Pharmaceutical Biology and Food Chemistry
The Pharmaceutical Biology Group (BIO/15) together with the Group of Food Chemistry (CHIM/10) address research work to the vegetable sources of products of interest for the food, well-being and pharmaceutical fields. The research activity is devoted
i) to the definition of the composition of plant extracts or distillates using a bioassay oriented strategy,
ii) to extraction, isolation, and identification of biologically active compounds,
iii) to control of quality, biological activity and safety of products from matrices of vegetable origin, and
iv) to develop innovative techniques suitable to deal with problems of herbal products. Studies are also addressed to the development of new strategies to define profiles of specific classes or groups of plant secondary metabolism (metabolite profiling) adopting the approaches of metabolomics as well as to multitrophic interactions.
Concerning Food Chemistry research activities, the Group has a strong and well established research experience in the Food Safety and Quality fields. In particular on the development and validation of analytical approaches (from sample preparation to analysis and data elaboration) aimed at quantifying food contaminants (xenobiotics, Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and process contaminants - furan, acrylamide etc.) at trace and ultra-trace levels in semi-finished and food-end products, baby foods and food supplements. Concerning Food Quality, the research deals with food authentication (botanical and geographical origin), process characterization (technological markers and process-on-line monitoring) and sensory quality definition through chemical markers by several approaches typical of OMICS disciplines - Foodomics, Falvoromics and Sensomics (i.e., multidimensional analytical techniques: GC-MS and ES-GC-MS, GCxGC-MS, LC-MS, bioguided assays and bioinformatics).