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3.2 Food chemistry and human nutrition

1. Research Domain
FUNCT Functional Plant Biology
2. Research Domain
MICRO Plant-Microbe Systems
3. Research Domain
QUALITY Plant Quality and Food Security
3.1 Plant quality for human consumption
3.2 Food chemistry and human nutrition
3.3 Economic development and Food Security
4. Research Domain
HORTSYS Next-Generation Horticultural Systems

Given the current promotion of more plant-based, nutrient-rich diets, se-condary plant metabolites will draw increased attention. Carotenoids – a certain group of secondary plant metabolites – have been associated with reduced risk of chronic diseases, i.e. degenerative eye diseases.

Moreover, specific carotenoids exhibit provitamin A activity. In addition, our Research Group has a strong interest in apocarotenoids (carotenoid degradation products), which are aroma impact compounds, serve as precursors of plant hormones and unknown carotenoid derived signalling compounds.

We are pursuing an integrated assessment of carotenoid homeostasis pathways in vegetables in order to understand how the plants interact with changing production and climate conditions. Building on our expertise on carotenoid biosynthesis and catabolism, our most important objectives are: to investigate the genetic diversity, to study the effect of environmental stimuli on carotenoid homeostasis, identify endogenous regulatory mechanisms of the carotenoid homeostasis, and elucidate the dietary effects of modulated (apo)carotenoid profiles.

Current Project

2018 - 2020

Identification and regulation of floret carotenoid metabolism in colored cauliflowers (Brassica oleracea L. ssp. botrytis) cultivars grown under different environmental conditions

Brasicales are among the oldest cultivated plants and records dating back to 1500 BC.


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Other Projects

Exploring gaps in carotenoid research: Healthy vegetables with defined carotenoid profiles

Over the last decade, carotenoid research was driven by pilot projects improving the vitamin A supply in world regions with a particularly high vitamin A def...

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