Materials Science and Engineering Seminar Series: Mar Nieto
Friday, March 11, 2011
1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.
Room 2108, Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Bldg.
Three-Dimensional Structures and Functional Properties of Gum Polymers
Gum polysaccharides include an array of structurally diverse polymers that thicken water and form films with varying tensile strengths. These polysaccharides have the ability to form intra-polymer and inter-polymer hydrogen bonding and arranging themselves into ordered structures of two-fold to up to 6-fold helices, and the extent that these occur determines how much viscosity they build and the strength of the film structure they form. Any modification to their structures, or even a small change in their conformation while in solution, is manifested either in the rheology of the gum solution or in the strength of the finished films. Moreover, they vary in molecular mass, surface charge, hydrophilic and hydrophobic substitutions on their sugar components and degree of branching that make them a very complex class of polymers. However, by understanding their structures, the functional properties of these gum polymers can be differentiated from each other or can be modified, for instance, to improve tensile strength, solubility, and oil/oxygen barrier properties of the finished films, or through their structural synergy, achieve a unique gel character and rheology.
About the Speaker
Dr. Mar Nieto received his doctorate in Food Science from the University of Georgia with a specialization in Food Engineering, and a B.S. and M.S. degrees in Food Science from the University of the Philippines. He joined TIC Gums, Inc. 19 years ago, where he was Director of Technical Services for 15 years and was responsible for directing gum applications projects, providing day-to-day technical support to customers and to other departments within his company as well as giving technical presentations and gum training to customers, food science students and new hires. With his current position at TIC Gums as Senior Principal Scientist, he has developed 5 innovative products for the company that are currently patent pending. Dr. Nieto is a gum guru and an expert in gum polysaccharides, their chemistry and functionality, their processing and manufacture and their applications in food and pharmaceutical products. He has written two book chapters entitled Structure and Function of Polysaccharide Gum-Based Edible Films and Coatings and Stabilizing Bakery Fillings with Gums. Prior to TIC Gums, Dr. Nieto was a Researcher with the University of Maryland Center of Environmental and Estuarine Studies under the Seafood Science Program and an Assistant Professor at the University of the Philippines.