Professor Saphwan Al-Assaf

Professor of Hydrocolloids & Analytical Chemistry


  • PhD (Salford University, UK)
  • Technical Expert and consultant for the International Atomic Energy Agency
  • Editor, International Journal of Food Science & Technology
  • Editor, International Journal of Biological Macromolecules
  • Life Member of the International Society for Hyaluronan Sciences


Professor Al-Assaf graduated in 1988 with a first class degree in Chemistry (Mosul University). He gained his MSc (1994) and PhD (1997) from Salford University in the field of radiation and solution properties of hyaluronan and cross linked form (Hylan). Subsequently he took up a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Glyndwr University Wrexham (formally North East Wales Institute of Higher Education, NEWI) working on the characterisation and modification of hydrocolloids.

In 2003 he became Director of the Phillips Hydrocolloids Research Centre at Glyndwr University and was promoted to a Reader in Chemistry in 2007, and was awarded a personal chair in 2012. He moved to Chester University in August 2015 to lead the Hydrocolloid Research Centre at the Institute of Food Science & Innovation.  Professor Al-Assaf has secured more than £2.2m in research funding from various industrial collaborators over the last ten years and has published over 100 papers


I am involved in the supervision of postgraduate research students and teaching as part of the course in Food Science & Innovation.


Current research interests mainly focus on the structure-function relationship of hydrocolloids, molecular assemblies, formulations, emulsion technology, encapsulation and radiation chemistry of hydrocolloids.

Published work


Md Salim Miah, Mohammad Sayeed Hossain, Muhammad Arif Ashraf, Saphwan Al‐Assaf, Alison McMillan: Numerical simulation of non‐Newtonian polymer film flow on a rotating spoked annulus. Journal of Applied Polymer Science 03/2017; 134(25)., DOI:10.1002/app.44943

Saphwan Al-Assaf, POLYSACCHARIDES: ORIGIN, SOURCE AND PROPERTIES in "The Radiation Chemistry of Polysaccharides", ed. S. Al-Assaf, Coqueret, X., Khairul, Z., Sen, M, Ulanski, P., International Atomic Energy Agency Vienna, 2016, Chapter 2, pp. 5-19.

Saphwan Al-Assaf, S.K.H. Gulrez, Czechowska-Biskup, R., Wach, R.A., Rosiak, J.M., Ulanski, P., RADIATION MODIFICATION OF POLYSACCHARIDES, in "The Radiation Chemistry of Polysaccharides", International Atomic Energy Agency Vienna, Austria, 2016, Chapter 4, pp. 77-115.

Saphwan Al-Assaf, ANALYTICAL TECHNIQUES FOR THE CHARACTERIZATION OF POLYSACCHARIDES, in "The Radiation Chemistry of Polysacchrides", ed. S. Al-Assaf, Coqueret, X., Khairul, Z., Sen, M, Ulanski, P., International Atomic Energy Agency Vienna, Austria 2016, Chapter 6, pp. 137-173.

Xavier Coquert, S. Sabharwal, H.M.D. KHAIRUL ZAMAN, R Czechowska-Biskup, R.A. Wach, J.M. Rosiak, P. Ulanski, S.K.H. Gulrez, S. Al-Assaf, INTRODUCTION TO THE RADIATION CHEMISTRY OF POLYMERS,  in "The Radiation Chemistry of Polysaccharides", ed. S. Al-Assaf, Coqueret, X., Khairul, Z., Sen, M, Ulanski, P., International Atomic Energy Agency Vienna, Austria 2016, Chapter 3, pp. 25-75.

Murat Şen, Pınar Taşkın, Piotr Ulanski, Renata Czechowska-Biskup,  Janusz M. Rosiak, Loïc Raimond, Saphwan Al-Assaf, DETERMINATION OF THE DEGREE OF DEACETYLATION OF CHITOSAN USING VARIOUS TECHNIQUES, in "The Radiation Chemistry of Polysaccharides", ed. S. Al-Assaf, Coqueret, X., Khairul, Z., Sen, M, Ulanski, P., International Atomic Energy Agency Vienna, Austria 2016, Chapter 7, pp. 175-195.

Jonathan Moffat, Victor J. Morris, Saphwan Al-Assaf, A. Patrick Gunning. Visualisation of xanthan conformation by atomic force microscopy. Carbohydrate Polymers 2016; 148, 380-389.  doi:

Md Salim Miah, Saphwan Al-Assaf, Xiaogang Yang, Alison McMillan. Thin film flow on a vertically rotating disc of finite thickness partially immersed in a highly viscous liquid. Chemical Engineering Science. 2016;143:226-39. doi:

Odile Chambin, Ali Assifaoui, Saphwan Al-Assaf, Thomas Karbowiak, Frédéric Debeaufort. Release of coumarin incorporated into chitosan-gelatin irradiated films. Food Hydrocolloids. 2016;56:266-76. doi:

Marina Andres-Brull, Ishragha G. Abdalla, Jesus Cirre, James Edwards, Mohammed E. Osman, Glyn O. Phillips, Saphwan Al-Assaf. Studies on acacia gums: Part VII effect of exudates form and tree age on the characteristics of Acacia seyal var. seyal and Acacia seyal var. fistulaFood HydrocolloidsVolume 45, March 2015, Pages 279–285, doi:10.1016/j.foodhyd.2014.11.028

Christer Viebke, Saphwan Al-Assaf, Glyn. O. Phillips. Food Hydrocolloids and health claims.  Bioactive Carbohydrates and Dietary FibreVolume 4, Issue 2, October 2014, pages 101-114. DOI: 10.1016/j.bcdf.2014.06.006

Jesus Cirre, Saphwan Al-Assaf, Glyn O. Phillips, Madhav P. Yadav, Kevin B. Hicks. Improved emulsification performance of Corn Fibre Gum following maturation treatment. Food Hydrocolloids 35, 122-128 (2104).

Marina Andres-Brull, Saphwan Al-Assaf, Glyn O Phillips, Kevin Jackson. Optimisation of Asymmetrical Flow-Field fractionation for the characterisation of gum arabic (Acacia sengal var senegal) and comparison with gel permeation chromatography. Anal. Methods, 2013, 5 (16), 4047 – 4052.DOI:10.1039/C3AY40835C

Sambulelwe Sibanda, Almabrok Akeel,   Stephen W Martin, Andrew W J  Paterson, Ruth Edge, Saphwan Al-Assaf and  Barry J Parsons. Efficiencies of fragmentation of glycosaminoglycan chloramides of the extracellular matrix by oxidising and reducing radicals: potential site-specfic targets in inflammation ? Free Radical Biology and Medicine. Volume 65December 2013Pages 280-290. DOI:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2013.06.036

Xiangyang Li, Yapeng Fang, Glyn O. Phillips, Saphwan Al-Assaf. Improved Sugar Beet Pectin Stabilized Emulsions through Complexation with Sodium Caseinate.  J. Agric. Food Chem., 2013, 61 (6), pp 1388–1396. DOI: 10.1021/jf304658q.

Xiangyang Li, Saphwan Al-Assaf, Yapeng Fang, Glyn O. Phillips. Characterisation of commercial LM-pectin in aqueous solution. Carbohydrate Polymers.Volume 92, Issue 2, 15 February 2013, Pages 1133–1142.

Xiangyang Li, Saphwan Al-Assaf, Yapeng Fang, Glyn O. Phillips. Competitive adsorption between sugar beet pectin (SBP) and Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) at the oil/water interface. Carbohydrate Polymers 91 (2013), pp. 573-580 DOI information: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2012.08.075

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