Research areas

Scientific activities of the Department covers issues related to developing food quality and human nutrition. In detail, it can be distinguished as:

One of the best developed directions of research in the Department is on functional food and its health benefits. The results of many years of studies indicate high antioxidant and pro-health potential of plant components, including tea, mulberry, rosemary, buckwheat, flax, chokeberry, stevia, or vegetable fiber, which allowed for undertaking work aimed at designing of new food products. Ongoing work includes the design of formulas and technologies of food products that may be an important component of a diet with high nutritional value and health benefits. Our success is the development of several innovative health-promoting technologies of food products aimed at reducing the occurrence of obesity, diabetes, vascular disease, or atherosclerosis.

Research on the use of ingredients rich in ballast substances to enrich products poor in dietary fiber and as carriers of active substances added to food (e.g. iodine, antioxidants). The possibilities of optimization of functional properties of dietary fiber (swelling and binding of water as well as adsorption of metal ions, cholesterol and bile acids) are determined through the use of technological processing (grinding, soaking and cooking).

Scientific interests, which particularly concerns the search for ways to limit the oxidation process with natural antioxidants, and the influence of lipid oxidation processes on the other nutrients (e.g. amino acids, vitamins).

Parallel to the ongoing research on the quality and durability of fats used in frying process also the research on the quality of fried products on the market are conducted. The quality assessment is focused primarily on the analysis of fat used during production and its health benefits, as well as determination of the fatty acid profile of the products (saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, trans-fatty acids), content and degree of unsaturated fat and the polar fat fraction content, the profile of triacylglycerol polymers is also evaluated.

Research on the evaluation of the quality and changes in fat occurring during the frying process. Analysis include tests carried out in model systems (fat heating) and during simulated frying conditions (using the product). The analysis of the quality of fat and its transformation during frying includes determination of changes in the content of free fatty acids, fatty acid profile (saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, trans fatty acids), content and degree of unsaturation of fat and total content of polar fat fraction and phytosterol conversions.

Proteins play an important role among known food ingredients, that are essential for the proper development and functioning of the body. Fat oxidation products easily interact with proteins to give protein and fat complexes and lead to losses of this component, which could be limited with antioxidants. Research is directed for application of natural antioxidants to inhibit the scale of mutual interactions of amino acids and lipids, which allows for shaping the nutritional value and improving the quality of processed food.

Research on the sensory quality of food with the addition of iodized salt and on changes in the content of iodine in food products processed by various techniques that deplete the diet in this component.

Research aimed at analyzing the condition of the selected catering establishments in terms of the possibility of introducing the HACCP food quality control system - implementation of quality control systems, development of infrastructure guidelines, proper design of the functional layout of the business premises, staff and the equipment of the food production facility.

Research on changes in the characteristics of sensory attributes, which are the most important distinguishing factors of food quality for the consumer occurring in the process of food processing and storage. Consumer behavior studies determine the preferences of various groups of food products with modified nutritional value and the dependence of these preferences on economic and sociological factors.