Mónica Giusti, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor,
Dept. Food Science and Technology, The Ohio State University
The research of M. Mónica Giusti, Ph.D., focuses on the chemistry and potential health benefits of flavonoids and their applications in food systems. She feels the industry can make foods healthier without sacrificing sensory appeal. Anthocyanins, for example, are natural pigments that can replace synthetic dyes, improving visual appeal and making foods healthier.
Giusti, born in Lima, Peru, received her B.S. and Food Engineer degrees from the Agrarian University in Lima, Peru. She received an MSc and Ph.D. in Food Science from Oregon State University, working on anthocyanins as natural food colorants. She was a faculty member at the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at the University of Maryland before joining The Ohio State University.
Her research has generated over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, 25 book chapters and 150 scientific presentations worldwide. She holds 5 US patents and four international patents for technologies related to anthocyanins. For her cutting-edge innovations in food science and technology, Dr. Giusti was named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and has received multiple awards, including the 2010 OARDC Director’s Innovator of the Year, 2011 TechColumbus Outstanding Woman in Technology, the 2013 OSU Early Career Innovator of the Year, the 2017 Educator Award from the North American Colleges and Teachers in Agriculture, the 2019 Cruess Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Institute of Food Technologists, the 2020 Senior Faculty Researcher of the Year from the FAES College, and the 2021 FAES Distinguished Graduate Student Mentor at the Ohio State University.
Global Food Forums Presentations by Speaker
The State of Natural Colorants: Advice on Applications to Updates on Recent Research
“You eat with your eyes.” This saying expresses the importance of a food’s appearance, with color often crucial. Consumers are increasingly turning towards natural colors in their foods, mainly from fruit and vegetable sources, but their optimal use in formulated foods and beverages becomes challenging. Often using anthocyanins as an example, this presentation looks at the properties of natural colorants and significant issues with their application. This includes their compatibility with the matrix, the challenges of reproducing the desired hues and shades, their stability, and how to approach these challenges. It then investigates the few new-to-the-category ingredients, with a look into future colorant research.
Natural Colorants: Challenges and Opportunities
Consumer and food industry demand, as well as changes in regulations have helped drive interest in naturally-derived colorants to replace synthetic ones. This presentation reviews major biological and environmental sources of natural colorants. The chemical characteristics of anthocyanins, betalains, carotenoids and chlorophylls are discussed as they relate to their color expression in food matrices. We will summarize some of the challenges manufacturers face on their efforts to switch to colorants from natural sources as well as on possible ways to overcome those challenges and facilitate this transition on food applications. An update on current research into these areas will be provided.