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NDSU plant sciences faculty adds assistant professor


Jiajia Rao has joined the NDSU Department of Plant Sciences as assistant professor in the cereal and food sciences program.

Rao earned a bachelor's degree in food science and technology at Sichuan University of Science and Engineering, China. She earned her master's degree in pharmacochemistry at Chongqing University, China, and later held an assistant professor position in the School of Chemical Engineering. She earned her doctorate in food science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she was a postdoctoral associate following her degree completion. Prior to coming to NDSU, Rao was a senior scientist at PepsiCo Inc.

Rao’s position is a 70 percent research and 30 percent teaching appointment.

She leads the food biopolymer and ingredient research group, which works to identify the structure and functional properties of food biopolymers mainly from plant-based sources and their applications in food. The group integrates techniques from the fields of food science, cereal science, material science and nanotechnology to bring added value to plant-based ingredients.

Rao also will teach courses in food unit operations and food product development.

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