Research Expertise

World class expertise in the physical characterization of lipid structure and its relationship to functionality, nutrition and quality.

Physical Properties of Food Materials

Research in our laboratory focuses on the physical properties of foods. From molecules large and small, through supramolecular assemblies, to bulk material properties, our work seeks to identify the length scale responsible for a particular macroscopic functionality. A man with a hammer is always looking for a nail. That is the reason why we prefer to approach problems from a more wholistic perspective.

We gather information about molecular structure and conformation, characterize the aggregation and/or self-assembly of molecules into nanostructures, nanostructures into mesoscale structures, and ultimately network formation. If you are lucky, a specific length scale will dominate a particular macroscopic property of interest (hardness, opalescence, oil and water binding and permeability).

It could be the case that several length scales interact to influence functionality. We enjoy building models which seek to explain functionality from structural considerations, at all length scales. We have mainly worked with polycrystalline materials, colloidal gels (aqueous and non-aqueous) and polymer gels (aqueous and non-aqueous).