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AromaP – Processing aromatic plants and spices | AromaP – Processamento de plantas aromáticas condimentares

Breve Descrição | Brief Description:
Plants and their extracts or isolated compounds have various applications, especially as food additives and as health promoters, as ingredients in formulations of functional foods and nutraceuticals, in food and pharmaceutical industry. However, these products may be contaminated by soil, water, air and powder, not only during the growth process but also during harvest and drying. Microbial contamination will reduce their quality and shelf life, and pose a threat to public health, due to the presence of pathogenic bacteria.
One technology that has shown an increasing application is irradiation, a physical non-thermal process, which in addition to significantly reducing microbial load, is a simple, modern, and clean method authorized in several countries, including in Europe (Directive 1999/2/EC). Irradiation is being used as a feasible processing technology for various purposes: disinfestation, decontamination, sterilization or shelf-life extension of food products. However, this method must be validated for each matrix since the results vary significantly with the type of food, radiation dose, food geometry (which affects dose uniformity), in order to understand how the major nutrients are preserved and simultaneously guarantee the microbial decontamination.
This project aims to evaluate the feasibility of using gamma and e-beam irradiation for preservation of aromatic and medicinal plants, fresh or dried, on which such process and its effect is not documented, verifying that the main physico-chemical characteristics and relevant molecules are preserved, assuring products’ quality and microbiological safety.

Equipa | Team:
Equipa do IPB
Isabel Cristina Fernandes Rodrigues Ferreira (Coordenadora)
Amílcar Manuel Lopes António
Lillian Bouçada de Barros
João Carlos Barreira
Rui Miguel Vaz de Abreu
Paula Cristina Azevedo Rodrigues
Pedro Miguel Lopes Bastos
Maria Filomena Filipe Barreiro

Instituições | Institutions:
Pragmático Aroma Lda
IPB – Instituto Politécnico de Bragança
IST- UL – Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa

Calendário | Dates:
2014-2016

Financiamento | Financial support:
PRODER

Sítio do projecto | Project website:
www.esa.ipb.pt/biochemcore

Contacto | contact:
Isabel C.F.R. Ferreira – iferreira@ipb.pt; ESA, Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Campus Santa Apolónia Ap. 1172, 5301-855 Bragança, Portugal

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