Dr. Courtney Simons is an Associate Professor at the Lake Campus.
Ph. D., Cereal Science, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND (2013)
M. S., Earth & Environmental Sciences, Wright State University, Dayton OH (2021)
M.Ed., Digital Learning, Wright State University, Dayton OH (2017)
B. S., Food Science, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND (2009)
A. S., Agriculture, College of Agriculture, Portland, Jamaica (1995)
Current Spring Classes
- Bio 1070 Health and Disease/laboratory
- Bio 2110 Principles of Molecular and Classical Genetics (Co-Instructor)
- Bio 3710 DNA Forensic Profiling (Co-Instructor)
Current Fall Classes
- Bio 1050 Biology of Food (2 sections)
- Bio 1050 Biology of Food Laboratory (3 sections)
- BMB 4001 Fundamentals of Biochemistry (Co-Instructor)
Philosophy of Teaching
Effective teaching requires that complex information be broken down into simple, meaningful, useable, and practical information. The more the teacher is familiar with the content, the simpler and more clearly, he can explain it. For students to learn well, the information must be presented with as little distraction as possible. Distractions may include, poor teaching preparation, low confidence of the instructor, poor organization, poor communication of the information, or presenting too much information at once. Instruction should be short; preferably no more than 50 minutes at a time to keep student’s attention. Adequate time should be provided to allow students to consolidate learning. The best way the teacher can accomplish this is by creating space for practice. Ultimately, for true success, the teacher must take the time to learn how to teach, including knowledge of scientifically tested and proven instructional best practices. At the same time, he must appreciate that those practices may not work in his context or may need refining. Therefore, the teacher must be willing to test, fail, listen, adjust, test again, and yet again, until he has arrived at his own set of best practices; those defined by the degree to which he can transform the lives of his students.
Dry edible beans are nutrient-dense due to their high protein, resistant starch, digestible fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Therefore, the goal of my research is to take advantage of these properties by incorporating them into value-added consumer food products (bread, cookies, ready-to-eat extruded snacks, and pasta). My research so far has resulted in several important contributions to my field. I have shown that dry edible beans can be air-classified into high-starch and high-protein fractions and then extruded to make highly expandable ready-to-eat snacks and high-protein flour ingredients, respectively. The high-protein flour can be added to bread to significantly improve total protein and lysine content while increasing bread weight and maintaining bread volume. I have provided evidence that the consumer acceptability of edible bean products is promising. For example, in one study extruded navy, pinto and black beans met or exceeded the minimum requirement for consumer acceptability. In another study, there was no significant difference in consumer acceptability of raw pulse flour in gluten-free cookies at an inclusion rate of 40% compared to the use of pulse flours that were further processed by germination and cooking. My work provides evidence that extrusion cooking significantly reduces resistant starch and raffinose content and may not reduce phytic acid content. This means that while extrusion cooking may increase digestibility, the bioavailability of minerals may be negatively impacted. High starch digestibility obtained by cooking results in a high glycemic index of bean flours and baked products. One way I have addressed this challenge is by developing a method to create low glycemic index resistant starch from edible bean flours which can be added back to bean flours after processing. To reduce the cost of in vitro glycemic index testing, I have developed a low-cost screening method based on digestion with amylase and measurement of refractive index during starch hydrolysis. Several other challenges and questions are presently being explored in my lab and will be the basis for future processing studies. For example: What are the compositional and functional properties of bean sieve fractions? What new product opportunities do they introduce based on these properties? Are there consumer acceptability challenges associated with bean market classes that I have not yet explored? What processing strategies can be applied to overcome these challenges? What are the mechanisms leading to the loss of anthocyanins and other health-promoting phytochemicals in cooked beans, and how can they be retained during cooking?
Laboratory Facilities. The food science wet lab is equipped to perform food component extractions (dietary fiber, starch, lipids, protein, and phenolic compounds), and various food analyses including ash, moisture, total starch, resistant starch, total lipids, color, texture, viscosity, water activity, particle size fractionation, pH, expected glycemic index, water absorption index, water solubility index, oil absorption index, foamability, and emulsion capacity/stability. Major equipment include Thermo Fisher Scientific Lindberg/Blue M ash oven, Beckman Coulter Allegra X-14 centrifuge, Polytron PT 2500 E rotor stator homogenizer, VWR convection oven, Ohaus rapid moisture oven, ZM 200 Retsch centrifugal mill, Ro-tap RX-29-E rotap sieve separator, Dv2T Brookfield viscometer, Bostwick consistometer, Schott Lab 870 pH meter, Konica Minolta CR-410 chromameter, Brookfield CT3 texture analyzer, Glas-Col combination heating mantle Soxhlet system, Shellab agitating water bath, Pre-Aqualab water meter, and a Thermo Scientific bench top incubator.
Coordinate annual county-wide Science Day competition.
- Simons, C. W., Hall, C. and Vatansever, S. 2018. Production of resistant starch (RS3) from edible bean starches. J Food Process Preserv. 42(4), 1.
- Simons, C. W., Hall, C. 2018. Consumer acceptability of gluten-free cookies containing raw, cooked and germinated pinto bean flours. Food Sci. Nutr. 6(1), 77–84.
- Simons, C. W., Hall, C. and Biswas, A. 2017. Characterization of Pinto Bean High-Starch Fraction after Air-Classification and Extrusion. J Food Process Preserv. 41(6).
- Simons, C. W., Hunt-Schmidt, E., Simsek., Hall, and C. Biswas, A. 2014. Texturized Pinto Bean Protein Fortification in Straight Dough Bread Formulation. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 69(1)
- Simons, C. W., Hall, C., Tulbek, M., Mendis, M., Heck, T., and Ogunyemi, S. 2014. Characterization and acceptability of extruded pinto, navy and black beans. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 95(11), 2287–2291.
- Simons, C. W., Hall, C. and Tulbek, M. 2012. Effect of Extruder Screw Speed on Physical Properties and In Vitro Starch Hydrolysis of Pinto, Navy, Red and Black Bean Extrudates. Cereal Chem. 89(3):176–181
- Simons, C.W. and Ciampaglio, C. Simpler Method to Compare Starch Hydrolysis Rate and In Vitro Expected Glycemic Index of Flours. Cereal and Grains Conference (Online). October 2020
- Simons, C. W., Osorno, J. M. and Fuelling, L. Color Does Not Predict Anthocyanin Content in Canned Black Beans. Cereal and Grains Conference (Online). October 2020
- Simons, C. W. and Nathan, H. Effect of Pinto Bean Starch Fortification on Bread Texture and Glycemic Index. AACC International Conference, London, UK. October 2018
- Simons, C. W. and Nathan, H. Process for Making Resistant Starch from Pinto Beans. AACC International Conference, London, UK. October 2018
- Simons, C. W. and Hall C. Production of resistant starch (RS3) from edible bean starches. AACC International Conference, San Diego, California. October 2017
- Simons, C. W. and Hall, C. Sensory Evaluation of Gluten-Free Cookies Made with Pinto Beans. Savannah Georgia. October 2016
- Simons, C. W., Hall, C. and Osorno, J. Growing location of Lariat pinto beans and effect on lipoxygenase activity and grassy flavors. AACC International Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. October 2013
- Simons, C. W., Hunt-Schmidt, E., Simsek, S. and Hall, C. Texturized pinto bean protein optimization in straight dough bread formulation. Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Conference, Las Vegas, NV. June 2012
- Simons, C. W. Properties of edible bean flours and their application in food processing. The 9th Canadian Pulse Research Workshop, Ontario, Canada. November 2012
- Simons, C. W., Hall, C., and Tulbek, M. Composition and properties of pinto bean flour subjected to air classification and extrusion. AACC International Conference, Hollywood, Fl. October 2012
- Simons, C. W., Hall, C., Tulbek, M. Characterization and acceptability of pinto, navy and black bean extrudates. AACC International Conference, Palm Springs, CA. October 2011
- Simons, C. W., Jeradechachai, T., Manthey, F. A. and Hall, C. Effect of additives on yellow pea gluten-free pasta processing parameters and product quality. AACC International Conference, Palm Springs, CA. October 2011
- Simons, C. W., Hall, C. and Tulbek, M. Effects of extruder speeds on physical properties and in vitro starch digestibility of pre-cooked edible beans. AACC International Conference, Savannah, GA. October 2010
Cereal and Grains Association (CGA)