Dr Fred Warren

Group Leader

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Starch breakdown in the digestive tract

My degree and PhD were both obtained in Biochemistry at King’s College London, with the later focusing on kinetic methods assessing starch digestion rates, understanding links between starch structure and digestion. I then worked at PerkinElmer, where I developed expertise in a range of analytical thermal and spectroscopic methods, before moving to the University of Queensland on a post-doctoral fellowship.

During my time in Queensland I developed an interest in the colonic fermentation of carbohydrates, and links between carbohydrate structure and fermentation, as well as continuing to work on analytical methods for determining starch molecular structure.

In 2015 I returned to the UK to take up a post as a group leader at the Institute of Food Research, now Quadram Institute, where I am also a Marie Curie Research Fellow.

The main focus of my research group at QI is modelling the behaviour of starchy foods throughout the digestive tract, from oral processing through stomach and small intestinal digestion, and subsequent colonic fermentation. Through manipulation of starch structure through processing, enzyme modification and plant breeding we aim to produce starch based foods which have controlled digestion and fermentation characteristics.


Key Publications

P.J. Butterworth; F.J. Warren; T. Grassby; H. Patel & P.R. Ellis.  Analysis of starch amylolysis using plots for first-order kinetics. Carbohydrate Polymers (2012) 87, 2189-2197.

B.M. Flanagan, M.J. Gidley, F.J. Warren. Rapid quantification of starch molecular order through multivariate modelling of 13C CP/MAS NMR spectra. Chemical Communications (2015) 51, 14856-14858

Zou, M. Sissons, M.J. Gidley, R.G. Gilbert, F.J. Warren. Combined techniques for characterising pasta structure reveals how the gluten network slows enzymic digestion rate. Food chemistry, (2015) 188, 559-568

F.J. Warren, B.B. Perston, S.P. Galindez‐Najera, C.H. Edwards, P.O. Powell, G. Mandalari,  G.M. Campbell, P.J Butterworth, P.R. Ellis. Infrared microspectroscopic imaging of plant tissues: spectral visualization of Triticum aestivum kernel and Arabidopsis leaf microstructure. The Plant Journal (2015) 84, 634-646

F.J. Warren; P.G. Royall; S. Gaisford; P.J. Butterworth & P.R. Ellis.  Binding interactions of alpha-amylase with starch granules: The influence of supramolecular structure and surface area. Carbohydrate Polymers (2011) 86, 1038-104

Colosimo RC,Warren FJW,Edwards CHE,Ryden PR,Dyer PSD,Finnigan TJAF,Wilde PJW. (2021)

Comparison of the behavior of fungal and plant cell wall during gastrointestinal digestion and resulting health effects: A review

Trends in Food Science & Technology, 110, 132-141


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Hawkins E,Chen J,Watson-Lazowski A,Ahn-Jarvis J,Barclay E,Fahy B,Hartley M,Warren FJ,Seung D. (2021)

STARCH SYNTHASE 4 is required for normal starch granule initiation in amyloplasts of wheat endosperm

New Phytologist


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Hossain KMZ,Calabrese V,da Silv MA,Bryant SJ,Schmitt J,Ahn-Jarvis J,Warren F,Khimyak YZ,Scott JL,Edler KJ. (2021)

Monovalent Salt and pH-Induced Gelation of Oxidised Cellulose Nanofibrils and Starch Networks: Combining Rheology and Small-Angle X-ray Scattering

Polymers, 13, 951


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Colosimo R,Mulet Cabero A,Gotts K,Haider K,Edwards CH,Warren FJ,Finnigan TJA,Wilde PJ. (2021)

ß-glucan release from fungal and plant cell walls after simulated gastrointestinal digestion

Journal of Functional Foods


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Gunn D,Murthy R,Major G,Wilkinson-Smith V,Hoad C,Marciani L,Remes-Troche J,Gill S,Rossi M,Harris H,Ahn-Jarvis J,Warren F,Whelan K,Spiller R. (2020)

Contrasting effects of viscous and particulate fibers on colonic fermentation in vitro and in vivo, and their impact on intestinal water studied by MRI in a randomized trial.

The American journal of clinical nutrition


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Koev T,Muñoz-García JC,Iuga D,Khimyak YZ,Warren F. (2020)

Structural Heterogeneities in Starch Hydrogels

Carbohydrate Polymers


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