Minott’s (Jamaican Foods) Research Group

Donna Minott Kates

Ph.D., Organic Chemistry; B.Sc., Chemistry and Applied Chemistry, The University of the West Indies, Jamaica. Postdoctoral Research Associate: Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR. Visiting Research Scholar: University of Maryland, College Park, MD; USDA - Horticultural Crops Quality Laboratory, Beltsville, MD; McCormick & Company, Flavour Division, Research and Development Center, Hunt Valley, MD.

Research Group Interests: Characterization of food and foodstuffs that have a uniquely Jamaican identity (in origin, method of preparation, etc.) via examination of nutrients and antinutrients (toxicants, carcinogens etc.), flavour profile (essential oils), etc.

Some research projects include:
Tracking hypoglycin variation in ackees during maturation, across varieties, over seasons; investigation of factors that contribute to elevated levels of hypoglycin. Chemistry of Jamaican spices (e.g., pimento, Scotch Bonnet pepper); essential oil and oleoresin composition; changes in metabolite profile; biological activity. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Jamaican jerked meats.

Current Students in Group

  • Antoinette (Stephens) Gayle – MPhil candidate (Thesis under examination: Varietal impact on the quality of Jamaican coffee – Blue Mountain and non-Blue Mountain coffee)
  • Ching Chin Lee – MPhil candidate

Names of Graduates in the Group

  • Heather Brown-Gordon (MPhil); Investigation of the essential oils and oleoresins of Jamaican pimento, Pimenta dioica.
  • Andrea Goldson (MPhil); Investigation of the ackee fruit, Blighia sapida.  
  • Orane Blake (MPhil; Co-Supervisor: Jose C Jackson); Chemical and toxicological characterisation of selected components of the ackee (Blighia sapida) fruit.
  • Keisha Lambert (MPhil; Co-Supervisor: Jose C Jackson); Antioxidant activity of sorrel (Hibiscus sabdariffa). 
  • Madeen Roberts-Miller (MPhil; Co-Supervisors: Jose C Jackson, Paula Tennant) Physicochemical characterization of transgenic and non-transgenic papaya fruit (Carica papaya L.).
  • Camille Bowen (PhD); Evaluation of hypoglycins A and B content and the phytochemistry of Blighia sapida.
  • Andriene Patterson (MSc Food Science & Technology; Co-Supervisor:
  • John Akingbala, Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, UWI, St Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago); Evaluation of the anti-oxidant effects of Psidium guajava – Guava leaf and stem extracts in controlling rancidity in soybean oil.  
  • Dwyte Bremmer (MPhil); Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in Jamaican jerked meats.  Safiyyah Dundee (MPhil); Hypoglycin: partitioning in canned ackee and relationship with seed size. 
  • O’Neil Falloon (MSc Food Science & Technology; Co-Supervisor: Gail-Bacchus-Taylor, Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, UWI, St Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago); Differentiation of proximates in tree-ripened versus rack-ripened ackees

Recent Publications

Safiyyah J. S. Dundee and Donna A. Minott.  Food Research International 2012, 47, 306-309. “Impact of seed size on residual hypoglycin levels in ackee”.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2011.07.045


Camille S. Bowen-Forbes, Donna A. Minott. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2011, 59(8), 3869-3875. “Tracking Hypoglycins A and B over Different Maturity Stages: Implications for Detoxification of Ackee (Blighia sapida K.D. Koenig) Fruits”. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jf104623c



Paula F. Tennant, Simone E. Pinnock, Melissa Powell and Andrew O. Wheatley, Donna A. Minott.  Transgenic Plant Journal 2010, 4(SI1), 29-36 “An Overview of the Safety Assessment of Transgenic Papaya for the Management of Papaya Ringspot Virus in Jamaica”.


Camille S. Bowen-Forbes and Donna A. Minott.  Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry 2009, 47, 1004-1006.  “Structural characterization of hypoglycin B, a diastereomeric dipeptide from the ackee fruit (Blighia sapida Koenig) by NMR experiments”. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mrc.2497 


Madeen Roberts, Donna A. Minott, Paula F. Tennant and Jose C. Jackson. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 2008, 88(11), 1911-1920. “Assessment of compositional changes during ripening of transgenic papaya modified for protection against Papaya Ringspot Virus”. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jsfa.3295


Donna A. Minott and Heather A. Brown. Journal of Essential Oil Research 2007, 19(4), 354-357.  “Differentiation of fruiting and non-fruiting Pimenta dioica (L.) Merr. trees based on composition of leaf volatiles”. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10412905.2007.9699303