Bioactive compounds, Business model design, Byproduct revalorization, Food Chemistry, Food analytical methods, Medicinal plants, agronomy, biochemical compounds, biochemical properties of grape and grape based foods, bioinformatics, business engagement, modelling, mushroom, postharvest treatments of fruits, postharvest treatments of vegetables
NAME OF ORGANISATION:
Nutrigenomics Research Group _ Universitat Rovira i Virgili
Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) is a complex state where several homeostatic alterations such as hypertension, inflammation, obesity are favoring the apparition of more severe health problems like stroke, diabetes or even cancer.
Although the individual genetic background could be influencing the predisposition to MetS, the diet represents the main factor that contributes to the development of such syndrome. In this sense, the western diet, full of saturated fats, is paving the way to the apparition of MetS. In consequence, the modulation of the dietetic habits as well as the caloric consumption increase by exercise, have been of paramount importance for the correction of the excessive energetic intake. Despite the effectiveness of the previous strategies, there is a growing interest in the development of functional foods which contains compounds that will help or accelerate the re-equilibration of the homeostatic situation. In consequence, it is not weird to see in the supermarket shelf products that contain compounds that will help to decrease cholesterol, hypertension, inflammation, etc. Some of such products are mainly targeting one molecular target (a target protein) which is intimately related with the physiological alteration, and that will modulate the target protein activity in order to abolish the presence of the detrimental effects. In this sense, the simultaneous consideration of several molecular targets represents a novel and interesting strategy that is expected to result in a widespread/magnification of the beneficial outcomes of the enriched food due to the synchronic modulation of several target proteins. So, simultaneous targeting of different proteins related to several MetS alterations is a valuable strategy in order to find a powerful synergistic action, which should be translated in a stronger favorable effect. Related to this, our group have substantial experience working on the identification of natural compounds that ameliorate insulin sensitivity and inflammation by targeting PPAR-γ and IKK-2, respectively. By using computational techniques (that were followed by the corresponding in vitro bioactivity tests) we have been able to identify a small number of active molecules among thousands of input molecules. Additionally, we have obtained bioactive peptides from in-house hydrolyzation of post-farming wastes with very interesting bioactivities (i.e. ACE inhibition).
On the other hand, traditional medicine have used during hundreds of years natural remedies which are based on the effect of natural compounds, mainly contained in plants, on many pathological situations.
For example, rosemary has been used for the treatment of arthritis and gastritis, etc. Besides the well known properties of medicinal herbs it is likely that other vegetal biomass could be harboring valuable compounds with healthy properties. So, many molecules contained by functional foods are derived from natural sources. For example, phytochemicals have been used in the design of dairy products with interesting properties on cholesterol reduction. In consequence, the agro-food by products could represent an interesting source of bioactive compounds. Additionally, if the molecule identification becomes successful on local vegetal species with poor economic value it could greatly help to revalorize such vegetal biomass, allowing the economic development of geo/demographic regions with comprised economic growth.
Taking into account the above mentioned explanation the main objective of the project is that the Mediterranian agro-food byproducts represent a relatively unexplored source of active molecules for the prevention of the diet-induced MetS and by simultaneously targeting more than one target related to the pathological situation will help the development of a stronger therapeutic outcome. Therefore, the main goal of this coordinated project is to develop a proper matrix that combine extracts obtained from Mediterranean wastes derived by post-farming processes with high bioactivity against IKK-2, DPP-IV, ACE and DGAT-1 and that could be used by the industry to develop functional foods or nutraceutics against the diet-induced MetS development.
DESCRIPTION OF YOUR ORGANISATION:
The Nutrigenomics Research Group of the Universitat Rovira i Virgili aims to generate general knowledge oriented to the design of functional foods able to prevent, delay or alleviate metabolic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and metabolic syndrome. These studies also allows to increase the value of by-products from the food industry by the obtaining of functional ingredients.
Some own publications related to the collaboration request:
1. Nutrients. 2019 Jan 22;11(2). pii: E225.Evidence that Nitric Oxide is Involved in the Blood Pressure Lowering Effect of the Peptide AVFQHNCQE in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats. Mas-Capdevila A, Iglesias-Carres L, Arola-Arnal A, Aragonès G,Aleixandre A, Bravo FI, Muguerza B.
2. J Agric Food Chem. 2018 Oct 24;66(42):10952-10963. Anti-inflammatory and Proapoptotic Properties of the Natural Compound o-Orsellinaldehyde.Tomas-Hernandez S, Garcia-Vallvé S, Pujadas G, Valls C,Ojeda-Montes MJ, Gimeno A, Cereto-Massagué A, Roca-Martinez J, SuárezM, Arola L, Blanco J, Mulero M, Beltran-Debón R.
3. PLoS One. 2012;7(11):e50816.Identification of PPARgamma partial agonists of natural origin (I): development of a virtual screening procedure and in vitro validation. Guasch L, Sala E, Castell-Auví A, Cedó L, Liedl KR, Wolber G, Muehlbacher M,Mulero M, Pinent M, Ardévol A, Valls C, Pujadas G, Garcia-Vallvé S.
4. PLoS One. 2012;7(9):e44971.Identification of novel human dipeptidyl peptidase-IV inhibitors of natural origin (part I): virtual screening and activity assays. Guasch L, Ojeda MJ, González-Abuín N, Sala E, Cereto-Massagué A, Mulero M, Valls C, Pinent M, Ardévol A, Garcia-Vallvé S, Pujadas G.
5. PLoS One. 2011 Feb 24;6(2):e16903.Identification of human IKK-2 inhibitors of natural origin (part I): modeling of the IKK-2 kinase domain, virtual screening and activity assays. Sala E, Guasch L, Iwaszkiewicz J, Mulero M, Salvadó MJ, Pinent M, Zoete V, Grosdidier A, Garcia-Vallvé S, Michielin O, Pujadas G.
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Thematic area: Agro-food Value Chain
Topic 2.3.1 RIA Extending shelf-life of perishable Mediterranean food products by sustainable technologies and logistics and by optimized pest and microbial control
(…) As agro-food production is characterized by significant volumes of wastes derived by post-farming processes, with a deep impact on the water/carbon footprint, implementation of alternative processes that valorize side-and by-products derived by the mainstream production system should be considered.
Proposals should also include at least one of the following aspects:
• Implementation of alternative processes valorizing side- and by-products derived by the mainstream food production system, currently constituting environment impacting wastes.
The project results are expected to contribute to:
• Identification and exploitation of added value by- and side-products derived from the Mediterranean agro-food system
The Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area will devise new R&I approaches to improve water availability and sustainable agriculture production in a region heavily distressed by climate change, urbanisation and population growth