Michael Sissons

Research interests

  • Cereal chemistry of durum wheat and wheat breeding for quality
  • The chemistry and biochemistry of durum wheat
  • Agronomic approaches to improving durum wheat
  • Functional foods in pasta
  • Food science


Mike Sissons heads the Tamworth Cereal Chemistry section at the NSW Department of Primary Industries, Tamworth Agricultural Institute in the position of Principal Research Scientist. The unit performs research on durum science with an extensive collaboration network and provides a service to durum breeders around the country on the quality evaluation of genetic lines for Durum Breeding Australia and AGT..

Mike joined NSW Agriculture* in 1997 as a cereal chemist and was promoted to the Research Scientist stream in 1999. He has 30 years’ experience in cereal chemistry research, first in barley, then wheat and since 1997, in durum wheat. He has published 67 refereed scientific papers, 12 book chapters, 2 international methods and over 86 conference presentations/posters, many at international conferences and invited speaker at several. Mike’s international research collaborations extend to scientists from Canada, Italy, France, USA, Portugal, UK, Hungary and Spain.

Mike has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and travel awards, GRDC Senior Fellowship, AACC International best paper (2013, 2017) and Megazyme award (2016). He has been project leader of several GRDC and Wheat Cooperative Research Centre projects. He has supervised to completion 5 PhD students and examined 9 PhD and 2 Masters theses. He is currently associate editor of the journal, Cereal Chemistry (and has been for the last 7 years) and Adjunct Professor, UNE Armidale. Google Scholar Mike has 1822 citations with h-index of 24 and i10-index of 42.

*NSW Department of Primary Industries was formed on July 1, 2004 through an amalgamation of NSW Agriculture, NSW Fisheries, State Forests of NSW and the NSW Department of Mineral Resources.


  • B.Ag. Sc. – University of Adelaide
  • M.Ag. Sc. Animal biochemistry and nutrition – La Trobe University
  • PhD Cereal Chemistry – University of Adelaide, 1992

Current projects

  • Breeding high quality durum wheat for Australia (DBA) and contract work for others
  • Developing novel durum wheats for new end uses (high amylose, variable starch granule size) and evaluating them in pasta
  • Evaluating novel glutenin composition effects on durum wheat
  • Impact of heat on durum wheat protein composition and quality
  • Genetic and environmental impacts on durum wheat and implications for breeding quality evaluation
  • Standardising quality testing methods across Australia and developing new cheap and rapid methods for quality evaluation
  • Optimum nutrition packages for durum wheat farmers
  • Development of functional pasta and waste stream utilisation
  • Developing new markets for durum wheat

Recent publications

Mike Sissons, Joel Abecassis, Raimondo Cubadda, Brian Marchylo. Methods used to assess and predict quality of durum wheat, semolina and pasta In: Durum wheat chemistry and technology, Pages 213-234, 2nd edition. M. Sissons, J. Abecassis, B. Marchylo and M. Carcea Eds. AACC International Press. 2012.

Aravind, N., Sissons, MJ, Egan, NE, and Fellows, CM. (2012). Effect of insoluble dietary fibre addition on technological, sensory, and structural properties of durum wheat spaghetti. Food Chemistry 130:299-309.

Mike Sissons, Denise Pleming, Benedetta Margiotta, Maria Grazia D’Egidio and Domenico Lafiandra (2014). Effect of the introduction of D-genome related gluten proteins on durum wheat pasta and bread making quality. Crop and Pasture Science 65, 27-37 DOI: 10.1071/CPI13305

Mike Sissons, Ben Ovenden, Dante Adorada and Andrew Milgate (2014). Durum wheat quality in high input irrigation systems in south eastern Australia. Crop & Pasture Science 65, 411-422.

Kanchana S. Wickramarachchi, Mike J. Sissons & Stanley P. Cauvain (2015). Puff pastry and trends in fat reduction: an update. International Journal of Food Science and Technology doi:10.1111/ijfs.12754.

Mudhir Hwaidi, Patrick J. Collins, Mike Sissons, Hervoika Pavic and Manoj K. Nayak (2015). Sorption and desorption of sulfuryl fluoride by wheat, flour and semolina. Journal of Stored Products Research 62:65-73.

Wei Zou, Mike Sissons, Michael J. Gidley, Robert G. Gilbert & Frederick J. Warren (2015). Combined techniques for characterising pasta structure reveals how the gluten network slows enzymic digestion rate. Food Chemistry 188:559-569.

Haraszi, R.1, Sissons, M., Juhasz, A., Kadkol, G., Tamas, L., Anderssen, R.S. (2016). Using Rheological Phenotype Phases to Predict Rheological Features of Wheat Hardness and Milling Potential of Durum Wheat. Cereal Chemistry 93:369-376.

Mike Sissons (2016). GlutoPeak: A Breeding Tool for Screening Dough Properties of Durum Wheat Semolina. Cereal Chemistry 93:550-556.

Liu H, Bruce DR, Sissons M, Able AJ, Able JA (2018). Genotype-dependent changes in the phenolic content of durum under water-deficit stress. Cereal Chem. 95:59-78.

Sissons M, Pleming D, Sestili F, Lafiandra D. (2019). Effect of Glu‐D1 gene introgression and amylose content on breadmaking potential of blends of durum and hexaploid wheat. Cereal Chemistry, 96:193-206.

Alzuwaid NT, Sissons M, Laddomada B, Fellows CM. (2020). Nutritional and functional properties of durum wheat bran protein concentrate. Cereal Chemistry, 97: 304-315.


Tamworth Agricultural Institute's Cereal Chemistry section is certified under ISO 9001:2008 by BSI under certificate number FS 603588 (PDF, 921.27 KB)

BSI certification

Professional associations and activities

  • Australasian Grain Science Association member
  • AACC International member

Fields of research (ANZ standard research classification)

  • 300000 Agricultural, Veterinary and Environmental Sciences

Australian Bureau of Statistics classifications

Keyword/phrase list of research interests

  • Cereal chemistry
  • Functional foods
  • Wheat gluten
  • Durum wheat genetics and technological quality

Contact details