Mode
Internal

Study As
Full Time

Principal Supervisor
Professor Marta Krasowska

Main Campus
Mawson Lakes

Applications Close
22 May 2024

Study Level
Master of Research

Applications Open To
Domestic Candidate

Tuition Fees:

All domestic students are eligible for a fee waiver. Find out more about fees and conditions.

Project Stipend:
$32,500 p.a. (2024 rate) available to domestic applicants only

About this project

Develop healthy alternatives to saturated fatty acids in foods 

If you are passionate about developing your career in chemistry and keen to develop innovations in the food industry, the University of South Australia – Australia’s University of Enterprise – is offering a hands-on project-based Masters within the Future Industries Institute (FII), in partnership with Fonterra and the Australian Nuclear Science & Technology Organisation (ANSTO).

Legislative limitations in the use of saturated fatty acids, the rising concerns among consumers regarding negative effects of some fats on human health, and environmental considerations of the increased use of palm kernel oil in foods have been major driving factors in reformulating fat-containing food products. 

Oleogels are semi-solid materials formed from unsaturated oils with a low concentration of gelator (protein or polysaccharide) molecules, which form 3D networks, structuring the liquid oil. Advantageously, oleogels can be prepared from naturally occurring materials isolated from food production waste streams (e.g. plant proteins and polysaccharides from agricultural waste). 

The characteristics (i.e. the nutrition profile of unsaturated oils used to form oleogels, structure, flavour, physical stability) and the performance (e.g. mouthfeel, ability to encapsulate bioactives) of the oleogels can be tailored by the informed choice of an oil and gelator. 

Most importantly, oleogels are excellent delivery carriers for lipophilic bioactive compounds. That means we can incorporate antioxidants and other water-insoluble polyphenols in oleogel-based food formulations. 

Our project aims to modify polysaccharides from food waste streams to afford controlled oleogelation. We want to design and formulate novel oleogels with healthy fatty acid profiles, optimised for stability and texture (i.e. softer oleogels for spreads, harder oleogels for plant-based meat and fish replacement) to encapsulate various lipophilic bioactives (e.g. curcumin, quercetin, resveratrol). Our aim is to inform the design and formulation of healthier fortified foods.

You will be based within the FII, which has extensive worldclass research facilities and over 250 staff and students. You will have access to cutting edge infrastructure (both at FII and at UniSA Clinical and Health Sciences) and can take advantage of the supervisory team’s national and international collaborative networks. This is an outstanding opportunity to build your professional network and harness collaboration opportunities. 

What you’ll do

In this project-based research degree, you will define the research question and scope the proposed research project. You will collect and analyse data, using your qualitative and quantitative skills throughout the project. 

You may have the opportunity to present your research at and attend networking, conferences, partnership opportunities. We will also guide you in publishing academic outputs. These activities will help hone your communication and networking skills.

Upon graduation, you will be equipped with in-demand skills and abilities in an important field of research.

Where you’ll be based

You will be based in the Future Industries Institute (FII) which was established with a new research culture in mind – one deeply engaged with industry, with the end goal of building economic growth through relevant innovation and industry partnership.

The Institute reflects the University’s strategic ambition to be Australia’s University of Enterprise which engages fully with the professions and industry globally, whose research is informed, leading edge and relevant. FII continues to forge national and international research partnerships in new industries and technologies that address real world issues. Our goal is to support a creative and engaged culture and to help develop a sustainable ecosystem in which innovation, complex, growth-focused industries thrive.

FII's research supports state and national research priorities and comprises top research teams able to collaborate across disciplines and to work with industry partners to deliver innovative solutions.

With a vibrant research environment, a strong industry orientation, and active international and national links, both academic and industry based, the Institute is among the very best in Australia and attracts and retains leading researchers.

Supervisory team

Financial Support

This project is funded for reasonable research expenses. Additionally, a living allowance scholarship of $32,500 per annum is available to Australian and New Zealand citizens, and permanent residents of Australia, including permanent humanitarian visa holders. Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander applicants will be eligible to receive an increased stipend rate of $50,291 per annum. A fee-offset or waiver for the standard term of the program is also included. For full terms and benefits of the scholarship please refer to our scholarship information.

Eligibility and Selection

This project is open to applications from Australian or New Zealand citizens, and Australian permanent residents or permanent humanitarian visa holders. International applicants are not invited to apply at this time.

Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria for entrance into a Master of Research. Additionally applicants must meet the projects selection criteria:
 
  • High level written and verbal communication skills
  • Capacity to meet deadlines and manage competing demands
All applications that meet the eligibility and selection criteria will be considered for this project.

The successful applicant is expected to study full-time and to be based at our Mawson Lakes campus in the north of Adelaide.

Essential Dates

Applicants are expected to start in a timely fashion upon receipt of an offer. Extended deferral periods are not available. Applications close on Wednesday 22 May 2024.

How to apply:

Applications must be lodged online, please note UniSA does not accept applications via email.

For further support see our step-by-step guide on how to apply , or contact the Graduate Research team on +61 8 8302 5880, option 1 or email us at research.admissions@unisa.edu.au. You will receive a response within one working day.

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