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Home   Directory   Faculty Gu, Liwei, Ph.D.

Gu, Liwei, Ph.D.

gu 175x202 Associate Professor

Contact Information

572 Newell Dr.
FSHN Building
Room 341A
P.O. Box 110370
Gainesville, FL 32611-0370

Phone: 352.392.1991 ext. 210
Email: lgu@ufl.edu

Research Interests

Chemistry and antioxidant capacities of phytochemicals in foods

Phytochemicals are plant-derived chemical compounds. “Phytonutrients” refer to phytochemicals or compounds that come from edible plants, such as flavonoids from fruits and vegetables. Elevated levels of reactive oxygen species in humans cause oxidative stress and subsequently increase the risk for cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Phytochemicals function as free radical scavengers and improve the antioxidant capacity in vivo. Dr. Gu’s research explores phytochemicals in fruits, berries, vegetables, and tree nuts, and tests their efficacy in quenching reactive oxygen species. Food storage and processing can alter phytochemical contents and composition and thus impacts the nutritional values of many foods. Additional research will also explore new food processing techniques that can effectively preserve phytonutrients.

Phytochemical bioavailability and efficacy in preventing chronic diseases

Upon entering the intestine, phytonutrients can be degraded or transformed into different structures by intestinal bacteria. The absorbed phytochemicals undergo further metabolism in the human body. Dr. Gu’s research aims to understand absorption and metabolism of phytochemicals and identify factors that can affect bioavailability. Phytochemicals have a potential role in affecting the fat/carbohydrate metabolism and energy balance. Additonal research will explore the efficacy and mechanism of phytonutrients in preventing metabolic syndrome and diabetics.

Nanotechnology in food and nutritional sciences

Nanotechnology is bringing changes to the agricultural and food industries. Research from Dr. Gu’s lab explores the fabrication, characterization, and applications of biopolymer-based nanoparticles in nutrient delivery, food safety, and their bioactivities.

Classes taught


FOS4321C – Food Analysis
FOS4936 – International Studies


FOS6936 – Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods
FOS6936 – International Studies

Recent Publications

Sara M. Marshall, Keith R. Schneider, Katherine V. Cisneros, Liwei Gu. Determination of antioxidant capacities, α-dicarbonyls, and phenolic phytochemicals in Florida varietal honeys using HPLC-DAD-ESI-MSnJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2014, 62(34), 8623-8631.

Zheng Li and Liwei Gu. Fabrication of self-assembled (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) ovalbumin-dextran conjugate nanoparticles and their transport across monolayers of human intestinal epithelial Caco-2 Cells. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2014, 62(6), 1301-1309.

Timothy J. Buran, Amandeep K. Sandhu, Zheng Li, Cheryl R. Rock, Weihua W. Yang, Liwei Gu. Adsorption/desorption characteristics and separation of anthocyanins and polyphenols from blueberries using macroporous adsorbent resins. Journal of Food Engineering. 2014, 128, 167-173.

Tao Zou and Liwei Gu. TPGS emulsified zein nanoparticles enhanced oral bioavailability of daidzin: in vitro characteristics and in vivo performance. Molecular Pharmaceutics. 2013, 10(5), 2062-2070.

Amandeep K. Sandhu, Liwei Gu. Adsorption/Desorption characteristics and separation of anthocyanins from muscadine (Vitis rotundifolia) juice pomace using macroporous adsorbent resins. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2013, 61(7), 1441-1448.

Vishnupriya Gourineni, Neil F. Shay, Soonkyu Chung, Amandeep K. Sandhu, Gu, Liwei. Muscadine grape (Vitis rotundifolia) and wine phytochemicals prevented obesity associated metabolic complications in C57BL/6J Mice. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2012, 60(31), 7674-7681.

Tao Zou, Susan Percival, Qiong Cheng, Zheng Li, Liwei Gu. Preparation, characterization, and induction of cell apoptosis of cocoa procyanidins-gelatin-chitosan nanoparticles.European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics. 2012, 82(1), 36-42

Keqin Ou, Susan S. Percival, Tao Zou, Christina Khoo, Liwei Gu. Transport of cranberry A-type procyanidin dimers, trimers, and tetramers across monolayers of human intestinal epithelial Caco-2 cells. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2012, 60(5):1326-1334.

Haiyan Liu, Liwei Gu. Phlorotannins from brown algae (Fucus vesiculosus) inhibited the formation of advanced glycation endproducts by scavenging reactive carbonyls. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2012, 60(6):1390-1396.

Timothy J. Buran, Amandeep K. Sandhu, Alberto M. Azeredo, Alisha H. Bent , Jeffrey G. Williamson, Liwei Gu, Effects of exogenous abscisic acid on fruit quality, antioxidant capacities, and phytochemical contents of southern high bush blueberries. Food Chemistry. 2012, 132, 1375-1381.

Zou Tao, Zheng Li, Susan S. Percival, Suzanna Bonard, Liwei Gu. Characterization and cytotoxicity evaluation of cranberry procyanidins-zein nanoparticles. Food Hydrocolloids. 2012, 27, 293-300.

Haiyan Liu, Hanwei Liu, Wei Wang, Christina Khoo, James Taylor, Liwei Gu. Cranberry phytochemicals inhibit glycation of human hemoglobin and serum albumin by scavenging reactive carbonyls. Food & Function. 2011, 2, 475-82.

Wei Wang, Yavuz Yagiz, Timothy J. Buran, Cecilia do Nascimento Nunes, Liwei Gu. Phytochemicals from berries and grapes inhibited the formation of advanced glycation end-products by scavenging reactive carbonyls. Food Research International. 2011, 44, 2666-2673.

Zheng Li, Liwei Gu. Effects of mass ratio, pH, temperature, and reaction time on fabrication of partially purified pomegranate ellagitannin (PPE)-gelatin nanoparticles. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2011, 59, 4225-4231.

Zheng Li, Susan S. Percival, Suzanna Bonard, Liwei Gu. Fabrication of nanoparticles using partially purified pomegranate ellagitannins and gelatin and their apoptotic effects. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. 2011, 55(7):1096-103

Amandeep K. Sandhu, Dennis J. Gray, Jiang Lu, Liwei Gu. Effects of exogenous abscisic acid on antioxidant capacities, anthocyanins, and flavonol contents of muscadine grape (Vitis rotundifolia) skins. Food Chemistry. 2011, 126, 982-988

Zheng Li, Zhao, X., Sandhu A. K., Liwei Gu. Effects of exogenous abscisic acid on yield, antioxidant capacities, and phytochemical contents of greenhouse grown lettuces. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2010, 58, 6503–6509.

Amandeep K. Sandhu, Liwei Gu. Antioxidant capacity, phenolic content, and profiling of phenolic compounds in the seeds, skin, and pulp of Vitis rotundifolia (Muscadine Grapes) as determined by HPLC-DAD-ESI-MSn. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2010, 58, 4681–4692.

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