University of Nottingham Biosciences Campus (Sutton Bonington)

Title: Redesigning foods and supplements specifically for older adults: a flavour chemistry and nutrition approach in partnership with Danone/Nutricia

Subject Area: Food Science/Nutrition Biosciences

Deadline 1 March 2016


Supervisor: Dr Ian Fisk

Secondary Supervisor: Dr Moira Taylor

Start date: 1 April 2016, later start date will be acceptable on request (e.g, students graduating in summer 2016).

Qualifications: B.Sc Hons (1st or 2:1) in Food Science/Nutrition/Food Technology or equivalent subject area. Due to the nature of funding, applications are welcome from United Kingdom and European Union students only.

Stipend: The successful candidate will receive a tax-free stipend of circa £16,000 pa.

This PhD studentship is funded by Danone Nutricia Research and located at the University of Nottingham Biosciences Campus (Sutton Bonington). The Project will be supervised by Dr Ian Fisk, Associate Professor of Flavour Chemistry (Food Science), Dr Moira Taylor, Associate Professor of Human Nutrition (Dietetics), Dr Nicole Yang, (Laboratory Manager), and an academic representative from Sensory Science (Food Science).

The growing number of older adults means there is an increased role for food and nutrition in maintaining health and well-being. Dietary choices, intake and nutritional status are vital contributors to health in older adults. However, ageing is associated with impairments of sensory perception (vision, hearing, taste, smell and perceiving texture). Changes in sensory perception can affect the enjoyment of food and dietary choices and lead to the risk of malnutrition. The UK National Health Service estimated in 2014 that  ~3 million people were malnourished, and  one in three people admitted to hospital or care homes are malnourished or at risk of malnourishment.

For a food to be consumed and enjoyed, aroma and taste compounds are typically dissolved in saliva during consumption, the aroma and taste active compounds are then transferred to either the nose or mouth and interact with a range of receptors. Changes in oral physiology with ageing will impact the chemistry and physics that occur in the mouth and will change a person’s ability to enjoy food.

This project will model (in healthy adults) changes in oral physiology (saliva flow rate, oral geometry, chew rate and chew pattern) with changes that occur during ageing to explain the impact of natural ageing processes on flavour delivery in mouth. Findings will be validated in older adults using a remote monitoring system to be developed in the project (Tenax trapping).

At Danone Nutricia Research we create formulas that provide clinically substantiated health benefits to vulnerable consumers, infants, toddlers, elderly and patients. Our products are marketed under the brand names Nutricia, Milupa and SHS, amongst others. Capitalising on international pre-clinical and clinical collaborations, we aim to identify new nutritional intervention opportunities and develop innovative products. Nutricia Danone has R&D facilities worldwide, with centres in The Netherlands, France, and UK .

University of Nottingham (UoN) is a research active Russell Group University. The School of Biosciences is one of the lead research groups (REF 2015) focussing on the sustainable provision of a safe and secure supply of nutritious food.  UoN was awarded the Queens Anniversary Prize in recognition of this cutting-edge research.

If you are interested in applying please send a two page CV to by 1 March 2016.

Further information can be found at:

Keyword Search
Food Science; Aroma; Food Chemistry; Flavour Chemistry; PhD; Sensory Science; Nutrition


Posted 24.02.16

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