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Structuring plant protein with other components and the impact on sensory perception

A postgraduate research opportunity at the University of Otago.


Close date
Wednesday, 1 December 2021
Academic background
Host campus
Food Science
Professor Indrawati Oey, Dr Esther Kim


Inter-institutional PhD Opportunity.

Structuring plant protein with other components and the impact on sensory perception.

This PhD project is part of Riddet Institute Center of Research Excellence research programme funded by the New Zealand Tertiary Education Commission.

The aim of this PhD project is to study the impact of structuring plant protein with other components such as fiber, carbohydrate and lipid on sensory perception.

Various food structure using plant-based ingredients will be created using food processing (e.g. 3D printing, extrusion, electrospinning) and its effects on mechanical properties, physicochemical properties (e.g. cooking loss) and sensory perception will be investigated.

This project will explore novel possibilities of creating unique sensory properties other than mimicking the sensory experience of animal-based products such as meat muscle and comminuted meat products (e.g. burgers, sausages, nuggets). Ideally, this novel structure could result in unique sensory experience accepted by consumers.


Equivalent of a New Zealand 1st class Honours degree or a MSc degree (both with a significant research component) in either food engineering, food science and technology, food physics, materials engineering or similar disciplines, food chemistry, and sensory science/consumer perception. The successful applicant will be enrolled at the University of Otago, but the project will be conducted across the University of Otago and Plant and Food Research (Lincoln).

Personal attributes and behaviours

  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Good communication skills in both the academic and industrial environments
  • Demonstrated ability to undertake self-directed research activities
  • Strong interest in interdisciplinary scientific work and interest in both theoretical and practical work
  • An understanding of food science and technology, food process engineering and sensory science or consumer perception

Host Institution

University of Otago and Plant and Food Research


Lincoln and Dunedin, New Zealand


Indrawati Oey
Tel   +64 21 279 8735