Dr Peter Sopade

Honorary Senior Fellow

Centre for Nutrition and Food Sciences
Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation


Food properties, extrusion, and processing-quality interface, with special interest in starch.

He received his PhD from the University of Reading, UK, and his current research projects are in the fields of:

  • Extrusion studies
  • Food material science, with special reference to grains, roots and tubers
  • Applications of process engineering to feed manufacture
  • Postharvest handling and processing
  • Food value-additions

Research Interests

  • Starch research
    Starch, a polymer of glucose, is made up of amylose and amylopectin, and is a widely-used industrial material. It is gelatinised, when subjected to heat-moisture(-shear) treatments, and this transformation influences the characteristics of starch-based products. The mechanisms of starch gelatinisation are still not fully understood because of variations in structure and granule organisation and constitution. Our research probes structure-property relationships using various techniques (e.g. FTIR, DSC, SANS, WAXS, SAXS, NMR, and GPC). The roles of �plasticisers� (water, glycerol and sugars) are valuable for our research to widen the applications of our results.
  • Extrusion research
    This is part of the major interest in food processing, and our studies on extrusion cooking concentrate on processing-property interface. We study the relationship between processing parameters and feed properties on extruder response and extrudate characteristics. Microstructural analysis is included, and the main objective of this research is to engineer a product of well-defined characteristics by optimizing extrusion conditions and feed properties.
  • Material-property-processing
    Our studies in this area allow us to understand how food and feed properties are related to processing to define end uses. We have related glass transition of honeys to their crystallisation tendency, and studied changes to this transition during starch gelatinisation. We have studied how particle size defines digestibility. We are also investigating changes in rheology during digestion. The studies above have been conducted on food and feed materials that include cereals, legumes, roots, tubers, and sago starch.


  • BSc, The University of Ibadan
  • MSc, University of Reading
  • PhD, University of Reading


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Book Chapter

  • Halley, Peter J., Truss, Rowan W., Markotsis, Martin G., Chaleat, Celine, Russo, Melissa, Sargent, Anna Lisa, Tan, Ihwa and Sopade, Peter A. (2007). A review of biodegradable thermoplastic starch polymers. In M. C. Celina and R. A. Assink (Ed.), Polymer Durability and Radiation Effects (pp. 287-300) United States: American Chemical Society. doi:10.1021/bk-2007-0978.ch024

  • Sopade, P. A., Bhandari, B. R., D'Arcy, B. R., Halley, P. J. and Caffin, N. A. (2002). A study of vitrification of Australian honeys at different moisture contents. In Harry Levine (Ed.), Amorphous Food and Pharmacentical Systems 1st ed. (pp. 168-183) UK: Royal Society of Chemistry.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Edited Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

Completed Supervision