Faculty Directory

Navam S. Hettiarachchy

Navam S. Hettiarachchy

University Professor, Protein Chemistry

(DREX)-Director Experiment Station

(FDSC)-Food Science

Phone: 479-575-4605

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Dr. Hettiarachchy's research program is focused on basic and applied food proteins and peptides with an integrated approach to value addition in nutraceuticals, natural antioxidants, and antimicrobials from Arkansas-grown crops, and industry co-products. Protein research involves extraction, separation, purification, characterization, and identification using state-of-the art instrumentation and technologies, and conducting functional and functionality properties, as well as nutrient interactions, and mechanisms. Biotechnology is used in preparing bioactive peptides and researched for anti-cancer, anti-obesity, and anti-Alzheimer’s activities with mechanisms and genomics in human cell lines. Extracts derived from plant and industry-co-products including proteins and peptides are investigated for antioxidants, and antimicrobials activities with an integrated approach to meet current and future evolving research demand. Research also involves creating commercially feasible technologies of focused research aimed at conducting collaborative basic and applied research with food companies.


  1. Focus on traditional and non-traditional food protein sources and conduct basic and applied research for value added uses.
  2. Produce bioactive peptides and conduct proteomic and mechanistic research and investigate their activities in health and in specific diseases.
  3. Prepare novel and innovative wholesome food products focusing on proteins with sound science for health and wellness
  4. Produce natural antimicrobial and antioxidant extracts for enhanced activities.

FDSC 4713: Product Innovation for the Food Scientist

FDSC 6323: Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods

FDSC 6333: Food Protein Chemistry and Functionality

Ph.D.- University of Hull, Yorkshire, England (Biochemistry, Molecular)

M.S.- University of Edinburgh Medical School, Edinburgh, Scotland (Biochemistry, Enzymology)

B.S.- University of Madras, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India (Chemistry)

Corresponding author in all except those marked ‘*’

Almasoud, A., Hettiarachchy, N., Rayaprolu, S., Horax, R., Eswaranandam, S. 2015. Electrostatic spraying of organic acids on biofilms formed by E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella Typhimurium on fresh produce. Food Research International, 78 (2015) 27–33.

Rayaprolu, S., Hettiarachchy, N., Aldoury, M., Cho, S., Moseley, D., and Chen, P. 2015. Physical and textural attributes of freeze-dried genetically modified and non-genetically modified soy beans. Journal of Food and Nutritional Sciences, 3(3): 119-125. 

Rayaprolu, S., Hettiarachchy, N., Horax, R., Satchithanandam, E., Chen, P., and Mauromoustakos, A. 2015. Amino acid composition of 44 soybean lines and ACE-I inhibition activities of peptide fractions prepared from selected lines. Journal of American Oil Chemists’ Society, 92(7): 1023-1033.

Li, R., Hettiarachchy, N., Rayaprolu, R., Davis, M., Eswaranandam, S., Jha, A., and Chen, P. 2015. Improved functional properties of glycosylated soy protein isolate using D-glucose and xanthan gum. Journal of Food Science and Technology, 52(9): 6067-6072.

Li, R., Hettiarachchy, N., Rayaprolu, S., Eswaranandam, S., Howe, B., Davis, M., and Jha, A. 2014. Phenolics and antioxidant activity of saskatoon berry (Amelanchier alnifolia) pomace extract. Journal of Medicinal Foods, 17(3): 384-392.

*Singh, M., Jha, A., Kumar, A., Hettiarachchy, N., Rai, A., and Sharma, D. 2014. Influence of the solvents on the extraction of major phenolic compounds (punicalagin, ellagic acid and gallic acid) and their antioxidant activities in pomegranate aril. Journal of Food Science and Technology, 51(9): 2070-2077.

Lassissi, T.A., Hettiarachchy, N., Rayaprolu, S.J., Theivendran, S., and Brye, K.R. 2014. Physio-chemical and sensory properties of protein-fortified extruded breakfast cereal/snack formulated to combat protein malnutrition in developing countries. Journal of Food Processing and Technology, 5(8): 359. DOI: 10.4172/2157-7110.1000359 

Webber, A., Hettiarachchy, N.S., Webber, D.M., Sivarooban, T., and Horax, R. 2014. Heat-stabilized defatted rice bran (HDRB) as an alternative growth medium for Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Journal of Food and Nutrition, 1: 1-6.

Tortayeva, D.D., Hettiarachchy, N., Horax, R., and Eswaranandam, S. 2014. Effects of germination on nutrient composition of long grain rice & physico-chemical and functional properties of long grain rice protein. Journal of Food and Nutrition, 1: 1-9.

Lassissi, T.A., Hettiarachchy, N.S., Rayaprolu, S.J., Kannan, A., and Davis, M. 2014. Functional properties and angiotensin converting enzyme-1 inhibitory activity of soy whey proteins and fractions. Food Research International Journal, 64: 598-602. 

Alessa, F., Hettiarachchy, N., Rayaprolu, S.J., Ravichandran, M., Benamara, M., Greathouse, D. and Singh, S. 2014. Stability of nano encapsulated rice bran derived bioactive pentapeptide in apple juice. Journal of Food Processing and Technology, 5(8): 356. DOI: 10.4172/2157-7110.1000356. 

Li, R., Hettiarachchy, N., and Mahadevan, M. 2014. Rice bran derived pentapeptide-induced apoptosis in human breast cancer cell models (MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231). International Journal of Biomedical Research, 5(10): 599-605.

Webber, D., Hettiarachchy, N., Li, R., Horax, R., and Thievendran, S. 2014. Phenolic profile and antioxidant activity of extracts prepared from fermented heat-stabilized defatted rice bran. Journal of Food Science, 79(11): H2383-2391.

Li, R., Hettiarachchy, N., Mahadevan, M. 2014. Apoptotic pathways in human breast cancer cell models (MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231) induced by rice bran derived pentapeptide. International Journal of Medical Research and Health Sciences, 4(5): 13-21.

Horax, R., Hettiarachchy, N., and Chen, P. 2014. Characteristics and functionality enhancement by glycosylation of bitter melon (Momordica charantia) seed protein. Journal of Food Science, 79(11): C2215-2221. 

Rayaprolu, S J, Hettiarachchy NS, Chen P., Kannan, A., and Mauromostakos, A. 2013. Peptides Derived from High Oleic Acid Soybean Meals Inhibit Colon, Liver and Lung Cancer Cell Growth. Food Research International 50, pp. 282-288.

Divya, D, Hettiarachchy, N., Ganesh, V., Kannan, A., Rayaprolu, S. 2013. Phenolic Extracts from Leaves of Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia) with Antioxidant Properties Journal of Agricultural Science and Application. 2, (1): 28-34.

*Malviya S., Jha A. A., Hettiarachchy, N. 2013. Antioxidant and antibacterial potential of pomegranate peel extracts. J Food Sci Technol. Published online DOI 10.1007/s13197-013-0956-4.

*Crandall, P. Han-Seok, S., O'Bryan, C., Meullenet, J.F., Hettiarachchy, N.S., McCain, A., Ranhotra, G. 2013. Physicochemical analysis of wheat flour fortified with vitamin A and three types of iron source and sensory analysis of bread using these flours. J Sci. Food Agric. 93(9): 2299–2307.

Massey, LM, Hettiarachchy, NS, Martin, EM, and Ricke, SC. 2013. Electrostatic Spray of Food-Grade Organic Acids and Plant Extract to Reduce Escherichia coli O157:H7 on Fresh-cut Cantaloupe Cubes. J. Food Safety 33(1): 71-78.

Perumalla, A. V. S., Hettiarachchy, N. S., Over, K., Ricke, S. C., Slavik, M. F., Gbur, E., Davis, B. and Acosta, S. 2013. Effect of partial replacement of potassium lactate and sodium diacetate by natural green tea and grape seed extracts and post-packaging thermal treatment on the growth of Listeria monocytogenes in hotdog model system. International Journal of Food Science & Technology 48: 918–926.

Ganesh, V., Hettiarachchy, N.S. 2013. A Review: Supplementation of Foods with Essential Fatty acids – Can it turn a breeze without further ado? Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. Manuscript ID: BFSN-2012-0848.R1 #7653383.

Ganesh, V., Hettiarachchy, N.S. 2012. Nutriproteomics: A promising tool to link diet and diseases in nutritional research. 1824(10): 1107–1117.

Ganesh, V., Hettiarachchy, N.S. Griffis, C. L. Martin, E. M. and Ricke S. C. 2012. Electrostatic Spraying of Food-grade Organic and Inorganic Acids and Plant Extracts to Decontaminate Escherichia coli O157:H7 on Spinach and iceberg Lettuce. J Food Science. 77(7): M391–M396.

Kannan, A., Hettiarachchy, N.S., Mahadevan, M. 2012. Peptides derived from rice bran protect cells from obesity and Alzheimer’s disease. Inter. J Biomed. Res. 3(03): 131-135.

University Professor, University of Arkansas, Department of Food Science

Professor, University of Arkansas, Department of Food Science

Associate Professor, University of Arkansas, Department of Food Science

Associate Professor and Director of Food Science, North Dakota State University, Department of Cereal Science and Food Technology

Senior Research Scientist and Project Leader, Nestle R & D, New Milford, Connecticut

Visiting Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Food Science

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer, Biochemistry, Peredeniya Medical School, Sri Lanka


Spitze Land Grant University Faculty Award for Excellence
United States Patent Award Plaque "Bioactive pentapeptide from rice bran and use thereof"

International Education Award, Sponsored Student Programs, University of Arkansas Graduate School


John W. White Outstanding Research Award

John White Outstanding Teacher Award, Bumpers College, University of Arkansas

Teaching Award of Merit, North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture

Outstanding Mentor, University of Arkansas

IFT Fellow, Institute of Food Technologists
Outstanding Mentor, University of Arkansas


Archer Daniels’ Midland Award for best paper in Chemistry and Nutrition 

Outstanding Teaching Awards (6), Department of Food Science, University of Arkansas