Filling the fibre gap: functional and metabolic potential of high amylose wheat (FoodBioSystems DTP)

The FoodBioSystems Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) is currently advertising 36 projects. From these, it is expected 24 studentships will be awarded to the strongest application to start their studies in October 2022.

Start date
1 October 2022
Duration
4 years
Application deadline
Funding source
BBSRC FoodBioSystems Doctoral Training Partnership.
Funding information

The studentships are predominantly open to students with established UK residency. Although international students (including EU countries) can apply, due to funding rules no more than 30% of the projects can be allocated to international students.

The funding will include a tax free stipend and support for tuition fees at the standard UK rate (in 2021/2022 this is a minimum of £15,609 per year and £4500 per year respectively). There will also be a contribution towards research costs.

Full eligibility, funding and application details can be found on the FoodBioSystems DTP page.

About

Wheat is the most widely grown food crop and the most traded cereal in the world today. It is therefore a perfect foundation for raising the nutritional quality of the food supply to help improve overall health of communities worldwide. Selective breeding of commercial wheat has produces a variety which is very high in resistant starch, a type of dietary fibre which has documented beneficial metabolic effects for glucose and lipid metabolism. Dietary fibre is the nearest thing we have to a super-food with the known beneficial effects on the gut microbiome, gastrointestinal cancers and metabolic disease, but intakes fall well below recommended levels. The question is, can this new type of wheat can fill this fibre-gap?

This high-amylose wheat clearly has a great potential to improve human health if it enters the food chain, but at the moment there are several challenges which need to be overcome such as understanding how to incorporate this high insoluble-fibre wheat into food staples in the diet such as bread, biscuits and pastry, and further define the metabolic effects of consumption in humans.

Using a combination of cutting-edge food technology methods and dietary interventions in human volunteers, this project aims to investigate and maximise the incorporation of this wheat into different food products; evaluate the sensory qualities and consumer attitudes to this novel wheat variety and quantitate the glucose lowering effects of consumption in a dietary intervention trial.

About the FoodBioSystems DTP

The FoodBioSystems Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) brings together six university partners: University of Reading, Cranfield University, University of Surrey, Queen’s University Belfast, Aberystwyth University, and Brunel University London. The Partnership’s vision is to develop the next generation of bioscientists with in-depth knowledge and technical expertise of food systems and biological processes across the Agri-Food system from pre-farm to post-fork. They will become the urgently needed experts - able to transform the food value chain and address challenges of sustainability, efficacy, authenticity and safety in food production systems whilst delivering better nutrition and concomitant health benefits for society. The DTP is currently advertising 36 projects. From these, it is expected 24 studentships will be awarded to the strongest application to start their studies in October 2022.

Related links
FoodBioSystems DTP website
Training opportunities

There will be training opportunities in human-based research, laboratory food technology and sensory science at the Universities of Surrey and Reading. This project comes with the opportunity of undertaking a placement with Limagrain Cereales Ingredients (Europe) at their main site in Clemont Ferrand, France.

Eligibility criteria

This project would be suitable for a student with a degree in food science and nutrition, with a keen interest in learning new laboratory and clinical techniques. We would expect the successful candidate to have already some laboratory food science experience.

This studentship is available for UK and international students.

IELTS requirements: The standard requirement is for a score of 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6.0 in each individual category, in an IELTS Academic test taken in the last 2 years. 

How to apply

Initial applications must be made online via the FoodBioSystems online application system, which will open on 6 January 2022.


Application deadline

Contact details

Denise Robertson
32 PG 00
Telephone: +44 (0)1483 686407
E-mail: M.Robertson@surrey.ac.uk

Department of Nutritional Sciences.

References

Belobrajdic et al, High-Amylose Wheat Lowers the Postprandial Glycemic Response to Bread in Healthy Adults: A Randomized Controlled Crossover Trial, The Journal of Nutrition, 149, 8, Pages 1335–1345, https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxz067

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