WOOD, Jenny

Jenny Wood

Research interests

  • Physical, physiochemical and biochemical analysis and evaluation of pulse seeds for quality, nutrition, health and processing attributes
  • Quality improvement in pulse crops by breeding better varieties
  • Market requirements/preferences for pulse seed quality
  • Reducing post-harvest discolouration and darkening of faba beans
  • Improving milling performance of desi chickpeas and other pulses
  • Understanding the agronomic and environmental factors affecting the quality of pulses, including cooking time
  • Developing new rapid cooking time methods for screening breeding program genotypes
  • Understanding the bioactive health benefits of pulses and their potentially protective actions against lifestyle diseases (such as cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, etc)
  • Utilisation of pulses in new food products (including functional foods)
  • Taste and texture of cooked pulses (sensory analysis)
  • Increasing consumption of pulses to reduce the incidence of lifestyle diseases in Australia


Jenny Wood heads the pulse quality research program at the Industry & Investment NSW Tamworth Agricultural Institute. The Pulse Quality Laboratory is ISO9001 Certified providing quality screening services to numerous pulse breeders around the country and researching issues of importance to the Australian pulse industry.

Since joining NSW Agriculture* in 1995 she has managed research projects in both cereal and pulse crops. Between 1995 and 1997, she performed research to improve the quality and utilisation of Australian durum wheat, and developed methods to assess cooked spaghetti quality. In 1997, Jenny was appointed Chemist (Pulse Quality) researching post harvest and processing qualities of pulse seeds and has been the leader of several externally funded research projects.

Jenny was awarded a GRDC travel award in 2009 to tour Canadian pulse research facilities, supported by both Pulse Australia and Pulse Canada. She conducted  a pulse industry study tour of India in 2013 and was recently awarded the Australasian Grain Science Association (AGSA) Service Award in 2015. In addition, Jenny is an Adjunct Research Fellow with Charles Sturt University and has supervised threepost graduate students  to completion; (1) Ms Siem Siah (PhD); Charles Sturt University - her thesis researched the numerous health benefits of phenolics extracted from faba beans, (2) Mrs Soumi Paul Mukhopadhyay (PhD); Charles Sturt Univeristy – her thesis researched the sensory attributes of several desi chickpea foods, and (3) Mr Kyle Reynolds (Hons)  his research showed the potential of pulse extracts in preventing the formation of adipose (fat) cells, in vitro.In addition,

Jenny led a GRDC project (DAN00139) "Improving food quality and end use market acceptance of Australian pulses – cooking and sensory". This project was collaborative with Charles Sturt University (including two PhD students and many researchers) and and the Central Food & Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), India. This $1.1M project ran from  2011 to 2014. In addition, she is currently co-supervising one other PhD student, Ms Christina Chin, researching  the quality attributes of desi chickpeas.

Jenny currently leads a GRDC project titled "Eliminating grain defects in chickpeas" (DAN00196) and is focussed on the genetic, physiological and biochemical aspects of two defects: seed markings and pre-harvest weather damage. This $2.3M project commenced in 2014 and involves collaborators from NSW Department of Primary Industries, QLD Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, SA Research and Development Institute and three Universities (New England, Western Sydney and Southern Queensland). The project is also working with Pulse Breeding Australia, Pulse Australia, the National Variety Trials, agronomists and growers to source chickpea samples from around Australia for evaluation.

Jenny is associated with the release of more than 25 pulse cultivars from pulse breeding programs nationally (including desi chickpea, kabuli chickpea and faba bean). She has published scientific research in numerous peer-reviewed journals, contributed to four chapters in international reference books and regularly reviews manuscripts for high quality journals in the areas of food science and pulse quality.

As part of the Department of Industry, Skills, and Regional Development, the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) works to increase the value of primary industries and drive economic growth across NSW.

DPI manages a broad range of initiatives from resource to industry, including natural resource management, research and development, pest and disease management, food safety, industry engagement, and market access and competition.

Current projects

  • Leader of the GRDC project "Eliminating grain defects in chickpeas"
  • Breeding high quality desi chickpea cultivars for Australia as part of the 5 year GRDC project "Pulse Breeding Australia, Chickpea Breeding Program"
  • Breeding high quality cultivars of other pulse species for Australia
  • National Variety Trial (NVT) testing for chickpea, faba bean, field pea and lupin quality
  • Research into the effect of phosphorus on pulse seed quality
  • The adherence of seed coat-to-cotyledon and/or cotyledon-to-cotyledon in chickpea and its impact on decortication and splitting performance during milling
  • PIIC project "Effect of pre-treatments on the milling performance of chickpeas (Cicer arietinum L.)" in collaboration with UNE.
  • Health benefits of phenolics, antioxidants and other bioactive components found naturally in pulses
  • Discolouration/darkening of faba bean seeds post harvest and during storage and transport

Recent publications

Paul Mukhopadhyay S, Wood JA, Saliba A, Blanchard CL, Carr TB & Prenzler PD (2015). Evaluation of puffing quality of Australian desi chickpeas by different physical attributes. LWT - Food Science and Technology, 64(2), 959-965.

Wood JA, Knights EJ, Campbell GM & Choct M (2014). Differences between easy- and difficult-to-mill chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) genotypes. Part III: Free sugar and non-starch polysaccharide composition. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 94(7), 1454-1462.

Wood JA, Knights EJ, Campbell GM & Choct M (2014). Differences between easy- and difficult-to-mill chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) genotypes. Part II: Protein, lipid and mineral composition. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 94(7), 1446-1453.

Wood JA, Knights EJ, Campbell GM & Choct M (2014). Differences between easy- and difficult-to-mill chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) genotypes. Part I: Broad chemical composition. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 94(7), 1437-1445. [and Erratum: JSFA, 94(15), 3305-3306].

Siah SD, Wood JA, Agboola S, Konczak I & Blanchard C (2014). Effects of soaking, boiling and autoclaving on the phenolic contents and antioxidant activities of faba beans (Vicia faba L.) differing in seed coat colours. Food Chemistry 142, 461-468.

Siah S, Konczak I, Wood JA, Agboola S & Blanchard C (2014). Effects of Roasting on Phenolic Composition and In vitroAntioxidant Capacity of Australian Grown Faba Beans (Vicia faba L.). Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, 69(1), 85-91.

Wood JA, Knights EJ, Harden S & Choct M (2012). Milling performance and other quality traits are affected by seed shape in isogenic lines of desi chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.). Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 4(10), 244-252.

Wang N, Panozzo JF, Wood JA, Malcolmson LJ, Arganosa GC, Baik B-K, Driedger D & Han J (2012). AACCI Approved Methods Technical Committee Report: Collaborative Study on a Method for Determining Firmness of Cooked Pulses (AACCI Method 56-36.01). Cereal Foods World, 57(5), 230-234.

Siah SD, Konczak I, Agboola S, Wood JA & Blanchard CL (2012). In vitro investigations of potential health benefits of Australian grown faba beans (Vicia faba L.): chemopreventative capacity and inhibitory effects on the angiotensin converting enzyme, a-glucosidase and lipase. British Journal of Nutrition, 108, S123-S134.

Chin C, Wood JA, Saliba A, Agboola S, Prenzler P & Blanchard C (2012). The effect of genotype and growing location on pasting and thermal properties of chickpea. Proceedings of the 62nd Australian Cereal Chemistry Conference, Surfers Paradise, Australia.

Mukhopadhyay SP, Saliba AJ, Agboola S, Blanchard CL & Wood JA (2012). Australia Has The Capacity To Grow Chickpeas, Indian Consumers Want More: An Innovative Way To Ensure 'Spread' In A Consumer Preference Map. Proceedings of the 5th European Conference on Sensory and Consumer Research, Bern, Switzerland.

Wood JA, Knights EJ & Choct M (2011). Morphology of chickpea seeds: Comparison between desi and kabuli types. International Journal of Plant Sciences, 172(5), 632-643.

Wood JA & Malcolmson L (2011). Milling Technologies (Chapter 8). In B Tiwari, A Gowen & B McKenna (Eds.), Pulse Foods: Processing, Quality and Nutraceutical Application (pp. 193-222). Maryland Heights, MO, USA: Elsevier.

Siah S, Konczak I, Agboola S, Wood JA & Blanchard C (2011). Pro-apoptotic activities of Australian grown faba beans (Vicia faba). Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Polyphenols and Health, Barcelona, Spain.

Siah S, Konczak I, Wood JA, Agboola S, & Blanchard C (2011). The chemopreventative and chemotherapeutic potential of faba bean phenolics. Proceedings of the 61st Australian Cereal Chemistry Conference, Coolangatta, Australia.

Chin C, Blanchard CL, Agboola S, & Wood JA(2011). Measurement of cooking time in desi chickpea by objective instrumental methods. Proceedings of the 61st Australian Cereal Chemistry Conference, Coolangatta, Australia.

Wood JA (2010). The influence of seed morphology, ultra-structure and chemistry on the milling quality of chickpea.PhD Thesis (commercial-in-confidence), University of New England, Armidale, Australia.

Knights EJ, Wood JA and Harden S (2010) A gene influencing seed shape of desi type chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.). Journal of Plant Breeding129:1-3.

Siah SD, Agboola S, Wood J, & Blanchard C (2010). Effects of cooking on faba bean antioxidant activity. Proceedings of the 60th Australian Cereal Chemistry Conference, Melbourne, Australia.

Wood JA (2010) Improve your health – eat more pulses. In: Agriculture Today (March 2010). Industry & Investment NSW, Orange, p 13.

Wood JA (2009) The texture, processing and organoleptic properties of chickpea fortified spaghetti with insights to the underlying mechanisms of traditional durum pasta quality. Journal of Cereal Science 49:128-133.

Siah SD, Agboola S, Wood J & Blanchard C (2009). Polyphenolic content and antioxidant activity of faba bean genotypes with differing seed coat colours. Proceedings of the 59th Australian Cereal Chemistry Conference, Wagga Wagga, Australia.

Siah SD, Agboola S, Wood J and Blanchard C (2008) Polyphenolic content and antioxidant activity of faba bean cultivars grown in Australia. In Cereals 2008: Proceedings of the Cereal Chemistry Conference, Gold Coast, Australia.

Wood JA and Keir CF (2008) A simple method to compare seed shape in chickpea (Cicer arietinum). Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences 78:1048-1052.

Wood JA, Knights EJ and Harden S (2008) Milling performance in desi type chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.): Effects of genotype, environment and seed size. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture88:108-115.

Wood JA and Grusak MA (2007) Nutritional Value of Chickpea. In: Yadav, S.S., et al (eds) Chickpea Breeding and Management. CABI, Wallingford, pp 101-142.

Muzquiz M and Wood JA (2007) Antinutritional Factors. In: Yadav, S.S., et al (eds) Chickpea Breeding and Management. CABI, Wallingford, pp 143-166.

Dusunceli F, Wood JA, Gupta A, Yadav M, and Yadav SS (2007) International Trade. In: Yadav SS et al (eds) Chickpea Breeding and Management.CABI, Wallingford, pp 562-582.

Wood JA and Harden S (2006) A method to estimate the hydration and swelling properties of chickpeas (Cicer arietinum L.). Journal of Food Science 71(4):E190-195.

Knights T, Ryan M, Thompson J, Hobson K, Materne M, Khan T, Clarke H, Moore K and Wood J (2005) Review of Chickpea Breeding in Australia. In: Knights, T. and Ryan, M. (eds) Proceedings of Focus 2005: Chickpeas in farming systems – a national conference on chickpeas in farming systems, Goondiwindi, 2005. Pulse Australia, Sydney, pp 20-31.

Wood JA (2004) RVA Viscosity of Chickpea Flours. The Technical Journal of Newport Scientific 1:1.

Wood JA, Knights EJ and Harden S (2002) Quality attributes of Cicer echinospermum derivatives compared with domesticated desi chickpea cultivars. In Cereals 2002: Proceedings of the 52nd Australian Cereal Chemistry Conference, Christchurch, New Zealand, pp 264-268.

Wood JA, Knights EJ (2002) Weather damage in desi chickpea. In Golden Past, Brilliant Future: Proceedings of the 51st Australian Cereal Chemistry Conference, Sydney, 2001, pp 40-42.

Wood JA, Batey IL, Hare RA, Sissons MJ (2001) A comparison of Australian and imported spaghettis. Food Australia, 53(8):349-354.

Wood JA (2000) Chickpea fortified pasta - a preliminary study. In Cereals Health and Life - technology for the new millennium: Proceedings of the 11th international Cereal & Bread Congress incorporating the 50th Australian Cereal Chemistry Conference, Surfers Paradise, pp 212-215.

Wood JA. Annual contributing author of the Winter Crop Variety Sowing Guide. NSW Department of Primary Industries, Orange, (Annually).

Professional associations and activities

  • Australasian Grain Science Association (AGSA), Secretary
  • Pulse Breeding Australia (PBA), Member
  • Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology (AIFST), Member
  • American Association of Cereal Chemists International (AACCi), Member
  • Pulse Technical Methods Sub-committee of AACCi, Member
  • Australian Chickpea Quality Industry Reference Group, Founding member
  • Australian Faba Bean Quality Industry Reference Group, Member

Fields of research

  • 070303 Crop and Pasture Biochemistry and Physiology
  • 070305 Crop and Pasture Improvement (Selection and Breeding)
  • 070307 Crop and Pasture Post Harvest Technologies
  • 030101 Analytical Spectrometry
  • 060106 Cellular Interactions (incl. Adhesion, Matrix, Cell Wall)
  • 090803 Food Nutritional Balance
  • 090899 Food Sciences not elsewhere classified

Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC)

Keyword/phrase list of research interests

  • Pulses, edible grain legumes
  • Chickpea, Cicer arietinum L.
  • Faba bean, Vicia faba L.
  • Seed quality improvement
  • Milling, dehulling, decortication, splitting
  • Hydration, cooking
  • Discolouration, discoloration, darkening
  • Nutritional value
  • Marketing, international trading
  • Innovative food products, functional foods
  • Phenolics, polyphenolics, flavonoids, tannins
  • Health, lifestyle disease prevention
  • Utilisation of industrial waste products (seed coats, hulls, flour) from pulse processing (milling)
  • Sensory analysis, taste, texture, aroma, appearance

Contact details

Email: jenny.wood@dpi.nsw.gov.au
Location: Tamworth Agricultural Institute

The Pulse Quality Laboratories at Tamworth are ISO9001 accredited: Certificate no. FS603588.