Description of field of research:

Aroma compounds showing various odours have been widely used as food flavours. However, these aroma compounds commonly possess high volatility, lipophilicity, and low aqueous solubility, leading to low shelf life and compatibility with aqueous food systems. Maltodextrin (MD) is made by the hydrolysis of starch and comes in the form of a white powder with a mild sweet taste. MDs have wide applications in food spray drying as wall material, flavour carrier and bulking agent. In the presence of a guest molecule, MD may change its molecular conformation from a flexible coil to a helix which is hydrophobic inside and can be used to load the guest compounds via host-guest complexation. This interaction depends on the size and lipophilicity of the guest molecules. In this project, the host-guest complexation between MD and a series of volatile lipophilic aroma compounds (hexanone, decanone, hexanal, decanal, guaiacol, and m-cresol) will be systematically investigated by using spectroscopic techniques (13C solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance, infrared, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray powder diffractometry), and thermal analysis. The retention and dissolution studies of aroma compounds within MD upon spray drying will be conducted to help design new food flavour formulations with improved storage stability, physicochemical, and sensory properties.

Research Area

Functional food | Microencapsulation | Drying technology

This project will be undertaken within the Food Engineering research group under the supervision of Dr Qianyu Ye with Prof. Cordelia Selomulya. The Food Engineering research group (led by Prof. Cordelia Selomulya) will be the ideal environment for discovering both Food Engineering and Powder and Particle Technology. The student will have the access to well-equipped laboratories with experimental facilities for functional food research, work in a multidisciplinary and world-leading research environment, and learn various functional skills to facilitate future career in academia or industry.

The student is expected to gain experience in functional food development, microencapsulation technology, spray drying technology, and spectroscopic techniques, which are extensively used technologies in the food industry. The research is anticipated to lead to a publication in a peer-reviewed journal with the student as co-author. The project will also allow the student to work with other research students to gain valuable interdisciplinary experience.

  1. Kalra, A., Bhat, P., & Kaur, I. P. (2021). Deciphering molecular mechanics in the taste masking ability of Maltodextrin: Developing pediatric formulation of Oseltamivir for viral pandemia. Carbohydrate Polymers, 260, 117703.
  2. Garnero, C., Chattah, A. K., & Longhi, M. (2013). Supramolecular complexes of maltodextrin and furosemide polymorphs: a new approach for delivery systems. Carbohydrate polymers, 94(1), 292-300.
  3. Wangsakan, A., Chinachoti, P., & McClements, D. J. (2003). Effect of different dextrose equivalent of maltodextrin on the interactions with anionic surfactant in an isothermal titration calorimetry study. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 51(26), 7810-7814.