Lineas de investigacion

Chemical modifications in processed foods(CHEMPROFOOD)



We investigate the chemical modifications and interactions of food constituents that take place through the Maillard reaction and lipid oxidation during thermal processing at industrial, catering and domestic settings and have an impact on the quality, safety and bioactivity of the foods. We study the beneficial and harmful properties for the consumer of new food formulations and ingredients by applying a risk / benefit model, and with special relevance to so-called ultra-processed foods. We develop and apply mitigation strategies of the formation of chemical process contaminants. Ending, we transfer the results of our research to society (administration, regulators, productive sector, and consumers).

Research Lines

  • New analytical methodologies in the determination of Maillard products and lipid oxidation with implications on food quality and safety,
  • Analysis, mitigation, bioaccessibility and exposure to chemical process contaminants in foods,
  • Strategies to delay oxidation in oils and bioactive lipids,
  • Antiglycative capacity of natural compounds obtained from food by-products.


  • Analysis of food constituents (sugars, carbohydrate, proteins, amino acids, vitamins, phenolic acids, etc.).
  • Quantitative determination of polar compounds, triglyceride polymers, oxidized triglycerides, triglyceride dimers, diglycerides and free fatty acids, process-induced contaminants (acrylamide, hydroxymethylfurfural, furan), protein glycation markers (furosine, carboxymethyllysine, pentosidine), melanoidins, antioxidant capacity, in vitro bioaccessibility, antihypertensive capacity, antiglycative capacity (fructosamine, BSA-Glc, MGO-trapping), oxidative stability by Rancimat, epoxy-, hydroxy- and ketoacids.
  • Development of kinetic models and upscaling to foods.
  • Application to frying, baking, toasting and sterilization.
  • Food matrices such as coffee and surrogates, potato, cereals and derivatives, oils, fats, milk-based infant foods.


  • Tipo: Protección de creación intelectual (software de aplicación para teléfonos móviles)
    Título: SAFEFRYING. Aplicación de móvil para reducir el riesgo de la presencia de la contaminante acrilamida en las patatas fritas través de la evaluación objetiva del color”.
    Autor(es): F.J. Morales; M. Mesías; C. Delgado
    Centro: Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología de los Alimentos y Nutrición (ICTAN). Fecha: 03/12/2018. Número: 6397-2018 acta notarial CSIC
  • TIPO: Patente de transferencia I+D
    Título: Procedimiento de obtención de una cobertura alimentaria para la inhibición de contaminantes químicos de procesado.
    Autor(es): M.P. Montero; M.C. Gómez-Guillén; F.J. Morales; B. Jiménez-Castillo. Centro: Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología de los Alimentos y Nutrición (ICTAN). Fecha: 09/09/2010
    Número: ES1641.808 (LICENCIA: P-201030348CSIC-MAT)
    Licenciada: SI (19/01/2012)


Morales, F.J.; Mesías, C.; Delgado-Andrade, C. Association between Heat-Induced Chemical Markers and Ultra-Processed Foods: A Case Study on Breakfast Cereals. Nutrients, 2020, 12, 1418. doi: 10.3390/nu12051418

Holgado, F., Márquez-Ruiz, G., Ruiz-Méndez, M.V., Velasco, J. Influence of oil droplet size on the oxidative stability of the free and encapsulated fractions of freeze-dried microencapsulated sunflower oil. International Journal of Food Science and Technology, 2020, 55(2), 833-840. doi: 10.1111/ijfs.14369.

Mesias, M.; Delgado-Andrade, C.; Holgado, F.; Morales, F.J. Acrylamide content in French fries prepared in households: A pilot study in Spanish homes. Food Chemistry, 2018, 260 (15), 44–52. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2018.03.140

Navarro, M; Morales, F.J. Effect of hydroxytyrosol and olive leaf extract on 1,2-dicarbonyl compounds, hydroxymethylfurfural and advanced glycation endproducts in a biscuit model. Food Chemistry, 2017, 217, 602–609. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2016.09.039

Delgado-Andrade, C., Pastoriza, S., Peinado, M.J.; Rufián-Henares, J.A.; Navarro, M.P.; Rubio, L.A. Modifications in bacterial groups and short chain fatty acid production in the gut of healthy adult rats after long-term consumption of dietary Maillard reaction products”. Food Res. Int., 2017, 100, 134-142. doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2017.06.067.

Mesías, M; Holgado, F; Márquez-Ruiz, G.; Morales, F.J. Risk/Benefits considerations of a new formulation of wheat-based biscuit supplemented with different amounts of chia flour. LWT-Food Science and Technology, 2016, 73, 528-535. doi: 10.1016/j.lwt.2016.06.056.

Projects, Contracts, Agreements

FEDER projects

Integrated strategies for improving the quality, safety and functionality of foods: towards a healthy diet. (AVANSECAL-II-CM)

Main Researcher: ML Marina (IP ICTAN: FJ Morales) / Start Date: 01/01/2019 / End Date: 12/31/2022 / Institution: Comunidad de Madrid. CM / Reference number: S2018/BAA-4393
Research Group: Chemical modifications in processed foods(CHEMPROFOOD)

Acrylamide exposure and bioaccesibility in foodservices and traditional cooking

Main Researcher: C. Delgado and M. Mesías / Start Date: 01/01/2019 / End Date: 12/31/2021 / Institution: MCIU/AEI/ERDF, EU / Reference number: RTI2018-094402-B-I00
Research Group: Chemical modifications in processed foods(CHEMPROFOOD)

PhD Thesis, Master's Thesis and Degree Thesis

Display PhD Thesis, Master's Thesis and Degree Thesis

Tesis Doctoral: In vitro study of the antiglycative capacity and mechanism of action of agri-food by-products: Identification of an antiglycantive plant-based extract and its evaluation in a food matrix and cell model (2016)

Author: Marta Navarro Gómez / Director: Francisco José Morales Navas

Institution: Universidad Complutense de Madrid