Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Her research will benefit both the food industry and the community in general, says Mansi Jayantikumar Limbad who is completing a PhD in food microbiology.
“I strongly believe that with global population growth there will be a demand for developing and consuming healthy probiotic food products.
“For my doctoral research, I’m working on developing a new probiotic food product with improved health benefits and functional properties. It will have the goodness of probiotic lactic acid bacteria and edible yeast strains, and even lactose intolerant individuals will be able to consume it.”
An easy decision
She has always had an interest in probiotic food products using live microorganisms, says Mansi who came to AUT as an international student from India.
“I’ve long been interested in this topic, and when I was completing my master’s degree in microbiology that interest grew further. Merging my expertise in microbiology with my interest in food science was the next logical step, so I decided to study probiotic foods and their applications for my PhD.”
Choosing to study at AUT was an easy decision for Mansi.
“When I was considering New Zealand for my further studies, I found AUT to be the fastest growing university, and liked that it’s based in Auckland, the city with the most job opportunities for students and professionals.
“I was also attracted by the opportunity to be supervised by experienced academics like Dr Noemi Gutierrez-Maddox, who specialises in food microbiology, and Professor Nazimah Hamid, who is known as an expert on sensory sciences.”
A smooth university journey
It’s a decision she hasn’t regretted, Mansi says.
“I would definitely recommend this programme. AUT’s friendly staff and state-of-the art facilities made my university journey smooth. I’m particularly impressed with the food science laboratory set-up, as it’s my second home and is a great place to get to know other postgraduate students.”
There have been many highlights throughout her studies so far, says Mansi who hopes to either work in new product development or in academia when she finishes her PhD.
“Representing AUT at the New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology, and the New Zealand Microbiological Society conference are the highpoints of my journey so far. I’m proud of being awarded a scholarship from the AUT Roche Diagnostics Laboratory and being elected as a postgraduate representative for microbiology at the School of Science. I’ve also enjoyed having on-campus jobs as a teaching assistant and peer mentor.”