Friday, March 19, 2021

Bingjing Zheng, AOCS Lipid Chemistry and Nutrition Award

 The AOCS Lipid Chemistry and Nutrition Award recognizes outstanding performance and achievement of graduate students conducting research in lipid chemistry and nutrition. The award is sponsored by Seawit Co., Inc.,  Qingdao, China.

We are delighted to announce that the 2021 Lipid Chemistry and Nutrition Award has been won by Bingjing Zheng, a Ph.D. candidate in the Biopolymer & Colloids Research Laboratory at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. This spotlight will introduce you to Bingjing. You can learn more about her work by attending her poster presentation on "Loading natural emulsions with nutraceuticals using the pH-driven method: Formation & stability of curcumin-loaded soybean oils bodies" at the 2021 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo.

I started work in this lab as an undergraduate research assistant in my junior year of my bachelors degree My pI, Prof. David Julian McClements provided me with opportunities to study a broad range of analytical and innovative technologies. I found my passion and a target for my life: to be a Food Scientist. I continued my education with him and started on my own project on the development and design food-grade lipid delivery system to enhance the performance of the bioactive agents. I have published 15 manuscripts in well-respected scientific journals and received over 450 citations from other researchers.

 I have also had the opportunity to teach in graduate-level courses. My future work will focus on enhancing the commercial application of bioactive hydrophobic ingredients, and designing clean label delivery systems for their encapsulation and delivery. I anticipate these will find application in foods, supplements, and pharmaceutical industries to enhance human health and wellbeing.

Can you tell us more about your current research?

My thesis research work is focused on the the solubility, chemical stability and bioavailability of  healthy and beneficial  hydrophobic bioactive ingredients; and on using food-grade delivery system to drive these to target sites in the human body. The edible carrier could be oils, proteins, phospholipids, hydrogel beads; or natural emulsion, including plant-based and dairy milk. The challenge is that most bioactive compounds are highly hydrophobic, and have low biological availability. They also degrade quickly during processing, storage, and digestion. These factors limit their application in food products and their potential in disease prevention and treatment.  In my research I am trying to design and improve the commercial application of beneficial natural ingredients and to enhance their bioavailability for health improvement and disease prevention from daily food intake.

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

It is my honor to receive recognition from the American Oil Chemists' Society!

Thank you Bingjing Zheng we are pleased to recognize you with this prestigious award.

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