Associate Dean, Research
Professor, Food Science
phone: 6048225560
fax: 6048225143
FNH 243
East Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4
Research Interests:


University of California, Davis, 1983, PostDoc, Animal Physiology
University of British Columbia, 1981, Ph.D, Animal Physiology
University of British Columbia, 1976, M.Sc, Animal Physiology
University of British Columbia, 1974, B.Sc, Animal Science


My research discipline is Food Chemistry and Toxicology. I employ many aspects of food chemistry principles to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms of both nutrient and food toxicant action in living organisms. Recently, my laboratory has focused on characterizing the mechanisms of antioxidant and prooxidant activity for many naturally occurring animal and plant constituents, in addition to derived products from food processing. Moreover, we have focused also on the interaction between food constituents and transition metals in modulating generation of free radical and peroxidation reactions that can alter stability of lipids in both food materials as well as biological membranes.

Research Projects

Antioxidant and metal sequestering activity of Maillard Reaction products

Funded by NSERC

Bioactivity components in mother’s milk

Funded by AFMnet

Functional and health properties of cranberry

Funded by UBC Trust

Chemical methods of stabilizing oils using phytochemicals

Funded by IRAP and Industry partners

Mixed tocopherol preparations and presence of phytonutrients will influence vitamin E bioavailability and antioxidant function in intestinal cell lines

Funded by FNH-VCL

Stress related induction of resveratrol in grapes and mechanism of action

Funded by NCE-Agr.Canada


  • Food Chemistry (FNH 301) undergraduate course.
  • Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals (FNH 402) undergraduate course
  • Food Science Capstone (FNH 425)-undergraduate course
  • Food Science Undergraduate Thesis (FNH 499)
  • Food Toxicology and Risk Assessment (Food 525) graduate course

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Chen, X. and Kitts, D.D. Flavonoid composition of orange peel extract  ameliorates alcohol-induced tight junction dysfunction in Caco-2 monolayer.  Food and Chemical Toxicology. (in press).

Elisia, I., and Kitts, D.D. 2015. Tocopherol isoforms ( α-, γ- and δ-) show distinct  capacities to control Nrf-2 and NfκB signaling pathways that modulate inflammatory response in Caco-2 intestinal cells. Molecular, Cellular Biochemistry. 404, (1-2) 123-131.

Chen, X. and Kitts, D.D. 2015. Evidence for inhibition of nitric oxide and inducible nitric oxide synthase in Caco-2 and RAW 264.7 cells by a Maillard reaction product [5-(5,6-dihydro-4H-pyridin-3-ylidenemethyl)furan-2-yl]- methanol. Molecular, Cellular Biochemistry 406: 205-215.

Liang, N., Xue, W., Kennepohl P. and Kitts, D.D. 2016.  Interactions between major chlorogenic acid isomers and chemical changes in coffee brew that affect antioxidant  status. Food Chemistry. 213: 330-335.

Elisia, I. and Kitts, D.D. 2013 Modulation of NfkB and Nrf-2 Control of Inflammatory Reponses in FHs 74 Intestinal Cell Line is Tocopherol Isoform Specific. American J. Physiology. 305: G940-G949

Book Chapters

Liang, N., Mu, K., and Kitts, D.D. 2017.  Beneficial health compounds found in Coffee beans. In: “Achieving sustainable cultivation of coffee.” Ed. Philippe Lashermes.  Chapter 12.  32 pages. BDS Publishing, N.Y. (in press).

Kitts, D.D. and Liu, Y. 2015. Encapsulation strategies to stabilize a natural folate, L-5- methyltetrahydrofolic acid for food fortification practices. In: Nanotechnology and Functional Foods: Effective Delivery of Bioactive Ingredients. 1st Edition, Chapter 9. Ed. Sabliov, C., Chen, H and Yada, R. Wiley-Blackwell. Publishing. N.Y. pp142-157.

Zawistowski, J. and Kitts, D.D. 2014.  Plant sterols-Functional food ingredients for cardiovascular health. In: Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods, Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. UNESCO Eolss Publishers.  Paris France. pp 1- 30.

Kitts, D.D. and Liu, Y. 2014. Encapsulation strategies to stabilize a natural folate, L-5-methyltetrahydrofolic acid for food fortification practices. In: Nanotechnology and Functional Foods: Effective Delivery of Bioactive Ingredients. 1st Edition, Chapter 9. Ed. XX  Wiley-Blackwell. Publishing. N.Y.

Elisia, I. and Kitts. D.D. 2011. Functionality of tocopherol isomers. In. Tocopherol Sources, Uses and Health Benefits. Chapter 9. Ed. A. Catala. Nova Publishers. N.Y. 141-171.

Nakamura, S., Hata, J., Nakamura, K., Jing, H., Kitts, D.D. and Nakai, S. 2010. Site-specific glycosylation using Pichia expression system imporves structural stability and antimicrobial activity of human Cystatin C. in. Advances in Medicine and Biology. Volume 3. Chapter 10. Ed. I. V. Berhardt. Nova Science Publishers, N.Y. pp. 243-254.

Kitts, D.D. 2006. Carbohydrates and mineral metabolism. In. Functional Food Carbohydrates. Eds. Biliaderis, C.G. and Izydorczyk, M.S. CRC. Press. 413-434.

Kitts, D.D. 2005. Calcium binding proteins. In. Nutraceutical Proteins and Peptides in Health and Disease. Eds. Mine Y. and Shahidi, F. Marcel Dekker.N.Y. Chapter 2, pp. 11-27.

Kitts, D.D. 2005. Toxicity and Safety of Fats and Oils. In. Bailey’s Industrial Fats and Oils. Ed. Shahidi, F. John Wiley and Sons, Inc. NY.

Kitts, D.D. 2005. Antioxidant phytochemicals and potential synergistic activities at reducing risk of cardiovascular disease. In. Food Drug Synergy and Safety. Eds. Thompson, L. and Ward, W. CRC Press. FL. Pp. 27-62

Popovich, D.G. and Kitts, D.D. 2005. Anti-cancer activity of ginseng and soy saponins. In. Nutrition and Cancer Prevention. Eds. Awad, A.B. and Bradford, P.G. CRC Press. Lekker/Taylor & Francis. FL.Pp.457-483