School of Food Science and Nutrition

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Jianshe Chen

Honorary Professor
Research section: Food Colloids and Processing

Contact details

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Email: J.Chen@leeds.ac.uk

Keywords

food texture and rheology
food oral processing and sensory perception
Bolus formation and swallowing
food emulsions and food gels
food for the elderly
food structure and gastric digestion

Photograph of Jianshe Chen

Research interests

Dr. Jianshe Chen is a specially appointed professor at Zhejiang Gongshang University (Hangzhou, China) and is a visiting professor at the University of Leeds. He is a fellow of the Institute of Food Science & Technology (IFST) and a member of Food Group committee of the Royal Society of Chemistry. He serves as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Texture Studies and editorial board member for journals including Food Structure, Food Digestion, and etc. Before accepting his chair position at Zhejiang Gongshang University in December 2013, Dr. Chen has worked in Leeds for many years as a lecturer, senior lecturer and associate professor.

Dr. Chen has strong research interests in eating and sensory perception. Underlying aims of his researches are: to reveal the controlling dynamics of food oral breakdown and the governing principles of sensory perception; and to apply scientific understandings for technological advances of industrial food processing as well as the wellbeing of general public, in particular those disadvantaged populations (e.g. elderly, dysphagia patients, infants, etc). Integrated studies of food physics, oral physiology, and psychophysics are the main approaches. He was the organizer of the first international conference on Food Oral Processing: Physics, Physiology, and Psychology of Eating (July 2010) and serves as the convenor to its international scientific committee. He has an extensive track record of peer-reviewed publications (h-index 18.0 and average citation 20.5 by June 2013, Sourced from Web of Science), a published book "Food Oral Processing: Fundamentals of Eating and Sensory Perception" (2012, jointly with Dr. Lina Engelen), and recently "Modifying Food Texture I: Novel Ingredients and Processing Techniques" and "Modifying Food Texture II: Sensory Analysis, Consumer Requirements and Preferences" (2015, jointly with Dr. Andrew Rosenthal). His current research activities are on the following areas:

Food texture and microstructure: the creation of food microstructure (at micro-and macro- levels) and the appreciation of texture, in relation to the mechanical and rheological properties of food materials and to the use of functional food ingredients and novel processing techniques.

Food oral processing, physics and physiology: to understand the mechanisms and governing principles of food oral breakdown, in relation to physical properties and sensory perception of foods, e.g. the food breakage function, the changing properties of food particles, the role of saliva, oral transportation and oral friction, oral stickiness, and etc. The critical criteria in triggering bolus swallowing: the dynamics of oral conversion of food particles to a food bolus; the properties and essential features of a food bolus; and the sensory ease of bolus swallowing.

Texture standardization and measurements of food for dysphagia patients: Dysphagia patients and some elderly people require specially formulated food for safe eating and swallowing. Different countries have set up their own national standards. A global effort is now in process to harmonize these standards to produce an international standard and to develop feasible techniques for reliable texture assessment of such food.

Food-saliva interactions: Most sensory researches ignore a simple fact that sensory perception comes not just from the food but from the mixture of food and saliva. Therefore, a proper understanding of the interaction mechanisms between food components and saliva is essential for the design and manufacturing of quality tasty food.

Oral tribology and lubrication: oral lubrication plays a critical role in an eating process and food sensory perception. Main focus will be on the lubrication behaviour of fluid foods and food/saliva mixture and its correlation with oral experience of such systems. Particular interests of investigation are food emulsions, polysaccharides solutions, dairy foods, in relation to sensory perception of creaminess.

Dr. Chen has recently set up a new research lab at Zhejiang Gongshang University. The well equipped laboratory owns various state-of-the-art equipments and specialist instruments for research needs in food physics, oral physiology, and sensory analysis. The group currently has two post-docs, a number of PhDs, research MSc students, and visiting PhD students. His group has maintained strong research links with Leeds and a joint PhD scheme (split site PhD program) has been established between Leeds and Zhejiang Gongshang University.