Friday, February 19, 2021

Spotlight on Hualu Zhou, AOCS Honored Student

The Honored Student Award, Sponsored by the AOCS Foundation, encourages and recognizes graduate students doing excellent research. This spotlight will introduce you to Hualu Zhou, Graduate Student University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA, one of the 2021 Honored Students.   

Hualu Zhou, is a Ph.D. candidate, in the Food Science Department at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  She received her masters degree from Xiamen University in China and bachelors degree from Nanchang University in China.  She joined the research group of Dr. David Julian McClements in 2017, and is currently working on the gastrointestinal fate of organic and inorganic nanoparticles in foods.  She has authored and co-authored 26 research articles in peer-reviewed journals with the citation of 285.  She has also received honors and awards from international food institutions, including the AOCS and Institute of Food Technologist. At UMass, she has worked as a teaching fellow in College of Natural Science from 2019. She has served as the chair of UMass Life Sciences Graduate Research Council 2019-2020, and now she is the president of UMass ACS/AGFD Student Chapter.

Can you tell us about current research?

My research is focused on the potential benefits and drawbacks of using organic and inorganic nanoparticles in our foods and the thesis topic will be The gastrointestinal fate of organic and inorganic nanoparticles in foods. These nanoparticles are being added to foods as functional ingredients to enhance their safety, quality, shelf-life, or healthfulness. There is, however, considerable controversy about adding nanoparticles to food, it is, therefore, important to establish both their potential beneficial effects, as well as their potential to promote toxicity.

What was your reaction when you learned you had won the award?

I was so excited and could not wait to share it with my dear advisor and lab mates in the first time. Then I shared this good news with my family and my two kids.

How has AOCS helped develop your career?

AOCS provides students many chances to learn from professionals and our peers.

Meet our honored student and learn about her research

Hualu Zhou will be presenting an invited paper on 'Food Hydrocolloids: Application as Functional Ingredients to Control Lipid Digestion and Bioavailability', and a second presentation on 'Fortification of Plant-Based Milk with Calcium may Reduce Vitamin D Bioaccessibility: An In Vitro Digestion Study' at the AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo, May 3-14, 2021.

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