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Department of Food Analysis and Nutrition

The Department of Food Analysis and Nutrition is recognized, both nationally and internationally, for its vital scientific contributions to a wide range of research areas related to food quality and chemical safety. Together with partners representing food/feed industry sector and in a close collaboration with health professionals, research projects concerned with strategies aimed at nutritional improvements of various food products have been conducted. In this way, issues related to possible prevention or remediation of various chronic diseases and other aspects of public health associated with a quality of diet, are addressed. In addition to characterization of biologically active food components (both health promoting and toxic) and their reactions during food processing or storage, also flavor properties and strategies of their evaluation are subject of research. Another subject of extensive research activities is a protection of human food chain against the transfer of various classes of organic / inorganic contaminants from external environment. The Department of Food Analysis and Nutrition runs cutting-edge instrumental equipment (all the recent categories of mass spectrometry based techniques) and highly experienced, enthusiastic staff participating in many international consortia such as EU framework or COST projects. The scientific advice on recent trends in food quality and safety together with providing solutions on emerging problems (including those identified by European Food Safety Authority, EFSA) in these fields are provided for both governmental institutions and private food companies. Since recently, also forensic science has become the field of target research. The representatives of Department are in charge of highly ranked international symposia ´Recent Advances in Food Analysis´ and ´Chemical Reactions in Food´.

Current research topics and areas of expertise:
• Development and validation of highly sensitive and accurate multianalyte methods (many tests are accredited according to ISO 17035) for a comprehensive assessment of chemical food / feed safety. Target analytes involve: mycotoxins (regulated, emerging, ´masked´); plant toxins (pyrrolizidine and tropane alkaloids, solanin and others); pesticide residues (all regulated compounds and newly registered); polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, PAHs; halogenated environmental contaminants (PCBs, brominated flame retardants, perfluorinated and polyflruorinated compounds); migrants from packaging materials; toxic metals; heat  induced processing contaminants (acrylamide, 3-MCPD esters, furan and others
• Studies of the fate (both chemical degradation and enzyme-catalyzed transformation included) of the above contaminants / toxicants across food production chain:  food crop – processing technology – final product
• Characterization of biologically active natural components (associated with health claims) occurring  in food crops, botanicals and food supplements
• Implementation of mass spectrometry based metabolomics for non-target screening of biotic / abiotic stress markers in plants (application of multivariate chemometric strategies for data processing)
• Advanced strategies for food commodities authentication (e.g. organic versus conventional, botanical / geographical origin) and fraud detection based on mass spectrometric fingerprinting / profiling
• Environmental contaminants in human environment – occurrence in biotic and abiotic compartments, assessment of humans´ exposure routes
• Tastes and  flavors – novel approaches in sensory evaluation (experimental design and statistical analysis), investigation of formation and nature
• Speciation and characterization of trace elements and minerals in biotic and food matrices, development of new analytical strategies
• Reactions of food components associated with the risk of oxidative and carbonyl stress  (studies of Maillard reaction pathways and lipids oxidation, role of antioxidants)
• Nutritional toxicology – relationship between dietary intake of food contaminants / oxidized lipids and chronic toxic effects in consumers

doc. Ing. Jana Pulkrabová, Ph.D., Department Head
Tel: +420 220 44 3185, mobile: 00420 602833424, E-mail: jana.pulkrabova@vscht.cz

Updated: 21.1.2020 13:23, Author: Blanka Morchová

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