Jieyao Yuan


Hometown: Hunan, China

Degree pursuing: Ph.D. in Food Science

Adviser: Chi Chen, A. Saari Csallany (co-adviser)

Research focus: "Profiling the Formation of Reactive Aldehydes in Frying Oils and Their Disposition in vivo Through Metabolomic Analysis" 

About half of the daily lipid intake and one-sixth of the energy intake in a typical American diet comes from thermally oxidized frying oils, which contain many bioactive and cytotoxic lipid oxidation products (LOP). The structural diversity of LOP and the complexity of their biotransformations pose challenges for profiling LOP in frying oils and their metabolites in vivo. In my study, the kinetics of forming reactive aldehydes in frying oils and their disposition in the digestive tract and metabolic system are determined by comprehensive metabolomic analysis. These research efforts will provide new insights on the preparation and consumption of fried food.

How did you become interested in nutrition?

Even though I am in the Food Science program, I feel that it is very important to combine food science and nutrition together, especially when I started my research. Food science can provide ideas about the reactions in food matrices, while nutrition can provide a platform to discuss how it happens in the body.

Why did you choose the University of Minnesota?

I first heard about the U from my teacher when I was in my undergraduate school. I checked the FSCN website and found the research area which I am interested in. In addition, Minnesota is a beautiful place with 10,000 lakes. The people here are very friendly. Even though the winter time is very long, it is quite exciting for me to see snow every year. Hence, I choose the U.

How does your research tie into the research being done in your adviser's lab?

My previous labmates did several research projects on soybean oil oxidation and its related metabolomics in vivo. My research is a further step from previous studies and will give a more comprehensive view of this topic.

Future plans

Driven by great enthusiasm for food science and nutrition, I plan to become a faculty member at an academic institution. I will devote my professional life to lipid chemistry and lipid metabolism.