Principal Investigator:
Narcisa Bandarra

Marine ecosystems are unique environments characterized by their potential to contribute to environmental and human health and to the sustainable supply of food, energy and biomaterials. The main focus of our research team has been the upgrading of marine bio-resources, viewed either as the source or the target of biotechnology applications. Specifically, the implementation of European legislation on the disposal of discards will lead to considerable onboard and onshore availability of undervalued fish. In parallel with the valorisation of this raw material, the reduction of the environmental impact of this organic matter is also pursued.

Our main goals include:

  • utilization of biotechnological processes for biomolecules production and sustainable increase of waste reduction;
  • study and optimization of new methodologies of preservation and bio-preservation, particularly in chilled products;
  •  utilization of biotechnological alternatives for the production of squalene, omega 3 type fatty acids, especially DHA, phytosterols and other biomolecules,
  • study of biotechnological transformation processes more efficient and clean; and
  • development of innovative products with higher added value, for improved use of all products and by-products from the fisheries and aquaculture sector.

Activities are oriented to impact the full and sustainable utilization of marine biological resources, contribute to renewing the offer of the seafood industry to consumers and concur to the prevention of diseases and guarantee healthy ageing for future generations.

Publications Highlights

Afonso, C., Cardoso, C., Gomes-Bispo, A., Ferreira, I., Rego, A., Coelho, I., Motta, C., Prates, J.A.M., Castanheira, I., Bandarra, N.M. (2023). Fatty acids, selenium, and vitamin B12 in chub mackerel (Scomber colias) as nourishment considering seasonality and bioaccessibility as factors. Food Chemistry, 403, 134455.  

Afonso, C., Bernardo, I., Bandarra, N.M., Louro Martins, L., Cardoso, C. (2019). The Implications of Following Dietary Advice Regarding Fish Consumption Frequency and Meal Size for the Benefit (EPA+DHA and Se) versus Risk (MeHg) Assessment. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 70:5, 623-637. 

Cardoso, C., Almeida, J., Coelho, I., Delgado, I., Gomes, R., Quintã, R., Bandarra, N.M., Afonso, C. (2023). Farming a wild seaweed and changes to its composition, bioactivity, and bioaccessibility: The Saccorhiza polyschides case study. Aquaculture, 566: 739217. 

Henriques, A., Vázquez, J., Valcarcel, J., Mendes, R., Bandarra, N.M., Pires, C. (2021). Characterization of Protein Hydrolysates from Fish Discards and By-Products from the North-West Spain Fishing Fleet as Potential Sources of Bioactive Peptides. Mar. Drugs, 19 (6), 338.  

Braga, A. C., Rodrigues, S. M., Lourenço, H. M., Costa, P. R., Pedro, S. (2023). Bivalve Shellfish Safety in Portugal: Variability of Faecal Levels, Metal Contaminants and Marine Biotoxins during the Last Decade (2011–2020). Toxins, 15, 91.  

Teixeira, B., Mendes, R. (2022). Analysis of added phosphates in hake fillets by ion-exchange chromatography: A case study of false positives induced by nucleotides coelution. Food Chemistry, 368: 130841.   

Teixeira, B., Vieira, H., Martins, S., Mendes, R. (2023). Development of a rapid and non-destructive method for the detection of water addition in octopus species (Octopus vulgaris and Eledone cirrhosa) using Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR). Foods, 12, 1461.