Sargassum muticum seaweeds are invasive brown macroalgae threatening marine ecosystems equilibrium causing serious negative economic and environmental impact. Interestingly, brown algae are a natural source of biologically active compounds. Thus, S. muticum seaweeds can be strategically targeted as a source of functional ingredients to develop complex food systems that can maximize the prevention towards non-communicable diseases (NCDs). However, despite the outstanding bioactivity of algae compounds, their use in food production is hampered by their sensitivity to degradation under certain processing conditions and their bioaccesibility depends on their interaction with food matrix components. Currently, the scientific community is lacking a holistic approach towards the formulation, processing, and nutrition labeling of these bioactive components to ensure the generation of foods with positive metabolic outcomes. ALGOOD project will develop foundational understanding of extrusion technology to improve the bioaccesibility and metabolic effects of S. muticum PUFAs, carotenoids, and phlorotannins in complex food model systems resembling trendy foods. If successful, it will provide critical knowledge tools for the valorization of Sargassum invasive algae to design and produce healthy food with a positive health and ecological impact.
I completed my Ph.D. at the University of the Basque Country (Spain) and worked as Postdoctoral Researcher at Memorial University of Newfoundland (Canada), University of Guelph (Canada) and Aarhus University (Denmark). My research goal is to understand the molecular structure of food components and their chemo-physical changes and interactions during processing and digestion. This knowledge and tools will contribute to build a sustainable food system (healthy food with minimal loss of healthy components) with a positive impact in our health and society.
Project title: ALGOOD: Understanding the chemo-mechanical stabilization of Sargassum algae bioactive compounds in current and forthcoming food matrices
Area of research: Food bioactive compounds, food processing, lipid and carbohydrate chemistry
Fellowship period: 1 Oct 2021 - 19 May 2025
Fellowship type: AIAS-COFUND II Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow
This fellowship has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 754513 and The Aarhus University Research Foundation.