Jorja Collins


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Jorja is an Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian and Early Career Researcher. She has experience working as a foodservice dietitian in healthcare, teaching and foodservice and hospital based nutrition research. Her PhD explored the nutritional status of patients in subacute care and food-based strategies to prevent and treat malnutrition in this setting. Her current research area is environmental sustainability in hospital foodservices, and she supervises a number of PhD students working on this topic. She recieved a Churchill Fellowship to travel to the US in 2020 to learn more about 'green' strategies in award winning hospitals. In her role as senior lecturer in the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food, Jorja coordinates and contributes to the teaching of units relating to research, food service and food systems. 


Current collaborative research projects underway: 

1. Measuring and managing waste in hospital foodservices

Healthcare organisations generate a substantial amount of food waste. Our preliminary research found that on average 322kg of food waste is generated across 3 hospitals every day. Extrapolated across all Australian hospitals, this is a staggering amount of food and money being wasted. At a time when environmental sustainability is consistently rated by the Australian public and one of the most important problems facing the world today, we must be looking for solutions to this problem. This PhD research will involve successive studies to explore waste auditing and waste management in hosptial foodservices. 

Read more here and here 


2. Testing the safety and feasibility of repurposing unopened packets of non perishable food in hospital foodservice

At our hospital over 2000 unopened packets of non perishable food are thrown in the bin each day. There is an opportunity to collect these items and reuse them or donate them to food rescue organisations. This would reduce waste sent to landfill and waste disposal costs. However, this is not currently what happens in our hospital, or most hospitals in Australia due to concerns about infection control risks, among other reasons. This project funded by a DHHS sustainability innovation grant aims to identify the safety and feasbility of collecting unopened packets of non perishable food in the hospital setting. Microbiological testing of food packets will be conducted, followed by a pilot study of a waste collection process. If proven safe and feasible, this research may result in a change in food waste practices in hospitals. 

Read more here 


3. Local food procurement in healthcare 

Public food procurement is a lever to improve food systems by re-considering what food is purchased and how it was made, who made it and where it comes from. In the last 5 years there has been increasing talk from goverments to prioritise procurement of local food by hospitals and aged care facilities, including an election promise by the Victorian Andrews government. This research aims to inform and support public policy change for local food procurement in healthcare. 

Read more here 


4. Feasibility of moving from animal to plant-based proteins in foodservice settings

Shifting to a sustainable diet where dietary animal protein is replaced with plant protein will have a positive impact on climate outcomes and human health. Foodservices such hospitals, schools, universities, and government are an ideal setting for such change to occur through menu and recipe redevelopment. However, menu and recipe redesign is a complex series of taks that need to take into account food availability and cost, culinary factors, nutrition requirements and standards, and requires cooperation between stakeholders across the foodservice system, such as managers, dietitians, menu planners, purchasers, cooks and service staff. This research conducted in New Zealand aims to identify effective ways to decrease animal sourced protein and/or increase plant sourced protein in foodservice operations through a series of studies that consider the published evidence base and perspectives and advice from key informants to develop and test a solution. 

Read more here

Research interests

Malnutrition, foodservice, nutrition assessment, nutritional status of elderly and hospitalised populations, implementation science, sustainability, food waste, food systems

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

External positions

Dietitian, Eastern Health

16 Jan 2017 → …

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or