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. Kirby, C.W., Wu, T.-Y., Nabuurs, M.H., Tsao, R., Tsao, R., and McCallum, J.L. (2014). "Anthocyanin and Pyranoanthocyanin Biosynthesis in Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina L.).", Maritimes Natural Products Conference (MNPC) 2014, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada, August 18-20, 2014, Presentation.

    2014 - View publication details

  2. Kirby, C.W., Wu, T.-Y., Nabuurs, M.H., Tsao, R., Tsao, R., and McCallum, J.L. (2014). "Anthocyanin and Pyranoanthocyanin Biosynthesis in Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina L.).", 53rd Annual meeting of Phytochemical Society of North America (PSNA), Raleigh, North Carolina, USA, August 9-13, 2014, Presentation.

    2014 - View publication details

  3. Hao, X.M., Guo, X.-B., Tsao, R., Khosla, S., and Chen, X. (2014 Confidential). Sustainable Year-Round Greenhouse Vegetable Production with Supplemental lighting, Final Research Project Report to Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (July 15, 2014), 28 pages . (Report)

    2014 - View publication details

  4. Zhang, B., Deng, Z.-Y., Tang, Y., Chen, P.X., Liu, R., Ramdath, D.D., Liu, Q., Hernandez, M., and Tsao, R. (2014). "Effect of domestic cooking on carotenoids, tocopherols, fatty acids, phenolics, and antioxidant activities of lentils (Lens culinaris).", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 62(52), pp. 12585-12594. doi : 10.1021/jf504181r

    2014 - View publication details

  5. Tang, Y., Li, X.H., Chen, P.X., Zhang, B., Hernandez, M., Zhang, H., Marcone, M.F., Liu, R., and Tsao, R. (2014). "Lipids, tocopherols, and carotenoids in leaves of amaranth and quinoa cultivars and a new approach to overall evaluation of nutritional quality traits.", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 62(52), pp. 12610-12619. doi : 10.1021/jf5046377

    2014 - View publication details

  6. Tsao, R. (2014). "Synergistic interactions between antioxidants used in food products.", in Shahidi, F. (ed.) - Handbook of antioxidants in food preservation: Sources, Stability and Extraction, Woodhead Publishing, Cambridge, UK, Chapter 12.

    2014 - View publication details

  7. Zhang, B., Deng, Z.-Y., Tang, Y., Chen, P., Liu, R., Ramdath, D.D., Liu, Q., Hernandez, M., and Tsao, R. (2014). "Fatty acid, carotenoid and tocopherol compositions of 20 Canadian lentil cultivars and synergistic contribution to antioxidant activities.", Food Chemistry, 161, pp. 296-304. doi : 10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.04.014

    2014 - View publication details

  8. Chen, P.X., Tang, Y., Zhang, B., Liu, R., Marcone, M.F., Li, X.H., Tsao, R., and Tsao, R. (2014). "5-Hydroxymethyl-2-furfural and derivatives formed during acid hydrolysis of conjugated and bound phenolics in plant foods and the effects on phenolic content and antioxidant capacity.", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 62(20), pp. 4754-4761. doi : 10.1021/jf500518r

    2014 - View publication details

  9. Tsao, R., Zhu, H., Ye, J., and Cousins, L.M. (2013). "A New, Sensitive Method for Lignan Metabolite Detection of Flaxseed-Fed Mice using LC-MS/MS", American Society for Mass Spectrometry, Minneapolis, MN, USA, June 9-13, 2013.

    2013 - View publication details

  10. Kirby, C.W., Wu, T., Tsao, R., Tsao, R., and McCallum, J.L. (2013). "Isolation and structural characterization of unusual pyranoanthocyanins and related anthocyanins from Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina L.) via UPLC-ESI-MS, 1H, 13C, and 2D NMR spectroscopy).", 52nd Annual meeting of Phytochemical Society of North America (PSNA), Corvallis, Oregon, USA, August 2-7, 2013.

    2013 - View publication details

  11. Hao, X.M., Tsao, R., and Khosla, S. (2013 Confidential). Sustainable year-round greenhouse vegetable production with supplemental lighting, Second Interim Research Project Report to Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers, 7 pages. (Report)

    2013 - View publication details

  12. Hao, X.M., Tsao, R., Khosla, S., and Haight, D. (2013 Confidential). Evaluation of new light sources for optimizing year-round greenhouse vegetable production system with supplemental lighting, Final AIP Research Project Report to Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers, 5 pages. (Report)

    2013 - View publication details

  13. Chen, P., Marcone, M.F., and Tsao, R. (2013). "Red Clover Bioactive Constituents.", - American Herbal Pharmacopoeia and Therapeutic Compendium.

    2013 - View publication details

  14. Zhang, H., Li, L., Li, B., Zhao, A., and Tsao, R. (2013). "Polyphenolic Profiles and Antioxidant Activities of Smilax glabra Roxb. and S. china L.", Latin American Journal of Pharmacy, 32(10), pp. 1558-1564.

    2013 - View publication details

  15. Tsao, R. and Li, H. (2013). "Analytical techniques for phytochemicals.", in Tiwari, B., Brunton, N. and Brennan, C. (eds.) - Handbook of Phytochemicals: Sources, Stability and Extraction, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chapter 19, pp. 434-451.

    2013 - View publication details

  16. Sessa, M., Donsì, F., Ferrari, G., and Tsao, R. (2013). "Cellular antioxidant activity of resveratrol encapsulated in nanoscale lipid-based delivery systems.", International Society for Nutraceuticals, Functional Foods, Taipei, Taiwan, November 5-9, 2013. (Abstract)

    2013 - View publication details

  17. Tsao, R. (2013). "Pyranoanthocyanins and other polyphenols from Staghorn Sumac (Rhus hirta L.) and the potential health benefits.", International Society for Nutraceuticals, Functional Foods, Taipei, Taiwan, November 5-9, 2013. (Abstract)

    2013 - View publication details

  18. Zhang, C., Lu, J., Zarepoor, L., Tsao, R., and Power, K.A. (2012). "Common Beans Induce both Beneficial and Adverse Effects on Colitis Symptoms in Mice.", 9th Canadian Pulse Research Workshop, Niagara Falls Marriott Gateway, Niagara Falls, ON, Canada, November 6-12, 2012.

    2012 - View publication details

  19. Chen, P.X., Tsao, R., Liu, R., Marcone, M.F., and Pauls, K.P. (2012). "Polyphenolic profile of common dry beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.).", Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology, Canada, May 2012. (Presentation)

    2012 - View publication details

  20. Hao, X.M., Tsao, R., and Khosla, S. (2012 Internal). Sustainable year-round greenhouse vegetable production with supplemental lighting. 1st Interim Research Project Report to Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers. (Report)

    2012 - 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