Group members

Research Staff

  • Agustín Olano Villén (Professor “ad honorem”)
  • Nieves Corzo Sánchez (P.I.)
  • Mar Villamiel Guerra (CIAL Vice-director)
  • Antonia Montilla Corredera (C.T.)
  • Javier Moreno Andújar (C.T.)

Postdoctoral Staff

  • Oswaldo Hernández Hernández (OptiBiotix Health Contract)
  • Laura Ruiz Aceituno (Juan de la Cierva-Formación)

Predoctoral Staff

  • Paloma Delgado Fernández
  • Alvaro Ferreira Lazarte
  • Lesbia Cristina Julio González (CONCIENCIA CEIBA, Colombia)
  • Ana Muñoz Labrador (OptiBiotix Health Contract)
  • Nerea Muñoz Almagro (FPI)
  • Mª Teresa Pacheco Tigselema (SENECYT, Ecuador)
  • Carlos Sabater Sánchez (FPU)

Research Summary

Initially, our research aimed at studying the modifications and interactions of two major macronutrients, carbohydrates and proteins, during storage and/or conventional and alternative thermal treatments of foods. The obtained results allowed the development of new analytical methods and the selection of a series of chemical indicators to evaluate the quality of heat-processed foods.

In recent years, the research lines have focused on the study of low glycemic index carbohydrates with prebiotic properties, given the interest shown towards the potential benefits of these carbohydrates in different aspects related to health not only by researchers and industry, but also by consumers. Therefore, currently, one of the main lines of work is the obtainment, characterization and evaluation of bioactive and technological properties of new carbohydrates and derivatives for subsequent use as food ingredients.

Much of our research activity is focused on the enzymatic synthesis and structural characterization of potential prebiotic oligosaccharides using different types of enzymes (commercial and new carbohydrate-modifying enzymes) and by-products of the food industry (chitosans, cheese permeate and pectins from orange, sunflower and artichoke) in order to improve the management of waste generated in the industries of fishing, dairy and fruit and vegetable processing.

In addition, different studies are carried out to optimize the fractionation, characterization and evaluation of bioactive (prebiotic, anti-adherent, anti-inflammatory, etc.) and technological (sweetness, stability during heat treatment and preservation, rheological properties, among others) properties of the new carbohydrates synthesized to elucidate their potential applications.

Highlighted publications

  • Díez-Municio, M., Kolida, S., Herrero, M., Rastall, R. A., Moreno, F. J. “In vitro faecal fermentation of novel oligosaccharides enzymatically synthesized using microbial transglycosidases acting on sucrose” Journal of Functional Foods 20, 532-544 2016.
  • Gullón, B., Montenegro, M. I., Ruiz-Matute, A. I., Cardelle-Cobas, A., Corzo, N., Pintado, M. E. “Synthesis, optimization and structural characterization of a chitosan-glucose derivative obtained by the Maillard reaction”. Carbohydrate Polymers, 137, 382-389, 2016.
  • Ferreira-Lazarte, A., Olano, A., Villamiel, M., Moreno, F.J. “Assessment of in vitro digestibility of dietary carbohydrates using rat small intestinal extract”. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 65, 8046-8053, 2017.
  • Muñoz-Almagro, N., Montilla, A., Moreno, F.J., Villamiel M. “Modification of citrus and apple pectin by power ultrasound: Effects of acid and enzymatic treatment”. Ultrasonics Sonochemistry, 38, 807-819, 2017.
  • Sabater, C., Olano, A., Prodanov, M., Montilla, A., Corzo, N. “An efficient process for the obtainment of prebiotic oligosaccharides derived from lactulose using isomerized and purified whey permeate”. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 97, 5074-5082, 2017
  • Ultrasound Applications in Food Processing: Recent Advances (Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Oxford, UK). IFST Advances in Food Science. Editors: Villamiel, M., García-Pérez, J.V., Montilla, A., Cárcel, J.A, Benedito, J. Publicación Abril 2017. ISBN-10: 1118964187; ISBN-13: 978-1118964187.

Recent Research Projects

  • Nuevas estrategias para la síntesis de compuestos bioactivos de interés alimentario empleando enzimas modificadoras de carbohidratos derivadas de Lactobacillus plantarum WCFS”.
    • Principal Investigator: F. J. Moreno y N. Corzo
    • Reference: AGL2017-84614-C2-1-R
    • Funding Body: MINECO
    • Duration: 2018-2021
  • Generación de galactooligosacaridos prebióticos por bacterias con potencial probiótico”.
    • Principal Investigator: A. Montilla.
    • Reference: MHE-200047
    • Funding Body: PROGRAMA DE DOCTORADO EMHE – CSIC. Movilidad en el ámbito de la salud y el medioambiente.
    • Duration: 2018-2020