Yingxin Zhong

Yingxin ZhongHometown: Guangzhou, China
Degree pursuing: Food Science MS
Adviser: Dr. George Annor

Research focus: Intermediate wheatgrass: Glycemic attributes and effect of different mashing processes on beer properties

Intermediate wheatgrass (IWG) is an environmentally-friendly, perennial,
cool-season forage species that can be used to prevent soil and water erosion and soil nitrogen leaching. The Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota has been attempting to seek out possible food applications and nutritional benefits to this crop. The first objective of my work emphasizes on the in-vitro starch digestibility and expected glycemic indices of IWG whole flour and extracted starch. Another objective is to utilize IWG kernels as an adjunct in beer brewing and to document the change in flavor, organic acids and carbohydrate profiles using different mashing treatments.

How did you become interested in food science?
The perfect balance between designing a good-tasting food product and incorporating the
science behind it to ensure it is safe to consume has always fascinated me. I have always been interested in
discovering new food products since I was a kid, and I always believed that food science is the
ideal major for me.

Why did you choose the University of Minnesota?
The University of Minnesota has countless academic and professional opportunities that
impressed me during the four years of my undergraduate career here. The U of M is a
challenging school and offers more than just an education. I joined ample extracurricular activities
during my time as an undergraduate, which gave me the whole “college experience” that allowed me to grow
and prepare myself to pursue higher education.

How does your research tie into the research being done in your adviser's lab?
My adviser’s lab focuses on research related to cereal grain chemistry and biopolymers. My
research is collaborating with the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics and the Forever Green
Initiative on the intermediate wheatgrass project.

Future plans

After finishing my master’s degree, my plan is to seek job opportunities in local or regional beverage companies in the research and development field.