Xiaohong  Sun

Assistant Professor, Food Bioscience

Xiaohong Sun

Email: xiaohong.sun@dal.ca
Phone: 902-893-6351
Mailing Address: 
Department of Plant, Food, and Environmental Sciences Agricultural Campus PO Box 550 Truro, NS, B2N 5E3


  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Ottawa, Canada
  • Ph.D., Food Science and Technology, University of Alberta, 2017
  • MEng, Cereals, Oils and Vegetable Protein Engineering, Jiangnan University,    2008
  • BEng, Food Science and Engineering, Harbin University of Commerce, 2006

Research vision and interest

Dr. Sun’s research aims to apply innovative processing technologies for improvement of health benefits, nutritional quality, and functionality of food proteins, to add value to by-products from food, agriculture, and aquaculture, to develop new protein-based food products with healthy, sustainable, and sensory attributes, and to understand their underlying fundamental mechanisms.

Primary research interests include:

  • Effects of food processing on the physicochemical, functional, nutritional, biological, structural, and sensory properties of food proteins
  • Identification of novel food-derived bioactive peptides and elucidation of the underlying mechanism
  • Modification of plant-based proteins for enhanced functionality by physical, chemical, and enzymatic approaches
  • Development of novel plant-based food products as alternative protein sources
  • Designing novel food macromolecule-based nanocarriers for encapsulation, protection, sustained release, and site-specific delivery of bioactive compounds


  • CHMA 2000 - Organic Chemistry I (Fall)
  • CHMA 3011 - Fundamentals of Food Chemistry (Fall)
  • AGRI 5740 - Advanced Studies in Food Chemistry (Winter)

Major Sources of Research Funding and Awards

  • NSERC- Discovery grants (2023-2028)
  • Belong Research Fellowship, Dalhousie University (2023-2025)
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship in Nutrition and Mental Health, University of Ottawa (2021)
  • NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship (2019)

International collaborations

Dr. Sun has a strong interest in interdisciplinary work and actively seeks opportunities for collaborative research.


Dr. Sun’s lab is actively taking undergraduate honors students, visiting students/scholars, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows. Dr. Sun would like to support highly qualified candidates with an excellent academic background, a strong publication record, and demonstrated leadership abilities to pursue prestigious funding opportunities, such as

  • Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships, Killam Postdoctoral Fellowships, and NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowships (Postdoctoral Fellow)
  • The Dalhousie Harmonized Scholarship (Master and PhD)


1)    Preparation of wheat germ protein hydrolysates and the application in prevention of Helicobacter pylori adhesion. China. 201910123922.4. 2019/02/19.
Patent Status: Granted/Issued
Year Issued: 2022
Inventors: Sun, X.H.; Zhang, S; Ren, J; Liu, X

2)    Application of ovomucin hydrolysates in prevention of Helicobacter pylori adhesion. China.
201910121812.4. 2019/02/19.
Patent Status: Granted/Issued
Year Issued: 2022
Inventors: Sun, X.H.; Zhang, S; Ren, J; Liu, X


  • Editorial board member- Food Chemistry
  • Editorial board member- Food Chemistry X
  • Member of American Oil Chemists' Society (AOCS)
  • Member of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)
  • Member of Canadian Institute of Food Science & Technology (CIFST)

Research facility/lab

Dr. Sun's lab is equipped with essential research infrastructure tailored for food protein research, such as

  •  Fume hood
  • Thermocycler/DNA amplifier
  • Rotary evaporator
  • Fast protein liquid chromatography instrument (AKTA FPLC purifier)
  • Multimode microplate reader
  • 2-D electrophoresis kit
  • Computer controlled titrator (Titrando)
  • Ultrafiltration cells
  • ChemiDoc XRS+ imaging unit
  • Freeze dryer
  • Benchtop centrifuge with cell culture package.

Publications (last 5 years)

(‘*’ denotes the corresponding author)

Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

1)      Sun, X.H.*, Li, S.N., Okagu, O., Wang, H., Zhang, S.Y., Liu, X.L., and Udenigwe, C.C. (2023) Identification of peptides from defatted wheat germ proteins with dual functionality: Emulsifying activity and anti-adhesive activity against Helicobacter pylori. Innovative Food Science & Emerging Technologies, 86: 103367.

2)      Dang, C., Okagu, O., Sun, X.H.*, and Udenigwe, C.C.* (2022) Bioinformatics analysis of adhesin-binding potential and ADME/Tox profile of anti-Helicobacter pylori peptides derived from wheat germ proteins. Heliyon, e09629

3)      Abioye, R., Acquah, C., Hsu, P., Hüttmann, N., Sun, X.H., and Udenigwe, C.C.* (2022) Self-assembly and hydrogelation properties of peptides derived from peptic cleavage of aggregation-prone regions of ovalbumin. Gels, 8: 641.

4)      Ohanenye, I., Ekezie, F., Sarteshnizi, R., Boachie, R., Emenike, C., Sun, X.H., Nwachukwu, I., and Udenigwe, C.C.* (2022) Legume seed protein digestibility as Influenced by traditional and emerging physical processing technologies. Foods, 11:2299

5)      Okeke, E.B., Abioye, R.O., Ventura-Santana, E., Sun, X. and Udenigwe, C.C.* (2022). TNKPVI, a Putative Bioaccessible Pharmacophore of Anti-Inflammatory Potato Patatin-Derived Decapeptide DIKTNKPVIF. Molecules, 27(12), p.3869.

6)      Sun, X.H.#, Sarteshnizi, R.A.#, and Udenigwe, C.C.* Recent advances in protein-polyphenol interactions focusing on structural properties related to antioxidant activities. Current Opinion in Food Science, 45: 100840.

7)      Sun, X.H., Wang, H., Li, S.N., Song, C.L., Zhang, S.Y., Ren, J.*, and Udenigwe, C.C. (2022) Maillard-type protein–polysaccharide conjugates and electrostatic protein–polysaccharide complexes as delivery vehicles for food bioactive ingredients: Formation, types, and applications. Gels, 8(2):135.

8)      Sun, X.H.*, Abioye, R.O., Okagu, O., and Udenigwe, C.C.* (2022) Peptide-mucin binding and biosimilar mucus-permeating properties. Gels, 8(1):1.

9)      Ren, J., Li, S.J., Song, C.L.*, Sun, X.H.*, and Liu, X.L. (2021) Black soybean-derived peptides exerted protective effect against alcohol-induced liver injury in mice. Journal of Functional Foods, 87: 104828.

10)   Ahmed, T., Sun, X.H., and Udenigwe, C.C.* (2022) Role of structural properties of bioactive peptides in their stability during simulated gastrointestinal digestion: A systematic review. Trends in Food Science and Technology, 120: 265-273.

11)   Dissanayake, T., Sun, X.H., Abbey, L., and Bandara, N.* (2022) Recent advances in lipid-protein conjugate-based delivery systems in nutraceutical, drug, and gene delivery. Food Hydrocolloids for Health, 100054.

12)   Sun, X.H., Acquah, C., Gazme, B., Boachie, R.T., Nwachukwu, I.D., and Udenigwe, C.C.* (2021) Mechanisms of plastein formation influence the IgE-binding activity of egg white protein hydrolysates after simulated static digestion. Food Chemistry, 345: 128783.

13)   Song, C.#, Sun, X.H.#, Yang, J., Ren, J.*, Vardhanabhuti, B., Liu, X., and Fu, Y. (2021). TGase-induced glycosylated soy protein products with limited enzymatic hydrolysis showed enhanced foaming property. European Food Research and Technology, 247: 2557–2563.

14)   Ohanenye, I. C., Sun, X.H., Sarteshnizi, R. A., and Udenigwe, C. C. (2021) Germination alters the microstructure, in vitro protein digestibility, α-glucosidase and dipeptidyl peptidase-IV inhibitory activities of bioaccessible fraction of pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan) seeds. Legume Science, e79.

15)   Sun, X.H.*, Zhang, S.Y., Udenigwe, C.C., Ren, J., Li, S.N., Wang, H., and Liu, X.L.* (2020) Wheat germ-derived peptides exert anti-adhesive activity against Helicobacter pylori: Insights into structural characteristics of identified peptides. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 68: 11954-11974. (Featured as the Supplementary Journal Cover)

16)   Sun, X.H.*, Zhang, S.Y., Ren, J., and Udenigwe, C.C.* (2020) Sialic acid-based strategies for the prevention and treatment of Helicobacter pylori infection: Emerging trends in food industry. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 1-12.

17)   Sun, X.H., Sarteshnizi, R.A., Boachie, R.T., Okagu, O.D., Abioye, R., Neves, R.P., Ohanenye, I.C., and Udenigwe, C.C.* (2020) Peptide-mineral complexes: Understanding their chemical interactions, bioavailability, and potential application in mitigating micronutrient deficiency. Foods, 9: 1402.

18)   Li, H*, Sun, X.H., Liao, X.J., and Gänzle, M. (2020) Control of pathogenic and spoilage bacteria in meat and meat products by high pressure: challenges and future perspectives. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, 19: 3476-3500.

19)   Lu, L., Xing, J.J., Guo, X.N., Sun, X.H., and Zhu, K.X.* (2020). Enhancing the freezing-thawing tolerance of frozen dough by using ε-poly-L-lysine treated yeast. Food Bioscience, 100699.

20)   Sun, X.H., Ohanenye, I. C., Ahmed, T., and Udenigwe, C.C.* (2020) Microwave treatment increased protein digestibility of pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan) flour: Elucidation of underlying mechanisms. Food Chemistry, 127196.

21)   Sun, X.H. and Udenigwe, C.C.* (2020) Chemistry and biofunctional significance of bioactive peptide interactions with food and gut components. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 68 (46): 12972-12977.

22)   Sun, X.H., Acquah, C., Aluko, R., and Udenigwe, C.C.* (2020) Considering food matrix and gastrointestinal effects in enhancing bioactive peptide absorption and bioavailability. Journal of Functional Foods, 64: 103680. (ESI TOP 1% Highly Cited Paper)

23)   Chen, Y.X., Guo, X.N., Xing, J.J., Sun, X.H, and Zhu, K.X.*. (2020) Effects of wheat tempering with slightly acidic electrolyzed water on the microbial, biological, and chemical characteristics of different flour streams. LWT - Food Science and Technology, 118: 108790.

24)   Ohanenye, I.C.#, Emenike, C.U. #, Mensi, A.#, Medina-Godoy, S.#, Jin, J.#, Ahmed, T.#, Sun, X.H.#, and Udenigwe, C.C.#* (2020). Food fortification technologies: Influence on iron, zinc and vitamin A bioavailability and potential implications on micronutrient deficiency in sub-Saharan Africa. Scientific African, e00667.

25)   Sun, X.H.* and Nandika, B. (2019) Applications of reverse micelle technique in food science: A comprehensive review. Trends in Food Science and Technology, 91: 106-115.

26)   Sun, X.H., Gänzle, M., and Wu, J.P.* (2019) Glycopeptides from egg white ovomucin inhibit K88ac enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli adhesion to porcine small intestinal epithelial cell-line. Journal of Functional Foods, 54: 320-328.

27)   Sun, X.H., Huang, J., Zeng, H.B.*, and Wu, J.P.* (2018) Protein-resistant property of egg white ovomucin under different pHs and ionic strengths. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 66: 11034-11042.

28)   Jiao, Y., Zheng, X.Q., Chang, Y., Li, D.J., Sun, X.H., and Liu, X.L.* (2018) Zein-derived peptides as nanocarriers to increase the water solubility and stability of lutein. Food & Function, 9: 117-123.  

29)   Song, C.L., Ren, J.*, Chen, J.P., Sun, X.H., and Xue, Y.G. (2018) Effect of glycosylation and limited hydrolysis on structural and functional properties of soybean protein isolate. Journal of Food Measurement and Characterization, 12: 2946-2954.


Book Chapters (‘*’ denotes the corresponding author)

1)      Sun, X.H., Abioye, R.O., Acquah, C., Udenigwe, C.C. (2023). Application of Ultrasound Technology in Plant-Based Proteins: Improving Extraction, Physicochemical, Functional, and Nutritional Properties. In: Hernández-Álvarez, A.J., Mondor, M., Nosworthy, M.G. (eds) Green Protein Processing Technologies from Plants. Springer, Cham.

2)      Sun, X.H.*, Zhang, S.Y., Li, H., and Bandara, N. (2020). Anti‐Adhesive Coatings: A Technique for Prevention of Bacterial Surface Fouling. Chapter 1, p1-23. Green Adhesives: Preparation, Properties and Applications, Scrivener Publishing LLC, Massachusetts, United States.

3)      Sun, X.H.*, Hui Li, Ren, J., and Udenigwe, C.C. (2021) Research advances in food protein digestibility. Chapter 2, p34-57. Food Proteins and Peptides: Emerging Biofunctions, Food and Biomaterial Applications, Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), London, United Kingdom.

4)      Sun, X.H., Okagu, O., and Udenigwe, C.C.* (2021) Encapsulation technology for protection and delivery of bioactive peptides. Chapter 15, p331-356. Biologically Active Peptides: from Basic Science to Applications for Human Health, Elsevier, ‎Amsterdam, Netherlands.

A full publication record is available on google scholar or researchgate.