Research Team

We thrive to make this laboratory an exciting place to work, study and play, and help our people reach heights not considered possible before.

Meet Our Research Team

A highly motivated and independent group of researchers are responsible for the novel and exciting research originating from our laboratory. Nine researchers from our laboratory are professors and many occupy positions of importance within the food industry and government. We also have strong collaborations with several other groups. Here you will find a short CV for each team member and a link to their full curriculum vitae.

Click here for our list of 2016 publications

Alejandro G. Marangoni
Ph.D., FAOCS, FRSC
Principal Investigator Short Biography

Dr. Marangoni is a professor and Tier I Canada Research Chair Food, Health and Aging at the University of Guelph, a Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry (UK), and member of the Institute of Food Technologists and American Physical Society. His work concentrates on the physical properties of foods, particularly fat crystallization and structure. He has published over 350 refereed research articles, 63 book chapters, 16 books, and over 40 patents. He is the recipient of many awards including a 1999 Premier's Research Excellence Award, the first Young Scientist Award from the American Oil Chemists' Society (2000), a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Food and Soft Materials Science (2001-2011), two Distinguished Researcher Awards from the Ontario Innovation Trust (2002), a Career Award from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (2002), an E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship (2002) - given to the top 6 Canadian scientists from all disciplines - and the T.L. Mounts Award from AOCS in 2004. Dr. Marangoni is the first co-editor in Chief of the new journal, Current Opinion in Food Science and Technology (Elsevier). He is on the editorial advisory board of Food Biophysics (Springer) and Food and Function (Royal Society of Chemistry), an on the editorial board of Food Research International (Elsevier), Food Digestion (Springer) and CYTA-Journal of Food (Taylor and Francis). He was Editor-in-Chief of Food Research International for 15 years (1998-2012), raising its impact factor from 0.69 to 3.15. Dr. Marangoni has co-founded several high-technology companies and is the co-recipient of the 2008 Guelph Partners of Innovation "Innovator of the year" award for his discovery of a platform technology for the manufacture of structured oil-in-water emulsions to replace high-saturate, high-trans and palm-based edible fats. His recent discovery and patents on edible ethylcelulose oleogels, polymer gelation of oil, heat resistant chocolate and petrolatum replacement, have attracted enormous attention world-wide. His current efforts are focused on biolubricants including 2-stroke oil, and anti-ageing creams. Dr. Marangoni is past Research Program Director for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and NSERC's Plant Biology and Food Science Grant Selection Committee. Dr. Marangoni has trained over 100 people in his laboratory. Graduates occupy positions of importance in the academe and industry. Dr. Marangoni is the 2013 recipient of the AOCS Stephen Chang award, the 2014 IFT Chang Award in Lipid Science, the AOCS 2014 Supelco/Nicholas Pelick Award, and the 2015 Kaufmann Medal of the International Society for Fat Research and the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Fettenwissenschaft. Marangoni was honored as a Fellow of the American Oil Chemists' Society in 2015, and one of the 10 most influential Hispanic Canadians in 2012 by the Hispanic Business Alliance.


David Pink Collaborator, Adjunct Professor Short Biography

David Pink is a theoretical physicist, Senior Research Professor at St.Francis Xavier University and Adjunct Professor at University of Guelph, who is into his third career as a researcher. He began a career in solid state physics modelling magnetically-ordered systems until his interests changed to biophysics.

He worked on modelling bacterial membranes and invented the so-called Pink model in 1980. Since then he has continued to work in this area and is a member of a group studying biofouling and biofilms for an industry collaboration. His third career began when he was corrupted by Food Scientists at Dalhousie university to the extent that he actually set up a Dairy Research lab at StFX in the late 1980s.

He was part of the Yada-Paulson Food Science Multidisciplinary Network Group and helped to invent its successor, AFMnet. He ascended further into Food Science when he became part of the Mazzanti-Marangoni Edible Oils project funded by AFMnet. In the last 3 years he has cast all caution to the winds: He makes models of edible oils and studies them using a variety of computer simulation techniques (atomic scale molecular dynamics, Metropolis monte carlo techniques, dissipative particle dynamics).

He is specially interested in the solid structures which arise in complex edible oils and how they influence functionality. Recently he has explored the use of USAXS to obtain 3-dimensional information in situ in such oils. He has become interested in oleogels and polymers. He has contributed to helping run NSERC (NSERC Council, innumerable committees), TRIUMF (ABOT) and has been involved with a wide range of scientific bodies and endeavours.


 
Fernanda Peyronel Research Associate Short Biography

Dr. Fernanda Peyronel has a PhD in Food Science, an MSc degree in Physics from the University of Guelph and a Licenciatura en Fisica from the University of Rosario, Argentina. She is currently the laboratory manager of the FHA lab.

Dr. Peyronel helped develop the use of ultra-small angle X-ray scattering (USAXS) in the study of triglycerides crystal networks, and is versed in carrying out experiments at synchrotron light sources.


Arun Moorthy Postdoctoral Fellow Short Biography

Dr. Arun S. Moorthy is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Food Science at the University of Guelph. He is formally trained in both Engineering and Computational/Applied Mathematics, with an undergraduate degree in Chemical and Biological Engineering from McMaster University, and graduate degrees in Biophysics through the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Guelph.

Arun's interest in exploring multi-faceted, complex problems with health and economic implications led him to the world of food. With the support of Dr. Marangoni and his team, Arun hopes to carve out a niche for himself as a computational food scientist: (i) using creative modeling and simulation approaches to investigate questions of fundamental importance that cannot be addressed solely with current state-of-the-art experimentation, and (ii) developing user-friendly software tools to support/strengthen traditional food science inquiry.

In addition to his work with the Marangoni Research Group, Arun manages the compuGUT simulation platform for advanced diet-flora-colon investigations, and provides technical/scientific support to various start-ups in the Greater Toronto Area as a freelance consultant. The compuGUT software tool, developed during his PhD work, has been communicated through peer-refereed publications, presented at several conferences and invited seminars, and is currently used by researchers in North America and Europe.

For a complete CV of Dr. Moorthy, please visit uoguelph.ca/~amoorthy.


 
Cendy Wang Postdoctoral Fellow Short Biography

Fan (Cendy) Wang is currently doing her postdoctoral research work at the Food, Health and Aging laboratory. Through the Mitacs Elevate industrial postdoctoral fellowship and partnership with Avaria Health & Beauty Co, her research focuses on encapsulation strategies for the enhanced performance of active ingredients in food and cosmetic applications.

Cendy completed her doctoral degree at the Department of Food Science, University of Guelph in 2016, and undergraduate degree at Dalhousie University in 2012. Her PhD thesis was on the stabilization of monoglyceride ?-gel phase and its potential application in food and personal care products.

As of March 2016, Cendy has authored eight peer-reviewed journal articles on the topics of the polymorphic behavior, stabilization, and application of saturated monoglycerides. She has also presented her research work at academic conferences in the field of lipid science and cosmetic science.

Besides focusing on research, Cendy also completed eight teaching assistantships for second- and third-year food science undergraduate courses at University of Guelph and Dalhousie University, including food chemistry, food analysis, and food engineering.


Andrew Gravelle Research Assistant Short Biography

Andrew Gravelle received his undergraduate and Master's degrees in the field of Biophysics from the University of Guelph in 2008 and 2010, respectively. His Master's thesis was on the characterization of amino acid side-chain dynamics in the context of a crystalline protein using solid state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Andrew was the recipient of an Ontario Graduate Scholarship in 2008, as well as the College of Physical and Engineering Sciences Dean's Scholarship in both 2008 and 2009. Andrew also completed five Graduate Teaching Assistantship placements in undergraduate physics courses through the course of his Master's program. Since early 2010, Andrew has been working as a Research Assistant in the Department of Food Science at the University of Guelph under the supervision of Dr. Alejandro G. Marangoni and Dr. Shai Barbut, where his research focuses on two main projects. The first topic involves the characterization of vegetable oil-based edible oleogels stabilized by the polymer ethylcellulose. Andrew's work focuses on building upon the existing knowledge base of ethylcellulose oleogels so that they may be formulated to produce a custom physical response for a wide range of food applications. The second project focuses on the study of food systems which can be modeled as particle-filled networks, such as comminuted meats and cheese-type products. As of March 2016, Andrew has been an author of nine refereed publications and has presented his findings at a variety of national and international academic conferences. Andrew is continuing to investigate oleogels. Andrew is also expanding his research to model composite food protein gel systems and is intending to pursue a PhD thesis on this topic under the guidance of Dr.'s Marangoni and Barbut. In his spare time, Andrew enjoys rock climbing, mountain biking, and is actively learning the French language.


Saeed Mirzaee Ghazani Research Assistant and Ph.D. Student Short Biography

Saeed Mirzaee Ghazani received his Bachelor in Food Science and first Master of Science degree in the field of Food Safety and Quality Control from Shahid Beheshti University in 1996 and 2000, respectively.

His first Master thesis was on "Formulation of High Stability Zero Trans Frying Oils". Saeed started working on fats and oils processing in 2000 at Farayand e Abzar Roughan Company (Manufacturer and installer of batch and continuous vegetable oil refinery plants) as a supervisor to control the process and troubleshooting during starting up a new batch or continuous oil refining plants.

He also worked seven years in Margarine and Savola Behshahr edible oil processing companies with diverse teams, from production plant to quality control and research and development.
He gained valuable experiences when he worked for three years as sale supervisor. During this time he conducted market surveys and performed troubleshooting, corrective and preventive actions to resolve customer complaints.

After immigration to Canada in May 2010, Saeed has started to study at the University of Guelph and received his second Master of Science in 2012 with the title of "The Influence of Traditional and Minimal Refining on the Minor Constituents of Canola oil".

From January 2012, Saeed has been working as a Research Associate in the Department of Food Science at the University of Guelph under the supervision of Dr. Alejandro G. Marangoni. His research focused on chemically and enzymatically esterification of oils to improve their physical, chemical and functional properties. He is also working on improving the quality and functionality of Coasun for different food applications. His last project under the supervision of Dr. Alejandro G. Marangoni was improving crystallization temperature and time for different non-dairy icing and fillings. Moreover, he is doing research on understanding and enhancing protein functionality in super-premium ice cream formulations under the supervision of Dr. Goff. He is also working on formulation and improving physical and functional properties of bio-lubricants.

From January 2015, Saeed has started his part time PhD program in Food Science Department under the supervision of Dr. Alejandro Marangoni. In his spare time, Saeed enjoys biking and exercising at the gym.


Reed Nicholson Research Assistant Short Biography

Reed began his undergraduate studies at the University of Guelph in 2013 in the field of Food Science. He is particularly interested in both food chemistry and nutritional studies. Reed was a recipient of the Chris Hadfield Scholarship in 2012, the Dean's Scholarship in 2013, and the GFTC Legacy Fund Undergraduate Scholarship in 2014. He began working as a Research Associate for the Department of Food Science under the supervision of Dr. Alejandro G. Marangoni and Dr. Shai Barbut in the summer of 2014. His current research is on particle-filled networks in dairy proteins and the application of edible oleogels in dairy systems. Reed has presented at several conferences to date and competed in the Student Competition at the 2014 IUFoST World Congress. Recently, he attended the 2016 Global Food Winter School at Wageningen University. After finishing his undergraduate studies, Reed hopes to stay in academia. In his spare time, Reed enjoys obstacle course racing, marathon running, and rock climbing.


Braulio Andres
Macias-Rodriguez
Ph.D. Student Short Biography

I graduated from ESPOL Polytechnic School (Ecuador), with a bachelor's degree in Food Engineering in 2010. Subsequently, I worked in the ice-cream making industry prior to joining the University of Florida in 2011. In 2013, I was granted a Master's degree in Food Science. My Master's thesis focused on the use of novel technologies to minimize the risk associated with the consumption of ready-to-eat foods attributed to post-processing contamination. During my tenure, I served as Graduate Student Representative and Teaching Assistant for the Advance Food Chemistry taught at the graduate level. Similarly, I engaged in volunteering activities organized by the American Cancer Society and local school programs.

I was also the recipient of the Outstanding International Student Academic award at the University of Florida for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Due to the merit of my research, I have presented in national conferences including the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting and Food Expo, and the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) Annual Meeting.

I am currently interning for Florida Food Products Inc., an agribusiness dedicated to processing plant extracts for diverse food applications (e.g., curing and texturizing dedicated). Some of my projects include evaluating the stability of hydrocolloids obtained from citrus waste (e.g., orange and grapefruit peel) and performing testing required for scale-up operations.

In September, 2011, I will commence my Ph.D. studies under the advisement of Dr. Marangoni. My research work will involve the development of a puff pastry shortening with decreased levels of both saturated and trans fats. I am mainly interested in this area as it can contribute to the advance of healthier and similarly functional bakery products.


Pere Ramel Ph.D. Student Short Biography

Pere Randy R. Ramel Jr. is a PhD student at the Department of Food Science, University of Guelph, Canada. He completed his Master's Degree in Food Technology with specialization in Dairy Science and Technology at Wageningen University, The Netherlands and Bachelor's degree in Food Technology with honors at the University of the Philippines Los Banos, Philippines.

In addition to his academic endeavours, Pere has also worked in the food industry as a Research and Development Intern at FrieslandCampina Innovation Centre, The Netherlands; Sensory Scientist at Universal Robina Corporation Central Laboratory, Philippines; and Quality Assurance Intern at Nestle Philippines, Inc., Ice Cream and Chilled Dairy Factory.

His research areas of interest include milk fat crystallization, dairy science and technology, and food structuring. Currently at Dr. Alejandro Marangoni's Lab, he is studying the crystallization behavior and crystal network formation of milk fat within food matrices with the use of different techniques such as x-ray diffraction and microscopy.


Edmund Co Ph.D. Student Short Biography

Edmund Daniel Co obtained his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from the University of Guelph in 2008 and 2011, respectively. His research focused primarily on the crystallization behavior of 12-hydroxystearic acid, a hydroxylated fatty acid that forms gels in organic solvents (vegetable oils included) at concentrations of less than 1%. In the interim, Edmund worked as a research assistant performing experiments on polymer oil gels and as a lecturer in Food Chemistry.

He is currently studying the liquid-state "structure" of triglycerides in pre-crystallized and post-melted triglyceride melts in continuation of Larsson's and Cebula's initial theories of the behavior of triglycerides as liquid crystals.


 
Kristin Mattice M.Sc. student Short Biography

Kristin is a Masters student in the Department of Food Science at the University of Guelph. She completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Food Science at McGill University in 2015.

Under the supervision of Dr. Alejandro Marangoni, her research aims to determine how fat interacts within a laminated dough matrix by studying the crystallization behaviour of fats and shortenings, both alone and within the matrix of baked laminated dough products.

Kristin's interests lie mainly in the area of product development and has completed two industry internships as a Jr. Product Developer. During her undergraduate studies, she captained the winning team of the MARS Product Development Competition at IFT15 in Chicago, IL. Her team then went on to compete at the 2015 Chinese Institute of Food Science and Technology Global Product Development Competition in Dalian, China, where they were awarded second place.


 
Katie (Gayae) Kim M.Sc. student Short Biography

Katie (Gayae) Kim obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in food science from McGill University in June 2015. In hopes of gaining more research experience in food science, particularly in fats and oils, she joined Dr.Marangoni's lab as a Masters student in the Department of Food Science at University of Guelph in September 2016.

She is currently studying the effects of high behenic acid stabilizer on crystallization behavior of a variety of fats and oils and thermal and physical properties of fat crystal network within the mixtures. This stabilizer has been widely used in plastic-fat products such as margarine, nut butters, and shortening to deliver desirable rheological characteristics of the products that are trans fat free. The need for studying and improving alternatives to trans fats has never been greater since an FDA requirement to eradicate trans fats in the food supply. Katie wishes her research can contribute to the advance of developing trans-fat-free food products.


 
Brian Tiensa M.Sc. student Short Biography

Brian Eckyman Tiensa is a MSc student at the department of Food Science in the University of Guelph. He also received his undergraduate degree from the Food Science department in the University of Guelph.

His current research is focussed on looking at the co-relation between fat crystallization inside and outside of the meat matrix as well as replacement of saturated fat in pate under the supervision of Dr. Alejandro Marangoni and Dr. Shai Barbut.

As an undergraduate student, Brian also participated in a National Food Science competition at 2014 CIFST annual meeting representing the university of Guelph. He also has a strong background working in the food industry. During his undergraduate years, he worked at Gum Products International as an assistant Research & Development Scientist focussing in meat science. During his time in the industry, he also was a part of the quality assurance department, responsible for releasing products to the customers.


Chloe O'Sullivan M.Sc. student Short Biography

Chloe O'Sullivan is a Masters student in the Department of Food Science at the University of Guelph. She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and math from McGill University in June 2011.

Her research, under the supervision of Dr. Alejandro Marangoni, focuses on the digestion and breakdown of ethyl cellulose oleogels under simulated conditions and the application of these oleogels as delivery vehicles for lipophilic molecules.

Chloe also has an interest in teaching and education. Since beginning her studies at the University of Guelph in 2013, she has worked as a teaching assistant for two undergraduate food science courses, coauthored a book chapter on fat nanostructure, and facilitated an interdisciplinary graduate student group on campus.