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Investigations on the Biological Activity of caseinate hydrolysates (Ref: SF20/APP/KOUTSIDIS)

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

Dr G Koutsidis Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Bioactive peptides have been reported to exert a number of physiologically relevant activities including antihypertensive, cytotoxic, anticancer and antimicrobial effects. Key scope of the research investigations will be establishing, testing and fractionating enzymatic and microbial protein hydrolysis products for downstream evaluation of their antimicrobial activity. Further investigations will also include aspects of food quality such as shelf life and sensory evaluation.
The work will be conducted in state of the art biofermenters while analytical work will include the use of Gas Chromatography, Liquid Chromatography and Mass Spectrometric techniques. Purification and subsequent testing will include preparatory work namely, flash chromatography, solid phase extraction and semi prep LC MS. A number of established platforms of antimicrobial activity determination will be used, including fast screening techniques and PCR based microbial diversity estimation already established in our laboratory.
Investigations will be complemented where applicable with proteomic and metabolomic workflows to fully characterise the resulting hydrolysates and effects on microbial populations. Kinetic modelling will be used to assess protein hydrolysis in different fermentation conditions and by using modified substrates.

The project will be particularly suited for candidates having a degree in Food Science and Nutrition, Chemistry, Biotechnology or Microbiology.

Eligibility and How to Apply:
Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note: Applications should include a covering letter that includes a short summary (500 words max.) of a relevant piece of research that you have previously completed and the reasons you consider yourself suited to the project. Applications that do not include the advert reference (e.g. SF20/…) will not be considered.

Deadline for applications: 1st July for October start, or 1st December for March start
Start Date: October or March
Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.

For enquiries, contact Georgios Koutsidis ()

Funding Notes

Please note, this is a self-funded project and does not include tuition fees or stipend; the studentship is available to Students Worldwide. Fee bands are available at View Website . A relevant fee band will be discussed at interview based on project running costs


1. Peinado I., Koutsidis G., Ames J. (2016). Production of seafood flavour formulations from enzymatic hydrolysates of fish by-products, LWT - Food Science and Technology, 66, Pages 444-452
2. Peinado I, Miles W, Koutsidis G. (2016). Odour characteristics of seafood flavour formulations produced with fish by-products incorporating EPA, DHA and fish oil. Food Chemistry, 212, 612-619
3. Dack R. E., Black G. W., Koutsidis G., Usher St. John. (2017). The effect of Maillard reaction products and yeast strain on the synthesis of key higher alcohols and esters in beer fermentations, Food Chemistry, 232, 595-601,
4. Starowicz M, Koutsidis G, Zieliński H. (2019). Determination of Antioxidant Capacity, Phenolics and Volatile Maillard Reaction Products in Rye-Buckwheat Biscuits Supplemented with 3β-d-Rutinoside. Molecules, 24(5), 982.

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