Food consultancy

Making healthy choices easier

We are proud owners of 9 chickens and we also have a respectable vege patch. Despite this, we, like most people living in the developed world, are reliant on farmers, food manufacturers and retailers for the majority of our food. It’s a simple fact of life living in a major industrialised city.

While we purchase as much fresh ingredients as possible to prepare our own foods at home, some processed foods are considered essentials: breads, pasta, breakfast cereals, yoghurt, etc … due to time, cost and convenience, amongst other things.

Nutrition Information panels have been mandatory on the packages of processed foods sold in Australian since 2002, and Health Star Ratings started appearing on food labels in 2014, helping people make informed food choices. For people with health conditions like diabetes, the GI Symbol is an additional tool.

Luckily, many food companies in Australia employ dietitians or nutritionists to help develop new healthy foods and drinks, or renovate existing formulations, to bring them more in to line with national and international dietary guidelines.

I first started working with food industry when I started working for Diabetes Australia NSW. Companies wanted to promote products that they thought were healthy choices to people with diabetes in the organisations magazines and on their websites. People with diabetes wanted more healthy choices that wouldn’t adversely affect their blood glucose levels.

This is how the GI Symbol program got started — demand from people with diabetes for a front-of-pack labelling system that took blood glucose levels in to account.

Through the GI Foundation I worked with small local food companies, retailers and large multi-national food companies, with the aim to improve the quality of their existing products, or to develop new products for people with diabetes and those at risk.

In 2015, I left the GI Foundation, but still continue to work with food industry to help improve the quality of the food supply. Carbohydrates continue to be my primary area of expertise:

Dietary fibres
Polyols (sugar alcohols)

And I also am an expert in sugar replacers like intense (“artificial”) sweeteners, in particular:

Steviol glycosides

Beyond specific nutrients and ingredients, my areas of expertise and experience include (in alphabetical order):

Estimation of glycemic index and glycemic load
Expert witness reports
Health Star Rating estimation
New product development – foods and meals
Nutrient profiling – foods and meals
Nutrition, health and related claims (including preparation of dossiers for general level health claims)
Product reformulation
Product reviews
Scientific advisory boards
Scientific symposiums and workshops
Systematic literature reviews