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Mina Tirgar

PhD Candidate
Food Science

Mina Tirgar


Ext 8258
CSB 220

A Novel System for Delivery of Encapsulated Flaxseed Oil as a Functional Powder by Spray Drying

Supervisors Assoc. Prof. Dr. John Birch and Associate Professor Pat Silcock


Mina comes from Iran, where she completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Engineering (Foodstuff Sciences and Industries) at the Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran.  She continued her studies in Malaysia where she completed a Masters degree in Food Science and Technology at University Putra Malaysia (UPM).
The excellent contacts and knowledgeable professors at the Food Science department brought her to Otago to do her PhD.

Project Outline

This project will be started by modification of the alkali extraction of cold pressed flaxseed meal and purification of flaxseed protein and dietary fiber. The proximate analysis on four extracted fractions of defatted flaxseed meal including “insoluble protein and fiber of the flaxseed meal”, “soluble protein isolate”, “soluble fiber isolate” and “combination of soluble protein and fiber” will be assayed. Proximate analysis on the fractions and on pea protein isolate as a comparative control encapsulant will be done. Emulsification of flaxseed oil using different soluble fractions of flaxseed meal and pea protein isolates along with other aqueous phase materials with different ratios in respect to the total solid will be studied. Flaxseed oil emulsion will be produced by different available homogenizers to test which equipment is fit to produce small oil droplets and high stability along with other acceptable characteristics to improve the functionality and rheological properties of flaxseed oil emulsion as a primary material to produce encapsulated powder by spray-drying. Characteristics of the encapsulated flaxseed oil including whole physicochemical properties, morphological, and storage tests will be investigated. The feasibility and fortification of a functional food system containing encapsulated flaxseed oil will be carried out. Sensory evaluation of fortified food product, digestion, controlled release and in vitro delivery system of optimum encapsulated flaxseed oil in the food product will be evaluated.