.' Christopher Bourne
Christopher spent his formative years in the Lockyer Valley, Queensland, where he was exposed to agriculture and the machinery associated with food production from an early age. In high school, he focused on maths and science and went on to complete a Degree in Mechatronic Engineering at the University of Queensland in 2007. Bourne then studied a range of courses throughout the duration of his degree, focusing on Machine Design, Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Fracture Mechanics, Robotics & Control, Acoustics, Telecoms, and also Digital Systems.
Since graduating from his degree in 2007, Christopher has worked as a consulting engineer and has been involved in numerous projects covering a broad range of industries and specialty areas – ranging from snow making machines and brick manufacturing equipment, through to excavator attachments.
Primarily, however, he has focused on special purpose machines for the food industry, including peelers, dryers and cookers. His particular areas of interest are mechanisation, automation, robotics and remote sensing.
Modern techniques of thermal processing have brought together Christopher's interests in sensors, automation and modelling of industrial processes. The shift in recent years away from domestic food production and the strong innovation in the food industry overseas, have driven Christopher’s desire to study the world’s best practice in thermal processing. Knowledge of machinery and processes used overseas will help the Australian industry to innovate and remain competitive.
Read Christopher Bourne's full report on his Fellowship.
Extract from report submitted 2014