CNTA conducts research into the development and optimisation of advanced extraction processes, such as supercritical fluid technologies, micro-ultrafiltration and preparative chromatography, combined with pre-treatments, such as the application of ultrasounds, high-voltage electronic pulsations, and enzymatic hydrolysis, to obtain bioactive fractions.
The development of purification processes (cross-flow filtration or chromatography columns) completes the extraction stage, allowing ingredients or quality additives to be obtained for use in food, the nutraceutical sector and/or eventually in the cosmetics sector.
We also carry out complementary research into encapsulation technology (micro and nano) for its capacity to increase the stability of ingredients, increase the microbial viability (in the case of encapsulating bacteria), facilitate incorporation into food matrices, or its bioavailability depending on the particular application.
The analytical capacity of CNTA’s laboratories enables us to carry out an exhaustive characterisation of these fractions, and gauge a detailed understanding of the active ingredients on which their activity is based.
This line of work enables us to explore the potential of food matrices in more depth as a source of obtaining bioactive components and applying them in the development of agrifood by-product recovery processes.
The main functionalities we are looking for in these components are activities such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory or anti-lipogenic, among others.
Within this field, we are collaborating with cutting-edge research centres in the sphere of nutrition to validate these functionalities with studies in platforms such as that of C. elegans and/or murine model, as well as nutritional intervention studies.
On the other hand, CNTA researches the improvement and application of commercial ingredients or the development of “novel foods” in food matrices, seeking new or improved functionalities in the nutritional profiles of these foods.