Group of Food Chemistry and Nutraceutics
Permanent staff: Prof. Anna Arnoldi (PO), Dr. Carmen Lammi (RTD-B), Dr. Giovanna Boschin (technician D).
Research coworkers: Dr. Carlotta Bollati (research fellow), Dr. Martina Bartolomei (doctoral student), Dr. Lorenza d'Adduzio (doctoral student), Jianqiang Li (doctoral student with a scholarship of the Chinese government), Ruoxian XU (doctoral student with a scholarship of the Chinese Government).
The research group is well known internationally particularly for the research dedicated to the isolation, analysis and characterization of the bioactive components of food in order to develop functional foods and food supplements (nutraceuticals). Through the development of a multidisciplinary approach, which involves the combination of chemical-analytical (proteomics and peptidomics), biochemical, biological and computational techniques, the group has provided a significant contribution at national and international level in the identification of bioactive peptides contained in foods mainly of vegetable origin (soy, lupine, hemp, olive, micro-algae) or obtained from food production waste for their nutritional and health enhancement. Recently, the research activity of the group has led to the identification of protein hydrolysates and / or individual peptides with hypocholesterolemic, hypoglycaemic, antioxidant and hypotensive activity, whose mechanism of action have been studied in detail. In addition, the group is also involved in evaluating the absorption and stability of peptides in the intestine, using an in vitro model based on differentiated Caco-2 human intestinal cells. At the same time, the group also deals with the enhancement of other bioactive food components, in particular polyphenols, using the same multidisciplinary techniques developed for peptides.
Main projects funded in the last two years.
Project funded by AGER: " COMPETiTiVE - Claims of Olive oil to iMProvE The markeT ValuE of the product": aims to enhance the nutraceutical properties of EVOO extracts enriched in polyphenols and to evaluate their absorption in the intestine.
Project funded by Cariplo Foundation " SUPER-HEMP - Sustainable Process for Enhanced Recovery of Hempseed Oil": aims to support and promote the cultivation and industrial use of hemp seed. In particular, we are dedicated to the characterization of the cholesterol-lowering and hypoglycaemic activity of peptides that derive from the hydrolysis of defatted flours from hemp seeds, also evaluating their bioavailability and metabolic stability.
Project funded by ERA-NET SUSFOOD2: " DISCOVERY - Disaggregation of conventional vegetable press cakes by novel techniques to receive new products and to increase the yield": project dedicated to the evaluation of the nutritional quality and food safety of products and by-products of vegetable origin obtained following technological process treatments (eg ultrasonication).
Project funded by Lombardy Region "MIND Foods HUB", which integrates multidisciplinary skills with the aim of promoting an international and ambitious vision of agri-food research as an engine of innovation, development and social responsibility. In this project we are dedicated to enhancing the health and beneficial properties of some components of plant origin.
Project financed by Lombardy Region "ESPERA - Circular Economy and Sustainability in the Mantuan PGI pear supply chain", which aims to improve the management of the Mantuan PGI supply chain, minimizing surpluses and waste, combining technological innovations with the reconfiguration of production processes and distribution, in the context of the paradigm of circular economy and sustainability. As part of the project, we are dedicated to enhance the antioxidant properties of extracts deriving from the waste of Mantuan PGI pears.
LS9_5 Food biotechnology and bioengineering
LS4_10 The cardiovascular system and cardiovascular diseases
PE5_18 Medicinal chemistry
PE11_9 Nanomaterials engineering, e.g. nanoparticles, nanoporous materials, 1D & 2D nanomaterials