Biospecific procedures for analysis of vitamins present in foods; nutrient bioavailability; Processing & availability of nutrients; Fortification of foods.
Field of Research (FoR)
Jayashree Arcot is known for her work on folates in foods, fortification and bioavailability in humans. The complexity of the various forms of micronutrients - especially vitamins (e.g. Folate) in foods inspired her to establish accurate methods for the quantification of these molecules in foods especially folate and Vitamin B12. She is using high-end liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry techniques and explores the bioavailability of the...view more
Jayashree Arcot is known for her work on folates in foods, fortification and bioavailability in humans. The complexity of the various forms of micronutrients - especially vitamins (e.g. Folate) in foods inspired her to establish accurate methods for the quantification of these molecules in foods especially folate and Vitamin B12. She is using high-end liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry techniques and explores the bioavailability of the various forms of these vitamins in humans using stable isotopes. She was invited to serve on the Folate Technical Advisory Committee of the Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) as an expert to advise industry on the methods to monitor added folic acid in bread flour prior to the implementation of the mandatory folate fortification of bread flour in Australia in 2009. She was then invited by the AOAC (USA) to serve on the Stakeholder Panel for Infant Formula and Adult Nutritionals (SPIFAN) as an expert on folate, Vitamin D and Vitamin C analysis.
She has organised and taught in two training courses on Food Composition in 2009 and 2016 being the co-ordinator of OCEANIAFOODS (a member of INFOODS, FAO) and attracted several international participants from Europe, UK and the Asia Pacific region. Inspired by how the food matrix can affect the absorption of micronutrients in humans, she established a cell culture laboratory to investigate the bioaccessibility of nutrients using an in vitro simulated artificial gut digester and ex vivo human colonic Caco-2 cells. Currently, Prof. Arcot is engaged in a collaborative effort to generate intestinal and liver 3D organoids from humans to understand the bioaccessibility, absorption (metabolism in the liver) and transport of nutrients. This work extends into studying vitamins and bioactive compounds in foods. This is important, especially for vitamins and bioactive compounds (biopeptides, phenolic acids, flavonoids) to understand their cellular anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in order to understand the impacts on health.
Her research on micronutrients and fortification has extended into developing public health nutrition strategies for food and nutrient security in the Asia Pacific region. In 2018/19 she led an intervention study in Papua New Guinean school Children to study the effects of micronutrient fortified food on nutritional status, which will pave the way for a potential public health policy to be implemented in Papua New Guinea on fortification of foods to alleviate hunger and undernutrition. Currently, Jayashree is developing plant-based protein foods as supplements for children in Indonesia using locally grown crops. Moreover, she has completed a project in The Philippines on identifying gaps in nutrient intakes in infants through linear programming and developing interventions for addressing the gaps through food-based approaches.
Jayashree served as the Director of the Training Centre for Advanced Technologies in Food Manufacture funded by the Australian Research Council from 2013-2018. She initiated industry-sponsored projects to recover nutrients (proteins) from manufacturing stream wastes and to utilize agricultural wastes through nanotechnology to demonstrate the production of biodegradable and recyclable packaging films, an innovation attracting considerable interest from industry. More information on the projects can be viewed at: www.atfm.uns.edu.au
She is currently an Associate Professor within the Food and Health cluster and is contributing to teaching and research in the field of food science and nutrition. She teaches the nutrition courses for the undergraduate and postgraduate Food Science programs as well as for students across the Faculties of Science and Medicine at UNSW.
Excellence in Postgraduate Research Supervison Award, 2013- Awarded by Postgraduate Council UNSW, Arc (UNSW Student Life) and UNSW Graduate Research School
Australia-India Senior Visiting Fellowship (2012-2013)- Awarded by the Australian Academy of Science
My Research Activities
- Food composition and development of analytical techniques (biological and chemical) for nutrients in foods
- Fortification of foods with micronutrients: technologies, bioavailability in humans
- Development of isotope dilution methods for the analysis of vitamins and other bioactives in foods using LC-MS techniques
- Bioactive compounds in foods and their activities in vitro and ex vivo
- Micronutrient bioavailability in humans using stable isotopic studies; ex vivo cell culture techniques
Current projects include:
- Vitamin analysis of foods especially folate, cyanocobalamin and vitamin D (immunoassays, microbiological assays and LC-MS analysis of vitamers using stable isotope dilution assays)
- Biodiversity of nutrients in plant-based foods (genotypic variations) esp. cereals and legumes
- Fortification of foods (rice and wheat flour) with micronutrients (folate, iron and beta carotene) using edible coating materials and processing methods
- Bioactives in fruits (analysis of phenolic compounds using stable isotope dilution methods; GC-MS and LC-MS analysis)
- Unconventional cereals and their prebiotic potential
- Improving Vitamin B12 in plant-based foods through fermentation; developing new ingredients of high nutritional value through processing
- Nutrient recovery from food manufacturing waste streams; agricultural wastes
- Development of biodegradable nanopolymers as packaging material from agricultural wastes
- Human intervention trials for bioefficacy of micronutrient fortification of wheat flour in Papua New Guinea
- Micronutrient bioavailability (folate) from fortified foods and natural sources using stable isotope techniques in humans
- Bioactive compounds from foods especially lutein and Zeaxanthin, dietary intakes in different age groups, factors influencing intakes (for e.g. age, gender and ethnicity) and prevalence of dry eye disease and macular degeneration of the eye
My Research Supervision
Areas of supervision
1. Plant-based proteins and the improvement in quality through processing technologies
2. Vitamin B12 in foods- accurate methods to quantify the different vitamers of Vitamin B12, invitro digestion and ex-vivo bioaccessibility, absorption and transport using intestinal and liver organoids
3. Development of biodegradable packaging material from agricultural wastes
4. Addressing UN SDG 2 (Zero Hunger)- development of supplementary and complementary foods to address malnutrition in the Asia Pacific region in collaboration with organisations such as the World Food Program (WFP).
7 PhD students and several honours and Master's students in the areas of Food Science, Food Chemistry and Nutrition.
Introduction to Food Science
Food and Health Security