Lisaura Maldonado-Pereira

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Current Standing: 
Last Degree: 
Bachelors in Chemical Engineering – University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez
Academic Background: 

Chemical Engineering

Current Research Interests / Thesis Topic: 

COPs are compounds derived from cholesterol in food, which are unavoidable and unintentional as they result of types of processing conditions.

Their formation in food is promote by several factors. The most important triggers are:

1. Ingredients and food formulation

2. Food processing and meal preparation

3. Food handling, packaging and storage conditions

Despite the fact that several investigators have profiled the production of COPs due to different heat and storage treatments, only a few studies in the field have pointed out the critical role(s) played by food formulation and additives in promoting cholesterol oxidation. Preservatives such as nitrates, and nitrites, which extensively have been use in meat and meat products, are able to initiate radical formation, the first step in the cholesterol peroxidation cascade. Salt has also been associated with increased COPs formation, in both meat, and fish products. Our major concern is that during the process performed to ensure the food safety of the product in terms of microbial reduction the trade-offs between this step and the formation of these unintentional compounds have been largely ignored.

Several In vitro studies have demonstrated that COPs exert their cytotoxic activity at low concentrations (as low as 25 nM), whereas pathological responses seem to be compound-specific. The objective of this project and my current interest is to evaluate the prevalence, occurrence and concentrations of theoxidation products of cholesterol and to assess the dietary exposure levels across the population in order to determine the risk potential associated with expected.


Poster Presentations:

  • 2018 CHEMS Graduate Research Symposium                                                                                                                                                                                         March, 2018

    Project Presented – “Lipidic Assessment of Oxidative Status in Meat and Meat Products in USA”

  • 2018 MSU Engineering Graduate Research Symposium                                                                                                                                                                        March, 2018

    Project Presented – “Cholesterol oxidation products profile in North American diet”


  • 2016 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Annual Meeting                                                                                                                                   Novemeber, 2016  San Francisco, California

          Project Presented - “Optimization of Biomass Processing through Physical Fractionation”


• Merck’s Fellowship: Future Talent Program June 3 – August 16, 2013

• UPRM’s Honor Scholarship for outstanding GPA 2007-2011, 2012-2014

• Ramón Guzmán’s Scholarship from Colegio de Ingenieros y Agrimensores 2009-2010