evan conroy
Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Evan Conroy, 4th Year, Bsc Food Science & Health

Supervisor: Prof. Dick Fitzgerald & Dr. Mohammadreza Khalesi

'Hi, my name is Evan Conroy and I will be graduating with a degree in Food Science & Health in August. Over the summer months I have been researching on the modification of cereal-based animal protein alternatives to enhance their overall quality in the Science & Education Building labs as part of the Food Proteins and Peptides Research Group under the supervision of Prof. Dick Fitzgerald and Dr. Mohammadreza Khalesi.

The main aim of this research is to understand impact of pre-digestion such as enzymatic hydrolysis on the nutritional properties of cereal-based protein ingredients by developing a food-grade microbial enzyme-derived approach to modify the structure of barley protein isolates to enhance digestibility while improving antioxidant activity. This research is important as the demand for high quality sustainable alternatives to animal protein from natural sources is rapidly growing, however some cereal proteins currently have limited utilisation in human consumption due to relatively low nutritional quality and poor techno-functionality.

I would like to give a special thanks to the University of Limerick Faculty of Science & Engineering for this great experience. Some key technical skills I gained which are relevant to submission of a future IRC post-graduate application include protein extraction, freeze-drying, composition analysis, SDS-PAGE, chromatography, simulated gastro-intestinal digestion, TNBS methodology, and finally, antioxidant activity assay'.