Division of Food and Drink

Division of Food and Drink

Food & Drink (F&D) is one of the Divisions within the School of Applied Sciences.

F&D has a research profile that is inter-disciplinary across its primary subject areas, all of which lie within two of the Abertay University’s research priority areas, Environment and Society. Expertise spans across the disciplines of Food Science & Technology, Sensory & Consumer Science, Public Health & Human Nutrition and Zymology & Alcoholic Fermentations.

Our Division focuses strongly on Knowledge Exchange and interacts extensively with Industry, mainly through Food Innovation @ Abertay.

Over the years we have developed strong links with critical stakeholders such as Innovate UK, Interface, and Scottish Food & Drink Federation. We have received a number of awards for our collaborative projects, which we have completed in partnership with more than 100 Scottish companies.

Academic partnerships are also integral to our research approach. Partners include Universities from Scotland and the rest of the UK, as well as Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Vietnam, and Singapore.

Our recently upgraded facilities include several well equipped laboratories for food science & technology, including a processing plant; a state-of-the-art Consumer Experience Laboratory and advanced analytical equipment such as Computerised Tomography; Rheometer; Texture Analyser; Particle Size Analyser; LC-MS-MS, GC-MS and more.

Food science and technology

Of particular interest for our researchers are the fields of (i) acrylamide formation during food processing and developing strategies to mitigate this, (ii) developing novel, environmentally friendly extraction and processing methods, (iii) food industry waste utilisation, aiming to contribute to a more sustainable, circular economy and (iv) New Product Development and Reformulation studies.


Sensory and consumer science

We examine in depth the factors that affect consumer perception and acceptability of food and drink products. Any New Product Development and reformulation study can be validated in our Consumer Experience Laboratory. Our facilities are often in demand by the food industry in order to gauge consumer acceptability of potential products prior to market release.

Nutrition and Public Health

Our researchers explore links between eating habits and health, as well as the role specific bioactive compounds play in the prevention of diseases and the promotion of health of consumers.

Yeast and Fermentation Alcohol Research

Yeast-derived ethanol has a major benefit to the UK and global economies. Abertay research is focused on enhancement of yeast fermentation performance by gaining greater understanding of yeast physiology and raw material bioconversions to ethanol.

Related areas of current research include: the adoption of novel starch sources (from legumes) as sustainable feedstocks for brewing and distilling; chemistry of spirit maturation in oakwood; and the accuracy of alcohol declarations for alcoholic beverages.

The research group, led by Professor Graeme Walker, comprises PhD students co-supervised by colleagues from Abertay’s Divisions of Engineering & Food Science and Psychology and Forensic Science and projects are undertaken in close collaboration with industry and research institutes (e.g. The James Hutton Institute, The Scotch Whisky Research Institute).

Further information is available from Prof. Walker.

Food Innovation @ Abertay

Food Innovation @Abertay (FIA) is the commercial arm of the Division and is a practical innovation support service to food and drink businesses. FIA offers creative solutions to business challenges by the use of specialist staff, equipment and facilities. These solutions are tailored to specifically meet business needs and are delivered on schedule and in a cost-effective way. Through FIA, our academics and researchers have had the opportunity to work collaboratively with more than 100 industrial partners, addressing real-world problems and offering technically sound, and commercially viable solutions.

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