Macro, micro and nano scale structures from food-grade materials for innovative applications

Development of structures at macro, micro and nano scale, always using bio-based, mostly food-grade materials such as polysaccharides, proteins and lipids. The development of those structures has been made through bottom-up and top-down strategies, aiming at producing promising applications for innovative products in the food, packaging, pharmaceutical and feed industries.


Main Topics of the Research Team

Encapsulation of bioactive compounds

Encapsulation of bioactive compounds

i.e. antioxidants, antibacterial, antifungal and, antihypertensive - through a great number of structures (e.g. nanoemulsions, nanoparticles, nanocoatings, multilayer films, edible films and coatings) using different techniques (e.g. layer-by-layer, self-assembly, high-energy emulsification-evaporation, among others) have been used.

Mass transfer in macro/micro/nano structures

Mass transfer in macro/micro/nano structures

e.g. gas permeabilities and compound release

More precisely, transport properties of diverse gases (e.g. CO2, O2 and water vapour) has been evaluated and the effect of different parameters (e.g. temperature, RH and compounds’ functionality) in the developed systems have been assessed. The release of encapsulated compounds from the structures has been studied and the modeling of their release behaviour has been performed, under different external stimuli (e.g. pH, temperature and ionic strength).

Relationship between microstructure, rheology and thermal behaviour of the developed structures

Relationship between microstructure, rheology and thermal behaviour of the developed structures

using nanoindentation; Quartz Crystal Microbalance; microcalorimetry; capilar rheometry, extensional and shear rheometry

Stimuli-responsive structures

Stimuli-responsive structures

to pH, temperature

have been developed in order to create a great number of possibilities for the delivery and application of bioactive compounds in areas such as food, packaging and medicine.