I. Thompson

B.Sc, Ph.D., U.W.I.
Lecturer (Food)

Dr Ian Thompson

Research Interests

1.Food Product Research & Development.

i.Flavour delivery systems utilizing Micro-Encapsulation techniques: Micro-encapsulation technology has wide application in the pharmaceutical and food industries, and is associated with the targeted and slow release of drugs, as well as delivering probiotics (beneficial microbes) to the intestines. Ongoing research will seek to develop local expertise in micro-encapsulation techniques using model food systems, and extend its application to include the delivery of distinctly Jamaican food flavours.

ii.Sensory Evaluation (SE):
Sensory Evaluation (e.g. taste testing) is an important compliment to instrumental analysis – in assessing product quality and consumer acceptance. Within the local context, SE is an underutilized technique and has application within the food and non-food industries. Research efforts are intended to correlate product attributes to consumer acceptance while incorporating the sensory perceptions of the UWI student body (as future trend setters and leaders).

2.Identification and Screening of local agro-crops as candidates for Bio-diesel production.
Recent increases in the cost of fossil fuels and the resulting diversion of food crops to bio-fuels (corn to ethanol, etc.) have raised concerns about Jamaica’s food security and highlighted our economy’s vulnerability to external pressures. As part of efforts to identify sources of renewable energy, local agro-crops will be screened to identify possible candidates for bio-diesel production which, if commercialized, would reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, stimulate economic activity and reduce environmental pollutants (improve air quality).

3.Developing Entrepreneurial skills in Chemistry undergraduate students.
Science education curricula have traditionally prepared students for specific roles in existing organizations. Traditionally,new graduates are not equipped to function in a society which is contracting (resulting from either loss of preferential export markets or paradigm shifts in production technology). Strategies are being developed to improve student learning outcomes by encouraging an entrepreneurial orientation through a series of guided team building exercises, and project work directed business plan development – based on a scienced based business idea.

Selected Publications

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