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PhD: Food recycling: Utilising food waste for valuable proteins

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  • Full or part time
    Dr A Ali
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

Supervisors: Asgar Ali (PI) (Biosciences, UNM), Le Cheng Foh (Biosciences, UNM), Tim Parr (Biosciences, UNUK)

Based in School of Biosciences, Semenyih, University of Nottingham Malaysia

Our proposal consists of three main objectives (i) To design and assess the efficiency of different pre-processing methods for protein release, (ii) To determine the efficiency of specific extraction methods on yields (iii) To purify and process the protein collected into the final forms.

The food wastes in consideration here are the expired and/or non-edible products from three main neglected sources: non-edible leguminous crops and meat and dairy products that are both rich in proteins. These raw materials can be obtained from the local markets, farms, food processing factories, and waste disposal/storage sites. These products will be sorted and pre-processed using a combination of physical (homogenisation, precipitation, boiling, and/or drying), chemical, and biochemical methods with optimised conditions to allow the release of proteins from the matrix for subsequent extractions.

We will employ specific extraction methods such as solid-liquid extraction, Soxhlet extraction, microwave-assisted extraction, enzyme-assisted extraction, and others depending on the types of food wastes and its economic feasibility for up-scaling. Proteins will be further purified using the aqueous two-phase extraction method to remove impurities. Subsequently, the products will be collected, dehydrated, and processed into the desired forms (e.g. powder, pellet) to be used as food supplemental ingredients and high protein animal and fish feeds.

Since the raw materials are essentially costless, the high quality proteins obtained will be relatively cheap and incur no competition with the food for human consumption. The suitability of specific formulations of these feed ingredients will be further studied in chicken feeding experiments.

For further details, please contact Prof Asgar Ali [Email Address Removed]

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FTE Category A staff submitted: 111.45

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