Development of Microencapsulation technology for targeted delivery of enzymes in the gastrointestinal tract of ruminants

Dr Netsanet Shiferaw Terefe and Dr Danyang Ying


Business Unit: Agriculture and Food

Research Program: Food Program

Robert Bell and Fiona Soulsby


Dr Francisco Trujillo

UNSW Sydney

Faculty of Engineering

School of Chemical Engineering

Project Description

Forages consist of 40 to 100% of ruminant diet. Forages are often high fibre and low quality, and digestive pathways can further limit digestibility and nutrient utilisation. The use of targeted enzymes can potentially improve fibre digestibility and feed utilization rate. The challenge is the delivery of such enzymes in active form to the hind gut for digesting the residual fibre fraction, since passage through the upper gastrointestinal tract of ruminants and specially the low pH environment of the abomasum can cause inactivation of target enzymes. This project aims at developing a microencapsulation technology that enables protection of enzymes during passage through the various pH environment in the gastrointestinal tract of ruminants enabling release in the hind gut (cecum/large intestine). The successful delivery of these enzymes in active form in the hind gut is expected to enhance feed utilization rate in animal production with significant economic benefit.

Interested applicants are encouraged to apply before the closing date. EOIs will be reviewed as they are received and recruitment will continue until a suitable applicant is found.

If you have previously submitted an Expression of Interest to this project, please do not apply again unless there have been changes in your research outputs e.g. new publications, or in your eligibility requirements, e.g. a change in residency status.

The successful candidate will receive a four-year scholarship of $41,092 per annum (indexed). Find out more about the UNSW-CSIRO Industry PhD Program Scholarship

Ideal candidate

The UNSW-CSIRO iPhD program seeks Australian/New Zealand Citizens and Australian Permanent residents with the skills to become future applied research and innovation leaders and a strong motivation to work with and/or in industry. To be considered, applicants must hold a four-year Bachelor's degree with first-class Honours, or an equivalent qualification. 

For this project, the ideal candidate would have a degree in chemical engineering, chemistry, food science, material science or related fields with experience in physiochemical and chemical analyses and processing techniques such as high pressure homogenization, fluidized bed coating and spray drying.

Project Location

The successful candidate will likely spend up to 75% of their time at the CSIRO Agriculture and Food Werribee site, in order to have access to laboratory and pilot plant facilities essential for the project.

Internship Location

Sydney, NSW (Flexible)

Closing date: