Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Benefits of okra plant: World interest in research work to improve food

Date:
July 4, 2014
Source:
University of Huddersfield
Summary:
New research could help to improve the quality of some of the most popular emulsion-based food products – such as butter, mayonnaise, yoghurt and fruit drinks -- and this work is gaining an international profile. "The purpose is to improve the quality of the product -- its consistency, texture, how it breaks in the mouth, and its shelf-life," says one researcher.

Katerina Alba’s research could help to improve the quality of some of the most popular emulsion-based food products.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Huddersfield

Estonian-born Katerina Alba's research at the University of Huddersfield could help to improve the quality of some of the most popular emulsion-based food products -- such as butter, mayonnaise, yoghurt and fruit drinks -- and she is starting to gain an international profile for her work.

Katerina gained her MSc degree in nutrition and food science at the University and now she has embarked on research for a PhD. Working with her supervisor, Dr Vassilis Kontogiorgos, she is investigating the potential of carbohydrates extracted from the pods of the okra plant. They can be introduced into foodstuffs that are categorised as food emulsions.

"The purpose is to improve the quality of the product -- its consistency, texture, how it breaks in the mouth, and its shelf-life," says Katerina, aged 25.

She gained a first food science degree in her native Estonia before relocating to the University of Huddersfield for Master's and now doctoral study. Already she has published articles in Food Research International and Food Hydrocolloids, with one forthcoming in the journal of Carbohydrate Polymers. And she recently presented two papers at the 12th International Hydrocolloids Conference, a global gather of more than 300 scientists in Taiwan.

A new source of natural hydrocolloids

Katerina received an A.J. Banks Travel Bursary, awarded by the international science forum SCI, which enabled her to attend the conference, where her presentations created heightened interest in the potential of okra, which grows in Africa and India.

"Both presentations raised scientific interest in the development of the okra plant as a new source of natural hydrocolloids, and there were some valuable comments from well-known researchers following the talks," says Katerina.

"Attending the conference gave me the opportunity to promote my research to an international audience of scientists and industry representatives and raise my profile in the scientific community."

At the University of Huddersfield there is an important inter-disciplinary dimension to her work, because there is a research collaboration with the pharmacy department, probing the effects of okra polysaccharides in drug delivery systems and encapsulation of nutrients.

Katerina set her sights on PhD work while she was still studying for her first degree in Estonia and she aims to develop a research career. At the University of Huddersfield she uses techniques and technology such as gas chromatography, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, particle-size measurements and rheology and she has now been furnished with new devices known as a high-pressure homogeniser and sonicator for the preparation of emulsions stabilized with okra polysaccharides.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Huddersfield. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Muhammad U. Ghori, Katerina Alba, Alan M. Smith, Barbara R. Conway, Vassilis Kontogiorgos. Okra extracts in pharmaceutical and food applications. Food Hydrocolloids, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.foodhyd.2014.04.024

Cite This Page:

University of Huddersfield. "Benefits of okra plant: World interest in research work to improve food." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140704134638.htm>.
University of Huddersfield. (2014, July 4). Benefits of okra plant: World interest in research work to improve food. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 15, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140704134638.htm
University of Huddersfield. "Benefits of okra plant: World interest in research work to improve food." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140704134638.htm (accessed September 15, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, September 15, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Conservationists Face Uphill PR Battle With New Shark Rules

Conservationists Face Uphill PR Battle With New Shark Rules

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) — New conservation measures for shark fishing face an uphill PR battle in the fight to slow shark extinction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) — A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lion Cubs the Pride of San Diego Zoo

Lion Cubs the Pride of San Diego Zoo

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 13, 2014) — Roars of excitement as a proud lioness shows off her four cubs at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) — In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins