Our group “Food Colour and Quality” (www.color.us.es) deals with food quality in general and pigments in particular. We have multidisciplinary expertise on carotenoids acquired in Universidad de Sevilla (Food Science), University of Liverpool (Biologial Sciences, G. Britton´s lab), University of London (Plant Sciences, P. Fraser and P. Bramley´s lab) and USDA-HNRCA at Tufts University, Boston (Nutrition and Health. X-D. Wang´s lab.).
Over 15 years we have worked on several aspects of carotenoids, like:
1) the development of rapid methodologies for their assessment based on instrumental colour measurements for quality control and field applications,
2) HPLC analysis and identification/characterization: UV-Vis spectra, MS spectra, color.
3) the study of their occurrence and deposition in foods, microorganisms, animals and other matrices,
4) their bioaccessibility/bioavailability from diverse matrices.
5) reactions like isomerisation, oxidation, cleavage, etc., which are interesting to understand their properties, their fate in different matrices and their biological actions,
6) the design and quality assessment of carotenoid-containing foods with added value.
Our current main research interest are their biological actions and their usefulness as food ingredients.
At this stage we are particularly interested in collaborating with groups with expertise in cell cultures and molecular biology, simple models to asses bioactivity (e.g., yeasts, worms), the green extracion of carotenoids or microbiology (for the provision of carotenoid-producing microbes for analysis).
We have a wide network of collaborators nationally and internationally which allows us to have access to complementary expertise and facilities as well as to set up studies of different nature. Furthermore we have an important record of research contracts with agro-food industries.
Apart from the equipment of our lab, we have full access to the General Research Services of our University (Microscopy, Biology, NMR, MS, etc., please see http://investigacion.us.es/scisi/sgi), which are a located steps away from our laboratory.
HPLC, isolation and characterization of carotenoids, classical and ultrasound-assisted extraction, in vitro antioxidant capacity assays, chemical reactions, in vitro digestion methods, colour measurement, microscopy
HPLC-PDA, spectrophotmeters, spectroradiometers (NIRs and UV-Vis), colorimeters, digital image analysis system, ultrasound probes and full access to the General Research Services of US (http://investigacion.us.es/scisi/sgi).