WVU engineering professor to join international leaders in delivering short course on food properties
Rakesh Gupta, the George and Carolyn Berry Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Chemical Engineering at West Virginia University, will present a short course on the “Rheology of Foods” at the annual meeting of The Society of Rheology, scheduled for Oct. 5-9, in Philadelphia.
Rheology, a branch of mechanics, is the science of the flow and deformation of matter. In the case of foods, rheology deals with areas related to appearance, flavor, texture and mouthfeel, which, when combined, affect human perception and acceptance of foods.
According to Gupta, who has done extensive research in polymer rheology, polymer processing and polymer composites, understanding the structure and mechanical properties of food products is critical to its quality perceptions.
“My published work in the area of foods has been on understanding the flow behavior of emulsions and suspensions,” Gupta said. “Mayonnaise and salad dressings are oil-in-water emulsions, while chocolate is a suspension of cocoa solids in butter. These are all very high-volume food products.
“Most rheologists are polymer rheologists, and the discipline is most commonly associated with polymer processing,” he added. “However, the basic principles are the same, whether one is studying hard candy or solid plastics.”
Joining Gupta in delivering the course are Peter Fischer, from the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health at ETH Zurich in Switzerland, which is consistently ranked as one of the top universities in the world, and Mahesh Padmanabhan, research principal at Mondelez International, a world leader in biscuits, chocolate, gum, candy, coffee and powdered beverages.
CONTACT: Mary C. Dillon, Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
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