Our lab adopts a reverse engineering approach to food formulation & process design with the aim to tailor foods to consumer’s preferences, acceptance and physiological needs. These efforts seek to obtain comprehensive understanding and control over complex compositions, structures, physical and chemical reactions alongside understanding of the consumer needs.
Our research activities cluster into three main thrusts:[I] Product engineering: Functional and value added foods and oral formulations – Our group seeks to advance and open new opportunities for fabrication of functional products containing beneficial bioactive ingredients (e.g. antioxidants, bioactive peptides, bioactive lipids, prebiotics and probiotics) based on predefined desirable bioaccessibility and bioavailability tailored to individual needs. [II] Advanced analytics: bioreactor-based human digestion models and foodomics – Our lab is one of the leaders within the Infogest international network on food digestion and we are highly involved in the definition of digestion parameters, the writing of the international standard method for static in vitro digestion and the development of new IVDs. Our group is also among the first to demonstrate the successful coupling of IVD models with advanced proteomic and bioinfomatic analyses. [III] Fundamental food colloid and hydrocolloid science and nano-science – Our efforts include fundamental and applied research underpinning the principles guiding the susceptibility of colloid-stabilized emulsions, nano-particles and structured emulsions to the various conditions of human digestion.
Overall, we engage in research seeking to harness different natural reactions, interactions and processing operations to tailor the functionality of novel food-grade ingredients, hydrocolloids and various structured systems while addressing the diversified needs of different consumers. These efforts will help limit deleterious effects and enhance the beneficial effects on human health and well-being.