Speakers – June 2, 2022 – Concurrent 3C

Advancements in food sciences research using synchrotron imaging and spectroscopy techniques

Dr. Chithra Karunakaran – Science Manager, Environmental & Earth Sciences, Canadian Light Source

An agricultural engineer by training, Dr. Karunakaran is the manager for the Environmental and Earth Sciences department at the Canadian Light Source (CLS), and leads the CLS plant imaging and innovation research program, promoting the innovative use of synchrotron techniques for agricultural and food sciences research.

 She has been recognized for excellence and contributions in agriculture research through several awards. She was a nominee for the 2014 YWCA Saskatoon Women of Distinction Award in Science, Technology and Research.

Dr. Karunakaran completed her Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering from the Tamilnadu Agricultural University in India, and her Masters and Ph.D in Biosystems Engineering from the University of Manitoba.  Her research work has been published in 59 refereed journal articles and 4 book chapters.  Currently, she is an adjunct professor at the University of Saskatchewan and at the University of Manitoba, Canada.


Synchrotron techniques overview and access mechanisms

Jarvis Stobbs – Canadian Light Source


Application of X-ray computed tomography in Food Science

Dr. Scott Rosendahl – Canadian Light Source


Mid infrared spectroscopy and microscopy

Dr. Michael Rogers, Tier II Canada Chair in Food Nanotechnology – University of Guelph

Dr. Rogers is a Tier II Canada Chair in Food Nanotechnology at the University of Guelph, where he studies the underlying mechanisms that facilitate the self-assembly of small molecules and degradation kinetics and mechanisms of foods. His work appeared on the Covers of Chemical Society Reviews, Langmuir and Soft Matter and included 100 peer-reviewed publications, 18 book chapters, and more than 80 conference proceedings. He has been awarded Young Scientist Awards through the International Union of Food Science and Technologists and the American Oil Chemists’ Society. By mimicking structures made by nature, he develops a fundamental understanding of how to control the assembly of small molecules into complex materials with applications ranging from foods to biomaterials. Dr. Rogers has held faculty appointments at Rutgers University (Department of Food Science (2011-2015)) and the University of Saskatchewan (Department fo Food and Bioproduct Science (2008-2011) before joining Guelph (2015 – ). He currently serves as an Associate Editor with Food Biophysics (2014 – ).


Application of mid-IR in Food Science

Although the 3rd generation Canadian Light Source (2.9 GeV)  is no longer among the most powerful synchrotrons compared to newer systems (DESY=12GeV, SPring-8=8GeV), the energy range is near-optimal for applying CLSs’ synchrotron light to study soft biological systems such as foods.  The focus herein will simplify how synchrotron light can be applied in novel ways to probe molecular interactions otherwise not possible using benchtop light sources, which are highly relevant to food material science, food packaging, and beyond.  A benchtop FT-IR typically provides a single spectrum of an average signal of 256 scans and represents the tip of the iceberg for what knowledge can be deciphered using FT-IR.  Extraordinary results from the techniques available at the MID-IR beamline will illustrate the universal application of these tools across the food industry.

Dr. Supratim Ghosh, University of Saskatchewan


Use of synchrotron light to understand the properties of hybrid meat products containing plant-based emulsion gels.

Fatemeh Keivaninahr1, Oluwafemi J. Coker1, Kaiyang Tu2, Phyllis Shand1, and Supratim Ghosh1*

1Department of Food & Bioproduct Sciences, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada.

2Canadian Light Source, Saskatoon, SK, Canada

The overall objective of this study was to utilize pulse proteins to stabilize canola oil-in-water emulsions as an animal fat replacer in hybrid bologna sausages with desired quality and sensory attributes. Synchrotron light was used to better understand the microstructure of the meat products and possible interactions between plant and animal-based ingredients. Oil-in-water emulsion were prepared by homogenizing 40wt% canola oil in 10wt% faba bean protein concentrate (FPC) dispersion. The emulsions were heated at 90ºC for 30 min to induce gelation. The hybrid bolognas were made by completely replacing the pork back-fat with the O/W emulsion gels. As a control full-fat bologna (20% animal fat) and low-fat bologna with an equivalent amount of fat as in the hybrid bologna were also prepared. The mixtures were stuffed into waterproof casings and heat-treated to an internal temperature of 72 oC for 5 min. The results showed that the replacement of pork back-fat with heated or un-heated FPC emulsions significantly improved the bologna characteristics compared to the low-fat control bologna. The hybrid bologna, having lower fat content than full-fat bologna, showed desirable texture, color and water-holding capacity. All bologna samples had an acceptable appearance, and no structural failure or emulsion separation was observed.  All bologna samples showed similar properties in terms of cooking loss, purge loss, expressible moisture and elasticity, indicating that pork back-fat replacement with heat-treated emulsion gels had no adverse effect on the bologna characteristics. The synchrotron-based infra-red (IR) mapping and micro-computed tomography showed spatial distributions of fats, animal and plant proteins which significantly influenced the microstructure of the bologna samples. Conclusively, FPC-stabilized emulsions with appropriate protein and oil concentration could be converted into a strong self-supporting gel by heat treatment and used to replace pork back-fat in bologna without any adverse effect.