Dr. Ramesh Saini

Dr. Ramesh Kumar Saini

Associate professor

Profile Summary

Dr. Saini earned his Ph.D. in Biotechnology from the CSIR-CFTRI, University of Mysore, Mysore, India, and M.Sc. in Agriculture with a specialization in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from GBPU&T, Pantnagar, Uttarakhand, India. Dr. Saini has worked as an Associate Professor (Research) at the Department of Crop Science, Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea, for nine fascinating years. Dr. Saini has an excellent track record of 85 articles in 36 journals of international reputation, with an accumulative impact factor of 465.1 (SCI IF 2022), h-index of 36, and 6300+ citations. Based on these huge citations, Dr. Saini is listed amongst the world's top 2% of scientists in a report published by Stanford University researchers. Dr. Saini's current research interests include the development and validation of analytical methods for the identification and quantification of nutraceuticals in food, investigating the factors affecting the bioavailability and bioactivity of dietary minerals and vitamins in animal models, and development of novel food processing to preserve the nutritional value of industrial crops and products.

Work Experience

Dr. Saini has conducted comprehensive investigations into the extraction and analysis of phytochemicals, unveiling their profound contributions to human health and well-being. Incredibly, his research career revolves around meticulously characterizing lipophilic dietary components, encompassing carotenoids, tocopherols, phytosterols, and omega-3 fatty acids. His pioneering work has extended to the comprehensive analysis of numerous herbs, fruits, vegetables, and seafood. In addition, Dr. Saini has investigated the cellular and molecular events involved in the chemopreventive activities of β-cryptoxanthin isolated from citrus fruits and lutein from marigold petals.

Research Interests

  • Dr. Saini is a plant Biotechnologist. His primary research interests include 1) simplified extraction of nutraceuticals, especially carotenoids; 2) development and validation of analytical methods for the identification and quantification of nutraceuticals in food; 3) development of novel food processing to preserve the nutritional value of industrial crops and products; 4) valorization of agro-industrial wastes towards the production of nutritionally import metabolites, and 5) cytotoxic and antiproliferative potential of natural carotenoids against various cancer cells. 
  • Dr. Saini enjoys developing simplified extraction and analytical methods for quantifying nutraceuticals, especially carotenoids, tocopherols, phytosterols, and omega-3 fatty acids, in crucial food sources, advancing our understanding of their nutritional profiles. Dr. Saini has developed an efficient one-step scheme for purifying major xanthophyll carotenoids from lettuce.  
  • Dr. Saini's Ph.D. research showcased Moringa's transformative potential in alleviating malnutrition, opening new avenues for sustainable nutrition solutions.

Awards and Grants

  • Dr. Saini is listed amongst the world's top 2% of scientists in a report published by Stanford University researchers in 2023, with an impressive composite score of 41,836.  
  • Dr. Saini has qualified UGC-CSIR, national eligibility test (NET) with Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) and eligibility for Lectureship (LS) in the year 2007, conducted by MHRD, Government of India, New Delhi. 
  • Dr. Saini has received Postdoctoral Research fellowship from the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India, New Delhi, from January 2014 to July 2014. 
  • Dr. Saini has successfully completed an externally funded project (2019-2022) entitled "Value-addition of shrimp processing waste via efficient recovery of commercially vital carotenoid astaxanthin, and its microencapsulation for enhanced physical and biological activities" funded by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), Korea government (MSIT) (Grant No. 2019R1G1A1006815), with a total grant of 90 million KRW (55 Lakh INR). 
  • Dr. Saini is serving as an Associate Editor of Frontiers in Nutrition (IF-5.0) and an editorial board member of Foods (IF- 5.2). 

Scholarly Activities

Dr. Saini is a dedicated advocate for global sustainability, leading initiatives to transform agro-industrial and household food processing waste into economically significant resources. His visionary work secured a substantial $67,000 grant from the esteemed National Research Foundation of Korea. This funding supported a pioneering project to extract astaxanthin, a pivotal carotenoid, from shrimp processing waste and enhance its properties through microencapsulation techniques. 

In addition to his impactful sustainability efforts, Dr. Saini's editorial influence is equally profound. He assumes the role of Associate Editor for 'Frontiers in Nutrition' and holds a position on the editorial board of 'Foods.' In this capacity, he has contributed to the advancement of scientific knowledge by conducting rigorous reviews of numerous scholarly articles, thus ensuring the publication of high-quality research and upholding the highest peer review standards within the domains of nutrition and food science while providing invaluable support to fellow researchers.

Selected publications 

  1. Zhang, T., Yuan, Y., Wu, X., Yu, P., Ji, J., Chai, J., Saini, RK., Liu, J., Shang, X. (2023). The level of sulfate substitution of polysaccharide regulates thermal-induced egg white protein gel properties: The characterization of gel structure and intermolecular forces. Food Research International, 173, 113349. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2023.113349. (IF- 8.1, Q1, 93.3 percentile). 
  2. Saini, R. K., Ahn, H.-Y., Park, G.-W., Shin, J.-W., Lee, J.-H., Yu, J.-W., Song, M.-H., Keum, Y.-S., Lee, J.-H. (2023). Quantitative Profiling of Carotenoids, Tocopherols, Phytosterols, and Fatty Acids in the Flower Petals of Ten Marigold (Tagetes spp. L.) Cultivars. Foods, 12(19). https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12193549. (IF- 5.2, Q1). 
  3. Saini, A., Kaur, R., Kumar, S., Saini, R. K., Kashyap, B., & Kumar, V. (2023). New horizon of rosehip seed oil: Extraction, characterization for its potential applications as a functional ingredient. Food Chemistry, 137568. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2023.137568.(IF- 8.8, Q1, 94.0 percentile), 
  4. Ko, E.-Y., Lee, J.-H., Sivanesan, I., Choi, M.-J., Keum, Y.-S., Saini, R. K.(2023). Carotenoid and Tocopherol Profiling in 18 Korean Traditional Green Leafy Vegetables by LC-SIM-MS. Foods, 12(6), 1312. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12061312. (IF- 5.2, Q1). 
  5. Nile, A., Shin, J., Shin, J., Park, G. S., Lee, S., Lee, J.-H., . . .Saini, R. K., Oh, J.-W. (2023). Cinnamaldehyde-Rich Cinnamon Extract Induces Cell Death in Colon Cancer Cell Lines HCT 116 and HT-29. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 24(9), 8191. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24098191.(IF- 5.6, Q1). 
  6. Kaur, R., Kumar, A., Kumar, V., Kumar, S., Saini, R.K., Nayi, P., & Gehlot, R. (2023). Recent advancements and applications of explosion puffing. Food Chemistry, 403, 134452. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2022.134452. (IF- 8.8, Q1, 94.0 percentile), 
  7. Saini, R. K., Shin, Y., Ko, R., Kim, J., Lee, K., An, D., . . . Lee, J.-H. (2023). Dissipation Kinetics and Risk Assessment of Spirodiclofen and Tebufenpyrad in Aster scaberThunb. Foods, 12(2), 242. https://www.mdpi.com/2304-8158/12/2/242. (IF- 5.2, Q1). 
  8. Zhang, T., Yuan, Y., Chai, J., Wu, X., Saini, R. K., Liu, J., & Shang, X. How does dextran sulfate promote the egg white protein to form transparent hydrogel?the gelation mechanism and molecular force changes. Food Hydrocolloids 2022, 133, 107901. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodhyd.2022.107901. (IF- 10.7, Q1, 96.8 percentile). 
  9. Shin, J., Nile, A., Saini, R. K.,& Oh, J.-W. Astaxanthin sensitizes low SOD2-expressing GBM cell lines to trail treatment via pathway involving mitochondrial membrane depolarization. Antioxidants 2022, 11(2), 375. https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox11020375. (IF- 7.0, Q1, 91.2 percentile). 
  10. Saini, R. K., Yu, J.-W., Song, M.-H., Ahn, H.-Y., Lee, J.-H., Keum, Y.-S., & Lee, J.-H. (2022). Profiling of redox-active lipophilic constituents in leaf mustard (Brassica juncea (l.) czern.) cultivars using LC-MS and GC-MS. Antioxidants, 11(12), 2464. https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox11122464.(IF- 7.0, Q1, 91.2 percentile). 
  11. Saini, R. K., Song, M. H., Yu, J. W., Lee, J. H., Ahn, H. Y., Keum, Y. S., & Lee, J. H. (2022). Profiling of nutritionally vital bioactive compounds in emerging green leafy vegetables: A comparative study. Foods, 11(23), 3867. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11233867. (IF- 5.2, Q1). 
  12. Saini, R. K., Ranjit, A., Sharma, K., Prasad, P., Shang, X., Gowda, K. G. M., & Keum, Y.-S. Bioactive compounds of citrus fruits: a review of composition and health benefits of carotenoids, flavonoids, limonoids, and terpenes. Antioxidants 2022, 11(2). https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox11020239. (IF- 7.0, Q1, 91.2 percentile). 
  13. Saini, R. K., Prasad, P., Lokesh, V., Shang, X., Shin, J., Keum, Y.-S., & Lee, J.-H. Carotenoids: Dietary sources, extraction, encapsulation, bioavailability, and health benefits: A review of recent advancements. Antioxidants 2022, 11(4), 795. https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3921/11/4/795. (IF- 7.0, Q1, 91.2 percentile). 
  14. Liu, J., Chai, J., Yuan, Y., Zhang, T., Saini, R. K., Yang, M., & Shang, X. Dextran sulfate facilitates egg white protein to form transparent hydrogel at neutral pH: Structural, functional, and degradation properties. Food Hydrocolloids 2022, 122, 107094. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodhyd.2021.107094. (IF- 10.7, Q1, 96.8 percentile) 
  15. Song, K., Saini, R. K., Keum, Y.-S., & Sivanesan, I. Analysis of lipophilic antioxidants in the leaves of Kaempferia parviflora wall. ex baker using LC–MRM–MS and GC–FID/MS. Antioxidants 2021, 10(10). https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox10101573.(IF- 7.0, Q1, 91.2 percentile). 
  16. Shin, J., Song, M.-H., Yu, J.-W., Ko, E.-Y., Shang, X., Oh, J.-W., . . . Saini, R. K. Anticancer potential of lipophilic constituents of eleven shellfish species commonly consumed in Korea. Antioxidants2021, 10(10), 1629. https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3921/10/10/1629.(IF- 7.0, Q1, 91.2 percentile). 
  17. Saini, R. K., Song, M.-H., Yu, J.-W., Shang, X., & Keum, Y.-S. Phytosterol profiling of apiaceae family seeds spices using GC-MS. Foods 2021, 10(10), 2378. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10102378.(IF- 5.2, Q1). 
  18. Saini, R. K., Prasad, P., Sreedhar, R. V., Akhilender Naidu, K., Shang, X., & Keum, Y.-S. Omega−3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs): Emerging plant and microbial sources, oxidative stability, bioavailability, and health benefits—A review. Antioxidants 2021, 10(10), 1627. https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3921/10/10/1627.(IF- 7.0, Q1, 91.2 percentile). 
  19. Saini, R. K., Prasad, P., Shang, X., & Keum, Y.-S. Advances in lipid extraction methods—A review. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 2021, 22(24), 13643. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms222413643. (IF- 5.6, Q1). 
  20. Saini, R.K.;Mahomoodally, M.F.; Sadeer, N.B.; Keum, Y.S.; Rr Rengasamy, K. Characterization of nutritionally important lipophilic constituents from brown kelp Ecklonia radiata (C. Ag.) J. Agardh. Food Chemistry 2021, 340, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2020.127897. (IF- 8.8, Q1, 94.0 percentile). 
  21. Saini, R.K.; Assefa, A.D.; Keum, Y.-S. Spices in the Apiaceae family represent the healthiest fatty acid profile: a systematic comparison of 34 widely used spices and herbs. Foods 2021, 10, 854. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10040854. (IF- 5.2, Q1). 
  22. Rauf, A.; Khalil, A.A.; Rahman, U.-u.; Khalid, A.; Naz, S.; Shariati, M.A.; Rebezov, M.; Urtecho, E.Z.; de Albuquerque, R.D.D.G.; Anwar, S., et al. Recent advances in the therapeutic application of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs): An updated review. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition 2021, 1-21, https://doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2021.1895064 (IF- 10.2, Q1, 98.3 percentile). 
  23. Liu, J.; Chai, J.; Zhang, T.; Yuan, Y.; Saini, R.K.; Xu, M.; Li, S.; Shang, X. Phase behavior, thermodynamic and rheological properties of ovalbumin/dextran sulfate: Effect of biopolymer ratio and salt concentration. Food Hydrocolloids 2021, 118, 106777, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodhyd.2021.106777.(IF- 10.7, Q1, 96.8 percentile) 
  24. Ko, E.-Y.; Saini, R.K.; Keum, Y.-S.; An, B.-K. Age of laying hens significantly influences the content of nutritionally vital lipophilic compounds in eggs. Foods 2021, 10(1), 22. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10010022.(IF- 5.2, Q1). 
  25. Shin, J.; Song, M.H.; Oh, J.W.; Keum, Y.S.; Saini, R.K. Pro‐oxidant actions of carotenoids in triggering apoptosis of cancer cells: A review of emerging evidence. Antioxidants 2020, 9, 1-17, https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox9060532.(IF- 7.0, Q1, 91.2 percentile). 
  26. Shin, J.; Saini, R.K.; Oh, J.W. Low dose astaxanthin treatments trigger the hormesis of human astroglioma cells by up-regulating the cyclin-dependent kinase and down-regulated the tumor suppressor protein p53. Biomedicines 2020, 8, 1-11, https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8100434.(IF- 7.7, Q1). 
  27. Saini, R.K.; Song, M.H.; Rengasamy, K.R.R.; Ko, E.Y.; Keum, Y.S. Red shrimp are a rich source of nutritionally vital lipophilic compounds: A comparative study among edible flesh and processing waste. Foods 2020, 9, https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9091179. (IF- 5.2, Q1). 
  28. Saini, R.K.;Rengasamy, K.R.R.; Mahomoodally, F.M.; Keum, Y.S. Protective effects of lycopene in cancer, cardiovascular, and neurodegenerative diseases: An update on epidemiological and mechanistic perspectives. Pharmacological Research 2020, 155, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrs.2020.104730. (IF- 9.3, Q1, 94.8 percentile). 
  29. Saini, R.K.; Keum, Y.S.; Rengasamy, K.R. Profiling of nutritionally important metabolites in green/red and green perilla (Perilla frutescens Britt.) cultivars: A comparative study. Industrial Crops and Products2020, 151, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indcrop.2020.112441. (IF- 5.9, Q1, 92.6 percentile). 
  30. Saini, R.K.; Keum, Y.S.; Daglia, M.; Rengasamy, K.R. Dietary carotenoids in cancer chemoprevention and chemotherapy: A review of emerging evidence. Pharmacological Research 2020, 157, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrs.2020.104830. (IF- 9.3, Q1, 94.8 percentile). 
  31. Saini, R.K.; A. Bekhit, A.E.D.; Roohinejad, S.; Rengasamy, K.R.R.; Keum, Y.S. Chemical stability of lycopene in processed products: a review of the effects of processing methods and modern preservation strategies. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry2020, 68, 712-726, https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.9b06669. (IF- 6.1, Q1, 90.5 percentile). 
  32. Gansukh, E.; Nile, A.; Sivanesan, I.; Rengasamy, K.R.R.; Kim, D.H.; Keum, Y.S.; Saini, R.K.Chemopreventive effect of β-cryptoxanthin on human cervical carcinoma (HeLa) cells is modulated through oxidative stress-induced apoptosis. Antioxidants 2020, 9, https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox9010028(IF- 7.0, Q1, 91.2 percentile). 
  33. Park, H.Y.; Kim, D.H.; Saini, R.K.; Gopal, J.; Keum, Y.S.; Sivanesan, I. Micropropagation and quantification of bioactive compounds in Mertensiamaritima (L.) Gray. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 2019, 20, https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20092141. (IF- 5.6, Q1). 
  34. Kim, D.H.; Enkhtaivan, G.; Saini, R.K.; Keum, Y.S.; Kang, K.W.; Sivanesan, I. Production of bioactive compounds in cladode culture of Turbinicarpusvaldezianus (H. Moeller) Glass & R. C. Foster. Industrial Crops Products2019, 138, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indcrop.2019.111491.(IF- 5.9, Q1, 92.6 percentile). 
  35. Jung, S.; Shin, J.; Oh, J.; Enkhtaivan, G.; Lee, S.W.; Gopal, J.; Sydara, K.; Saini, R.K.; Keum, Y.S.; Oh, J.W. Cytotoxic and apoptotic potential of Phyllodium elegans extracts on human cancer cell lines. Bioengineered 2019, 10, 501-512, https://doi.org/10.1080/21655979.2019.1682110. (IF- 6.832, Q1) 
  36. Gansukh, E.; Mya, K.K.; Jung, M.; Keum, Y.S.; Kim, D.H.; Saini, R.K. Lutein derived from marigold (Tagetes erecta) petals triggers ROS generation and activates Bax and caspase-3 mediated apoptosis of human cervical carcinoma (HeLa) cells. Food and Chemical Toxicology 2019, 127, 11-18, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2019.02.037 (IF- 4.9, Q1). 
  37. Chandrasekaran, M.; Chun, S.C.; Oh, J.W.; Paramasivan, M.; Saini, R.K.;Sahayarayan, J.J. Bacillus subtilis CBR05 for Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) fruits in south Korea as a novel plant probiotic bacterium (PPB): implications from total phenolics, flavonoids, and carotenoids content for fruit quality. Agronomy 2019, 9, https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9120838. (IF- 3.79, Q1). 
  38. Saini, R.K.; Moon, S.H.; Keum, Y.S. An updated review on use of tomato pomace and crustacean processing waste to recover commercially vital carotenoids. Food Research International2018, 108, 516-529, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2018.04.003. (IF- 8.1, Q1, 93.3 percentile). 
  39. Saini, R.K.; Moon, S.H.; Gansukh, E.; Keum, Y.S. An efficient one-step scheme for the purification of major xanthophyll carotenoids from lettuce, and assessment of their comparative anticancer potential. Food Chemistry2018, 266, 56-65, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2018.05.104. (IF- 8.8, Q1, 94.0 percentile). 
  40. Saini, R.K.; Keum, Y.S. Carotenoid extraction methods: A review of recent developments. Food Chemistry2018, 240, 90-103, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2017.07.099.(IF- 8.8, Q1, 94.0 percentile). 
  41. Saini, R.K.; Keum, Y.S. Significance of genetic, environmental, and pre- and postharvest factors affecting carotenoid contents in crops: A review. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry2018, 66, 5310-5325, https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.8b01613. (IF- 6.1, Q1, 90.5 percentile). 
  42. Saini, R.K.; Keum, Y.S. Omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids: Dietary sources, metabolism, and significance — A review. Life Sciences 2018, 203, 255-267, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lfs.2018.04.049. (IF- 6.78, Q1). 
  43. Kim, D.E.; Shang, X.; Assefa, A.D.; Keum, Y.S.; Saini, R.K. Metabolite profiling of green, green/red, and red lettuce cultivars: Variation in health beneficial compounds and antioxidant potential. Food Research International2018, 105, 361-370, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2017.11.028. (IF- 8.1, Q1, 93.3 percentile). 
  44. Saini, R.K.; Ko, E.Y.; Keum, Y.S. Minimally processed ready-to-eat baby-leaf vegetables: Production, processing, storage, microbial safety, and nutritional potential. Food Reviews International2017, 33, 644-663, https://doi.org/10.1080/87559129.2016.1204614 (IF- 5.8, Q1). 
  45. Sivanesan, I.; Saini, R.K.; Kim, D.H. Bioactive compounds in hyperhydric and normal micropropagated shoots of Aronia melanocarpa (Michx.) Elliott. Industrial Crops Products2016, 83, 31-38, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indcrop.2015.12.042. (IF- 5.9, Q1, 92.6 percentile). 
  46. Saini, R.K.; Nile, S.H.; Keum, Y.S. Food science and technology for management of iron deficiency in humans: A review. Trends in Food Science and Technology 2016, 53, 13-22, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tifs.2016.05.003 (IF- 15.3, Q1, 98.9 percentile). 
  47. Saini, R.K.; Nile, S.H.; Keum, Y.S. Folates: Chemistry, analysis, occurrence, biofortification and bioavailability. Food Research International2016, 89, 1-13, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2016.07.013.(IF- 8.1, Q1, 93.3 percentile). 
  48. Saini, R.K.; Keum, Y.S. Tocopherols and tocotrienols in plants and their products: A review on methods of extraction, chromatographic separation, and detection. Food Research International2016, 82, 59-70, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2016.01.025.(IF- 8.1, Q1, 93.3 percentile). 
  49. Saini, R.K.; Nile, S.H.; Park, S.W. Carotenoids from fruits and vegetables: Chemistry, analysis, occurrence, bioavailability and biological activities. Food Research International2015, 76, 735-750, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2015.07.047. (IF- 8.1, Q1, 93.3 percentile). 

Teaching Philosophy

Teaching is an integral aspect of Dr. Saini's identity as an academic researcher. He has cultivated a passion for guiding students to think critically about quantitative methods, a desire that has evolved through his experiences as a student and an instructor. Whether the teaching load is extensive or minimal, Dr. Saini approaches each session with unwavering passion and keen interest. He consistently invests ample time ensuring that presentations are clear, level-appropriate, and relevant. Furthermore, he takes pleasure in mentoring students in the laboratory, assisting them in developing their skills, conducting research, and crafting research papers.

Courses Taught

Dr. Saini possesses outstanding expertise in food analytical techniques, particularly in LC-MS/MS and GC-MS/MS. Leveraging his proficiency, he actively contributed to delivering hands-on training within the interdisciplinary advanced techniques course in analytical chemistry. This comprehensive program covers various processes, techniques, and instrumentation. Significantly, the course addresses the practical requirements of biotechnologists, many of whom may not be familiar with advanced analytical methods like LC-MS/MS and GC-MS/MS.