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Department of Characterisation, Quality and Safety (DCCS)

The Department of Characterization, Quality and Safety (DCCS) performs multidisciplinary research thus involving Food Chemistry, Biochemistry and Physics, Processing and Microbiology as well as the interrelated food-health field. Joint DCCS capacities allow approaching a global picture of food quality. DCCS is committed to the design, and the chemical, biological and sensorial evaluations of healthy and safe foods. Also, research activities include studies on modifications and interactions of food components with the aim of improving food quality, safety and bioactivity.

Scientific areas

  • Development and application of innovative analytical techniques for food products and constituents
  • Bioactivity, bioaccesibility and biotransformation of food ingredients and constituents
  • Technological, organoleptic, toxicological and nutritional impact of food constituents and their interactions and modifications during processing
  • Biotechnology, novel postharvest and processing technologies to obtain safer and healthier products and food ingredients
  • Isolation and selection of native lactic acid bacteria strains for healthy food production
  • Rheology and texture of fresh, processed and/or preserved foods
  • Physical and biophysical properties of foods: ice crystal dynamics in the freezing process. Glassy state

Research group on Biophysical Approaches to Food, Food Processing and Preservation (FoodCRYOPHYS)

  • Dr. Antonio Diego Molina García 

Research group on Biotechnology and Postharvest Physiology (POSTBIOTEC)

  • Dr. Carmen Merodio Moreno 
  • Dr. María Isabel Escribano Garaizábal 
  • Dr. María Teresa Sánchez Ballesta

Research group on Quality and Functionality of Plant Foods (BIOACTIVEG)

  • Dr. Begoña de Ancos Siguero 
  • Dr. Concepción Sánchez-Moreno González 

Research group on Chemical Modifications in Processed Foods (CHEMPROFOOD)

  • Dr. Francisco José Morales Navas

Research group on Bioactive Molecules and Biotransformation (MOLBIOTRANS)

  • Dr. Tomás Herraiz Tomico 

Research group on Bioactive Ingredients Production and Characterization from Legumes and other vegetable sources (GRAINS4HEALTH)

  • Dr. Juana Frías Arevalillo 
  • Dr. Cristina Martínez Villaluenga
  • Dr. Elena Peñas Pozo 

Research group on Food Rheology and Texture (REOTEXTAL)

  • Dr. Mª Dolores Álvarez Torres 

Research group on Innovative Technologies for the Study of Bioactive Food Components (ENANTIOMET)

  • Dr. Gracia Patricia Blanch Manzano 
  • Dr. María Luisa Ruiz del Castillo
  • Francisca Holgado Arroyo
  • Irene Romero de la Fuente
  • Marta Mesías García
  • Lucía Giménez Cobo
  • Lucía González Mulero
  • Elena Olombrada Sacristán
  • Sara Bautista Expósito
  • Ana Irene Tomé Sánchez
  • Yadhira Briset Flores Ramírez
  • Haroll Samuel Mateo Feliz
  • Adriana Fuentes Peña

Chemical / Biochemical Assays: Chromatographic techniques (HPLC, GC, FPLC) coupled to mass spectrometry, fluorescence, refractive index, UV-Vis absorption, spectroscopy, etc. Studies based on immunological, gel and capillary electrophoretical, spectrophotometric and fluorometric approaches.

Further details are included below:

  • Protein purification; recombinant proteins; molecular biology techniques (PCR, genomic amplification)
  • Modifications of structural components: chemical, biochemical and enzymatic methods; metabolite identification and biological activity measurement
  • Oxidised lipids and polymers determinations; lipid availability assays; oxidative and thermal stability measurements
  • Analysis and activity of nitrogen compounds, indols and alkaloids
  • Evaluation of the antioxidant, antiradical, antihypertensive, antidiabetic and antiglicative capacity in in-vitro models
  • Application of chemical and biochemical indexes to process control
  • Determination of new chemical process contaminants (acrylamide, glycotoxins, furan, hydroxymethylfurfural)

Rheological, Structural and Biophysical studies

  • Rheological, structural and sensorial characterization of foods. Texture optimization
  • Physical and biophysical effects of low temperatures; low temperature calorimetry; water and lipid phase changes; glassy state; ice nucleation and recrystallization. Food nano-structure by microscopy and hydrodynamics

Studies of optimization of biotechnological processes

  • Seed germination, advanced plant food fermentation and enzymatic hydrolysis of grain legumes and other plant foods
  • Bioactivity of plant protein-derived peptides, glucosinolates and their hydrolysis derivatives, antioxidant vitamins and polyphenols
  • In vitro digestion models, cell culture assays; in vivo studies

Comprehensive studies: multidisciplinary approach

  • Risk-benefit global evaluation
  • Evaluation of nutritional quality and functional properties of foods by innovative analytical techniques, including biological activity markers, food bioactive compounds and immunological studies
  • Development of new functional foods and ingredients by new methodologies
  • Consumption and acceptability studies

Head of Department

Dra. Begoña de Ancos Siguero