AJ Banks Travel Bursary recipient, Kurnia Ramadhan, reports from Berlin

30 July 2017

31 July 2017

Kurnia Ramadhan reports on his attendance at the 19th Gums and Stabilisers for the Food Industry conference in Berlin, which was supported by an AJ Banks Travel Bursary. He presented a poster on his work studying soy and oat bran protein, which he hopes will ultimately lead to plant-based high protein food products.

‘I am a Food Science PhD student in the Food Structure research group at the University of Nottingham. Currently, I am undertaking a study on the structuring of high protein foods from plant sources. As a part of personal development to become an independent researcher, I sought opportunities by becoming a student member of SCI. One of my biggest motivations to join SCI was the conference travel award. In the second year of my study, I was awarded an AJ Banks Travel Bursary. I felt privileged because this award enabled me to present my work at a renowned conference, the 19th Gums and Stabilisers for the Food Industry Conference, which was held in Berlin, Germany from 27 to 30 June 2017.

‘Gums and Stabilisers for the Food Industry is a biennial conference focusing on the application of hydrocolloids in the food industry. For the past three decades, the conference took place in Wrexham, Wales. This year it was held in Berlin, Germany. The conference featured the Food Hydrocolloid Trust Medal Lecture, five plenary lectures, 45 oral presentations, 52 showcased posters, as well as industrial exhibitions from publishers and various research equipment suppliers. The presentations covered a wide range of topics within the food hydrocolloid fields, including hydrocolloids for encapsulation and controlled release, investigative techniques, hydrocolloids in stabilisation of emulsions, hydrocolloid structure and functionalities, hydrocolloids from food and agricultural waste, pectic polysaccharides, hydrocolloids for innovative food formulation and manufacture, and influence of hydrocolloids on human health. The conference involved about 150 participants from around the globe including academia, government agencies, and industries.

‘During this four-day conference, I presented my work in the poster session entitled ‘Effects of Dispersed Oat Bran Protein Concentrate Particles on Gelation Properties of Soy Protein Isolate’. This work focused on rheological evaluation of the dispersion containing a mixture of soy protein isolate and oat bran protein concentrate. Interestingly, each component of the mixture exhibited different rheological behaviour upon heating, but similar behaviour upon cooling. Accordingly, this work would contribute to the development of plant-based high protein food products. As a poster presenter, I had a chance to talk to the experts and received feedback on my research. It helped me to gain more ideas in continuing my research project.

‘This well-established conference was an excellent event to update and recalibrate my understanding on science. I learnt a lot from the experienced scientists working on strongly related topics to food hydrocolloids. The lectures were enriching, providing new insights and novel approaches. The talks were not only dominated by the academia, but also delivered by government agencies and industries showing a diverse point of views.

‘Although the number of participants were not too big, this conference gave a great opportunity to talk to and make contact with other researchers. Among the oral and poster presentations, I figured out some research works link directly to my current project. I was excited to network with other researchers whose work will have influence my ongoing project.

‘In the end, I would like to express my gratitude to Professor Tim Foster for his valuable inputs on my research work and providing a reference for my SCI Travel Bursary application. I would like to thank the Society of Chemical Industry for the generous amount of conference travel financial support. This experience has contributed significantly in developing my skills towards the end of my PhD to become an independent researcher.’

Kurnia Ramadhan
PhD Student
University of Nottingham

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