Allan Bremner has been named the 2008 winner of the Keith Farrer Award of Merit by Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology (AIFST).
The Keith Farrer Award of Merit is given for outstanding achievements in contributions to food science and technology in the wide areas of research, industry and education, and recognises offerings that further the aims and objectives of the AIFST.
Allan Bremner’s contribution to the Australian and international food industry, food science community and the AIFST spans several decades and is particularly focussed on seafood - quality, freshness, shelf life and aquaculture harvesting.
Perhaps his significant contribution is the development of what is now known as the Quality Index Method (QIM) that evaluates current storage life and estimates remaining shelf-life. QIM adopted in industry and at auctions, is recognised by the EU and is now the standard reference method in research and commerce throughout Europe.
“Allan Bremner has made significant contributions to a number of high ranking international journals, run practical courses around the world and supported the AIFST for over 30 years,” recognises Peter Lancaster, AIFST President.
“He’s a worthy winner who has assisted in bridging the social and geographical network in the food industry between Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South East Asia, Scandinavia, the EU and the US,” Peter Lancaster added.
Allan Bremner holds a diploma in Applied Chemistry and Food Technology from RMIT and a Master of Applied Sciences from the Victorian Institute of Colleges, a PHD from the University of Tasmania.
Since 1974 Allan Bremner has had over 97 papers published both nationally and internationally in technical and popular publications, for workshops and courses.
Following chemist positions in Scandinavia and the UK private industry, including milling, food and stock food manufacturers, Allan Bremner relocated to Australia in the early 1970’s.
Allan Bremner joined the CSIRO Division of Food Research and later transferred to the seafood group at the Tasmanian Food Research Unit, group in Tasmania in 1974.
During that time, Allan Bremner’s PhD work, under the auspices of the Hobart Medical School, stimulated the book on extracellular matrix of seafoods. Other projects included papers on minced fish products, electrophoretic identification of species, modified atmosphere packaging and fisheries of the North West shelf.
Between 1975 and 1990 the seeds of QIM were sown, as Allan Bremner worked to determine a different approach to mixed fisheries in Australia.
Moving to QDPI as Seafood group leader, Allan Bremner focussed on the prawn processing and packaging, low stress harvest of aquaculture fish, particularly salmonids and barramundi and the embryonic tuna cage culture industry.
In 1996 the Danish Technical Research Council appointed Allan Bremner as Research Professor. Allan Bremner continued to work on QIM in Europe, with a computer program developed for structuring knowledge about seafood quality, and for linking to other databases, to provide a high quality and safety dimension.
Since returning to Australia, Allan Bremner has continued to promote QIM techniques, resulting in a manual for several Australian species produced through work done at QDPI&F and AMC, supported by Sydney Fish Market and FRDC. This work is being expanded into the new CRC for Seafood and an Australian Standard is planned.
Passing on his knowledge and experience though much consulting work, Allan Bremner has covered traceability guides and workshops (Seafood Services Australia). Allan Bremner has been involved in the Tuna Quality Project (Aquafin CRC) and rock lobster post-harvest.
Allan Bremner has reviewed the need for species identification (FRDC and the Australian Fish Names Committee) and has been involved in research planning for AZTI-Tecnalia in Bilbao. Allan Bremner is an active member of the external advisory board for SEAFOODplus and continues to lecture at meetings and to students.