Funded Teagasc PhD Walsh Scholarship Opportunity in Investigating the effect of freezing on physico-chemical and techno-functional properties of ingredient cheese and liquid dairy concentrates in Ireland.
Closing Date for Applications: 31 May 2022
Due to the high demand for ingredient cheese, such as mozzarella, the Irish dairy industry has been investing in the production capacity of these types of cheese. However, the short functional shelf-life of ingredient cheese is one of the major concerns for exporting cheese to the long-distance markets. Desirable cheese functional properties for pizza application include sufficient firmness to allow machinability, good melt and stretch, which is usually observed between 2 and 6 weeks for mozzarella at refrigerated temperature. Freezing of cheese is one of the viable options for extending the functional shelf-life of mozzarella cheese for long-distance markets. However, the impact of the freezing and thawing process on the functional performance of cheese has not been fully elucidated yet.
Liquid dairy concentrates, such as milk protein concentrate and micellar casein concentrate, are a rich source of nutritional and functional proteins, which are preferred in many food applications, such as standardisation of cheesemilk, production of yoghurt, sports foods, bakery, confectionery, edible packaging, encapsulation, production of bioactive peptides, functional food ingredients, emulsifiers. Although powder forms of these dairy ingredients have good storage stability, they exhibit poor rehydration; thus, liquid concentrates are preferred whenever possible. However, the short shelf-life of the liquid concentrates limit their applications.
The primary objective of this project is to develop robust strategies to extend the functional shelf-life of ingredient cheese. The secondary objective is to investigate the effect of freezing and thawing conditions on the physico-chemical and functional properties of concentrated liquid dairy ingredients.
- Applicants should have a First or Upper Second-Class Honours BSc. degree or M.Sc. in an appropriate discipline such as Food Science, Dairy Science and Technology, Food Engineering or a related discipline.
- The successful candidate should be highly self-motivated with enthusiasm to develop technical and analytical skills across various disciplines, including pilot-scale cheese production, membrane separation technologies, microscopy, rheology, X-ray micro-CT, mathematical modelling.
- Non-native speakers of English must provide evidence of English language proficiency; details regarding English requirements can be found at https://www.ucc.ie/en/study/comparison/english/postgraduate/.
About the Teagasc PhD Walsh Scholarship Award
This Ph.D scholarship is a joint research project between Teagasc and University College Cork (UCC). The scholar will be based in the Dept. of Food Chemistry and Technology in Teagasc Moorepark Food Research Centre, Fermoy Co. Cork Ireland under the supervision of Dr. Prabin Lamichhane (Teagasc) and Prof. Alan Kelly (UCC). The scholarship funding is €24,000 per annum and includes university fees of up to a maximum of €6,000 per annum and is tenable for 4 years.
How to Apply:
Submit an electronic copy of curriculum vitae and a letter of interest with names and emails of two academic references simultaneously to Dr. Prabin Lamichhane at [email protected] and Prof. Alan Kelly at [email protected]. When doing so, please use the subject line “EFSL-Cheese”.
Closing date: 31/05/2022
University College Cork is an Equal Opportunities Employer