Hajara completed her Master’s degree in Food Science & Technology and holds a patent on a novel prebiotic formulae that can maximize the growth of probiotics in vitro. Her PhD project, completed at the Food and Mood Centre, primarily investigated the potential mechanisms by which dairy consumption may influence health, and also assessed the relationship between dairy consumption and health outcomes, which are currently understudied and equivocal. As part of her PhD she was also involved in the Moo’D trial, which is a 16-week randomised controlled trial designed to investigate the impacts of A2 vs conventional dairy products on mood, cognition and gut health.
Hajara is currently working on developing a fibre supplement from banana stems with the aim of using this supplement as a potential adjunctive therapy for common mental disorders. The initial phase of this project will be carried out by collaborating with Dr. Russell Keast (CASS Food Research Centre, Deakin University) and Prof. Peter Gibson (Department of Gastroenterology, Monsah University). Given the very large burden attributable to common mental disorders globally, this new knowledge has important implications for population health.
Research areas: Functional foods, Gut microbiota, Gut-brain axis, Fermentation, Nutritional Epidemiology