Altered lipid and cholesterol metabolism is emerging as one of the most critical phenotype in dementia and dementia-associated neurological disorders, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. The aim of this project is to provide novel and powerful biomarkers to monitor the evolution of dementia, and tight them to specific metabolic and biosynthetic pathways. This is achieved by assessing the accumulation/variation of certain lipid species - particularly oxidized form of cholesterol - in human brains at different stages of dementia, using mass-spectrometry metabolomic approaches.
Lipid oxidation is the main cause of deterioration of lipids and lipid-containing foodstuffs. Lipid peroxidation is responsible for the changes in taste and odours of food products, such as milk powders, through the development of off-flavours, which are caused by the formation of secondary reaction products. There has been increasing interest in the supplementation of these formulas with long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Because of the highly sucsceptibility of PUFAs to undergoes oxidation, the aim of this study is t evaluate the interaction between PUFAS and cholesterol oxidation.
COPs are compounds derived from cholesterol in food, which are unavoidable and unintentional as they result of types of processing 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. 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.
Fruit maturation in Vitis vinifera wine grape cultivars is limited by short seasons and cool temperatures in the Great Lakes growing region. In addition, precipitation occurring around harvest leads to the proliferation of Botrytis cinerea in the form of sour rot, specifically in tight clustered cultivars, which renders infected fruit inadequate for winemaking.
Removal of basal leaves early in vegetative development is a tool widely used to decrease fruit set in grapevine clusters, which subsequently controls crop yields and lowers bunch rot damage; improving fruit quality. Enhanced microclimate conditions resulting from this practice often increase concentrations of secondary metabolites important to fruit quality, including anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins and flavonols.
Plant bioactive compounds are a great source of potential therapeutics. The objective of this project is to determine the nutritional value of several quinoa varieties cultivate in the US by mass spectrometry metabolomics approaches.
Y.S. Chen, N.A. Aluwi, S.R. Saunders, G.M. Ganjyal, & I.G. Medina-Meza (2019) Metabolic fingerprinting unveils quinoa oil as a source of bioactive phytochemicals, Food Chemistry, DOI:10.1016/j.foodchem.2019.02.016
Nick's paper titled "Metabolic fingerprinting unveils quinoa oil as a source of bioactive phytochemicals" has been accepted in Food Chemistry! This is a collaborative project with Dr. Girish Ganjyal at Washington State University; additional research work has been done in the last few months, so stay tuned!
Check out the latest issue of Futures, the AgBioResearch' magazine, which has a terrific article about our lab and research program!
Dr. Medina was co-chair of two scientific sessions at the 2018 Conference of Food Engineering (CoFE) Meeting in Minneapolis. She also presented two research works entitled "Quinoa oil: a good source of bioactive phytochemicals" and "Assessment of oxidative stability of home-cooked meat products in US using a processomic approach", the latter derived from Lisa's work on COPs and risk assessment.
Josh paper "Early mechanical leaf removal in Merlot (Vitis vinifera L.) enhances fruit technological maturity and alters the flavonoid metabolomic profile" has been accepted in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry! This is the first manuscript resulting from a synergistic collaboration between our and Dr. Sabbatini Lab at Dept. of Horticulture.