Plant Bioresources

Activities pursued

Within the Bioprospecting and screening of phytochemicals with pharmaceutical and industrial applications from endemic sources of the Algarve Region research line the antioxidant activity and the inhibitory capacity against enzymes linked important human diseases of extracts from Portuguese wild edible plants, including aromatic and non-aromatic species, and algae, were evaluated. The bioactive compounds present in the extracts were quantified by spectrophotometric methods and by high-performance liquid chromatography with diode-array detection (HPLC–DAD). Moreover, the effect of in vitro gastrointestinal digestion on total phenolics and antioxidant activity of extracts from some relevant plant extracts was also investigated. New food applications with potential health benefits, based on the antioxidant activity of plants were also developed. The chemical characterization of traditional Algarvian carob, fig and almond liqueurs was carried out to achieve a better understanding of the composition and chemistry of the different types and modes of preparation of these alcoholic beverages.
The activities in the Lignocellulose Dissolution and Regeneration for the Development of New Sustainable Materials research line, focused on the development on a new NMR methodologies to characterize the solution state of cellulose dopes; and how scattering and rheology could be coupled to infer on the solution properties of cellulose in aqueous tetrabutylammoium hydroxide. The role of cyclodextrins on the dissolution performance of lignocellulose was also evaluated. 
Within this Group 3 research projects and 4 PhD thesis are ongoing, 5 master thesis were concluded, Bruno Medronho became Assistant Researcher “Investigador FCT” at UAlg (July 2105), 2 books were published, 10 papers (ISI), 17 communications in international congresses and 9 in national meetings.