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Production of second generation prebiotics and polyphenol glycosides. Validation of its bioactive properties for use in functional food

19th national competition for scientific and technical research

Food security and biotechnology

Senior Researcher : María Fernández Lobato

Research Centre or Institution : Centro de Biología Molecular "Severo Ochoa". CSIC-Universidad Autónoma de Madrid


The actual social demand for new products, adapted to the needs of an increasingly aging consumer, which have an impact on certain targets of the organism promoting a positive effect on its general health, makes the global market for functional foods grow continuously. The general objective of this project is the characterization of new bioactive molecules for application in different industrial sectors, mainly in functional food. Initially we proposed the production of second-generation prebiotics, chitooligosaccharides (COS) and glycoconjugates derivatives using environmentally friendly strategies, renewable raw materials and biocatalysts based on new microbial enzymes.  

We also proposed to redesign biocatalysts in order to optimize their efficiency and selectivity and to analyze the biological properties of the products obtained in collaboration with several laboratories and specialized companies. During these last few years we have continued with: (1) the biochemical and structural characterization of microbial biocatalysts producing COS and heterooligosaccharides, including glycosyl hydrolases and chitinases producing new sugars and that generate products of different degrees of acetylation, respectively, (2) the analysis at the structural level of the biocatalyst specificity and we produced  enzymatic variants with improved and/or biased activity towards the formation of a certain type of products. (3) Protocols have been simplified, and (4) analyzed in vitro the prebiotic potential of some of the molecules produced.


Scientific Production
Magazine Articles 18
Communications at national conferences 11
Communications at international conferences 6


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