About Zoraida DeFreitas, Ph.D.


Zoraida is the founder and owner of DeFreitas Nutrition. She is an accomplished, results-oriented, global business executive, with over 18 years experience in providing strategic and technical leadership to the food and beverage and dietary supplement industries.


Zoraida has experience growing major dietary supplement ingredient brands and developing new ingredient market categories, such as FloraGLO® Lutein in the eye health supplement category. As a Vice President of Research and Development at Kemin, she developed and implemented a global research process, based on stage-gate principles, to identify, evaluate and commercialize safe, nutritional ingredients with human health benefits. This process was used successfully to launch six products, in-license five new technologies, and identify three new potential products. Also at Kemin, she launched a novel process for the microencapsulation of high pay-load carotenoids for tableting application. For this invention, she was granted patents by the United States, the European and the Japanese patent offices. She is also the holder of three other patents on methods

to improve glucose control and cadiovascular health.


Prior to Kemin Health, she was with Quest International, formally an Unilever owned company, where she worked on fermented- and seaweed-derived hydrocolloids and hydrolyzed dairy and soy proteins for meat, dairy and/or nutraceutical applications.



  • Iowa State University, Ames, IA - Post Doctorate, Research Associate
  • Iowa State University, Ames, IA -  Ph.D. Food Science & Human Nutrition and Animal Science
  • Iowa State University, Ames, IA - M.S. Food Technology



  •  Solutions of carotenoids for use in foods and personal care products US Patent #6,844,020
  • Microcapsules having high carotenoid content. US Patent #6,663,900; EP1480736; JP 4989017
  • Method of improving cardiovascular health. US Patent #8,021,698 B2
  • Method of improving cardiovascular health. US Patent #8,673,370 B2
  • Composition and method for reducing post-prandial blood glucose US Patent #8,377877 B2
  • Process for binding carotenoids to proteins and the products thereof PCT/US2003/006241



  • GRAS Notice No. GRN 000140. Crystalline Lutein – FDA non-objection letter (June 2004)



  • Lewis, BJ, Herrlinger, KA, Craig, TA, Mehring-Franklin, CE, DeFreitas, Z, Hinojosa-Laborde, C. 2013. Antihypertensive effect of passion fruit peel extract and its major bioactive components following acute supplementation in spontaneously hypertensive rats. J. Nutr. Biochem. doi: 10.1016/j. jnutbio.2012.11.003. [Epub ahead of print].
  • C.L. Kruger, M. Murphy, Z. DeFreitas, F. Pfannkuch J. Heimbach. 2002. An Innovative Approach to the Determination of Safety for a Dietary Ingredient Derived From a New Source: Case Study Using a Crystalline Lutein Product. Food Che. Toxicol. 40 (11):1535-49.
  • DeFreitas, Z. Sebranek, J.G., Olson, D.G., and Carr, J.M. 1997. Carrageenan effects on thermal stability of meat proteins. J. Food. Sci. 62(3):544-547.
  • DeFreitas, Z., Sebranek, J. G., Olson, D.G., and Carr, J.M. 1997. Carrageenan effects
  • on salt-soluble meat proteins in models systems. J. Food Sci. 62(3):539-543.
  • DeFreitas, Z., Sebranek, J. G., Olson, and Carr, J. M. 1995. Freeze/thaw stability of cooked pork sausages as affected by salt, phosphate, pH, and carrageenan. J. Food Sci. 62(3):551-554.
  • DeFreitas, Z., and Molins, R.A. 1991. Mechanically deboned pork in fermented meat spreads. J. Food Sci. 56(5):1185-1190.
  • DeFreitas, Z., and Molins, R.A. 1988. Development of meat snack dips: chemical, physical, microbiological and sensory characteristics. J. Food Sci. 53(6):1645-1649.



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