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Sustainable Palm Oil - Detection Through Ground Breaking Tag Technology

Project Description

The production of sustainable palm oil has emerged to reduce the environmental impact and protect biodiversity in the areas of production. From the sustainability perspective, partners in the supply chain are concerned about the transparency and provenance of their raw materials. Several certification systems have been implemented in order to assure sustainable production. No analytical methodology exist for the detection of the sustainable palm oil because there is not chemical or physical parameters that are changing for palm oil produced from sustainable or non sustainable plantations. However, identification of the production plantation from the oil adds certainty. Intrinsic or added markers of palm oil may provide information on palm oil provenance, and their analytical verification may complement the certification process. The aim of this project is to develop such an analytical methodology using groundbreaking tag based technology in the soil of these trees and essentially label the oil produced by the corresponding plantation as sustainable. This concept has been fairly developed in other supply chains with very promising results. Through a number of analytical platforms available (including nanotechnology) different tag ‘vehicles’ will be trailed to determine the right approach. Using pilot plantations participating in SE Asia, such technology will be vigorously validated and deployed within the course the project.

Specific skills/experience required by applicants:

Food science & technology/Chemistry or related scientific discipline

Instrumental food bioanalysis

Desirably, the applicants are expected to have skill and knowledge in at least one of the below research areas:

Fit-for-purpose validation of biological and chemical analytical platforms

Vibrational spectroscopy

Synthesis and characterisation of nanomaterials if required

Multivariate data analysis

Funding Notes

Only UK and EU students are eligible to apply. Information on eligibility criteria is available from DfE: View Website

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