Hang Xiao

Professor, Department of Food Science

UMass Amherst

My research is focused on developing novel technologies to improve bioavailability of dietary components with health benefits (also known as nutraceuticals). Many nutraceuticals have low oral bioavailability due to their low solubility and poor absorption in gastrointestinal tract, which greatly limits the realization of their health benefits. We are developing food-grade delivery systems to improve bioavailability of wide range of nutraceuticals such as carotenoids, flavonoids, vitamins, etc. These delivery systems can be potentially used in food, dietary supplement and pharmaceutical products.

One type of delivery system we are working on is lipid nanoparticle. By precisely controlling the particle characteristics, we can fabricate wide range of lipid nanoparticles to encapsulate nutraceuticals with diverse physicochemical properties. These particles can be designed to alter the fate of nutraceuticals in the gastrointestinal tract in terms of their solubilization, absorption, metabolism, etc.

We are also investigating the efficacy and molecular mechanisms of nutraceuticals in fighting chronic diseases such as cancer.