Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship Program

"Effect of Sweeteners and Salts on the Functional Properties of Polysaccharides"

About the Project

Project Time & Type:
Fall 2010 - DURI
Research area(s):
Engineering; Biomedical; Food Science; Life Science; Pharmacy; Physics
Project Description:
In food formulations polysaccharides are routinely used to control the functional properties such as water binding, viscosity, thickening and stability of dispersions. Interestingly, addition of food ingredients significantly alters the physical properties namely the solubility, hygroscopicity and crystallinity. For example, incorporation of sugar modifies the solvent properties whilst salt promotes gelation among hydrocolloids. In this regard, a detailed knowledge about the physical chemical interactions among food ingredients such as salt, sugar and water, and hydrocolloids would enlighten the underlying molecular mechanisms that are relevant to the structure-function relationships of the foods systems. In this project, effect of several sweeteners and salts on selected polysaccharides three-dimensional structure along with their rheological properties and thermal behavior will be analyzed.
Expected Student Contributions:
The DURI participant will take part in the preparation of complexes, making crystalline fibers, measuring rheological properties and thermal properties. The intern will get exposed to several multidisciplinary scientific research areas such as polysaccharide fiber preparation, fiber diffraction, solution properties through rheology and thermal properties from differential scanning calorimetry. Further, the student will get acquainted with some of the formulations used in the production of food products.
Related Website(s):
Desired Qualifications:
GPA above 3.0, strong interest and commitment towards basic and applied research.
Estimated Weekly Hours:
Department awards independent research credits for this project?
Yes, 4 credit hours

Professor in Charge

Janaswamy, Srinivas
Department of Food Science

Student Supervisor

Srinivas Janaswamy
Research Assistant Professor

Cooperating Faculty

Osvaldo Campanell