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We aim to extend knowledge of how processing and ingredient functionality drive the assembly of structured foods with well-defined properties and explore how the dynamic breakdown of food materials in the mouth and digestive tract contributes to sensory perception and nutrient absorption.

Research expertise

Biopolymer systems

Our work on biopolymer systems aims to provide an iterative approach to the utilisation of raw materials in food product design. Our expertise employs a 'molecules to materials' approach in determining how biopolymer structures and interactions are able to contribute to the assembly and associated functionality of multi-composite food structures.


Food characterisation

We maintain a well-equipped laboratory of tools and techniques for food ingredient and product characterisation, with particular focus on rheology and materials testing, but also extending into surface characterisation and supporting analytical services. 


Food colloids and interfaces

Our expertise extends from the development of fundamental understanding of colloidal phenomena through to the assembly of tailored colloidal structures in food products with specific functionality.

This encompasses research relating to interfacial absorption and surface assembly, emulsion systems, foams and dispersions.


Ingredient functionality

We work to understand how particular food ingredient properties can be most effectively utilised as part of food formulation and processing, in order to produce foods with requisite product characteristics.

This includes developing novel approaches for the manipulation of ingredient or additive functionality to deliver targeted product outcomes, such as cost reduction, quality enhancement, or clean label design.


Structure design and properties

Our expertise focuses on understanding, characterising and ultimately controlling the dynamic behaviours of food materials during manufacture and consumption as part of designing food structures capable of delivering industry or consumer requirements.


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Research projects

PhD projects

PhD projects currently available in the area of food materials:


We are involved in a number of significant funded partnerships, including Riddet CoRE, the High Value Nutrition National Science Challenge, Food Industry Enabling Technology and the Fonterra-Primary Growth Partnership.

The food materials team also work closely with industry partners to support the development of added-value food products through iterative structure design.

Contact Matt Golding