Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Lipid Processing and Biotechnology Award Winner Feature: Yunbing Tan

Question and answer with Lipid Processing and Biotechnology Award Winner: Yunbing Tan

Bio: Yunbing Tan is currently a third-year Ph.D. candidate in the Food Biopolymers and Colloids laboratory at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She has a strong academic background in food science with competitive GPAs in both Bachelor's (3.82/4.00) and Master's (3.67/4.00) degrees. Previously, she has done research in several distinctive areas, including evaluation and characterization of emulsion systems and their in-vitro digestion fate, protein hydrolysis and its application in dairy products functional foods. To date, she has published 14 scientific articles in well-respected journals with three of them as the first author. Her work has been with many scholarships and awards during her undergraduate and graduate studies. In the future, she would like to continue research on the application of the INFOGEST method to understand the gastrointestinal fate of various emulsions systems in regard to their lipid digestion properties as well as bioavailability of encapsulated components.

1) What was your reaction when you learned you won Lipid Processing and Biotechnology Nutrition Award?

I am thrilled that I have received this honor and have been recognized by AOCS. I am more enthusiastic in continuing my current research.

2) How did you get started in the area of focus that you are studying?

I am interested in research on nutrition and human health. In our lab, one of the biggest research areas lies in the use of an in- vitro digestion model in assessing the digestion and bioaccessibility of various food systems. Therefore, I think it would be interesting to work on a more comprehensive study on the impact of various food matrix effects so as to better understand how different food products influence nutritional values.

3) What challenges have you overcome during your course of study?

The development of the in- vitro model that better mimic the in- vivo environment is still under investigation. Recently, the INFOGEST model was published which is recognized as a standard method. Therefore, I have spent a great deal of time in applying the INFOGEST method in our lab.

4) Do you have any words of wisdom for other AOCS student members?

It is equally important that we work, think and communicate.

5) How has winning the AOCS Lipid Processing and Biotechnology Award helped you develop as a young scientist?

It is so helpful to be recognized for my work and encouraged to continue what I have been doing so far. It works as great motivation for the future of my research.

6) Can you tell us about your current research?

I am working on in vitro digestion studies to better understand the impact of food matrix effects on vitamin and nutraceutical bioaccessibility. My study showed that one can modulate the bioaccessibility of hydrophobic nutraceuticals by various means, including changing the oil-phase composition (digestible or indigestible oils) or the addition of different food-grade components (e.g. chitosan, calcium). Consuming nutraceutical-rich foods with these food matrices could lead to unfavorable impacts the efficacy of nutraceuticals. However, these systems might be of great potential as modification into specialized delivery systems. For example, chitosan, which binds to the precipitate mixed micelles, might be digested by gut microbiota in the colon, so the mixed micelles loaded with nutraceuticals might be liberated and available for adsorption again. An improved understanding of the impact of food matrix effects is important for nutrition supplementation as well as food engineering.

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