Monday, March 22, 2021

Celebrating Hefei Zhao, Analytical Division Student Awardee

The Analytical Division Student Award recognizes graduate students presenting an outstanding oral or poster presentations within the Analytical technical program at the AOCS Annual Meeting. We are delighted to announce that the 2021 award will be presented to Hefei Zhao who will be presenting his paper on "Insights of Impact of Acetic Acid on Antioxidant Activities of Natural Phenolic Compounds at Low pH Range in Tween 20 O/W Emulsion and Mayonnaise" on Friday, May 7, 2021 8:25 – 8:45 a.m. CDT as one of the highlights of our session on Antioxidant Applications. 

In January 2021 Hefei Zhao successfully defended his doctoral thesis and completed his Ph.D. program in Food Science Department at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln (UNL). He will officially receive his doctoral degree in May 2021. He has a bachelors and a masters degree in Food Science and Technology from Jiangnan University, China. He started his Ph.D. program at UNL in 2016, advised by Dr. Changmou Xu.

Hefei's work focuses on developing functional ingredients of under-utilized agricultural commodities and applying natural antioxidants and polyphenols derived from grapes in fatty foods. His areas of interest also include evaluating the functional properties of proteins (plant base and egg white proteins) for an appropriate application in food products and developing rapid analytical methods (Machine-Learning-Driven Raman Spectroscopy) to detect food quality and compositions such as edibles oils, lipid oxidation, and proteins. He is also endeavoring to apply intelligent algorithms and mathematic models, such as Genetic Algorithm (GA) and Machine/ Deep learning to solve technique and engineering problems in the field of food nutrition, science, and technology.

Can you tell us about you current research?

My researches at UNL focus on applying polyphenols in fatty food as natural antioxidants which aim at organic and natural foods, also using rapid and non-destructive methods coupling with machine-learning algorithms to detect oil quality in fatty foods. Those topics are consumer-driven and cutting-edge in the current Food Science community. The goal and its significance enable me to gain commitment and enthusiasm for tackling difficulties during my research and achieving new accomplishments.

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

I was excited and very happy. I also felt satisfied that my contributions to Food Science and Oil Chemistry have been recognized by the AOCS authority and community.

How has AOCS helped develop your career?

AOCS mainly focuses on edible oil chemistry, which is a specific aspect of Food Science, and interactively provides information and communications among its members. AOCS helps me to build up academic 'bridges and connections' for frequently exchanging ideas with scholars in the community. It also provides excellent platforms such as annual meetings and webinars for me to quickly disseminate my research outcomes. Those are very crucial and important for my career development in the area of Food Science and Technology.

Congratulations, and we are looking forward to hearing your talk!

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