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The influence of fruit and vegetables, and their processing, on human metabolism and bioavailability using metabolomics (HLS/SE/DRFAPP7P/63599)

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  • Full or part time
    Dr J Lodge
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

The consumption of at least 400g per day of a variety of fruit and vegetables (F&V) is an important recommendation for healthy eating. Epidemiological data show that the risk of developing degenerative diseases decreases with increasing consumption. F&V contain a wide variety of bioactive compounds and are of high nutritional value, and it is likely that the beneficial effects are due to a combination of functions from a range of metabolites. Although F&V contain potentially thousands of bioactive compounds, human bioavailability studies are generally limited to single metabolites and so there is limited understanding of the extent to which F&V derived compounds appear in human biological fluids following dietary exposure. F&V are also commonly processed by the food industry where they are exposed to microbial spoilage, high temperatures, oxygen and chemical interactions, and by consumers through cooking and storage. This processing has implications for health benefits but there is limited information on the extent to which processing can influence nutritional value and degrade bioactive metabolites.

Advanced analytical techniques, such as metabolomics, offer a global approach to food and nutritional analysis and the potential to monitor a number of metabolites in a sample simultaneously and are becoming increasingly important research tools. We have previously used metabolomics to investigate the influence of nutrients on human metabolism (Wong & Lodge, 2012) and have developed methods to target specific nutrients from food (Langer and Lodge, 2014). Furthermore, metabolomics is being used to develop biomarkers of specific dietary exposure (Primrose et al, 2011).

This project aims to build on current projects and use metabolomic technology to understand: (i) the effect of processing on nutritional value and bioactive content of selected F&V, (ii) the influence of fresh and processed F&V on human metabolism, and (iii) the relative human bioavailability of F&V metabolites before and after processing. This project will provide data to further understand the impact of food processing on the health potential and bioavailability of F&V, and the optimization of food processing to maintain nutritional value. The project is at the interface between food science and nutrition with a multi-disciplinary approach. Research training will be provided in food processing, nutritional assessment, metabolomics, metabolic endpoints as well as the design and co-ordination of human intervention studies.

Informal Enquiries
Enquiries regarding this studentship should be made to Dr John Lodge: [email protected]
For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see
Please ensure you quote the advert reference above on your application form.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see
Please ensure you quote the advert reference above on your application form.

How to Apply
For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see
Please ensure you quote the advert reference above on your application form.

Funding Notes

This studentship is only open to self-funding candidates. Self-funding candidates are expected to pay University fees and to provide their own living costs. In addition, a ‘bench fee’ will have to be paid to cover project running costs (at a level that will be determined specifically for each project).


1. Swen Langer and John K Lodge (2014) Simultaneous determination of water-soluble vitamins using hydrophilic chromatography: a comparison of photodiode array, fluorescence, and coulometric detection. Journal of Chromatography B: Biomedical applications 960: 73-81.
2. Max C.Y. Wong and John K. Lodge (2012) A metabolomic investigation of the effects of vitamin E supplementation in humans. Nutrition & Metabolism 9: 110-118.
3. Sandy Primrose, Augustin Scalbert, John Draper, Rachel Elsom, Verity Kirkpatrick, John C. Mathers, Chris Seal, John H. Beattie, John K. Lodge, Mazda Jenab & Hector Keun (2011) Metabolomics in Human Nutrition. British Journal of Nutrition 105: 1277-83.
4. John K Lodge (2010) Targeted and nontargeted approaches for metabolite profiling in nutritional research. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 69: 1-8.
5. Max C.Y. Wong, Warren T.K. Lee, Jayme, S.Y. Wong, Gary Frost and John K. Lodge (2008) An approach towards method development for untargeted urinary metabolite profiling in metabonomic research using UPLC/QToF MS. Journal of Chromatography B 871: 341-348.

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