FOODinteract Research Team (I3A-LAQV)
PROJECTS - POIROT
Novel methods and approaches for detecting the illegal addition of Pharmaceutical drugs and bOtanIcal adulteRatiOn in planT food supplements
Coordinator: Instituto Politécnico de Bragança
Aims: In the last decade, medicinal plants and products thereof have become increasingly available in the EU as ingredients of formulations sold as food supplements (FS), which are legally considered as foods without requiring any kind of authorization to be commercialized. Thus, phytopreparations can be introduced in the market under the guise of plant food supplements (PFS) to circumvent the requirements and official registration procedure needed for traditional herbal medicinal products. Pharmacopoeias methods for plants identification rely on microscopy or chromatography. However, it is known that plants’ chemical composition varies widely, making chemical profiling an unsuited option. By the contrary, DNA-analysis allows the unequivocal species identification, not being affected by region, climate, etc. We propose to use DNA-barcodes and innovative methods such as NGS and LAMP, applied to botanical traceability from raw plant materials to PFS, having high-value species largely used in PFS (ginkgo, ginseng and bacopa) as case studies. In sum, this project addresses the problem of adulteration issues in PFS by specifically filling different gaps that have not been considered so far. To this goal, the project gathers a multidisciplinary team with complementary know-how (analytical chemistry, molecular biology and biosensors), previous work in PFS fraud, required instrumentation for all tasks, and takes advantage of the expertise of the PI on both analytical and biomolecular techniques.
Total funding: 249.621,76€
REQUIMTE funding: 123.525,88€