Food Nutrition Current Topics of Investigation

Evaluating lycopene-rich tomato products' ability to modify postprandial oxidative stress, inflammation and endothelial function in healthy weight individuals and the potentially important protective role of tomato in reducing cardiovascular disease risk.

  • Developing methods for assessing antioxidant capacity of fruit and fruit-based beverages, and investigating phenolic compound composition and antioxidant capacities of strawberry- and milk-containing beverages.
  • Determining the impact of HPP and HT (pasteurization) on the antioxidant capacity of strawberry/milk-based beverages as measured by ORAC and FRAP units.
  • Investigating the stability of abundant flavonoids in processed versus unprocessed beverage samples using the LC-MS/MS technique, and assessing the effect of processing on microorganisms and their growth over a target storage period.
  • Detecting, identifying and quantifying polyphenolic compounds and their metabolites in human plasma after ingestion of a strawberry-based beverage using LC-MS/MS in order to examine the availability of phytochemicals and the correlation between the concentrations of such compounds in human blood and their consequent health-promoting bioactivity.
  • Establishing rapid in vitro assays to assess the effects of fruit polyphenols on endothelial cell functions.
  • Identifying and characterizing health-promoting compounds in cranberries to enhance understanding of the phenolic composition, antioxidant properties, biological activities, and other potential health benefits of red and white cranberry fruits.

Nutrition Research Projects

  • Bioavailability of polyphenolic compounds from Berry fruits.  Transition studies (long-term effects verified)- Insulin sensitivity, Glucose and lipid management
  • Bio efficacy: Working model for delivering ‘processed ‘with health value / benefits of ‘fresh’.
  • Metabolic disturbances in middle-Age – impact on cognitive performance / relation to age-related cognitive declines
  • “Fibers” and Microbiome composition and function.
  • Effects of a typical American diet high in refined carbohydrates compared to a diet that replaces some refined carbohydrates with healthy fats on cardio-metabolic men and women with pre-diabetes and metabolic syndrome
  • Red Raspberries and Insulin Action: Understanding the role of red raspberry consumption on oxidative stress- and inflammatory- mediated insulin action in humans
  • Effectiveness of a smart phone based lifestyle intervention for diabetes prevention and management
  • The impact of avocado fruit on postprandial markers of the glycemic response, satiety/appetite and cardiometabolic risk
  • The cholesterol lowering effects of strawberry

Key Staff Members and Contact Information

Director, Center for Nutrition Research, Associate Professor, IIT
708.341.7078
Associate Director, Center for Nutrition Research; Associate Professor of Food Science, IIT
708.563.8178
Director, Business Development, Adjunct Industry Professor, IIT
708.563.8175
Senior Research Associate, IIT
708.563.8823