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Erin Young imagePostdoctoral Research Fellow

Department of Food Science




Erin Young comes from the North Island of New Zealand and completed her earlier qualifications of BTech (Biotech & Bioproc Eng) and PGDipTech (Pack Tech) at Massey University. She has lived and worked in Dunedin since 2005, so the Food Science department at the University of Otago was the logical choice for her PhD program.

After beginning her career in seafood protein chemistry research, Erin moved into the FMCG industry and has over 10 years technical development experience in food packaging with some of New Zealand's most iconic brands such as Sealord, Gregg's, Cadbury, Mother Earth and Robert Harris. Working with marketing, graphic designers and packaging printers also fostered a keen interest in packaging design and colour.  She also developed a keen interest in the role packaging plays in food safety, waste and consumer food choice.

'The impact of active and intelligent packaging on Chinese consumer confidence in New Zealand food export products' was the topic of Erin's PhD research and has augmented her technical packaging experience, rounding out her food packaging knowledge.

Since finishing her PhD research in early 2022, Erin has continued with the Food Science Department in Otago as a post-doctoral researcher.  She is particularly interested in the use of eye-tracking and physiological measures to further understand consumer food choice.  Erin is also member of the University of Otago Food Waste Innovation Research Theme which measures food waste, develops reduction strategies, applies innovative technology, and works to modify producer and consumer behaviour.

Research interests and activities

Erin's research focus falls into the following consumer and food packaging areas:

Optimising food packaging's role in the food supply chain

  • Active and intelligent packaging's role in food safety and consumer confidence
  • The relationship between food packaging and the long-term sustainability of food production

The impact of food packaging on consumer food behaviour

  • The influence of food packaging materials and structure on consumer food choice
  • The impact of packaging-based communication on consumer food choice

Applying consumer subconscious behaviour measurement technologies to consumer food science

  • Qualitative and quantitative research methods applied to consumer food behaviour (such as surveys and questionnaires, systematic reviews, behaviour intervention experiments, interviews, and focus groups)
  • Consumer biometrics – understanding subconscious consumer attention, cognitive processing and behaviour cues relationship to food choice

Teaching contributor to:

  • FOSC 111 Food Principles
  • FOSC 308 Food and Consumers
  • FOSC 311 Food Product Development
  • FOSC 490 Dissertation
  • FOSC 401–405 and FOSC 421–425 Advanced Food and Consumer Food Science – Food Packaging Module


Young, E. (2023). Consumer use of food labelling: A case study using biometrics in consumer food science. Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute of Food Science & Technology (NZIFST) Conference : Food in a Changing World [Speaker Abstracts]. (pp. 24). Retrieved from

Cong, L., Luan, S., Young, E., Mirosa, M., Bremer, P., & Torrico, D. D. (2023). The application of biometric approaches in agri-food marketing: A systematic literature review. Foods, 12, 2982. doi: 10.3390/foods12162982

Young, E., Mirosa, M., & Bremer, P. (2023). A conceptual model for food industry views on the commercialisation of active and intelligent packaging. Packaging Technology & Science, 36, 905-925. doi: 10.1002/pts.2766

Aya, L., Mirosa, M., Bremer, P., & Young, E. (2022). Consumer reactions to the packaging of a health positioned upcycled food: A biometric methods approach. Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute of Food Science & Technology (NZIFST) Conference: Collaboration: Building New Zealand Inc. S31. Retrieved from

Ebron, S., Mirosa, M., Bremer, P., & Young, E. (2022). Investigating the impact of sustainability communications of an upcycled oat bar on consumer preference. Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute of Food Science & Technology (NZIFST) Conference: Collaboration: Building New Zealand Inc. S30. Retrieved from

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