Juliana Maria Leite Nobrega de Moura Bell

Juliana Maria Leite Nobrega de Moura Bell

Position Title
Assistant Professor

Food Science and Technology


De Moura Bell is an assistant professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology. She focuses on developing environmentally friendly technologies for extracting major food components such as oil, protein, and carbohydrates. She received her Ph.D. in food technology at the University of Campinas in São Paulo, Brazil, before joining the faculty at UC Davis in 2015.

Research interests:

Extraction and fractionation of food components, functional food, bio-processing, conversion of agricultural waste streams, enzyme-assisted extraction, supercritical and subcritical extractions

Brief overview:

The world’s population is expected to reach nine million people by 2050. The food industry faces the huge challenge of developing sustainable processes that are able to produce healthy foods with minimal environmental impact to feed that growing population. My research focuses on:

  • Understanding the effects of processing on the functionality and biological activities of food components, such as solubility, digestibility, antioxidant, and prebiotic activities;
  • Scaling up extraction and downstream recovery processes of food components to produce enough quantities for further characterization and evaluation;
  • Converting agricultural waste streams (such as whey from cheese-making)   and industrial food by-products into high added-value compounds.

Current projects:

  • Scaling up the overall recovery of complex sugars in whey
  • Refining agricultural streams into compounds with improved health benefits and high value-added biofuel co-products
  • Optimizing the use of antioxidant and milk processing conditions for reduced lipid oxidation
  • Developing and optimizing simultaneous extraction processes for oil, protein and carbohydrates from oil-protein bearing materials
  • Improving the functional and biological properties of protein extracts
  • Optimizing milk processing conditions for improved microbial profile