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SCI Seligman Fellowship Report Ewa Jakubczyk

2 September 2004

It was an honour for me to be given an award by SCI which is one of the most important organisations supporting science in the world. The Seligman APV Fellowship in Food Engineering was a great opportunity of my life to visit the United Kingdom and see some of the laboratories and research institutes in food technology. I really appreciated this fellowship which gave me the possibility of spending time on learning new issues. I also met many renowned food scientists whose investigations were very impressive and interesting for me. They explained some difficult subjects in food engineering and helped me to understand the concept of description of food texture parameters.

I spent 6 months in the United Kingdom from 18 February to 15 August 2004. During this period, I was based at the School of Food Biosciences at the University of Reading where I carried out a research project. I had an opportunity to attend interesting conferences and visit several departments and research institutes.

Research Project

The research aims to characterise complex properties of whipped cream. The following properties of cream were measured: rheological and interfacial properties, overrun, and size distribution of air bubbles. I used variety of modern equipment to measure the texture of cream and also learnt a new technique of image analysis. I investigated the influence of different whipping times on quality and texture of whipping cream. I noticed that the whipping process changes the properties of cream which behaves as viscoelastic with a high influence of the elastic component. The air bubbles incorporated during the process result in forming stronger foam which contains smaller bubbles, and also gives the increase of overrun. These changes are observed up to 9 minutes of whipping when the amount of air bubbles are sufficient and can be built into a stable structure. I have written, in co-operation with Dr Niranjan, an article containing the results of my investigation.

Visits

  • Montpelier International Congress Engineering and Food ICEF 9, Montpelier, France, 6-11 March 2004

The main aim of the conference was presenting papers and posters in each area in food engineering. I was able to listen to many interesting lectures covering emerging technologies, food safety and microbiology, intelligent systems, mass transfer operation, separation technologies, thermal processing, characterisation of structured polyphasic systems. I also met other scientists from all over the world and discussed with them some of the most interesting problems in food production.

  • SCI Scholars Lunch, London, 19 March 2004

The lunch was organised to present awards to students and scientists in chemistry in food technology. I had the opportunity to meet Dr Richard Denyer (SCI General Secretary and Chief Executive), Graham Byars (Seligman Trust Management Committee Chairman), and other SCI members. They presented the idea of work in SCI and the most important goals of this organisation.

  • Campden and Chorleywood Research Association, 23 March 2004

The visits to CCFRA gave me the opportunity to understand the benefits and limitations of hygiene practices before, during and after food production. I was introduced to some important aspects of physical design of food factories and HACCP systems. The members of CCFRA explained the role of food processors based on microbial enzymes. I tested on a group of Time Temperature Integrators (TTIs) which can be used to validate process efficiency and safety. During this visit, I discussed methods for the statistical analysis of sensory and consumer data and also saw equipment and methods which are used in sensory laboratories.

  • ‘Career in Food Industry’, University of Birmingham, 24 March 2004

The conference presented some interesting aspects of food manufacturing in the UK. The lectures presented presence of research in food industry, new methods which can be used now and also in the future.

  • Dr Ian Wilson, University of Cambridge, 28-29 March 2004

Dr Wilson explained methods used in his research in emerging technologies and food engineering. This visit enabled me also spend some time on sightseeing beautiful places in Cambridge.

  • Prof Joe Quarini, University of Bristol, 1 April 2004

The Mechanical Engineering Department was a place where I could learn about modern cleaning methods used in food and pharmacy industry. Prof Quarini presented his novel technique, pigging, and its application in the industry. The ice pigging technique is based upon the use of crushed and pumpable ice in water. The technology of ice pigging which can be used as a method to reduce waste, can be used to ensure that pipework is clear of foreign bodies before production.

  • Silsoe Research Institute, 6 May 2004

Here, I could expand my knowledge on different aspects of food production and agriculture. I learnt about pesticide dispersion, air flows in food factories, crop protection and spraying, and biomaterials. The scientists from Silsoe explained methods used in monitoring and characterisation of sprays and aerosols in the aerial environment, novel techniques to minimise environmental contamination. I was very impressed by some odour measurement and dispersion modelling in the odour laboratory. I am very interested in food rheology and the visit to the biophysics department was very important for me. Dr David Bruce described his investigation and measurements of structural properties of tissues, models of the mechanical properties of plant tissue.

  • ‘Diet and Health – Who’s really responsible?’, Leatherhead Food Research Association, 19 May 2004

The conference presented lectures about consumer behaviour and diet customs. I also joined site tours which gave me the opportunity to see some facilities on offer at LFI, including a laboratory with rheological equipment for research of texture and microscopic structure and also the sensory labs.

  • Dr Steve Grace, Invensys APV, Crawley, 4 June 2004

Invensys APV is involved in food process design, so I saw some of APV’s equipment, including typical heat exchangers, mixers and homogenisers. Dr Grace guided me in the principles of CIP system and hygienic design and safety features. Some innovations of plate heat exchangers for chemical and industrial duties were also presented. I was introduced to the design project based on using art computer 3D modelling techniques.

  • ‘Chocolate and other complicated materials’, Nestle, York, 14-15 June 2004

The lectures presented properties of chocolate and problems with texture measurement, modelling the flavour and also some properties of ingredients of chocolate for example cocoa butter. The next day I had the opportunity to visit Nestle Research Centre. Dr Steve Beckett, the head of one of department centre, showed me some laboratories which measured the texture of chocolate and also explained and presented the production of chocolate.

  • The Division of Food Sciences, University of Nottingham, 22 June 2004

The Food Structure Group in Nottingham University is equipped with NMR/spectroscopy and rheology laboratories as well as food processing and sample preparation facilities. The Group has developed a special understanding of the properties of foods at low moisture contents. The relationship between biopolymer structure and rheology is also one of my major interests so this visit was very useful and interesting for me.

  • 5th European Conference on Foams, Emulsions and Applications, Champs-Sur-Marne, France, 5-8 July, 2004

The conference presented a wide range of ideas on structure and behaviour of foam products. The most interesting part of the conference was connected with numerical simulation which deals with rheology of 3D foams. The lectures helped me to understand the link between microscopic and macroscopic properties of food foam. Scientists presented new technologies; diffusive wave spectroscopy, small angle neutron scattering, and X-ray tomography and their application. The conference was creative for me and provided a better understanding of the characteristics of structure foam and their rheology, and also some modelling methods.

  • Professor Julian Vincent, Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Bath, 16 July 2004

This was a great opportunity to meet with Professor Vincent who is involved in the research of biomimetics. I presented my data and research and I was able to discuss them with Professor Vincent. I was also able to visit some laboratories, including those in which the fracture of the product is measured. Professor Vincent explained and presented some of his work connected with the quantification of crunchiness of food products.

Achievements and benefits

The Fellowship gave me the opportunity to obtain new information and knowledge about food production, preservation and also methods used in quality design, which I will be able to use in my future research. The opportunity to meet other scientists enabled me to see some interesting aspects of research in different areas in the food industry. These visits had a strong impact on my scientific point of view. I would also add that I was able to enjoy visiting some beautiful places in the UK. My visits to academic and research institutes were also an opportunity for sightseeing. I think these experiences will help me the development of my professional career in food science.

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank, among others, Dr Richard Denyer, Graham Byars, and Monica Iglesias (Awards Coordinator) who supported me and arranged my visits. I would like to express my gratitude to Dr Niranjan for all his help and support. During my fellowship I was very grateful for his supervision and guidance of my research at the University of Reading, and he always found the time to advise me in my investigation. I am also very grateful to have received help from staff of the School of Biosciences at the University of Reading. I also wish to thank PhD students, Jossefin Haedelt and Alexander Tsioulpas, for their help.

Ewa Jakubczyk
Warsaw Agricultural University

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