Address: Yifulou Building, College of Food Engineering & Biotechnology, Tianjin University of Science and Technology, TEDA, Tianjin, 300457, China
phone: +86 022-60912506
Dr. Zhongkai Zhou is a Professor of the college of Food Engineering and Biotechnology, Tianjin University of Science and Technology. Prof. Zhou completed Bachelor, Master Degrees from Jiangnan University at 1986 and 1988 and PhD candidate at Jiangnan University between 1997-1999. The Prof Zhou worked the same university for the following 10 years as lecture and associate professor, respectively. On the completion of his PhD, Dr. Zhou worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Hong Kong. Since 2012, Dr. Zhou is employed by Tianjin University of Science & Technology as a professor. He published over 150 scientific papers, and served as a member of editor board for 4 international journals.
The control of starch digestion behaviours is a key approach for regulating food energy. With the background of cereal chemistry, Prof. Zhou has been conducting research that aims to an understanding the fined structure of starches since commencing the research career. Recognizing the complexity and heterogeneity of starches from different botanical resources, the influence of fine structure on starch gelatinization and retrogradation was extensively studied. Furthermore, the understanding of starch digestion properties on a molecular level (both in vivo and in vitro models) is being substantially investigated, and the changes in starch molecular fractions were analyzed for identifying the differential digestion kinetics of each molecular fraction of various starches. The changes in the other properties of the starches during digestion (eg. morphology, crystallinity, branching structure) are being used for predicting starch functionality in a number of research projects. Through the structural analyses of different starches, the rearrangement behaviors of starch molecules following various treatments is monitored using FTIR, X-ray diffraction and SAXS for establishing the relationship between starch structure and resistant starch content. The research on this field led to Prof Zhou with outstanding publications on international journals.
Obesity is becoming one of dominant chronic diseases. As a principal investigator of functional carbohydrates projects funded by the China National Science Foundation, a big part of Prof Zhou’ research is concerned with the dietary intervention of obesity induced by unbalanced diets. In these research projects, the effect of the regulation of gut microbiota-produced metabolites on insulin secretion and obesity symptom attracts great interests to Prof. Zhou. Based on metagenomics and metabonomics studies, results revealed that the shift of gut microbiota into enriched butyrate-producing bacteria through the consumption of non-digestive carbohydrates in the diet linked to reduced expressions of lipogenesis-associated genes for suppressing sphingolipids biosynthesis to trigger insulin sensitivity. These studies would benefit the control of obesity symptoms induced by high-fat diet. A series of significant papers were published on these areas.
Recent Publications (SCI first author or corresponding author)
 Si, X., Shang, W., Zhou, Z., Shui, G., Lam, S., Strappe, P. & Blanchard, C. Gama-aminobutyric Acid Enriched Rice Bran Diet Attenuates Insulin Resistance and Balances Energy Expenditure via Modification of Gut Microbiota and SCFAs. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. 2018, 66(4), 881-890. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.7b04994.
 Xiaojuan Guo, Wenting Shang, Padraig Strappe, Chris Blanchard, Zhongkai Zhou. Peptides derived from lupin proteins confer potent protection against oxidative stress[J]. Journal of The Science of Food and Agriculture. 2018. Doi: 10.1002/jsfa.9059.
 Wenting Shang, Xu Si, Zhongkai Zhou, Padraig Strappe, Chris Blanchard. Wheat bran with enriched gama-aminobutyric acid attenuates glucose intolerance and hyperinsulinemia induced by high-fat diet [J]. Food & Function. 10.1039/C8FO00331A, 2018.
 Yuqian Liu, Zhongkai Zhou, Padraig Strappe, Chris Blanchard. Impact on the nutritional attributes of rice bran following various stabilization procedures[J]. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 2018. Doi: 10.1080/10408398.2018.1455638.
 Rang Yang, Jing Tian, Yuqian Liu, Demei Meng, Chris Blanchard, Zhongkai Zhou. One-step fabrication of phytoferritin-chitosan-epigallocatechin shell-core nanoparticles by thermal treatment [J]. Food Hydrocolloids, 2018, 80,24-32.
 Rui Yang, Yuqian Liu, Yunjing Gao, Zhiying Yang, Siqi Zhao, Yongjin Wang, Chris Blanchardb, Zhongkai Zhou*. Nano-encapsulation of epigallocatechin gallate in the ferritin-chitosan double shells: simulated digestion and absorption evaluation. Food Research International, 2018, 108:1-7.
 Rui Yang, Yuqian Liu, Chris Blanchard, Zhongkai Zhou*. Channel directed rutin nano-encapsulation in phytoferritin induced by guanidine hydrochloride. Food Chemistry, 2018, 240, 935-939.
 Rui Yang, Yuqian Liu, Christopher L. Blanchard, and Zhongkai Zhou*. Alcalase enzymolysis of red bean (adzuki) ferritin achieves nano-encapsulation of food nutrients in a mild condition. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2018, 66, 1999-2007.
 Rui Yang, Jing Tian, Desheng Wang, Chris Blanchard, Zhongkai Zhou*. Chitosan binding onto the epigallocatechin-loaded ferritin nanocage enhances its transport across Caco-2 cells. Food & Function, 2018, DOI: 10.1039/C8FO00097B.
 Wenting Shang, Huijuan Dong, Padraig Strappe,Zhongkai Zhou, ChrisBlanchard. Characterization of endogenous antioxidant attributes and its influence on thermal stability of canola oil. RSC Advance, 2018, accepted.
 Xu Si, Wenting Shang, Zhongkai Zhou, Padraig Strappe, Bing Wang, Anthony Bird, and Chris Blanchard. Gut Microbiome-induced Shift of Acetate to Butyrate Positively Manages Dysbiosis in High Fat Diet. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. 10.1002/mnfr.201700670.
 Rui Yang, Yuqian Liu, Zhongkai Zhou. Selenium and Selenoproteins, from Structure, Function to Food Resource and Nutrition. Food Science and Technology Research, 2017, 23 (3), 363-373.
 Rui Yang, Yuqian, Liu, Yunjing Gao, Yongjin, Wang, Chris Blanchard, Zhongkai Zhou. Ferritin glycosylated by chitosan as a novel EGCG nano-carrier: Structure, stability, and absorption analysis. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 2017, DOI: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2017.07.040.
 Rui Yang, Yuqian Liu, Chris Blanchard, Zhongkai Zhou. Channel directed rutin nano-encapsulation in phytoferritin induced by guanidine hydrochloride. Food Chemistry, 2018, 240, 935-939.
 Ruge Cao, Yali Zhao, Zhongkai Zhou, Xiaoyu Zhao. Enhancement of the water solubility and antioxidant activity of hesperidin by chitooligosaccharide. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 2017. DOI: 10.1002/jsfa.8734.