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Crop management strategies for low asparagine grains to limit acrylamide-forming potential

  • Full or part time
    Dr N Halford
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, March 31, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

A fully-funded, 4-year BBSRC Collaborative Training Partnership (CTP) studentship, supervised by Professor Nigel Halford at Rothamsted Research and Dr Steve Elmore at the University of Reading, in partnership with Mondelēz International, starting 1st October 2019.

Acrylamide is a Group 2A carcinogen that forms during the frying, baking, roasting and toasting of foods derived from grains and other crop products. Its precursors are naturally-occurring free (non-protein) asparagine and sugars such as glucose, fructose and maltose, with free asparagine concentration determining the amount of acrylamide that forms in cereal products. Compliance with evolving regulations on the presence of acrylamide in food is one of the most difficult problems currently facing the food industry.

Free asparagine concentration differs between wheat varieties but is also highly responsive to environmental and crop management factors. The student will investigate the role of crop fertilization, determine the effects of other crop management factors, and study the regulation of asparagine synthesis and breakdown. He/she will also compare the performance of low and high asparagine grains in biscuit production lines at the Mondelēz R&D Centre in Saclay, near Paris. The studentship will, therefore, provide training in the study of wheat from the field to the molecular lab and the processing plant.

For any queries regarding this project, please contact .

Funding Notes

This project is fully funded for 4 years with a yearly stipend of £14,777 (as at October 2018).

Applicants must hold or expect to achieve a UK honours degree at a minimum of 2:1 level or equivalent in a relevant subject, have no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the studentship.

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