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Dr Clara Shui Fern Bah

Food Science

Evaluation of slaughterhouse animal blood properties.

Supervised by Dr Aladin Bekhit, Dr Alan Carne (Biochemistry), Dr Michelle McConnell (Microbiology and Immunology).

Clara's thesis was listed as an Exceptional PhD Thesis in the Division of Sciences for 2015


Clara is from Malaysia where she completed her undergraduate degree in Chemical-Bioprocess Engineering at the Technological University of Malaysia (UTM). She then completed a postgraduate diploma and Master’s in Science at the Department of Food Science, University of Otago, where her research on food industry by-products included investigations into bioactive compounds from New Zealand fish roe.

Project Outline

Blood is a significant by-product of the animal slaughterhouse industry. As an inevitable part of the meat production food chain, it also represents a rich source of protein. Hydrolysis of proteins by proteases breaks them down into smaller peptides. These short sequences of amino acids can exert physiological benefits, and their bioactivities depend on their amino acid composition and sequence.  Thus the hydrolysis of blood proteins could generate peptides with higher bioactivity than seen with blood alone. In the current study, a variety of proteases were used to hydrolyse deer, cow, sheep and pig blood proteins into smaller fragments which were then evaluated for potential biological activities.