Chen, Ye
Du, Xinjun
Fan, Zhenchuan
Fang, Guozhen
Guo, Qingbin
Hou, Lihua
Liu, Huiping
Liu, Jifeng
Liu, Xia
Liu, Yaqing
Lu, Xiaoling
Sheng, Wei
Wang, Changlu
Wang, Chunling
Wang, Junping
Wang, Lixia
Wang, Shujun
Wang, Wenhang
Wang, Yanping
Yu, Jinghua
Zhang, Min
Zhang, Zesheng
Zhao, Jiang
Zhou, Zhongkai
Zhu, Zhenyuan
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Zhou, Zhongkai


Zhongkai Zhou


Ph.D, Professor


Address: Yifulou Building, College of Food Engineering & Biotechnology, Tianjin University of Science and Technology, TEDA, Tianjin, 300457, China


Email: zkzhou@tust.edu.cn


phone: +86 022-60912506



Dr. Zhongkai Zhou is a Professor of the college of Food Engineering and Biotechnology, Tianjin University of Science and Technology. Prof. Zhou completed Bachelor, Master Degrees from Jiangnan University at 1986 and 1988 and PhD candidate at Jiangnan University between 1997-1999. The Prof Zhou worked the same university for the following 10 years as lecture and associate professor, respectively. On the completion of his PhD, Dr. Zhou worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Hong Kong. Since 2012, Dr. Zhou is employed by Tianjin University of Science & Technology as a professor. He published over 150 scientific papers, and served as a member of editor board for 4 international journals.


Research Interests

The control of starch digestion behaviours is a key approach for regulating food energy. With the background of cereal chemistry, Prof. Zhou has been conducting research that aims to an understanding the fined structure of starches since commencing the research career. Recognizing the complexity and heterogeneity of starches from different botanical resources, the influence of fine structure on starch gelatinization and retrogradation was extensively studied. Furthermore, the understanding of starch digestion properties on a molecular level (both in vivo and in vitro models) is being substantially investigated, and the changes in starch molecular fractions were analyzed for identifying the differential digestion kinetics of each molecular fraction of various starches. The changes in the other properties of the starches during digestion (eg. morphology, crystallinity, branching structure) are being used for predicting starch functionality in a number of research projects. Through the structural analyses of different starches, the rearrangement behaviors of starch molecules following various treatments is monitored using FTIR, X-ray diffraction and SAXS for establishing the relationship between starch structure and resistant starch content. The research on this field led to Prof Zhou with outstanding publications on international journals.


Obesity is becoming one of dominant chronic diseases. As a principal investigator of functional carbohydrates projects funded by the China National Science Foundation, a big part of Prof Zhou’ research is concerned with the dietary intervention of obesity induced by unbalanced diets. In these research projects, the effect of the regulation of gut microbiota-produced metabolites on insulin secretion and obesity symptom attracts great interests to Prof. Zhou. Based on metagenomics and metabonomics studies, results revealed that the shift of gut microbiota into enriched butyrate-producing bacteria through the consumption of non-digestive carbohydrates in the diet linked to reduced expressions of lipogenesis-associated genes for suppressing sphingolipids biosynthesis to trigger insulin sensitivity. These studies would benefit the control of obesity symptoms induced by high-fat diet. A series of significant papers were published on these areas.


Recent Publications (SCI first author or corresponding author)

Year 2018

[1] Si, X., Shang, W., Zhou, Z., Shui, G., Lam, S., Strappe, P. & Blanchard, C. Gama-aminobutyric Acid Enriched Rice Bran Diet Attenuates Insulin Resistance and Balances Energy Expenditure via Modification of Gut Microbiota and SCFAs. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. 2018, 66(4), 881-890. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.7b04994.

[2] Xiaojuan Guo, Wenting Shang, Padraig Strappe, Chris Blanchard, Zhongkai Zhou. Peptides derived from lupin proteins confer potent protection against oxidative stress[J]. Journal of The Science of Food and Agriculture. 2018. Doi: 10.1002/jsfa.9059.

[3] Wenting Shang, Xu Si, Zhongkai Zhou, Padraig Strappe, Chris Blanchard. Wheat bran with enriched gama-aminobutyric acid attenuates glucose intolerance and hyperinsulinemia induced by high-fat diet [J]. Food & Function. 10.1039/C8FO00331A, 2018.

[4] Yuqian Liu, Zhongkai Zhou, Padraig Strappe, Chris Blanchard. Impact on the nutritional attributes of rice bran following various stabilization procedures[J]. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 2018. Doi: 10.1080/10408398.2018.1455638.

[5] Rang Yang, Jing Tian, Yuqian Liu, Demei Meng, Chris Blanchard, Zhongkai Zhou. One-step fabrication of phytoferritin-chitosan-epigallocatechin shell-core nanoparticles by thermal treatment [J]. Food Hydrocolloids, 2018, 80,24-32.

[6] Rui Yang, Yuqian Liu, Yunjing Gao, Zhiying Yang, Siqi Zhao, Yongjin Wang, Chris Blanchardb, Zhongkai Zhou*. Nano-encapsulation of epigallocatechin gallate in the ferritin-chitosan double shells: simulated digestion and absorption evaluation. Food Research International, 2018, 108:1-7.

[7] Rui Yang, Yuqian Liu, Chris Blanchard, Zhongkai Zhou*. Channel directed rutin nano-encapsulation in phytoferritin induced by guanidine hydrochloride. Food Chemistry, 2018, 240, 935-939.

[8] Rui Yang, Yuqian Liu, Christopher L. Blanchard, and Zhongkai Zhou*. Alcalase enzymolysis of red bean (adzuki) ferritin achieves nano-encapsulation of food nutrients in a mild condition. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2018, 66, 1999-2007.

[9] Rui Yang, Jing Tian, Desheng Wang, Chris Blanchard, Zhongkai Zhou*. Chitosan binding onto the epigallocatechin-loaded ferritin nanocage enhances its transport across Caco-2 cells. Food & Function, 2018, DOI: 10.1039/C8FO00097B.

[10] Wenting Shang, Huijuan Dong, Padraig Strappe,  Zhongkai Zhou, Chris Blanchard. Characterization of endogenous antioxidant attributes and its influence on thermal stability of canola oil. RSC Advance, 2018, accepted.


Year 2017

[1] Si, X., ZhongKai Zhou, Strappe, P., & Blanchard, C. A Comparison of RS4-type Resistant Starch to RS2-type Resistant Starch in Suppressing Oxidative Stress in High Fat-Diet Induced Obese Rats. Food & Function, 2017, 25, 232-240.

[2] Si X, Strappe P, Blanchard C, et al. Enhanced Anti-obesity Effects of Complex of Resistant Starch and Chitosan in High Fat Diet Fed Rats. Carbohydr Polym, 2017, 157:834-841.

[3] Xu Si, Wenting Shang, Zhongkai Zhou, Padraig Strappe, Bing Wang, Anthony Bird, and Chris Blanchard. Gut Microbiome-induced Shift of Acetate to Butyrate Positively Manages Dysbiosis in High Fat Diet. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. 10.1002/mnfr.201700670. 

[4] ZhongKai Zhou, Jingjing Xu, Yuqian Liu, Demei Meng, Xiaoli Sun, Hong Yi, Yunjing Gao, Guoyu Sun, Padraig Strappe, Chris Blanchard, Rui Yang. Thermal Stability Improvement of Rice Bran Albumin Protein Incorporated with Epigallocatechin Gallate. Journal of Food Science, 2016, 82, 350-357.

[5] Zhongkai Zhou; Guoyu Sun, Yuqian Lui, Yunjing Gao, Jingjing Xu, Demei Meng, Padraig Strappe, Chris Blanchard, Rui Yang. A Novel Approach to Prepare Protein-proanthocyanidins Nano-complexes by the Reversible Assembly of Ferritin Cage. Food science and technology research, 23, 329-337, DOI: 10.3136/fstr.23.329.

[6] Rui Yang, Yuqian Liu, Demei Meng, Zhiyu Chen, Christopher L. Blanchard, and Zhongkai Zhou. Urea-Driven Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) Permeation into the Ferritin Cage, an Innovative Method for Fabrication of Protein−Polyphenol Co-assemblies, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2017, 65, 1410−1419.

[7] Rui Yang, Yuqian Liu, Zhongkai Zhou. Selenium and Selenoproteins, from Structure, Function to Food Resource and Nutrition. Food Science and Technology Research, 2017, 23 (3), 363-373.   

[8] Rui Yang, Yuqian, Liu, Yunjing Gao, Yongjin, Wang, Chris Blanchard, Zhongkai Zhou. Ferritin glycosylated by chitosan as a novel EGCG nano-carrier: Structure, stability, and absorption analysis. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 2017, DOI: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2017.07.040. 

[9] Rui Yang, Yuqian Liu, Chris Blanchard, Zhongkai Zhou. Channel directed rutin nano-encapsulation in phytoferritin induced by guanidine hydrochloride. Food Chemistry, 2018, 240, 935-939. 

[10] Jing Li, Wenting Shang, Xu Si, Dandan Bu, Padraig Strappe, Zhongkai Zhou, Chris Blanchard. Carboxymethylation of corn bran polysaccharide and its bioactive property. International Journal of Food Science & Technology, 2017, 52(5):1176-1184.

[11] Yongjia Diao, Xu Si, Wenting Shang, Zhongkai Zhou, Zhiwei Wang, Paiyun Zheng, Padraig Strappe and Chris Blanchard. Effect of interactions between starch and chitosan on waxy maize starch physicochemical and digestion properties. CyTA-Journal of Food, 2017:1-9. DOI:org/10.1080/19476337.2016.1255916.

[12] Ruge Cao , Xingyue Yang , Wenting Shang , Zhongkai ZhouPadraig Strappe. Functional enrichment of mannanase-treated spent brewer yeast. Preparative Biochemistry and Biotechnology. 2017 , 47 (8) :789.

[13] Ruge Cao, Xue Yang, Padraig Strappe, Chris Blanchard and Zhongkai Zhou, Natural products derived from tea on the solubility of hesperidin by LC-TOF/MS and NMR. International Journal of Food Properties, 2017, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10942912.2017.1295258.

[14] Ruge Cao, Yali Zhao, Zhongkai Zhou, Xiaoyu Zhao. Enhancement of the water solubility and antioxidant activity of hesperidin by chitooligosaccharide. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 2017. DOI: 10.1002/jsfa.8734.

[15] Yuyang Wang, Zhongkai Zhou, Yongjia Diao, Padraig Strappe and Chris Blanchard. The potential role of p53 and MAPK pathways in the hepatotoxicity of deep-fried oil and in resistant starch-induced protection. Eur. J. Lipid Sci. Technol., 2017. DOI: 10.1002/ejlt.201600296.  

[16] Junxuan Wang, Xu Si, Wenting Shang, Zhongkai Zhou, Padraig Strappe and Chris Blanchard. Effect of single or combined administration of resistant starch and chitosan oligosaccharides on insulin resistance in rats fed with a high-fat diet. Starch ‐ Stärke, 2017, 69, 1600209. 

[17] Wenting Shang, Xu Si, Zhongkai Zhou, Junxuan Wang, Padraig Strappe, Chris Blanchard. Studies on the unique properties of resistant starch and chitooligosaccharide complexes for reducing high-fat diet-induced obesity and dyslipidemia in rats. Journal of functional food, 2017, 38, 20-27. 

[18] Wenting Shang, Xu Si, Zhongkai Zhoua, Ying Li, Padraig Strappec, Chris Blanchard. Characterization of fecal fat composition and gut derived fecal microbiota in high-fat diet fed rats following intervention with chito-oligosaccharide and resistant starch complexes. Food & Function. 2017, DOI: 10.1039/C7FO01244F.

[19] Wenting Shang, Xu Si, Padraig Strappe, Zhongkai Zhou, Chris Blanchard. Resistant starch attenuates impaired lipid biosynthesis induced by dietary oxidized oil via activation of insulin signaling pathways. RSC Advances, doi: C7RA08855H.

[20] Yuqian Liu, P. Strappe, Wenting. Shang, and ZhongKai Zhou. Functional peptides derived from rice bran proteins. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, doi: org/10.1080/10408398.2017.1374923. 

[21] Xiaoyu Shen, Wenting Shang, Padraig Strappe, Ling Chen, Xiaoxi Li, Zhongkai Zhoua, Chris Blanchard. Manipulation of the internal structure of high amylose maize starch by high pressure treatment and its diverse influence on digestion. Food Hydrocolloids, doi: org/10.1016/j.foodhyd.2017.09.015.


Honors & Awards

1. 3rd Scientific and Technological Progress Award from China National Council of Light Industry


2. 2nd Scientific and Technological Progress Award from China General Chamber of Commerce


3. 2nd Scientific and Technological Progress Award from Chinese Institute of Food Science and Technology



 Food Nutrition for undergraduate students


Contact details:

Address: TEDA Thirteenth Ave, No. 29,

College of Food Engineering & Biotechnology, Tianjin University of Science and Technology

Post code300457

TEL +86 022-60912506