Ma, Xixiu


 Xixiu MA


Assistant Professor


  2009~2013Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Auckland, PhD

(2009~2012Fonterra PhD project)

2007~2009University of Science and Technology of China, Postgraduate student

2003~2007Harbin Institute of Technology, China, Bachelor of Engineering


Journal papers  

1.Ma X, James B, Zhang L, Emanuelsson-Patterson EAC*. 2012. The stretchability ofmozzarella cheese evaluated by a temperature-controlled 3-prong hook test.Journal of Dairy Science 95(10):5561-5568. (IF=2.566)

2.Ma X, James B, Zhang L, Emanuelsson-Patterson EAC*. 2013. Correlatingmozzarella cheese properties to its production processes and microstructurequantification. Journal of Food Engineering115(2):154-163. (IF=2.276)

3.Ma X, James B, Balaban M, Zhang L, Emanuelsson-Patterson EAC*. 2013. Quantifying Blistering and Browning Properties of Mozzarella cheese. Part I: Cheese made with different starter cultures.Food Research International. 54(1):912-916. (IF=3.005)

4.Ma X, James B, Balaban M, Zhang L, Emanuelsson-Patterson EAC*. 2013. Quantifying Blistering and Browning Properties of Mozzarella cheese. Part II: Cheese with Different salt and moisture contents. Food Research International. 54(1):917-921. (IF=3.005)

5.Ma X, Balaban M, Emanuelsson-Patterson EAC, Zhang L, James B* . Cheese browning and blistering during pizza baking - quantifying color and color uniformity by image analysis, under review.



  1.11th International Congresson Engineering and Food, “Food Process Engineering in a Changing World” , Athens, Greece, May 2011.

2.1st International Conference on Organic Food Quality and Health Research, Prague, Czech Republic, May 2011.

3.11th Annual Functional Foods Symposium, Auckland, New Zealand, November 2011.

Research area

1.Developing techniques to evaluate the functional properties of food, including rheology, stretchability (with oil bath), free oil formation, meltability, blistering and browning properties.

2.Microstructure study using Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy (CLSM), and image analysis on the microstructure to evaluate the size and circularity of fat globules.

3.Computer Vision techniques and image analysis techniques on food appearance after baking.

4.Correlating the food functionality to its production, composition and microstructure, using Principal Component Analysis, to find that the free oil formation is correlated with the size of fat globules, and it also has an influence on cheese blistering properties.

Research skills and experience

 1.Developing improved method to evaluate cheese stretchability by adding a temperature controlled oil bath system to control the temperature and humidity.

2.Designing the production procedures of model samples by changing a wide range of production processes.

3.Cheese production at Fonterra Research and Development Centre: Pasteurisation, starter cultures addition, coagulation with rennet, etc.

4.Using equipment including Rheometry, Instron, LM, CLSM, ESEM, Computer Vision, HPLC, DSC, FTIR, FoodScan dairy analyser, Novasina LabMaster, etc.

5.Image analysis and data analysis software including Image pro plus, ImageJ, Lenceye, Photoshop, Statistica, Origin.

6.Data analysis techniques: Principal Component Analysis, Analysis of variance, etc., and property analysis on the transition temperature, activation energy of flow, yield load and inversion point extension etc.