Seligman Fellow Dr Eliana Fissore investigates beetroot and butternut pectins
Dr Eliana Fissore received a Seligman Fellowship from April - Sept 2010 to investigate the chemical characterisation of pectins extracted from beetroot and butternut squash at the Centre for Water Soluble Polymers, Glyndŵr University, Wrexham, UK, headed by Prof Peter A Williams.
Eliana's research interests include enzymatic methods for pectin isolation from vegetable industry’s residues; chemical, physicochemical and rheological characterisation of food hydrocolloids; and the development of food products enriched in dietary fibre.
Chemical characterisation of pectins extracted from beetroot and butternut squash. Determination of the pectin's molecular mass distribution. Intrinsic viscosity, flow properties and gelling capacity of the pectins. Emulsification properties: surface tension, optimum emulsification time, optimum pectin concentration, emulsion stability.
Novel Aspects of Research
- The use of residues from the vegetable industry as pectin sources, namely beetroot and butternut residues.
- The pectin isolation process applied involves the use of cellulase at 30°C avoiding the use of mineral acids and high temperatures.
- The study of these novel pectins for their potential use as food additives.
- Beetroot pectin gels at different calcium concentrations. These gels are stable at high temperatures.
- Butternut pectin produces a thickening effect in aqueous systems.
- Both pectins act as emulsifiers and allow producing stable emulsions. These characteristics are of interest for their use in the food industry as novel additives.
Future Research Work
- Study of other vegetable residues as novel sources of pectin / hydrocolloids.
- Development of other enzymatic methods for pectin isolation.
- Development of food products containing the extracted pectins.
Conferences and Visits
- I attended the 6th International Thermal Processing Conference, Campden BRI, from 23 - 24 June 2010, where the main topics were sustainability and process safety and development.
- 'Young Scientist Symposium 2010,' 29 June 2010, Bangor University, North Wales.
- 'Industrial Applications of Biopolymers Workshop,' 9 July 2010, hosted by the Industrial Biopolymers Knowledge Transfer Centre, Glyndŵr University, Wrexham Science Festival, North Wales.
- I visited Dr Paul Skudder from APV / SPX Flow Technology and he introduced me to the extensive work of APV in the food industry. The latest developments include the use of membrane technology in the dairy industry to convert whey protein into a fat replacer for cheese through ultrafiltration.
Achievements of the Fellowship
- The research work done at Glyndŵr University allowed me to further investigate the characterisation of the pectins extracted, which further develops my work at Buenos Aires University
- A scientific paper will be prepared on the work done at Glyndŵr University
- Certificate of attendance to the International Thermal Processing Conference, Campden BRI, UK.
- I've learnt many techniques and developed some ideas for my future work projects.
- I attended science meetings in which I learnt about new technologies and updated my knowledge. I also met many colleagues.
- I worked with people from all over the world which enabled me to learn about different ways of work and different cultures.
Dr Eliana N Fissore is a food engineer based at the Industry Department, Buenos Aires University. She is a Post Doctoral Fellow at the Argentinean Research Council.
Academic and Professional Awards
- APV Seligman Fellowship 2010
- Post Doctoral Fellowship - National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET, Argentina) 2009-2011
- Doctoral Fellowship - National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET, Argentina) 2007-2009
- Doctoral Fellowship - National Agency of Scientific and Technological Promotion of Argentina (ANPCyT) 2004-2007
Publications and Patents
- Two papers published in international books
- Six papers published in international journals
- One patent under revision
- Several congress proceedings
- Enzymatic methods for pectin isolation from vegetable industry's residues
- Chemical, physicochemical and rheological characterisation of food hydrocolloids
- Development of food products enriched in dietary fibre.
I would like to thank the Seligman APV Trust, its management committee and SCI for selecting me for this prestigious fellowship. Thanks to Mr Graham Byars, Chairman, Seligman APV Trust and specially to Ms Monica Ugalde, Membership Services Manager, for her kind attention at all times.
I am grateful to Professor Peter A Williams for allowing me to be part of his staff and for his supervision, guidance and advice during my stay at Glyndŵr University. I'm also grateful to all the staff of the Centre for Water Soluble Polymers for their help and company.
Thanks to Dr Skudder for the time dedicated to me and thanks to my family and friends in Argentina for all their unconditional support.