Dr. Dong Uk Ahn
Iowa State University
Ames, IA, USA
PhD 1988 University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
MS & BS 1983 & 1978 Seoul National University, Korea
Professor, Dept. Animal Science, Iowa State Univ., 1994 - present.
SNU-WCU Professor, Seoul National University, Korea, 2009 – 2013.
Postdoc, Session Lecturer, University of Alberta and U. Saskatchewan, Canada, 1988-1994
Research/Work Experience Areas
Dr. Ahn have devoted his entire professional career to research and education of Animal Products and Processing Technology. Dr. Dong Ahn¡¯s research areas include 1) the causative mechanisms and control of lipid oxidation in muscle food systems and eggs, 2) assessment of the impact of irradiation of muscle foods on food safety, quality and consumer acceptability, and 3) developing functional proteins having significant commercial applications from egg albumin and yolk. These three areas of study are particularly important in that they address questions that impact both the safety and quality of our food supply. Food safety is one of the most visible concerns of consumers, regulatory agencies and companies alike. We are bombarded daily by news reports of unsafe food imports from questionable trading partners, recalls of contaminated food products costing the food industry millions, significant outbreaks of foodborne disease, and a lost in consumer confidence over the safety of our food supply. Dr. Ahn¡¯s research into the irradiation of foods with a focus on muscle food systems could alleviate many of the problems noted above. He has studied nearly every aspect of irradiation including pathogen reduction models, mechanisms of lipid oxidation and its prevention, product color changes, and off-flavor development in irradiated muscle foods. Lipid oxidation is one of the major cause of quality deterioration in foods. All muscle foods contain lipids that are susceptible to oxidation and the development of off-flavors and a shortened shelf life leading to financial losses in the commercial marketplace. Dr. Ahn has conducted pioneering research into the factors impacting this oxidative deteriorative process including the mechanisms responsible for lipid oxidation in muscle foods and eggs, the development of more accurate and objective analytical tools to assess lipid oxidation and its byproducts, and methods of controlling lipid oxidation through packaging, additive and dietary interventions. The third area of research involves identifying and harnessing the value-added potential of functional proteins and other components found in eggs. With the current worldwide interest in functional food ingredients (i.e., nutraceuticals) and designer foods that can positively impact human health, Dr. Ahn¡¯s research is poised to have a very significant impact on this area. He currently stands at the forefront in developing commercially-scalable methods to extract and separate functional proteins and components from eggs as well as the development of functional bioactive proteins and lipids through structural modifications. His research in this area is contributing significantly towards the ultimate commercialization of a number of products that will greatly benefit society in the areas of nutrition and food safety.