Featured Speakers : Session 1.7 - Emerging Researchers
Jing Ying (Jeanette) Chong
Monash University - Graduate Student
Topic: Utilisation of Faba Bean Proteins in Plant-Based Yoghurt Alternatives - the effect of heat treatment and fermentation on physicochemical and textural properties
I am Jing Ying (Jeanette) Chong, a fresh graduate who has just completed the Master of Food Science and Agribusiness at Monash University this July. I became interested in the food industry because I hope to contribute to creating a healthy and sustainable food system for the current and future generations. Hence, I have chosen the topic of plant-based protein alternatives for my research project and I am really passionate about it. I am dedicated to contributing to global food production and security with my knowledge and passion for food.
Faba bean protein was found to have the potential for plant-based yoghurt alternatives, by investigating the effect of heat treatment and fermentation conditions on the properties of respective yoghurt analogues. However, further refinement of yoghurt-making conditions is required to improve the texture and sensory quality of faba bean yoghurt analogue, enabling the greater commercial exploitation of faba bean while promoting the shift towards a healthy and sustainable diet.
Mitali K. Gupta
The University of Melbourne - PhD candidate
Topic: Textural & Structural Properties of Vegan Yoghurts with Soy-Microalgae combinations
I am Mitali K. Gupta, and currently pursuing Ph.D. in the school of ‘Agriculture & Food’ at the University of Melbourne. I worked on sensory and consumer evaluations of dairy and plant-based yoghurts, developing interrelationships with textural and compositional attributes as a part of my Ph.D. I also developed vegan yoghurts with novel sources of microalgae, including Chlorella and Spirulina, and published 3 scientific articles from this research. I was awarded the prestigious Antony (Tony) Williams' Sensory Award (runner's up) in AIFST 2021 Food Science convention and was also invited for a talk as an ‘Early Career Researcher’ in Pangborn 2021.
The study focuses on the formulation of vegan yoghurts with microalgae-soy combinations, with Chlorella and Spirulina strains. High-pressure homogenization was used as a pre-treatment method at 1000 bar for the structuring of these yoghurt gels. The textural and microstructural properties were optimized for these combinations, and 2% Spirulina-soy (w/v) combinations showed the most promising gelling properties, with an interconnected network of protein and fat particles.
Wan Sin Heng
Deakin University - PhD student
Topic: Rapid bacteria detection in contaminated foods using static-headspace comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (HS-GC×GC)
I am a second-year PhD student currently aiming to develop a technique that is able to rapidly detect the presence of bacteria in foods. I am a passionate young researcher that is full of enthusiasm and aim to contribute to the field of food science.
Foodborne microbial contamination is a serious threat to public health and a major hindrance to safe food production. Early detection of pathogenic microbe can minimize the spread of contamination events. The current investigation seeks to detect the presence of pathogenic bacteria in food by measuring the volatile organic compounds emanating from contaminated samples. By employing the HS-GC×GC with backflush, rapid detection of microbial food contamination was enabled. Time-to-response was reduced by approximately one day compared to the current conventional approaches at a pre-enriched single-cell bacteria level.
School of Chemical Engineering, UNSW Sydney - PhD Candidate
Topic: Enzymatic cross-linking of pea and whey proteins to enhance emulsifying and encapsulation properties
Ms. Woojeong Kim is a PhD candidate in the School of Chemical Engineering at UNSW Sydney under the supervision of Prof. Cordelia Selomulya. Her research focuses on processing strategies, exploring new food materials, and particle engineering in the food and beverage sector. Prior to joining the UNSW, she received her master’s degree at the Korea University and worked at the Korea Food Research Institute.
Her PhD research is on encapsulating bioactive compounds using food ingredients such as protein, polysaccharide, and their combinations. She primarily investigates plant protein functionality using dairy/plant protein blends, focusing on protein interaction, structural modification, and food application including spray dried powder. She has successfully proposed the strategies to enhance the functionality of dairy/plant protein blends for emulsion stabilisation and encapsulation, and the newly designed systems will be applied in powder production using a microfluidic spray dryer to be used as novel food ingredients.
This research highlights the modification of pea protein structure using whey protein by microbial transglutaminase cross-linking to improve emulsion stability and encapsulation properties of lipophilic bioactive compounds. A novel strategy was provided to design rigid plant/dairy protein network without the pre-treatment of commercial plant proteins at various pea:whey protein ratio for protecting β-carotene, to potentially expand the application of pea protein. The outcomes demonstrate that replacing half or more dairy protein with plant protein is promising with enhanced functionality, contributing knowledge to a gradual transition to plant-based dietary.
University of Tasmania - PhD Candidate
Topic: Where is the fork? The missing link in farm-to-fork food safety strategies
Dipon Sarkar is a food microbiologist and science communicator. He is currently a final year PhD candidate at the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, University of Tasmania. His research focuses on the development and use of predictive tools and risk analysis to ensure the microbial safety of paneer, a traditiona Indian soft cheese. Outside the lab, he is engaged in community science engagement through school visits, public shows, and festivals. His research and science communication work has been recognised through awards such as AIFST 2022 Young Food Microbiologist Award, 2022 Festival of Bright Ideas Stage Fellowship.