Research areas

The Microstructure Engineering Group’s main areas of research activity focus on:

Formulation and Processing for the Development of Novel Microstructures

Ingredients and microstructure components from alternative sources; development of edible Pickering particles; particle (Pickering) and mixed-emulsifier (nanoparticles and emulsifier) stabilised emulsions; double emulsions; microstructural enhancement of foam development and stability; crystallisation phenomena in emulsion microstructures; design of lignin-rich microparticles from antisolvent processes.

Novel Processing Technologies

Vacuum-assisted microwave drying; cross-flow and rotating membrane emulsification processes; impinging jets processing and microfluidics; low energy food production; microstructure development through 3D printing.

Encapsulation and Release Technologies

Development of complex microstructures for the encapsulation and targeted delivery/release of active ingredients (flavours, macronutrients etc.); dual (multiple-active) encapsulation and release microstructures.

Mixed Biopolymers & Water-in-Water Emulsions

Phase separation phenomena; interactions and material properties in single biopolymer and mixed biopolymer mixtures; biopolymer and protein fluid gels.

Formulation Engineering for Functionality in the GI Tract

Processing effects under oral conditions using soft-tribology; acid gelation of hydrocolloids in the stomach for positive effects on appetite and macronutrient delivery (e.g. glucose).

Food Structure and Sensory Perception and Appetite relationships

Food microstructure effects on satiation and satiety; food microstructure effects on sensory properties (textural/mouthfeel and flavour related); relationships between instrumental measures (e.g. tribology) and oral processing