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Veg for health! Polyphenol enriched snack foods to reduce glycaemic responses and drive changes in the microbiota (WARRENQ19CASE)

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  • Full or part time
    Dr F Warren
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Polyphenols have a range of potential health benefits, but little is known about the interaction of these molecules with dietary fibre, and how this alters digestion in the small intestine and the composition of the gut microbiota. This project offers an opportunity to join an exciting collaboration between the Quadram Biosciences Institute (QBI) and PepsiCo to help develop a new generation of healthy snack foods. The project will involve going to use state-of-the-art processing facilities at PepsiCo, in order to manufacture polyphenol enriched snacks with high fibre, using innovative manufacturing techniques. These snacks will then be used in advanced models of human digestion based on biochemical models and cell culture systems to measure polyphenol release in the GI tract, and the effect this has on starch digestion through amylase and sucrase-isomaltase, as well as sugar adsorption through SGLT-1 and GLUT2. This part of the project aims to understand how polyphenols and dietary fibre can be combined in a complex food to reduce glycaemic response. For the second part of the project, we will use a chemostat based model of the human colon to investigate the influence of polyphenols and fibre on the gut microbiota. This will involve 16S sequencing to analyse the microbial community as well as use of LC-MS to identify microbial fermentation products of polyphenols. This information will be used to design food products which have defined health benefits, through controlling food structure and bioactive content to control starch digestion and influence the microbiota.

This Industrial CASE project has been shortlisted for funding by the Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP). Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed as part of the studentship competition on either the 15th, 16th or 17th May 2019.

The NRPDTP offers postgraduates the opportunity to undertake a 4 year research project whilst enhancing professional development and research skills through a comprehensive training programme. You will join a vibrant community of world-leading researchers. Students with, or expecting to attain, at least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply.

For further information and to apply, please visit our website:

Funding Notes

For funding eligibility guidance, please visit our website: Full Studentships cover a stipend of £17,009pa (UKRI rate: £15,009pa – 2019/0 & £2,000pa CASE stipend), research costs and tuition fees at UK/EU rate and are available to students who meet the UK residency requirements.
Students from EU countries who do not meet the UK residency requirements may be eligible for a fees-only award. Students in receipt of a fees-only award will be eligible for a maintenance stipend awarded by the NRPDTP Bioscience Doctoral Scholarships. To be eligible students must meet the EU residency requirements.

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