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Dr Lara Matia-Merino staff profile picture

Contact details +64 (06) 356 9099  ext. 83016

Dr Lara Matia-Merino PhD, MSc, BSc

Senior Lecturer in Food Rheology and Colloid Science/Tech

School of Food and Advanced Technology

Originally from Spain, I came to New Zealand as a post-doctoral Fellow with the Riddet Institute, joining the Institute of Food Nutrition & Human Health, Massey University, as a Lecturer in Food Technology from 2005, becoming a Senior Lecturer in 2011. I hold a BSc in Agricultural Engineering (University of Valladolid, Spain), a MSc in Food Science and Technology (University of Burgos, Spain) and a PhD in Food Colloids (University of Leeds, U.K.).  This has given me a broad scientific background, allowing me to view Food Technology from an engineering point of view and from a more fundamental perspective within food physical-chemistry science.

My main research interests at Massey University are related to the study of food protein and polysaccharide functionality, especially the study of emulsification properties of novel gums and colloidal aggregation processes leading to the formation of food gels. More recently, infant formula digestibility and beverage formulation are areas of increasing interest within my research.

I thoroughly enjoy my teaching in the food formulation and food characterization papers for the 3rd year Food Technology students and I am hoping to continuously improve in this area.

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Professional

Contact details

  • Ph: x83016
    Location: A 2.32, Riddet A
    Campus: Turitea

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy - University of Leeds (2004)
  • Master of Science - University of Burgos (1998)
  • Bachelor of Science - University of Valladolid (1997)

Research Expertise

Research Interests

Functional novel polysaccharides, especially from native New Zealand flora, which can be used as innovative ingredients for the food industry.

Emulsion science: Influence of heat treatment on milk protein-stabilized emulsions and aggregation process of partially-crystalline emulsions

Infant formula digestibility.

Biopolymer physico-chemical characterization and functionality.

Thematics

Health and Well-being, Future Food Systems

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Chemical Science (030000): Colloid and Surface Chemistry (030603):
Engineering (090000): Food Chemistry and Molecular Gastronomy (excl. Wine) (090801): Food Sciences (090800):
Macromolecular and Materials Chemistry (030300): Physical Chemistry (incl. Structural (030600): Physical Chemistry of Materials (030304):
Technology (100000)

Keywords

Rheological characterization of food materials

Emulsion science

Physical stability of bevarage formulations

Food protein and polysaccharide functionality

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 5 11
Team Member 0 2

Research Outputs

Consultancy and Languages

Languages

  • Spanish
    Last used: used currently
    Spoken ability: Excellent
    Written ability: Excellent

Teaching and Supervision

Teaching Statement

Massey-Singapore Institute of Technology Joint Programme Delivery of Bachelor of Food Technology with Honours, Singapore

Courses:

FTE2032 Food Formulation Technology (Co-ordinator and Teaching)

FTE2031 Food Characterization (Teaching)

The highlight of my delivery style is its strong interactive component

 

Courses Coordinated

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
Supervisor 3 3
Co-supervisor 4 5

Current Doctoral Supervision

Supervisor of:

  • Akshay Bisht - Doctor of Philosophy
    Processing and Characterization of functional products from Mamaku (Cyathia medullaris, tree fern)
  • Nurhazwani Salleh - Doctor of Philosophy
    Study on the interactions in milk protein-blackcurrant mixtures
  • Akila Srinivasagam Ramasamy Venkates - Doctor of Philosophy
    Digestion characteristics of grains and flours for breads of low glycaemic potency

Co-supervisor of:

  • Ji Uk Kim - Doctor of Philosophy
    Effects of process and formulation variables on cream cheese microstructure and properties
  • Cai Ling Ang - Doctor of Philosophy
    De-structuring starch and their interactions in protein/ polysaccharide gels
  • Giovanna Castillo Fernandez - Doctor of Philosophy
    Determining the influence of emulsion composition and structural dynamics on lipaemic inflammatory response.
  • Le Deng - Doctor of Philosophy
    Studying the relationship between emulsion structure and lipid digestibility for infant milk

Completed Doctoral Supervision

Supervisor of:

  • 2018 - Anynda Yuris - Doctor of Philosophy
    Interactions between wheat starch and Mesona chinensis polysaccharide
  • 2015 - May Wee - Doctor of Philosophy
    Physico-Chemical Characterisation and Functionality of the Polysaccharide Extracted from the New Zealand Black Tree Fern, Cyathea medullaris (Mamaku)
  • 2011 - Oni Yuliarti - Doctor of Philosophy
    Isolation, Characterisation and Functional Properties of Pectin from Gold Kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis cv. Hort16A)

Co-supervisor of:

  • 2017 - Alice Smialowska - Doctor of Philosophy
    Goat and cow casein derived ingredients and their interactions with iron
  • 2016 - George Fuller - Doctor of Philosophy
    Studies on the Shear Stability of Partially Crystalline Oil-in-Water Emulsions
  • 2015 - Hayley Stewart - Doctor of Philosophy
    Development of Food-grade Microparticles from Lignin
  • 2015 - Chalida Lueamsaisuk - Doctor of Philosophy
    Dynamic of Emulsion Structure during Simulated Gastric Lipid Digestion in the Neonate
  • 2014 - Yichao Liang - Doctor of Philosophy
    Effect of Ingredient Interactions and Heat Treatment on the Structure and Stability of Dairy based Oil-in Water Emulsions

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