Dissertations - Food Business & Technology
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ItemA study into the use and proliferation of Lean Six-Sigma principles in the food industry(2022-12)Ever since the time when the hunter-gatherers began to abandon their nomadic ways and embrace agriculture, the organised production, processing and storage of food has been one of humankind’s most important endeavours. Those who remained static to till the land, and keep animals for food, began a process that remained largely unchanged until the 18th century. At this stage, the large-scale production and processing of food became a necessity in the then-developing world, to feed the populations who had migrated from the land to operate the new processes brought about by industrialisation. In this manner, food production and food processing also became industrialised. While continuous improvement (CI) methods began to creep into the non-food sector of industry around the commencement of the 20th century, it was much slower to take off in the food industry. Since the onset of the 21st century, the CI concepts of Lean and Six Sigma have taken more of a foothold, Lean more-so than Six Sigma. These sets of tools, which endorse the benefits of reducing waste at all stages of processing, can currently be witnessed playing catch-up across the industry, and are gaining ground. CI is not, however, as universally applicable to the food industry as to other sectors, due to the unique set of quality requirements in food production, where food safety, food hygiene and security of supply are more highly prized than are absolute-precision factors, such as perfect product size, shape or weight
ItemExploring the Influence of Cream Processing Parameters on Butter Quality(2022-12)This thesis was set out to explore the potential to improve the quality of winter cream, for the purposes of producing higher quality butter during the winter period. Understanding how cream processing parameters can be altered to produce a more desirable butter during the winter period was the key concept. This is an important topic for butter manufacturers as it can help add value to winter cream. The thesis topic was evaluated through peer reviewed data. The characterising factors investigated were fatty acid composition, FFA, butter hardness and the milk fat crystalline structure within butter and cream. These areas were picked as they are the strongest indicators of butter quality. The key finding was that there is a relationship between the alteration of cream processing parameters and the final results of the key characteristics of butter. Firstly, for the fatty acid composition, a shorter cream ripening time resulted in higher levels of UFAs such as oleic acid which are associated with the development of a softer butter. For FFA in milk, the lowest values were found from milk cooled at 4℃ and pumped without incubation after cooling. For butter hardness the combination of lower ripening temperatures, high agitation, longer ripening times and the addition of LMP milk fat fractions was seen to have the biggest impact of reducing butter hardness. Lastly, in the milk fat crystallisation section, desirable β' milk fat crystals were found to develop during the first hour of cream ripening while a combination of maturing cream at 5℃ along with a high agitation rate was seen to produce the highest amount of β' milk fat crystals. In conclusion, the quality of winter cream can be improved through the alteration of cream processing parameters to produce a more desirable final butter. Future work that’s recommended to be undertaken includes the usage of a spinning cone column which could help remove volatile compounds from cream.
ItemThe Effectiveness of Minimum Unit Pricing as a Strategy to Reduce Alcohol Consumption, Related Morbidity and Mortality(2022)Alcohol is the leading risk factor amongst those aged 15 - 49 globally for premature mortality and disability. The World Health Organisation has urged governments to apply price increases and levies on alcohol in order to reduce harmful consumption of alcohol, which some countries have introduced through minimum unit pricing strategies. Minimum unit pricing is a form of public health policy aimed at reducing harmful levels of alcohol consumption in vulnerable populations. Other public health policies include those aimed at reducing obesity levels, and smoking. Alcohol consumption is linked to short term harms such as domestic violence, crime, and self-harm, while long term consumption is directly attributed to chronic illnesses such as liver disease and cancers. The aim of this research is to evaluate the strategies in place in Ireland, Scotland, Canada, and Northern Territory Australia, and to understand how each policy is applied through price, such as a minimum price per gram of alcohol. Using peer-reviewed research, the effects the implementation of these policies has had on alcohol consumption, alcohol related morbidity and mortality is evaluated to identify if minimum unit pricing is effective at reducing these harms. The level of research that has been conducted in to existing MUP policies and their effects is varied due to the recent implementation of some policies, such as Ireland’s in January 2022. There is limited evidence to support minimum unit pricing as a strategy to reduce alcohol consumption amongst heavy drinkers and those at increased risk of alcohol related morbidity and mortality, and the overall effectiveness of minimum unit pricing is not clearly defined, despite the implementation of these policies to reduce harmful levels of drinking. The implication of these findings are of relevance to stakeholders in the alcohol industry, governmental health departments, lobbyists, and policy makers.
ItemA Review of Omnivorous and Plant – Based Diet Health Effects, Environmental Impacts and Alternative Solutions(2022)The aim of this thesis is to evaluate the omnivorous meat - based, and plant – based food options, nutritional compositions, health effects, consumption motivations and mainly the environmental impacts. The global population is set to reach 9.8 billion by 2050. The growing demand for potable water, nutritious food, fertile lands are inevitable. Parallel to the population growth, the requirement for meat protein source is growing. However, the animal agriculture is known to be one of the biggest causes of the global warming, green – house gas emissions. The excessive meat, particularly red meat consumption is a cause of serious health issues like obesity, cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, cancer and stroke. The question has been arisen and to be answered. What will nearly 10 billion people eat, how the food will be produced when the only way to mitigate the climate change impacts are to reduce carbon, water and land related emissions and a significant red meat consumption decrease. People used to consume meat for centuries. The liking factor and the belief of healthiness of meat became the main motivations for consuming meat and meat products, while plant - based products are also consumed for the liking factor, but essentially for animal welfare and environmental sustainability. Meat alternatives with a similar nutritional value and satisfying factors like Impossible Burger can offer a more sustainable option to mitigate the rapidly growing climate change caused by green – house gas emissions. A detailed comparison of a regular beef burger and the Impossible Burger showed, that the consumer who chooses the plant – based vegan option, reducing the environmental impact by 87% to 96%. In conclusion, meat has always been the main source of the food intake and it will always remain as the most desired food to eat, however the rise of the global warming makes the meat consumption re-assessed as proven to be one of the biggest causes of the climate change.
ItemInvestigating The Therapeutic Potential Of Whey Derived Bioactive Peptides As Antiviral Agents In The Prevention Of Viral Infections(2022)The impact of infectious diseases have always been a concern globally. Now more than ever do we understand the devastating impacts that they can have on every aspect of our lives as we begin to emerge from the catastrophic impacts, at both a mortality and economical level, from the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. As we gain greater insights into the threat that emerging viruses have to human health, their mechanism of adaptation, combined with external factors that facilitate their proliferation around the globe, do we appreciate and understand the need for a wide range of strategies and therapies in order to counteract the spread of infection and their associated symptoms that can lead to increased mortality rates globally. While there are a number of strategies such as vaccines and antiviral medications already well established in order to reduce the devastating impacts of infectious diseases, there is a need for alternative, and more affordable approaches in order to better counteract their spread and devastating impacts of harmful viral infections; especially for those who find themselves to be immunocompromised or at risk of suffering from the side-effects and complications associated with traditional treatments. Thus, there is a need for a wide range of alternative therapies and more affordable approaches in order to better control and counteract the spread of harmful viral infections. With global volumes of bovine milk in the region of 714 billion kg per annum, the subsequent whey volumes generated from the cheese manufacturing industry offers an abundant source of whey derived bioactive peptides that warrant further investigation to assess their antiviral potential. Although whey was historically regarded as a problematic waste stream generated from the cheese manufacturing process, it has, over the past number of decades been valorised into a key nutritional ingredient within the food and beverage industry thanks to advances in both processing and analytical technologies within the dairy industry. The ability to identify, purify and concentrate the native protein fragments βlactoglobulin, α-lactalbumin, Bovine Serum Albumin, Immunoglobulins and Lactoferrin has allowed researchers to conduct vast amounts of both in-vitro and in-vivo studies in recent years, which have displayed that these bioactive peptides have the potential to impart a wide variety of health benefits, which are increasingly gaining ground in clinical practice. In conclusion, the antiviral potential of the whey derived bioactive peptides: βlactoglobulin, α-lactalbumin, and Lactoferrin in particular, is one such benefit that this study’s findings have displayed a growing body of evidence is supporting, thus showcasing them as a viable, widely available and more cost-effective option to work in conjunction with or as an alternative to traditional vaccines and anti-viral medication.