About the Project
Approximately 1.3 billion tonnes of food per year are wasted, creating both financial losses and causing significant harm to the environment and its natural resources. An estimated 25% of this loss is due to spoilage by microorganisms. While single use plastic food wrappings have been developed to help address this issue, there are concerns that they are contributing to global pollution with more than 8 million tonnes of plastic ending up in the world’s oceans each year. To provide an environmentally friendly alternative this 12 month MPhil project will develop an antibacterial, reusable food wrap based on a combination of beeswax and natural products. Beeswax coated wraps originated in the seventh century BC and consist of wax impregnated cloth which can be shaped around food products to extend shelf life. The reason for this preservation is due to naturally occurring antimicrobial compounds which are incorporated into the wax. We thus propose, based on previous research, to identify naturally occurring antimicrobial plant extracts which following incorporation into the wax enhance its food preserving properties. Prototype wax wrappings will be assessed for flexibility, durability and ability to inactivate food poisoning and spoilage bacteria. As part of the project we will work with industrial partners, Bee1 and the Cardiff School of Business, to develop a marketing concept to support the future commercialization of the product. We are looking to recruit a student with a first degree (at least 2:1) in Pharmacy or microbiology who also has a keen interest in working with nature to develop a sustainable product.
How to Apply
Applicants should apply to the Master of Philosophy in Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science with a start date of October 2020.
In the research proposal section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project and copy the project description in the text box provided. In the funding section, please select ’I will be applying for a scholarship/grant’ and specify that you are applying for advertised funding from KESS II Development of an antibacterial beeswax wrap using Welsh natural products.
A stipend of £11,472. Each scholarship has an additional budget for travel, equipment/consumables and training to support your research.
To be eligible to apply for a KESS II award, you must be resident, upon starting the scholarship, in the Convergence Area of Wales and you must be able to take paid employment in the Convergence area on completion of the scholarship. http://kess2.ac.uk/students/
This studentship is due to start in October 2020