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Dr. Michel Aliani

Dr. Michel Aliani

Principal Investigator
Nutritional Metabolomics Research, Canadian Centre for Agri-food Research in Health and Medicine

Human Nutritional Sciences, University of Manitoba

Adjunct Professor
Physiology and Pathophysiology, University of Manitoba

Research Focus

A functional food is any food claimed to have a health-promoting or disease-preventing property beyond the basic function of supplying nutrients. Nutritional interventions using functional foods have had a considerable role as legitimate therapeutic strategies to combat common metabolic disorders in Canada and around the world.

Acceptability of functional foods is a constantly evolving challenge to nutritional interventions where compliance is a key factor for success. Incorporation of novel ingredients in functional foods may shift the molecular balance of flavour precursors which can compromise consumer acceptability. Therefore, understanding the molecular interactions among natural flavor precursors and added bioactive compounds is crucial to our understanding of flavour formation in functional foods. Once ingested, the bioactive compounds are susceptible to major changes in the body with formation of novel compounds engaged in different biochemical pathways. The metabolomics studies of the metabolites derived from functional foods in the body are extremely informative on the effects exerted by these compounds.

The focus of Dr. Aliani’s research is therefore twofold.

  1. To provide the scientific and molecular basis for the development and successful marketing of functional foods targeted to patients as well as healthy populations in the world and
  2. To investigate the effect of active compounds on metabolic pathways in animal and human model.

About Dr. Michel Aliani

Michel Aliani is a Professor at the Department of Human Nutritional Sciences at the University of Manitoba and a member of the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He was educated in France (B.Sc. and Engineering degree in Agri-Food Biochemistry) and in Northern Ireland (PhD, and Post-doctoral at Queen’s University Belfast) prior to move to University of Manitoba in 2007. His area of scientific expertise includes food science, mass spectrometry and metabolomics.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Michel Aliani
Tel. (204) 235-3048
Fax. (204) 237-4018
Email. or

Onuh OJ, Girgih AT, Malomo SA, Aluko ER & Aliani M (2015) Kinetics of in vitro renin and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibition by chicken skin protein hydrolysates and their blood pressure lowering effects in spontaneously hypertensive rats. J Funct Foods, in press.

Mayengbam S, Raposo S, Aliani M & House J (2015) Oral exposure to the anti-pyridoxine compound 1-amino D-proline further perturbs homocysteine metabolism through the transsulphuration pathway in moderately vitamin B6-deficient rats. J Nutr Biochem, in press (PMID: 25524630).

Caligiuri SPB, Edel AL, Aliani M & Pierce GN (2014) Flaxseed for hypertension: implications for blood pressure regulation. Curr Hypertens Rep 16: 499.

Clark J, Rech L, Nazia Chaity N, Sihag J, Taylor CG & Aliani M (2014) Possible deleterious hormonal changes associated with low sodium diets: A review. Nutr Rev 73: 22-35.

Durunna ON, Block HC, Iwaasa AD, Scott SL, Robins C, Khakbazan M, Dugan MER, Aalhus JL, Aliani M & Lardner HA (2014). Impact of calving season and finishing systems on steer post-weaning performance, carcass characteristics and steak qualities. Can J Anim Sci 94: 583-593.

Mayengbam S, Yang H, Barthet V, Aliani M & House JD (2014) Identification, characterization and quantification of an anti-pyridoxine factor from flaxseed using ultrahigh performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. J Agric Food Chem 62: 419-426.

Goldberg E, Ryland D, Gibson R, Aliani M & House J (2013 ) Designer laying hen diets to improve egg fatty acid profile and maintain sensory quality. Food Sci Nutr 1: 324-335.

Holub B, Mutch D, Pierce GN, Rodriguez-Levya D, Aliani M, Innis SM, Yan W, Lamarche B, Couture P, Ma DW (2014) Proceedings from the 2013 Canadian nutrition society conference on advances in dietary fats and nutrition. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 39: 754-762.

Onuh JO, Girgih AT, Aluko RE & Aliani M (2013) In vitro antioxidant properties of chicken skin enzymatic protein hydrolysates and its membrane fractions. Food Chem 150: 366–373.

Onuh JO, Girgih AT, Aluko RE & Aliani M (2013) Inhibitions of renin and angiotensin converting enzyme activities by enzymatic chicken skin protein hydrolysates. Food Res Intl 53: 260-267.

Williamson J, Ryland D, Suh M & Aliani M. (2014). The effect of chilled conditioning at 4ºC on selected water and lipid-soluble flavor precursors in Bison bison longissimus dorsi muscle and their impact on sensory characteristics. Meat Sci 96: 236-246.

Young JK, Giesbrecht HE, Eskin MNA, Aliani M & Suh M (2014) Nutrition implications for fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Adv Nutr 5: 675-692.
Rodriguez-Leyva D, Weighell W, Edel AL, LaVallee R, Dibrov E, Pinneker R, Maddaford TG, Ramjiawan B, Aliani M, Guzman R & Pierce GN (2013) Potent antihypertensive action of dietary flaxseed in hypertensive patients. Hypertension 62: 1081-1089.

Surendiran G, Goh CY, Le K, Zhao Z, Askarian F, Othman R, Nicholson T, Moghadasian P, Wang YJ, Aliani M, Shen G, Beta T, Moghadasian HM (2013) Wild rice (Zizania palustris L.) prevents atherogenesis in LDL receptor knockout mice. Atherosclerosis 230: 284-292.


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Perception, Chemistry and Food Processing

Michel Aliani and Michael N. A. Eskin provide a thorough review of bitterness that includes an understanding of the genetics of bitterness perception and the molecular basis for individual differences in bitterness perception. This is followed by a detailed review of the chemical structure of bitter compounds in foods where bitterness may be considered to be a positive or negative attribute. To better understand bitterness in foods, separation and analytical techniques used to identify and characterize bitter compounds are also covered.

Food processing can itself generate compounds that are bitter, such as the Maillard reaction and lipid oxidation related products. Since bitterness is considered a negative attribute in many foods, the methods being used to remove and/mask it are also thoroughly discussed.

For $199.95 you can own a 264 page hardback copy of Bitterness, Perception, Chemistry and Food Processing. Visit

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