Agnes Mukurumbira

PhD Candidate

Agnes Mukurumbira is a PhD Candidate at the CASS Food Research Centre investigating the use of plant-based antimicrobials for applications in food packaging.

As a response to green consumerism and the persistent proliferation of foodborne pathogens and spoilage microorganisms in the food industry, Agnes’ research is investigating the antimicrobial activity of selected GRAS essential oils that are grown and/or native to Australia. In a bid to improve the biological and chemical stability of the essential oils, mask their strong aromas and possibly improve their antimicrobial efficacy, her research is exploring encapsulation of the oils. Furthermore, she is formulating and characterizing biodegradable antimicrobial active packaging containing encapsulated essential oils thus allowing for their sustained release.

Prior to commencing her PhD, she completed her Master’s degree in Food Science and Technology at the Durban University of Technology in South Africa. Her research explored the use of starch nanocrystals to improve the physicochemical properties of biodegradable food packaging.  Agnes is a holder of a diploma and a bachelor’s degree in Food Technology.


Research interests and skills

Biodegradable packaging, active packaging, food microbiology, nanotechnology, natural antimicrobials, human nutrition



  • Mukurumbira, A., Shellie, R., Keast, R., Palombo, E. and Jadhav, S., 2023. The antimicrobial efficacy of native Australian essential oils. Food Australia, 75(1), pp.16-17.
  • Mukurumbira, A.R., Shellie, R.A., Keast, R., Palombo, E.A., Muir, B.W. and Jadhav, S.R., 2023. The antimicrobial efficacy of native Australian essential oils in liquid and vapour phase against foodborne pathogens and spoilage microorganisms. Food Control, 151, p.109774.
  • Mahato, D.K., Jadhav, S.R., Mukurumbira, A.R., Keast, R., Liem, D.G., Shah, R. and Gamlath, S., 2022. Physicochemical properties and microbial safety of reduced‐sugar chocolate‐flavored milk. Journal of Food Processing and Preservation, 46(3), p.e16409
  • Mukurumbira, A.R., Shellie, R.A., Keast, R., Palombo, E.A. and Jadhav, S.R., 2022. Encapsulation of essential oils and their application in antimicrobial active packaging. Food Control, p.108883.
  • Agnes R. Mukurumbira, John J. Mellem and Eric O. Amonsou (2017). Effects of amadumbe starch nanocrystals on the physicochemical properties of starch bio-composite films. Carbohydrate Polymers, 165: 142-148
  • Agnes R. Mukurumbira, Marcos Mariano, Alain Dufresne, John M. Mellem, Eric O. Amonsou (2017). Microstructure, thermal properties and crystallinity of amadumbe starch nanocrystals. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 107: 241-247
  • Agnes R. Mukurumbira (2015). Nanotechnology takes industry forward: industry talk. Food Manufacturing Africa, 3: 25.