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Defence investment aims to help army march on its stomach

The Australian Parliament has approved an AU$18.7 million upgrade to the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) facilities at Scottsdale, Tasmania.

“The project will deliver modern, functional food science research facilities for DSTO personnel, it will also include a new cell culture laboratory,” said Warren Snowdon, Australia’s defence minister, in a statement on 31 October.

“This will enable Defence staff to provide nutritional outcomes that directly support the health and performance of Australia’s servicemen and women,” he said.

The DSTO Scottsdale facility focuses on research and development in nutrition for performance enhancement. Specifically, it works to improve rations and rationing for the Australian Defence Force.

The new investment will be used to: construct a food technology building; re-develop the chemistry and nutrition laboratories; provide an electrical reticulation system, heating/cooling and ventilation and new water mains; construct a “clean room” facility; upgrade the accommodation, car park and landscaping; build a new cell culture laboratory.

The cell culture lab will enable DSTO to use leading-edge techniques to investigate the impact of nutrition on health and performance.

The new laboratory building will provide a pilot food processing plant, test kitchen and sensory evaluation, meeting room, constant temperature and humidity store rooms, and laboratory spaces.

Construction is due for completion in 2014.