Research interests focus on the conformation-structure-function relationships of plant/marine/bacterial polysaccharides in model systems, and in the presence of proteins, lipids and other co-solutes (e.g., sugars) or bioactive compounds (e.g., antioxidants) in order to develop novel products for the food, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries.
Low and high-solid biomaterials increasingly include a number of proteins and non-starchy polysaccharides to deliver a range of properties such as structure, storage stability, processability and delivery control in a wide range of products. Under various conditions of industrial processing, food ingestion and drug delivery, proteins and polysaccharides exhibit a wide range of conformational properties, which should be understood on fundamental grounds for successful development of added value formulations.
Work utilises molecular understanding of biopolymer interactions and functionality in solutions, gels, composites with a crystalline phase, and rubbery/glassy systems. Modeling based on developing theoretical frameworks from the “sophisticated synthetic-polymer approach”, and in combination with rheological, calorimetric, optical and spectroscopic techniques, unveils the structure-function relationship. Recently, I have proposed a new concept, the network glass transition temperature (Tg), which emphasizes the macromolecular characteristics of a biopolymer network. This is distinct from the well known Tg obtained from DSC and NMR, techniques that offer micromolecular insights into bioglasses.
Technological aspects focus on the following:
- Providing an alternative to gelatin via polysaccharide utilization in confectioneries and ice cream, since the protein is increasingly falling “out of fashion” with consumers and producers alike (BSE scare, vegetarianism, and religious dietary laws of Muslims and Hindus).
- Flavor encapsulation and preservation of bioactive molecules (e.g., antioxidants) in amorphous / glassy protein and polysaccharide matrices of confectioneries and ice cream, or non-alcoholic beverages with a nutraceutical function.
- Development of protein and polysaccharide based capsules and tablets for sustained drug delivery, and fractionation or derivatization of biopolymers for use in oily liquids of cosmetic formulations as skin conditioning agents.
- Improving the eating quality of processed fish products by including in the formulation the right amount and type of soluble dietary fibre.
- Starch granule encapsulation via the formation of a polysaccharide network, and alpha-amylase inhibition by incorporation of green tea extracts (polyphenols) as avenues for glycemic response reduction in bakery products, and oriental foods (e.g., instant rice noodle).
- Extending fundamental understanding of protein/protein, polysaccharide/ polysaccharide and polysaccharide/protein interactions for the development of low-fat dairy products with improved mouthfeel.
- Sugar replacement for the development of confections with reduced caloric content and improved glycemic index. Successful replacement addresses the many different roles of sugar including sweetness, viscosity, bulk, crystallization and vitrification so that taste and texture are every bit as detectable as the original high calories formulation.
- Development of a sensory-evaluation protocol by employing quantitative descriptive tests with a "language" particular to each application, and a trained-assessors panel. This involvement in product development extends to filing patent applications in order to protect the intellectual property and commercial interests of the industrial partner.
Research and scholarly achievements
- Refereed (178)
- Conference (84)
- Books edited (2)
- Book chapters and reviews (13)
- Patents (9)
- Invited lectures & chairing sessions (68)
- Examination of PhD Theses (13)
Awards and distinctions
- Medal of the Royal Society of Chemistry Food Group for 1998; this award is presented for the most meritorious work published in any aspect of food chemistry in the UK by candidates under the age of 36
- Editor of Food Hydrocolloids published by Elsevier, UK; the journal is ranked 5th out of 106 journals with impact factor in the field of Food Science and Technology (I.F.: 3.196)
- Chairman of the 9th International Hydrocolloids Conference held in Singapore on 15th to 19th June 2008
- Member of the Editorial Board of Carbohydrate Polymers published by Elsevier, UK
- Member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Postharvest Technology and Innovation published by Inderscience Publishers, Genève, Switzerland
- “Runner Up” Award and Second Prize in the Open Session of the Institute of Food Science and Technology Annual Conference held in conjunction with the Food Ingredients Europe Exhibition at Earls Court, London 4-6th October 1994
- Outstanding Research Award for the best-published work at the College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman for 2000
- Best poster award at the 9th International Hydrocolloids Conference (15th to 19th June 2008), entitled: “Unexpected phase behaviour of amylose in a high solids environment”
- Best poster award at the 43rd AIFST Convention (25-28 July 2010) in the category “General Science”, entitled: "Utilisation of the concept of glass transition temperature (Tg) to control the kinetics of enzymatic activity in carbohydrate matrices".
- Member of the Board of Directors of the International Food Hydrocolloids Trust
- Chartered Chemist (C Chem) and Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (MRSC)
- Member of the U.K. Institute of Food Science and Technology (MIFST)
- Professional Member of the USA Institute of Food Technologists (MIFT)
PhD supervision projects
- Structural Studies of Biopolymer/Co-solute Interactions in High-Solid Preparations (completed in 2012)
- Thermal and High Pressure Effects on the Structural Properties of Condensed Dairy Based Systems (completed in 2013)
- Fundamental Studies of the Effect of Glass Transition Temperature on Enzymatic Activity in High-Solid Biomaterials (completed in 2013)
- Molecular Understanding of the Gelation and Glass Transition Properties of Milk Protein Matrices for Improved Microencapsulation of Saccharomyces boulardii (completed in 2013)
- High Pressure Processing (HPP) of Whey Protein-Hydrocolloid Mixtures (completed in 2013)
- High Pressure Effects on the Structural Properties of Globular Protein Systems (completed in 2014)
- Molecular Understanding of Functionality and Utilisation of Whey Protein in Novel Product Concepts with Chitosan and Starch (completed in 2014)
- Effect of NaCl on the Glass Transitions of Starch and Cellulose in High-Solid Systems
- Rationalisation of the Kinetics of Water and Lipid-Soluble Vitamins in a High-Solid Pectin Matrix
- Preservation of Essential Fatty Acids Encapsulated in a High-Solid Biopolymer Matrix with Glassy Consistency
- Characterisation of Phenolic Flavours and Development of Sensory Profile in Breakfast Beverages Containing Wheat Bran
- Structural Properties of Dietary Fibre from Wheat Bran in Mixture with Globular Proteins
- High Pressure Effects on the Structural Properties and Morphology of Biopolymer Mixtures
Masters by research supervision projects
- Design, Preparation and Characterisation of Protein-Polysaccharide Composites for Delivery of High-Solid Biomaterials with Improved Structural Properties (completed in 2010)
- Whey Protein/Starch Interactions as Affected by Physicochemical Environment for the Development of Snacks and Breakfast Cereals with Improved Texture and Nutritional Value (completed in 2011)
- Assessment of Proteolytic Activity in UHT treated Raw Milk and Reconstituted Milk Powders (completed in 2011)
- Karl Lang (Laboratory Coordinator)
- Lillian Chuang (Technical Officer)
- 1991, Ph.D. in Biopolymer Chemistry and Functionality, Silsoe College, Cranfield University, UK
- 1988, M.Sc. in Food and Management Science, King’s College, University of London, UK
- 1986, B.Sc. (Hons.) in Chemistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
- 2008, Professor of Food Chemistry, RMIT University, Australia
- 2005-08, Associate Professor and Head of the FST Research Drive, NUS, Singapore
- 1999-04, Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Food Science, SQU, Oman
- 1998-99, Associate Professor and Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies and Research, SQU, Oman
- 1995-98, Senior Lecturer, Cranfield University, Silsoe College, UK
- 1993-95, Lecturer, Cranfield University, Silsoe College, UK
- 1991-93, Research Fellow, Cranfield University, Silsoe College, UK
- Kong, X.,Kasapis, S.,Zhu, P.,Sui, Z.,Bao, J.,Corke, H. (2016). Physicochemical and structural characteristics of starches from Chinese hull-less barley cultivars In: International Journal of Food Science and Technology, 51, 509 - 518
- Timilsena, Y.,Adhikari, R.,Kasapis, S.,Adhikari, B. (2016). Molecular and functional characteristics of purified gum from Australian chia seeds In: Carbohydrate Polymers, 136, 128 - 136
- Panyoyai, N.,Bannikova, A.,Small, D.,Shanks, R.,Kasapis, S. (2016). Diffusion of nicotinic acid in spray-dried capsules of whey protein isolate In: Food Hydrocolloids, 52, 811 - 819
- Alqahtani, N.,Ashton, J.,Katopo, L.,Jones, O.,Kasapis, S. (2016). Effect of oat particle concentration and size distribution on the phase behaviour of mixtures with gelatin In: Journal of Food and Nutrition Research, 4, 69 - 75
- Alqahtani, N.,Ashton, J.,Katopo, L.,Haque, E.,Jones, O.,Kasapis, S. (2016). Effect of storage on the textural profile of insoluble fibre incorporating UHT beverage In: Gums and Stabilisers for the Food Industry 18: Hydrocolloid Functionality for Affordable and Sustainable Global Food Solutions, Royal Society of Chemistry, London, United Kingdom
- Savadkoohi, S.,Kasapis, S. (2016). High pressure effects on the structural functionality of condensed globular-protein matrices In: International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 88, 433 - 442
- Savadkoohi, S.,Bannikova, A.,Kasapis, S. (2016). Structural and molecular properties of condensed globular proteins from high pressure perspectives In: Gums and Stabilisers for the Food Industry 18: Hydrocolloid Functionality for Affordable and Sustainable Global Food Solutions, Royal Society of Chemistry, United Kingdom
- Timilsena, Y.,Adhikari, R.,Kasapis, S.,Adhikari, B. (2016). Physicochemical, thermal and rheological properties of a novel mucilage from chia seed (Salvia Hispanic) In: Gums and Stabilisers for the Food Industry 18: Hydrocolloid Functionality for Affordable and Sustainable Global Food Solutions, Royal Society of Chemistry, United Kingdom
- Panyoyai, N.,Bannikova, A.,Small, D.,Kasapis, S. (2016). Controlled release of water soluble vitamins in high-solid polysaccharides with co-solute In: Gums and Stabilisers for the Food Industry 18: Hydrocolloid Functionality for Affordable and Sustainable Global Food Solutions, Royal Society of Chemistry, United Kingdom
- Paramita, V.,Bannikova, A.,Kasapis, S. (2016). Release mechanism of essential fatty acids in polysaccharide matrices undergoing glass transition In: Gums and Stabilisers for the Food Industry 18: Hydrocolloid Functionality for Affordable and Sustainable Global Food Solutions, Royal Society of Chemistry, United Kingdom
- Insoluble-fibre enriched beverages: Innovation for a healthier Australia. Funded by: ARC Linkage Grant 2016 from (2017 to 2020)
- Understanding the Structure-Function Relationship of Dietary Fibre for Engineering Novel Food Products with Superior Textural Properties and Nutrition. Funded by: ARC Linkage Grant 2013 from (2013 to 2016)
- To develop novel, microbial ambient stable dairy food products with a desirable nutritional profile in relation to elderly age groups. (New formulation strategies in developing functional foods). Funded by: Enterprise Connnect - Researchers in Business pre-2014 from (2013 to 2014)
- New formulation strategies in developing stable emulsions with desirable consistencies. Funded by: Enterprise Connnect - Researchers in Business pre-2014 from (2013 to 2014)
- Advanced characterisation of materials by nuclear magnetic resonance. Administered by The University of Melbourne. Funded by: ARC Linkage Infrastructure Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) Grant from (2011 to 2011)
11 PhD Completions and 3 Masters by Research Completions6 PhD Current Supervisions and 1 Masters by Research Current Supervisions