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PhD Studentship in Onion Waste Valorisation

University of Reading - Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Reading
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £18,553 stipend per annum, research costs and tuition fees at UK/EU rate
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 22nd January 2019
Closes: 15th March 2019
Reference: GS18-124

Project title:  Valorisation of under-utilised onion waste and side streams

Supervisors:  Professor Charalampopoulos, Dr Afroditi Chatzifragkou, Dr Steve Elmore

Project Overview: 

Among vegetables, onion is the second most widely consumed crop, providing a relatively high value raw material for food industries. There are very large quantities of onion waste across current value chain (>6M tons in the Europe) which currently remain under exploited. The substantial amount of waste thus reduces the economic efficiency of the onion supply chain while also increasing the carbon footprint and environmental impact. The efficient food production with total usage of agricultural raw materials offers a wealth of opportunities for developing a smart circular economy. This project aims to develop technical understanding towards valorising onion side-streams using novel process technologies in order to create structuring ingredients such as fibres, bioactive compounds, and natural flavours, with the view to improve sustainability and create economic value for the food sector. The project will be carried out in collaboration with Unilever and Symrise AG.

Specific training opportunities:

  • Chemical analysis of complex food materials
  • Separation science & technology
  • Biotransformation of vegetable waste stream (enzymology/fermentation)
  • Food science and technology
  • Bio-refinery concept including Life Cycle Analysis


  • Applicants should hold or expect to gain a 1st or upper 2nd class degree (or equivalent) Food Science / Biotechnology or relevant subject.
  • Due to restrictions on the funding this studentship is open to UK applicants and EU applicants that are ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for 3 years continuously prior to the start of the grant.

Funding Details:   

  • Start date: 1st June 2019
  • Funding is for 3 years and 8 months
  • The project is funded by the BBSRC Collaborative Training Partnerships (CTP) scheme and will be conducted in collaboration with Unilever and Symrise as the industrial partners.
  • The studentship covers a stipend of £18,553 per annum, research costs and tuition fees at UK/EU rate.

How to apply:   

Please submit an application for a PhD in Food and Nutritional Sciences, at: quoting the reference: GS18-124 in the ‘Scholarships applied for’ box which appears within the Funding section.

Application Deadline: 15h of March 2019

Further Enquiries:  

Professor Dimitris Charalampopoulos, Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences

Tel.: 0044 (0)118 3788216; Email:

Please note that, where a candidate is successful in being awarded funding, this will be confirmed via a formal studentship award letter; this will be provided separately from any Offer of Admission and will be subject to standard checks for eligibility and other criteria.

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