Professor Bettina Wolf Dipl.-Ing., Dr. sc. techn. ETH

Professor Bettina Wolf

School of Chemical Engineering
Professor in Microstructure Engineering

Contact details

School of Chemical Engineering
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Bettina Wolf is Professor of Microstructure Engineering in the School of Chemical Engineering. Fotis is a part of the Food Formulation Engineering Research group. By developing new formulation engineering methods and techniques, the team is creating cutting-edge and novel approaches to food processing and the development of healthier, higher performance products.

She has previously held a research position as a Rheologist with a consumer goods multinational, and an academic post in Food Sciences, at the University of Nottingham. Bettina has published over 50 research papers in scientific journals and book chapters in the fields of emulsion science and processing, highly filled suspension systems, rheology and oral processing. Her research is often interdisciplinary and has been funded by industry and the Research Councils. In addition to food systems, her expertise includes personal care products. Bettina is a co-inventor on 5 patents.

She is enthusiastic about spreading the word about science and has given talks on chocolate as her favourite research material to various groups. Bettina is also a member of journal editing boards and the Executive Council of the European Society of Rheology.


  • Dr. sc. techn. ETH, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich: Food Process Engineering (1995)
  • Dipl.-Ing., Technical University of Karlsruhe (D): Chemical Engineering (1989)


Bettina qualified with a Dipl.-Ing. in Chemical Engineering from the Technical University of Karlsruhe in 1989. She went on to commence her doctoral studies as part of her employment at the German Institute of Food Technology in Quakenbrueck (1989-1992), which she completed at ETH Zurich in 1995 (Dr sc. techn. ETH). Her doctoral studies and commercial projects during this time, and a further period spent as research assistant at ETH in the Laboratory of Food Process Engineering (1995 – 1997) have introduced Bettina to the rheology of complex systems including chocolate, their processing and the material science of liquid interfaces.

Bettina then applied her expertise to biopolymer systems during her research career in the Product Microstructure Unit and then Corporate Research of Unilever R&D Colworth (1997 – 2006), in view to developing food microstructures for healthier foods or enhanced functionality of personal care products while developing fundamental understanding of the processing behaviour of phase separated biopolymer mixtures. During this time, she was seconded to the Savoury Global Technology Centre in Germany (6 months).

Enjoying the research and working with intern students, Bettina decided on a career change and accepted an offer as Associate Professor in Biomaterials Sciences in the School of Biosciences (Division of Food Sciences) at the University of Nottingham. She created a research group, collaborating with colleagues in Sensory Sciences and Pharmacy, as well as industry, with many projects and outputs of interdisciplinary nature. To name just one grant, she has been a co-investigator in the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Food. After 12 years in Food Sciences, Bettina has moved on her current post at the University of Birmingham in 2018 - applying a more engineering based focus to her research streams in microstructure engineering from sustainable sources, emulsion processing, rheology and oral processing.


Bettina has taught physical sciences and engineering based elements in undergraduate and postgraduate taught courses in Food Sciences. She also has experience in setting up courses including at postgraduate research level, and course directorship


Recent publications


Erxleben, S, Pelan, E & Wolf, B 2024, 'Effect of the interplay between lipid phase properties and ethanol concentration on the stability of model cream liqueurs', Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, vol. 685, 133233.

Campos Assumpcao De Amarante, M, Ong, L, Spyropoulos, F, Gras, SL & Wolf, B 2024, 'Modulation of physico-chemical and technofunctional properties of quinoa protein isolate: Effect of precipitation acid', Food Chemistry.

Sutcharit, P, Wattanakul, J, Price, R, di Bari, V, Gould, J, Yakubov, G, Wolf, B & Gray, DA 2023, 'Chloroplast/thylakoid-rich material: a possible alternative to the chemically synthesised flow enhancer polyglycerol polyricinoleate in oil-based systems', Food Research International.

Zhang, L, Gould, J & Wolf, B 2023, 'Formulation engineering of water-in-oil-in-water emulsions for salt reduction with sucrose oleate as a PGPR-alternative lipophilic emulsifier', Food Structure, vol. 35, 100309.

Mao, Y, Gerrow, A, Ray, E, Diaz Perez, N, Edler, K, Wolf, B & Binner, E 2023, 'Lignin recovery from cocoa bean shell using microwave-assisted extraction and deep eutectic solvents', Bioresource Technology, vol. 372, 128680.

Campos Assumpcao De Amarante, M, Maccalman, T, Harding, SE, Spyropoulos, F, Gras, SL & Wolf, B 2022, 'Atypical phase behaviour of quinoa protein isolate in mixture with maltodextrin', Food Research International, vol. 162, no. Part B, 112064.

Price, R, Gray, D, Watson, N, Vieira, J & Wolf, B 2022, 'Linking the yield stress functionality of polyglycerol polyricinoleate in a highly filled suspension to its molecular properties', LWT - Food Science and Technology, vol. 165, 113704.

Cuthill, H, Elleman, C, Curwen, T & Wolf, B 2021, 'Colloidal particles for Pickering emulsion stabilization prepared via antisolvent precipitation of lignin-rich cocoa shell extract', Foods, vol. 10, no. 2, 371.

Erxleben, S, Pelan, E & Wolf, B 2021, 'Effect of ethanol on the stability of sodium caseinate stabilised emulsions', Food Hydrocolloids.

Juyang, Z & Wolf, B 2021, 'Impact of type of sugar beet pectin–sodium caseinate interaction on emulsion properties at pH 4.5 and pH 7', Foods, vol. 10, no. 3, 631.

Li, X, Lu, Y, Adams, G, Zobel, H, Balance, S, Wolf, B & Harding, S 2020, 'Characterisation of the molecular properties of scleroglucan as an alternative rigid rod molecule to xanthan gum for oropharyngeal dysphagia', Food Hydrocolloids, vol. 101, 105446.

Al nuumani, R, Vladisavlejevic, GT, Kasprzak, MM & Wolf, B 2020, 'In-vitro oral digestion of microfluidically produced monodispersed W/O/W food emulsions loaded with concentrated sucrose solution designed to enhance sweetness perception', Journal of Food Engineering, vol. 267, 109701.

Mohamad, NJ, Gray, D & Wolf, B 2020, 'Spinach leaf and chloroplast lipid: a natural rheology modifier for chocolate?', Food Research International, vol. 133, 109193, pp. 1-13.

Pu, X, Linforth, R, Dragosavac, M & Wolf, B 2019, 'Dynamic aroma release from complex food emulsions', Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, vol. 67, no. 33, pp. 9325-9334.


Li, X, Harding, SE, Wolf, B & Yakubov, G 2022, 'Instrumental characterization of xanthan gum and scleroglucan solutions: comparison of rotational rheometry, capillary breakup extensional rheometry and soft-contact tribology', Food Hydrocolloids, vol. 130, 107681.

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