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Prof. Richard Fitzgerald



Education: BSc in Biochemistry (National University of Ireland)PhD protein chemistry/enzymology (National University of Ireland) Employment history:

  • Research Fellow - Food Science Department, North Carolina State University, USA & at the Food Biotechnology Centre, University College, Cork.
  • Senior Research Officer - Chemistry Department, Teagasc, Moorepark.
  • Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor - Department of Life Sciences, University of Limerick.
  • Professor (personal chair) of Food Protein-Derived Bioactive Peptides - Department of Biological Sciences, University of Limerick

Research interests:

  • Food protein chemistry/biochemistry.
  • Food protein ingredients (extraction of proteins from different sources - animal, plant and marine proteins).
  • Generation and characterisation of enzymatic hydrolysates of food proteins using microbial, mammalian and plant derived food-grade proteinase and peptidase preparations.
  • Characterisation of the functional properties of food proteins and their enzymatic hydrolysates, e.g., solubility, heat stability, emulsification, foaming, turbidity, viscosity properties.
  • Bioactive peptides/nutraceuticals, i.e., enzymatic generation, characterisation and identification (LC-MS/MS) of bioactive peptides having blood pressure reducing, serum glucose regulation, antioxidant, immune-modulatory, mineral binding, etc, properties.
  • LC-MS/MS-based characterisation of the hydrolytic specificity of different enzyme activities on purified food protein substrates.
  • Enzymatic cross-linking (using transglutaminase) of food proteins and their hydrolysates.
  • Role of microbial and mammalian exopeptidases in food protein hydrolysate debittering.

Research Interests

Food protein ingredients,Functional food ingredients/nutraceuticals,Food protein chemistry/biochemistry,Enzymatic hydrolysis of food proteins, Enzymatic cross-linking of food proteins, Purification and characterisation of starter culture-derived aminopeptidases, Role of aminopeptidases in food protein hydrolysate debittering.