Le Deng

Doctor of Philosophy, (Food Technology)
Study Completed: 2020
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Studying the relationship between emulsion structure and lipid digestibility for infant milk

In healthy adults, lipids are primarily digested in the small intestine. However for infants, their small intestine is not fully developed, so the gastric environment plays a more significant role in lipolysis (fat digestion). Clinical studies have shown that maternal milkfat is digested more efficiently than fats in infant formulae. Compositional differences, the structure of oil droplets, and especially the interfacial composition may all play a crucial role in influencing lipid digestibility in the infant's stomach. Ms Deng compared the fat digestion of a protein emulsion and infant formula in a simulated gastric system and demonstrated that protein is not a barrier for infant gastric lipolysis, however the structure formed during lipolysis could have a significant impact on the rate and extent of lipolysis.

Professor Matt Golding
Dr Alastair MacGibbon
Professor Roger Lentle
Associate Professor Lara Matia-Merino