UV sterilisation of knives and conveyor belts, using a blood-and-bone blend in coal-fired boilers and converting tallow into bio-degradable plastics – those were some of the bright ideas showcased by students from the University of New England during a processing site visit in Brisbane today.
The 40 Armidale-based agribusiness and science students were visiting the Cannon Hill central processing facility of Australian Country Choice.
The visitors, led by Associate Professor Dr Peter McGilchrist toured the site, before presenting their science/technology-based projects addressing the issues of waste streams, energy consumption and water reuse and minimisation in meat processing factories.
ACC’s group manager of R&D Paul Gibson said the issue of waste was important for ACC, positioned on an industrial site within 6km of the Brisbane CBD and subject to urban encroachment. “The three big environmental issues we face and must control are odour, noise and waste,” he told the visitors.
The students made their proposal pitches and then faced questioning from industry identities including Dean Gutzke, MLA’s innovation and development manager, and Rebecca Bennett, AMPC’s co-innovation manager, and also a UNE alumni and former ACC staffer.
The visit was the largest contingent of internal UNE students to make the annual visit to the factory – testament to UNE’s growing attraction for enrolments in broad range of agriculture-related disciplines, Mr Gibson said.
HAVE YOUR SAY