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March 2024

Spotlight on Charlene Van Buiten
Assistant Professor

Charlene Van Buiten is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Colorado State University. Her research program combines basic and applied food chemistry with nutritional biochemistry to understand how food processing and nutrient interactions can be used to sustainably improve food quality with respect to nutrition, safety and consumer appeal. Her interest in nutrition and health centers specifically around gut health, leading to investigation of how interactions between proteins and phytochemicals affect the bioavailability and (anti-)inflammatory capacity of each. She is also studying the potential utility of sourdough fermentation in the production of celiac-safe bread products based on degradation of gluten protein by wild bacteria and yeasts found in sourdough starter cultures. Alongside this aim, she is studying how these microorganisms can improve the nutritional quality of bread and prevent microbial and chemical spoilage, with the overarching aim of  understanding how sourdough fermentation can be tuned to specific industrial and consumer desires, thus preventing overproduction and reducing food waste. Dr. Van Buiten completed a B.S. in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Connecticut and a Ph.D. in Food Science from Pennsylvania State University. Prior to joining CSU in 2019, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Plant Biology at Rutgers University.