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FoodBioSystems DTP - Development of integrated sustainable processes for food waste valorisation

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  • Full or part time
    Dr A Chatzifragkou
    Dr V Stojceska
    Prof S Tassou
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Research Group: FOODBIOSYSTEMS BBSRC DTP

Post-farm-gate food chain is responsible for around 15 Mt of food waste, which accounts for more than 20 MtCO2e emissions. Around half of the food waste (6.5 Mt) is avoidable and derives from activities within the UK Supply Chain, with nearly 4.0 Mt of food waste deriving directly from the manufacturing stage and a substantial amount of this waste goes to landfill and land spreading. We aim to tackle the challenge of sustainability in the field of food processing and waste valorisation through a CASE studentship, in partnership with A & R House (BCL) Limited and Brunel University. A & R House (BCL) Limited activities involve drying processing of food wastes, with a view to retain their antioxidant activity and re-distribute them in the food supply chain as food ingredients. Brunel University London is home to the Institute of Energy Futures which has a holistic approach to the energy costs of food distribution, bringing together researchers from a range of disciplines, as well as mainstream engineering research. The project will investigate the wet extraction of bioactive components from selected food waste feedstocks and the optimisation of drying processing of the subsequent solid residues, that will lead into fibre-rich ingredients, applicable in food formulations. You will be working together with a supervisory team (University of Reading and Brunel University London) that brings together unique expertise in food waste valorisation, food processing and environmental sustainability, which are put into context within a commercial setting through our non-academic partner, A & R House (BCL) Limited. The successful implementation of the project will lead into the development of processes that result in complete utilisation of fruit waste streams, with minimum environmental impact and the generation of ingredients and compounds that can be re-introduced into the food supply chain.

Training opportunities: You will be benefited from an extended placement time (up to 12 months in total) in the location of the industry partner (A & R House (BCL) Limited) and trained on Process Design and Life Cycle Assessment software that will be used for the simulation of processing scenarios. You will develop technical competencies and interdisciplinary skills related to food engineering, food science and environmental sustainability, skills in oral presentation and project management. Through interactions with our industrial partner, A & R House (BCL) Limited, you will also receive industry-relevant training and skills (business awareness/ strategy, research and development, project management). Above all, you will benefit from the experience of working closely with a food processing industrial partner, by gaining experience and expertise in facilities (industrial scale) not available within an academic setting alone.

Student profile: The successful candidate will hold a BSc or BEng (First class or Upper Second) in Food Science, Food Engineering, Food Technology or Chemical Engineering. It would be highly desirable if candidates have in addition at least one of the following:
• An MSc degree in a relevant scientific discipline (Food Science, Food Engineering, Food Technology or Chemical Engineering)
• Experience working in a research assistant post
• Other experience of working in a professional environment, ideally within the Food and Drink sector.

Funding Notes

This project is part of the FoodBioSystems BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP), it will be funded subject to a competition to identify the strongest applicants. Due to restrictions on the funding, this studentship is only open to UK students and EU students who have lived in the UK for the past three years.

This project is a CASE studentship with A & R House (BCL) Limited.

The FoodBioSystems DTP is a collaboration between the University of Reading, Cranfield University, Queen’s University Belfast, Aberystwyth University, Surrey University and Brunel University London. Our vision is to develop the next generation of highly skilled UK Agri-Food bioscientists with expertise spanning the entire food value chain. We have over 60 Associate and Affiliate partners. To find out more about us and the training programme we offer all our postgraduate researchers please visit https://research.reading.ac.uk/foodbiosystems/.



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