Prof R.J. (Dick) FitzGerald


Keywords: food proteins bioactive peptides functional foods

R.J. (Dick) FitzGerald is a professor at the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Limerick delivering undergraduate modules in food chemistry, food processing and milk protein ingredients. His health related research interests include the enzymatic generation of biofunctional hydrolysates from food proteins (i.e., from dairy, plant, cereal, fish and algal sources). The Proteins and Peptides Research Group, which je leads, are interested in bioactive peptides which beneficially modulate conditions associated with cardiovascular health, type 2 diabetes, satiety, mineral binding and allergy. He is Principal Investigator (PI)/partner at UL on the following projects:

  • Extraction and validation of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients from brewer’s spent grain (2013 -2016) DAFM – FIRM programme.
  • Profiling and optimising chemical composition of red sea vegetables for enhanced bioactive yields (2013 -2016) DAFM – FIRM programme.
  • Marine sourced peptides for glycaemic management (2013-2016) DAFM – FIRM programme.
  •  Mining marine materials for novel functional ingredients that modulate the immune response for benefit in inflammation and allergy (2014-2018) DAFM – FIRM programme.
  • Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients for health enhancement in the older population (2013-2016) DAFM – FIRM programme.
  • Food for Health Ireland (FHI, 2013-2018) Enterprise Ireland-Dairy Industry.
  • Dairy Processing Technology Centre (DPTC, 2014 – 2018) Enterprise Ireland-Dairy Industry.


  • Norris, R., O’Keeffe, M. B., Poyarkov, A., & FitzGerald, R. J. (2015). Peptide identification and angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory activity in prolyl endoproteinase digests of bovine α s-casein. Food Chemistry (in press).
  • Guo, L., Harnedy, P.A., O’Keeffe, M.B., Zhang, L., Li, B., Hou, H., FitzGerald, R.J. (2015). Fractionation and identification of Alaska pollock skin collagen-derived mineral chelating peptides. Food Chemistry. 173, 536-542.
  • Power-Grant, O., Bruen, C., Brennan, L., Giblin, L., Jakeman, P., & FitzGerald, R. (2015). In vitro bioactive properties of intact and enzymatically hydrolysed whey protein: targeting the enteroinsular axis. Food & Function. 6, 972-980.
  • Harnedy, P. A., O’Keeffe, M. B. & FitzGerald, R. J. (2015). Purification and identification of dipeptidyl peptidase (DPP) IV inhibitory peptides from the macroalga Palmaria palmata. Food Chemistry, 172, 400-406.
  • O’Keeffe and FitzGerald, R.J. (2015).Identification of short peptide sequences in complex milk protein hydrolysates. Food Chemistry. 184, 140-146.
  • Nongonierma, A. B. & FitzGerald, R. J. (2014). An in silico model to predict the potential of dietary proteins as sources of dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP-IV) inhibitory peptides. Food Chemistry, 165, 489–498.
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