Ensemble as a whole

The consortium integrating AVANSECAL-II-CM program is constituted by 5 research groups of 4 different institutions (3 universities and CSIC) and 2 laboratories RedLab (from 2 universities), all of them with an extensive experience in the control and improvement of food quality and safety fields from different perspectives and with certified contributions in the business sector. It is based on different consolidated research groups, of sufficient critical mass, and with recognized prestige in national and international policy in the food analysis and technology fields. All of them have significantly contributed to the progress of knowledge in the food area as evidenced in their scientific-technical contributions, in either case, scientific articles or patents.

Additionally, they provide human and technological resources endorsing the consortium capacity to confront new challenges continuously emerging in this field. Besides this experience in the field of food analysis, the profiles of the groups embrace also experts in food chemistry, technology process, nutrition and proteomic. This grant the consortium a multidisciplinary nature, essential for food analysis and quality and safety enhanced.

The scientific and technological capacity of the participants are reinforced by the success achieves in the last programs funded by Comunidad de Madrid (ANALISYC, ANALISYC­II and AVANSECAL), where the work of the consortium as a whole has been demonstrated and has allowed the addressing of important challenges solving specific problems in the food sector.

The participant groups and laboratories gather a consolidated whole of human resources highly qualified and latest technology which represent a high potential to address successfully new scientific-technological challenges raised in the proposal. Among the technological sources available, should be mentioned the sample preparation techniques environmentally friendly (PLE, SPE, SPME, MIPs, MISPE or focused ultrasound) and advanced analysis techniques (gas chromatography, liquid chromatography, capillary electrophoresis or bidimensional separation techniques, all of them coupled to mass spectrometry with quadrupole, quadrupole-time of flight, ion trap, Orbitrap etc.) that allow to focus in the reduction of economic and environmental costs.

The experience gained in the revalorization of food industry waste for obtaining bioactive substances contributing on the sustainability of the food chain, development of metabolomic platforms for the comprehensive characterization of food or food processing, searching of biomarkers, detection of frauds, mitigation of the toxic compounds during processing, development of active packaging and studies of the potential toxicity of contaminants in foods, contribute to the consortium a relevant potential to confront challenges posted by this Program.

Combining the activity of the groups and laboratories would be a step towards a healthy diet improving citizens’ life standards. In particular, the proceedings will include the reformulation of recipes and procceses in both, home environment and restoration, for the food production with more health benefits and less risks, as well as the evaluation of alternative culinary processes to traditional cook common in “new cuisine”, of great economic relevance for the region.

The scientific-technological capacities cited are strengthened for the collaborated companies making available the experience acquired in several I+D years to improve the characteristic of food and their functionality, the potential of the pilot plant for food manufacture with specific characteristics, etc. and ultimately, contribute to the growth and innovation of industries in the region. Added to all of that were the scientific-technological capacities of companies with scientific instrumentation and chemical products that will provide the more innovative systems and the advice needed for the Program to progress. The groups and laboratories in their whole are in a very good situation to attract additional funds through the participation in different public or private-public consortiums in competitive calls.

The collaboration between the groups included in the consortium presents an undeniable added value justified by the complementarity of the expertise and activities developed in each group aligned with the goals of the Program. Moreover, the existing infrastructure in each of the groups and laboratories will be shared to all members of the consortium which will address complex problems and will multiply the success rates. Similarly, the knowledge of the consortium, through the supervision of doctoral theses or master’s dissertation, will facilitate the exchange of researchers between groups to learn a broad range of techniques and procedures, and the possibility of researchers to do stays abroad, national or international, with groups in collaboration with the Program.

UAH-QA group: University of Alcalá – Analytical Chemistry – Techniques of (Micro)-separation

The group Techniques of (Micro)-separation is responsible for the coordination of this Program and has wide experience developing analytical methods based on the use of separative and microseparative techniques  (characterize by their low environmental impact) in order to solve problems related to food safety and quality.

The main lines of research are the following:

  • Development of new analytical methodologies for the extraction of proteins and peptides, based on the use of nanomaterials, high-intensity ultrasounds and enzymes.

  • Search of new sources of bioactive substances (polyphenols, proteins, peptides, phytosterols) in plant food and waste from the food industry (fruit bones and skin, among others).

  • Application of proteomic techniques to the identification of proteins and peptides in food and waste from food industry.

  • Development of non-focused metabolomic strategies for the comprehensive characterization of food, food processing and search of biomarkers with quality and potential application to fraud detection.

  • Development of analytical methodologies of chiral separation applied to the enantiomeric determination of interest compounds in foods (protein and non-protein amino acids, sweeteners) and in contaminants in foods (agrochemical, among others)

  • Development of methodologies for the determination of amino acids, peptides and proteins as markers of safety and quality of food.

The group has the scientific instrumentation for this research activity: a capillary HPLC, 3 HPLC (one of them with fraction collector), with UV and fluorescence detectors, 4 capillary electrophoresis (CE) equipment, 2 mass spectrometers (one with QTOF and the other with ion trap), both coupled to an HPLC, micro-LC and CE, fractionator of proteins by isoelectrofocus off-gel, gel electrophoresis and basic lab material. Besides, the group has access to the Research Support Centre of Alcalá University.

The work of the group has resulted in the development of numerous research projects, in publishing numerous works in prestigious international journals, patents, conferences and the collaboration with prestigious national and international research groups. In addition, the research group has always sought have a close contact with the business world and it has collaborated with various companies of the food sector such as AMC Innova Juices and Drinks, Faroliva, Postres Reina, Prosur, etc and of the analytical instrumentation sector such as Agilent Technologies, Bruker and Enantiosep or others such as Novozymes (enzymes) and Bioibérica (fertilizers).

The most relevant results of the last five years in relation to the program can be summarized in the following milestones:

  • 55 Research articles in prestigious international journals indexed (JRC).

  • 10 Book chapters of International leading publishers.

  • 5 patents.

  • 63 Communications for congresses, 41 in international field and 22 in national field, all of them of high prestige, being remarkable the achievement of 5 awards for best poster and/or communication.

  • 5 Doctoral theses, 3 of them with international/European mention and 1 with international co-supervision; furthermore, 1 has received the extraordinary PhD award and other one the Accesit to the best Doctoral Thesis in 2017-2018 of Comunidad de Madrid by the RSEQ-STM.


Similarly, in the past five years, the research group has participated in the following projects financed in competitive calls and related to the project theme:

  1. Innovative analytical methodologies for food quality control and safety (ANALISYC-II). Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Maria José González Carlos. Principal Investigator of UAH-QA Group: Prof. Dr. Maria Luisa Marina Alegre. Funded by: Autonomous Community of Madrid. Ref. S-2009 / AGR-1464.

  2. Advanced strategies for food improvement and quality control (AVANSECAL). Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Maria Luisa Marina Alegre. Principal Investigator of UAH-QA Group: Prof. Dr. Maria Luisa Marina Alegre. Funded by: Comunidad de Madrid. Ref. S2013/ABI­3028

  3. New nanoadditives for the chiral separation by capillary electrophoresis. Application to biomarkers determination. Principal Investigator: Dras. Maria Luisa Marina Alegre (IP1) and María Castro Puyana (IP2). Funded by: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad. Ref. CTQ2016-­76368­-P

  4. Valuation of solid vegetable waste from the food industry. Principal Investigator: Dr. Maria Concepcion Garcia Lopez. Funded by: Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. Ref. AGL2012-36362.

  5. Development of sustainable methods for the use of subproducts from food industry with high protein content. Principal Investigator: Dra. María Concepción García López. Funded by: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad. Ref. AGL2016­79010­-R.

Moreover, the group have participated in a transfer project of technology to industry:

  • Development of new functional food based on the addition of bioactive peptides extracted from sub-products of agro-food industry: assessment of fruit bone and olives (PEPTIFUNCIONAL). Representative of the group: AMC Innova Juice and Drinks S.L. funded by: Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico e Industrial (CDTI). Participants: AMC Innova Juice and Drinks S.L., Faroliva, Prosur, Postres Reina, Universidad de Alcalá, Centro Tecnológico Nacional de la Conserva y Alimentación. Responsable in UAH: Dra. Maria Concepción García López. Ref. EXP 00083244/ITC­20151193.

There has been a close co-operation with other companies which endorses the intense activity of knowledge transfer of the group. Moreover, in the past few years, the group has been participating in several activities of scientific dissemination such as Science Week or Chemistry in Action, a TV-2 program, a radio-UNED show dedicated to this Program, several news on the radio, TV or newspaper.

Grupo UAH-QA

CSIC-AA group: CSIC – Institute of Food Science, Technology and Nutrition - Chemical Changes in Processed Food

The group of “Chemical Changes in Processes Food” of State Agency of  Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) with affiliation in Institute of Food Science and Technology and Nutrition (ICTAN) from Madrid, has a wide experience in the study of the interaction and modification of the major and minor constituents in food during thermal processing. The research activity of the group has the aim of deepen into the study the chemical modifications and interactions of food constituents during processing, with special interest in new compounds generated in Maillard reactions and of lipid oxidation with impact in quality, safety and bioactivity aspects. This group studies the beneficial/pernicious properties to the consumer of the compounds formed during processing/cooking of food in a risk/benefit model. In detail, i) develops new analytical strategies in the determination of Maillard products and of lipid oxidation, ii) analysis, presence, mitigation and exposure to chemical contaminants during processing, iii) antiglicant capacity of compounds from food sub-products.

The group has several scientific-technical capacities needed for the program implementation such as: i) analysis of food constituents (sugars, carbohydrates, proteins, amino acids, vitamins, phenolic acids, etc.), ii) quantitative determination of polar compounds, polymers of triglycerides, diglycerides, free fatty acids, iii) analysis of contaminants from chemical processing (acrylamide, hydroxymethylfurfural, furan, 3-monochloropropanodiol ester), iv) protein glycation marker (furosine, carboxymethyllisine, pentosidin, argypyrimidine), v) antioxidant polymers (melanoidins), vi) evaluation of antiglicant capacity in vitro ( fructosamine, BSA-Glc, MGO-trapping) and in cellular models (HepG2), vii) oxidative stability Rancimat, epoxy-, hrydroxi- and cetoacids, viii) kinetic models and processing escalation in frying, baking, toasting and sterilization, ix) research in matrices such as coffee and substitutes, potatoes, cereals and by-products, oils and fats and infant food milk-based.

The group has the scientific instrumentation needed for the development of this researcher activity consisting in a capillary electrophoresis (CE-DAD) equipment, two HPLCIR/DAD/FLUO, a preparative collector HPLC, a low pressure LC-IR for molecular exclusion, HPLCQQQ, GC-FID, UV­VIS­FLUO plate reader and preparative lab equipment. Access to Technological Support Center of ICTAN-CSIC where are two pilot plants of food processing, a sensorial analysis unit, among others. Of special relevance is the access to the Unit of instrumental, microbiological and analytical techniques (belongs to RED-LAB) with a wide offer in scientific instrumentation (ion chromatography, 3 GC-MS, two of them with head space, atomic absorption, HPLCQQQ, HPLC-QToF, lybraries, etc.).

In the last 5 years, the CSIC-AA group has participated in competitive research regional/national/international projects (10/1.111.687,67 eur)  and contracts with national and European private companies (11/355.858,77 eur). CISC-AA has published 63 articles SCI, 10 book chapters and 70 conferences. It is noted the collaboration with companies in the agro-food sector such as Frumen, Ibersnacks, Aperitivos Medina, Aperitivos Risi, Asociafruit, Supracafe, Mocay, Fortaleza, Grupo Siro, Oriva, Qualityfry and European such as Spectralys Innovation, Altho Bret’s and Meijer.

The remarkable achievements and results in the past 5 years (July 2013- June 2018) are summarized in:

  • 49 research articles in prestigious international journals indexed (JRC)

  • 9 book chapters in recognized international editorials.

  • 1 patent (n.201031348) of invention licensed exclusively until September 2030.

  • 50 conference communications (24 orals and 26 poster), being 29 nationals y 21 internationals, 11 of them invited.

  • 1 doctoral thesis

Some relevant projects are:

  1. Innovative analytical methodologies for the food quality and safety (ANALISYC­II). M.J. González Carlos. Entity: Comunidad de Madrid. (1/1/2010 ­31/12/2013). S­2009/AGR­1464.

  2. Advanced strategies for the improvement of food quality and safety control (AVANSECAL). IP: M.L. Marina Alegre. Entity: Comunidad de Madrid. (1/10/2014 ­30/09/2018). S2013/ABI­3028.

  3. Identification of global strategies of mitigation acrylamide formation during panela elaboration: Promotion of a private public support network in South America ­ COOPB20288. J. Morales Navas. Entity: Agencia Estatal CSIC. (01/01/2018 – ­31/12/2019).

  4. Incidence of domestic frying and collecting restoration of new contaminants during processing (SAFEFRYING) AGL2015­64234­R. (F.J. Morales Navas). Entity: (1/01/2016 – ­31/12/2018, prorogued until 31.dic.2019).

  5. Developing of new strategies for the evaluation of the antiglican capacity of food enriched in natural extracts and its physiological approximation. (CSIC­201370E027). F.J. Morales. Entity: Agencia Estatal CSIC. (15/01/2013 – ­14 /01/2017).

  6. By-products of physical refining of olive pomace oil: characterization, evaluation of bioactive compounds and design of microencapsulated for use in food (AGL2013­45110­R). V. Ruiz Méndez. Entity: MINECO (1/012014 – 31/12/2018).

  7. DegustaCiencia for the elderly (FCT­16­11433). M. Blanch Rojo. Entity: FECYT­MINECO. (01/01/2017­31/12/2017).

  8. New formulations for fried and baked snacks: impact in the formation of processed contaminants (201770I025). Delgado Andrade. Entity: Agencia Estatal CSIC (01/12/2017­ – 30/11/2018).

Projects of special relevance of technology transfer to industry:

  1. Study of the fried olive pomace oil behaviour compared to conventional and high oleic sunflower oil. Entity: Interprofessional of olive pomace oil (18/09/2017­18/04/2018).

  2. Design and elaboration of a new gourmet coffee with enhanced properties of melanoidins. Entity: CDTI­MINEICO­SUPRACAFE. (20/12/2017­ – 19/12/2020).

  3. Study of the incidence of domestic frying operations of commercialized potatoes in the acrylamide formation. Entity: ASOCIAFRUIT (01/01/2015­31/12/2015).

  4. Online analyzer of acrylamide carcinogenic neoformed compound and quality parameters in fried Food (n.E!11782). Entity: EUROSTARS­2 (EUREKA­H2020). 12/04/2018­ – 11/04/2020.

Besides, this group has a relevant activity in scientific dissemination activities. Their members are part of Scientific Culture Unit of ICTAN-CSIC, and recently a new Project for the Promotion of the Scientific Culture, Technology and Innovation (FECYT) has been approved.


CSIC-AI group: CSIC – Institute of General Organic Chemistry - Instrumental Analysis and Environmental Chemistry

The CSIC-AI is a multidisciplinary group consisting of researchers of international relevance from two different institutes of the CSIC, the Institute of General Organic Chemistry (IQOG) and the Institute of Science and Food Technology and Nutrition (ICTAN).

As a whole, all researchers of this group have a common profile that is characterized by their high specialization in the development of new methodologies of sample preparation and analysis by chromatographic separation techniques coupled, mainly, to mass spectrometry (MS) for its application to the resolution of current problems related to food quality and safety. The synergies generated from the interaction and complementarity of the researchers have resulted in several valuable contributions in this field in the last decade.  In terms of food safety, highlight the group’s experience in the development, characterization and validation of innovative analytical methodologies for the determination of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) polychlorodibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorodibenzo furans (PCDFs), organochlorine insecticides (DDTs), and afterwards, pesticides and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). Likewise, the group’s research have been expanding to other emerging contaminants (phthalates, parabens, bisphenol A, brominated and phosphorated flame retardants, among others), other matrixes (supplements and food packaging) and other approximations (massive and non-orientated screening for the discovery of new contaminants). Similarly, the group has extensive experience in the development of methods for the detection of adulterations and the search of markers that guarantee the authenticity of food, and in the development and implementation of new methodologies in this fields, from the used of pressurized liquid extraction (PLE), the assisted extraction by microwave (MAE), to the use of chemometric techniques for their optimization, and the development of methodologies for the chromatographic analysis (generally, coupled to MS) for the characterization of complex extracts obtained. Also noted the work developed in relation to the isolation and characterization of bioactive compounds from natural sources and surpluses from the food industry, as well as the pioneers studies regarding the use of ionic liquids for the fractionation and selective isolation of bioactive carbohydrates present in these extracts.

The group, with minor changes, was created and consolidated during the three previous programs of R&D in Technologies convened by the Community of Madrid and it is based on multiple collaborations and joint projects achieved over recent years, such as 5 project from the National Plan (AGL2009­11909, AGL2009­09733, AGL2012­37201, CTQ2012­32957 and AGL2016­80475­R; 60% of the applicant group participates in the latter), 1 with companies (CENIT­2008 1004) and 1 with the Ramón Areces foundation.

From a quantitative point of view, the most important results obtained in the last 5 years related to this Project can be summarized:

  • 48 research articles in prestigious international journals indexed (SCI)

  • 11 research articles in non-SCI journals and dissemination journals.

  • 11 chapters of International leading publishers.

  • 1 eddited book ‘Food Oligosaccharides: Production, Analysis and Bioactivity’. Editors: M.L. Sanz y F.J. Moreno. Editorial: Wiley­Blackwell. April 2014. ISBN: 978­1­118­42649­4. 520 pag.

  • 4 doctoral theses, all of them with international/European mention and 2 of them awarded. There are 4 pending on lecture, 2 of them at the beginning of 2019.

Furthermore, in the last 5 years, this group have participated in the following projects:

  1. Innovative analytical methodologies for the food quality and safety (ANALISYC­II). IP CSIC-AI. M.J. González Carlos. Entity: Comunidad de Madrid. (1/1/2010­ – 31/12/2013). S­2009/AGR­1464.

  2. Advanced strategies for the improvement of food quality and safety control (AVANSECAL). IP: M.L. Marina Alegre. IP CSIC­AI: Dra. Maria José González/Belén Gómara Entity: Comunidad de Madrid. (1/10/2014­ – 30/09/2018). S2013/ABI­3028.

  3. In­vivo prebiotic properties of goat milk oligosaccharides. IP: Dr. Alfonso Clemente. Entity: Junta de Andalucía. 2013 – 2016. Ref.: AGR­7626.

  4. Detection of emerging contaminants related to the packaging and preservation of dairy products. IP: Dra. Belén Gómara. Entity: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad. 01/2013 – 30/06/2016. Ref. AGL2012­37201.

  5. Advanced methodologies in the complex mixtures analysis by GCxGC. IP: Dra. Lourdes Ramos. Entity: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad. 01/2013 – 30/06/2016. Ref. CTQ2012­32957.

  6. Advanced methodologies for the natural biocids extraction in food use base don Mentha sp. IP: Dra. Ana Cristina Soria. Entity: Fundación Ramón Areces. 04/2015 – 03/2017.

  7. Development of an integrated analytical strategy for the detection of quality and safety frauds in supplements from plants for overweight control. IP­1: Dra. Mª Luz Sanz Murias and IP­2: Dra. Ana Cristina Soria. Entity: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad. 12/2016 – 12/2019. Ref.: AGL2016­80475­R.

During this period different collaborations with several companies of analytical instrumentation have been established (Leco Instruments S.L. or Izasa Scientific), analytical consumable (SigmaAldrich, Wellington Laboratories or Agilen Technologies Spain S.L.) which have supported the group’s research in the food field collaborating actively in the dissemination of results and contributing with instrumentation and consumable for their development. Moreover, collaborations with different companies related to food sector have been established, such as ArlaFoods (Denmark), Capilano Honey Lim. (Australia) and Optibiotix (UK).


UCM-QA group: Complutense University of Madrid – Determination of Traces and Speciation

The Determination of Traces, Speciation and proteomic group, (Trep) Nº 910382, integrated in the Analytical Chemistry Department of Chemistry Faculty in UCM, created in 1982, has both, the education and the research sides. In the research side, this group presents an interdisciplinary character and focus their research in the following lines:

  • Development of analytical methodologies for the determination of regulated (PAHs, metals) and emergent contaminants (pharmaceuticals).

  • Analytical methodologies for the speciation of trace elements and nanoparticles analysis in biological, food and environmental samples.

  • Quantitative proteomic studies and bioaccumulation studies to establish the toxicity in trace elements, species, nanoparticles and emerging contaminants.

  • Analytical methodologies for obtaining bioactive compounds from ago-food waste.

  • Application of nanomaterials in the active packaging and food bio-films treatment.

  • Development and application of bioanalytical strategies for the identification and quantitation of proteins, metabolites and nucleic acids: application to biomedical and environmental area.

  • Design, synthesis, characterization and application of nano-systems with biomedical potential.

This group has the infrastructure needed to develop the research activity, consisting in: 3 ICPMS, for trace analysis and coupled to a HPLC, AF4 and laser ablation for the study of species transformation and characterization, quantitation and nanoparticles location, a LC-QToF-MS, a LC-MS, several GC coupled to MS and ECD detectors. Several HPLC coupled to fluorescence and DAD detectors. Liquid chromatographs with traveling valves for LC-LC coupling for conventional and capillary columns, mercury analyzer, simple treatment systems such as microwave digester, ultrasounds probe and PLE, Q­PCR and separation systems for gel Electrophoresis. Access to the Research Support Centre of UCM including electronic microscopy of CAI, mass spectrometry of CAI and x-ray diffraction of CAI.

The activity of this group has been translated into the participation of several projects, the publication of a great number of scientific articles, conferences, patents and collaborations with national and international groups. Furthermore, it is worth noting the participation with companies in food and food technology sectors such as AZTITECNALIA Foundation and the company SAMTACK for the development of packaging and adhesives with antioxidant properties.

The most relevant results and achievements of this group in the last 5 years related to this project can be summarized in the following highlights:

  • 60 research articles in prestigious international journals indexed (SCI)

  • 3 patents: 1) antioxidant materials with nanoparticles of selenium for flexible packaging. (PCT/ES2014/070766). SAMTACK S.L. 2) polymeric material for the speciation of inorganic mercury and methyl mercury. P201400535). Entity: UCM 3) polymer for the immobilization of mercury species. (P201500704). Entity: UCM

  • 60 conferences

  • 9 doctoral thesis

Participation in projects financed in competitive public calls:

  1. Innovative analytical methodologies for the food quality and safety (ANALISYC­II). IP CSIC-AI. M.J. González Carlos. Entity: Comunidad de Madrid. (1/1/2010­ – 31/12/2013). S­2009/AGR­1464.

  2. Advanced strategies for the improvement of food quality and safety control (AVANSECAL). IP: M.L. Marina Alegre. IP CSIC­AI: Dra. Maria José González/Belén Gómara Entity: Comunidad de Madrid. (1/10/2014 – ­30/09/2018). S2013/ABI­3028.

  3. Combination of techniques based on the ICPMS and proteomics to the study of trace elements and their species, related to food quality (Se, Zn) and safety (Sb). Funded by: CICYT. Ref: CTQ2011-2273.Duración 2012 – 2014.

  4. Bioanalytical strategies for obtaining bio images of platinum and determination of proteins associated with renal failure by platinum drugs. Evaluation of a nephroprotective. Funded by: MICINN (CTQ2011-24585). Duration 2012-2014.

  5. Quantification and evaluation of toxic effects of nanoparticles, crop protection, medicines, and persistent organic compounds in foods. Funded by: MINECO. Ref: CTQ2014-54801-C2-1-R. Duration: 2016-2018.

  6. Combination of analytical and -omics strategies to assess the application of Se and Ag nanoparticles in cancer and tuberculosis. Funded by: MINECO (CTQ2014-55711-R). Duration 2016 – 2018. 

  7. Determination and evaluation of substances related to food quality (antioxidants) and safety (classical pollutants, emergent and nanoparticles). IP: Y. Madrid. MINECO (01/01/2018 – ­31/12/2020). Ref: CTQ2017­83569­C2­1­R.

  8. Develop and characterization through analytical and -omic techniques of new hybrid nanosystems used as tools over cancer and tuberculosis. IP: JL.Luque and MGómez. MINECO (01/01/2018­ – 31/12/2020).Ref: CTQ2017­85673­R.

Project of special relevance from technology to industry: Development of new antioxidants materials with nanoparticles of selenium for flexible packaging (nanoflexipack). Funded by: Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. Ref.: IPT-2012-0261-420000. Duration: 2013-2014.

Participation in national and international excellence network: Excellence network of Nanotechnology and Food Red (FOOD E­9). I.P: JM Barat (UP Valencia). IP UCM: Y. Madrid. Entidad: MINECO. 30/06/2019. REFF. AGL2016­-81993­-REDT.

Moreover, in the last years, this group have participated in dissemination tasks such as Science Week, and have been in TV news and press.


UNED-QA group: National Distance Education University – Analytical Chemistry

This group is formed by members of GTyMAQ (Group of Techniques and Methods of Chemical Analysis), recognized as a Consolidated Research Group by UNED, Ref: GI10. This group has a wide experience in the development of methodologies for sample treatment (extraction, purification, cleaning and pre-concentration), based on the use of natural selective molecular receptors (immune) or synthetic (MIP’s) for the determination of different analytes.

The projects funded in recent years have enabled the development and validation of analytical methods using simple and selective sample treatments for determining residues of contaminants such as pesticides, antibiotics and estrogen in samples of water and food.

The research lines are the following:

  • Sample treatment for the determination of organic compounds by chromatography (HPLC, GC).

  • Development of luminescent sensors using molecular impression polymers.

  • Synthesis and characterization of molecular impression polymers. Analytical applications.

  • Identification of authenticity markers in food products (atomic and chromatographic techniques).

Currently, this group is initiating a new research line for the determination of other toxics derived from plastics and micro-plastics in food samples. This group has signed a letter of agreement with FAO to carry out this research. Moreover, founding for a transnational network for the study of contamination of seafood from micro-plastics has been achieved. (Marco­Go to Europe program, European Research Project UNED-Santander).

In addition to these projects, this group has achieved a contract with the company Fakolith Chemical Systems S.L.U. (TECNO­CAI).

This laboratory has 3 liquid chromatographs with DAD, fluorescence, ion and MS detectors, gas chromatograph with FID and MS detectors, 2 UV-VIS spectrophotometers,  spectrofluorometer, attenuated total internal reflection (ATR) with infrared spectroscopy, extraction oven with microwaves and a scanning electron microscopy SEM (COXEM) EM-30AX PLUS.

The scientific results of the research group in the last 5 years have resulted in the following highlights:

  • 15 research articles in prestigious international journals indexed (SCI)

  • 4 chapters of International leading publishers.

  • 25 communications in national or international conferences

  • 8 doctoral theses

  • More than 30 master’s dissertation

The main projects of this group are the following:

  1. Innovative analytical methodologies for the food quality and safety (ANALISYC­II). IP CSIC-AI. M.J. González Carlos. Entity: Comunidad de Madrid. S­2009/AGR­1464. 2010­2014

  2. Advanced strategies for the improvement of food quality and safety control (AVANSECAL). IP: M.L. Marina Alegre. IP CSIC­AI: Dra. Maria José González/Belén Gómara Entity: Comunidad de Madrid. S2013/ABI­3028. 2014 – ­2018

  3. Actions for the formation of a transnational network for the study of seafood from micro-plastics 2018 – ­2019. UNED­Banco Santander.

  4. Provision of scientific evidence on the physical and chemical changes in the structure of micro-plastic present in farmed mussels after heat treatment for food processing. 2017 – 2018. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Moreover, this group has participated in several scientific dissemination activities in collaboration between UNED and ColArte association in Madrid. Also, they have participated in a TV-2 show dedicated to ACANSECAL-CM Program, and in several radio-UNED programs dedicated to this Program.


CQAB-147 Laboratory: Center of Applied Chemistry and Biotechnology

The Center of Applied Chemistry and Biotechnology (CQAB) of Alcalá University (UAH) is a Research Support Center (CAI) and lab 147 of REDLAB of CM. The aim of CQAB is to provide support to the research groups of UAH and to other to research groups of Research Public Institutions and Companies, as noted in the “Use of installation” and “Cooperation and Collaboration with other organisms” sections. Furthermore, the CQAB develop research projects Art.83 of LOU and public projects. The center provides 3 Units:

  • Pilot Plant of Fine Chemistry, where they design synthesis methods to obtain organic or inorganic compounds through different type and size of reactors.

  • Biotechnology, where proteins and enzymes are obtained from recombinant microorganism in bioreactors. Also, in this Unit technologies for energy recovery from biomass and plastic wastes for obtaining raw materials or renewable biofuel are achieved.

  • Bio-analysis and Quality Control, providing a diverse analytical equipment to support quality control and to develop new analytical methods, elucidation of trace impurities, analysis in physiological fluids of drugs and studies of adulterations in food, mainly in spices.


Due to the research work is mainly focused on companies, a high percentage of such research cannot be published. In the last five years, a know-how has been generated through article 83 contracts in 72 projects signed with companies and two publications. The CQAB has participated in training tasks during the last five years in: practices for 4 ESO students: 8 students; practices for F.P. in Electricity, Analysis and Control, Chemical Industry, Environmental Chemistry, Chemical Plant, Computer Applications, Administration and Management: 36 students; practices for Chemistry degree, Pharmacy and Biology: 7 students; Master Final Projects: 1 student; Madrid Science Week; Workshop with companies. Five editions of the Master in Chromatographic Techniques in the Pharmaceutical Chemical Sector, four editions of the Training Course in Liquid Chromatography coupled to Mass Spectrometry have been taught and have participated in three editions of the Master in Drug Discoveries.

In addition, the CQAB is a center designed to carry out an intense work of transferring knowledge to companies, so the experience acquired in this field since its creation, is very useful when it comes to promoting the activities of transfer the results from the Program to the business sector. Another outstanding aspect of the CQAB is the work it carries out to reduce the environmental impact of its activities and its commitment to work in compliance with the principles of green chemistry. All this, combined with the experience of the CQAB technical staff, has a very positive impact on the development of the Program and gives the CQAB great potential to support the activities of the Program.

The CQAB laboratory staff are the following:

    • Juan José Vaquero (Scientific manager)

    • José Luis Novella Robisco (Laboratory manager).

    • Leonor Nozal Martínez

    • Flor Castro Rubio

    • Maria Isabel Fernández Bachiller


URJC-284 Laboratory: Laboratory of Electrochemistry and Separation Techniques (LETS)

The Laboratory of Electrochemistry and Separation Techniques (LETS) is an Associate Laboratory of Applied Research REDLABU of the Technology Support Center (CAT) of the URJC. Laboratory 284 (LETS) has an extensive experience in the preparation and characterization of new materials, specially the hybrid mesoporous silica, and their application for analytical purposes highlighting the use in improving the preparation step of food and water samples for further analysis. The rational design and preparation of these materials implies the possibility of combining the properties of organic and inorganic compounds, which opens the door to a multitude of new materials that can be designed “on demand” according to the specific application needed. The combination of these materials in the sample preparation combined with powerful analysis techniques will allow obtaining advanced methodologies of analysis that will allow the progress in the improvement of food safety, quality and functionality, so necessary in today’s society. Laboratory 284 has the necessary equipment and experience to fulfill the tasks of the new program and its equipment will be available to all participating groups, both researchers and companies.

Among the research lines that are developed within the group and require the use of the instrumentation available in the LETS, it is worth mentioning: a) Preparation, functionalization and characterization of nanostructured materials with applications in both sample preparation by solid phase extraction (SPE) and solid phase matrix dispersion (MSPD) and in analysis (stationary phases for HPLC and CE and electrochemical sensors); b) Development and validation of analytical methods of chiral separation with applications in fine chemistry, pharmacy and environment by HPLC-TQ-MS / MS, UHPLC-TI-MS / MS and CE-DAD; c) Development and validation of analytical separation methods of emerging contaminants in food and water using HPLC-TQ-MS / MS, UHPLC-TI-MS / MS and CE-DAD.

As a result of the research activity in relation to the lines indicated above, the following most relevant results of the last 5 years should be highlighted:

  • 31 research articles in prestigious international journals indexed (SCI)

  • 1 book chapter

  • 3 doctoral Thesis

  • 17 Grade’s dissertation

  • 6 students with collaboration scholarships

  • 10 pre- and postdoctoral student stays (nationals and internationals)

As well as its participation in research projects financed in competitive public calls on related to this project:

  1. Innovative analytical methodologies for the food quality and safety (ANALISYC­II). IP CSIC-AI. M.J. González Carlos. Entity: Comunidad de Madrid. (1/1/2010 – ­31/12/2013). S­2009/AGR­1464.

  2. Advanced strategies for the improvement of food quality and safety control (AVANSECAL). IP: M.L. Marina Alegre. IP CSIC­AI: Dra. Maria José González/Belén Gómara Entity: Comunidad de Madrid. (1/10/2014­ – 30/09/2018). S2013/ABI­3028.

  3. Evaluation of tropic, pyrrolizidine and opioid alkaloids in food and the study of the cooking processed effect. Advances strategies for their determination (EVALKALIM). IP: I. Sierra. Entity: Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades. (1/01/2019 – 31/12/2022). RTI2018-094558-B-100.

The URJC-284 laboratory staff are the following:

  • María Isabel Sierra Alonso (Laboratory manager)


Associated groups

Companies collaborating with the Program contribute to increase the added value to scientific-technical capacities of this platform. Most of these companies are leader in the food industry as well as in the fields of analytical instrumentation and sample preparation. They are interested in the products and knowledge generated by the Program. Several research agreements or contracts have been established with some of these companies and other are interested in the scientific results of the project to apply the developed strategies in a near future. Moreover, some familiar or local companies are interested in the revalorization of their products as a way to increase their competitiveness.

Agrofood companies:

  • Meijer Ibérica S.A.

  • Ibersnacks S.L.

  • Natac Biotech S.L. (before Biosearch Life)

  • Hausmann S.A.

  • LIEC Agroalimentaria S.L. y Explotaciones Hermanos Delgado

  • AMC Juices and Drinks

  • Postres y Dulces Reina

  • Faroliva S.L.

  • Supracafé, S.A.

  • Café Fortaleza

  • Bodegas Nuestra Sra. de la Soledad: S. Cooperativa de Castilla la Mancha

  • 3M

  • SEIJA Envases

  • Fundación AZTI­Tecnalia

  • Asociación de Investigación Empresarial Centro Tecnológico Nacional de la Conserva y Alimentación (CTC)

  • Marcas de Restauración

 Companies involved in scientific instrumentation, materials and chemical reagents:

  • Leco Instrumentos S.L.

  • Agilent Tecnologies Spain S.L.

  • Jasco Analítica Spain S.L.

  • Sigma­Aldrich

  • Novozymes

  • Enantiosep

  • Eyown

  • Analyza Calidad

 Nonprofit entities:

  • Spanish Agency for Consumption, Food Safety and Nutrition (AECOSAN).

  • IES Hotel School Educational Centre of the Comunidad of Madrid.