Prof. Davidovich-Pinhas’ lab combines materials science and engineering to develop foods that are more nutritious and sustainable without compromising taste. Too much saturated and trans fats found in products like butter, cheese, and red meat can lead to heart disease and other health problems.
Davidovich-Pinhas is developing ‘oleogels’ — gel-like alternatives created from plant oils that can be used to replace unhealthy fats. Other research in the lab includes the development of eco-friendly edible food packaging material and the use of oleogel nanoparticles for pharmaceutical gels and patches.
The Technion is leading the revolution towards sustainable food-protein sources with the establishment of the SPRC, and Prof. Davidovich-Pinhas’ work will be part of those efforts. The SPRC is a first-of-its-kind multidisciplinary initiative to connect researchers from different academic faculties at the Technion with academics at other universities and companies to address the global challenges of human health, food insecurity, and climate change. The new Center will partner with the international Good Food Institute to develop and promote protein alternatives based on plant, cell culture, and fermentation. One such candidate is the cultivated meat startup Meatafora, founded by Technion Professor Marcelle Machluf, which uses Prof. Davidovich-Pinhas’ work in fat texturization.
Prof. Davidovich-Pinhas earned her degrees at the Technion. During her graduate studies, she developed a new family of mucoadhesive polymers for biomedical and pharmaceutical applications. She moved into the field of food materials and oleogels during her post-doctoral work at the Department of Food Science at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. She joined the Technion faculty in 2015.