Plant Sciences


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Jiajia Rao

Jiajia Rao
Office: Harris Hall 223
Phone: (701) 231-6277
Fax: (701) 231-7723

Assistant Professor
Food Chemistry and Ingredient Technology

The primary objective of the Food Biopolymer and Ingredient Research Project is to identify the structure and functional properties of food biopolymers mainly from plant-based sources and their applications in food. The project’s major field of study includes: (i) Development of novel encapsulation and delivery systems to incorporate soluble dietary fiber, plant protein, bioactive nutrients and nutraceuticals into food products to exert enhanced health benefits; (ii) Development of structural design approaches to improve the stability and performance of plant-based ingredients; (iii) Determination of the impact of the plant-based ingredients on the physicochemical and sensory properties of food products. The project integrates techniques from the fields of food science, cereal science, material science, and nanotechnology to bring added value to plant-based ingredients.

Teaching Responsibilities


  • Ph.D. 2013, Food Science, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • M.S. 2005, Pharmacochemistry, Chongqing University, China
  • B.S. 2002, Food Science and Technology, Sichuan University of Science and Engineering, China

Professional Experience

  • 2016 - present: Assistant Professor, Department of Plant Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND
  • 2013-2016: Senior Scientist, PepsiCo,  Inc.
  • 2013: Postdoctoral Associate, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • 2009-2013: Ph.D. Candidate University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • 2005-2009: Assistant Professor, School of Chemical Engineering, Chongqing University of Technology, China

Professional Affiliation

  • Institute of Food Technologists
  • American Oil Chemists' Society
  • American Chemical Society
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