Dr Gerry O'Brien
- Email: email@example.com
- Telephone: +65 6908 6081
- Address: NU International Singapore, 172A Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8 #05-01, SIT Building @ Nanyang Polytechnic, Singapore 567739
Dr. Gerry O’Brien is a Lecturer in Food Science. He has almost 20 years’ experience of University-level teaching. This includes three years at a public university in Colombia, South America and 13 years in the United Kingdom. During his time working in the UK, he taught many Hong Kong students as well as UK / Irish students. He was named a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy in March 2007. Since February 2013, he is based at Newcastle University, on its Singapore Campus.
Dr. O’Brien’s food-related research interests include the improvement of post-harvest quality and removal of toxicity of cassava (a tropical root crop), in which he did his PhD studies. He has also conducted research in the processing / transportation of tropical fruits. His nutrition-related research interests include developing-country nutrition (relationship between nutrition and cognitive development in children in Malawi, Southern Africa) and consumer behaviour (consumers’ perceived risk of Metabolic Syndrome and attitudes towards functional foods).
During his time working in the UK, Dr. O’Brien has also gained considerable experience as a consultant to the food industry, having worked with a number of food SMEs in projects aimed at building technical and product-development capacity.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone: +65 6908 6081
- Address: NU International Singapore, 172A Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8 #05-01
SIT Building @ Nanyang Polytechnic
- Professional Membership
- Member, Institute of Food Science and Technology IFST (since May 2002);
- Accredited Practitioner, Higher Education Academy (since February 2003);
- Member, Singapore Institute of Food Science and Technology (since June 2013).
Assuring safety / improving quality /extending shelf-life of food products
Research interests include monitoring of cyanogens in cassava (tapioca) and processing / transportation of tropical fruits.
Investigation of the relationship between nutrition and cognitive development in children in Malawi (Southern Africa).
Consumer behaviour & metabolic syndrome
Investigation of the perceived risk of Metabolic Syndrome and attitudes towards fat-modified foods among consumers.
Research Ethics (five years' experience as Chairman of a Biomedical Sciences Research Ethics Filter Committee).
Involvement in Externally-funded Research
- Involved as a co-applicant / participant in LIPGENE – a 2004-2009 EU project aimed at examining the interaction of food supply and genes in the metabolic syndrome. University of Ulster (UU) participation – led by Dr. Barbara Stewart with a budget of £218,137 - was to investigate consumer concerns and views regarding the risks arising from the metabolic syndrome and the use of new agro-food technologies to combat it. Apart from Dr. Stewart, the other UU participants were Prof. Sean Strain and Prof. Brendan Bunting.
- Principal supervisor of a PhD research project (2009 - 2012) investigating the effect of daily nutritional supplementation upon the anthropometric and cognitive status of primary schoolchildren in Malawi. The scholarship, funded by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, had an overall value of approx. £100,000.
Industry Collaboration /Technology Transfer
- Consultant and/or Academic Supervisor of three Intertrade Ireland FUSION projects (1– 2 year duration) with Irish bakery / brewing SMEs (April 2006 – December 2011). Involvement (2012-13) in three further FUSION projects with food SMEs.
- Consultant (under Invest Northern Ireland Innovation Voucher Scheme) with a N. Ireland SME, aiming to replace artificial ingredients in sauces (February – November 2010); further project with the same SME, exploring methods to extend the shelf-life of ready-to-use sauces (July 2011 – May 2012).
- Consultant with a Republic of Ireland SME aiming to improve technical standards in production of cookie mixes - funded under Enterprise Ireland Innovation Voucher Scheme (February – December 2011).
- Consultant (under Invest Northern Ireland Innovation Voucher Scheme) with a N. Ireland SME, aiming to improve technical standards in production of chilled fresh desserts (January – October 2012).
Supervision / examining of Postgraduate Research Projects
- One PhD successfully supervised to completion (Oct 2009 – Jan 2013) as main supervisor.
- Eight MSc projects successfully supervised to date.
- Experience as External / Internal Examiner of several PhD projects, and Chairman of two PhD viva voce examinations.
Teaching / course administration
- Almost twenty years’ experience of University-level teaching, comprising three years at a public university in Colombia, and 13 years at public universities in the United Kingdom.
- Subjects taught include: Food Technology (Unit Operations); Biochemistry; Organic Chemistry; Research Skills (including statistical analysis); Food Biotechnology; Food Sensory Analysis; EU Food Regulation.
- Eight years' experience of academic programmes in Food and Nutrition at BSc Hons level.
- Ten years' experience of E-learning module coordination.
- Liu PWS, McKinley A, Sanchez T, Ceballos H, O'Brien GM. Can lyoprotectant/ cryoprotectant compounds help reduce losses in activity level of cassava linamarase enzyme when it is subjected to freeze-thaw stresses?. In: ASEAN Food Conference 2015. 2015, SMX Convention Center, Manila, Philippines.
- Ip RMH, McKinley A, OBrien GM. Evaluation of reduced-sodium Irish soda bread leavened using potassium bicarbonate and ammonium bicarbonate. In: ASEAN Food Conference 2015. 2015, SMX Convention Center, Manila, Philippines. In Press.
- Kong C, Soh C, O'Brien GM. Substitution of wheat flour with whole-grain spelt flour in cakes and its influence on consumer acceptance. In: Nutrition Society Summer Meeting. 2015, Glasgow, UK: Cambridge University Press.
- Tee M, O'Brien GM. Characterisation of growth of kefir cultures from temperate and tropical origins, and viability of kefir microorganisms undergoing food-relevant thermal treatments. In: The Gut, Its Microbes & Health. 2014, Orchard Hotel, Singapore: International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) - S.E. Asia Region.
- O'Brien GM, Weir RR, Moody K, Liu PWS. Cyanogenic potential of fresh and frozen cassava on retail sale in three Irish cities: a snapshot survey. International Journal of Food Science & Technology 2013, 48(9), 1815-1821.
- Nkhoma OWW, Duffy ME, Cory-Slechta DA, Davidson PW, McSorley EM, Strain JJ, O'Brien GM. Early-Stage Primary School Children Attending a School in the Malawian School Feeding Program (SFP) Have Better Reversal Learning and Lean Muscle Mass Growth Than Those Attending a Non-SFP School. Journal of Nutrition 2013, 143(8), 1324-1330.
- Nkhoma OW, Duffy ME, Davidson PW, Cory-Slechta D, McSorley EM, Strain JJ, O'Brien GM. Nutritional and cognitive status of entry-level primary school children in Zomba, rural Malawi. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition 2013, 64(3), 282-291.
- O'Brien GM, Stewart-Knox BJ, McKinley A, Vaz de Almeida MD, Gibney MJ. Perceived risk of metabolic syndrome and attitudes towards fat-modified food concepts among European consumers. Food Quality and Preference 2012, 23(1), 79-85.
- O'Brien GM, Ip AS. Initial evaluation of a field-friendly incubation procedure for the colorimetric assay of cassava linamarase. Food Chemistry 2008, 106, 576-579.
- McCann MJ, Gill CI, O'Brien GM, Rao JR, McRoberts WC, Hughes P, McEntee R, Rowland IR. Anti-cancer properties of phenolics from apple waste on colon carcinogenesis in vitro. Food and Chemical Toxicology 2007, 45, 1224-1230.
- O'Brien GM, Chow EP, Price RK. Initial evaluation of a field-friendly extraction procedure for the enzymatic assay of cassava cyanogens. International Journal of Food Science and Technology 2007, 42, 999-1006.
- Riis L, Bellotti AC, Bonierbale M, O'Brien G. Cyanogenic Potential in Cassava and Its Influence on a Generalist Insect Herbivore Cyrtomenus bergi (Hemiptera: Cydnidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 2003, 96(6), 1905-1914.
- Vaillant F, Jeanton E, Dornier M, O'Brien G, Reynes M, Decloux M. Concentration of passionfruit juice on an industrial pilot scale using osmotic evaporation. Journal of Food Engineering 2001, 47(3), 195-202.
- Ramírez-Salgado F, O'Brien GM, Domínguez A. Pérdidas en postcosecha de piña variedad “manzana” (Ananas comosus L. Merr.). Comparación de dos sistemas de comercialización, y aplicación de un nuevo sistema de evaluación. Revista Iberoamericana de Tecnología de Postcosecha 2001, 3, 16-23.
- Howeler RH, Oates CG, O'Brien GM, ed. Cassava, Starch and Starch Derivatives. Proceedings of an International Symposium held in Nanning, Guangxi, China. Bangkok, Thailand: Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT), 2000.
- Wilson WM, O'Brien GM, Dufour DL. Application of a picrate semi-quantitative screening assay for the cyanogenic potential of cassava roots at a remote field site. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 2000, 80, 590-594.
- Van-Oirschot Q, O'Brien GM, Dufour D, El-Sharkawy M, Mesa E. The effect of pre-harvest pruning of cassava upon root deterioration and quality characteristics. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 2000, 80, 1866-1873.
- Vaillant F, Millán P, O'Brien G, Dornier M, Decloux M, Reynes M. Crossflow microfiltration of passion fruit juice after partial enzymatic liquefaction. Journal of Food Engineering 1999, 42, 215-224.
- O'Brien GM, Van-Oirschot Q, Orozco O, Chaves AL, Mayer J. The effects of pre-harvest pruning of cassava upon post-harvest deterioration potential, scopoletin and dry matter contents. African Journal of Root and Tuber Crops 1997, 2, 120-123.
- Dufour D, O'Brien GM, Best R, ed. Cassava Flour and Starch: Progress in Research and Development. Proceedings of the International Meeting on Cassava Flour and Starch. Cali, Colombia: Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT), 1996.
- O'Brien GM, Wheatley CC, Iglesias C, Poulter NH. Evaluation, modification and comparison of two rapid assays for cyanogens in cassava. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 1994, 65, 391-399.
- O'Brien GM, Jones DM, Wheatley CC, Sanchez T. Processing approaches to optimising raw materials and end product quality in the production of cassava flours. Acta Horticulturae 1994, 375, 183-192.
- Gidamis AB, O'Brien GM, Poulter NH. Detoxification of traditional Tanzanian cassava foods. International Journal of Food Science and Technology 1993, 28, 211-218.
- Panigrahi S, Rickard J, O'Brien GM, Gay C. Effects of different rates of drying cassava root on its toxicity to broiler chicks. British Poultry Science 1992, 33, 1025-1041.
- O'Brien GM, Mbome L, Taylor AJ, Poulter NH. Variations in cyanogen content of cassava during village processing in Cameroon. Food Chemistry 1992, 44, 131-136.
- O'Brien GM, Taylor AJ, Poulter NH. Improved enzymatic assay for cyanogens in fresh and processed cassava. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 1991, 56, 277-289.