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Pradeepika Chintha Defends Ph.D. Dissertation

Pradeepika Chintha successfully defended her Plant Sciences doctoral dissertation, Functional Bioactive Compounds from Sweet Potatoes for Human Health Benefits, on October 8, 2020 at North Dakota State University. She was advised by Dr. Kalidas Shetty.

October 26, 2020

Pradeepika Chintha successfully defended her Plant Sciences doctoral dissertation, Functional Bioactive Compounds from Sweet Potatoes for Human Health Benefits, on October 8, 2020 at North Dakota State University. She was advised by Dr. Kalidas Shetty, Plant Sciences professor and NDSU Associate Vice President for International Partnerships and Collaborations.

For her dissertation research, Chintha screened sweet potato cultivars of different flesh color (off-white, orange, and purple) and optimized different food processing (deep-frying, baking, steaming, and boiling) strategies based on optimum phenolic bioactive-linked antioxidant, anti-diabetic and anti-hypertensive properties using metabolically targeted in vitro assay models. High soluble phenolic-linked antioxidant activity was observed in purple-fleshed sweet potato cultivar, while high type 2 diabetes relevant anti-hyperglycemic and anti-hypertensive properties were observed in orange- and white-fleshed sweet potatoes. Food processing optimization studies revealed optimum food processing conditions (cooking temperature, cooking time, and sweet potato sample size) based on higher retention of phenolics and associated antioxidant and anti-hyperglycemic functionalities. 

Chintha earned a bachelor’s degree in horticulture from Dr. Y.S.R Horticultural University, India, and a master’s degree in vegetable science from University of Bagalkot, India. She is originally from Kavali, Andhra Pradesh State, India.

She chose to pursue her doctoral degree at NDSU because of its reputation for agricultural sciences and it offers specialized academic and research training. She says the Department of Plant Sciences “provides great research opportunities to participate in advanced research projects” and  teaching opportunities help to “improve communication skills and teaching abilities.”

In 2019, Chintha received a second-place award for her poster presentation at the 5th Annual NDSU Conference on Food and Health.

She is pursuing a position as a research scientist with ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute in India.

Author: Kamie Beeson, 701-231-7123, kamie.a.beeson@ndsu.edu
Editor: Karen Hertsgaard, 701-231-5384, karen.hertsgaard@ndsu.edu

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