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Food Chemistry and Technology

Food Chemistry and Technology

The aim of the study programme is to train highly qualified experts capable of independent scientific work based on their high-quality theoretical knowledge and previous experience with independent solutions to partial research problems in the fields of food chemistry and food technology. In particular, during their studies, students will comprehensively expand their theoretical knowledge of chemical, biological, engineering, and economic disciplines. An integral part of work in these fields is the development of new technical (engineering) solutions for technological processes and the acquisition of practical experiences and skills in the fields of management and the methodologies of technological research. During their studies, students in the programme should demonstrate their ability to conduct independent scientific research, based on studying academic literature, including the design of work processes and their implementation in the laboratory as well as the processing of results in the form of a professional scholarly article. An equally important goal of the programme is improving students' language skills. Another goal is to acquire basic managerial skills by being part of teams led by experienced and respected professionals and involvement in the projects that these teams solve. At the same time, doctoral students in the programme will lead a small team of students in bachelor and master degree programmes and submit proposals for scientific research projects to the UCT Prague’s Internal Grant Agency as principle investigators (PIs) of eventual projects.

Careers

Graduates of the programme are fully qualified for leading positions related to the design, development, and optimization of food technologies as well as the management of food operations and, with an eye towards human nutrition needs, the distribution and launching of food products on the market. In their future activities, graduates will be able to assess the impacts of these activities on the environment, and on the treatment of biological waste. Graduates will be qualified to hold managerial positions in research, development, production, control, and design at commercial institutions or state (governmental) administrative bodies. Due to their broad range of expertise, graduates will be prepared not only for professional work in their area of specialization, but also will be able to easily adapt to possible employment in other technological and scientific fields.

Programme Details

Study Language English
Standard study length 4 years
Form of study full-time , combined
Guarantor prof. Ing. Vladimír Filip, CSc.
Place of study Praha
Capacity 15 students
Programme code (national) P0721D210002
Programme Code (internal) AD303
Number of Ph.D. topics 13

Ph.D. topics for study year 2024/25

Analysis of volatile profiles for assessing the quality and safety of processed foods

Granting Departments: Department of Food Preservation
Supervisor: doc. Ing. Helena Čížková, Ph.D.

Annotation


Gas chromatography with mass spectrometric detection in various configurations (one-dimensional, chiral, multidimensional, with olfactometry) will be used to analyse volatile profiles of various raw materials and processed foods. The aim of the thesis will be the evaluation of quality, detection of microbial contamination and identification of causes of sensory defects. The results of targeted and non-targeted analyses obtained by GC / MS will be correlated with the outputs of other laboratory methods (chromatographic, microbiological and sensory analysis). Advanced statistical methods will be used to interpret the results of analyses, considering the influence of raw materials, recipe, production and storage conditions. The project will be will be carried out in cooperation with selected food producers.
Contact supervisor Study place: Department of Food Preservation, FFBT, VŠCHT Praha

The authenticity of honey and other bee products

Granting Departments: Department of Food Preservation
Supervisor: doc. Ing. Helena Čížková, Ph.D.

Annotation


Honey is widespread and the most important bee product. Due to the high price, its quality and authenticity are commonly violated. Frequently, it is the manufacturer's deliberate adulteration (addition of other ingredients to honey) or misleading indication of botanical or geographical origin. The project will be focused on verifying the authenticity of honey on its physicochemical parameters and chemometrics. The botanical origin of honey (floral, honeydew, unifloral) and its geographical origin will be also assessed based on these parameters. The evaluation of beeswax, which can be relatively easily adulterated with paraffins, stearic acid or palmitic acid, will be the second part of the project. This phenomenon can have a negative impact on the health of bee colonies and the chemical composition of honey. Experimental work will be done in cooperation with selected testing laboratories and will implement common and recent methods of food analysis (chromatography and isotopic methods, mass spectrometry, melissopalynology).
Contact supervisor Study place: Department of Food Preservation, FFBT, VŠCHT Praha

Exopolysaccharides producing by lactic acid bacteria: isolation, structure and hydrocolloid properties

Granting Departments: Department of Carbohydrates and Cereals
Supervisor: doc. Mgr. Andrej Sinica, Ph.D.

Annotation


Lactic acid bacteria (LBC) are able to produce exopolysaccharides (EPS) with hydrocolloid properties and prebiotic effects, which is interesting for food industry. The planned dissertation will be focused on the isolation and characterization of EPS from culture media of perspective strains of BMK using suitable spectroscopic (FTIR, Raman, NMR), chromatographic (GC/FID, GC/MS, GPC) and other analytical methods. An integral part of the dissertation will also be the study of the physical properties of EPS obtained using thermal and rheological methods. Cultivation of selected strains of BMK and study of prebiotic activity of EPS will take place in cooperation with the Department of Milk, Fats and Cosmetics of UCT Prague.
Contact supervisor Study place: Department of Carbohydrates and Cereals, FFBT, VŠCHT Praha

Assessment of minor raw materials quality

Granting Departments: Department of Food Preservation
Supervisor: doc. Ing. Aleš Rajchl, Ph.D.

Annotation


Minor raw materials are often neglected, due to low production volume, and sufficient attention is not paid to their quality. This work aims to assess the quality of selected minor raw materials. The work will be also focused on the development of new analytical methods for evaluating the quality of studied materials.
Contact supervisor Study place: Department of Food Preservation, FFBT, VŠCHT Praha

Assessment of shelf-life of fruit a vegetable products

Granting Departments: Department of Food Preservation
Supervisor: doc. Ing. Aleš Rajchl, Ph.D.

Annotation


The PhD thesis will focus on the development of new approaches for evaluating the shelf-life of fruit and vegetable products. Factors influencing the shelf-life of fruit and vegetable products will be evaluated. The suitability of the application of accelerated storage tests for shelf-life estimation will be assessed.
Contact supervisor Study place: Department of Food Preservation, FFBT, VŠCHT Praha

Characterization of natural raw materials and products by vibrational spectroscopic methods

Granting Departments: Department of Carbohydrates and Cereals
Supervisor: doc. Mgr. Andrej Sinica, Ph.D.

Annotation


Vibration spectroscopic methods in combination with multivariate analysis will be used to characterize sets of model samples of raw materials of various origins, foodstuff, their chemical components (polysaccharides) or other products. The aim of the work will be to develop a procedure for sorting and evaluating the composition and quality of food raw materials and products using these methods including preparative approaches and sample preparations. The conclusions of vibrational spectroscopy will be substantiated and compared with the results obtained by common analytical methods.
Contact supervisor Study place: Department of Carbohydrates and Cereals, FFBT, VŠCHT Praha

Starch nanoparticles – preparation and uses

Granting Departments: Department of Carbohydrates and Cereals
Supervisor: doc. Ing. Evžen Šárka, CSc.

Annotation


Starch-based nanoparticles, which are extensively investigated nowadays, may be used as fillers and reinforcing agents in polymer composites, carriers for drug delivery, barrier coating materials, and stabilizers in oil-in-water emulsions. The addition of starch nanocrystals from different botanical origin to biodegradable films of waxy starch has improved barrier and mechanical properties of the resulting materials. The thesis is focused on the preparation of starch nanoparticles and their potential applications.
Contact supervisor Study place: Department of Carbohydrates and Cereals, FFBT, VŠCHT Praha

Fruiting bodies of wood fungi as the source of biologically active polysaccharides and triterpenoids

Granting Departments: Department of Carbohydrates and Cereals
Supervisor: doc. Mgr. Andrej Sinica, Ph.D.

Annotation


The work will focus on the study of wood polysaccharides interesting in terms of the content of biologically active compounds. These are mainly cell wall polysaccharides and triterpenoids. The aim of the work will be the isolation and purification of low and high molecular fractions as well as the characterization of the structure and composition of isolated compounds. Furthermore, the physical properties and biological activities of selected products will be monitored.
Contact supervisor Study place: Department of Carbohydrates and Cereals, FFBT, VŠCHT Praha

Algal polysaccharides: isolation, structural analysis, biological activities and application

Granting Departments: Department of Carbohydrates and Cereals
Supervisor: doc. Mgr. Andrej Sinica, Ph.D.

Annotation


The cultivation of algae produces biomass, which is a potential source of biologically active substances such as structural and storage polysaccharides, proteins, polyphenols, lipids, carotenoids, etc. The planned dissertation work will focus on the isolation and characterization of structural polysaccharides and possibly other biologically active algal metabolites using appropriate spectroscopic (FTIR, Raman, NMR), chromatographic (GC/FID, GC/MS, GPC, SEC) and other separation methods. Anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, anticancer and other biological activities of the selected polysaccharides will be tested in collaboration with the Institute of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Chemical Technology, Prague. An integral part of the dissertation will be the proposal for the use of the obtained polysaccharides for their application in the form of thin films and their characterization by FTIR, DSC and tensile strength determination.
Contact supervisor Study place: Department of Carbohydrates and Cereals, FFBT, VŠCHT Praha

Structure and properties of galactomannans from legumes and non-traditional plant sources

Granting Departments: Department of Carbohydrates and Cereals
Supervisor: doc. Mgr. Andrej Sinica, Ph.D.

Annotation


The work will focus on the study of galactomannans from the endosperm of legume seeds and from non-traditional plant sources of interest in terms of use in the food industry and other fields. The aim of the work will be the isolation and purification of galactomannans as well as the characterization of their composition, degree of branching and molecular weight using suitable spectroscopic and separation methods. Furthermore, the physical properties of these polysaccharides and the possibilities of their use for the formation of films and gels in combination with other hydrocolloids will be studied.
Contact supervisor Study place: Department of Carbohydrates and Cereals, FFBT, VŠCHT Praha

Properties of non-starter lactic acid bacteria

Granting Departments: Department of Dairy, Fat and Cosmetics
Supervisor: doc. Ing. Šárka Horáčková, CSc.

Annotation


In the production and cheese ripening, a wide consortium of microorganisms is used, the most important of which are lactic acid bacteria (LAB). These are used both as starter and adjunct cultures and, on the other hand, they enter the process as so-called non-starter lactic acid bacteria (NSLAB), which mainly include facultatively heterofermentative lactobacilli and enterococci. The influence of these bacteria is strain specific and depended on technological process and interactions with other microorganisms present in cheese. From the NSLAB group, new strains with significant functional properties can be selected and their potential as adjunct cultures with a positive effect on the ripening of the given types of cheese can be used. On the other hand, they can cause defects in cheese (gas production, production of biogenic amines) or be a reservoir of transferable antibiotic (Atb) resistance genes. Monitoring the transmission of Atb resistance genes in the food chain is one of the current trends in food safety control. This issue is described in more detail in defined cultures of LAB or in probiotic strains, but little data is known about NSLAB resistance. The aim of the PhD thesis will be the isolation and characterization of NSLAB strains from raw milk, cheeses made from raw and pasteurized milk in terms of functional (technologically important, protective and probiotic) characteristics, Atb resistance and other. The risk of NSLAB as a potential reservoir of Atb resistance genes will be assessed. Suitable strains of LAB with documented properties will be deposited in the Czech Collection of Dairy Microorganisms Laktoflora and their activity will be verified in experimental cheese productions.
Contact supervisor Study place: Department of Dairy, Fat and Cosmetics, FFBT, VŠCHT Praha

The effect of the interaction of plant and milk proteins on the properties of hybrid alternatives to dairy products.

Granting Departments: Department of Dairy, Fat and Cosmetics
Supervisor: doc. Ing. Jiří Štětina, CSc.

Annotation


Currently, the new trend in food consumption is to move away from animal products. However, plant-based alternatives to dairy products often have unsatisfactory nutritional and sensory properties. Therefore, for many consumers, so-called hybrid foods, which are made up of animal and plant components in an appropriate proportion with the aim of optimising the nutritional and sensory value of the product, may be more acceptable. In the work, the influence of interactions of plant and milk proteins on the technological properties of the mixed raw material, such as the emulsification properties, gel formation, and colloidal stability or texture of the hybrid product, will be monitored. The findings will be used to design a technology for a hybrid cheese alternative.
Contact supervisor Study place: Department of Dairy, Fat and Cosmetics, FFBT, VŠCHT Praha

Use of physicochemical separation methods for purification of sugar juices

Granting Departments: Department of Carbohydrates and Cereals
Supervisor: doc. Ing. Evžen Šárka, CSc.

Annotation


The current separation methods used in the purification of sugar juices are under pressure to reduce costs and the ecological burden, caused mainly by the extraction, transport and processing of the necessary raw material – limestone. Currently, new separation methods and technological procedures based on the principles of recycling used materials are being designed and put into practice. The dissertation work will focus on the issue of new technological procedures and separation methods and their evaluation (economic, ecological). Relationships and dependencies will be investigated in terms of quality and efficiency of separation of organic and inorganic compounds from sugar juices.
Contact supervisor Study place: Department of Carbohydrates and Cereals, FFBT, VŠCHT Praha
Updated: 25.3.2022 16:21, Author: Jan Kříž

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