PhD Position in Modelling Lipid Oxidation in Emulsions
Wageningen University Laboratory of Food Chemistry

PhD Position in Modelling Lipid Oxidation in Emulsions

Location Wageningen

End date Mon 31 August 2020

We are looking for

Do you have experience with modelling of (bio-)chemical reactions, or an interest to apply your skills in physics/mathematics to modelling of chemical reactions, then we’re looking for you.

The PhD position  we open is about “Modelling lipid oxidation in emulsions”. You will become part of a larger NWO project with two industrial partners, working with 7 other PhD candidates at Wageningen University (WUR), University of Amsterdam (UvA), Eindhoven University of Technology (TuE). The overall goal is to understand and control the mechanisms behind lipid oxidation in emulsions in order to identify novel anti-oxidant strategies. 

The other PhD projects have already started to collect data on the conversion of unsaturated fatty acids into the different oxidation products (using LC-MS, GC-MS), radicals formed (NMR) and the localization of oxidation effects. You will work on the development of new modelling approaches to combine all these data in a quantitative model, that enables the quantitative prediction of lipid oxidation in wet and dry emulsions. The model should be able to describe the effects of changes in product formulation and conditions on the process. The model should link the reaction of initial unsaturated fatty acids to primary and secondary oxidation products (to the formation of off-flavors). In later stages also the heterogeneous distribution of reactants and possible diffusion of reactive species through the emulsion should be included. As such, this project should create a deeper understanding of the molecular mechanisms dominating the lipid oxidation process in emulsified systems. The goals are to provide a comprehensive understanding of the relevant mechanisms and to use this knowledge to efficiently develop approaches to increase the oxidative stability of nature-inspired emulsified foods.  A better control and understanding of lipid oxidation in food will help to reduce negative effects on nutritional properties, generation of off-flavors and reduced shelf life of the products. This will help to answer the growing consumer demand for sustainable (ambient supply chain) and natural (without artificial antioxidants) products. To achieve this, the complex mechanisms behind lipid oxidation in emulsions need to be studied in molecular detail. 

We ask

For this position we are looking for a candidate with the following qualifications:

  • Excellent research skills;
  • ability to work in a multi-disciplinary project; 
  • excellent communication skills;
  • an MSc where you have built experience with mathematical/model descriptions of reactions, for instance chemical engineering, applied physics, applied mathematics;
  • or: an MSc in food chemistry with strong affinity to, and experience with, modelling approaches.
The selected PhD fellow should have passed for an English proficiency test (e.g. TOEFLL or IELTS) before the employment starts.

We offer

We offer you a temporary position for a period of 1.5 years with extension of 2.5 years after successful evaluation. Gross salary per month € 2.395,- in the first year rising up to € 3.061,-  per month in the fourth year, based on a full-time appointment. 

In addition, we offer:

  • 8% holiday allowance;
  • a structural end-of year bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent training opportunities and secondary employment conditions;
  • flexible working hours that we determine together in good consultation;
  • excellent pension plan through ABP;
  • 232 vacation hours, the option to purchase extra and good supplementary leave schemes, e.g. the possibility to work a maximum of 2 hours per week extra for extra leave;
  • a flexible model to put together part of your employment conditions yourself, such as a bicycle plan;
  • a lively workplace on the Wageningen Campus;
  • make use of the sports facilities on campus for a small fee.
Wageningen University & Research stimulates internal career opportunities and mobility with our internal recruitment policy. There are ample opportunities for personal initiative in a learning environment. With us you get a versatile job in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.

More information


For more information about this function you can contact Peter Wierenga, assistant professor Food Chemistry (; tel.: +31 317 483 786). 

Do you want to apply?

This can be done directly via the application button at the vacancy on our website so that we can process your personal data with your permission. This vacancy is open until 1st September 2020. 

Equal opportunities employer

We are an employer that offers equal opportunities. We are happy to receive applications from all suitably qualified people regardless of race, gender, functional impairment, religion / belief, sexual orientation or age.
We believe that a diverse and inclusive working environment makes us a more relevant, competitive and resilient organization. Click here for more information about working at WUR with a functional impairment.

We are

The mission of our University is to explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life. Within Wageningen University & Research, nine specialised research institutes from the Wageningen Research Foundation and Wageningen University have joined forces to help answer the most important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment. 

With approximately 30 locations, 6,500 employees, and 12,000 students, it is one of the leading organisations in its domain worldwide. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of the unique approach of Wageningen. We have been named Best Employer in Education category 2019-2020.

The Laboratory of Food Chemistry (FCH) engages in teaching and research on chemical reactions occurring during processing of raw materials into foods, on the functionality of food ingredients, and on the efficient conversion of biomass remaining after processing. The research of FCH is divided in five areas, i.e. (i) dietary carbohydrates, (ii) lignocellulosics, (iii) phytochemicals, (iv) proteins and (v) lipids, and has state-of-the-art infrastructure to facilitate the research, including ESI-iontrap MS, ESI-TOF-MS, MALDI-TOF-TOF-MS, GC-MS,(U) HPLC, CE, and preparative chromatography. FCH has access to excellent NMR and ESR facilities. FCH is a dynamic international team comprising around 15 staff members, 25 PhD students and post-docs, and 40 BSc and MSc thesis students annually. More information on our team can be found at:

Click here for more information about working at Wageningen University & Research.

More information about Wageningen Campus you can find here.

Acquisition regarding this vacancy is not appreciated.

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