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Study confirms long-term effects of ‘chemobrain’ in mice

Editor’s notes:

To reach Catarina Rendeiro, email acnr@illinois.edu.

To reach Justin Rhodes, call 217-265-0021; email jrhodes@illinois.edu.

To reach William Helferich, call 217-244-5414; email helferic@illinois.edu.

The paper “Long-lasting impairments in adult neurogenesis, spatial learning and memory from a standard chemotherapy regimen used to treat breast cancer” is available online and from the News Bureau.

DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2016.07.043

Original story posted here:
https://illinois.edu/blog/view/6367/396468

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New Lecture Video: The Science and Magic of Changing Food Behavior, by Prof. Karen Chapman-Novakofski

As part of the FSHN Graduate Student Association’s Spring 2015 Pioneer Seminar Series, on April 27, 2015, Prof. Karen Chapman-Novakofski presented the lecture “The Science and Magic of Changing Food Behavior,” which overviews her research on osteoporosis, diabetes, and calcium-rich foods, as well as online tools and other media meant to help teens and others manage their food behaviors.

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Gene mapping reveals soy’s dynamic, differing roles in breast cancer

New research by doctoral candidate Yunxian (Fureya) Liu and nutrition professor William Helferich suggests that soy’s breast cancer preventive properties may stem from eating soy-based whole foods across the lifespan. Photo by L. Brian Stauffer. Click photo to enlarge.

4/28/2015 | Sharita Forrest, News Editor | 217-244-1072; slforres@illinois.edu

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Scientists have mapped the human genes triggered by the phytonutrients in soy, revealing the complex role the legume plays in both preventing and advancing breast cancer. 

Researchers at the University of Illinois found that the compounds in minimally processed soy flour stimulate genes that suppress cancer, while purified soy isoflavones stimulate oncogenes that promote tumor growth. The paper, available online, was accepted for publication in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research.

Yunxian (Fureya) Liu, a graduate researcher in the laboratory of nutrition professor William G. Helferich, investigated more than 22,680 gene expressions in tumors collected from mice. The mice were injected with MCF-7 human breast-cancer cells and fed one of four diets – including one based on soy flour that contained mixed isoflavones, and another diet based on a purified isoflavone mixture. 

Each of these diets contained 750 parts per million of genistein equivalents, an amount comparable to that consumed by women eating a typical Asian diet. Genistein is the primary isoflavone in soy, and recent studies have raised concerns about its long-term effects and potential role in carcinogenesis.

Asian women’s risks for breast cancer tend to be three to five times lower than those of women in the U.S., which some researchers have attributed to Asian women’s consumption of soy-based whole foods, such as tofu and soy flour, across their lifespans. However, it’s unclear whether post-menopausal women in the West achieve similar protective benefits by consuming purified isoflavone supplements later in life.

In the current study, the mice’s ovaries had been removed to simulate post-menopausal women, and Liu found that the soy flour and purified isoflavone diets had differing effects on their cells’ expression of genes associated with breast cancer.

The mice that consumed soy flour exhibited higher expression of the tumor-suppressing genes ATP2A3 and BLNK, each of which is associated with suppressed tumor growth. These mice also expressed lower levels of oncogenes MYB and MYC, which researchers have found to be critical to tumor growth during early stage breast cancer, and associated with the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells, respectively.

“Most important, we found that the soy flour strengthened the whole immune function, which probably explains why it does not stimulate tumor growth,” said Liu, who is completing both a doctorate in human nutrition and a master’s degree in statistics.

Conversely, the purified isoflavones stimulated tumor growth by activating oncogenes MYB and MYC, while suppressing both immune function and antigen processing, the body’s natural process of seeking out and destroying cancer cells.

Liu correlated the gene expression of the tumor cells with that of women with breast cancer. She found that the purified isoflavones promoted the expression of two kinesin family genes, KIF14 and KIF23, each of which has been associated with shorter survival rates – i.e., less than five years. Accordingly, the isoflavone diet also decreased expression of zinc finger protein gene 423, also called ZNF423, which has been linked with survival rates of five years or greater among breast cancer patients.

Liu’s findings also support a hypothesis called the soy matrix effect, a theory that soy’s cancer preventive properties are derived from the interactions of complex bioactive compounds – other than isoflavones – within whole foods, such as soy flour.

“There was a difference in the biological responses of mice that consumed the soy flour and those that consumed isoflavone supplements, although both diets contained the same amount of the phytoestrogen genistein,” Liu said. “The findings suggest that it’s advisable for women with breast cancer to get isoflavones from soy whole foods, rather than isoflavone supplements.”

Helferich, a co-author on the paper, said purified isoflavones behave similarly to estrogens such as estradiol, which prior studies have linked with the growth and proliferation of breast cancer cells.

“The gene array data for the isoflavones look very similar to estradiol, which turns on many of the same genes, while the array data for the soy flour look somewhat like the negative control,” said Helferich, who has been studying the effects of soy for more than 20 years. “When the estradiol is removed, the tumors regress and almost become non-detectable. But with the soy flour, the tumors don’t grow or regress, so they’re not exactly like the negative control.” 

In another new study at Illinois, researchers found that soy isoflavones enhanced the growth of bone micro-tumors in mice with estrogen-responsive breast cancer, causing the tumors to metastasize more aggressively from bone to lung. Xujuan Yang, an associate researcher in Helferich’s laboratory, led that project. 

The mice that consumed an isoflavones diet had triple the number of tumors – and had larger tumors – on their lungs, compared with their counterparts in the control groups, Yang found. A paper on the study was published in the April issue of Clinical and Experimental Metastasis. 

“The main take-home message is, if you have breast cancer, isoflavone dietary supplements are not recommended,” Helferich said. “However, consuming soy from a whole food – along with other legumes – is likely safe.”

Editor’s note: To contact Yunxian Liu, call 217-265-50781 or e-mail yliu89@illinois.edu
To contact William Helferich, call 217-244-5414; e-mail helferic@illinois.edu


Original story by Sharita Forrest, University of Illinois News Bureau, found here:
http://news.illinois.edu/news/15/0428Soy_WilliamHelferich.html

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Scientists tackle our addiction to salt and fat by altering foods’ pore size, number

URBANA, Ill. – Two University of Illinois food scientists have learned that understanding and manipulating porosity during food manufacturing can affect a food’s health benefits.

Youngsoo Lee reports that controlling the number and size of pores in processed foods allows manufacturers to use less salt while satisfying consumers’ taste buds. Pawan Takhar has found that meticulously managing pore pressure in foods during frying reduces oil uptake, which results in lower-fat snacks without sacrificing our predilection for fried foods’ texture and taste.

Both scientists are experts in food engineering and professors in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences’ Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.

Regarding salt, Lee said, “Six in 10 American adults either have high blood pressure or are on the borderline of this diagnosis largely because they eat too much salt. Overconsuming salt is also associated with the development and severity of cardiovascular and bone diseases, kidney stones, gastric cancer, and asthma.”

Because 70 percent of the salt Americans consume comes from processed foods, Lee began to study the relationship between the microstructural properties of these foods and the way salt is released when it is chewed.

“Much of the salt that is added to these foods is not released in our mouths where we can taste it, and that means the rest of the salt is wasted,” he said. “We wanted to alter porosity in processed food, targeting a certain fat–protein emulsion structure, to see if we could get more of the salt released during chewing. Then food manufacturers won’t have to add as much salt as before, but the consumer will taste almost the same amount of saltiness.”

Increasing porosity also changed the way the foods broke apart when they were chewed, exposing more surface area and increasing saltiness, he said.

“When foods crumble easily, we further reduce the amount of salt that is needed. Changing the number or size of pores in the food’s surface can help us to accomplish this,” he said.

Takhar said that his porous media approach to understanding the behavior of water, oil, and gas during frying will help create strategies that optimize the frying process, reduce oil uptake, and produce lower-fat foods.

The articles Takhar publishes in academic journals feature page after page of complex mathematical equations that describe the physics involved in the transport of fluids and in textural changes in foods. These equations then guide the simulations that he performs in his laboratory.

“Frying is such a complicated process involving more than 100 equations. In a matter of seconds, when you put the food in the fryer, water starts evaporating, vapors form and escape the surface, oil penetration starts, and heat begins to rise while at the same time there’s evaporative cooling off at different points in the food. Some polymers in the food matrix may also change their state, and chemical reactions can occur. It’s not an easy set of changes to describe,” he said.

Within 40 seconds of frying, the texture of gently fried processed foods like crackers is fully developed, the scientist said. “That’s the cracker’s peak texture. Any longer and you’re just allowing more oil to penetrate the food.

“A lot of frying research has focused on capillary pressure in the oil phase of the process, but we have found that capillary pressure in the water phase also critically affects oil uptake,” Takhar said.

Capillary pressure makes overall pore pressure negative, and that negative pressure tends to suck oil from inside. His simulations show when that pressure is becoming more negative.

“The trick is to stop when pore pressure is still positive (or less negative)—that is, when oil has had less penetration. Of course, other variables such as moisture level, texture, taste, and structure formation, must be monitored as well. It’s an optimization problem,” he noted.

When this exquisite balance is achieved, lower-fat, healthier fried foods are the result, he added.

“Temporal Sodium Release Related to Gel Microstructural Properties—Implications for Sodium Reduction” was published in a recent issue of Journal of Food Science. Lee and Wan-Yuan Kuo are co-authors of the study, which will continue to be funded by USDA. “Modeling Multiscale Transport Mechanisms, Phase Changes, and Thermomechanics during Frying” was published in a recent issue of Food Research International. Co-authors are Takhar and Harkirat S. Bansal of the U of I and Jirawan Maneerote of Kasetsart University in Bangkok, Thailand. The Takhar study was funded by USDA and the Royal Thai Government.


News Sources:
Youngsoo Lee, 217-333-9335
Pawan Takhar
, 217-300-0486

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Two University of Illinois food scientists receive USDA food safety grants

URBANA, Ill. – Two University of Illinois professors have received $861,714 in grant money from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to fund research that will improve the nation’s food quality.

A four-year grant for nearly $500,000 was awarded to Pawan Takhar, a U of I associate professor of food engineering, to study damage to foods caused by ice recrystallization during freeze-thaw cycles. Shyam S. Sablani, associate professor of biological systems engineering at Washington State University, is a co–principal investigator on the project.

“Millions of dollars’ worth of food products are damaged during shipping and storing due to moisture migration and ice crystal growth caused by freeze-thaw cycles. Data generated from our physics-based mathematical modeling and experimentation will help the food industry improve the operation and design of its freezing units,” Takhar said.

Youngsoo Lee, a U of I assistant professor of food science, was awarded a USDA NIFA grant for over $360,000 for research that will enable food manufacturers to design solid food systems that will enhance saltiness and achieve sodium reduction in a broad range of products.

“Six in 10 American adults either have high blood pressure or are on the borderline of this diagnosis largely because they eat too much salt,” he explained.

Because 70 percent of the salt Americans consume comes from processed foods, Lee studies the relationship between the microstructural properties of these foods and the way salt is released when it is chewed.

“Much of the salt that is added to processed foods is not released in our mouths where we can taste it, and that means the rest of the salt is wasted,” he said. “We want to alter porosity in these foods to see if we can get more of the salt to be released during chewing. Then food manufacturers won’t have to add as much salt as before, but the consumer will taste almost the same amount of saltiness.”

Soo-Yeun Lee, a U of I associate professor of food science, and Jan Ilavsky, a physicist at Argonne National Laboratory, are co–principal investigators on Lee’s grant-funded research.


News Sources:
Youngsoo Lee, 217-333-9335
Pawan Takhar
, 217-300-0486

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U of I researchers receive USDA grant to develop childhood obesity intervention programs

URBANA, Ill. – University of Illinois researchers have been awarded a USDA grant that aims to decrease childhood obesity rates in Hispanic populations.

The grant, funded under the 2014 Farm Bill through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) for nearly $500,000, intends to continue support up to five years for a total of $3.4 million.

The program, Abriendo Caminos, is a six-week workshop series that promotes healthy dietary behavior patterns and basic knowledge of nutrition; positive family interactions, including shared family mealtimes; and active living in low-literacy, low-income Hispanic families. It specifically targets 6- to 18-year-old children of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage in five locations across the country.

Abriendo Caminos was developed by two faculty members in the U of I’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. The program is directed by Margarita Teran-Garcia, a U of I assistant professor of nutrition and Extension specialist for Hispanic health programs. Angela Wiley, a U of I associate professor in family studies, co-directs the project.

Affiliated with Abriendo Caminos at other sites are Amber Hammons at California State University, Fresno; Kimberly Greder of Iowa State University; Maria L. Plaza and Nancy J. Correa at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez; and Sylvia Crixell of Texas State University.

The research team intends to generate a diverse community of scholars who will develop and disseminate programs to decrease gaps in health inequality, including Hispanic university students, who will meet the specific needs of this population.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, in announcing the funding, said that one-third of American children are overweight or obese, making this issue one of the greatest health challenges facing our nation.

Teran-Garcia stressed that Spanish-speaking families are at increased risk of obesity and its associated metabolic diseases. “Abriendo Caminos has been successful in changing the behaviors that lead to childhood obesity in this growing segment of the U.S. population,” she said.

“Our preliminary findings indicate that participants in Abriendo Caminos eat more fruits and vegetables and drink less sugary beverages after participating in the program,” Wiley said.


News Sources:
Margarita Teran-Garcia, 217-244-2025
Angela Wiley, 217-265-5279

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“Jailbreaking” yeast could amp up wine’s health benefits, reduce morning-after headaches

URBANA – University of Illinois scientists have engineered a “jailbreaking” yeast that could greatly increase the health benefits of wine while reducing the toxic byproducts that cause your morning-after headache.

“Fermented foods—such as beer, wine, and bread—are made with polyploid strains of yeast, which means they contain multiple copies of genes in the genome. Until now, it’s been very difficult to do genetic engineering in polyploid strains because if you altered a gene in one copy of the genome, an unaltered copy would correct the one that had been changed,” said Yong-Su Jin, a U of I associate professor of microbial genomics and principal investigator in the Energy Biosciences Institute.

Recently scientists have developed a “genome knife” that cuts across multiple copies of a target gene in the genome very precisely—until all copies are cut. Jin’s group has now used this enzyme, RNA-guided Cas9 nuclease, to do precise metabolic engineering of polyploid Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains that have been widely used in the wine, beer, and fermentation industries.

The possibilities for improved nutritive value in foods are staggering, he said. “Wine, for instance, contains the healthful component resveratrol. With engineered yeast, we could increase the amount of resveratrol in a variety of wine by 10 times or more. But we could also add metabolic pathways to introduce bioactive compounds from other foods, such as ginseng, into the wine yeast. Or we could put resveratrol-producing pathways into yeast strains used for beer, kefir, cheese, kimchee, or pickles—any food that uses yeast fermentation in its production.”

Another benefit is that winemakers can clone the enzyme to enhance malolactic fermentation, a secondary fermentation process that makes wine smooth. Improper malolactic fermentation generates the toxic byproducts that may cause hangover symptoms, he said.

Jin stressed the genome knife’s importance as a tool that allows genetic engineers to make these extremely precise mutations.

“Scientists need to create designed mutations to determine the function of specific genes,” he explained. “Say we have a yeast that produces a wine with great flavor and we want to know why. We delete one gene, then another, until the distinctive flavor is gone, and we know we’ve isolated the gene responsible for that characteristic.”

The new technology also makes genetically modified organisms less objectionable, he said. “In the past, scientists have had to use antibiotic markers to indicate the spot of genetic alteration in an organism, and many persons objected to their use in foods because of the danger of developing antibiotic resistance. With the genome knife, we can cut the genome very precisely and efficiently so we don’t have to use antibiotic markers to confirm a genetic event.”

The research was reported in a recent issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Co-authors of “Construction of a Quadruple Auxotrophic Mutant of an Industrial Polyploid Saccharomyces cerevisiae Strain by Using RNA-Guided Cas9 Nuclease” are Guochang Zhang, In Iok Kong, Heejin Kim, Jingjing Liu, and Yong-Su Jin, of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Jamie H.D. Cate of the University of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The research was funded by the Energy Biosciences Institute.

The Energy Biosciences Institute is a public-private collaboration in which bioscience and biological techniques are being applied to help solve the global energy challenge. The partnership, funded with $500 million for 10 years from the energy company BP, includes researchers from UC Berkeley; the University of Illinois, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The research was conducted in the Energy Biosciences Institute, a public–private collaboration funded by the energy company BP. The EBI includes researchers from UC Berkeley, the University of Illinois, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Details about the EBI can be found on the website: www.energybiosciencesinstitute.org .


News Source: Yong-Su Jin, 217-333-7981

Original story from FSHN website publised March 16, 2015 and found here: http://fshn.illinois.edu/news/jailbreaking-yeast-could-amp-wines-health-benefits-reduce-morning-after-headaches

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New Faculty Lectures Online

Two lectures from FSHN faculty members Hao Feng and Juan Andrade, as presented at the February 2015 “Food Systems for Food Security Symposium” symposium on the University of Illinois campus, are now available:

“Food Dehydration Reduction of Postharvest Losses” by Dr. Hao Feng. Lecture slides are here.

“Innovations to Achieve Nutrition Security in Low-income Countries” by Dr. Juan Andrade. Lecture slides are here.

 

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Social support critical to women’s weight-loss efforts, study finds

Social support may be critical to some women’s weight-loss and maintenance efforts, according to a new study by (from left) graduate researcher Catherine Metzgar and professor Sharon Nickols-Richardson, both in the department of food science and human nutrition. Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

Note: original story from University of Illinois News Bureau found here.

11/5/2014 | Sharita Forrest, Education Editor | 217-244-1072; slforres@illinois.edu

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Being accountable to another person and receiving social support may be vital in motivating some women to lose weight and keep it off, a new study says.

Although a number of researchers have cited the importance of personal accountability – such as weighing oneself regularly – to control one’s weight, some women in a recent weight-loss study led by researchers at the University of Illinois said being accountable to others was the critical factor in their success.

Researcher Catherine J. Metzgar conducted focus groups with 23 women about a year and a half after they completed a weight-loss program to determine which factors helped or hindered dieters’ success.

The 18-week weight-loss program reduced participants’ food consumption by 500 calories a day, included two snacks and emphasized strategies such as portion control, eating more vegetables and planning ahead.

While all of the women who participated lost a significant amount of weight on the program, many were unsuccessful at maintaining it after the program ended, Metzgar said.

The women who maintained their weight loss indicated that a high level of social support from many sectors was critical in their success.

“Our women didn’t find that accountability to themselves was so important, but having support from others was – just having that social support from someone who was going through the same experience,” said Metzgar, a graduate research assistant in food science and human nutrition. “What this study shows is that if you can find that one friend who has the same goals or can just hold you accountable, it is really helpful.”

Many of the women found that the program’s weekly educational group meetings had provided the accountability, support and motivation they needed while dieting. But when the program ended, and no one was monitoring their progress any longer, some dieters’ motivation fizzled, and they fell back into old habits.

Renewing their self-motivation day after day and staying focused on their goals without others’ support were significant struggles for these women.

Likewise, a major obstacle for some of these dieters was a lack of social support from significant people in their lives. Rather than encouraging the dieter’s efforts to get healthier, some friends and family members responded negatively, intentionally or unintentionally sabotaging her progress by making unhelpful comments or tempting her with high-calorie foods.

Each of the women had made at least one previous attempt to lose weight. Some women reported multiple attempts and methods, including popular commercial diet programs, over-the-counter medications and various calorie-controlled diets.

Life transitions – such as graduating college and starting a sedentary job, getting married, pregnancy and childbirth – were pitfalls for many of the women, triggering “continual bouts of weight gain, weight loss, maintenance and prevention of weight regain,” the researchers found.

“They were very aware of life transitions having a meaningful impact on how they were able to lose weight or maintain that weight loss,” said co-author Sharon M. Nickols-Richardson, a professor of food science and human nutrition and Metzgar’s faculty adviser. “The women very clearly articulate their awareness of life transitions and their impact on food behaviors. Several women referred to it as a ‘weight-loss journey,’ indicating that they realized that they needed a total lifestyle change, rather than a temporary diet to achieve and maintain weight loss.”

Women who succeeded at maintenance engaged in regular exercise and said they “listened to an inner voice” that reminded them to control their portion sizes.

These dieters also adopted a “fresh-slate mentality,” forgiving themselves for “slip-ups” and “bad days,” and got back on track with their eating and exercise programs right away, rather than letting one lapse in judgment or willpower trigger a downward spiral, Metzgar said.

A. G. Preston and D. L. Miller, both of The Hershey Co., were co-authors of the study.

Editor’s note: To reach Catherine J. Metzgar, email metzgar2@illinois.edu
Sharon M. Nickols-Richardson, call 217-244-4498, email nickrich@illinois.edu

The paper, “Facilitators and barriers to weight loss and weight loss maintenance: A qualitative exploration,” is available from Wiley Online Library.

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Kraft, U of I announce new research collaboration to affordably derive food colors from corn

Original story posted here November 6, 2014.

URBANA, Ill. – Building on a long-standing relationship of innovation and cooperation, the University of Illinois and Kraft Foods Group, Inc., this week announced a new research collaboration focused on developing affordable food colors derived from natural sources.

The project will focus on the economic and technical feasibility of extracting food colors from corn and incorporating them into food and beverages. The three-year project will be broken into two phases, bringing together a wide range of interdisciplinary talent and technical expertise within the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, including the Departments of Crop Sciences, Food Science and Human Nutrition, Agricultural and Consumer Economics, and Agricultural and Biological Engineering.

Kraft Foods is providing $1.4 million in funding to the College of ACES for the research project as well as an additional $150,000 for fellowships for the university.

“We are always looking for ways to offer choices and remain relevant to consumers’ changing needs,” said Chuck Davis, Executive Vice President, Research, Development, Quality and Innovation for Kraft. “This includes everything from improved nutrition to simpler ingredients. We have made great progress but it truly is a long-term journey. That’s why we’re excited to announce our collaboration with the U of I that approaches the research process in such an innovative way.”

Jack Juvik, a U of I crop sciences professor of plant physiology and principal investigator for the project, said maize (corn) was recommended to Kraft as an economically feasible source for food colors as ingredients in many packaged foods and beverages.

“Looking at the economics, corn has a sophisticated supply chain that allows it to go into many different products. This is a value-added opportunity for the industry; it’s not just a special product grown for colors,” Juvik said. “It’s also a good vehicle because there is a lot of corn grown already, and producers know how to grow and process it. We have to design the data to see what kind of recovery we can get and to figure out the forms that are most appropriate for foods, as well as their stability in foods.”

Juvik also explained that the naturally-occurring compounds, anthocyanins, in corn would be used as the source of food coloring.

Anthocyanins are pigments found in the tissues of plants (leaves, roots, stems, flowers) that impart red, blue, and purple colors. In the Kraft and U of I project, researchers will look at the anthocyanins in the pericarp or outer portion of the kernel of corn, especially in “purple corn,” or “Indian corn” lines, which have been a staple food for humans for thousands of years.

“Our end goal is to develop cost-effective red and purple food colors derived from corn to deliver on some consumers’ preference for ingredients from natural sources, said Nigel Kirtley, Vice President, Research and Supplier Integration at Kraft. The outcomes of this research could also provide American farmers with another crop opportunity and highlight new ways the food industry and academia can collaborate in mutually beneficial ways.”

Along with Juvik, the rest of the interdisciplinary team is made up of Elvira de Meija, a professor of food science and human nutrition; Vijay Singh, a professor of food and bioprocess engineering; and Gary Schnitkey, a professor of agricultural economics. The team will be evaluating several maize lines to look at the composition and determine what lines contain the most anthocyanins, what forms have stability in food, environmental factors and how they influence color and stability, costs related to extraction, and what processing techniques will be the most effective at removing the pericarp and retaining co-products that feed into current co-product streams. The economic potential of using colors derived from corn in food and beverages will also be determined.

“We will do tests in the laboratory and the field and determine the economic feasibility of this,” Juvik said. “It is a preliminary study that could lead to something very big.”

This collaborative effort serves to improve U of I faculty engagement with Kraft Foods and the food processing industry, to promote a pipeline for U of I graduates to explore internship and career opportunities with Kraft, and to pave the way for future research opportunities between the company and the university.

Kraft and the U of I have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship for many years spanning a number of disciplines from undergraduate, graduate and faculty support to research partnerships and apprentice programs,” said Davis. “This project is a great continuation of what has been a long-standing heritage of innovation and cooperation between these two great organizations.”

Over the years, Kraft has provided undergraduate scholarships for students from under-represented groups, fellowships in nutritional sciences and health and wellness, an endowed professorship made possible by a $1 million grant in 2006, as well as College of ACES advisory committee participation.

News Source: Jack Juvik, 217-333-1966

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