Coordinator: Isabel Maria Pinto Leite Viegas Oliveira Ferreira
Food & Nutrition thematic line search for ATTRACTIVE, SAFE, SUSTAINABLE AND HEALTHIER FOODS, anchored to work programs of the Horizon 2020 societal challenges SC1, SC2 and SC5 and address the key food and nutrition security priorities of FOOD2030 strategy.
LAQV researchers strongly contribute to the outstanding position awarded by University of Porto in Shangai ranking’s 2018, 12th in the world and 3th in Europe, in the subject Food Science and Technology.
The thematic line Food & Nutrition joins four main topics (i) innovative analytical methods for food compounds analyses; (ii) food composition and new technological processes that promote higher quality, nutritional properties, preservation / shelf-life, safety, and authenticity; (iii) understand the mechanisms of biologically active food components; (iv) recovery of high-value compounds from complex (bio)medium.
The main research vectors include, but are not limited to:
- multi-parametric chromatographic and spectroscopic methods for evaluation of nutrients, contaminants, bioactive and aroma compounds;
- novel chemometric methods that provide realtime, non-destructive analysis in laboratory and industrial settings;
- electrochemical (bio)sensors for foodstuffs quality control that present high selectivity and sensitivity, while allowing portability and miniaturization;
- mitigation strategies to decrease human exposition to food contaminants;
- DNA-based methods for species identification, adulterants and allergens detection;
- testing the activity of beneficial and harmful food compounds by using human cells in vitro and tissues;
- omics-based approaches to understand the patterns of expressed genes and proteins, providing new insights into regulatory networks and identification of genes relevant to new biological processes;
- extraction of bioactive compounds from industrial wastes, including agroindustrial effluents and microalgae biomass, for novel technological applications;
- noninvasive techniques to study animal nutrition and environmental impact;
- microencapsulation to stabilize food ingredients, extend food shelflife and control taste;
- quasi energetically costless food preservation by hyperbaric storage;
- polysaccharide-based films for replacement of food preservatives.
Besides food quality, authenticity and safety, Food & Nutrition thematic line contributes to increase the nutritional value of foods, keeping in mind the conservation of natural resources, the promotion of sustainable technologies that minimize food losses, implement circular economy principles across the whole food system with reduced environmental footprint.