Contact us

Professor Todor Vasiljevic

PhD (UAlberta), BEng (UBanjaLuka)

Research Leader, Advanced Food Systems

Todor is one of the teaching and research leaders in the College of Health and Biomedicine. Since his start at VU in the early 2000's, he has established vibrant and recognizable research in the area of Food Science through tight links with national and international food enterprises.

Todor's research expertise encompasses:

  • Physical chemistry of foods -
    • food rheology
    • food property characterisation and modelling
    • protein-protein and protein-polysaccharide interactions;
  • Dairy science and technology -
    • value-added dairy products
    • functional properties of dairy products
    • advanced processing technologies and techniques
    • fermented dairy products (i.e. cheese and yoghurt)
    • functional properties of milk
    • advanced membrane technologies in dairy processing (novel ingredients, energy and water recovery);
  • Functional foods and nutraceuticals -
    • physiological properties of dietary proteins
    • improvement of functional properties of proteins
    • improvement of physiological functionality of whole grains
    • specialised processing to preserve functional qualities of foods;
  • Enhancement of shelf life -
    • technologies and techniques for increasing shelf life
    • novel methods for preservation of bioactive materials
    • impact of food preservation technologies on functional properties
    • food safety and security
    • risk assessment of the supply chain;
  • Microbial and enzyme technology and engineering -
    • indigenous animal and microbial enzymes and their application
    • novel microbial applications in waste water treatment
    • probiotics.

Recent publications

Refereed journal articles

Bogahawaththa, D., Chandrapala, J., Vasiljevic, T. (2017). Thermal denaturation of bovine immunoglobulin G and its association with other whey proteins. Food Hydrocolloids. 72, 350–357 DOI: 10.1016/j.foodhyd.2017.06.017

Uduwerella, G., Chandrapala, J., Vasiljevic, T. (2017). Minimising generation of acid whey during Greek yoghurt manufacturing. Journal of Dairy Research, 1-9. DOI: 10.1017/S0022029917000279

Nishanthi, M., Chandrapala, J., Vasiljevic, T., (2017).Properties of whey protein concentrate powders obtained by spray drying of sweet, salty and acid whey under varying storage conditions. Journal of Food Engineering. In press. DOI: 10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2017.06.032

Nishanthi, M., Vasiljevic, T., Chandrapala, J. (2017). Compositional and structural properties of whey proteins of sweet, acid and salty whey concentrates and their respective spray dried powders. International Dairy Journal. In press. DOI: 10.1016/j.idairyj.2017.01.002

Bogahawaththa, D., Chandrapala, J., Vasiljevic, T. (2017). Modulation of milk immunogenicity by thermal processing. International Dairy Journal. 69: 23-32 DOI: 10.1016/j.idairyj.2017.01.010

Grewal, M.K., Chandrapala, J., Donkor, N., Apostolopoulos, V., Vasiljevic, T. (2017). Predicting sediment formation in UHT-treated whole and skim milk using Attenuated Total Reflectance-Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy. International Dairy Journal. In press. DOI: 10.1016/j.idairyj.2017.01.004

Grewal, M.K., Chandrapala, J., Donkor, N., Apostolopoulos, V., Stojanovska, L., Vasiljevic, T. (2017). FTIR analysis of physicochemical changes in UHT milk during accelerated storage. International Dairy Journal. 66: 99–107. DOI: 10.1016/j.idairyj.2016.11.014

Chandrapala, J., Vasiljevic, T. (2017) Properties of spray dried lactose powders influenced by presence of lactic acid and calcium. Journal of Food Engineering. 198: 63-71. DOI: 10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2016.11.017

Nishanthi, M., Vasiljevic, T., Chandrapala, J. (2017) Properties of whey proteins obtained from different whey streams. International Dairy Journal. 66: 76–83. DOI: 10.1016/j.idairyj.2016.11.009

Grewal, M.K., Chandrapala, J., Donkor, N., Apostolopoulos, V., Vasiljevic, T. (2017). Electrophoretic characterization of protein interactions suggesting limited feasibility of accelerated shelf life testing of UHT milk. Journal of Dairy Science. 100: 76-88 DOI: 10.3168/jds.2016-11278

Rahaman, T., Vasiljevic, T., Ramchandran, L. (2017). Digestibility and antigenicity of ß-lactoglobulin as affected by heat, pH and applied shear. Food Chemistry. 217, 517–523, DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2016.08.129

Chandrapala, J., Duke, M.C., Gray, S.R., Weeks, M., Palmer, M., Vasiljevic, T. (2017) Strategies for maximizing removal of lactic acid from acid whey - addressing the un-processability issue. Separation and Purification Technology. 172: 489–497. DOI: 10.1016/j.seppur.2016.09.004

View more of Todor's publications.

Teaching responsibilities

  • HPC1001 Food components
  • HFS2001 Properties of food

Postgraduate research students & fellows

Currently primary supervisor of 4 Postdoctoral fellows, 5 PhD, and 1 MSc students; associate supervisor of 4 PhD students.

PhD completions

  • Modulation of functional properties of whey proteins using microparticulation (2011, Muditha Dissanayake, principal supervisor)
  • Membrane distillation in dairy processing (2014 Angela Hausmann, associate supervisor)
  • Short chain fatty acids as immune modulators in inflammatory disorders (2014, Miloud Asarat, principal supervisor, minor corrections, under revision)
  • Effects of carbon emission reducing diet on bovine milk properties (2014, Aprianita Aprianita, principal supervisor, minor corrections, under revision)
  • Immuno-modulatory properties of probiotic bacteria: screening and metabolic evaluation for clinical applications (2016, Rabia Ashraf, principal supervisor)
  • Milk protein concentrates (MPC) with enhanced functionalities produced using membrane ultrafiltration (2016, XiaoXia Lorna Luo, principal supervisor)
  • Processing induced conformational changes of food proteins in relation to antigenicity (2016, Md. Toheder Rahaman, principal supervisor)
  • The effect of salt reduction, culture and process modifications on physicochemical and microbiological characteristics of Cheddar-type cheeses (2016, Ali Shaibani, associate supervisor)
  • Identification of bioactive peptides produced in synbiotic yogurt having anticancer properties (2016, Baidya Nath Prasad Sah, principal supervisor)
  • Endogenous muscle proteases involved in softening mechanisms and release of bioactive peptides during storage of underutilized fish species (2017, Zeinab Ahmed, principal supervisor)
  • Microparticulation of caseins/whey protein mixtures (2017, Winston Samantha Liyanaarachchi, principal supervisor)
  • Anti-carcinogenic peptides derived from fish by-products (2017, Rahmi Nurdiani, principal supervisor)
  • Membrane-based process for the extraction of bromelain from pineapple waste (2017, Mohd Zuhair M. Nor, principal supervisor)
  • In vitro physiological activities of peptides derived from underutilized Australian fish species (2017, Vasambal Manikkam, associate supervisor)
  • Mapping the thermo-tolerant proteases in ultra high temperature treated milk using molecular approaches (2017, Nuwan Ruwani Sulthanagoda Vithanage, principal supervisor)
  • Anticarcenogenic peptides derived from milk proteins (2017, Khaled Elfahri, principal supervisor, under assessment).

MSc completions

  • Assessment of underutilized starchy roots and tubers for their applications in the food industry (2009, Aprianita Aprianita, principal supervisor)
  • Bioactive peptides liberated from milk proteins by Lactobacillus sp. (2012, Khaled Elfahri, principal supervisor)
  • Application of membrane distillation in dairy processing (2014, Thilini Hettiarachchi, associate supervisor, minor corrections, under revision)
  • Phase behaviour of lactose as affected by presence of lactic acid and minerals (2015, Rangani Shakila Niwanthi Wijayasinghe, principal supervisor)
  • A novel strategy for reducing acid whey resulting from Greek yoghurt production (2017, Gangani Uduwerella, principal supervisor)
  • Impact of thermal processing and shearing of raw milk on the state of proteins (2017, Anushka Mediwaththe, principal supervisor).

Honours completions

  • 11 students as principal supervisor.

Research grants

Competitive research grants

  • 2010 - 2013 Partner investigator - Gardiner foundation in collaboration with Department of Primary Industry, University of Melbourne and National Measurement Institute: Feeding Systems for Higher Value Milk ($500,000 over 3 years administered by DPI)
  • 2009 - 2013 Chief Investigator - Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage, in collaboration with Geelong Food Co-Product Cluster: The effect of dietary fish peptides on biomarkers of human health - the influence of processing conditions and the environment ($201,840 over 3 years)
  • 2009 - 2013 Chief Investigator - ARC Linkage, in collaboration with Institute for Sustainability and Innovation and Dairy Innovation at VU: Innovative zero-energy membrane technologies to reduce water consumption in the dairy industry ($126,420 over 3 years).

Other research funding

Over $2,000,000 (in addition to competitive grants) from a number of international and national food companies and research institutes for various industry-related projects, including:

  • Fonterra
  • Ward-McKenzie
  • Norfolkfoods
  • Omniblend
  • Dairy Innovation Australia
  • Geelong Food Co-products Cluster
  • Northern Poultry Cluster
  • DSTO
  • Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory
  • Melbourne Water Corporation
  • City West Water
  • Central Highlands Water
  • South East Water.

Professional memberships

  • Institute of Food Technologists, Chicago, IL, USA
  • American Dairy Science Association, IL, USA
  • Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology Incorporated

Areas of expertise

  • Dairy science and technology
  • Enhancement of shelf life
  • Functional foods and nutraceuticals
  • Microbial and enzyme technology and engineering
  • Physical chemistry of foods

Contact details

+61 3 9919 8062