Research on Nutraceuticals & Functional Foods
Dr. Kequan (Kevin) Zhou’s research focuses on nutraceutical and functional food development for promoting human health. Dr. Zhou’s lab has developed a panel of in vitro and in vivo models for evaluating bioactivities (antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic/obese, and anti-cancer activities) of functional food ingredients. His lab has been working on novel grape components for diabetes managemnt and tropical fruits for triple-negative EGFR-overexpressing breast cancer. He also works on natural antioxidants and food preservatives for improving stability of lipid and other foods vulnerable to oxidation. Antioxidant technologies being developed include structure-antioxidant activity relationship, cell and animal-based evaluation models, bioaccessibility and bioavailability of small molecule antioxidants, structure characterization of antioxidants in foods and their metabolites. Dr. Zhou has established an in vitro digestive model that can be used to determine digestibility and bioaccessibility of functional food ingredients.