Group members

Research Staff

  • Lourdes Amigo Garrido
  • Blanca Hernández-Ledesma
  • Rosina López-Alonso Fandiño
  • Marta Miguel Castro
  • Elena Molina Hernández
  • Isidra Recio Sánchez

Research Assistant Staff

  • Beatriz Miralles Buraglia

Predoctoral Staff

  • Silvia Moreno Fernández
  • Leticia Pérez Rodríguez
  • Javier Sanchón Nogales
  • Marta Santos Hernández
  • Rubén Vilcacundo Chamorro

Technical Staff

  • Mónica Martínez Blanco

Research Summary

The group studies the role of food proteins and peptides as biologically active compounds. This includes the identification of proteins and peptides with beneficial properties or potentially effective in reducing the risk of developing some diet-related chronic diseases: antihypertensive, antioxidant, antiproliferative, immunomodulant and related to gastrointestinal functions and pathologies associated with the metabolic syndrome, as well as those capable of acting as food allergens. We address their chemical and biochemical characterization and the evaluation of their biological activities to go deeper into the relationship between structure and activity. We also study their gastrointestinal digestibility, bioavailability and benefits and risks for human health.

In addition to explore the influence of proteins in the maintenance of health, we also use their foaming, emulsifying and gelling properties to improve food texture and contribute to culinary innovation. To this end, there are experts in electrophoretic, chromatographic and mass spectrometry techniques, cell cultures, animal models, gene expression, culinary technology, and sensory analysis.

Highlighted publications

  • Fernández-Tomé, S., Martínez-Maqueda, D., Girón, R., Goicoechea, C., Miralles, B., Recio, I. (2016) Novel peptides derived from αs1-casein with opioid activity and mucin stimulatory effect on HT29-MTX cells. Journal of Functional Foods 25: 466-476.
  • Cruz-Huerta, E., de la Hoz, L., Nunes da Silva, V.S., Bertoldo Pacheco, M.T., Martínez- Maqueda, D., Recio, I., Amigo, L. (2016) Identification of iron-binding peptides from whey protein hydrolysates using IMAC-Fe (III) and RP-HPLC-MS/MS. Journal of Dairy Science, 99, 77-82.
  • Fernández-Tomé, S., Martínez-Maqueda, D., Tabernero, M., Largo, C., Recio, I., Miralles, B. (2017) Effect of the long-term intake of a casein hydrolysate on mucin secretion and gene expression in the rat intestine. Journal of Functional Foods 33: 176-180.
  • Lozano-Ojalvo, D., Pérez-Rodríguez, L., Pablos-Tanarro, A., Molina E., López-Fandiño, R. (2017) Hydrolysed ovalbumin offers more effective preventive and therapeutic protection against egg allergy than the intact protein. Clinical and Experimental Allergy 47: 1342-1354.
  • Pablos-Tanarro, A., Lozano-Ojalvo, D., Martínez-Blanco, M., López-Fandiño, R., Molina, E. (2017) Sensitizing and eliciting capacity of egg white proteins in BALB/c mice as affected by processing. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 65: 4500-4508.
  • Rizzetti, D.A., Martínez, C.S., Escobar, A.G., Martins da Silva, T., Uranga-Ocio, J.A., Peçanha, F.M., Vassallo, D.V., Miguel, M., Wiggers, G.A. (2017) Egg white-derived peptides prevent male reproductive dysfunction induced by mercury in rats. Food and Chemical Toxicology 100: 253-264.
  • Sanchón, J., Fernández-Tomé, S., Miralles, B., Hernández-Ledesma, B., Tomé, D., Gaudichon, C., Recio, I. (2018) Protein degradation and peptide release form milk proteins in human jejunum. Comparison with in vitro gastrointestinal simulation. Food Chemistry 239: 486-494.

Recent Research Projects

  • Modificación de proteínas alimentarias digestión gastrointestinal y biodisponibilidad para el diseño de ingredientes relacionados con la saciedad y la actividad antioxidante.
    • Principal Investigators: Isidra Recio y Blanca Hernández
    • Funding Body and Reference: MINECO, AGL2015-66886-R.
    • Duration: 2016-2019
  • Estrategias de prevención y tratamiento de la alergia a huevo basadas en péptidos alimentarios inmunomodulantes (PEPTINMUN)
    • Principal Investigator: Elena Molina
    • Funding Body and Reference: MINECO, AGL2014-59771-R
    • Duration: 2015-2018
  • Improving Allergy Risk Assessment Strategy for new food proteins (ImpARAS)
    • Coordinator: Kitty Verkoeckx
    • Principal Investigator BIOPEP group: Elena Molina
    • Funding Body and Reference: European Union, COST ACTION-2013-2-16416.
    • Duration: 2015-2018