Qixin Zhong, associate professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology, is leading an internationally-recognized interdisciplinary research program in Food Biophysics and Nanotechnology. His research group conducts projects integrating relevant areas in food science, physical chemistry, material sciences and engineering, and chemical engineering.
His interests in delivery systems have led to strategies for enhanced dispersibility, stability, sensory, bioavailability, and bioactivity of several major and minor food components, including nutrients, nutraceuticals, antimicrobials, flavorants, and colorants. One example is a system designed to improve food safety by targeting natural antimicrobials against disease-causing microorganisms (e.g., E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella) in foods.
This research is being supported by a $500K grant from the US Department of Agriculture. It involves using nanoscale particles to disperse marginally soluble natural antimicrobials from spices in foods with the ultimate objectives of significantly improving the effectiveness of these compounds in inhibiting growth of foodborne disease-causing microorganisms and, at the same time, improving applicability and maintaining the visual appearance of the food.
Since his arrival in UT in July 2005, his research program has received over $2 million in grants, and published 31 peer-reviewed papers, 62 meeting abstracts, 1 patent application, 13 research seminars, and 3 book chapters. He serves as an associate editor for the journal Food Biophysics and on the editorial boards of two other journals.
Ikeda, S. and Q. Zhong. 2012. Polymer and colloidal models describing structure-function relationships. Annual Review of Food Science and Technology. 3:13.1–13.20.
Xiao, D., C. Gömmel, P.M. Davidson, and Q. Zhong. 2011. Intrinsic Tween 20 improves release and antilisterial properties of co-encapsulated nisin and thymol. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 59(17): 9572–9580.
Zhang, W. and Q. Zhong. 2009. Microemulsions as nanoreactors to produce whey protein nanoparticles with enhanced heat stability by sequential enzymatic cross-linking and thermal pretreatments. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 57(19): 9181-9189.