PhD on wax-based oleogels based on rice bran oil

Diem Chi Doan, who is affiliated with Laboratory of Food Technology and Engineering (FTE), submitted her PhD. The title of the dissertation is 'Structure-function relationships of wax-based oleogels prepared in rice bran oil', promotors are Prof. dr. ir. Koen Dewettinck and Dr. ir. Tom Rimaux (Vandemoortele). The public defence will take place on Wednesday March 29th, 2017.

Abstract of the doctoral research

Oleogelation has emerged as a new and effective strategy to structure liquid oils into soft and solid-like systems (oleogels), which can be exploited as alternatives for trans- and/or saturated fats in lipid-based food products. Among various structurants for oil gelation, natural waxes have shown their effectiveness in oil binding and oil structuring at a concentration as low as 0.5 %wt. In this PhD research, rice bran oil was used as the oil model due to its low content of saturated fatty acids (≈ 20 %wt) and high amounts of nutritional substances like gamma-oryzanol, squalene and tocotrienol. Liquid rice bran oil was structured into gel-like systems successfully using natural waxes, including beeswax, berry wax, candelilla wax, carnauba Brazilian wax, carnauba wild wax, rice bran wax and sunflower wax. The structure-function properties of these waxbased oleogels were fundamentally evaluated to get a deeper insight into their crystallization and gelation behavior. Sunflower wax exhibited the strongest gelling ability in rice bran oil, followed by berry wax, candelilla wax, beeswax, carnauba wax and rice bran wax. The difference in crystallization and gelling properties of these natural waxes in rice bran oil was explained using the chemical composition in each wax. Importantly, the successful wax-based oleogels were employed to produce low-saturated fat palm-based confectionary, shortening and margarine products. Our research provides outstanding information relating to food structuring, lipid science and technology both in academic and industry field.

Brief Curriculum Vitae

Doan Diem Chi was born in June 23rd, 1985 in Tien Giang, Vietnam. She obtained a Bachelor and Master in Food Technology in 2008 and in 2010, respectively, in Can Tho University, Vietnam. Afterwards, she has been working as a scientific researcher at Department of Food Technology, Can Tho University, Vietnam. From August in 2011 to December in 2011, she was granted a VLIR-OUS fellowship to follow the International Training Program in Food Safety, Quality Assurance Systems and Risk Analysis at Ghent University, Belgium. In June 2013, she was granted a three-year prestigious scholarship from Erasmus Mundus Action II, under the financial support of European Commission to do a PhD research at Laboratory of Food Technology and Engineering, Ghent University. She was also granted a BOF finalizing PhD scholarship in 6 months, under the financial support of Ghent University, Belgium. Her PhD research entitled “Structure-function relationships of wax-based oleogels prepared in rice bran oil” was conducted under the main supervision of Prof. dr. ir. Koen Dewettinck and the cosupervision of Dr. Ashok R. Patel and Dr. Tom Rimaux (Vandemoortele Center for Lipid Science and Technology). During her PhD research, she supervised several master thesis and exchange students, participated in scientific seminars and social activities organized by Laboratory of Food Technology and Engineering. In 3.5 years, she achieved a PhD dissertation with six peerreviewed publications as first author, and numerous presentations at international conferences.

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