The Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology (IATA), created in 1966, is a center of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).
Its scientific-technical objective is to carry out research of excellence on the production of sustainable and quality food, taking into account its safety, health impact and consumer acceptance.
IATA research can be grouped into the following lines of research:
INNOVATION IN FOODS AND PROCESSES
Study the mechanisms responsible for the function of different food components by a multidisciplinary approach. Investigate the processes that add value and sustainability, and which determine or modulate the physico-chemical, biochemical, nutritional and sensorial behaviour of complex food matrices by placing special emphasis on products from plants (cereals and other grain based products) and animals (meat and meat based products). The sub-lines are:
Structure and functionality of components in food matrices
Mechanisms to develop aroma, flavour and functional ingredients
Sustainability in food processes
Sensorial and consumer perceptions
FOOD SAFETY AND PRESERVATION
Food safety is an essential requirement in a healthy food supply system that needs to be dealt with in different ways.
On the one hand, food preservation as a fundamental discipline of production processes that allows food safety and quality to be guaranteed in order to constantly supply food from farms to consumers.
On the other hand, studies that rapidly, sensitively and accurately detect and quantify microorganisms, residues and chemical contaminants are necessary to lower or eliminate the risk of exposure to these agents. The sub-lines are:
Preservation and packaging technologies
Biopolymeric materials and nanotechnology
Pollutants and chemical waste
DIET, MICROBIOTA AND HEALTH
Certain food confers the organism with benefits that go beyond their nutritional input by helping to improve general well-being or reducing risk of disease. The digestive tract is colonised by numerous microorganisms (microbiota), which have co-evolved with human beings for millions of years, and have struck a balance that is vital to maintain health. This research line features a true revolution thanks to modern molecular techniques, allowing a clear connection of health with components of diet and intestinal microbiota. This allows innovations and dietetic solutions to develop that can help prevent diseases and chronic disorders. The sub-lines are:
Probiotics and prebiotics
Microbiota and Microbiome
Nutrients and bioactive components
The Food Biotechnology line aims to understand the physiological and molecular bases of the action of organisms and molecules in food production. This knowledge is used to develop new processes that improve food quality, safety and shelf life. Research conducted in this line spans from the selection of molecules and organisms with enhanced properties for food production to the design of new foods with improved functional properties. This line includes researchers with extensive expertise in the study of microorganisms and molecules of interest for food production as well as the ripening and conservation of fruits. The sub-lines are:
Lactic acid bacteria
Postharvest and fruit quality