Jerusalem Artichoke Association of Canada
My research program focuses on the investigation of novel bioactives/biomolecules compounds from agri-food by-products/waste (e.g. JA meal, flaxseed and soybean meal, legumes hull, berries pulp and skin) with potential of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and prebiotic/probiotic activity. These biomolecules can be used in food, feed and pharmaceutical applications. Our focus is mainly on phenolics and dietary fibre (e.g. inulin, mucilage and okara). Since dietary fibre and phenolics are conjugated in plants, we call them glyco-phenolics. We believe dietary fibre are carrier of phenolics. We use fermentation models, particularly “kefir model” to investigate if glyco-phenolics can enhance solubility of key minerals (Ca, P, Mg) as biomarkers of bioactive dietary fibre in addition to antioxidant activity from the conjugated phenolics. Furthermore, we use solvent-free environmentally friendly extraction methods including supercritical-CO2 and microwave assisted technology to extract these biomolecules. Working on agri-food waste in combination with solvent-free extraction techniques, will help agricultural and environmental sustainability.
I am co-founder of Jerusalem artichoke Association of Canada (JAAC) that established in Feb 2016 with 30-40 members including growers, processors, researchers and students. Also I helped to initiate the first Jerusalem artichoke Innovation Centre in Canada in March 1, 2016. This centre is currently running mainly by volunteer students in Food Science and Nutrition program, Chemistry department at Carleton University.