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Biographical entry Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry (1916 - 2012)

OBE, FRSC, FRACI, FIFST, FAIFST, Hon FNZIFST, FTSE

Born
28 March 1916
Died
6 June 2012
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Occupation
Chemist, Food Scientist and Science historian

Summary

Keith Thomas H. Farrer was a long time member of the Commonwealth Committee on Food Additives and a co-founder of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. He was also Chief Scientist at Kraft Foods Ltd in Melbourne (1976-1981), where he began working in 1938 as a graduate research chemist. Farrer's first job was to develop methods for measuring vitamin B1 levels in food and for conserving B1 levels during the heat processing. This work was instrumental in the development of Kraft's Vegemite.

Details

Events

1937
Education - Bachelor of Science (BSc) completed at the University of Melbourne
1938
Education - Master of Science (MSc) completed at the University of Melbourne
1947 -
Award - Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chemistry (FRIC), now the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC)
1947 -
Award - Fellow of the Australian Chemical Institute (F(R)ACI)
1950 - 1974
Career position - Manager of Research and Development at Kraft Foods Ltd. in Melbourne
1954
Education - Doctor of Science (DSc) received from the University of Melbourne
1954 - 1986
Career position - Member of the Commonwealth Committee on Food Additives
1957
Career position - President of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, Victorian branch
1959
Award - Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology Award received
1964
Career position - Foundation member of the Australian Industrial Research Group
1967 -
Award - Foundation Fellow of the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology (FAIFST)
1967
Award - Fellow of the Institute of Food Science and Technology, UK (FIFST)
1969 - 1971
Career position - President of the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology
1970 - 1974
Career position - Deputy President of Victoria Institute of Colleges
1970 - 1979
Career position - Council Member of Victoria Institute of Colleges
1974 - 1976
Career position - Manager of Science and Technology at Kraft Foods Ltd.
1974 - 1977
Career position - President of the of the Australian Industrial Research Group
1976 - 1981
Career position - Chief Scientist at Kraft Foods Ltd.
1976 - 1982
Career position - Member of the Victorian Consumer Affairs Council
1977
Education - Master of Arts (MA) completed at La Trobe University, Bundoora
1979
Award - Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)
1979 - 1983
Career position - Member of the Antarctic Research Policy Advisory Committee
1979 - 1987
Career position - Member of the Monash University Council
1981 - 1982
Career position - Honorary Senior Associate at Deakin University, Victoria
1981 - 1987
Career position - Farrer Consultants established
1983
Award - Leighton Memorial Medal received from the Royal Australian Chemical Institute
1988 - 2000
Career position - Australian representative on the Executive Council of CAB International in Wallingford, UK
2001 -
Award - Fellow of the International Academy of Food Science and Technology

Related Corporate Bodies

Published resources

Books

  • Farrer, Keith, To Feed a Nation: a History of Australian Food Science and Technology, CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, 2005, 230 pp. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, A Settlement Amply Supplied: Food Technology in Nineteenth Century Australia, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1980, 332 pp. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, Fancy Eating That!: a Closer Look at Food Additives and Contaminants, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1983. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, AIRG - the First Twenty Years, Australian Industrial Research Group, Melbourne, 1986. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, A Guide to Food Additives and Contaminants, The Parthenon Publishing Group Ltd., 1987. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, The Shipment of Edible Oils, IBC Technical Services Ltd., London, 1990. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, William Carey - Missionary and Botanist, Carey Baptist Grammar School, Melbourne, 2005. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, Birth of a Profession: a History of the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology, Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology, Alexandria, NSW, 2011, 116 pp. Details

Book Sections

  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'The Thermal Destruction of Vitamin B1 in Foods', in Advances in Food Research, vol. VI, 1955, pp. 257-311. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'Callister, Cyril Percy (1893-1949), Food Technologist', in Bede Nairn and Geoffrey Serle (eds), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 7, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1979, pp. 527-528. Also available at http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A070531b.htm. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'Food and Food Exports', in Australians: an Historical Dictionary, Fairfax, Syme & Weldon Associates, Sydney, 1987, pp. 156-157. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'Food Technology', in R. T. Madigan (ed.), Technology in Australia 1788-1988: A Condensed History of Australian Technological Innovation and Adaptation During the First Two Hundred Years, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, Melbourne, 1988. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'Wilson, David (1830?-1899), Dairy Expert', in John Ritchie (ed.), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 12, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1990, pp. 519-520. Also available at http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A120583b.htm. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'Nutritional Implications', in R. G. Booth (ed.), Snack Foods, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1990, pp. 327-347. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'Walker, Fred (1884-1935), Merchant and Industrialist', in John Ritchie (ed.), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 12, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1990, pp. 357-358. Also available at http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A120399b.htm. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'Food Canning in Australia', in Food Canning: an Introduction, 2nd edn, Canned Food Information Service Inc., Melbourne, 1991, pp. 2-3. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'Processing: Safety, Acceptability, Nutrition', in G. G. Birch and G. Campbell-Platt (eds), Food Safety: the Challenge Ahead, Andover, Hants, Intercept Ltd., 1993, pp. 127-139. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'The Australian Food Industry - Achievements Since Settlement', in Catherine McKean (ed.), Australian Foods, AgriFood Media Pty Ltd., Melbourne, 1999, pp. 1-10. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'Food Additives', in K. F. Kiple and K. C. Ornelas (eds), The Cambridge World History of Food, vol. 2, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2000, pp. 1667-1677. Details

Journal Articles

  • Buckle, Ken, Farrer, Jennifer and Morgan, David, 'Members Obituary: Dr Keith Farrer OBE Food Industry Leader', Chemistry in Australia, vol. 79, 2012, p. 19. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'Historical perspectives of food in Tasmania', Food Technology in Australia, Miles Sykes Memorial Lecture, Hobart 1971, vol. 24, 1972, pp. 116-131. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'C. P. Callister - a Pioneer of Australian Food Technology', Food Technology in Australia, vol. 25, 1973, pp. 52-65. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'Australia's first canning period: 1845-1855', Food Technology in Australia, vol. 29, 1977, pp. 487-491. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'Adulterations of all descriptions', Food Technology in Australia, FM Bird Memorial Lecture, Melbourne, 1979. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'Who invented the Brine Bath? - the Isaac Solomon myth', Food Technology, vol. 33, no. 2, 1979, pp. 75-77. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'Sizar Elliott: Technologist and Transient Tasmanian', Tasmanian Historical Research Association: Papers and Proceedings, vol. 31, no. 4, 1984, pp. 9-15. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'Australian food science and technology: the decade of decision 1945-1955', Food Technology in Australia, vol. 39, 1987, pp. 22-23. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'Background to the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology', Food Science and Technology Today, vol. 2, 1988, pp. 110-112. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'Whence came the lead in Franklin's crewmen', Food Science and Technology Today, vol. 3, no. 2, 1989, pp. 93-94. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'The Australian Food Additives Committee, 1953-1963. 1: cutting the pattern with colours', Food Australia, vol. 42, no. 3, 1990, pp. 146-150. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'The Australian Food Additives Committee, 1953-1963. 2: there is so great diversity', Food Australia, vol. 42, no. 6, 1990, pp. 277-283. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'T.S. Mort - Food technologist?', Food Australia, vol. 44, 1992, pp. 119-123. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'Lead in the last Franklin expedition', Journal of Archaeological Science, vol. 20, 1993, pp. 399-409. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'The Rev Dr JI Bleasdale and the Medical Society of Victoria', Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, vol. 86, 1993, pp. 166-198. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'Edwards patent preserved potatoes: Australian associations with a 19th Century maratime antiscorbutic', Food Australia, vol. 46, no. 12, 1994, pp. 549-551. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'Fredrick Accum (1769-1838): consultant and food chemist', Food Science and Technology Today, vol. 10, no. 4, 1996, pp. 217-222. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'Dr AH Hassall - and food technology', Food Science and Technology Today, vol. 11, 1997, pp. 81-87. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'Australian frozen meat: anticipation in the 1860s', Food Australia, vol. 52, no. 11, 2000, pp. 512-513. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'Goldner's preserved meat and the last Franklin expedition', Food Science and Technology Today, vol. 15, no. 1, 2000, pp. 20-24. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'Australian food science 1: to 1940', Australian Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics, vol. 58, no. 4, 2001, pp. 246-248. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'Food additives debate in Victoria 100 years ago', Food Australia, vol. 53, no. 6, 2001, pp. 217-219. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'Australian food science 2: 1940-1970 - some personal reflections', Australian Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics, vol. 59, no. 1, 2002, pp. 52-54. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'An early Australian recognition of the rationale of canning', Food Australia, vol. 56, no. 11, 2004, pp. 518-519. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'A mid-Victorian food technologist', Food Australia, vol. 57, no. 5, 2005, pp. 174-176. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, 'Perceptions of Australian food exports in the late 19th century', Food Australia, vol. 58, no. 6, 2006, pp. 282-283. Details
  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry and Diamond, E. M., 'Watering the fleet and introduction of distillation', The Mariner's Mirror, vol. 91, no. 4, 2005, pp. 548-553. Details

Newspaper Articles

  • Buckle, K., 'Food industry loses true visionary: Keith Thomas Henry Farrer, OBE', The Age, 18 July 2012. Details

Reports

  • Farrer, Keith Thomas Henry, Australian meat exports to Britain in the nineteenth centuary: technology push and market pull, Sir Robert Menzies Centre of Australian Studies, Workign Paper No. 28, London, 1988. Details

Reviews

Online Resources

McCarthy, G.J.