Functional Food


alimentos funcionalesXaRTA offers a comprehensive service for the design and development of funcional foods using ingredients and bioactive compounds, thus obtaining healthier and safer foods that are distinguisable from other foods. We offer services in several of the steps needed to obtain a functional food.

1. Identification of bioactive components that includes:

  • Analytical identification of bioactive component levels in food matrices.
  • Biofunctionality studies of the bioactive component in food matrices
  • Legal advising

2. Obtainment of bioactive compounds and development of functional foods

3. Final evaluation, including:

  • Efficacy studies.
  • Safety studies.
  • Consumer acceptance studies.

Identification of bioactive components

  1. Analytical identification of several bioactive components in a variety of food matrices using advanced methods of analysis.
  2. Insilico, in vitro, in vivo, epidemiological and interventional studies on the biofuncionality of bioactive compounds in various food matrices.
  3. Legal counseling to adapt regulations to the European Novel Food Regulation of Nutritional Claims.



Obtainment and development

There are various alternatives through reformulation for the development of functional foods:

1. Removal of components that can have negative effects on the health of the consumers (e.g .allergenic proteins).

2. Substitution of substances with negative effects with others with beneficial effects (e.g. animal fat with vegetable fat).

3. Addition of bioactive compounds with beneficial effects (e.g. antioxidants, prebiotics…).

4. Fortification of a component naturally present in the food that has beneficial effects (e.g. increasing the concentration of fiber)

5. Increasing bioavailability or stability of a component to produce beneficial effects.


a) Isolation, purification and enrichment of ingredients or food extracts with the highest biofunctional potential:

  • Implementation and optimization of technologically extractive processes through the application of food technologies: accelerated solvent extraction equipment (ASE), solid phase extraction (SPE), solid phase microextraction (SPME), stir bar sorptive extraction (SBSE) by thermal desorption and solution concentrations of bioactive components by membrane separation (nanofiltration, reverse osmosis).

b) Studies of formulation, stability and improvement essays of new food products:

  • Adjustments in the formulations through the understanding of authorized additives (preservatives, antioxidants, emulsifiers, and flavorings).
  • Adjustments in the formulations through the understanding of degradation indicators (biogenic amines, microbial indicators …).
  • Application of new food technologies for processing, preservation and packaging of foods.


Assesment Studies

Efficacy studies by assessing the nutritional and healthy potential of foods or food ingredients by:

  • Experimental studies (in silico, in vitro, in vivo models):
  • Clinical studies in humans (epidemiological and interventional) on effects on healthy food

including bioavailabillity and metabolism studies, biofunctionality studies and nutrigenomic, proteomic and metabolic studies.

Food safety studies
  • Experimental toxicology studies in vivo and in vitro.
  • Assessment of the risk exposure. Expert reports
  • Evaluation of allergenicity.
Consumer acceptance studies
  • Design and conductance of qualitative and quantitative preference studies in consumers through population panels.
  • There is a European panel: partner panels partners in Zaragoza, England, Germany…
  • Interpretation of consumer preferences according to:
    • sensory attributes
    • standard quality parameters (physical and chemical)
    • processing and conservation conditions
  • Analysis of consumer behavior in commercial situations