Owen Catchpole edit

Owen Catchpole

Team Leader, Chief Engineer


Leader in Industrial Supercritical Extraction

I am the Team Leader and Chief Engineer in the Food Processing and Biotechnologies research group. Here my chemical engineering background gets applied to the development of extraction, separation and fractionation processes for the production of nutraceuticals, functional foods, dietary supplements and cosmeceuticals. Using biologically derived raw materials we work from laboratory-scale up to a semi-commercial scale.

Our research has led to the establishment of supercritical extraction as a new industrial process in New Zealand. This included building and running NZ’s first commercial supercritical extraction plant. As a result we have enabled a range of high value products, supporting process and product patents for both New Zealand and international companies. 

I now work establishing food processing technology expertise in Auckland, and work closely with the FINNZ network.

I am proud of being Callaghan Innovation’s first Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand Te Aparangi.

Areas of expertise
  • Supercritical extraction – processing & products
  • Chemical, process & food engineering
  • Functional food & nutraceutical product development
  • Tech transfer & scale-up
  • Bee products (honey & propolis)
  • Marine lipid products and processing
  • B. Chemical Eng (1st Hons), University of Canterbury, NZ
  • PhD Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham, UK
Memberships and awards
  • FRSNZ, 2022
  • FEngNZ, 2010
  • NZ Science & Technology Silver Medal (RSNZ), 2002
  • NZIC Fonterra Prize for Industrial and Applied Research, 2009
Selected publications
  • Perspectives on processing of high value lipids using supercritical fluids, Catchpole, O.; Moreno, T.; Montañés, F.; Tallon, S., J. Supercritical Fluids (30th anniversary edition), 2018, 134, 260-268.
  • Anti-gastrointestinal cancer activity of cyclodextrin-encapsulated propolis, Catchpole, O.; Mitchell, K.; S. Bloor, S.; Davis, P.; Suddes, A., J. Functional Foods, 2018, 41, 1-8.
  • Integrated supercritical fluid extraction and bioprocessing, Catchpole, O.; Tallon, S.; Dyer, P.; Montañés, F.; Morena, T.; Vagi, E.; Eltringham, W,; Billakanti, J., American J. Biochemistry & Biotechnology, 2012, 8(4), 263-267.
  • Semi-preparative supercritical chromatography scale plant for polyunsaturated fatty acids purification, Montanes, F.; Catchpole, O.; Tallon, S.; Mitchell, K.; Lagutin, K., J. Supercritical Fluids, 2013, 79, 46-54.
  • Catchpole, O.J.; Grey, J.B.; MacKenzie, A.D.; Tallon, S.J.; Extraction of highly unsaturated lipids with liquid dimethyl ether. 2006, NZ 547429, WO2007136281, US8383845, AU2013257434.
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