Emeritus Professor Laurence Melton

MSc, PhD (Simon Fraser),CChem, FRSC, FAIC, FNZIFST, FNZIC, FIAFST

Research | Current

The chemical interaction of food molecules particularly macromolecules. For example protein dimerisation, protein-polysaccharide interactions and polysaccharide interactions to form plant cell walls (dietary fiber).Bioactive compounds in fruit are another research field.


Current projects

  • Protein-polysaccharide interactions at the atomic level with the aim of understanding the structure of foods. The Interactions of a range of pectins with β-lactoglobulin. The project involves scientists at the Riddet Centre of Research Excellence.
  • Can the health claims for antioxidants in fruit be justified? Done in conjunction with theCentre for Free Radical Research, University of Otago

  • How cellulose microfibrils are arranged with celery collenchyma tissue in celery. (The fibres that stick between your teeth). Done in conjunction with Dr Zoe Poper, University of Ireland at Galway.

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Editor of Food Chemistry

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Chen, D., Harris, P. J., Sims, I. M., Zujovic, Z., & Melton, L. D. (2017). Polysaccharide compositions of collenchyma cell walls from celery (Apium graveolens L.) petioles. BMC plant biology, 17 (1)10.1186/s12870-017-1046-y
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Philip Harris
  • Xu, A. Y., Melton, L. D., Ryan, T. M., Mata, J. P., Jameson, G. B., Rekas, A., ... McGillivray, D. J. (2017). Sugar-coated proteins: the importance of degree of polymerisation of oligo-galacturonic acid on protein binding and aggregation. Soft matter, 13 (14), 2698-2707. 10.1039/c6sm02660e
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Duncan McGillivray
  • Xu, A. Y., Melton, L. D., Williams, M. A. K., & McGillivray, D. J. (2017). Protein and polysaccharide conjugates as emerging scaffolds for drug delivery systems. International Journal of Nanotechnology, 14 (1/2/3/4/5/6), 470-470. 10.1504/IJNT.2017.082468
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Duncan McGillivray
  • Hettiarachchi, C. A., Melton, L. D., Williams, M. A. K., McGillivray, D. J., Gerrard, J. A., & Loveday, S. M. (2016). Morphology of complexes formed between β-lactoglobulin nanofibrils and pectins is influenced by the pH and structural characteristics of the pectins. Biopolymers, 105 (11), 819-831. 10.1002/bip.22917
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Duncan McGillivray, Juliet Gerrard
  • Zujovic, Z., Chen, D., & Melton, L. D. (2016). Comparison of celery (Apium graveolens L.) collenchyma and parenchyma cell wall polysaccharides enabled by solid-state (13)C NMR. Carbohydrate research, 420, 51-57. 10.1016/j.carres.2015.11.006
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Zoran Zujovic
  • Kent, L. M., Loo, T. S., Melton, L. D., Mercadante, D., Williams, M. A. K., & Jameson, G. B. (2016). Structure and Properties of a Non-processive, Salt-requiring, and Acidophilic Pectin Methylesterase from Aspergillus niger Provide Insights into the Key Determinants of Processivity Control. The Journal of biological chemistry, 291 (3), 1289-1306. 10.1074/jbc.m115.673152
  • Hettiarachchi, C. A., Melton, L. D., McGillivray, D. J., Loveday, S. M., Gerrard, J. A., & Williams, M. A. K. (2016). β-Lactoglobulin nanofibrils can be assembled into nanotapes via site-specific interactions with pectin. Soft matter, 12 (3), 756-768. 10.1039/c5sm01530h
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Duncan McGillivray, Juliet Gerrard
  • Xu, A. Y., Melton, L. D., Jameson, G. B., Williams, M. A. K., & McGillivray, D. J. (2015). Structural mechanism of complex assemblies: characterisation of beta-lactoglobulin and pectin interactions. Soft matter, 11 (34), 6790-6799. 10.1039/c5sm01378j
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Duncan McGillivray

Contact details

Primary location

SCIENCE CENTRE - CHEMISTRY - Bldg 301
Level 5, Room 507
23 SYMONDS ST
AUCKLAND 1010
New Zealand