At iBET we bring together different areas of expertise, contributing to achieve a higher knowledge on different matrices and their bioactives, on the health promotion and disease prevention
iBET has been strongly engaged in the development of preclinical assays to evaluate the biological activity of functional foods, natural products, plant extracts and single compounds of plant or marine origin. These assays contribute to elucidate about possible human health promoting effects and complemented with bioaccessibility, bioavailability and human intervention studies, provide relevant knowledge on their Health Function. Distribution to target tissue can also be assessed using different analytical procedures and methodologies.
iBET has implemented chemical tests, enzymatic methods and cell-based assays to evaluate the bioactivity of the different samples:
- Anticancer activity
- Cardiovascular Health
Complex matrices including fruits (ex. Pomoids, citrus fruits, cactus pear), vegetables (watercress, broccoli), plants (aromatic herbs), olive oil, wine , fruit juices, honey, marine products as algae and halophyte plants and natural extracts derived from agri-food and fishery industry wastes as well as pure compounds have been tested. In vivo studies using animal models of diseases are performed in collaboration with other research groups, in order to evaluate disease prevention associated to food consumption.
Bioaccessibility – In vitro digestion
In vitro digestion provides important and scientifically based information that will enable to understand the mechanisms involved in the health effects of consuming foods and supplements, and the variability that can be expected amongst the consumers. iBET has experience on evaluating the bioaccessibility of foods and supplements using a standardized in vitro digestion method. Gastric and intestinal digested fractions are characterized by chromatographic techniques to identify the main metabolites and bioaccessible compounds.
Bioavailability – GUT transport and permeability studies
The bioavailability of bioactive compounds is firstly screened through transport and permeability studies using the Caco-2 cell model and/or co-cultures. These co-cultures comprise Caco-2 and HT29MTX cells and might also include Raji immune cells. This model allies intestinal enterocytes with mucus secretory cells.
Human Intervention Studies
iBET has the know-how required to design and coordinate controlled, randomized and prospective studies in collaboration with National and International Research Centers. Intervention studies are carried out with healthy volunteers and patients to:
- obtain evidence of the healthy benefits of the product, as an example determination of glycaemic index (GI);
- perform bioavailability assays;
- detect biomarkers of food products consumption.
These studies are performed using available methodologies.