1. Bioprospecting and screening of phytochemicals with pharmaceutical and industrial applications
Within this research line the antioxidant activity and the inhibitory capacity against enzymes linked important human diseases of extracts from wild edible plants, including aromatic and non-aromatic species, and algae, are evaluated. The bioactive compounds present in the extracts are quantified by spectrophotometric methods and by high-performance liquid chromatography with diode-array detection (HPLC–DAD). Moreover, the effect of in vitro gastrointestinal digestion on total phenolics and antioxidant activity of extracts from some relevant plant extracts is also investigated. New food applications with potential health benefits, based on the antioxidant activity of plants are also developed. The chemical characterization of traditional Algarvian carob, fig and almond liqueurs is carried out to achieve a better understanding of the composition and chemistry of the different types and modes of preparation of these alcoholic beverages.
2. Lignocellulose Dissolution and Regeneration for the Development of New Sustainable Materials
This research line, focuses on the development on new NMR methodologies to characterize the solution state of cellulose dopes; and how scattering and rheology could be coupled to infer on the solution properties of cellulose in aqueous tetrabutylammoium hydroxide. The role of cyclodextrins on the dissolution performance of lignocellulose is also evaluated.