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Graduate student recognized at international conference


NDSU cereal Science graduate student Maneka Malalgoda took third place in the Elsevier poster competition at the 13th International Hydrocolloids Conference held in Guelph, Canada, May 16-21.

Her poster, titled “Gliadin functionality in the gluten network: role of omega-gliadin proteins,” was part of the work she completed during her master’s degree research. Malalgoda’s adviser is Senay Simsek, Bert L. D’Appolonia Cereal Science and Technology of Wheat Endowed Associate Professor.

Malalgoda’s research looked at historical and modern hard red spring wheat released in North Dakota from 1910-2013. The study’s objective was to determine how protein chemistry in spring wheat changed over the past century.

In her study, Malalgoda determined improvements in dough quality that occurred over time could be related to the quantitative increase in glutenin and certain gliadin proteins. The functionality of the gliadin proteins and its individual components has long been debated, and Malalgoda’s results suggested a certain fraction called the omega-gliadins could be associated with favorable dough qualities.

Malalgoda recently completed her Master of Science degree in cereal science and began work on her doctorate soon after graduation, continuing to work under the Simsek’s guidance.

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North Dakota State University
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