Thursday, June 3, 2021

Celebrating Jorge L. Muriel Mundo, AOCS Honored Student

We are delighted to announce that Jorge L. Muriel Mundo is one of the recipients of the 2021 AOCS Honored Students Award. The Honored Student Award encourages and recognizes graduate students doing research in the fields of lipid chemistry and greater interests in the Society. The award is sponsored by the  the AOCS Foundation.

Jorge Muriel is a Ph.D. Candidate, in the Food Science Department at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He received his bachelor's degree from UAGM University in Puerto Rico. He joined Dr. David Julian McClements research-group on fall 2017 and is currently working on finding ways to retarding lipid oxidation from lipophilic bioactive agents (e.g., β-carotene, soybean oil, curcumin etc.) within the application of food-grade biopolymers for nanotechnology approaches such as emulsion membrane-surfaces laminating coating and/or polyelectrolyte complexes. He has received academic awards including the UMass Alumni Graduate Fellowship, UMass-STEM Dissertation Fellowship, the New England IFT Robert Kluter Award for Service Scholarship, and the NSF-NRT Soft Material for Life Science Fellowship. 

He has authored and co-authored18 research articles in peer-reviewed journals with the citation of 120. He is currently serving as the UMass food science department GSO-President.

Can you tell us about your current research?

My research is focused on laminated coating engineering on emulsion surfaces-membranes to manipulate physiochemical functionalities. The systems I study consist of stabilizing labile hydrophobic bioactive compounds (such as β-carotene, curcumin, etc.). I use nanotechnology-inspired approaches that involve forming multilayer laminated coatings around nanosized oil droplets using natural biopolymers, such as polypeptides and dietary fibers. The results of this research should lead to the development of innovative approaches to stabilize vitamins, nutraceuticals, and healthy oils in emulsion-based foods using commercially viable approaches.

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

At first, I did not believe it. But then, after some moments of retrospection, I  sent an email to Dr. McClements (my advisor) to share the great news. Dr. McClement's amazing guidance has been fundamental for my research success and thereby, for me to obtain this amazing recognition. For this reason, I felt that he was the first one to hear the great news.

Congratulations Jorge Muriel!

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