Department of Applied Chemistry and Microbiology with staff of appr. 200 persons is one of the departments of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry at University of Helsinki. Food Chemistry is one of its 5 sections with staff of app. 25 persons.
Food compositional reseach has been one major activity of the Laboratory of Food Chemistry since 1970's, more recently including analyses of fat- and water soluble vitamins, flavonoids and phenolic acids, plant sterols, and purines. Among our priorities are developing new analytical methodologies and quality assurance for quantitative analysis. We have had active co-operation aiming at standarizing of analytical methods and developing reference materials within official international organizations (AOAC, Nordisk Metodik Kommittee) and projects (COST 915, the EU Measuring and Testing Programme) or our own networks. We participate in European Committee for Standardization CEN TC275/WG9 "Vitamins - Horizontal methods" working group.
The current focus of the research is on phytochemicals; identification of new bioactive components, studying structures of the active phytochemicals in order to influence their applicability, optimizing the concentrations by use of bioprocesses, studying interactions and reactions between phytochemicals and other food components and isolation techniques to best exploit the bioactivities of the selected phytochemicals in food products. Further, we study functional properties of phytochemicals.
The laboratory is well connected with European scientists for example through participation in COST Actions (e.g. Cost 927), the NEODIET Concerted Action Project, several projects in the EU frameworks and international organizations. We participated in a project on folates (FolateFuncHealth, QLK1-1999-000576) and will be a core partner in a network of excellence "European Food Information Resource Network" (Eurofir, coordinated by the Institute of Food Research, Norwich, UK). The laboratory is well-equipped for isolation, identification and quantifiaction of food components and for studying their functional properties.
Last updated on 2006-11-10 by Gertrud Linsberger-Martin