The Vitamins and Carotenoids group at the ICTAN participates in the “Iberoamerican network for the study of carotenoids as food ingredients” (IBERCAROT), along with more than 40 groups from 13 iberoamerican countries. The main objective of IBERCAROT is to set up a stable, multidisciplinary and functional network of groups from the academia, the industry and the cooperation for development that team up to identify new sources of bioactive carotenoids, improve their production and enhance the sensory and nutritional value of foods and feeds that contain them. Ibercarot is funded by Latin American Program of Science and Technology for the Development (CYTED).
The carotenoid pigments are related to the colour of many plant (i.e. carrots, tomatoes) and animal (i.e. salmon flesh, eggs) products, hence they play an essential role on their acceptability by the consumers. Moreover, carotenoids are involved in key functions related to photosynthesis, are precursors of aroma compounds and they are of great nutritional relevance. The most widely studied and wellunderstood nutritional role for carotenoids is their provitamin A activity (some of them). In addition, they show several other biological activities, including antioxidant capacity, blue light filtering, immune modulation and regulation of cell differentiation and proliferation. A high carotenoid intake or high concentration in serum are associated with lower risk of several chronic diseases (i.e. cardiovascular, cancer, eye diseases).
Contact for further information: Begoña Olmedilla bolmedillalocalhost