Source: NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIV submitted to
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Accession No.
Grant No.
Project No.
Proposal No.
Multistate No.
Program Code
Project Start Date
May 31, 2008
Project End Date
Jun 1, 2013
Grant Year
Project Director
Harris, G.
Recipient Organization
Performing Department
Food, Bioprocessing, and Nutrition Sciences.
Non Technical Summary
The prevention of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer's is important based on the increasing life-span of the US population and the resulting increase in risk for these conditions. Inflammation and oxidative stress have been associated with all of these diseases to differing degrees. Eating foods that are concentrated sources of polyphenolics may be able to delay or prevent some of these chronic diseases by acting as mild anti-inflammatories or by reducing oxidative stress. We plan to study the potential preventive effects of plant foods on chronic disease by examining the connection between their consumption and a spectrum of markers related to inflammation and oxidative stress.
Animal Health Component
Research Effort Categories

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
Goals / Objectives
Oxidative stress and inflammation have been associated with a wide range of chronic diseases, from The goal of this project is to use an in vitro cell culture model of oxidative stress and inflammation to develop biomarkers that can be used to examine the role of diet in the prevention of chronic disease. Specific Objectives: 1) To determine the effects of extracts from common plant foods on measures of antioxidant and antiinflammatory activity in an in vitro model system. 2)To determine the effects of extracts from common plant foods on measures of antiinflammatory activity in an in vitro model system. 3) To identify novel biomarkers of antioxidant and antiinflammatory activity that can be applied to animal and or clinical trials. The primary expected outputs of this project are biomarkers that will relate the consumption particular plant foods to effects on oxidative stress and inflammation endpoints. These biomarkers can then be applied in animal and human clinical trials in order to derive a practical benefit from the studies.
Project Methods
This project will rely primarily on the LPS-Induced RAW 264.7 Raw Cell Model of inflammation. Briefly, RAW cells will be grown in vitro and stimulated to produce a prooxidant/proinflammatory response using either LPS or H2O2. Cells will be either pre-, co-, or post-treated with extracts of common plant foods known to be concentrated sources of polyphenolics (eg., tea or chocolate) in order to determine the effects of these extracts on cell viability, as well as on antioxidant and anti-inflammatory status. This project will be unique, in that we intend to measure multiple markers of oxidative stress and inflammation simultaneously, resulting in a spectrum of responses to a given stimuli, rather than the measurement of a single analyte. In order to translate this research into something practically useful for humans, we intend to use the information gained from these studies to analyze plasma and other samples from previously conducted human clinical trials involving dietary interventions with high polyphenol content plant foods.

Progress 10/01/11 to 09/30/12

OUTPUTS: ACTIVITIES A total of 497 students were taught by Dr. Harris across three courses (an introductory undergraduate food science course, a senior-level analytical techniques course and a graduate level nutraceuticals course) during the October 2011 to September 2012 reporting period. All of these courses touched on the topic of the "Antioxidant and Antiinflammatory Properties of Plant Polyphenolics", in particular the graduate-level course. In addition to students taught in courses, Dr. Harris mentored four graduate students during this reporting period, one of whom graduated with a Master's degree in Spring 2012. Each of these graduate students was working on a research (thesis) based degree. SERVICES Dr. Harris served as a consultant to four North Carolina businesses from October 2011 to September 2012. Two of these businesses focus on muscadine grape production and processing. One of these businesses focuses on chocolate production and the fourth focuses on coffee production. All consultations and interactions with these companies related to the effects of processing on the stability of plant polyphenolics. PRODUCTS One Master's student graduated in the October 2011 to September 2012 time period. DISSMENINATION In addition to teaching, research and consulting work, Dr. Harris communicated information to public audiences via presentations to High School students and to the general public. PARTICIPANTS: INDIVIDUALS WHO WORKED ON THE PROJECT Principal Investigator- Dr. Gabriel K. Harris Lab Manager- Ruth H. Watkins Graduate Students- Amanda Draut, Sanja Cvitkusic, Chad Jordan, An Truong, Kendra Stallings, Kendra Sutton. Collaborators- Dr. Nathaniel Hentz PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS Bioprocessing Training and Education Center (BTEC) TRAINING OR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT This project has provided training for K-12 students and their teachers, for undergraduate students, graduate students and staff. TARGET AUDIENCES: The primary target audiences for this project were students and North Carolina food businesses, particularly the muscadine industry. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: The primary change in focus for this project was to include a food processing component in our projects, rather than to focus on antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties exclusively.

Through our work with industry stakeholders, (partly via graduate student research and partly via consulting) we have been able to understand how conventional heat processing and microwave processing of foods affects the stability of potentially beneficial plant polyphenolics. This knowledge has had three broad impacts. First, it has helped us advise industry stakeholders on how to more fully retain polyphenolics through processing. Second, it has raised the possibility that certain processing elevate apparent (but not absolute) polyphenolic content due to the extraction of these compounds from plant tissue during processing. Third, this raises the possibility that certain polyphenol rich plants may be used to "preserve" that level of other, less stable nutrients in a processed product. In terms of outreach and education, Dr. Harris has utilized the public's natural interest in the antioxidant properties of plant polyphenolics to further the study of applied disciplines, like food science, and more basic disciplines, such as analytical chemistry.


  • Story, EN, Jordan, CC and Harris, GK. 2011. The Effects of Green Tea and EGCG on Hydrogen Peroxide and Prostaglandin E2 Formation in LPS-induced HT-29 Cells. IFT meeting in New Orleans, LA.
  • Story, EN, Jordan, CC and Harris, GK. 2011. Effects of Green Tea and EGCG on IL-8 and NF-{kappa}B Inflammatory Responses in LPS-Induced, Fully Differentiated HT-29 Human Colon Cancer Cells FASEB J 25:106.
  • Harris, GK. 2012. "Chocolate: Food, Medicine, or Both", invited presentation, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.
  • Harris, GK. 2012. "Nutrition and the Healthspan", invited presentation to the Office of International Affairs Global Health Initiative, NC State Campus.
  • Harris, GK. 2012. "Food Science: It's Science You can Eat!", presented at the annual CTE (Career and Technical Education) Conference, Greensboro, NC.
  • Harris, GK. 2012. "Introduction to Food Science" presented to High School Students in SATELLITE (Science and Technology Enriching Lifelong Leadership In Tomorrow's Endeavors) Program, NC State Campus.
  • Harris, GK. 2011. "Childhood Obesity: An Industry Perspective" presented at the 2011 Kannapolis Scholars conference Lost in Translation: A Conversation About Childhood Obesity, NCRC Campus, Kannapolis, NC.
  • Harris, GK. 2011. "Food as Medicine" Presentation to Vegetarian Club at Fearrington Village, NC.
  • Stanard, S. 2012. "Muscadine Time", published in Perspectives Magazine, Winter.
  • Standard, S. 2012. "New Muscadine Products Benefit North Carolina Grape Growers", published in Southeast Farm Press.
  • Draut, AS. 2012. Changes in Bioactive Components of Muscadine Grapes During Microwave Processing and Storage.
  • Johanningsmeier, S.D. and Harris, G.K. 2011. Pomegranate as a Functional Food and Nutraceutical Source. Annual Reviews in Food Science and Technology 2:181-201.
  • Harris, G.K. and Cvitkusic, S. 2012. Gender Effects in Body Fat Utilization in Obesity In Epidemiology, Pathophysiology, and Prevention, Second Edition, edited by Debasis Bagchi and Harry G. Preuss, Boca Raton, CRC Press.
  • Lewis, W, Dean, L, Harris, GK. 2012. Anti-inflammatory Effects of Peanut Skin Extracts on COX-2 in Raw 264.7 Cells FASEB J March 29, 2012 26:lb502
  • Villegas-Ruiz, X, Harris, GK, Barcenas-Pozos, ME, Jordan, CC. 2012. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of tamarillo fruit (Cyphomandra betacea Sendt.) extracts on LPS-activated RAW 264.7 macrophages FASEB J 26:823.
  • Jordan, CC and Harris, GK. 2012. Effects of aromatic alcohols on inflammatory response in RAW 264.7 cells FASEB J 26:823.
  • Cvitkusic, S, Constanza, K, Harris, GK, Dean, LO. 2011. The Effect of Whole Muscadine Grape Puree and Spray-ried Peanut Skin Extracts on Glycemic Response. IFT meeting in New Orleans, LA.
  • Draut, AS, Lila, MA, Larick, DK, Zeisel, SH, Odle, J, Harris, GK. 2011. First Summer Results for Transdisciplinary Graduate Program in Functional Foods, Bioactive Food Components, and Human Health FASEB J 25:330.

Progress 10/01/08 to 09/30/09

OUTPUTS: This research project, entitled, "Antioxidant and Antiinflammatory Properties of Plant Polyphenolics" has resulted in the following activities, services, and products. One activity, examining the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of Camelia sinensis teas, was completed in 2009 and compiled in a Masters thesis. This thesis project, which was successfully defended, resulted in a poster presentation at a national meeting and in a manuscript now being formatted for publication. A second Masters thesis project activity, complimentary to the first, but examining other biomarkers and using a different cell line, was started in 2009 and is now in progress. One undergraduate research activity, examining the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of sweet potatoes, was started in 2008 and completed in 2009. The results of that activity were presented as a poster at a national meeting and have been formatted for publication. A total of 6 students (2 graduate and 3 undergraduate) have been mentored in activities associated with this project during 2008-2009. As part of this project, Dr. Harris has served as primary advisor to two Masters students (one graduated, one in progress). Three undergraduates have been mentored or are being mentored between 2008 and 2009 as part of this project. One of these undergraduates has completed a research activity. The second has begun a research activity. The third student has been mentored while assisting with experiments related to activities for the two previously mentioned Masters students' work. Services: Dr. Harris has consulted for North Carolina muscadine grape growers regarding research related to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties Products: This project has produced one student with a Masters degree in Spring 2009. PARTICIPANTS: The principal investigator for this project is Dr. Gabriel Keith Harris. Collaborators have included members of the USDA's Food Science Research Unit, as well as the Market Quality and Handling Research Units at North Carolina State University's Food, Bioprocessing, and Nutrition Sciences Department. A total of 2 graduate and 3 undergraduate students have received laboratory and professional development training through this project. TARGET AUDIENCES: Target audiences for this project have included graduate and undergraduate students as well as food industry stakeholders. The efforts for this project have included laboratory instruction and outreach to industry stakeholders. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

This project has added to the body of knowledge related to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of food plant compounds. The findings of this project have led to the presentation of 3 posters and to a Master's thesis (listed in the publications section). In addition, the results of this project have let to 2 manuscripts in preparation. This project has also led to other collaborative graduate projects and to consulting projects related to the examination of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of food plant compounds. Each of the students who have worked on this project have been trained in the cell culture and molecular biology techniques necessary for the conduct of this project.


  • Cohen, S.D., Summers, C.R. and Harris, G.K. 2009. Anti-Oxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Purple Sweet Potato Phenolics. Electronic conference proceedings (abstract), FASEB, New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • Summers, C.R., Cohen, S.D. and Harris, G.K. 2009. Modulation of Inflammatory Responses by Green and Black Tea in LPS-Induced RAW 264.7 Cells. Electronic conference proceedings (abstract), FASEB, New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • Summers, C.R., Cohen, S.D. and Harris, G.K. 2009. Modulation of Inflammatory Responses by Green and Black Tea in Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-Induced RAW 264.7 Cells. (abstract) VIA Research Recognition Day, Blacksburg, Virginia.
  • Summers, C.R. 2009. Modulation of Inflammatory Responses by Green and Black Tea in LPS-Induced RAW 264.7 Cells. (Masters Thesis), North Carolina State University.