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Algae Food Technology: Developing processes for producing algal-based protein concentrates with valuable functional properties.

Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering

Sheffield United Kingdom Biotechnology Chemical Engineering Environmental Biology Environmental Chemistry Organic Chemistry

About the Project

Population growth combined with

increasingly limited resources of arable land and fresh water has resulted in a

need for alternative protein sources. Even today it is

estimated that roughly 1 out of 9 people in the world are undernourished, of

which the most important factor is protein-energy malnutrition (PEM). PEM can

be reduced by protein fortification, but increasing the production of animal

protein (e.g. meat and dairy) will have detrimental environmental impacts.

Plant based proteins therefore have an important role to play.

Microalgae are examples of under-exploited

“crops”. Microalgae do not compete with traditional food crops for space and

resources. Microalgae have been used as a source of human nutrition for

thousands of years. One of the main reasons for the high consumption is due to

their significant protein content, which is comparable to, or even greater

than, some plant sources. However,

processes to utilise proteins from algae and enable them to be added into foods

and beverages remain under-developed. Proteins must have functional characteristics

such as solubility, foaming and emulsification abilities, as well as masking

off-flavours, texture and smoothness.

In this PhD project, the student will

select and cultivate fast growing algal strains and quantify protein

productivity. Their characteristics such as molecular weight and structural

conformations will be characterised to evaluate their potential functional

properties and thereby guide processes to achieve the desirable texture,

stability and “mouthfeel” for inclusion into foods and drinks.  

Funding Notes

Applicants must have achieved or expect to achieve a 1st Class or 2:1 degree in chemical engineering, chemistry, biological engineering, biotechnology or related degree with good mathematical skills.
If English is not your first language then you must have International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) average of 6.5 or above with at least 6.0 in each component.
See: View Website
Online application link: View Website


Applicants wishing to enquiry further before submitting an application should contact either Dr Pandhal on, or Professor Salman on

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