Our Wellington and Manawatū campuses are open, Auckland remains closed at AL3. More information.

Yu-Fan Chen

Doctor of Philosophy, (Food and Advanced Technology)
Study Completed: 2020
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Starch retrogradation in tuber: mechanisms and its implications on microstructure and glycaemic features of potatoes

We face increased rates of diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease and obesity. However, eating low glycaemic index (GI) foods can help mitigate hyperglycaemic events. As a way to reduce the GI of potatoes, Ms Yu-Fan researched a physical reaction called ‘starch retrogradation’. She examined this within whole tubers using physico-chemical analysis. Then, she used low-field nuclear magnetic field analysis to investigate how starch changes within tubers both during and after processing. Using novel techniques, Ms Yu-Fan demonstrated that the GI of cooked potatoes can be reduced effectively through starch retrogradation. She also found that using a low temperature to reheat previously-cooked, chilled potatoes can keep their GI low.

Associate Professor Jaspreet Singh
Professor Richard Archer