I am a postdoctoral fellowship in food science at the Department of Chemistry and Biomedical Sciences. My research focuses on methyl donors in foods - analytical methods, stability during food processing, and health aspects.
I am teaching both under- and postgraduate students in the field of food science and nutrition. I have personal experience in teaching the following courses, Food Analysis, Food Chemistry, Food Technology and Basics of Human Nutrition at Mansoura University, Egypt.
I am interested in developing analytical methods for the determination of vitamins with emphasis on folate and other nutrients such as betaine and choline in foods. A complement to my research on methyl donors is to study the effects of food processing and bioprocessing on retention and/or stability of several vitamins with the aim of producing foods with increased nutritional value and evaluating the health effects of these foods. My special research focus is on the biochemical pathways of one-carbon metabolism. The term one-carbon metabolism refers to a network of several interrelated reactions that use different methyl donors to activate single carbons. In this respect, I am interested in evaluating the role role of different methyl donors e.g., folate (both synthetic supplement and natural forms), choline and its oxidation product betaine in modulating the key metabolic pathways in one-carbon metabolism using advanced analytical techniques e.g., NMR and LCMSMS metabolomics approach.
I have established international collaboration with Assoc Prof Ali Moazzami, scientific manger of the metabolomics unit at Uppsala Biocenter, SLU, and the osmolyte research group (Prof Michael Lever and Prof Sandy Slow) at Canterbury Health Laboratories, Biochemistry unit, Christchurch, New Zealand, and the Institute of Food Research IFR, in Norwich, UK.
Member of Scientific Committee of the Faculty of Agriculture Central Laboratory, Mansoura University.
Research groups and projects
Food Science Our research is oriented towards food and nutritional sciences. Our focus is on food quality and product development of new healthy food.
Project: Innovative legume-based foods and drinks for enhanced resource use efficiency in food systems The purpose of this transsektionell research project is to develop climate-smart and healthy foods…
Article in journal (Refereed)
- Hefni, M.E., Witthöft, C.M., Moazzami, A. (2018). Plasma metabolite profiles in healthy women differ after intervention with supplemental folic acid v. folate-rich foods. Journal of Nutritional Science. 7. 1-9.
- Röös, E., Carlsson, G., Ferawati, F., Hefni, M.E., Stephan, A., et al. (2018). Less meat, more legumes : prospects and challenges in the transition toward sustainable diets in Sweden. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. 1-14.
- Hefni, M.E., Schaller, F., Witthöft, C.M. (2018). Betaine, choline and folate content in different cereal genotypes. Journal of Cereal Science. 80. 72-79.
- Hefni, M.E., Mcentyre, C., Lever, M., Slow, S. (2016). Validation of HPLC-UV Methods for the Quantification of Betaine in Foods by Comparison with LC-MS. Food Analytical Methods. 9. 292-299.
- Hefni, M.E., Shalaby, M.T., Mohamed, R.A., Elwa, A.M., Witthöft, C.M. (2016). Effect of a 12-Week Dietary Intervention with Folic Acid or Folate-Enhanced Foods on Folate Status in Healthy Egyptian Women. Food and Nutrition Sciences. 7. 1339-1351.
- Hefni, M.E., Mcentyre, C., Lever, M., Slow, S. (2015). A Simple HPLC Method with Fluorescence Detection for Choline Quantification in Foods. Food Analytical Methods. 8. 2401-2408.
- Witthöft, C.M., Hefni, M.E., Moazzami, A. (2015). Folic acid supplement induces changes in 1-carbon metabolism of healthy women compared to food folate. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism. 67. 248-248.
- Hefni, M.E., Shalaby, M.T., Witthöft, C.M. (2015). Folate content in faba beans (Vicia faba L.) - effects of cultivar, maturity stage, industrial processing, and bioprocessing. Food Science & Nutrition. 3. 65-73.
- Hefni, M.E., Witthöft, C.M. (2014). Folate content in processed legume foods commonly consumed in Egypt. Lebensmittel-Wissenschaft + Technologie. 57. 337-343.
- Hefni, M.E., Witthöft, C.M. (2012). Effect of germination and subsequent oven-drying on folate content in different wheat and rye cultivars. Journal of Cereal Science. 56. 374-378.
- Hefni, M.E., Witthöft, C.M. (2012). Enhancement of the folate content in Egyptian pita bread.. Food & Nutrition Research. 56.
- Hefni, M.E., Witthöft, C.M. (2011). Increasing the folate content in Egyptian baladi bread using germinated wheat flour. Lebensmittel-Wissenschaft + Technologie. 44. 706-712.
- Hefni, M.E., Öhrvik, V., Tabekha, M., Witthöft, C.M. (2010). Folate content in foods commonly consumed in Egypt. Food Chemistry. 121. 540-545.
Chapter in book (Refereed)
- Hefni, M.E., Witthöft, C.M. (2016). Egyptian Legumes and Cereal Foods : Traditional and New Methods for Processing. Mediterranean Foods : Composition and Processing. Boca Raton, FL, CRC Press. 102-120.
- Witthöft, C.M., Hefni, M.E. (2016). Folic acid and Folates : Physiology and Health Effects. The Encyclopedia of Food and Health. Elsevier. 724-730.