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Dr Alan Bells


Honorary Fellow

Research work is primarily concerned with the application of non-destructive rheological techniques to soft food systems. The aim of this work is to improve the understanding of the underlying physical processes which give rise to bulk rheological properties.

Oscillatory testing Non-destructive oscillatory testing provides a unique method to follow the build-up or break-down of food systems with time and changes in the processing conditions used. It allows the assessment of the structure under investigation to be followed both as a function of strain ( amplitude) and rate ( frequency).

Older rheological methods Conventional methods of structural assessment in the food industry have tended to be of the "single point" type where the response is measured at a fixed strain or rate (or both). This in effect gives only one point in the rheological response "spectrum" and is analogous to measuring the colour of an object at one wavelength of light. This has in the past caused difficulty in correlating, for example, sensory data and mechanical testing.

Current interests:

  • The dynamic rheological properties of gluten and gluten sub-fractions. Prof. D Schofield.
  • Physical properties of water soluble polysaccharides ( Gum Arabic ).
  • Modification of the physical properties of milk gels during manufacture. Dr R Robinson
  • Changes in cell fragility during isolation from bioreactors. Dr. K Niranjan
Food and Bioprocessing Sciences


GRIC, 1977, By Examination

MSc, 1978, By Examination and Research in Microbiological Chemistry

PhD, 1983, by Research in Medicine

Diploma in Surveying, 2001, Member. R I C S, 2003 (Chartered Surveyor).

Research Awards:

Various Industrial and PhD research awards both as principal and joint applicant.

External Activities:

A member of the STEM ambassador's scheme within the University contributing to outreach for the department.


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