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Students Receive Awards at Cereal Chemists Meeting

North Dakota State University cereal and food sciences faculty, staff and graduate students attended the American Association of Cereal Chemists International meeting in London, United Kingdom, October 21-23, 2018. Graduate students Ana Magallanes-López and Maneka Malalgoda were recognized with awards during the meeting.

November 5, 2018

North Dakota State University cereal and food sciences faculty, staff and graduate students attended the American Association of Cereal Chemists International (AACCI) meeting in London, United Kingdom, October 21-23, 2018. Graduate students Ana Magallanes-López and Maneka Malalgoda were recognized with awards during the meeting.

Best Student Research Paper Award

Magallanes-López, a M.S. candidate in cereal science from Mexico, won second place in the Best Student Research Paper competition for her presentation, “Value-Adding Strategies for Deoxynivalenol Contaminated Grain: Characterization of Wet Milling Fractions”. She was one of five finalists from around the world competing for this distinguished award. Finalists were selected out of many applicants, based on the scientific merit of their research. Magallanes-López is advised by Senay Simsek, Bert L. D’Appolonia Cereal Science and Technology of Wheat Endowed Professor in the Department of Plant Sciences.

Magallanes-López analyzed the fate of deoxynivalenol (DON) during wet milling and the functionality of the obtained fractions, starch and gluten. The objectives of her research were to determine if DON can be removed from starch and gluten fractions using a wet milling process, and to determine starch and protein functionality after DON removal. The results of this research show that wet milling is an alternative use for DON contaminated grain, which is usually discounted at grain elevators. Magallanes-López and Simsek collaborated with cereal science professor Frank Manthey in this research.

“Ana did an excellent job presenting her work to the audience, which was made up of scientists in many different areas of cereal science research,” said Simsek. “She was well prepared and was able to provide answers to questions from the audience, who seemed to be impressed by her work.”

Magallanes-López plans to complete her M.S. this fall, and then pursue her Ph.D. under the guidance of Simsek. She will continue to contribute towards the advancement of cereal science through invaluable research in the area of wheat carbohydrate chemistry.

Poster Award

Malalgoda, a Ph.D. candidate in cereal science from Sri Lanka, served as a student representative on the AACCI meeting planning committee and presented two posters at the meeting. She won third place in the Carbohydrate Division/Megazyme Poster Award competition for her poster, “Timing of Pre-Harvest Desiccant and Its Effects on Wheat Starch Properties”. She is advised by Simsek.

Malalgoda looked at how the timing of pre-harvest desiccants, such as glyphosate, during wheat cultivation affected different aspects of wheat chemistry, such as wheat quality and the deposition of starch and proteins. She found that starch chemical properties like molecular weight and composition are not affected, although properties like digestibility, pasting/cooking characteristics and the distribution of small and large starch granules are impacted by the timing of desiccant application.

After Malalgoda completes her Ph.D., she plans to continue her work in cereal starch and protein chemistry.

Additional Presentations

Simsek gave an oral presentation on “Preparation and Characterization of Beta-Cyclodextrin and Wheat Bran Phenolic Acid Inclusion Complexes”.

Cereal and food sciences professor Clifford Hall presented two posters: “Roller vs Hammer Milling of Yellow Split Pea (Pisum sativum L.)”, and “Flow Properties of Yellow Split Pea (Pisum sativum L.) Flour on Several Surfaces”.

Research specialist Kristin Whitney presented two posters: “Evaluation of Starch Composition and Quality in Hard Red Spring Wheat Varieties Released Since 1900”, and “Mineral, Phenolic Acid and Enzyme Profiles of Hard Red Spring Wheat Varieties Released in the Last 100 years”.

Yasuyuki Nishitsuji, who was a visiting scientist in Simsek’s program for two years, presented a poster, “Changes to wheat arabinoxylans during bread-making process”, which detailed research he completed while working at NDSU.

Source: Senay Simsek, 701-231-7737,
Editors: Kamie Beeson, 701-231-7123, and Karen Hertsgaard, 701-231-5384,

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