Food and Health
The unit of Food in Health develops work in Food and Nutritional sciences, bringing together researchers with various expertises, including analytical and organic chemists, pharmacists, biochemists, microbiologists, biological and chemical engineers. This multidisplinary team work in different and complementary areas of research and have solid expertise in:
- Chemical characterization of food and food-based products
- Sensory evaluation
- Natural Products extraction and Fractionation
- Formulation of bioactive ingredients
- Pre-clinical bioactivity evaluation using well established chemical, enzymatic and cell-based assays.
The Food in Health unit has established a network of collaborations with different national and international research teams, bridging different and complementary competences for the design and development of robust in vivo (animals and humans) tests for health claim substantiation of natural products, dietary supplements and functional foods.
One major outcome of the work developed is the relationship established between composition and function and recognition of synergetic effects between the different molecular entities present in food and natural ingredients. This knowledge is crucial for better understanding the role that bioactive ingredients, food, functional food and dietary supplements could have in preventing chronic and age-related diseases.
The group has a long standing cooperation with national food industries. Through contract research services, the Food in Health unit has provided scientific and technical support related with:
- Design and development of novel functional food products,
- Shelf-life studies, sensorial evaluation and microbiological and chemical testing
- Pre-clinical bioactivity characterization
- Design of human clinical trials for health claim substantiation of functional foods
- Support in the construction of scientific dossiers for health claims substantiation for submission to the European Commission (EC) and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
iBET is partner of rede INOVAR, PortugalFoods, Portuguese associations that gathers entities of the national scientific and technological system and regional and national entities of the agro-food sector.