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Carb Alternatives

MBBE PhD student taps crowdfunding for his research

  • 12 September 2022
  • Author: Mark Berthold
  • Number of views: 505
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Carb Alternatives

by Nick Sinclair

Hawaiʻi’s heavy dependence on imported foods also means we experience periods with a higher degree of uncertainty over the availability of products. For example, due to our increasing reliance on grain as a source of carbohydrates, crippling shortages can occur if the supply from California or Asia is interrupted.

Learning about and investigating carbohydrate alternatives can increase the local availability of foods and value-added products. In Hawaiʻi, many tropical plants contain alternative sources of carbohydrates that have not been fully explored. Using mycology and fermentation, we can tap our tropical plants to increase the amount of bioavailable carbohydrates to humans.

My name is Nicholas Sinclair, and I’m a Ph.D. candidate in the Dept. of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering. The main focus of my research is fermentation biochemistry although I also dabble in conotoxin biochemistry and aquaculture. Through fermentation, I hope to make a difference in the world by increasing carbohydrate stability and accessibility.

For my latest project, “Increasing the bioavailability of carbohydrates through the interface of mycology and fermentation,” I have turned to Experiment.com so that others can support my research. You can read more here.

My main goal is to investigate the carbohydrate (sugars) availability in various fermented preparations by employing the fungi Aspergillus oryzae, which break can down many raw materials, including wastewater. I plan to utilize mycology and fermentation to render carbohydrates considered indigestible into a usable form. To do this, I will be building a custom fungal growth chamber.

Please consider helping me complete this project, which has the potential to help individuals and communities across Hawaiʻi. Mahalo for your kokua.

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