Food and Plant Sciences

Members: A/Prof. Siow Lee Fong, A/Prof. Choo Wee Sim, A/Prof Song Beng KahDr. Thoo Yin Yin, Dr. Lee Yee Ying

Our research focuses on areas such as a) identification of bioactive compounds in food and food waste byproducts, b) development of processes and technologies to increase the stability, bioavailability and functionality of bioactive compounds added to foods such that the resulting functional foods maintain safe and good quality over an extended shelf-life.

We have the expertise to isolate, purify and identify bioactive compounds in food and food waste byproducts. We also study antioxidant interactions of bioactive compounds in model system as well as improving oxidative stability of edible oil using natural antioxidants. We could encapsulate bioactive compound or drug using starch or lipids as the wall materials and determine as well as modify release of the bioactive compound or drug from wall materials. We also offer other expertise namely using enzyme and lipid technology to aid food processing, development of healthier fats and oils based food products by enhancing the functional and nutritional properties of fats and oils.

We provide expertise in using Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) to determine thermal properties of water, starch, lipids or proteins to improve food processing such as frozen and dehydrated foods. We have the facilities namely convection oven, vacuum oven, freeze drier and spray drier for various dehydration studies. We are well-equipped to conduct proximate analysis. We have strong interest in developing new food products and value-added products such as probiotic beverages, natural colorants etc.

Our researchers also have major interests in understanding the genetics and biochemistry of rice, including the population genetics and evolution of weedy rice.