Antioxidants Research Group is located in the Food Technology Department in University of Lleida. The group belongs to the Vegetal Products Technology Unit (UPV), which is part of the Food Technology Center (XaRTA) from Generalitat de Catalunya and is considered a quality group (2000SGR00098) in the II Research Plan of Catalunya. Recently the group has joined the Agrotecnio research center, an excellence research center in agriculture, animal production and food technology at the University of Lleida created as a succession of UDL-IRTA Foundation.
The group has many years’ experience in the improvement of the olive oil quality, and nowadays our research is more focused on the study of bioactive compounds which are of special interest for the development and formulation of functional foods.
Research line in virgin olive oil: For many years the group has been dedicated to the study of virgin olive oils, mainly of the Arbequina variety, has studied the influence of agronomic factors, ripening index of the olive, application of irrigation techniques to the olive tree...) and the extraction process on the quality of the oil. They are important fears given that there is renewed interest in the cultivation of olive trees and the production of high quality, premium oils. He has carried out two projects in the field of health in collaboration with clinical groups to provide knowledge on the functionality of the phenols of olive oils. Currently, it collaborates with companies to optimize their production systems and obtain oils with specific properties, such as oils rich in phenols or oils with greater stability against oxidation.
Bioactive Compounds Research Line: It is oriented to the characterization of minor components from the ingredient to the final product. The group has acquired great experience in the development and validation of methodologies for the analysis of phenolic compounds, vitamins and soluble fiber in ingredients and food formulas. At the same time, a line is developed focused on the development of methodologies and their application in the evaluation of the digestibility, the bioavailability of phenolic compounds through in vivo and in vivo experimentation. Currently, a study of the nutritional quality of new apple varieties of red pulp is included in this line.
Research line: Cereals for use in human nutrition. In collaboration with groups of Genetic Improvement, which have developed barley rich in β-glucans and purple barleys rich in anthocyanins, our group works on the selection of ingredients and the formulation of food with cereals. In addition, it is carried out a study of the influence of the composition of beer barley on the quality of beer.
Research line: Improvement of quality and product development. The group is associated with the mixed platform of Food Science and Technology of Eurecat. In the facilities of the UdL and in collaboration with the Scientific-Technical Services, services are offered to develop new ingredients and foods that are healthy and accepted by consumers. There is also experience in the design of sensory evaluation protocols and in the organization of acceptance and preference tests with consumers.