PhD - Modelling lipid oxidation in emulsions

Published on
September 5, 2019
Location Wageningen
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We are looking for

We are looking for a PhD candidate for the project “Modelling lipid oxidation in emulsions”. The selected candidate will be part of a larger NWO project with two industrial partners, working with 7 other PhD candidates at Wageningen University (WUR), University of Amsterdam (UvA), Eindhoven University of Technology (TuE). The overall goal is to understand and control the mechanisms behind lipid oxidation in emulsions in order to identify novel anti-oxidant strategies.
A better control and understanding of lipid oxidation in food will help to reduce negative effects on nutritional properties, generation of off-flavors and reduced shelf life of the products. This will help to answer the growing consumer demand for sustainable (ambient supply chain) and natural (without artificial antioxidants) products. To achieve this, the complex mechanisms behind lipid oxidation in emulsions need to be studied in molecular detail.
The PhD candidate will use data on radical formation, degradation of lipids and formation of reaction products obtained in the other sub-projects to develop a model that enables the quantitative prediction of lipid oxidation in wet and dry emulsions. This will require a combination of different modelling approaches. The kinetics of the process should be described using realistic parameters (e.g. T, time) and product characteristics as input. The model should link the reaction of initial unsaturated fatty acids to primary and secondary oxidation products (to the formation of off-flavors). In later stages also the heterogeneous distribution of reactants and possible diffusion of reactive species through the emulsion should be included. As such, this project should create a deeper understanding of the molecular mechanisms dominating the lipid oxidation process in emulsified systems. The goals are to provide a comprehensive understanding of the relevant mechanisms and to use this knowledge to efficiently develop approaches to increase the oxidative stability of nature-inspired emulsified foods.

We ask

For this position we are looking for a candidate with the following qualifications:
• An MSc in chemical engineering, applied physics, applied mathematics or related fields with experience in, or interest to work on, real food (chemistry) systems;
• Or: An MSc in food chemistry with strong affinity to, and experience with, modelling approaches;
• Experience with lipids and/or lipid oxidation will be a benefit, but is not strictly required;
• Excellent research skills;
• Ability to work in a multi-disciplinary project;
• Excellent communication skills.

The selected PhD fellow should have passed for an English proficiency test (e.g. TOEFLL or IELTS) before the employment starts.

We offer

We offer you a temporary position for a period of 1.5 years with extension of 2.5 years after successful evaluation. Gross salary per month € 2325,-. in the first year rising up to € 2972,-. per month in the fourth year, based on a full-time appointment.

In addition, we offer:
• 8% holiday allowance;
• a structural year-end bonus of 8.3%;
• excellent training opportunities and secondary employment conditions;
• flexible working hours and holidays can possibly be determined in consultation so that an optimal balance between work and private life is possible;
• excellent pension plan through ABP;
• 232 vacation hours, the option to purchase extra and good supplementary leave schemes;
• a flexible working time: the possibility to work a maximum of 2 hours per week extra and thereby to build up extra leave;
• a choice model to put together part of your employment conditions yourself, such as a bicycle plan;
• a lively workplace where you can easily make contacts and where many activities take place on the Wageningen Campus. A place where education, research and business are represented;
• use the sports facilities on campus.

More information

For more information about this position, please contact Peter Wierenga, assistant professor Food Chemistry (; tel.: +31 317 483 786).

For more information about the procedure, please contact Greetje van de Hulsbeek, HR Advisor, e-mail:

You can apply online by uploading your curriculum vitae and letter of motivation at until October 5th.

We are

The Laboratory of Food Chemistry (FCH) engages in teaching and research on chemical reactions occurring during processing of raw materials into foods, on the functionality of food ingredients, and on the efficient conversion of biomass remaining after processing. The research of FCH is divided in five areas, i.e. (i) dietary carbohydrates, (ii) lignocellulosics, (iii) phytochemicals, (iv) proteins and (v) lipids, and has state-of-the-art infrastructure to facilitate the research, including ESI-iontrap MS, ESI-TOF-MS, MALDI-TOF-TOF-MS, GC-MS,(U) HPLC, CE, and preparative chromatography. FCH has access to excellent NMR and ESR facilities. FCH is a dynamic international team comprising around 15 staff members, 25 PhD students and post-docs, and 40 BSc and MSc thesis students annually. More information on our team can be found at

The mission of our University is to explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life. Within Wageningen University & Research, nine specialized research institutes from the Wageningen Research Foundation and Wageningen University have joined forces to help answer the most important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment. With approximately 30 locations, 5,000 employees, and 10,000 students, it is one of the leading organizations in its domain worldwide. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of the unique approach of Wageningen.

Equal opportunities employer
We are an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their race, sex, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation or age.

For further information about working at Wageningen University & Research, take a look at

Acquisition regarding this vacancy is not appreciated.

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