Eli Gray-Stuart

Doctor of Philosophy, (Engineering)
Study Completed: 2016
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Modelling Food Breakdown and Bolus Formation During Mastication

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Mastication is a complex process that transforms food into a rounded mass called a bolus which is swallowed safely. However, it can be simplified within an engineering context, where the mouth is the equipment carrying out a unit operation to convert ingested food (raw material) into a safe-to-swallow bolus as the process output. Two questions emerge from this observation <(i), 'What processes transform the food from its initial state into a bolus?' and (ii), 'How do humans assess when the food is ready to initiate swallowing?' Mr Gray-Stuart's research examined these questions by investigating how different foods are processed in the mouth. He developed a mathematical model which tracks food bolus properties during mastication as a function of the rate processes of breakdown. His model has the potential to aid future food design where a particular breakdown pathway is desired and will reduce the number of time intensive in-vivo experiments needed.

Professor Jim Jones
Mr Marco Morgenstern
Distinguished Professor Robert McLachlan
Professor John Bronlund