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 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 R, Harris H, Ahn-Jarvis J, Rey P, Finnegan T, Wilde PJ, Warren . (2024)

Colonic in vitro fermentation of mycoprotein promotes shifts in gut microbiota, with enrichment of Bacteroides species

Communications Biology

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Harris H, Pereira N, Koev T, Khimyak YZ, Yakubov G, Warren . (2023)

The impact of psyllium gelation behaviour on in vitro colonic fermentation properties

Food hydrocolloids

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Butterworth PJ, Bajka B, Edwards C, Warren FJ, Ellis PR. (2022)

Enzyme kinetic approach for mechanistic insight and predictions of in vivo starch digestibility and the glycaemic index of foods

Trends in Food Science and Technology, 120, 254-264

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Hazard B, Fahy B, Gonzalez O, Savva G, Ahn-Jarvis J, Warren F, Lovegrove A, Dunn . (2022)

Loss of Starch Synthase IIIa changes starch molecular structure and granule morphology in grains of hexaploid bread wheat

Scientific Reports, 12, 10806

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Mulargia LI, Lemmens E, Reyniers S, Korompokis K, Gebruers K, Warren F, Delcour J. (2022)

The impact of cyclodextrins on the in vitro digestion of native and gelatinised starch and starch present in a sugar-snap cookie

LWT - Food Science & Technology

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Koev T, Harris HC, Kiamehr S, Khimyak YZ, Warren . (2022)

Starch hydrogels as targeted colonic drug delivery vehicles

Carbohydrate Polymers

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