Xue Zhao

PhD Project: Novel potato starch – New structure descriptors may reveal properties for new applications

Starch is a cheap raw material and is widely used for food and in industry. Starch consists of the two polymers amylose and amylopectin and the properties of starch are influenced both by the ratio of these two molecules and by the structure of amylopectin. The aim of my project is to get detailed knowledge of amylopectin structure. It is important in order to understand the biosynthesis of starch as well as the relationship between structure and properties and in the prolonged view to genetically customize starch with specific properties. The project is funded by SLU, Mistra Biotech and TC4F.


Roger Andersson, Department of Molecular Sciences, SLU. Mariette Andersson, Department of Plant Breeding, SLU


Department of Molecular Sciences, SLU

About Xhu

I grew up in a village located in the northeast of China and I did my Bachelor at Northwest Agricultural and Forestry University in China. After that I came to Sweden and got my MSc at SLU before the PhD study. Being a PhD-student I feel that I have embarked on a journey of constant challenges, I feel lucky to work with highly qualified people from whom I learn a lot. If I can understand the details in the biosynthesis of starch and the relationships between structure and properties we may tailor starch at the genetic level for various food. We could also customize starch with desired functional properties for non-food applications, without need for further physical or chemical modification of the starch. This would be a sustainable, economic friendly and green alternative approach, since physical and chemical modification of starch is time, money, and energy consuming as well as chemical and labor intensive. I am happy to work with my project because potato is such a popular food and my work might have an impact on environment and people’s wellbeing.

Go back to the previous page