Fully Funded Master’s Scholarship | Characterization of Non-Volatile Dietary Biomarkers in Forage, Feed, Meat.

Master's & postgraduate Fully Funded Master’s Scholarship | Characterization of Non-Volatile Dietary Biomarkers in Forage, Feed, Meat.

Deadline: 31March 2023

I. Background
Fresh and conserved pasture swards and other green forages contain carotenoids that cause yellow colour to develop in the fat of ruminants when such forages are eaten regularly. The main pigment responsible is β-carotene, and to a lesser extent lutein. Fat colour and carotenoids are prominent among a number of measurements, which can aid the authentication of dietary history of ruminant meat.

The use of carotenoid pigments has become established method for discriminating pasture-fed lambs from concentrate-fed lambs. Furthermore, the green forages are also rich in antioxidant polyphenols, terpenoids, and tocopherols. Isoflavonoids, a sub-class of polyphenols, are predominant in leguminous plants, which have been associated with animal diet in particular when the concentrate contains soya products.

Research studies have shown that grass in the diet affects positively the composition of meat and milk of cattle and sheep, such as enhanced antioxidant capacity of meat products. Together with carotenoids, polyphenols, terpenoids and/or their metabolites can thus serve as markers of an animal’s dietary background and therefore a means of establishing the origin of these products. In this project, LC-MS/MS characterisation of these phytochemicals will be performed in the forage, feed, and meat to determine to non-volatile dietary marker.

II. Requirements

  • The M.Sc project will involve wet-bench research experiments, analytical data collection, data collation and statistical analysis, reporting and publishing findings at (inter) national journals/conferences and industry meetings.
  • Applications are invited from graduates holding or expecting an honours degree in Food Science or a related discipline. Applicants with relevant Industry or internship experience will be a bonus.
  • The successful candidate should be highly self-motivated and be prepared for laboratory work with modern food processing and analytical equipment.
  • For applicants whose first language is not English, requirements are outlined HERE

III. Award

  • The MSc Scholarship is a joint research project between Teagasc and UCD School of Agriculture & Food Science, University College Dublin.
  • The student will be based in Teagasc Food Research Centre at Ashtown, Dublin and will be registered at the University College Dublin, under the supervision of Prof. Nigel Brunton in association with Dr Dilip Rai, Teagasc Ashtown.
  • The Scholarship will start in June 2023.
  • The scholarship funding is €24,000 per annum (which includes University fees of up to a maximum of €6,000 per annum) and is tenable for 2 years.

IV. Application Procedure

  • Submit an electronic copy of Curriculum Vitae and a cover letter to:
    Dr Dilip Rai ([email protected] ).
  • For further Information, Please contact Dr Dilip Rai, Teagasc Food Research Centre Ashtown, Dublin, Ireland. Phone +353 (0)1 8059569 email: [email protected]  or Prof. Nigel Brunton, UCD school of Agriculture & Food Science, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland. Phone +353 (0)1 716 2807 email: [email protected]

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