XIAOFEN DU has a taste for excellence. An assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Du is one of the few flavor chemists in Texas.

As head of Texas Woman’s flavor chemistry program, she breaks down the chemical structure of foods. What is the goal? To understand flavors at the molecular level and concoct artificial flavors for more palatable foods. Her recent creations include sweeter watermelon juice, tastier cucumbers and hydroponically grown lettuce, and richer flavors for sugar-reduced beverages.

“I’m very proud to have helped build this program,” says Du of the nation’s only food science program that focuses on flavor chemistry. “It’s been incredibly popular with students,” she adds. Du, who earned her Ph.D. from Oregon State University, arrived at TWU six years ago when the flavor chemistry program was founded.

Not only has she been awarded research grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but she has also received funds from nearly a dozen leading food industry companies including Firmenich, the world’s largest privately owned fragrance and taste company. Other supporters include Century Snacks, Simple Foods, Scifi Foods, Brianna Salad Dressings and Truco Enterprises (the parent company of On the Border). A prolific and well-funded researcher, she has published more than 20 papers in the last two years. 

Boldly go
Learn how you can support TWU colleges and programs at advancement@twu.edu