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HeTa Food Research Centre for Excellence

Delivering sustainable food supply, eliminating contamination and promoting food security and sustainability

Published: 22nd June 2022
HeTa Food Research Centre for Excellence
Source: Alexander Raths,,


It is crucial to produce food that appeals to consumers while ensuring food safety and sustainability. Our experts conduct intensive research on food quality, safety, and processing technologies to create and achieve the best possible food formulation that delivers good taste, is nutritionally balanced and safe, and has a practical shelf-life. We are also actively researching food waste valorisation and policies. Through HeTa excellence centre we offer our expertise and insights for collaborative work, consultancy and projects to enable safe and sustainable food technology for all types of customers and consumers.

Technology Overview

The Centre’s mission is to work with partners to deliver sustainable food supply, eliminate contamination through research- and innovation-led solutions, and promote food security, sustainability, and economic growth in the global food system. The Centre’s vision is to be a leader in food safety and innovative processing technologies through joint work with suppliers, manufacturers, producers, customers and consumers.

HeTa Food Research Centre ‎offers consultancy, training, and professional services which are geared towards ensuring food is safe for consumption and has an optimum formation to deliver an excellent mouth feel experience. We serve industry, government agencies, private companies, and NGOs. 

We provide services across seven distinct research themes – Food safety and quality, food spoilage / Novel food processing technology / Research and development for industries / Laboratory design, setup and management / Strategic partnership / Advanced packaging technology / Mechanistic modelling. 

HeTa Food Research Centre ‎is based at the School of Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham. The Centre facilities include world-class food processing and microbiology laboratories and a wide range of bespoke analytical equipment. 


Some examples of our work:

  • Ran various food safety training with the overseas governments, including microbiology ‎training materials for the bi-annual ‎Food Hygiene ‎Premises Inspection course for ‎the Saudi Food & ‎ Drugs Authority (SFDA) and ‎SFDA Food ‎Microbiology and Food ‎Manufacturing.
  • Organised Food-related events for food enforcement officers and the food Industry‎.
  • Offered consultancy services to the food industry (including pH7 and Hygienia) on food processing ‎techniques and conditions that ensure safety.‎
  • Evaluated a portable ‎near-infrared spectrometer for detecting and quantifying the ice glaze on ‎frozen fish.
  • Investigated the effect of freezing on bread dough behaviour and developed an optimal industrial route to processing doughs to extend the shelf life of frozen products.
  • Formulated sustainable methods to produce herbal extracts. Further, we developed new animal feeds by incorporating the extract aiming to tackle Antimicrobial Resistance.
  • Helped with the development of two spin-off companies. 
  • Helped a major plant-based company to develop a better understanding of the microstructure by undertaking fundamental research on their food ingredients and process.


The core area of services:

  • Food safety and quality, food spoilage
  • Antimicrobial Resistance
  • (Novel) Food processing 
  • Food waste valorisation
  • Sustainability, waste, and energy reduction toward zero waste
  • Laboratory setup and management
  • Strategic partnership
  • Research/er development
  • Statistical analysis for industrial applications 
  • Mechanistic modelling 


What we do:

  • Research and development 
  • Consultancy 
  • Training 

Our clients:

  • Manufacturers
  • Government agencies 
  • Private organisations (large corporate and SMEs)
  • Non-government agencies (including charities worldwide)