Dr Sushil Dhital from QAAFI's Centre for Nutrition and Food Sciences, will present "Nutritional functionality of dietary fibre - an integrated view".  

Dietary guidelines around the world emphasise the consumption of whole grains which are abundant in starch and contain both soluble and insoluble fibres. One of the nutritional benefits of whole grains compared with refined grains is that they often attenuate the rapid hydrolysis of glycaemic macro-nutrients, but the underlying mechanisms remain obscure. In vitro starch digestion studies show the significant effect of polysaccharide viscosity on amylase action and product diffusion, however, the viscosity effect was found to be overcome significantly under efficient shear-mixing conditions. Based on the visual observation of fluorescently tagged alpha-amylase adsorbed on the surface of insoluble and soluble fibres and plant food matrix encapsulating starch granules, we present the first direct evidence interactions between amylase, fibre and starch granules. These interactions synergistically and significantly lowered the digestion of starch under in-vitro conditions. This suggests that, beyond swelling and solubility, the interactions among fibres (both soluble and insoluble), enzymes and carbohydrate substrates play a pivotal role in the nutritional functionality of dietary fibres.

Dr Sushil Dhital

Sushil Dhital is a post-doctoral research fellow at QAAFI-Centre for Nutrition and Food Sciences-ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls and School of Chemical Engineering -Rheology, Tribology and Biointerfaces Laboratory.

Sushil was awarded a PhD in Food Technology in 2011 from the University of Queensland, Australia after graduating with a Master in Food Technology from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. 

Sushil’s current research includes understanding the mechanisms behind the nutritional functionality of starch and dietary fibre in plant foods as well as food structure design. He has published more than 40 articles in renowned international journals in the area of Food Science and Nutrition.

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Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) has been hosting a high-profile seminar series across the disciplines of agriculture, food and nutrition science since 2014. With a range of speakers from Australia and abroad, the series explores how high-impact science will significantly improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the tropical and sub-tropical food, fibre and agribusiness sectors.

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