Food Science, Cancer Center
Crops to the Clinic: How Food Fights Cancer
Soy bread to treat prostate cancer. Candies containing black raspberries and strawberries to improve oral health. Grapefruit confections for breast cancer. These are products, still in development, that have been created by food scientists and oncologists at Ohio State who are proponents of using food and food components as medicine. One of the few land-grant universities in the United States with a strong emphasis on both agriculture and medicine, Ohio State has deftly combined these areas of specialization to pursue nutritional products with chemical properties that have been found to prevent cancers or serve as supplemental cancer treatments. Yael Vodovotz, a food scientist, comes from the agricultural side of the university’s “Crops to the Clinic” cancer collaboration. Her expertise lies in analyzing food materials at the molecular level to characterize their behavior and figure out how to modify them into consumable products that deliver bioactive ingredients directly to human organs. Accelerating product development couldn’t happen without the team approach, Vodovotz says: Food scientists, nutritionists, agricultural economists, soil scientists, oncologists, pharmacists and public health advocates have partnered to move the research swiftly to the marketplace.
Vodovotz is a professor of food science and technology and an investigator in the molecular carcinogenesis/chemoprevention division of the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center.
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