Research student profile: Minh Tri Nhan

Project title

Effects of Genotype and Environment on Form and Functional Properties of Native and Processed Wheat Starch.

Project overview

Multiple interacting factors influence on quality and quantity of starch on wheat grains, including the genetic variability and environment for crop growth, crop management, and processing technology. This project will examine the effect of growing environment and genotype on grain properties. The hypothesis is there will be an interaction of genetics and environment (seasons and locations) to quality of wheat starch. The aims of the project are (i) seeking correlations between differences in form and functional properties of native starches among cultivars grown in different environments and (ii) investigating effects of processing process on starch quality with aspect of food technology and nutrition.

Firstly, the interaction between genotype and environment will influence native starches with a wide range of form and functional properties which are needed to ensure fitness-for-purpose for such a diverse range of end uses such as food products (bakery products, confectionary, sugar syrups, snake foods and etc) and pharmaceutical and non-edible uses (seed coating, paper, bioplastics, textiles and etc).
Secondly, the repeated heating and cooling will affect the pasting properties, gel texture and enzymatic susceptibility of starches due to interactions with other food constituents, especially lipids. The treatments will produce resistant starch which is not degraded rapidly by human digestive enzymes in the upper gut associated with health benefits. Therefore, resistant starch has attracted greater interest amongst both the nutritionists and food industry, due to its contribution to the non-digestible carbohydrate component of the diet and the physiological implications viz., colonic fermentation, post-prandial glycemia, faecal bulking, intestinal transit time and energy value of foods.

The size, shape, form and degree of crystallinity of starch granules and starch molecules are examined using Atomic force microscopy (AFM) , Scanning electron microscopy (SEM); Small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) and Wide-angle x-ray scattering (WAXS). Amylopectin chain distribution is determined by fluorphore-assisted capillary electrophoresis using the Beckman P/ACE System 5010. Biochemical methods using enzymes from Megazyme are carried out to determine differences in amylose and amylopectin content of starch, the enzymatic digestibility of starch granules, molecules and complexes. Pasting properties of the starch and flour samples is analysed using a Rapid Visco Analyser (RVA). The gel strength is measured using a TA-XT2 Texture Analyser.

It is expected to find out correlation between genotypes x environment and form, functional properties of native starch of wheat and be able to determine the change of the pasting properties, gel texture and enzymatic susceptibility of starches from different cultivars and environment under various processing conditions with different temperature and time.

Background

I am an international student from Viet Nam. Since I completed my bachelor of Food Technology with first class honors at Can Tho University (CTU), I have been employed as a lecturer in this University. My master degree in Post Harvest and Food Preservation Engineering was obtained at Catholic University of Leuven (KULeuven), Belgium. Following my M.Sc. degree, I got a grant to research a year about predictive microbiology in KULeuven.

I have been granted for my doctoral study from The University of Sydney World Scholars for tuition fee and from Vietnamese Government scholarship for living cost since March 2009.

I achieved an award for my undergraduate study from Can Tho University. VLIR (Flemish Interuniversity Council) provided a scholarship for my master study in KULeuven, Belgium.

In my master program, I attended a workshop “Construction, Refrigeration Technique, Internal Transport Material, Engineering Saving & Liberalisation, Chain Integration, Preservation Techniques and ICT, Internet & Technologies” organised by the World Food Logistics Organisation (WFLO) and the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouse (IARW) in Belgium.

Publications

  • Nhan Minh, T.; Nguyen Thanh, V. and Nguyen Cong, H. (2008). Effects of pH, temperature, type and concentration of amylase on hydrolysis of red sticky rice, contributed abstract and poster presented at the 1st International Conference on food science and technology Mekong delta, Vietnam.
  • Nhan Minh, T.; Le Minh, C. and Nguyen Cong, C. (2008). Effects of pH and yeast varieties on fermentation of enzymatically hydrolyzed starch and quality of red sticky rice wine, contributed abstract and poster presented at the 1st International Conference on food science and technology Mekong delta, Vietnam.
  • Bernaerts, K.; Gysemans, K.P.M.; Nhan Minh T. and Van Impe J.F. (2005). Optimal
    experiment design for cardinal values estimation: instructions for data
    collection. Journal of Food Microbiology, 100, 153-165.
  • Terefe, N. S.; Nhan, Minh. T.; Van Loey, A. and Hendrickx, M. (2004) Modelling the kinetics of enzyme catalyzed reactions in frozen systems: the pectin methylesterase catalyzed de-methylation of pectin, on Biotechnology progress, 20, 480-490.
  • Bernaerts K.; Nhan Minh, T.; and Van Impe, J.F. (2003). Critical Evaluation of a Nonlinear Model from Predictive Microbiology Using Sensitivity Analysis and Optimal Experimental Design, at the Fourth International Symposium on Mathematical Modeling, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria.
  • Bernaerts, K.; Gysemans, K.; Nhan Minh, T. and Van Impe, J.F. (2003). Optimal experiment design for cardinal values estimation: instructions for data collection, at 4th Symposium Predictive Modeling in Food, Quimper France.

Contact

Email: tri.nhanminh@sydney.edu.au


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