Western Illinois University: Macomb Campus
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Dr. Gilles Kouassi , Ph.D.
1 University Circle
519C Currens Hall
Macomb, IL 61455
MWF 12:15-1:15 or by appointment
Ph.D. from University of Helsinki, Finland
Physical Chemistry, Food Chemistry, Nanotechnology
Kouassi’s research laboratory is involved in multidisciplinary research in physical chemistry of foods, nanotechnology, and food processing. Graduate and undergraduate students are engaged in various projects:Physical Chemistry of Foods:The quality, stability, and processing of foods often depend on the physical state of food materials. Changes in the physical state, such as phase transition, crystallization, melting, and phase separation affect the quality of foods. Water as plasticizer affects the physical state. We are involved in determination of the physical state of carbohydrates-based food systems using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and water sorption techniques to predict changes in the physical properties of food materials and their relationships with chemicals and enzymatic reactions in foods.Nanoencapsulation:Nanoencapsulation is a useful tool to improve the delivery of bioactive compounds into foods and pharmaceutical, particularly probiotics, minerals, vitamins, phytosterols, lutein, fatty acids, and antioxidants. We are engaged in nanoencapsulation of functional ingredients including essential fatty acids and flavonoids using food-grade biopolymers and milk proteins as coating agents.Non-thermal processing:Non-thermal processing techniques such as high pressure and ultrasound are considered as excellent alternatives to thermal processing because they can inactivate pathogens in foods without affecting the sensory properties of the final product. We are engaged in inactivation of food pathogens using ultrasound processing. Patterning carbon nanotubes using magnetic nanoparticles:Carbon nanotubes (CNB) have unique optical, electrical, and mechanical properties that make them a promising candidate for versatile applications. Due to their magnetic character, magnetic nanomaterials such as irons oxides nanoparticles (Fe3O4) are excellent carriers for a number of biomolecules. This is because Fe3O4 can be moved in a reaction medium using an external magnetic field. We are involved in the synthesis of nanocomposites of CNB and Fe3O4 to develop a biosensor platform for detection of biological and chemical hazards.