PhD Studentship: Meatier meat-analogues through elucidating and optimising water entrainment in mycoprotein-based products

University of Nottingham


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Science
Location:  UK Other
Closing Date:  Sunday 16 July 2023
Reference:  SCI2198

Supervisor: Vincenzo Di Bari

Secondary Supervisor: Karen Robertson

Subject Area:Food Science & Nutrition, Chemical Engineering, Biology, Life Sciences

Research Title
Meatier meat-analogues through elucidating and optimising water entrainment in mycoprotein-based products

Research Description

The transition from a meat-based diet towards one based on alternative sustainable proteins is recognised to be beneficial to the planet health while ensuring food and nutritional security. To encourage this diet-transition, meat analogues accurately mimicking the textural and juicy sensorial characteristics of real meat is essential. Mycoprotein, an alternative protein source produced by the filamentous micro-fungus Fusarium venenatum, has the potential to meet sustainability and nutritional requirements.
In this project in collaboration with Quorn® we focus on structuring the fungal protein and its constituents to deliver healthier, sustainable, and low CO2 footprint meat analogues that match consumer expectations and improve acceptability. This will require understanding about fungi physiological conditions, manufacturing approach and ingredients formulation. The work will deliver a multi-scale understanding (from molecular to macroscopic, i.e., finished product) of meat-analogue structure and how that can be used to impact texturization and final functionality and acceptability. The project will include element of physical chemistry, food science and nutrition, and consumer appreciation with integration of industrial experience within the company for a minimum of three months.
This is an interdisciplinary project and aims to achieve applicable results with direct support from the business to improve planet and consumer health in a resilient food system.
The successful candidate will join the Food Structure and Biomaterials Research Group at the University of Nottingham (details here), a vibrant and engaging environment where we work collaboratively to broaden our understanding of new ingredients, probe their physicochemical changes during processing using our state-of-the art facilities, and establish the structure of food products to deliver more sustainable food.
Quorn® is the leading producer of mycoprotein derived from Fusarium venenatum, which is known as a sustainable source of protein and packed with fibres, low in saturated fat, and no cholesterols. It has been putting a good fight for meat free eating and continues to develop healthy and tastier meat alternatives derived from Quorn® mycoprotein.

Award Start Date: 01/10/2023

Duration of Award: 48 months

Applicant Qualification Requirements

The key requirement to be eligible for this is to be UK based (either UK citizen or to have lived and worked for 3 years in the UK) and to have a degree in Food Sciences, Biology, Engineering, Life Sciences or similar subjects

How to Apply

Applications should be made through the Nottingham Hub at campus.nottingham.ac.uk
Informal enquiries can be addressed to: Vincenzo Di Bari (staff) [email protected]

Closing Date: 16/07/2023

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