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Research Associate Professor


Product Development Research Centre

BCApSc (Otago)
Pat Silcock


Tel 64 3 479 7564 Ext 7564
Location Sensory Science Research Centre, 270 Leith Walk, CSB 110


Pat is the manager of the Product Development Research Centre (PDRC). The Product Development Research Centre is part of the Department of Food Science at the University of Otago and offers commercially focused research and consultancy services. The Product Development Research Centre undertakes projects with industry (small – medium sized enterprises to multinational companies) and other universities and research institutes that apply food science and related scientific knowledge to enhance their products or processes, and to assist their businesses achieve a competitive edge. The Centre works collaboratively with Food Science academic staff and other staff throughout the University on a project-by-project basis.

Pat has strong links with food companies and companies aligned with the food industry. He has experience working with small to medium-size enterprises, cooperatives and multinational companies, working with companies based in New Zealand, Australia, South East Asia, China, USA and Europe.

His professional specialties are in the area of food chemistry, product development, shelf life extension and calculation, food spoilage and general food consultancy.


Pat's research can be largely categorised into two main themes: food quality, and microbially-induced flavour generation. He is interested in using consumers to define the quality of food and also the relationship between quality, sensory characteristics, manufacturing process and food composition and structure. The microbially induced flavour generation theme examines the role of bacteria, yeast and mould on volatile generation in fermented foods (beer, wine, coffee…) and during food spoilage. Both themes involve the use of volatile characterisation and sensory methodologies to understand changes in the flavour perception of the foods.

Pat is also a member of Food Waste Innovation, a University of Otago Research Theme which measures food waste, develops reduction strategies, applies innovative technology, and works to modify producer and consumer behaviour.

Postgraduate supervision

Pat supervises students in the areas of food quality, flavour science, sensory science and food spoilage

Current students

  • Chai Chun (Marcus) Loi (PhD), "Emulsifier technology to enhance emulsion stability in milk coffee beverages."
  • Mina Tirgar(PhD),"A Novel System for Delivery of Encapsulated Flaxseed Oil as a Functional Powder by Spray Drying."
  • Mohsen Zareian (PhD),"Determination of the Volatile Organic Composition of Food Spoilage Bacteria."

Completed students

  • Claudia Philipp(PhD), "Physicochemical behaviour of starch-protein mixtures during low-moisture extrusion."
  • Yafei Liu (PhD), "Effect of pulsed electric protein on protein based food products."
  • Aswathi Soni (PhD), "Optimisation of technologies for extension of shelf life of liquid egg white."
  • Amali Alahakoon (PhD), "Feasibility study of using pulsed electric field as a pretreatment to improve textural and other quality traits of sous vide meat."
  • Tobias Richter (PhD), "Hop aroma in beer - changes in the flavour profile associated with different yeast strains."
  • Valentina Ting  (PhD 2015), "Real Time Monitoring of Volatile Organic Compound Release in Relation with Textural and Acoustic Characteristics in Apples."
  • Mario Fernandez Alduenda (PhD 2015), "Development of flavour in natural coffee."
  • Mohammad Alothman (PhD 2015), "Investigation of the Factors Which Limit the Shelf Life of Fresh Chilled Pasteurized Milk"
  • Claudia Schueuermann (PhD 2016), "Determination of the sources of compositional variation in Mount Difficulty pinot noir wines – A case study: from grape juice to wine."
  • Jun Niimi (2013), "Sensory crossmodal interactions in cheese."
  • Ofir Benjamin (2012), "Volatile release from emulsions"


Rajendran, S., Khomenko, I., Silcock, P., Betta, E., Pedrotti, M., Biasioli, F., & Bremer, P. (2024). The effect of different medium compositions and LAB strains on fermentation Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) analysed by Proton Transfer Reaction-Time of Flight-Mass Spectrometry (PTR-ToF-MS). Fermentation, 10, 317. doi: 10.3390/fermentation10060317 Journal - Research Article

Roberts, R., Silcock, P., Leus, M., Biasioli, F., Bremer, P., & Eyres, G. T. (2024). Analysis of terpenoid biotransformation in beer by commercial Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast using headspace SPME-GC/MS. Food Chemistry Advances, 4, 100692. doi: 10.1016/j.focha.2024.100692 Journal - Research Article

Rajendran, S., Silcock, P., & Bremer, P. (2024). Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) produced by Levilactobacillus brevis WLP672 fermentation in defined media supplemented with different amino acids. Molecules, 29, 753. doi: 10.3390/molecules29040753 Journal - Research Article

Pretz, D., Heyward, P. M., Krebs, J., Gruchot, J., Barter, C., Silcock, P., Downes, N., Rizwan, M. Z., Boucsein, A., Bender, J., Burgess, E. J., Boer, G. A., Perry, N. B., & Tups, A. (2023, August-September). A dahlia flower extract has anti-diabetic properties by improving insulin function in the brain. Verbal presentation at the Queenstown Molecular Biology (QMB) Hypothalamic Neuroscience & Neuroendocrinology Australasia (HNNA) Satellite, Queenstown, New Zealand. Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Ting, V. J. L., Silcock, P., Biasioli, F., & Bremer, P. (2023). The physical and structural effects of 1-MCP on four different apple cultivars during storage. Foods, 12, 4050. doi: 10.3390/foods12224050 Journal - Research Article

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