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Key molecules derived from enzymatic treatment of wafer batter and their impact on batter rheology

   Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences

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  Dr A Chatzifragkou, Dr J Rodriquez Garcia, Dr P Tosi  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The Food Consortium CTP is an industry-led collaborative programme that aims at developing highly skilled PhD researchers and providing an innovation ecosystem through collaboration and partnership between four major food manufacturers together with Campden BRI and the Haydn Green Institute (Nottingham University Business School). As a successful PhD candidate, you will be part of a larger cohort of students with the opportunity to form strong links to industry and be part of a supportive network of peers, academic supervisors, industrial supervisors, and training partners.

This is an exciting opportunity to conduct a PhD project in collaboration between Nestle and the University of Reading. Wafer sheets are baked from a batter based on wheat flour and water which is deposited between heated plates. Wafer baking requires flour milled to a tight specification from soft wheats. The impact of climate change on harvests is already making flour with the specific characteristics needed difficult and costly to source. Enzyme treatment of batter has the potential to allow use of a broader range of flour types, to use more sustainable ingredients, and to produce novel textures and flavours. Enzymes have been applied to food systems for a long time and various nutritional, flavour and textural benefits are known to be derived from enzymatic treatment of foodstuffs. However, in many cases the molecular mechanism behind achieving the desired property remains unknown.

The objectives of this Project are to explore and understand the effect of pre-selected enzymatic treatments in (1) formation pathways, quantities and ratio of molecules derived from the enzymatic treatments, (2) correlate the changes in the chemical composition of the batter with changes in batter rheological properties and wafer physical properties.

The student will be based in the Department of Food and Nutritional Science (UoR) and will collaborate with colleagues in crop science. They will be supervised by researchers at Nestle and will be doing placements during their studentship at Nestle NPTC Confectionery (York, UK), and/or at Nestle Research facilities (Lausanne, CH). 

To apply please submit an application here:

Funding Notes

"• Starts: October 2022
• It is a 4 year award
• The Food Consortium CTP studentships are predominantly open to students with established UK residency. The funding will include a tax free stipend (currently minimum £16,062 per year plus a £1400 enhancement from the industrial sponsor), support for tuition fees at the standard UK rate (currently £4,596 per year) and a contribution towards research costs. In the event an international student is appointed, then the University of Reading will cover the difference between the UK and international fees. "
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