Senior Lecturer LEONG Lai Peng

B.Sc., University Kebangsaan Malaysia; M.Sc., University of Leeds; Ph.D., University of Leeds

Contact Information

Department of Chemistry, NUS 
3 Science Drive 3 
Singapore 117543 
Office: S14-06-03
Tel: (65)-6516-2917
Fax: (65)-6775-7895

Research Interests

Food Science

In recent years, many non-nutritive functional components having beneficial health effects are being discovered in foods. The identification functional component in foods has become increasingly important in the area of food science and technology. Many foods, when consumed as part of a daily diet are known to have specific beneficial health effects. These biologically active components include glucosinolates, which upon hydrolysis produces products with cancer prevention properties. They are known to play an active role in the inactivation of phase 1 enzymes and induction of phase 2 enzymes. Scientists have identified the presence of some of these phytochemicals in local fruits and vegetables. However, there is still a need to identify and quantify other functional components present. It is also known that most of these compounds are unstable.

Previous work has indicated that the processing of foods may change the bioavailability of these substances by releasing or degrading them during the process. It is important to access the kinetic of the degradation or formation of these components during storage and processing. 

Current research work will focus on isolation and quantification of functional components in local fruits and vegetables. The kinetic behavior of such component will also be studied under storage and processing conditions in model systems as well as real food systems. It is also important to access the bioactivity of these components and its benefits in various positive health effects physically and mentally, reducing the risk of consumers from degenerative disease and aging.

Representative Publications

  • L. P. Leong and B. L. Wedzicha. A critical appraisal of the kinetic model for the Maillard browning of glucose with glycine. Food Chem., 68, 21-28 (2000). 
  • C. Keller, B. L. Wedzicha, L. P. Leong, J. Berger. Effect of glyceraldehyde on the kinetics of Maillard browning. Food Chem., 66, 495-501 (1999).
  • L. P. Leong. Modelling of the Maillard reaction involving more than one amino acid. Ph.D thesis, (1999). 
  • B. L. Wedzicha and L. P. Leong. . Modelling and Control of the Maillard Reaction. (European Food and Drink Review, Spring 98).
  • B. L. Wedzicha and L. P. Leong. Modelling of the Maillard reaction: rate constants for individual steps in the reaction. (In The Maillard reaction in foods and medicine ; [Proceedings of the 6th International Symposium on the Maillard Reaction, held at the Royal College of Physicians, London, UK, 27-30 July, 1997] ; edited by John O'Brien [et al.]). (1997). 
  • L. P. Leong. Computer modeling on the kinetics of Maillard Browning in the presence of two amino acids. M.Sc. thesis, (1996).