Having your cake and eating it: The role of grain properties on digestibility and glycaemic response to sweet bakery products (EDWARDS_Q21CASEC)

Applications Close: 27 September 2021

Salary: Stipend of £16,609 per annum (2020/1 UKRI rate plus CASE enhancement)

Contract Length: 4 years

PhD opportunity through the Mondelēz Collaborative Training Partnership

The Mondelēz CTP is partnering with the Quadram Institute to provide a PhD studentship starting in academic year 2021

Having your cake and eating it: The role of grain properties on digestibility and glycaemic response to sweet bakery products (EDWARDS_Q21CASEC)

With the huge global health impact of obesity and type 2 diabetes, there is an urgent need for strategies that reduce the glycaemic potency of carbohydrate-rich bakery products. Removing sugar from sweet bakery products is not straightforward and tends to affect the product quality as well as taste. However, lowering the glycaemic potency of the starch-rich ingredients (milled grains) could provide new solutions to mitigate the adverse effects of added sugar in sweet bakery products.

In this project you will investigate how and why the carbohydrate (starch) digestibility differs between different grain types and assess if slowly digested grains can modulate the overall glycaemic response to sweet bakery products.

This topical, multidisciplinary project spans food science, carbohydrate biochemistry, nutrition and human physiology and provides plenty of opportunities to develop new skills across disciplines: You will learn how to study the complex processes involved in starch digestion and apply these approaches to study how the type of grain and particle size affects the digestibility of the final product. You will then be trained in other complementary techniques (e.g., microscopy, calorimetry, particle size analysis) and use these specialist tools to understand the mechanisms underpinning the digestibility of food products. You will also learn how to conduct research involving human participants, and will have the opportunity to undertake a human study to test your hypotheses emerging from laboratory studies.

Working with Mondelez International, you will help to design a placement study with them and gain experience of strategic innovation and research and development within a real commercial environment. You will also gain experience in communicating your research to different audiences, participating in international conferences.

We seek an inquisitive, proactive student who is enthusiastic about food, nutrition, health and the gut, with a degree in biochemistry, food science, nutrition or similar subject. The project is well-suited to a candidate with good inter-personal and organisational skills. Some prior experience with laboratory techniques, food product development and/or human studies will also be beneficial, but full training will be provided, so a scientific mindset and a willingness to learn and engage in inter-disciplinary research is the most essential.

Integrated placements at Mondelēz International

The Student Experience:

A global business enterprise working through multi-disciplinary, interdependent teams:

–   Ingredient Research

–   Access to world-class analytical facilities (e.g. RSSL)

–   Statistics, open innovation & consumer science

Student cohort events and training activities

Eligibility and funding:

This project is funded by a UKRI-BBSRC Collaborative Training Partnership (CTP) (http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/skills/investing-doctoral-training/collaborative-training-partnerships/) award to Mondelez International. The student undertaking this project will be based at Quadram Institute Bioscience.

This 4-year UKRI-BBSRC and industrially co-funded PhD studentship is open to UK and international candidates. The studentship offers a stipend of £16,609 per annum (2020/1 UKRI rate plus CASE enhancement), research costs and tuition fees.

To learn more about this project, please contact cathrina.edwards@quadram.ac.uk

For further information and to apply, please visit our website: https://quadram.ac.uk/about/student-opportunities/how-to-apply/