Food structure, colloids and digestion
The aim of our group is to understand how the physical chemistry and structure of foods, particularly lipids and colloids, influence digestion and the bioaccessibility of macro and micro nutrients. This will help develop future foods that improve human health, by controlling digestibility, helping to reduce the onset of obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and other, related metabolic disorders.
Our group has great experience in understanding the physical structure of foods, employing a number of techniques including in vitro digestion, rheology, tensiometry, colloid chemistry, light scattering, microscopy, atomic force microscopy, colloidal stability.
This is giving us a greater knowledge of how the structure of food affects is digestion, and how this impacts on subsequent physiological responses. We are now using this information to help design foods to modify the rates of digestion to prolong satiety (and so reduce energy intake), moderate glycaemic and lipaemic response, and also optimise the bioavailability of essential micro-nutrients.
This knowledge will underpin innovation within the commercial food and drink sector to develop ‘healthier’ foods to promote lifelong wellbeing and healthy ageing.