“AllergyChek”- The investigation and evaluation of food processing methods on the allergenicity of food proteins.
Applications are invited for a motivated and self-driven individual to pursue a four-year PhD research project in the School of Food Science & Environmental Health in Dublin Institute of Technology, Cathal Brugha St. Dublin 1.
The incidence of people with food allergies is increasing globally with an estimated 17 million people in Europe alone suffering from serious life-threatening food allergies. Common food allergens to cause allergic reaction in an estimated 75% of Europeans are cow’s milk, hen’s egg, peanuts, tree nuts, and fish. however any food has the potential to elicit an immune response. These food allergens have produced an IgE reactivity in at least 50% of the allergic individuals and are classified as major food allergens, which are recognised as foods of public health importance to be included in regulatory allergen lists worldwide.
Over 120 foods have been cited as being associated with anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal reaction to a food. Currently there is no cure for food allergy or anaphylaxis with the most effective preventative measure being avoidance of the allergen.
Although foods innately have various proteins present in them, the impact on allergenicity of these proteins by virtue of food processing methods needs to be considered and quantified. While studies have done to establish sensitisation due to processed foods in allergic individuals little focus has been devoted to establishing food processing effects.
The core aims of the project are to;
• Evaluate the effects of various food processing methods on the allergenicity of food proteins to determine both positive and negative effects.
• Quantify the effects of selected food processing methods to determine the severity of the effects.
• Optimise methods to reduce the alllergenicity of food proteins.
The ideal candidate should have an undergraduate degree or masters in Biological Science, Food science or a relevant discipline. As with any research post, the he successful applicant should have excellent interpersonal, time-management, written and oral communication skills with the ability to multi-task.
Student requirements for this project:
Min BSc 2.1 in Biological, Food Science or a relevant discipline.
Full-time PhD student stipend: €16,000
Project costs €2,000 per annum up to 4 yrs.
Please only submit applications at the link provided below.