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PhD Studentship: High Impact sulphur flavour compounds in hop products


UK Other

Closing Date
Wednesday 31 July 2024


Supervisor: Prof. David Cook (Brewing Science)

Secondary Supervisor: Dr Joanna Yorke (Brewing Science), Prof. Ian Fisk (Food & Nutritional Sciences), Prof. Ray Marriott (TNS Ltd)

Subject Area: Flavour chemistry, analytical science, brewing science

Research Description

An exciting opportunity has arisen to study for a PhD alongside our commercial partner, Totally Natural Solutions Limited (TNS), to develop novel, clean label and sustainable flavourings for use in brewing and other industries. TNS specialize in the use of green extraction techniques, such as liquid or supercritical CO2, to prepare flavour extracts from hops and other botanicals. Converting these feedstocks into flavour enriched extracts offers efficiencies in their distribution, storage and use in brewing, providing sustainable solutions to the brewer relative to processes such as dry hopping which can incur significant beer losses.
 This project will be focused around intensely aromatic hop sulfur compounds such as 4-methyl-mercaptopentanone (4-MMP) or 3-MH (3-mercaptohexanol). These and related compounds are responsible for the tropical, citrus and exotic fruit flavours typically present in beers dry-hopped with ‘New World’ varieties. The program of work will establish analytical protocols for these low level, high flavour impact sulfur compounds using techniques such as GC-PFPD and GC-QTOF/SCD. These will then be applied throughout the project to appraise the sulfur fractions resulting from different varieties, hop oil isolation techniques and fractionation processes, to support development of commercial products with desirable flavour properties.
 Training will be provided in the necessary analytical and sensory techniques. As part of this study there will be the opportunity to spend time in the TNS research labs under the supervision of Prof Ray Marriott to gain experience in the extraction and fractionation of hop oils using supercritical CO2 techniques at laboratory and production scale.
 The project is ideally suited to students with a strong understanding of analytical and separation science and a keen interest in applying these to flavour and brewing research.

Keyword Search
 Brewing science, analytical science, chemistry, flavour research, hops, supercritical fluid extraction, thiol flavour compounds.

Award Start Date: 01/10/2024

Duration of Award: 42 months

Terms and Conditions

This research studentship is only available to UK citizens and includes full payment of Tuition Fees and a tax-free student stipend paid at UKRI rates (starting at £19,237 in 24/5).

Applicant Qualification Requirements

BSc (Hons) 2i or above, or MSci/MChem (Hons) 2i or above or MSc in a relevant scientific discipline (examples include Chemistry, Analytical Sciences, Food Science, Brewing Science, Agriculture, Chemical or Process Engineering).

How to Apply

Candidates are welcome to contact Prof. David Cook ( with any queries and for an informal discussion.
Applications, comprising a covering letter detailing why you want to study a PhD on this subject area together with a detailed CV (including the names and addresses of two referees), should be sent to

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