Food scientist wins award for research excellence

A food scientist from the University of Nottingham has won a prestigious award from the Royal Society of Chemistry in recognition of her research achievements.

Dr Joanne Gould was presented with the RSC’s Food Group Junior Medal, less than two years since becoming an Assistant Professor.

Dr Gould started at the University of Nottingham to study BSc Food Science and Nutrition in 2006. Following placements in new product development with Northern Foods and then completing a PhD sponsored by Nestle Jo became a Research Fellow, continuing her research into natural particulate emulsifiers in the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Food. She was appointed as an Assistant Professor in Food Science at the University of Nottingham in September 2017. She said: “I had always been into cooking but wanted to really understand the science behind food products which is why I came to Nottingham. I would never have dreamt that I could have become a member of academic staff with an office alongside those that taught me during my undergraduate degree - a highlight that has not lost its shine yet - nearly 18 months on!”

Sustainable research

Her current research seeks to explore ways of incorporating sustainable ingredients, particularly plant and insect proteins into food microstructures. A strong focus is on the study of the structure and function relationship of these new proteins as well as the effect of processing and presence of other ingredients on that relationship. Current projects study the thermomechanical extrusion of future food materials, the manufacture and consumer acceptance of insect protein gels and insect protein emulsions and foams.

Jo continues: “I’m delighted to be receiving this award, I feel incredibly lucky to have been given so many opportunities to further my career in Food Sciences and be part of a team that is working towards finding more sustainable food sources to secure future generations. My progression and this award is testament to the great support I’ve been given by the Food Sciences team.”

The Food Group is one of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Interest Groups and aims to promote the role of chemistry in food and enable transfer and sharing of information and networking between academia and the food industry. This includes analytical, biochemical, chemical, physical, nutritional and toxicological aspects of food and food ingredients and the composition and relationships between structure and functionality throughout the entire food chain in a way to enhance sustainability and food and nutrition security

Professor Tim Foster said: “Jo has been an integral part of the life of the department for many years, and it has been a joy to see her progress to where she is now. She is an inspiration to others, and is driven by a keen desire to understand the fundamentals of food material science, which she has taken to new heights with the technological developments that will serve the future of food provision. She is fully deserving of this award, and will be an excellent ambassador for the RSC”.