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Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, Marine, Maritime and Inland Water Research and the Bioeconomy



Objectives:


- To contribute to a more sustainable use of biological resources and to the development of sustainable production and primary processing systems;

- To develop intervention strategies aimed at improving the efficient use of resources and production factors, and at the conservation of biotic and abiotic resources and cultural diversity;

- To promote agricultural technologies applied to production systems that lead to overall improvement in the efficiency of agricultural systems/agro-ecosystems: soil surface control, pests and diseases control through mechanisms of internal regulation/integrated protection, reduction of external inputs and reuse of materials and energy;

- To develop methods and procedures for the production of safe, nutritive and healthy food;

- To promote traceability throughout the production chain and analytical methods for the detection and control of contaminants and for assuring food product reliability;

- To develop functional foods and nutraceuticals, originated in certified (e.g. organic farming) and non-certified production methods;

- To develop processes and natural additives, which improve the shelf life of food products;

- To contribute to the study of the epidemiology of food-related diseases and allergies, and of environmental health.



Projects:

Olive Groves

- Isolation and screening of endophytic fungi for biological control of Colletotrichum acutatum and Verticillium dahliae in olive groves.

- The use of biological indicators as tools to assess the impact of agricultural practices on the sustainability of the olive grove.

- Increment of the functional biodiversity of olive groves in the promotion of biological protection against pests.

- Protection against pests in olive groves: promoting of biological enemies by the establishment of native flora.

- Entomopathogenic fungi for pest control in olive gorves: isolation, characterization and selection for biological control.

- Vegetation cover: a decisive strategy for the sustainable management of dryland olive groves.

- OlivaTMAD: Thematic Network for Dissemination of Information relative to olive groves in Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro.

- FUTUROLIVE: Effects of climate change in the production and economic aspects of olive groves.

- Strategies for minimizing  "safra" and "contra safra" in olive groves.

- Mechanized harvesting and collection in olive groves of greater density.

- Deficit irrigation of olive trees (Olea europaea L.), in the region of Terra Quente Transmontana, for the optimization of water resources, productivity and quality of the produced oil.

Chestnut Tree

HiCC: Biological control of the chestnut cancer in Portugal by hypovirulence.

- Effects of the Hypholoma fasciculare fungi in the sustainability of chestnut groves of Castanea sativa.

- Identification, characterization and role of molecular factors associated with the infection mechanism of species of Fagaceae by Phytophthora cinnamomi.

- CHESTNUTSRAD: Alternative treatments for extending the shelf life of chestnuts.

- Innovative machines for collecting fruits.

Bee-Keeping

- Characterization of honeys of Trás-os-Montes: Demonstration of environmental and bee-keepers contributions to the honey quality.

- PAN: Portugal, Bee-keeping and Nosema.

- Phytochemical traps for sanitary control of bees.

- Effectiveness of propolis in controlling american foul-brood: evaluation in controlled areas.

- Valorisation of beekeeping in the regions of Bafatá and Gabu: production, processing and marketing.

- National screening of antibiotics in honey: evaluation of waste contamination routes in honey.

- Production and promotion of production of organic honey.

- Study of the efficacy of APISTAN and APIVAR in fighting varrose in Portugal.

- Standards and procedures of variation ( neutral and adaptive ) in the bee (Apis mellifera iberiensis) hybridization zone in the Iberian peninsula: a population genetics approach integrating population genomics and landscape genetics.

- Geographical patterns of genetic diversity of the honeybee in Portugal (mainland and islands): the story told by mitochondrial DNA.

- New bee-keeping products development in organic production mode.

- Optimization of mead production conditions

Animal Production

- OTSA: Transnational observatory for animal health

- Comparison of modes of organisation, production and marketing of livestock organic production in France, Spain and Portugal.

- Improvement of milking conditions of small ruminants in Trás-os-Montes.

- Characterisation of products with protected designation of origin: Cabrito Transmontano and Borrego Terrincho.

- Organic production of beef cattle in the mountain agro-livestock systems inTrás-os-Montes.

- The use of ultrasounds to assess sheep and goats carcasses and body composition.

- Mastitis in Ruminants: local immunity and regulatory mechanisms.

BISOVICAP: Processing meat from pigs, sheep and goats, to produce new products (ham and paté).

- BISIPORC: Extensive production of Bísaro breed pigs in two alternative systems  fattening with concentrated animal food vs chestnuts.

- Selection of Serrana breed goats according to their casein profile.

- RED_AGROTEC: Spain-Portugal network of experimentation and transfer for the development of the agro-livestock and agro-industrial sectors.

- Transnational epidemiology research programme on Zoonosis.

Bioeconomy

- AdTechP2: Advanced separation technologies for protein purification.

- Portuguese Wild Mushrooms: chemical characterization and functional study of anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic properties in cancer cell lines.

- Chiral separations in multicomponent simulated moving bed processes.

-Pieris brassicae as synthesis laboratory of new compounds with biological potential from Brassica oleracea var . costata , Brassica oleracea var . acephala and Brassica rapa var . rapa.

- OMValor: Biotechnological valorisation of wastewater from olive oil mills.

- Endemic Portuguese aromatic flora: chemical diversity versus molecular diversity and biological activity.

Healthy and Safe Diet

- Safety of herbal dietary supplements: search for adulterant drugs and plants.

- Comprehensive evaluation of intervention strategies based on risk to improve microbial safety of traditional Portuguese sausages.

- Assessing the degree of exposure of the Portuguese population to ochratoxin: consumption of bread and content in urine.

- Improving the competitiveness of the agricultural sector in Castilla y León (Spain) and northern Portugal through innovation and development of high value, differentiated products.

- TRADEIT: Support for the traditional food sector.

Various Topics

- Improvement of Quercus suber for a sustainable artificial regeneration.

- Mixed Forests. Modelling, dynamics and geographical distribution of productivity and carbon sequestration in mixed forest ecosystems in Portugal.

- Importance of genetic control on the sustainability of Quercus suber forest systems and agro-forest  systems in Portugal.

- Silvopastoral use of indigenous forests of Trás-os-Montes: its integrated study.

-  BioPast: an integrated spproach to permanent, biodiverse pastures rich in legumes.

- Cultural adaptation of Mint and Stevia.

- Sustainable management of production of aromatic and medicinal plants.

- GreenVitis: effects of soil management on productivity and sustainability of the Douro wine production system.

- CONBI: biodiversity and conservation of bivalves: ecological, genetics and physiological information.

- AgroAli@EU:  promotion of the participation of the Portuguese agrofood sector in the 7th European Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development.



Researcher Profiles:

(If you are a researcher at IPB and would like to publish a profile please contact the Research Support Office


Topics


Target Sectors/Organisations

Plants, traditional knowledge, agroecosystems and new trends in rural development. Flora diversity, traditional plant use, management and conservation. Interdisciplinary study of plants and human cultures, including past and present relationships between people and environment. Management and conservation of plant genetic resources. Medicinal plants, wild edibles, local food and medicine, nutraceuticals and mediterranean food. Safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage, valorization of underutilized and underexploited plants and crops and impacts in rural development. +INFO.

Authorities and institutions for biodiversity management and conservation;
Educational and promotional initiatives on sustainable agriculture and rural development;
Institutions and networks linking cultural heritage and new approaches for rural development. 


Chemistry of natural products: extraction, identification, fractionation and isolation of chemical compounds in natural matrices (focused on food matrices). Chromatographic and spectrometric techniques: GC-FID, GC-MS, HPLC-DAD, HPLC-RI, HPLC-FL, LC-MS, NMR. Nutraceuticals and functional foods: development of nutraceuticals and innovative food formulations with functional properties. Evaluation of antioxidant properties by chemical and biochemical assays with animal cells. Evaluation of antitumor properties though screening in human tumor cell lines, cell cycle and apoptosis analysis; Hepatotoxicity assays. Incorporation of natural extracts/fractions/compounds (free or protected) in food formulations. Technology of natural products: emergent technologies for conservation of food matrices (guaranteeing food quality, safety and security). Gamma and electron beam irradiation of food products. Application of natural preserving ingredients. +INFO.


Agro-Food Industry;
Pharmaceutical Industry;
Cosmetics Industry. 

Development of new products, namely fermented, development of probiotics, natural products for food preservation, determination of the nutritional and bioactive properties (antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antitumoral and action mechanisms) of natural and synthesized products, development of electrochemical sensors to assess the physicochemical properties of food, evaluation of food safety and quality.  +INFO.


Food and Pharmaceutical Industries;
Catering companies;
Companies of food transaction. 

Functional biodiversity and soil food-webs in sustainable agroecosystems: development of sustainable management of agroecosystems based on the conservation and enhancement of functional biodiversity (developing and validating ecological and biodiversity indicators (using arthropods and trait based approaches) to assess changes in quality and sustainability resulting from agricultural practices in agroecosystems; developing strategies and habitat manipulation programmes to enhance functional biodiversity in agroecosystems). +INFO.


Agriculture;
Farmers associations;
Policy makers. 

Methodologies to develop the tourism capabilities of the actors involved in wine industry: transferring best practices from countries where the wine tourism is already well connected to wine producers and a source of regional development to countries where wine producers are still focused in wine producing. +INFO.


Wine regions communities;
Wine-producing industry;
Wine tourism organizations. 

Organic horticulture: plant physiology, nutrition and crop protection. Technology: climatic conditions and ecology. Social and therapeutic horticulture. +INFO.

Farms;
Horticultural production organizations;
Social farms and care organizations (disabled, children, elderly, others). 


Electrochemical sensors for food analysis and health applications: development of new portable potentiometric and voltammetric multi-sensor devices for cost-effective, fast and in-situ applications. Qualitative (PCA and LDA), semi-quantitative and quantitative (MLRM and PLS) analysis: honey classification according to its colour and pollen profile, dentification of goat milk adulterations with bovine milk, juice level evaluation in non-alcoholic beverages, semi-quantitative and quantitative analysis of soft drinks, gliadins semi-quantitative detection in foodstuffs, quantification of 2,4,6-trichloroanisole at ppt level in aqueous industrial cork solutions, development of aptasensors for detection of protein biomarkers for tumor activity assessment. +INFO.


Food industry and retailers: authentication and/or adulteration evaluations;
Health sector: early detection of tumor activity. 

Studies on soil fertility, plant nutrition, waste recovery: sustainable agriculture in farming systems located mainly in mountain areas (soil quality (physical, chemical and biological), soil fertility, nutritional status of crops, reuse of organic wastes, nutrient use efficiency). +INFO.


Agriculture;
Farmers;
Agro-industrial;
Farmers’ organizations. 

Biotechnological application of fungi as biocontrol agents: fungi application as biological control agents against plant pathogens and insect pests, and as plant growth promoter and disease suppressor, for sustainable agriculture (isolation, molecular identification and in the screening of native entomopathogenic and endophytic fungi to be used as BCAs against pests and diseases, respectively; application of BCAs into integrated pest management and sustainable agriculture systems; mechanisms of biological control of plant pathogens by endophytic fungi and of pests by entomopathogenic fungi; effect of ectomycorrhizal fungi on plant growth and plant health). +INFO.


Agro-chemical sector (biopesticides);
Agricultural companies;
Farmer associations;
the Government;
Consumers. 

Genetic diversity and conservation of genetic resources: next generation sequencing technologies on honey bees to address a multitude of evolutionary questions with an application on breeding, management and conservation of honey bee genetic resources. +INFO.


Beekeeping companies and associations. 

Soil management and plant nutrition: cover cropping in perennial tree crops and vines; nitrogen and phosphorus management in agroecosystems; creation of standards for leaf analysis results interpretation in medicinal and aromatic plants.+INFO.


Agriculture;
Farmers;
Agro-industrial;
Farmers’ organizations. 


Development of sustainable materials from renewable sources and/or with functional properties: polymer synthesis and characterization, materials and chemicals from biomass, microencapsulation, functional coatings, biodegradable products. +INFO.


Food;
Cosmetics;

Urban environmental quality, including monitoring using multiple sensors that provide data that is later analysed with GIS Software.  Land Use Planning and Urban Issues such as: urban climate, noise, air pollution and waste management. Environmental management:  energy and materials balances, life cycle analysis. +INFO.


Local and Regional Administration;
Consulting;
Food Production Industry;
General Industry. 

Measuring GHG and air pollutants fluxes through the atmosphere/vegetation/soil system, by means of micrometeorological (eddy covariance, concentration gradient) and chamber methods. Monitoring and modeling air pollution and air quality. Studies on carbon cycle and dynamics, especially related to CO2 and H2O exchange measurements in soil/vegetation/atmosphere system, both in urban and rural environments. Studies on urban system issues, with special focus on environmental functions of urban green spaces. life cycle analysis of food products. +INFO.


 Local and Regional Administration;
Food Industries;
Industry in general.

Post-harvest technologies applied to regional vegetable products and their influence on product characteristics. +INFO.


Industries of vegetable products that perform storage and/or transformation. 

Food mycology and mycotoxicology: fungal isolation and identification from various matrices, mostly food, by polyphasic approach (morphological, molecular, spectral, physiological; mycotoxin detection from food matrices, by TLC, HPLC and ELISA. +INFO.


Food industry;
Food biotechnology industries. 

Food safety and quality in the production of traditional products: microbiological characterization; evaluation of microbiological conditions of food operators, utensils, equipments and surfaces;  evaluation of the biotechnological potential of isolated yeasts during fermentation of table olives. +INFO.


 Food industry.

 

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