PhD Student Wins Young Scientist Award

Posted on Tuesday, May 8th, 2018

Head shot of Andrew.

Andrew Gravelle, PhD student from the Department of Food Science, will receive the Food Structure and Functionality Forum (FSFF)/International Dairy Federation (IDF) Young Scientist Award for his contributions to the field of food structure and functionality.

Gravelle will receive the award at the joint FSFF Symposium and IDF Symposium on Microstructure of Dairy Products, taking place June 3-6 in Montreal, Quebec.   

“I am very honoured to have been selected to receive the Young Scientist Award at the FSFF/IDF Symposium,” says Gravelle. “I feel that being selected to receive this award is a great personal accomplishment, and it will provide me with a fantastic opportunity to share the breadth of my contributions to the field of food structure to a high-calibre international audience.”

The FSFF/IDF Young Scientist Award was established to recognize a researcher under the age of 40 who has a demonstrated record of internationally-recognized research in the field of food and/or dairy structure and functionality. The winner must also demonstrate, “the ability to be a future leader in the field of food and/or dairy structure and functionality.”

“I believe that being recognized with this award highlights the international impact of research conducted both in the Department of Food Science and at the University of Guelph overall,” says Gravelle. 

Gravelle, who was previously working in the department as a Research Associate, returned to school this year to pursue a PhD. His thesis research will expand on his previous work with particle-filled gels by adapting theoretical models to predict the physical behaviour of foods with added fillers. Gravelle hopes this work can be used as a more common method to adjust the physical composition of food for uses such as fat reduction. 

His past research focused on developing methods of structure building in foods through non-traditional means. This has included work with “edible oleogels”, which are liquid vegetable oils that can be manipulated to behave as fats without the need for saturated and trans-fatty acids. He has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications and book chapters in the field of food structure.

“Andrew's work and papers have made significant contributions in the fields of polymer oil gels and food powder composites,” says Alejandro Marangoni, food science professor and Canada Research Chair in Food, Health and Aging. “The edible oleogels are a very promising material that can be used to remove trans fats and reduce saturated fats in food products. The work that Andrew is doing has great potential to improve the texture and nutritional properties of the food we eat.”  



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