Organization profile

Organisation Profile

Food quality of safety: lipids, vitamins and other bioactive compounds

 

Food components and reactions affecting nutritional and sensory quality and safety of foods are investigated. We investigate bioactive compounds of the dietary fibre complex and  natural enhancement of vitamins in foods. The special focus lies on vitamin B12 and folate production by bioprocessing.  We also study lipids and their reactions, utilization of micro algae and antinutrients in legumes.

 

Vitamins

Research on vitamins has been one of our major expertise from the beginning of 1980s. We have studied both lipid- and water-soluble vitamins: occurrence in foods, chemical and nutritional properties, importance in foods and diets and factors influencing the levels. In addition, development of analytical methods for different vitamers as well as validation and harmonization of the methods through international collaboration are among our priorities. Recent collaboration projects have focused on enhancing vitamin contents in cereal-based foods by plant breeding, fractionation of the materials and bioprocessing. Currently the research focus lies on investigating microbial in situ synthesis of vitamin B12, folate and other B vitamins in cereal and legume matrices as a mean to improve nutritional quality of foods and to develop new food applications.

Recent major projects:

  • Natural fortification of foods: microbial in situ synthesis of vitamin B12 and folate in cereal matrix (2012–2016; the Academy of Finland).
  • Enhancement of folate in gluten free cereal-based products (post doc project/Susanna Kariluoto; 2011–2014; the Academy of Finland)
  • Contribution of cereal-based fermented foods to folate intake in European and African countries FolEA  (2014-2018; the Academy of Finland and Finnish Cultural Foundation. Coordinated by Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD)/France and collaboration with  three African partners. Leading scientist at UH: Susanna Kariluoto)
  • Utilization of algal components and biomass as food, feed, and fuel (LEVARBIO) (Coordinator professor Martin Romantschuk, collaboration of the University of Helsinki, Häme University of Applied Science HAMK and the Finnish Environmental Institute SYKE; 2016-2017; European Regional Development Fund).
  • Bio-enriched bran ingredients - in situ synthesis of vitamin B12 and folate with propionibacteria and lactic acid bacteria – BIOFORCE (2017-2018; Lantmännen Research Foundation)
  • Vitamin B12-bioenriched wheat bran ingredients for food applications - BIOB12 (2018-2019; Lantmännen Research Foundation)

Lipids and their reactions

We study different lipid classes and lipid profiles in food matrices as well as chemical and enzymatic reactions of lipids. Phytosterols and their conjugates have been studied as natural food components belonging to the dietary fibre complex. On the other hand, questions related to sterol enrichment, especially oxidative stability, have also been on our focus.   Controlling lipid oxidation is essential while developing new food technologies and compositions. We use diverse methods to study proceeding of oxidation from primary products to monomeric oxides, volatiles and polymerization products. Thus, valuable information on factors influencing oxidation and consequences of oxidation reactions is obtained. Controlling enzymatic reactions leading to off-flavors in cereal and legume matrices is also among our interests. In addition, utilization of  valuable lipids, such as long-chain omega-3-fatty acids and pigments, from microalgae has been investigated

Recent major projects:

  • Tools for healthy foods with appealing texture and high stability (Hybridi) (collaboration project with VTT; 2011–2014; Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation).
  • Health promoting food and feed from micro-algal omega-3 fatty acids, pigments and bioactive peptides produced on food industry side streams (Algomeg) (collaboration with the UH/Department of Environmental Sciences, VTT and Indian partners; 2014-2016; Tekes-DBT funding for Indo-Finnish collaboration. Coordinator: Professor Martin Romantschuk)
  • Utilization of algal components and biomass as food, feed, and fuel (LEVARBIO)  (collaboration of UH, Häme University of Applied Science (HAMK) and the Finnish Environmental Institute (SYKE); 2016-2017; European Regional Development Fund; Coordinator professor Martin Romantschuk)
  • PhD project on oxidative stability of lipids in plant-derived foods: flavor deterioration by enzymatic and chemical reactions (Zhen Yang; CSC, China, The Finnish Cultural Foundation, 2014-2019) 

Antinutrients in legumes

Certain antinutrients, e.g., oligosaccharides and secondary plant metabolites, may limit use of legumes as protein sources in food purposes. We study  elimination of antinutrients focusing on vicine and convicine in faba bean. The research is part of collaboration studies to enhance wider utilization of domestic plant-based protein sources.

Recent major project:

  • Fababean – legume-based new foods and food ingredients (2012–2014; Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry; coordinator professor Hannu Salovaara at UH).
  •  PhD project on reactivity and elimination of vicine and convicine in faba bean (Marjo Pulkkinen, the Doctoral Program of Food Chain and Health, The Finnish Cultural Foundation; 2016-2018).
  • PROVE - Functionalisation and valorisation of proteins of vegetable sources (2018; EIT Food; Leading scientist at UH Professor Kati Katina)

Utilization of microalgae

We study in collaboration projects potential of micro algae as sources of  high value bioactive compounds as well as proteins, lipids and carbohydrates.  Microalgae can be used as food and feed applications as well as for pharmaceutical purposes.  

Recent major projects

  • Health promoting food and feed from micro-algal omega-3 fatty acids, pigments and bioactive peptides produced on food industry side streams (Algomeg) (collaboration with the UH/Department of Environmental Sciences, VTT and Indian partners; 2014-2016; Tekes-DBT funding for Indo-Finnish collaboration. Coordinator: Professor Martin Romantschuk)
  • Utilization of algal components and biomass as food, feed, and fuel (LEVARBIO)  (collaboration of  UH, Häme University of Applied Science (HAMK) and the Finnish Environmental Institute (SYKE); 2016-2017; European Regional Development Fund; Coordinator professor Martin Romantschuk)
  • Algae factory (Business Finland; 2018-2019; Leading scientist Dr Elina Peltomaa)
  • Building students skills in micro-algae processing, component characterization and innovative product development (EIT Food;  2018; Leading scientist at UH Docent Anna-Maija Lampi)

Other recent major collaboration projects

We have participated in the following projects:

BACCHUS beneficial effects of dietary bioactive peptides and polyphenols on cardiovascular health in humans (2012-2016; European Commission; Leading scientist at UH professor Marina Heinonen).

Chemical oxidation of mixed linked beta-glucans; oxidation pathways, oxidation products and product functionality (2012–2016; the Academy of Finland; Leading scientist at UH  Dr Tuula Sontag-Strohm).

EuroFIR NEXUS (2011–2013; European Commission; Leading scientist at UH professor Vieno Piironen).

OATyourGUT: Oat-derived Wellbeing by Clinical and Perceived Assessment (2017-2019; Business Finland; Leading scientist at UH Dr Tuula Sontag-Strohm)

OatHow: Novel indicators and technologies for oat quality and applicability (2019-2020; Business Finland; Leading scientist at UH Dr Tuula Sontag-Strohm)

3TexVegS+H: Tasty Texture-Tailored fibre/protein rich vegetarian Health Power food & novel extrusion technology platform for the manufacture of such

Recent PhD theses

Mari Lehtonen: Oxidation of steryl esters. http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-10-7943-6

Tanja Nurmi: Variation of phytosterols and steryl ferulates in wheat grains and fractions.http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-10-8347-1

Minnamari Edelmann: Occurrence and natural enhancement of folate in oats and barley. http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-10-9752-2.

Annelie Damerau: Oxidative stability of solid foods with dispersed lipids. http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-51-0874-6

Bhawani Chamlagain: Fermentation fortification of active vitamin B12 in food matrices using Propionibacterium freudenreichii: Analysis, production and stability http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-51-2753-2

 

 

International and National Collaboration Publications and projects within past five years.

Profiles

Projects 1980 2020

Publications 2009 2019

Open Access
File

Epoxy and hydroxy fatty acids as non-volatile lipid oxidation products in oat

Yang, Z., Piironen, V. & Lampi, A-M., 15 Oct 2019, In : Food Chemistry. 295, p. 82-93 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Influence of long term nitrogen limitation on lipid, protein and pigment production of Euglena gracilis in photoheterotrophic cultures

Tossavainen, M., Ilyass, U., Ollilainen, V., Valkonen, K., Ojala, A. & Romantschuk, M., 1 Apr 2019, In : PeerJ. 7, 19 p., 6624.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access
File
Open Access
File

Riboflavin, niacin, folate and vitamin B12 in commercial microalgae powders

Edelmann, M., Aalto, S., Chamlagain, B., Kariluoto, S. & Piironen, V., 27 May 2019, In : Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. 82, 10 p., 103226.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access
File

Activities 1999 2019

Food Chemistry (Journal)

Bhawani Chamlagain (Reviewer)
2019

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

Journal of food science and technology Nepal (Journal)

Bhawani Chamlagain (Reviewer)
2019

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

Supervision of Research training and Master thesis (Noreen Orth)

Bhawani Chamlagain (Supervisor)
Mar 2019Nov 2019

Activity: Examination typesSupervision of other thesis (Master's, Licentiate)

LWT-Food Science and Technology (Journal)

Bhawani Chamlagain (Reviewer)
2019

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

Preparative Biochemistry and Biotechnology (Journal)

Bhawani Chamlagain (Reviewer)
2019

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

Prizes

The best doctoral thesis of the year 2012 in the ABS Graduate School

Mari Lehtonen (Recipient), 29 Aug 2013

Prize: Prizes and awards