Project ID iCASE2023_02


Co Supervisor 1A Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences Centre for Host-Microbiome InteractionsWebsite

Co Supervisor 1B Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences Centre for Host-Microbiome InteractionsWebsite

In mouth emulsification of palm oil to enhance acceptance

A mainstay of the strategy to combat global obesity is the reformulation of foods with reduced salt, fat and sugar. The perception of foods in the mouth is key to consumer acceptance. The uptake of reduced fat/ margarine fats as replacements for animal-derived fats has been hindered by their perception by consumers who report altered mouthfeel and tastes. The mouth is lubricated by mucins carried in saliva and we have developed a well characterised human saliva lubrication model (Carpenter et al., 2019) to understand the interactions with foods. We will use the same model to examine how palm oil behaves in the mouth and in particular if contaminants (eg fungal proteins) leads to off-effects such as mouth-coating (an oily sensation), bitterness or other unwanted sensorial effects.

Student will learn general biochemical techniques including electrophoresis, as well as more in depth protein-protein interaction techniques such as Isothermal calorimetry and NMR. In addition, they will run human studies to examine how different fats/ oils are emulsified in the mouth and perceived by subjects.

Yr1: Detailed structural of palm oil and proteins (from whole yeast cell and preparations as supplied by company) and their post-translational modifications. NMR, mass spec, ICP-MS to characterise proteins compare to existing yeast database. NMR to measure metabolites present (such as acetate), ICP-MS to measure ions, NMR on each protein after purification.

Yr2: Characterise the interaction of palm oil and yeast proteins with salivary proteins. Identify type of interaction (ionic, hydrogen-bonding, hydrophobic, etc., ) using different ionic and pH conditions and characterising using native electrophoresis, isothermal calorimetry and correlate these results to tribological measurements (PDMS on PDMS- to be conducted by Dr Reddyhoff at Imperial College, London.

Yr3: Conduct sensory tests of commercially available oils in human volunteers. Samples collected from subjects will be analysed for the degree of emulsification and tissue coating.

Yr 4: Develop a simpler, faster method to identify the likely mouthfeel effects of palm oil produced by CFG bioprocess. We would like to explore microfluidics as the most likely platform although will also use multiwell assays as an alternative.

One representative publication from each co-supervisor:

CARPENTER, G. H., BOZORGI, S., VLADESCU, S., FORTE, A. E., MYANT, C., POTENENI, R. V., REDDYHOFF, T. & BEIER, S. K. 2019. A study of saliva lubrication using an compliant oral mimic. Food Hydrocolloids, 92, 10-18.

Portlock, T.J., Tyson, J.Y., Dantu, S.C., Rehman, S., White, R.C., McIntire, I.E., Sewell, L., Richardson, K., Shaw, Pandini, A. Cianciotto, N.P. & §Garnett, J.A. (2020) Structural, dynamic and cellular insight into novel substrates of the Legionella pneumophila type II secretion system. Front. Mol. Biosci. 7, 112.