Postgraduate Project Opportunity, Dept. Food & Nutritional Sciences

Postgraduate Project Opportunity, Dept. of Food & Nutritional Sciences

Project Title : Characterisation of creaminess perception in multiphase food emulsions by dynamic microstructural and rheological analyses.


Description: Creaminess is a desirable attribute associated with foods of high quality, but which often contain moderate to high fat contents. Fat-reduction, although desirable for health reasons, remains a technological challenge, given the consumer preference for full-fat counterparts. Knowing the effect of mastication on the structural breakdown and release of fat will give insight into the development of more effective fat-replacers. The objective of this project is to study the mobility and perception of fat and fat mimetics during mastication. Deformation, rupture, coalescence and mobility of food materials during deformation will be monitored using the latest microscope technology including scanning electron microscopy, confocal scanning laser microscopy and atomic force microscopy. Viscoelastic properties of food models will be characterized by dynamic rheometry and large deformation texture analyses. Results will be related to objective descriptive sensory analysis using creaminess as the principle meta-descriptor, but considering related textural and mouth-feel characteristics. The outcome of this research will increase understanding of the relationship between product structure and creaminess perception and help develop innovative reduced fat foods.


Scholarship Details: The scholarship initially for a year may be used in pursuit of an M.Sc. or Ph. D. degree and has a value of €17,000 per annum, out of which fees must be paid. The scholarship may be extended subject to satisfactory output of scientific results and publications. The project is collaborative between the Moorepark Food Research Centre, Fermoy, Co. Cork, Ireland and the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University College Cork, Ireland, and the student will spend the majority of their time in the former research centre.


Academic Supervisor: Dr Alan Kelly ( ), Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University College Cork.


Send applications (CV with cover letter referring to “Creaminess project”) before 3 November 2006, preferably by email, to Dr. Mark Auty ( ) , Moorepark Food Research Centre, Fermoy, Co. Cork, Ireland, tel: +353 2542442 . Applications should state final grade scores in third level degrees and provide a list of any publications.

Human Resources

Acmhainní Daonna

Ground Floor, Block E, Food Science Building, UCC