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Author ORCID Identifier



Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Food Science

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

David Julian McClements

Subject Categories

Biochemistry | Food Biotechnology | Food Chemistry | Food Science | Life Sciences


There are numerous kinds of hydrophobic nutrients, nutraceuticals, and vitamins present in foods that can be consumed as part of whole foods, in an isolated form, or as part of processed foods. The oral bioavailability (BA) of many of these hydrophobic bioactives is relatively poor because of their limited bioaccessibility, low absorption, and/or transformation within the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). As a result, their potential health benefits may not be fully realized. The bioavailability of hydrophobic bioactives can be enhanced by designing food matrices that breakdown within the GIT to form compositions and structures capable of controlling the bioaccessibility, absorption, and transformation. Oil-in-water emulsions are particularly suitable for this purpose because their compositions, structures, and properties can easily be controlled. Nanoemulsions can be used to form bioactive delivery systems or excipient systems. The bioavailability of isolated bioactives can be improved by incorporating them in nanoemulsion-based delivery systems, while the bioavailability of bioactives in whole foods can be improved by ingesting them with nanoemulsion-based excipient systems. In this research, the biological fate of nanoemulsions with various compositions and structures were studied by utilizing the simulated gastrointestinal tract. In addition, the nanoemulsion-based delivery systems were established for enhancing the carotenoids bioaccessibility and curcumin accumulation in C. elegans. Furthermore, the nanoemulsion-based excipient systems were studied to enhancing the bioaccessibility of model vegetable, carrot, by optimizing their composition and structure. However, a potential drawback of the excipient emulsion is that co-ingestion of them with fruits or vegetables could increase pesticide bioaccessibility. Our research indicated that the food matrix could significantly impact the bioavailability of nutraceuticals and pesticides, it may further impact other ingested materials, such as nanoparticles. However, there are currently no standardized food models can be used. Therefore, a standardized food model(SFM) was establised based on the average composition of the US diet. The properties of the SFM and its impact on the bioacessibility of nutraceuticals and pesticides and the cycotoxicity of nanopartlces were studied. This information should be useful to facilitate the comparison of results obtained on food matrix effects from different laboratories.