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Ph.D. (Otago), M.Sc. (Otago), B.Sc. (Otago)
Phil Bremer 2020 image


Tel +64 3 479 5469
Location Archway West 1.07


Phil's research interests include product development,  the tracking and controlling of foodborne pathogens, investigating the role of micro-organisms in flavour development,  developing technologies and approaches to reduce food waste, and exploring consumer's knowledge and perceptions on a range of food related topics.

Phil has worked with a wide range of companies on projects in the dairy, vegetable, seafood, meat, brewing and wine industries.

Prior to becoming a Professor in Food Science, Phil was the Microbiology Programme Manager at the New Zealand Institute for Crop & Food Research, Nelson from 1992 to 2002.

Phil is Chief Scientist for the New Zealand Food Safety Science Research Centre. He is also the President of The New Zealand Institute of Food Scientists and Technologists and a member of The New Zealand Association of Food Protection (President 2017–18), The New Zealand Microbiological Society (President 2001–03), and the Ministry of Health's Infectious Disease Academy.

Phil  leads the Technical Innovation sub-theme of the University of Otago's Food Waste Innovation theme.  The Theme measures food waste, develops reduction strategies, applies innovative technology, and works to modify producer and consumer behaviour.

Phil is available for consultation on a number of areas including:

The development of new food products

  • Ways to enhance the safety, quality or shelf-life of existing products
  • Microbiological issues in seafood, dairy and vegetable processing industries
  • Cleaning and sanitising regimes
  • Strategies to reduce or recover value from outputs which would otherwise be wasted


Course Co-ordinator

Contributor to


Research interests

  • Enhancing the quality, flavour attributes and shelf-life of foods
  • Understanding and optimising flavour development (beer, wine, blue cheese, processed meats)
  • The application of volatile analysis to study of food quality and/or microbial growth
  • Development and validation of cleaning and sanitising regimes
  • Consumer behaviour and food choice
  • Food safety and consumers' perceptions of risk
  • Development of strategies to reduce or recover value from outputs which would otherwise be wasted

Research Funding/Projects

  • 2022, New Zealand-China Food Protection Network (NZ-CFPN). Behavioural Insights Research Programme Stage 3: Behavioural Insights for Food Assurance Practices – a Cultural Perspective. Miranda Mirosa, Phil Bremer, Craig Bunt, Pavel Castka, Lilly Zhao.
  • 2022, Ministry for Primary Industries. Nutrition Labelling. Miranda Mirosa, Phil Bremer, Sheila Skeaff, Tracy Perry, Erin Young.
  • 2021 University of Otago, Food Waste Innovation Theme Seed Research Grant, “Evaluation of brewery waste streams to assess potential for by-product utilization”. G. Eyres, P. Bremer and P. Silcock.
  • 2021-2023.  New Zealand-China Food Protection. Behavioural Insights Research Programme Stage 2: Building biometrics behavioural science capability to underpin sound food safety and security decision making. Miranda Mirosa, Phil Bremer, Damien Mather, Erin Young and Kara Ma, Scion - Kate Parker, Eva Gaugler, Marc Gaugler, Lincoln University Lei Cong, Plant and Food Denise Conroy, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University Eddy Fang, Tony So, China Agricultural University Xiaomeng Wu, Soochow University Hua He.
  • 2021.  New Zealand Food Safety Science Research Centre.   Challenges and opportunities for the New Zealand food industry associated with the use of recycled non-permanent materials (thermoplastics, paper and board).  Bremer, P., Kilmartin, P., Young, B., Mirosa, M., and Silcock, P.
  • 2021. New Zealand Food Safety Science Research Centre.   Towards the development of a Code of Practice for management of Cronobacter species in dairy production and processing environments, Swift, S., Young, B,, Huang, K., Bremer, P.
  • 2021– 2023, Catalyst Funding.  Supporting HOP science and technology by high-throughput volatile compound analysis: Understanding changes during fermentation - HOVOC Fondazione Edmund Mach, Italy, Silcock, P, Bremer, P. and Eyres, G.
  • 2021. Royal Society Catalyst Seeding General. “Using fermentation to create flavour for plant based analogue products” (21-UOO-004-CSG). Pat Silcock, G. Eyres, P. Bremer, F. Biasioli, V. Capozzi, M. Tufariello.

Postgraduate Supervision

Supervision topics

My industry connections are as follows:

  • seafood Industry
  • vegetable processors
  • dairy Industry
  • brewing Industry
  • wine Industry
  • meat Industry
  • poultry Industry

Please email me for a list of projects.

Current Students

  • Rebecca Roberts. Understanding hop flavour in beer using high throughput volatile compound analysis. Graham Eyres, Pat Silcock, Phil Bremer, Franco Biasioli. University of Otago Scholarship
  • Jessica O'Connor, Food waste in the beef and dairy industry.  Mirosa, M. Bremer, P., G. Lucci and S. Skeaff.  AgResearch  PhD Scholarship
  • Grace Clare, Determining the return on social investment for food banks. Mirosa, M. Bremer, P and Skeaff, S.  University of Otago Scholarship
  • Stella Zhou, Investigation of the barriers and enablers for reducing meat consumption in China.  Mirosa, M. and Bremer, P. University of Otago Scholarship
  • Sarathadevi Rajendran, The development of meat and dairy flavours by the fermentation of plant based substrates.   Bremer, P. and Silcock, P.  AHEAD (Accelerating Higher Education Expansion and Development program) a world bank-funded project- PhD scholarship
  • Charlene Li, Quantification and management of food waste associated with online food delivery in China. Mirosa, M. and Bremer, P., Division of Science Strategic Scholarship

Recent Students

  • Parise Adadi (2022). The effect of sound on yeast during fermentation and the impact on beer flavour, Eyres, G., Silcock, P. Bremer, P. and Jeffs, A. Smart Ideas PhD Scholarship Funding
  • Soundarya Karamcheti (2022). Using Bayesian inference to model microbial growth or death in food. Bremer, P. Schofield, M. and G. Brightwell. Division of Science Strategic Scholarship
  • Roman Kari, (2022) Impact of pulse electric field processing and sous vide technology on the tenderness of beef short-ribs.  I Oey, P. Silcock and P. J. Bremer.  MBIE FIET Scholarship
  • Erin Young (2021). Chinese consumer perceptions of smart packaging technologies. Mirosa, M. and Bremer, P. New Zealand Food Safety Science Research Centre Scholarship
  • Ke Wang (2021). Understanding consumers' acceptance in China and New Zealand of novel food processing technologies. Bremer, P., Mirosa, M. and Fang, E
  • Ryan High (2021). Volatile flavour development in New Zealand blue cheese by unique strains of Penicillium roqueforti, P. J. Bremer, B. Kebede, G. Eyres. University of Otago PhD Scholarship


Rajendran, S., Khomenko, I., Silcock, P., Betta, E., Pedrotti, M., Biasioli, F., & Bremer, P. (2024). The effect of different medium compositions and LAB strains on fermentation Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) analysed by Proton Transfer Reaction-Time of Flight-Mass Spectrometry (PTR-ToF-MS). Fermentation, 10, 317. doi: 10.3390/fermentation10060317 Journal - Research Article

Zou, S., Bremer, P., & Mirosa, M. (2024). Chinese consumers’ lived experiences of flexitarianism. British Food Journal. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1108/BFJ-08-2023-0735 Journal - Research Article

Roberts, R., Silcock, P., Leus, M., Biasioli, F., Bremer, P., & Eyres, G. T. (2024). Analysis of terpenoid biotransformation in beer by commercial Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast using headspace SPME-GC/MS. Food Chemistry Advances, 4, 100692. doi: 10.1016/j.focha.2024.100692 Journal - Research Article

Li, C., Bremer, P., Jowett, T., Lee, M. S. W., Parker, K., Gaugler, E. C., & Mirosa, M. (2024). What influences consumer food waste behaviour when ordering food online? An application of the extended theory of planned behaviour. Cogent Food & Agriculture, 10(1), 2330728. doi: 10.1080/23311932.2024.2330728 Journal - Research Article

Rajendran, S., Silcock, P., & Bremer, P. (2024). Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) produced by Levilactobacillus brevis WLP672 fermentation in defined media supplemented with different amino acids. Molecules, 29, 753. doi: 10.3390/molecules29040753 Journal - Research Article

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