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Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center

Cereal Chemistry

FAPC provides services in cereal chemistry.

Dr. Patricia Rayas research is focused in improving nutrient utilization and utilization of products produced by microbiota of cereal grains and fermented products.  Specific selection of microorganism and cultures is based on the enzymes suited for different functionality as well as metabolites produced which can be used to elicit different flavor characteristics in cereal products.

In addition, Dr. Rayas directs the cereal chemistry laboratory at FAPC. Her major interests are in food and agricultural uses of hard red and white winter wheat and understanding the physicochemical basis that contributes to the end-user quality of wheat.

Some of the applied projects that Dr. Rayas is working on are the quality evaluation of these wheat classes for bread and noodle.

Examples of her basic research projects include interactions of wheat proteins and carbohydrates, rheological properties of dough and model systems and proteomics of wheat endosperm organelles during grain development. Approaches for the studies of physicochemical, molecular interactions and rheological analyses consist of the separation of wheat flour components and preparation of model systems made with varying concentrations. The proteomics project includes the study of membrane proteins from endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complex from wheat endosperm during grain development. This project includes samples of wheat grown under optimum and water stress conditions.

Another basic research project includes the expression of high and low molecular weight glutenins in E. coli and the rheological evaluation of these proteins as models to elucidate the properties of gluten proteins.

Among the services provided by Dr. Rayas are the evaluation of high molecular weigh glutenin subunits and rheological properties evaluation to the hard winter wheat breeding program at Oklahoma State University. As part of the Wheat Improvement Team at OSU, Dr. Rayas evaluates advance breeding lines and provides other specialized analysis of hard winter wheat. Dr. Rayas also conducts workshops and training to the wheat industry through collaboration with the Oklahoma Wheat Commission as well as in service training to extension educators.

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