Picture of  Yongfeng Ai

Yongfeng Ai Associate Professor

Ministry of Agriculture Endowed Research Chair in Carbohydrate Quality and Utilization

3E20 - Agriculture Building

Research Area(s)

  • Carbohydrate chemistry, nutrition and utilization
  • Crop processing and chemistry
  • Extrusion processing (human food, pet food, animal and aquafeed)
  • Biomaterials


Food and Bioproduct Sciences

Research Interests

The primary goal of our research program is to promote value-added utilization of carbohydrates in food, feed, and bioproducts. Specific research areas include:

  1. Relationships between structure, functional properties, and enzymatic hydrolysis of starch
  2. Chemical, physical, and enzymatic modifications of starch and other carbohydrates for novel industrial applications
  3. Development of resistant starch, dietary fiber, and low-glycemic food and feed to improve the health of humans, pets, and animals
  4. Use of novel processing methods to enhance functional attributes and nutritional quality of pulses and cereal grains


Ph.D., Food Science and Technology, Iowa State University (U.S.A.)

B.E., Food Science and Engineering, China Agricultural University (China)

Selected Publications

Sun, G., Ni, P., Lam, E., Hrapovic, S., Bing, D. J., Yu, B., & *Ai, Y. (2023). Exploring the functional attributes and in vitro starch and protein digestibility of pea flours having a wide range of amylose content. Food Chemistry, 405, 134938. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2022.134938

Cheng, F., Ding, K., Yin, H., Tulbek, M., Chigwedere, C. M., & *Ai, Y. (2023). Milling and differential sieving to diversify flour functionality: A comparison between pulses and cereals. Food Research International, 163, 112223. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2022.112223

Li, J., Kong, X., & *Ai, Y. (2022). Modification of granular waxy, normal and high-amylose maize starches by maltogenic α-amylase to improve functionality. Carbohydrate Polymers, 290, 119503. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.carbpol.2022.119503

Ren, Y., Quilliam, C., Weber, L. P., Warkentin, T. D., Tulbek, M. C., & *Ai, Y. (2022). Effects of pulse crop types and extrusion parameters on the physicochemical properties, in vitro and in vivo starch digestibility of pet foods. Cereal Chemistry, 99(3), 625-639. https://doi.org/10.1002/cche.10524

Yuan, T. Z., & *Ai, Y. (2022). Pasting and gelation behaviors and in vitro digestibility of high-amylose maize starch blended with wheat or potato starch evaluated at different heating temperatures. Food Hydrocolloids, 131, 107783. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodhyd.2022.107783

Wang, X., Liu, S., & *Ai, Y. (2022). Gelation mechanisms of granular and non-granular starches with variations in molecular structures. Food Hydrocolloids, 129, 107658. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodhyd.2022.107658

Yuan, T. Z., Liu, S., Reimer, M., Isaak, C., & *Ai, Y. (2021). Evaluation of pasting and gelling properties of commercial flours under high heating temperatures using Rapid Visco Analyzer 4800. Food Chemistry, 344, 128616. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2020.128616

Liu, S., Yin, H. Y., Pickard, M., & *Ai, Y. (2020). Influence of infrared heating on the functional properties of processed lentil flours: A study focusing on tempering period and seed size. Food Research International, 136, 109568. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2020.109568

Liu, S., Reimer, M., & *Ai, Y. (2020). In vitro digestibility of different types of resistant starches under high-temperature cooking conditions. Food Hydrocolloids, 107, 105927. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodhyd.2020.105927

* as corresponding author



FABS 466 ‒ Carbohydrate Science and Technology

FABS 456 ‒ Laboratory Techniques and Food and Bioproduct Sciences (Co-instructor)

AGRC 112 ‒ Animal Agriculture and Food Science (Co-instructor)


FDSC 866 ‒ Advanced Food Carbohydrates