Micro and Nanotechnology Lab
Research Professor
  • Food Science & Human Nutrition
382d Agricultural Engr Sciences Bld
1304 W. Pennsylvania
Urbana Illinois 61801
(217) 333-9336
Graciela Wild Padua
Graciela Wild Padua



  • B. S. Biochemical Engineering, Instituto Politecnico Nacional, Mexico.
  • Master of Science in Food Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Ph.D. University of Illinois-1989


Dr. Padua received a B.S. in Biochemical Engineering from the National Polytechnic Institute in Mexico City. She became interested in food science while working as a research assistant in a project dedicated to the re-engineering of tortilla flour production starting from high lysine corn. She later obtained her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Food Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Padua joined the UIUC faculty in 1996. Her research interests focus on the structure and properties of novel bioderived materials for food, agricultural, and biomedical uses. She has published extensively in this area and has patented her results. Her work has been supported by federal agencies and industry groups. She serves on the editorial board of Journal of Food Process Engineering.

Other Professional Activities

  • George, E., Given, P.S., Grover, J.A., Guardiola, L., Padua, G.W., Wang, Y. 2011. Methods of flavor encapsulation and matrix-assisted concentration of aqueous foods and products produced therefrom. U.S. Patent Application Publication. No. US 2011/0189353, Aug. 4, 2011. Assignees: Frito-Lay North America Inc. and the University of Illinois.
  • Padua, G.W., Ha, T.T., and Rakotonirainy, A. 2003. Method of Manufacturing Improved Corn Zein Resin Films and Articles Prepared Therefrom.” U.S. Patent No. 6,635,206.

Resident Instruction

  • FSHN 460 - Food Processing Engineering
  • FSHN 595 - Advance Food Processing

Research Interests

  • Food Materials Science; Biopolymers; Protein self-assembly; Zein properties and utilization Her research interests include the characterization and properties of nano- and microscale protein self-assembled structures and their applications in food, agricultural, and biomedical fields. She also works in novel processing methods for the concentration and stabilization of liquid foods.

Chapters in Books

  • Padua, G.W. 2012 Nanocomposites. Methods in ’Nano Science and Technology Research in Foods and Bioproducts’ Eds. G. Padua and Q. Wang. Wiley-Blackwell Publishing. http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0813817315,descCd-buy.html
  • Padua, G.W. 2012 Material Components for Nanostructures.Methods in ’Nano Science and Technology Research in Foods and Bioproducts’ Eds. G. Padua and Q. Wang. Wiley-Blackwell Publishing. http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0813817315,descCd-buy.html
  • Padua, G.W. and Wang, Q. 2000. Formation and Properties of Corn Zein Films and Coatings. In Protein-Based Films and Coatings A. Gennadios (Ed). Technomic Publishing Company, Inc., Boca Raton, FL. pp. 43-67.

Selected Articles in Journals

  • Wang, Y., Padua G.W. 2012. Nanoscale characterization of zein self-assembly. Langmuir. 28 (5), pp 2429–2435.
  • Nonthanum, P., Lee, Y., Padua, G.W. 2012. Effect of γ-Zein on the Rheological Behavior of Concentrated Zein Solutions. J. Agric. Food Chem. 60 (7)1742–1747.
  • Wang, Y., Padua G.W. 2010. Formation of zein microphases in ethanol-water. Langmuir 26(15)12897-12901.
  • Arora, A., Padua G.W. 2010. Review: Nanocomposites in Food Packaging J. Food Sci. 1: R43-49.
  • Wang, Y., Padua, G.W. 2010. Structure characterization of films from drying oils cured under infrared light. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 115(5):2565-2572.
  • Wang, Y., Wang Q, Artz, W., Padua G.W. 2008. Fourier transform infrared spectra of drying oils treated by irradiation J. Agric. Food Chem. 56(9): 3043-3048.
  • Wang, Q., Yin, L., Padua, G.W. 2008 Effect of hydrophilic and lipophilic compounds on zein microstructures. Food Biophysics 3:174–181.

Other Publications

  • Wang, Q., Xian W., Li S., Liu, C., Padua, G.W. 2008. Zein Adsorption and Cell Growth of Patterned Hydrophilic/Hydrophobic Surfaces. Acta Biomateriali
  • Wang, Q., Yin L., Padua, G.W., 2008. Controlled Self-Organization of Zein Teriary Micro and Nanostructure. Food Biophysics.
  • Wang, Y., ARtz W., Padua G.W. 2008. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectra of Drying Oils Treated by Irradiation. J. Agric. Food Chem.

Other Scholarly Activities

  • 2011 Processing and characterization of nanostructured food materials. IFT Symposium “Inspiration from Nanoscale Food Science and Engineering”. IFT Annual Meeting. New Orleans, LA. June 12th.
  • 2011 Protein-based nanostructured materials. Food Nanotechnology Workshop Purdue University, Oct. 25-26, 2011.
  • 2010 “Zein nanocomposites for agricultural applications”. Midwest Biopolymers and Biocomposites Workshop. May 11, 2010, Ames, IA.
  • 2010 “Self-assembly properties of zein systems”. Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Iowa State University. March 10, 2110, Ames, IA.
  • 2010 “Microstructure of self-assembled zein-based materials .” Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois. February 26, 2010, Urbana, IL.
  • 2009 “Self-assembled zein microphases”. Department of Food Science, Rutgers University. November 23, 2009, New Brunswick, NJ.
  • 2009 “Nanocomposite Materials for Food Packaging Applications”. IFT Annual Meeting. Symposium on “Emerging research: Nanoscale food science, engineering and technology.” June 7, 2009, Anaheim, CA.
  • 2007 “Zein as a building block for nanoscale structures”. CNST Seminar Series Fall 07. Urbana, IL November 28, 2007
  • 2007 “Bio-polymers from the Ethanol Industry”. Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Forum Ottawa, Ontario, October 29-30, 2007
  • 2007 “Controlled Self-Organization of Zein Nanostructures”. USDA/CSREES NRI 75.0 Awardees’ Meeting. Davis, CA September 20, 2007
  • 2007 “Controlled Self-Organization of Zein Nanostructures for Encapsulation of Active Food Ingresients” ACS National Meeting. Micro/Nano Encapsulation of Active Food Ingredients. Chicago, IL March 27, 2007.
  • 2007 “Zein as a polymeric material”. Follow-up to the MOU between the Province of Ontario & State of Illinois. January 22, 2007
  • 2006 “Zein Nanofabricated Biomaterials for Tissue Scaffolding” USDA/CSREES and IFT International Food Nanotechnology Conference. June 28-29, 2006 Orlando, FL

Courses Taught

  • FSHN 260 - Raw Materials for Processing
  • FSHN 295 - UG Research or Thesis
  • FSHN 396 - UG Honors Research or Thesis
  • FSHN 563 - Food Materials Science
  • FSHN 592 - Graduate Internship Experience
  • FSHN 593 - Seminar in Foods and Nutrition
  • FSHN 595 - Food Material Science
  • FSHN 597 - Graduate Seminar
  • FSHN 598 - Advanced Special Problems
  • FSHN 599 - Thesis Research