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Applications are invited for this Research Fellow post at the University of Nottingham in the ‘Food Structure and Biomaterials Research Group’, based at Sutton Bonington Campus. The successful applicant will work within an applied research project entitled: ‘Sustainable Oil Structuring in Ice-Cream’.

There is increasing demand for more sustainable and healthier ingredients in food products. The microstructure of ice cream is in part determined by the inclusion of tropical and/or dairy fats; sources of these fats are considered unsustainable due to their impact on the environment. Identifying alternative sources of fats/oils for ice cream manufacture has become a pressing issue. Natural, plant-derived lipid droplets (oleosomes/oil bodies) are found in oilseeds; pioneering work at Nottingham University has revealed their potential as a sustainable, oxidatively stable and nutritious food ingredient. Oleosomes are therefore attracting much interest in the food sector globally, but little is known about their physical properties. Intact oleosomes will be extracted from a range of oilseeds and characterised using our state-of-the-art equipment. Their ability to form and to stabilise optimum ice cream microstructure architecture will be tested. Product properties such as melting performance and flavour profile will also be measured.

This position is funded by Unilever, one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products which reach 2 billion consumers/day in over 190 countries. Most of the work will be carried out at Sutton Bonington Campus, but there will be opportunities for the successful candidate to work with the Foods & Refreshment (F&R) Science & Technology team at Colworth, UK, with access to analytical techniques and ice cream production in the pilot plant. The Food Structure and Biomaterials Research Group is a community of researchers from a range of scientific disciplines, based in the Division of Food, Nutrition, and Dietetics. This group shares best practice and promotes a culture of mutual support in all aspects of the research journey.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • A PhD in Physics/Chemistry/Biochemistry/Food Science/Pharmaceutical Science/Material Science or other science-related subject

Applicants must possess (essential):

  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Motivation and resilience
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Capability to be organised and methodical
  • Knowledge of the chemistry of oils and fats 
  • Practical experience in the use of methods to measure the composition and physical properties of fats

 Desirable skills

  • Experience in flavour analysis (SPME, APCI-MS)
  • Creating, handling, and analysing emulsions and/or foams
  • Analysing the composition and physical properties of oils and fats

This position is available from 1st November 2021 and is offered on a fixed-term contract to 31st October 2023. Hours of work are full-time (36.25 hours/week) but part time (70% FTE) will be considered. Job share arrangements may be considered.

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