Polyphenol Research Group, University of Salamanca (GIP-USAL)
The group’s research activity focuses mainly on two avenues of investigation. The first pertains to the study of the role of phenolic compounds in the quality and stability of processed plant-based products, looking primarily at the phenolic maturity of red grapes and its impact on the sensory quality of red wines (essentially the colour and the astringency). In this area, the most recent research has focused on deepening the knowledge of astringency from a molecular perspective, by the use of physico-chemical techniques alongside computer-aided design and simulation. This avenue of research is orientated toward fundamental and applied science, which attracts interest and invites participation from the wine industry (both from wine-makers and auxiliary industries). The aim of this second area of research is to study the potential health impacts or benefits of dietary phenolic compounds: bioactivity (lifespan and resistance to oxidative stress) of phenolic compounds and derived metabolites, using Caenorhabditis elegans Markers of oxidative stress (ROS, oxidized proteins). Hemisynthesis of metabolites of phenolic compounds.
Faculty of Science at the University of Porto (FCUP) / Food Polyphenol Lab
The research group Química Orgánica Aplicada (QUINOA – Applied Organic Chemistry) in the Laboratorio de Química Verde (LAQV – Green Chemistry Lab) has been pursuing a separate area of investigation, focusing on the properties of polyphenols in foodstuffs; specifically:
- Describing the polyphenol content of certain food and drink (grapes, olives, red wine, red berries, fruit juice, etc).
- Establishing a relation between the polyphenol composition and the organoleptic properties of those foods.
- Comprehending the mechanisms involved in the colour and flavour of these foods and the changes which they undergo during storage and maturation.
- Innovating in relation to the technological process to improve the quality of wines and juices, working in partnership with industry.
- Studying the health benefits of polyphenols and the biological mechanisms involved in the process.
- Reusing byproducts of the agri-food industry for new applications in the food and cosmetic sectors.
University of Vigo / Agro-Environmental and Foodstuff Research Group
Our research combines the agro-environmental and foodstuff aspects with those of nutrition and public health. Our focus is split between two main areas:
- Distribution of agricultural organic chemical environmental contaminants within the food production chain: our focus is on how to achieve sustainable food production, with attention being paid to the bioaccumulation of pollutants and their effects on soil quality and crop yields. Since 1999, we have been studying the transport of pollutants and their metabolites within the agricultural groundwater system and the contamination of hydric resources and agricultural products, and of processed foods and the potential impact on human health due to the presence of pollutants in foods.
- Improving the sensory and functional quality of foods, and active, smart packaging strategies: attention is focused on developing new foods by recovering the functional ingredients (bio-active or sapid-aromatic) from byproducts, but also improving the usable life of products by using active, smart packaging.
“Programa de Cooperación INTERREG V-A España Portugal (POCTEP) 2014-2020”
BioChemCore (Polytechnic Institute of Bragança)
BioChemCore studies a range of natural compounds, confirming their bioactive properties and developing innovative cosmetic and food products. The main avenues of investigation pursued are:
- Natural product chemistry: extraction, identification, fractionation and isolation of chemical compounds from natural substances (mainly plants and fungi).
- Functional foods and nutraceuticals: development of nutraceuticals and innovative formulations of foodstuffs with functional properties.
- Natural product technology: investigation of emerging technologies to preserve natural matrices in order to completely safeguard food quality, safety and availability.
In addition to studying gamma and electron-beam radiation in preserving different products, the group is also studying the use of containers with protected environments and the application of natural components with preservative potential.
UNIVERSITY OF VALLADOLID, UVaMOX Group
Ageing of wine in barrels. Monitoring and description of barrel-aged wines. Management of the process, experimentation with alternative processes and with oxygen. Physico-chemical and sensory description of aged wines. Studying the usable lifetimes of barrels.
Active and passive micro-oxygenation processes. Micro-oxygenation systems for use during fermentation and ageing. Management of porous deposits, ceramic, cement, etc. Analysis of oxygen management in micro-oxygenation and nano-oxygenation.
Management and monitoring of the use of alternative systems. Study and description of various alternative systems. Management and use of alternative systems in wineries. Management of oxygen and wood in the form of alternative products. Differentiation of barrel-aged wines and wines aged with alternative techniques.
Management and monitoring of oxygen in wineries. Analysis of oxygen management in wineries, critical points, and silent oxygenation. Oxygenation auditing. Bottling and oxygen ingress into the bottle. Cork effect.
Pharmacognosy Lab, Faculty of Pharmacy. University of Porto
The Pharmacognosy Lab in the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Porto, offers teaching and carries out research and other scientific activities in the area of natural products, acting simultaneously on the chemical and biological facets. The main foci of the group’s activities include:
- The study of the metabolomic profile of natural products (phenolic compounds, organic acids, amino acids, alkaloids, carotenoids, fatty acids and phytosterols) and aquatic products (macroinvertebrates or algae)
- Quality control in natural matrices
- Identification of anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic molecules or those with applications in the fight against neurodegenerative conditions.
The group is also part of the Associated Laboratory REQUIMTE (Rede de Química e Tecnología – Chemistry and Technology Network).
University of Tras-os-Montes and Alto Douro
Developing innovative processing technologies, food analysis and value creation from the byproducts of agricultural production and agri-food industries for new applications in health, cosmetics and the food industry. Assessing the health benefits of functional foods. Effect of production technology on food quality. Evaluating biocompounds in pathogenic microorganisms. Innovative use of the biocompound composition of plant species in health, cosmetics and the food industry.
University of Coimbra
The team at the University of Coimbra is experienced in the field of secondary metabolites of medicinal and aromatic plants: ethnopharmacology, characterisation and isolation of valuable compounds for human wellbeing or molecules with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory or antitumoural properties.
The group’s main activities in the field of phenolic compounds include extraction, phytochemistry and evaluation of biological activities with regard to inflammatory disorders, innate immunity and cancer; pharmacokinetics, food safety, toxicology and development of cutting-edge in vitro models for safety profiles in early-life toxicity tests, which are heavily constrained by the new European legislation, actively seeking to reduce the use of animals in toxicology tests and early-stage pharmacological research.
Matarromera S.L. winery
R+D+i is one of the cornerstones of the company’s future development. At Matarromera, out interest and zeal to constantly improve and push our limits are evident in the clear and firm support for research and development. Research began in 2002 with our participation in the European Wine Panel Test project, the purpose of which was to design an Electronic Taste Panel, equipped with sensors capable of identifying and quantifying the organoleptic characteristics of wine in the same way as an experienced taster would.
Our initiatives at Bodegas Familiares Matarromera do not stop there, and in 2005, we set up the R+D+i Department (Research, Development and Innovation) to consolidate the company’s position on both the national and international stages. The objective of the R+D+i Department is to drive forward the development of new biotechnological products, constantly improving processes by implementing new technologies, and embrace the development of management systems which infuse throughout the world of wines, such as traceability, enterprise resource planning (ERP) and management of R+D+i itself.
Financiado por Programa de Cooperación INTERREG V-A España Portugal (POCTEP)