Meet the winners of the Sustainable Food Technology Outstanding Early Career Researcher Award 2023

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our prestigious Outstanding Early Career Research Award, aimed at recognising and celebrating outstanding contributions to Sustainable Food Technology. This initiative seeks to honour the dedication, innovation, and impactful research of promising early career researchers.

Rice bran, a commonly disregarded byproduct of rice processing, takes centre stage in the research led by Ali Ubeyitogullari, Sumanjot Kaur, and Jingyi Chen. Their study, Formation of nanoporous aerogels from defatted rice bran via supercritical carbon dioxide drying, explores the untapped potential of defatted rice bran, demonstrating how it can be upcycled to create food-grade starch and protein-based nanoporous aerogels using a green approach based on supercritical carbon dioxide technology.

These aerogels, characterized for their properties, possess a three-dimensional interconnected open porous structure, making them ideal for delivering bioactive compounds. By adding value to defatted rice bran, the team not only enhances the sustainability of rice production but also opens avenues for innovative applications in food technology.

Meet the team


Dr Ali Ubeyitogullari: A food engineer with a PhD in food science & technology, Dr Ubeyitogullari is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. Leading the Food Engineering for Health Lab, his research focuses on leveraging sustainable food processing technologies to enhance human health and wellness.

Dr Sumanjot Kaur: With a background in food technology, Sumanjot Kaur is a PhD student at the University of Arkansas. Her work spans generating health-promoting bioactive compounds and nanoporous materials from rice processing byproducts to enhancing the quality of soybean-based ingredients, contributing to sustainable food systems.

Dr Jingyi Chen: Dr Chen’s journey from chemistry to biochemistry led her to become a Professor at the University of Arkansas. Her research delves into designing functional nanomaterials for energy conversion and human-health related applications, striving for efficient and sustainable material usage.

In response to winning the Outstanding Early Career Researcher Award, the team expressed gratitude for the recognition and emphasized their commitment to innovation. “We are honoured to receive the award,” they remarked, “and appreciate the Sustainable Food Technology team for recognizing the impact of our work. Their acknowledgement fuels our passion to continue innovating and making a positive difference.”

Head over to LinkedIn and join us to congratulate Dr Ali Ubeyitogullari, Sumanjot Kaur, and Dr Jingyi Chen!