Rong Cao, Ph.D.

Image Rong Cao
Research Scientist

Food Bioactives Chemistry and Biochemistry

Current research and/or projects

Dr. Cao leads multi-disciplinary teams to conduct national and international research to support AAFC’s mandate and priorities.  His research focuses on two AAFC Strategic Objectives: “Improve attributes for food and non-food uses” and “Addressing threats to the agriculture and agri-food value chain”, in the Focus Areas of (1) Cereals & Pulses; (2) Agri-Food, (3) Bioproducts, and (4) Horticulture as set in AAFC’s Agri-Food Sector - Science Strategy.  Dr. Cao is an internationally highly recognized authority in food bioactives and attributes, especially in those with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.  He contributes by developing novel methods for the identification of food bioactives and their important functional properties in all aforementioned four areas, by taking new approaches to assess bioaccessibility, bioavailability, metabolomics and molecular mechanisms of action, and by providing information essential to crop breeding and processing programs, health claims substantiation and to forage crops.  Dr. Cao also addresses the above threats by developing new methods for the detection and identification of regulated and emerging mycotoxins, by using natural antimicrobials, and optimizing food processing conditions to mitigate mycotoxin contamination.

Research and/or project statements

  • A systematic approach to characterization of free; conjugated and bound forms of food bioactives and their antioxidant/anti-inflammatory activities in pulses using cell models and in vitro gastrointestinal and gut digestions
  • Integrated research-development-technology-transfer approach to enhance productivity and sustainability of potato production in Canada
  • Applying genomic ideotype breeding to increase bean productivity, healthfulness and sustainability
  • Characterization of phytochemicals and dietary fibres in pulse processing by-products for value-added functional food products
  • Research network on emerging mycotoxins of potential importance for Canadian agriculture and regulation of domestic commodities and international trade

Professional activities / interests

  • Characterization of food bioactives with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities
  • Bioaccessibility, bioavailability, metabolism and cell signaling modulating effects of food bioactives
  • Characterization and mitigation of mycotoxins in food and natural antimicrobials

Education and awards

Education

  • Postdoctoral Fellow Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA (1992-1996)
  • Ph.D. in Agricultural Chemistry, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan (1991)
  • M.Sc. in Agricultural Chemistry, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan (1988)
  • B.Sc. in Agricultural Chemistry, Beijing Agricultural University, Beijing, China (1984)

Awards

  • Gold Harvest Award - Innovation, Collaboration and Service Excellence, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, 2016
  • Highly Cited Researchers since 2014-present, Thomson Reuters (http://highlycited.com/ )

International experience and/or work

Collaboration with researchers in Italy, Mexico and China

Key publications

  1. Waduge, R.N., Warkentin, T.D., Donner, E., Cao, R., Ramdath, D.D., Liu, Q. (2017). Structure, physicochemical properties, and in vitro starch digestibility of yellow pea flour modified with different organic acids, 94(1), 142-150. http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/CCHEM-03-16-0068-FI

    2017 - View publication details

  2. Li, H., Cao, W., Navabi, A., Tsao, R., Bock, J.E., Wang, X.L., and Khanizadeh, S. (2016). "Agronomic characteristics and quality of select advanced purple wheat lines.", Joint Annual Conference for the Canadian Society of Agronomy and the Canadian Society for Horticultural Science, Montreal, QC, Canada, 24-26 July, 2016. (Poster)

    2016 - View publication details

  3. Hao, X.M., Little, C., Zheng, J.M., and Tsao, R. (2016). "Far Red LED Improved Fruit Production in Greenhouse Tomato Grown under High Pressure Sodium Lighting.", 8th International Symposium on Light in Horticulture, East Lansing, Michigan, USA, May 22-26, 2016. (Abstract)

    2016 - View publication details

  4. Guo, X.-B., Hao, X.M., Khosla, S., Kumar, K., Tsao, R., and Bennett, N. (2016). "Effect of LED interlighting combined with overhead HPS light on fruit yield and quality of year-round sweet pepper in commercial greenhouse.", 8th International Symposium on Light in Horticulture, East Lansing, Michigan, USA, May 22-26, 2016. (Abstract)

    2016 - View publication details

  5. Tsao, R. and Zhou, T. (2016). "An integrated approach to patulin reduction in food.", World Mycotoxin Forum, Winnipeg, Canada, 6-10 June, 2016, pp. 71. (Abstract)

    2016 - View publication details

  6. Ioi, D., Zhou, T., Marcone, M.F., and Tsao, R. (2016). "Resistance of mycotoxins and fungi to commercial processing in apple and tomato products.", World Mycotoxin Forum, Winnipeg, Canada, 6-10 June, 2016, Poster presentation, pp. 137-138. (Abstract)

    2016 - View publication details

  7. Pinhero, R.G., Tsao, R., Liu, Q., Sullivan, J.A., Bizimungu, B., and Yada, R.Y. (2016). "Protein and Phenolic Contents and Antioxidant Activities of 14 Early Maturing Potatoes as Affected by Processing.", American Journal of Plant Sciences, 7, pp. 69-81. doi : 10.4236/ajps.2016.71008

    2016 - View publication details

  8. Guo, X.-B., Hao, X.M., Tsao, R., Zheng, J.M., Little, C., and Khosla, S. (2016). "Response of greenhouse mini-cucumber to different vertical spectra of LED lighting under overhead high pressure sodium and plasma lighting.", 8th International Symposium on Light in Horticulture, East Lansing, Michigan, USA, May 22-26, 2016. (Abstract)

    2016 - View publication details

  9. Guo, X.-B., Hao, X.M., Khosla, S., Kumar, K., Tsao, R., and Bennett, N. 2016. "Effect of LED interlighting combined with overhead HPS light on fruit yield and quality of year-round sweet pepper in commercial greenhouse.", Acta Horticulturae (ISHS){1134/71-78}.

    2016 - View publication details

  10. Guo, X.-B., Hao, X.M., Tsao, R., Zheng, J.M., Little, C., and Khosla, S. 2016. "Response of greenhouse mini-cucumber to different vertical spectra of LED lighting under overhead high pressure sodium and plasma lighting.", Acta Horticulturae (ISHS)1134:87-94.

    2016 - View publication details

  11. Hao, X.M., Little, C., Zheng, J.M., and Tsao, R. 2016. "Far Red LED Improved Fruit Production in Greenhouse Tomato Grown under High Pressure Sodium Lighting.", Acta Horticulturae (ISHS)1134:95-102.

    2016 - View publication details

  12. Zhang, H. and Tsao, R. (2016). "Dietary polyphenols, oxidative stress and antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.", Current Opinion in Food Science, 8, pp. 33-42. doi : 10.1016/j.cofs.2016.02.002

    2016 - View publication details

  13. Tsao, R. (2015). "Synergistic interactions between antioxidants used in food preservation.", in Shahidi, F. (ed.) - Handbook of Antioxidants for Food Preservation, Elsevier Inc. Academic Press, pp. 335-347.

    2015 - View publication details

  14. Shen, H.S., Liu, H., Chen, J.-C., Shao, S., Zhu, H., Tsao, R., and Zhou, T. (2015). "Tetramethylpyrazine from Pleurotus geesteranus.", Natural Product Communications, 10(9), pp. 1553-1554.

    2015 - View publication details

  15. Chen, P.X., Dupuis, J.H., Marcone, M.F., Pauls, K.P., Liu, R., Liu, Q., Tang, Y., Zhang, B., and Tsao, R. (2015). "Physicochemical properties and in vitro digestibility of cooked regular- and non-darkening cranberry beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) and their effects on bioaccessibility, phenolic composition and antioxidant activity.", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 63(48), pp. 10448-10458. doi : 10.1021/acs.jafc.5b04005

    2015 - View publication details

  16. Chen, P.X., Tang, Y., Marcone, M.F., Pauls, K.P., Zhang, B., Liu, R., and Tsao, R. (2015). "Characterization of free, conjugated and bound phenolics and lipophilic antioxidants in regular- and non-darkening cranberry beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.).", Food Chemistry, 185, pp. 298-308. doi : 10.1016/j.foodchem.2015.03.100

    2015 - View publication details

  17. Tang, Y., Li, X.H., Chen, P.X., Zhang, B., Hernandez, M., Zhang, H., Marcone, M.F., Liu, R., and Tsao, R. (2015). "Characterisation of fatty acid, carotenoid, tocopherol/tocotrienol compositions and antioxidant activities in seeds of three Chenopodium quinoa Willd. Genotypes.", Food Chemistry, 174, pp. 502-508. doi : 10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.11.040

    2015 - View publication details

  18. Zhang, B., Deng, Z.-Y., Ramdath, D.D., Tang, Y., Chen, P., Liu, R., Liu, Q., Tsao, R., and Tsao, R. (2015). "Phenolic profiles of 20 Canadian lentil cultivars and their contribution to antioxidant activity and inhibitory effects on α-glucosidase and pancreatic lipase.", Food Chemistry, 172, pp. 862-872. doi : 10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.09.144

    2015 - View publication details

  19. Tang, Y., Li, X.H., Zhang, B., Chen, P.X., Liu, R., and Tsao, R. (2015). "Characterisation of phenolics, betanins and antioxidant activities in seeds of three Chenopodium quinoa Willd. Genotypes.", Food Chemistry, 166, pp. 380-388. doi : 10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.06.018

    2015 - View publication details

  20. Chen, P.X., Bozzo, G.G., Freixas-Coutin, J.A., Marcone, M.F., Pauls, K.P., Tang, Y., Zhang, B., Liu, R., and Tsao, R. (2015). "Free and conjugated phenolic compounds and their antioxidant activities in regular and non-darkening cranberry bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) seed coats.", Journal of Functional Foods, 18(part B), pp. 1047-1056. doi : 10.1016/j.jff.2014.10.032

    2015 - View publication details

Research facility

93 Stone Road West
Guelph, ON N1G 5C9
Canada

Affiliations

  • Adjunct Professor, University of Guelph
  • Associate Graduate Faculty, Department of Food Sciences, University of Guelph
  • Adjunct Professor, Nanchang University
  • Adjunct Professor, Jiangsu University
  • Adjunct Professor, Changchun Normal University
  • Chair/Organizer, Symposium at Pacifichem (1995-Present)

Language

English

Other languages

Chinese, Japanese