Professor Paul Andrew Kilmartin

BA/BSc(Hons) (Well), STB (Rome), GradDipTh, MTh (SCD), PhD (Auck), LTCL, FNZIC, FNZIFST

Research | Current

My main areas of research are fairly evenly divided between wine chemistry and applications of conducting polymers with the Biocide Toolbox programme and the Polymer Biointerface Centre, currently involving 6 PhD and 2 MSc/BSc(hons) projects and several international visitors. My main scientific training is in the area of Electrochemistry, coupled with the use of a range of Chromatographic, Spectroscopic and Surface Analysis techniques. Several additional projects to those listed below are being undertaken in collaboration with researchers across the University of Auckland in which Electrochemical facilities are being made available, including projects on chemical sensors and organic electrosynthesis.

  • (A) Conducting polymers as chemical sensing elements.  PEDOT and polyanilines are used as redox mediators for the determination of antioxidants in beverages, including polyphenols, ascorbic acid and SO2 in wines, grape juices, teas and milk. This research includes applications of voltammetric methods to monitoring patient disease status (with Prof Anthony Phillips of SBS).
  • (B) Conducting polymers as antioxidants. The antioxidant properties of conducting polymers has been investigated for several years after the discovery of this property at Auckland. This work provided a research theme within the ‘Hybrid Polymers’ MBIE programme, with a strong commercialisation focus, and has included the successful development of antioxidant and antimicrobial polyaniline/polyethylene blends.
  • (C) Grape tannins for applications in active packaging. The antimicrobial and antioxidant properties of grape tannins extracted from winery waste are being investigated within the 'Biocide Toolbox’ MBIE programme. Tannin structures are also being investigated using solid state NMR, FTIR and various chromatographic methods.  More recent work is focusing on biodegradable plastic options for food packaging, in collaboration with Prof Koro de la Caba of the University of the Basque Country, Spain.
  • (D) Sauvignon blanc harvesting methods. This research centres around an Auckland discovery that more intense varietal aromas are produced with machine harvesting versus hand-picking of grapes, coupled with effects of juice oxidation that can be regulated with sulfite additions at harvest. The timing of antioxidant additions are being investigated, along with novel grape maceration and pressing procedures (with Villa Maria, Constellation, and Delegats wineries). The research involves a collaboration with Assoc Prof Wessel Du Toit of the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.
  • (E) Sauvignon blanc and Pinot Gris aroma profiles.  The chemical aroma composition of both Sauvignon blanc and more recently Pinot Gris are being surveyed, to identify distinctive aroma compound profiles for New Zealand wines. Aroma modelling involving sensory panel outputs is being developed.  Aroma stability is also being examined in relation to polyphenol oxidation, including novel electrochemical approaches, while storage temperature has been identified as being of overriding importance for Marlborough Sauvignon blanc.
  • (F) Pinot noir phenolic measurement.  Methods to quantify polyphenol compounds in Pinot noir grapes and wines are being developed as part of a 5-year MBIE programme led by Bragato Research Institute on improving NZ Pinot noir production. Starting in 2018, the research involves a postdoctoral researcher and PhD student working in collaboration with Assoc Prof Roland Harrison of Lincoln University.

Postgraduate supervision

Research projects are offered in all research projects mentioned above.

Research group

Research Fellows 2019/22

  • Dr Leandro Dias Araujo - Pinot noir phenolic measures
  • Dr Mahsa Motshakeri - Electrochemical sensor development
  • Dr Alaitz Etxaberria - Functionalised Biopolymers
  • Dr Melodie Lindsay - Pinot noir wine phenolics
  • Billy Yang - Pinot noir terroir

PhD students 2019/22

  • Xiaotong Lyu - Harvesting effects on Pinot gris aroma
  • Lingdai Liu - Biodegradable antimicrobial packaging
  • Billy Yang - Phenolics in Pinot noir winemaking
  • Wenyao Zhu - Aroma profiling in wines using GC-IMS (with Constellation)
  • Cristian Hernandez - Phenolic profiles in quality red wines (with Villa Maria)
  • Bahareh Sarmadi - Impact of sulfur and oxygen on white wine aroma profiles
  • Kyle Engel - 3D printing of polymer actuators
  • Cannon Giglio - Red wine spectroscopic and chemometric analyses

MSc/ BSc(hons) students 2019/22

  • Kevin Jitpungtum - Biogredable antioxidant packaging
  • Brandt Bastow - Hyperoxygenation of white wines
  • Phillipa Thompson - Terpenes from native plant extracts
  • Deborah Gutierrez Nunez - Enzyme biosensors
  • Alexandra Gamet - Sauvignon blanc sensory panels
  • Helaina Dorreen - Spectroscopic analysis of quercetin
  • Rebecca Fougere - Pinot noir maceration
  • Keely Cho - Pinot noir micro-oxygenation

International Visitors 2019/22

  • Dr Ran Suo (Agricultural University of Hebei, CHINA) - Aromas in Jujube wine
  • Dr Xijuan Zhao (Southwest University, Chongqing, CHINA) - Cyclic voltammetry of citrus fruits
  • Dr Alaitz Etxaberria (Public University of Navarre, SPAIN) - Natural colorants in edible films
  • Arianna Ricci (PhD student at the University of Bologna, ITALY) - Electroanalytical method development
  • Florian Castelot (Intern student, Escom, FRANCE) – Cyclic voltammetry of grape juices
  • Francois Madec (Intern student, Rennes, FRANCE) – Chardonnay maceration trials
  • Julia Betzin (Intern student, GERMANY) – Sauvignon blanc sensory panel
  • Pauline Daniel (Intern student, FRANCE) – PEDOT microelectrodes
  • Suzanne Callerot (Intern student, FRANCE) - Sauvignon blanc harvesting trials
  • Annabel Bozon (Intern student, GERMANY) - Electrochemistry of Sauvignon blanc juices
  • Anna-Theresa Hienl (Intern student, GERMANY) - Electrochemistry of Sauvignon blanc juices
  • Veronika Barbulescu (Intern student, GERMANY) - Tannin/plastic composites
  • Philippine Armand (Intern student, FRANCE) - Sauvignon blanc harvesting trials
  • Ute Herold (MSc student, University of Bonn, GERMANY) - Sauvignon blanc wine trials
  • Tania Garrido (PhD student, BIOMAT research group, SPAIN) - Biodegradable active packaging
  • Lucia Kottgen (MSc student, University of Bonn, GERMANY) - Elemental sulfur in grape juice
  • Pete Tunbridge (MChem student, University of Southampton, UK) - Electrochemistry of wine at PEDOT electrodes
  • Zhengwei Zhang (PhD student, Jiangnan University, CHINA) - Formation of quinones in Chinese bayberry wine

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Etxabide, A., Kilmartin, P. A., & Maté JI (2021). Color stability and pH-indicator ability of curcumin, anthocyanin and betanin containing colorants under different storage conditions for intelligent packaging development. Food Control, 121.10.1016/j.foodcont.2020.107645
  • Chen, X., Fedrizzi, B., Kilmartin, P. A., & Quek, S. Y. (2021). Development of volatile organic compounds and their glycosylated precursors in tamarillo (Solanum betaceum Cav.) during fruit ripening: A prediction of biochemical pathway. Food Chemistry, 339.10.1016/j.foodchem.2020.128046
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Bruno Fedrizzi, Siew-Young Quek
  • Zhang, C., Quek, S. Y., Fu, N., Su, Y., Kilmartin, P. A., & Chen, X. D. (2020). Storage stability and in vitro digestion of microencapsulated powder containing fermented noni juice and probiotics. FOOD BIOSCIENCE, 3710.1016/j.fbio.2020.100740
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Siew-Young Quek
  • Motshakeri, M., Phillips, A. R. J., Travas-Sejdic, J., & Kilmartin, P. A. (2020). Electrochemical Study of Gold Microelectrodes Modified with PEDOT to Quantify Uric Acid in Milk Samples. ELECTROANALYSIS, 32 (9), 2101-2111. 10.1002/elan.202060086
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jadranka Travas-Sejdic, Anthony Phillips
  • Zhang, C., Chen, X., Zhang, J., Kilmartin, P. A., & Quek, S. Y. (2020). Exploring the effects of microencapsulation on odour retention of fermented noni juice. JOURNAL OF FOOD ENGINEERING, 27310.1016/j.jfoodeng.2019.109892
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Siew-Young Quek
  • Zhao, X. J., Guo, P. M., Pang, W. H., Zhang, Y. H., Zhao, Q. Y., Jiao, B. N., & Kilmartin, P. A. (2020). A rapid UHPLC-QqQ-MS/MS method for the simultaneous qualitation and quantitation of coumarins, furocoumarins, flavonoids, phenolic acids in pummelo fruits. Food chemistry, 32510.1016/j.foodchem.2020.126835
  • Chen, X., Quek, S. Y., Fedrizzi, B. R. U. N. O., & Kilmartin, P. (2020). Characterization of free and glycosidically bound volatile compounds from tamarillo (Solanum betaceum Cav.) with considerations on hydrolysis strategies and incubation time. LWT - Food Science and Technology, 12410.1016/j.lwt.2020.109178
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Siew-Young Quek, Bruno Fedrizzi
  • Zujovic, Z., Kilmartin, P. A., & Travas-Sejdic, J. (2020). The Applications of Solid-State NMR to Conducting Polymers. The Special Case on Polyaniline. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 25 (3).10.3390/molecules25030444
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jadranka Travas-Sejdic


Contact details

Primary office location

SCIENCE CENTRE 302 - Bldg 302
Level 9, Room 937
New Zealand

Web links