Flavour research group
Nachos A
Nacchiappan Annamalai

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Nacchiappan is an MRes student working on the perception of seasoning added in food, and designing seasoning structures to allow a reduction in the quantity of seasoning used while not compromising on taste.

Nacchiappan obtained a first-class BTech in Chemical Engineering at Anna University in India, where he carried out two projects - one exploring the antioxidant activity of polyphenols in various edibles, and the other exploring efficient ways to treat wastewater from the dairy industry.

Katherine completed her undergraduate research project with the Flavour Group.  During this five-month project, she used GC-MS to compare aroma compound formation through the Maillard reaction of different sugars (d-psicose). This inspired her to continue studying within the Flavour group and her PhD research involves understanding both the product and consumer, with the fundamental aim of reducing sodium within individual diets. Using a multi-disciplinary approach, Katherine is interested in determining ‘design rules’ for novel salt particulates and crisp snack structure.

Katherine has also played an integral role in representing the food science postgraduate research community within the University. Alongside her PhD, she manages the Twitter account for the International Journal of Food Science and Technology.

Gabby started her joint PhD between the University of Nottingham (UK) and University of Adelaide (Australia) in 2018. Her supervisor is Dr Rebecca Ford, and she is co-supervised by Professor Ian Fisk in the Flavour Group. Gabby's project is in collaboration with Unilever and aims to understand what is driving sensory differences in chocolate across different population groups. Before joining the University of Nottingham, Gabby worked as a New Product Development technologist in the confectionery industry, and completed her Food Science degree at the University of Reading.

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Aidan Kirkwood

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Aidan is a first-year PhD student within the Flavour group. He is researching the aroma of high-value Chinese herbal extracts and how different post-harvesting, processing and storage factors affect their flavour attributes. The project is an international collaboration with China (funded by GoldenKeys High-Tech Materials Co., Ltd), and will have a positive impact on the local economy through identifying the best plant extracts for commercial application.

Aidan obtained a BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Science at Edinburgh Napier University and an MRes in Mechanistic Molecular Toxicology at the University of Birmingham. Before joining the University of Nottingham, Aidan worked at Mondelez International. His passions are flavour and fragrance chemistry, and olfaction.

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Sophie Lester

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Sophie’s research career began during her undergraduate degree in Human Nutrition (BSc), where she investigated the impact of anthocyanins on cognitive function. She began her PhD with the University of Nottingham in 2016, in collaboration with Danone Nutricia Research. Her research is concerned with the palatability of high-protein foods for the ageing population. Older adults have higher protein needs but suitable foods can often be limited by their palatability and/or age-related sensory changes in smell and taste. She hopes that her work will inspire both the innovation of new products in the food industry, and also clinical practice, for those older adults who are at risk of becoming undernourished. Her favourite memories of her PhD work have been working with wonderful participants in her studies and also travelling internationally to present her work.

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Sam Riley

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After completing his undergraduate degree in Plant Sciences (BSc) at the University of Nottingham, Sam stayed on in 2018 to pursue his PhD as part of the University of Nottingham (UK) and University of Adelaide (Australia) Joint Doctoral Training programme. His research is concerned with the detoxification of a highly drought tolerant leguminous crop, Vetch, through post-harvest food processing and repurposing the seed to that of a high protein human food source. Working between two global institutions has allowed him to develop a wide net of research expertise, encompassing flavour chemistry, microbiology and human neuronal cell culture. More information about the International partnership can be found at www.nottingham.ac.uk/global/partnerships/partnership-pages/adelaide.aspx

Luqman’s research focuses on using an imaging technique, Near-infrared Spectroscopy (NIR), combined with a broad spectral camera to predict protein content of wheat. He intends to apply this technique to screen and identify wheat varieties with high protein content. Before joining the University of Nottingham, Luqman worked as a research assistant at Quaid-i-Azam University from where he also graduated with ‘MPhil in Molecular Plant Breeding & Genetics’. During his stay there, he applied Genome-wide Association Study (GWAS) models to identify genetic variants for phosphorus utilisation efficiency, potassium use efficiency, cadmium & nickel uptake and stay green trait in wheat. 

Svenja completed her Bachelor and Master’s studies in Chemical Engineering at the Technical University of Berlin with study visits in Poland, Italy, Iran and Jordan. During her Bachelor thesis, she examined the potential of microemulsions as reaction systems for a hydroxycarbonylation of 1-dodecene, as part of the collaborative research project InPROMPT. Her Masters thesis (in cooperation with pharmaceutical and life science company Bayer) focused on a continuous, in-line sterilization of fermentation media. In 2020, Svenja joined the joint University of Adelaide (Australia)/ University of Nottingham PhD programme, with the goal of developing a microfluidic device that enables production of customized designer-beverages in space, thereby improving health and well-being during space missions.

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Katy Su (Completed 2021)

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Katy completed a PhD (in collaboration with Nestle) researching innovative strategies to reduce sugar in foods. Her research has improved our understanding of how changes in the microstructure of foods affect flavour release and perception."I am thankful for the opportunities to travel to the other side of the world as part of the PhD, to present my research at an international conference in Australia and attend a food safety internship in Japan! I have had a fantastic four years with the food flavour group, lots of fun memories and exciting research."

Eveline van Honk
Eveline van Honk

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Eveline started her joint PhD between the University of Nottingham and the University of Adelaide in 2021. Her research focuses on predicting sensory perception from the flavour profile of food products. After completing her BSc in Food Technology at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, Eveline pursued a European Masters in Food Studies, during which she got to study at different Universities across Europe and conduct her Master thesis internship at Nestlé Confectionery in the UK.

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George Warne

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George is a second year PhD student, who is developing non thermal processing technologies to improve the flavour and quality of long shelf-life foods for use in extreme environments such as space. This is a joint PhD project with the University of Adelaide to improve foods for use in space travel.

George obtained a first-class BSc (Hons) in Food Science and Technology from Cardiff Metropolitan University and a merited MSc in Applied Biomolecular Technology at the University of Nottingham. George has also worked as a freelance editor of scientific journal papers and worked on macro codes for image editing and GCMS data processing.

Flavour Research Group

The University of Nottingham
Division of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics
Sutton Bonington Campus
Loughborough, LE12 5RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 6132
email: jennifer.drury@nottingham.ac.uk