Marjorie Ladd Parada


I am a complete foodie, I studied my BSc in Food Technology back in Mexico. This was followed by 6 years working in the Applications and Development lab in a food additive company. My main work was related in developing new sweetener and hydrocolloid blends to achieve the client's specifications of sugar reduction in a variety of foodstuffs. 

The itch for learning drove me back to University, but now for a Master's degree. Not content with just going back to the academic world, I decided to continue my studies abroad, thus my coming to the University of Leeds, which is a leader in Food Science. Motivated by the learning environment and the research quality, I eventually decided to apply for a PhD. Initially, I thought I would like to stay within the subject area of my MSc (Food Biotechnology). However, serendipity would have it that I would be directed towards Prof Malcolm Povey. who was looking for a student interested in working on a project about fundamental studies on cocoa butter crystallisation, in collaboration with Nestlé, P.T.C. Having no previous experience on crystallisation, DSC, SAXS, and NMR, I thought this was an excellent opportunity to learn something new, broaden my horizons, and challenge myself in ways I had never done before.

I am now more than half way through my PhD, and it has certainly been challenging in more ways than one, but it has also been one of the most rewarding, and gratifying experiences. It has opened my eyes to things I didn't even know existed and has allowed me to collaborate with academics, in and out of Food Science, thus making it a thoroughly enriching experience.

Research interests

I am mainly interested in the effect of different parameters on the crystallisation of natural fats, more specifically cocoa butter.

I primarily work with SAXS/WAXS, DSC, FFC-NMR and polarised microscopy. From these techniques, I obtain information that helps me understand the fat crystals, as well as the pre-crystalline structures, helping me understand the nucleation and the start of crystallisation, as well as the polymorphic transitions.


  • BSc Food Technology
  • MSc Food Science (Biotechnology)

Research groups and institutes

  • Food Colloids and Processing