Natural plant-based meat analogues
A Newton Fund collaboration for the Thai food industry
Over the last few weeks, colleagues from the SLRI Synchrotron in Thailand have visited the Industrial Liaison Team at Diamond to conduct research under the STFC Newton Fund programme. While they were here, we took the chance to find out a little more about the work they are doing and how Diamond has helped them to advance this research. Here we speak to Sukayna Chaipayang, the lead scientist for the project.
Please introduce yourself and your colleagues
My name is Sukanya Chaipayang. I’m a beamline scientist at Synchrotron Light Research Institute, based in Nakhonratchasima, Thailand. My co-workers are Worawikunya Kiatponglarp and Somchai Tancharakorn.
What does your normal work entail?
Can you explain a bit about your current work with Diamond
This precursor (derived from chlorophyll) was produced by replacing the magnesium in chlorophyll with iron.
How did this research come about?
What is the potential impact of your research?
What techniques did you use at Diamond?
How has Diamond enhanced your research?
By conducting our study at Diamond, we were able to access advanced research instruments, with more intense energy and flux than those available at our synchrotron in Thailand. This enabled us to quickly and effectively study the structure and bonding between atoms of our heme substitute, using Extended X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (EXAFS).
How did this collaboration come about?
What have the challenges been? Any surprises?
After data processing, we were able to determine the structure and bonding between atoms of iron and its surrounding atoms. However, contrary to our predictive models, the surrounding atoms in some sample structures showed different bonding behaviours. We therefore needed to be careful when analysing our data, in order to establish a new model and obtain the detailed structural information.
What have been your key findings?
What learnings will you take back from this trip to Diamond?
Do you have any advice for other organisations wanting to collaborate with Diamond through the Newton Fund?
To participate, organisations need to provide a proposal outlining their work and the perceived impact of the project.