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Quality and Processing of Plant-derived Food

The improvement of existing and new food products meeting consumer’s demand is one of the main aims of contemporary research.

The Quality and Processing of Plant-Derived Food area studies the preservation of plant-derived food and its quality and the safe and efficient processing of food.

In addition, this research places special emphasis on food ingredients being healthy and having other benefits beyond basic nutritional values and on the analysis of plants and foods for phytochemical composition.

Outputs from these research activities contribute to the improvement of existing and development of new food products that meet the consumer's demand, producing safe and nutritious foods, modifying food components for food application, finding indigenous new materials or ingredients.

Food safety is also a major area of research, including the removal of anti-nutritional components, decontamination from mycotoxins, mitigation of pesticide residues content, risk evaluation of food additives.

This research field is concerned with the application of biological, chemical, engineering, and physical principles to the conversion of raw agricultural products into processed foods suitable for human consumption: multidisciplinary approaches are adopted in order to achieve this main goal.

Alma Food research overview

  • Development and optimization of plant-derived-food through sensory and chemical fingerprint analysis
  • Yeast extracts and bacteria and their effects on processing plant food safely
  • Detection and control of disease-producing microorganisms (food-borne pathogens), and post-harvest treatments for the removal/mitigation of pesticides and other contaminants (mycotoxins)
  • Identification, characterization and control of food allergens, operational traceability (molecular genomics) and safety of fresh products
  • Determination of the effects of processing and storage on food quality and safety
  • Economic-environmental evaluation of new products and technologies, food sensory properties and their nutritional and health properties (prevention of chronic/degenerative diseases, bioavailability of dietary bioactive compounds as related to with gut microflora, intestinal bacterial population’s dynamics)
  • Flavours from plant sources by means of microorganism-mediated processes
  • Evaluation of the needs and expectations of food market and consumers
  • Development of special and tailored food for the prevention of specific diseases