Faculty of Science and Technology

Wakeling, Lara (Dr) - Research

Current research projects/students

My research can be divided into 2 main areas:

  1. Compositional evaluation of food and plant materials

    As a food chemist, I utilise skills in analytical chemistry to investigate the composition of food and how it changes. My key areas of interest involve lipid chemistry and antioxidants in food, biodegradable plastics and antioxidant and antimicrobial content of Australian native plants.

  2. Learning and Teaching

    Attitudes and achievements of chemistry students. I am an integral member of an international team (Australia, New Zealand and Fiji) investigating the attitudes of 1st year health science/science students to chemistry both in Australia and in Fiji.

    Use of ePortfolios for reflective practice by undergraduate food science students. ePortfolios were introduced into a first year course in 2012. The success or otherwise of this new form of assessment is being evaluated.

    Laboratory experience of 1st year chemistry students. This research has highlighted the value and importance of laboratory practicals to help link theory and practice for both experienced and inexperienced chemistry students.

I have supervised 9 honours students, 1 Masters student and 2 PhD students to completion and currently supervising 1 honours student investigating chemical compositional changes as grapes mature and 1 PhD student investigating biodegradable packaging options

Examples of recent supervised projects:

  • The Presence and role of thiamine and riboflavin in the malting and brewing industries. (PhD)
  • The effect of High Pressure Processing on minimally processed fruits. (PhD)
  • Effect of proteins and sugars on physico-chemical and nutritional properties of extruded products. (Masters)

Consulting and other activities

Chemical evaluation of food components

Publications/conferences

Refereed Journal Articles (Published) and conference papers:

  1. Brown, S.J., Sharma, B.N., Wakeling, L., Naiker, M., Chandra, S., Gopalan, RD. and Bilimoria, V. B. (2014). Quantifying attitude to chemistry in students at the University of the South Pacific. Chem. Ed. Res. Pract., 15: 184-191.
  2. Brown, S., Wakeling, L., Peck. B., Naiker, M., Hill, D. and Naidu, K. (2014). Attitude to the subject of chemistry in undergraduate nursing students at Fiji National University and Federation University, Australia. Collegian: The Australian Journal of Nursing Practice, Scholarship and Research. In Press.
  3. Hains-Wesson, R, Wakeling, L. and Aldred, P. (2014). A University wide eportfolio initiative at Federation University Australia: software analysis, pre-production, pilot, technology, dissemination and evaluation phases. International Journal of ePortfolio. Accepted
  4. Hucker, B, Wakeling, L. and Vriesekoop, F. (2014). Vitamins in Brewing: The Impact of Wort Production on the Thiamine and Riboflavin Vitamer Content of Boiled Sweet Wort. Journal of the Institute of Brewing. In Press
  5. Muscat, D., Adhikari, R., Tobin, M.J., McKnight, S., Wakeling, L. and Adhikari, B. (2014). Effect of spatial distribution of wax and PEG-isocyanate on the morphology and hydrophobicity of starch films. Carbohydrate Polymers. In Press
  6. Naiker, M., Wakeling, L., Aldred, P. (2013). The relevance of chemistry practicals - first year student's perspective at a regional university in Victoria, Australia. Proceedings of the Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education, Australian National University, 19-21 September, pp 169-173.
  7. Hucker, B, Wakeling, L. and Vriesekoop, F. (2012). Investigations into the thiamine and riboflavin content of malt and the effects of malting and roasting on their final content. J Cereal Science, 56(2): 300-306.
  8. Hucker, B, Wakeling, L. and Vriesekoop, F. (2011). The quantitative analysis of thiamine and riboflavin and their respective vitamers in fermented alcoholic beverages. J. Agric. Food Chemistry, 59 (23), 12278-12285.
  9. Perera, N., Gamage, T.M.V., Wakeling, L, Gamlath,G.G.S. and Versteeg, C. (2010). Colour and texture of apples high pressure processed in pineapple juice. Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies 11(1), 39-46.
  10. Singh, S., Gamlath, S. and Wakeling, L.T. (2007). Nutritional aspects of food extrusion: A review. International Journal of Food Science and Technology 42: 916-929.
  11. Singh, S., Wakeling, L. and Gamlath, S. (2007). Retention of essential amino acids during extrusion of protein and reducing sugars. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 55: 8779-8786
  12. Wakeling, L.T., Mason, R.L., D'Arcy, B.R. and Caffin, N.A (2003). Microscopic structure of Australian grown pecans. Journal of Food Science, 68(7): 2238-2242.
  13. Wakeling, L.T., Mason, R.L., D'Arcy, B.R. and Caffin, N.A. (2002). Opalescence in Australian grown pecan kernels: occurrence and causes. Journal of Food Science, 67(8): 2873-2880.
  14. Wansri, R., Mason, R.L., Wakeling, L.T. and Nottingham, S.M. (2001). Maturation studies of Western Schley and Wichita pecans grown in Queensland. Food Australia, 53(12): 562-567.
  15. Wakeling, L.T., Mason, R.L., D'Arcy, B.R. and Caffin, N.A. (2001). The composition of the pecan cultivars Wichita and Western Schley (Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch) grown in Australia. Journal Agricultural and Food Chem., 49(3) 1277-1281.
  16. Wakeling, L.T., Mason, R.L., D'Arcy, B.R. and Caffin, (2000). Australian pecan nut production and processing. Food Australia, 52(12): 574-578

Books:

  1. Gamlath, Shirani and Wakeling, Lara. (2011). Non-Thermal Food Processing: Impact on Chemical, Nutritional and Bioactive Components. Nova Scientific Publishers, New York. ISBN: 978-1-61324-687-0. pp101. (Open Access) e-book: https://www.novapublishers.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=28669

Book Chapters:

  1. Gamlath,S. and Wakeling, L. (2011). Trends in High Pressure Processing of Foods: Food Quality and Bioactive Components. In: Comeau, M.A.(Ed). New Topics in Food Engineering. Nova Science Publishers, New York. (p121-151) (Open Access) ISBN: 978-1-61209-599-8 https://www.novapublishers.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=24510

Conference Presentations (since 2008):

  1. Brown, S.J., Wakeling, L. and Naiker, M. (2014). Attitude to Chemistry in First Year Undergraduate Health Sciences Students. Submitted to the Interprofessional Health Sciences Conference, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, NZ.
  2. Naiker, M., Wakeling, L., Micallef, S., Cole, A. and Bean, D. (2014). Antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of extracts from selected Australian Flora. Submitted to the RACI National Congress, Adelaide.
  3. Wakeling, L., Naiker, M, Gopalan, R.D. and Voro, T. (2014). Investigating first-year chemistry students perception of the relevance of practicals at the University of the South Pacific, Fiji. Submitted to the Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education, Sydney.
  4. Muscat, D., Adhikari, R., Tobin, M.J., McKnight, S., Wakeling, L. and Adhikari, B. (2013). The effect of spatial distribution of natural wax on the surface hydrophobicity and surface morphology in high amylose-glycerol films produced using PEG-isocyanate as the linker. National Synchratron Conference, Lorne, Australia. (Poster Presentation)
  5. Perera, N., Gamage, T.M.V., Gamlath, G.G.S., Wakeling, L.T. and Versteeg, C.. (2012). High pressure treated fresh-cut peaches in pineapple juice: Quality retention and related enzyme activities. 16th World Congress of Food Science and Technology, Brazil, August 2012. (Poster presentation)
  6. Hucker, B., Wakeling, L. and Vriesekoop, F. (2012). The presence and role of thiamine and riboflavin in the malting and brewing industries. 32nd Asia Pacific Convention, Institute of Brewing and Distilling, Melbourne, Australia (Oral presentation)
  7. Hucker, B., Wakeling, L. and Vriesekoop, F. (2011). The evolution of thiamine and riboflavin during the malting process and the potential effect of these vitamins on the brewing process. 15th Australian Barley Technical Symposium, Adelaide, 18-21 September 2011. (Oral and Poster presentation)
  8. Hucker, B., Wakeling, L. and Vriesekoop, F. (2011). The presence of thiamine, riboflavin and their respective vitamers in alcoholic beverages. 44th Annual Australian Institute of Food Science & Technology (AIFST) Convention, Sydney, 10-13 July. (Poster presentation)
  9. Hucker, B., Wakeling, L. and Vriesekoop, F. (2010). The effect of water-soluble vitamins on spoilage organisms in beer. 31st Asia Pacific Convention, Institute of Brewing and Distilling, Gold Coast, Australia (Poster presentation)
  10. Perera, N., Gamage, T.M.V., Gamlath, G.G.S., Wakeling, L. and Versteeg, C. (2008). Fresh-cut peaches in pineapple juice treated with high pressure. Food Innovation: Emerging Science, Technologies and Applications (FIESTA) 17-18th September (Poster and oral presentation).
  11. Perera, N., Gamage, T.M.V., Gamlath, G.G.S., Wakeling, L. and Versteeg, C. (2008). Quality of minimally processed peaches treated with high pressure and temperature. 41st Annual Australian Institute of Food Science & Technology (AIFST) Convention, Sydney, Australia, 21-24th July (Poster presentation)
  12. Perera, N., Gamage, T.M.V., Gamlath, G.G.S., Wakeling, L. and Versteeg, C. (2008). Effect of high pressure and pineapple juice on browning of minimally processed apples. Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Convention, New Orleans, USA. 29th June to 1st July (Oral presentation)

Professional memberships and associations

  • Professional Member Australian Institute of Food Science & Technology
  • Professional Member Institute of Food Technologists (USA)
  • Professional Member Royal Australian Chemical Institute
  • Member of ChemNet, the National Chemistry discipline network

Research interests

Lara has been involved in Food Science research for almost 20 years. This research originated from her doctoral studies investigating pecan nuts and has primarily utilised her analytical chemistry skills to analyse for various components in food. More recently Lara's research has extended into the area of teaching and learning in higher education, investigating the laboratory experiences of 1st year chemistry students, the use of ePortfolios for reflective writing, and students' attitudes and experiences of chemistry, plus the link between student attitude and achievement (all ethics approved).

Internal/external web links