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Wednesday, 10 June 1970


Mr Grassby asked the Minister for the Interior, upon notice:

(1)   Is he able to say whether Canberra has the dearest milk based products, such as milk shakes, in southern Australia.

(2)   Have offers been received to supply Canberra with milk at two cents a point below current prices, and are they associated with offers to build pasteurising and packaging facilities in Canberra itself if desired.

(3)   Will he personally visit the areas concerned in the supply of milk to Canberra to ensure that Canberra residents receive the best consideration by the most efficient producers.


Mr Nixon - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   No. No survey has been made to establish this fact, or otherwise.

(2)   To my knowledge no such offers have been made to me or 'to my Department.

(3)   The report on the local milk industry by the Joint Committee on the Australian Capital Territory has just been tabled and I propose to study this rather than set off on a new investigation.

Army Food Science Establishment (Question No. 953)


Mr Barnard asked the Minister for the

Army, upon notice:

(1)   What is the strength of the Army Food Science Establishment at Scottsdale, Tasmania.

(2)   What has been the cost of maintaining the establishment in each year since 1965.

(3)   What studies have been conducted since 1965.

(4)   What recommendations made by the establishment have been adopted by the Army.

(5)   Is the work conducted by the establishment relevant to food production and processing in the private sector.

(6)   If so, have there been any joint research ventures between the establishment and the private sector.


Mr Peacock - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   The total strength of the Army Food Science Establishment at Scottsdale is 28 comprising 2 members of the Citizen Military Forces, 3 Australian Regular Army members and 23 civilians.

(2)   The estimated cost of maintaining the Establishment in the financial years 1965-1970, as set out in the table below excludes salaries as these were not estimated separately in the past. However the estimated salary total for 1969-70 is $75,000 which is fairly representative of previous years less normal salary increases.

 

Note that these figures include expenditure on major new equipments as follows:

 

 

The Home Ration Scale. Selected components are under long term storage and shelf life trials, at any one point in time, with a view to improvement of product shelf lives and quality.

Pacific Islands Regiment (PIR) Patrol Ration. New and improved components have been developed, trialled and introduced.

Combat Ration (One Man). Shelf life, caloric content and nutrient level trials conducted after each year's packing programme, for both statistical reasons, and to allow areas for improvement or adjustment to be isolated. Some additional and changed components are under current consideration.

These trials are also carried out on the Combat Rations (Ten Man), the Combat Rations (One Man) Lightweight, the Emergency Ration and the Small Ships Ration.

Combat Rations (one Man) Lightweight have been developed, trialled, accepted and introduced into the Service during this period. Further varieties of this ration are currently under development.

Combat Rations (10 Man) Lightweight currently under development and trial.

There is a continuing investigation into hot-air dried foods and ways and means of improving their quality and storage life.

Freeze dried foods. Progress has been made in extending the range of foodstuffs that can be preserved by this process, and this work continues, together with research into ways of reducing process costs.

Explosive puffed foods. This involves investigations into the production, storage qualities and acceptability of puffed fruit and vegetable products.

Compressed Foods. Investigation into the thermoplasticity of air-dried, freeze dried and pulled foods with a view to compressing these so as to reduce weight and bulk in ration packs.

Overseas Ration Scale. This study involves the development and testing of new dehydrated and compressed foods that can be used as alternatives to fresh and canned foods in an overseas station.

Storage tests of canned water.

Development, design and packaging of RAAF air-survival rations.

Storage life of canned foods, aimed at investigating the relationship between head space and vacuum in cans, and their keeping qualities in tropical and sub-tropical climates.

Alternative food containers. Investigation into the use of aluminium and plastic containers for foodstuffs.

Microbiological studies on dehydrated carrot during storage.

Investigations into the chemical deterioration which occurs in potato powder in storage.

Investigations into the effect of selected antioxidants on the storage properties of freezedried meat and fish products.

Development of an acceptable compressed ready-mix bread for inclusion in ration packs.

Development of improved Service Ration Scales and Hospital Diet Scales.

Trials and investigations into the caloric requirements of soldiers in operational conditions and participation in and assistance with British Army trials with similar aims in Malaysia.

Storage trials of instant potato flakes. Investigations into the loss of pungency in dehydrated onions during storage.

The effects of temperature and humidity on the physical performance of a person by measurement with a cycle ergometer.

Trials of onion and carrot varieties, and their suitability for dehydration.

Investigation into the feasibility of producing high energy synthetic foods for use in ration packs.

Acceptability trials of pre-cooked freeze-dried beef.

A study of the effect of pre-cooking on freezedried lamb with special reference to histological changes.

A critical review of methods used in thiamine estimation in foods.

Acceptability of curried beef and green beans compressed blocks.

The use of butter powder in the compression of instant dehydrated potato.

Methods of organoleptic evaluation of foodstuffs for Service use.

Dehydration and rehydration of vegetables with special reference to carrots.

The influence of cooking method on the storage characteristics of freeze-dried beef.

Survival of micro-organisms during freezedrying and during storage of the freezedried product.

(4)   Major changesor introduction of new products into the Service, which have resulted from establishment recommendations include:

Introduction of a complete range of operational ration packs and special ration packs for use by the Australian Army and the other Services.

Acceptance and development of dehydration and compression in foodstuffs as a means of giving the soldier a highly acceptable ration, with savings in bulk and weight.

Determinations on the shelf-lives and storage properties of a wide range of service foods, with a resultant savings in expenditure and extensions to manufacturers warranties.

Many minor recommendations which have affected such matters as Service ration scales, the packaging and storage of rations and Commonwealth Food Specifications.

(5)   and (6) No. However there has been limited joint research with the private sector in that a special high-calorie high melt-point chocolate block for use in ration packs was developed by Cadbury-Fry-Pascall Ltd of Hobart over a number of years and at no cost to the Commonwealth.

In addition, Rosella Foods of Melbourne have developed a range of hot air-dried meals for possible inclusion in Combat Ration (One-man) Lightweight, at no cost. These meals are at present under trial at the Establishment

A number of academics from Australian universities and the CSIRO met recently in Canberra to consider the problem which the Establishment has in engaging in fundamental food research which affects other disciplines than that of nutrition and to determine the desirability and capacity of directing some of their research effort into defence food areas. It is hoped that a coordinated programme of such defence food research between a number of Universities may be arranged covering an expected S-year period.







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