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.

Mike joined NSW Agriculture* in 1997 as a cereal chemist and was promoted to the Research Scientist stream in 1999. He has 26 years experience in cereal chemistry research, first in barley, then wheat and since 1997, in durum wheat.

He has published 55 refereed scientific papers, 7 book chapters and over 76 conference presentations in several countries and with over 27 collaborators.

Michael has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and travel awards, AACC International best paper and Megazyme award. He has been project leader of several GRDC and Wheat Cooperative Research Centre projects.

*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
  • Developing novel durum wheats for new end uses
  • 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 food pasta
  • Developing new markets for durum wheat

Recent publications

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.

Aravind, N., Sissons, MJ, and Fellows, CM. (2012). Effect of soluble fibre (guar gum and carboxymethylcellulose) addition on technological, sensory and structural properties of durum wheat spaghetti. Food Chemistry 131:893-900.

Aravind, N., Sissons, MJ, and Fellows, CM. (2012). Effect of inulin soluble dietary fibre addition on technological, sensory, and structural properties of durum wheat spaghetti. Food Chemistry 132:993-1002

Aravind,N. Sissons, M.J., Egan, N., Fellows, C.M., Blazek, J. and Gilbert E.P. (2012). Effect of β-Glucan on Technological, Sensory, and Structural Properties of Durum Wheat Pasta. Cereal Chemistry 89(2):84-93.

Aravind,N. Sissons, M.J., Fellows, C.M., Blazek, J. and Gilbert E.P. (2013). Optimisation of resistant starch II and III levels in durum wheat pasta to reduce in vitro digestibility while maintaining processing and sensory characteristics. Food Chemistry 136:1100-1109. DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2012.08.03

Haraszi, R., Juhász, A., Sissons, M., Rakszegi, M., Tamás, L., Anderssen, R.S. (2013). Rheological Hardness Index for Assessing Hardness of Hexaploids and Durums. Cereal Chemistry 90:430-438.

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

Able J & Sissons M (2014) Durum wheat for the future: challenges, research and prospects in the 21st Century. Crop & Pasture Science, Vol. 65: i-ii.

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.

Nisha Rakhesh, Christopher M. Fellows, and Mike Sissons (2014). Evaluation of the technological and sensory properties of durum wheat spaghetti enriched with different dietary fibres. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture95, 2-11. DOI:10.1002/jsfa.6723.

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.

Mudhir I. Hwaidi, Mike Sissons, Denise Pleming, and Patrick J. Collins (2016). Does Fumigation of Durum Wheat and Semolina with Sulfuryl Fluoride Affect Quality of the Grain, Semolina, and Derived Spaghetti and Bread? Cereal Chemistry 93:482-486.

Mike Sissons (2016). GlutoPeak: A Breeding Tool for Screening Dough Properties of Durum Wheat Semolina. Cereal Chemistry (in press).

Wei Zou, Mike Sissons, Frederick J. Warren, Michael J. Gidley, and Robert G. Gilbert (2016). Compact structure and proteins of pasta retard in vitro digestive evolution of branched starch molecular structure. Carbohydrate Polymers 152:441-449. DOI 10.1016/j.carbpol.2016.06.016.

Soh, HN, Sissons, MJ and Turner, MA. 2006. Effect of starch granule size distribution and elevated amylase content on durum dough rheology and spaghetti cooking quality. Cereal Chemistry. 83:513-519.


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