Integrated strategies to improve food quality, safety and functionality: towards a healthier diet.




Integrated strategies to improve food quality, safety and functionality: towards a healthier diet. Ref.: S2018/BAA-4393

COORDINATOR OF THE PROGRAM: Prof. Dr. María Luisa Marina Alegre, Universidad de Alcalá.

This Program (S2018/BAA-4393, AVANSECAL-II-CM) is funded by the Comunidad of Madrid and social (FSE) and structural (FEDER) Programs from the European Union.

In 2005, the research groups involved in this Program (researchers of recognized prestige in different aspects of food safety and quality) joined their efforts in a consortium to form a scientific-technical platform with the financial support of the Comunidad Autónoma of Madrid (ANALISYC). This experience showed that the consortium was able to solve problems that had not yet been addressed or for which no suitable solution existed.  For that purpose, a plethora of analytical tools were developed to give a prompt response to both existing and future problems. From this moment, this platform has been consolidated due to the high impact of the scientific results obtained and the intense research activities developed from 2006. After the ANALSYC Program, other three R+D Programs have been founded by the Comunidad of Madrid in subsequent calls: ANALISYC-II, AVANSECAL and AVANSECAL-II, this last program being nowadays under development.

This new Program is founded by the Comunidad of Madrid and European FSE and FEDER programs and is aimed to develop integrated strategies enabling to improve the quality, safety and functionality of foods as a way to advance to a healthier diet. With this purpose, new scientific knowledge will be generated on the chemical substances and processes affecting the safety of foods. Our interest will be focused on the investigation of the presence, bioaccessibility, bioaccumulation and toxicity of natural, persistent and emergent pollutants, the exposure to toxics originated in the food processing and packaging, the toxicity potentiation and the removal of food biolayers. Moreover, innovative strategies will be proposed to improve the quality and safety of foods that will be aimed to reduce the toxics generated during food processing, to develop new packages able to enhance the properties of preserved foods or improving their lifetime, the obtaining of substances with health benefits and the preparation of multifunctional extracts promoting these properties. The integration of the different strategies developed in this Program will allow to compare the traditional culinary processes with other alternative ones raised in the last years through the search of chemical markers of the main recipes of our culinary heritage as well as to reformulate recipes and processes enabling the elaboration of healthier and safer foods in the domestic and food services contexts, increasing the benefits and reducing risks. This Program constitutes a powerful multidisciplinary tool to face the present and future challenges in the field of food quality and safety. This will enable that the research groups participating in this Program put their scientific knowledge and future investigations at the service of the society which will imply direct benefits to the consumers and valuable contributions to solve current problems of food industry through a guaranteed knowledge transfer based on the interest and implication of different companies in this Program.