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James N BeMiller

Department of Food Sciences 

  • Professor Emeritus of Food Science

B.S., M.S., Ph.D. (Biochemistry), Purdue University


Polysaccharide structure and modification: Polysaccharides are characterized with respect to their chemical structures and functional properties. Polysaccharides (starches and gums) are chemically modified to enhance their desirable properties, minimize their undesirable characteristics, and/or give them new functionalities.
Starch granule structure, reactivity, and behavior: Control of starch properties is the overall goal. Chemical and genetic modification of starch granules and molecules chemically and genetically is done and studied with respect to granule structure and behavior.

Carbohydrate chemistry: Mono- and oligosaccharide chemistry is directed towards synthesis of new, value-added products.

Awards & Honors

(2005) Outstanding Graduate Educator Award. College of Agriculture.

(2004) Certificate of Distinction. Purdue Agricultural Alumni Association.

(2004) Leonard A. Ford Lectureship. Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Selected Publications

Whistler, R. L., BeMiller, J. N., & Hamaker, B. R. (in press). Banana starch: production, physicochemical properties, and digestibility - a review. Carbohydrate Polymers.

BeMiller, J. N., BeMillerHan, J. A., & J. N. (2005). Influence of reaction conditions on the physical properties of waxy maize starch derivatized by reaction with propylene oxide. Carbohydrate Polymers.

BeMiller, J. N., BeMillerVillwock, V. K., & J. N. (in press). Effects of salts on the reaction of normal corn starch with propylene oxide. Starch/Staerke, 57.

BeMiller, J. N., BeMillerHan, J. A., & J. N. (2005). Rate of hydroxypropylation of starches as a function of reaction time. Starch/Staerke.

BeMiller, J. N., & Gray, J. A. (2004). The effect of reaction conditions and granule architecture on the location of mono- and distarch phosphate ester and 2-hydroxy-3-sulfonylpropyl ether substituents in modified starch granules using a novel reflectance confocal laser scanning microscop. 22nd International Carbohydrate Symposium.

Han, X. Z., BeMiller, J. N., & Hamaker, B. R. (2004). Channels in starch granules affect extractibility of granule-bound starch synthase. American Association of Cereal Chemists annual meeting.

BeMiller, J. N., & Gray, J. A. (2004). Derivatization of starch granules as influnced by reaction conditions. American Chemical Society national meeting.

Han, J. A., Jane, J. L., & BeMiller, J. N. (2004). Waxy maize starch subpopulations with different gelatinization temperatures. Carbohydrate Polymers, 55, 177-190.

Fannon, J. E., Gray, J. A., Huber, K. C., & BeMiller, J. N. (2004). Heterogeneity of starch granules and the effect of granule channelization on starch modification. Cellulose, 11, 247-254.

Gray, J. A., & BeMiller, J. N. (2004). Development and Utilization of Reflectance Confocal Microscopy to Locate Reaction Sites in Modified Starch Granules. Cereal Chemistry, 81(2), 278-286. Retrieved from