article

New flavour research is tasty addition to Chinese partnership

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

An international team of Food Scientists have been awarded funding to study the flavour of one of China’s most valuable marine shellfish that will help with the development of new products that appeal to consumers.

The project is a collaboration between the Flavour Group at the University of Nottingham and aquatic scientists at Dalian Polytechnic University. Funding has been awarded by the National Natural Science Foundation to study the flavour of Abalone, one of China’s most highly valued marine shellfish.

Professor Fisk and Dr Ni Yang during research visit to the National Engineering Research Center of Seafood. (Left to Right: Professor Xiuping Dong, Vice Dean for Research; Professor Ming Du, Dean; Professor Fisk; Professor Beiwei Zhu; Dr Ni Yang; Mr Mingfeng Li, Vice Dean for Administration; Dr Lei Qin)

The research team will be looking into how the flavour of Abalone is connected to the sense of smell and what reactions take place in the sensory system to create certain taste perceptions of Abalone. The flavour of Abalone is a complex mix of many volatile and non-volatile compounds and the scientists will examine how each of these molecules interact with proteins in our nose and how these interactions between aroma molecules and olfactory receptor proteins result in aroma, will be used to decipher and code the flavour of Abalone.

Abalone is a valuable and highly prized seafood and aroma is one of the most important quality factors of food.With the rapid development of the modern food industry in China and Asia promoting the improvement of people’s living standards, consumers demand high quality food that not only has nutritional value but also health benefits, high quality texture and flavour. This project will directly contribute towards a greater fundamental understanding of how food processing can be used to generate high quality food products and apply cutting-edge molecular modelling approaches to explain the chemosensory properties of these unique high value foods, providing new ideas and strategies for the study of flavour formation and explain the mechanisms of aroma perception in complex food systems.

Professor of Flavour Chemistry Ian Fisk is leading the project in Nottingham and will be working with Dr Lei Qin who is the Principle Investigator at Dalian Polytechnic University and is engaged in aquatic product processing theory and technology at the National Engineering Research Centre of Seafood.

The project will study the fundamental aroma formation mechanisms and apply a unique olfactory coding mechanism to the process of flavour generation in abalone. The complex relationship between different aroma compounds, generated by different thermal reaction processes, and their interaction with a range of multi-target olfactory receptors will also be explained using homologous modelling and molecular docking.

This project is unique in that it offers both a fundamental insight into the basic mechanisms of flavour generation and flavour perception, but it also uses advanced molecular modelling to predict how these complex mixes of highly unstable volatile compounds interact transiently at a molecular level with receptors in the nasal mucosa.
Professor Ian Fisk

This project builds on the existing partnership with Professor Beiwei Zhu, Academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering, Director of National Engineering Research Centre of Seafood and is a new milestone for the partnership between the University of Nottingham and Dalian Polytechnic University.

Professor Beiwei Zhu, Academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering said: “This is a key international relationship for both the University and the region. The topic is of utmost national importance and through the pioneering work of Dr Qin and Professor Fisk, we will continue to build this relationship in many future years.”

 

Professor Fisk receiving Visiting Professor letter from Professor Ming Du, Dean of the School of Food Science and Technology

Story credits

More information is available from Professor Ian Fisk on ian.fisk@nottingham.ac.uk or Jane Icke, Media Relations Manager for the Faculty of Science at the University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 951 5751 or jane.icke@nottingham.ac.uk

Jane Icke - Media Relations Manager Science
Email: jane.icke@nottingham.ac.uk
Phone: 0115 7486462
Location:

Our academics can now be interviewed for broadcast via our Media Hub, which offers a Quicklink fixed camera and ISDN line facilities at Jubilee campus. For further information please contact a member of the Press Office on +44 (0)115 951 5798, email  pressoffice@nottingham.ac.uk

For up to the minute media alerts, follow us on Twitter

Notes to editors:

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. Ranked 103rd out of more than 1,000 institutions globally and 18th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings 2022, the University’s state-of-the-art facilities and inclusive and disability sport provision is reflected in its crowning as The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021 Sports University of the Year. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally. Alongside Nottingham Trent University, we lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, a pioneering collaboration which brings together the combined strength and civic missions of Nottingham’s two world-class universities and is working with local communities and partners to aid recovery and renewal following the COVID-19 pandemic.

More news…

Media Relations - External Relations

The University of Nottingham
C Floor, Pope Building (Room C4)
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5798
email: pressoffice@nottingham.ac.uk