Benjamin K. Simpson


Image by Alex Tran.


Tel.: 514-398-7737  |  benjamin.simpson [at] (Email)  |  Macdonald-Stewart Building MS1-031


PhD Biochemistry, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada 1984
BSc Biochemistry, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology (KNUST), Ghana 1975

Short Bio

Professor Benjamin Simpson is a graduate in Biochemistry from Memorial University of Newfoundland, where he also carried out postdoctoral work till December 1985. He joined the Food Science Department at McGill in June 1987 after spending a period of time at the Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), University of Florida at Gainesville in the USA, as a Research Associate from January 1986 to April, 1987. His research program involves the post-mortem biochemistry of marine organisms, in relation to enzymes. Specifically on digestive enzymes from marine animals, their characterization to discover their unique properties that may make them better suited for particular applications compared with their traditional counterparts; role of enzymes in color and texture deterioration in fish and shellfish and development of strategies to control the deleterious effects of enzymes in foods during processing and storage; and the use of enzymes in transforming discards from food harvesting / processing into value added products of commercial relevance. Examples of the value-added products prepared by the enzyme assisted procedures include natural food pigments, proteins, bioactive peptides, flavor compounds and chitin, etc., for use as food processing aids. Dr. Simpson is responsible for teaching Food Commodities, Food Chemistry 2 and Enzymology.

Awards and Recognitions

Doctor of Science Honoris causa (D.Sc. hc), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, Ghana. (2015)
Taishan Scholar, Blue Industry Leadership, Shangdong Province, China. (2013)
Earl P. McFee Award for outstanding contributions to the fields of fisheries science and technology (2000)

Active Affiliations

  • Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)
  • Atlantic Fisheries Technologists (AFT)
  • Pacific Fisheries Technologists (PFT)

Research Interests

Research activities have 2 main foci:

  • on the post-mortem biochemistry of marine organisms - more specifically on the role of naturally present enzymes in seafood in postharvest seafood quality alterations;
  • using “green technologies” to enhance the value of seafood harvesting/processing waste material.

Current Research

  • Enzymes from marine organisms (digestive enzymes, transglutaminase, polyphenoloxidase)
  • Post-mortem biochemistry of fish/shellfish
  • Chitin and chitosan from crustacean waste
  • Biodegradable plastic films from chitosan, gelatin and zein
  • Carotenoid pigments from crustacean waste
  • Biodiesel from fish skins


FDSC 305 Food Chemistry 2 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

FDSC 319 Food Commodities 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

Graduate Course:

FDSC 515 Enzymology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


View a list of current publications



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