Deformability of soft plant cells accessed by 3D images

Deformability of soft plant cells accessed by 3D images. Leverrier C. et al. 2017 (Accepted for publication in Food Biophysics).

Purees of fruit and vegetables are concentrated suspensions of plant particles. To make the link between process and texture, it is necessary to understand their rheological behaviour which is related to the plant cell volume fraction. However, plant particle’s volume fraction is not clearly defined yet. From a physical point of view, plant cells can be considered as soft, deformable and compressible particles, which are susceptible to decrease their volume under stress or when the concentration increases, making the volume fraction difficult to determine. To our knowledge, the ability of cells to compress themselves has never been shown directly from processed fruit or vegetable. Using confocal microscopy and 3D reconstruction, we developed a protocol to determine the volume of cells in concentrated suspensions. Four suspensions varying in cell wall content were analysed. Cells’ volume only decreases in highly concentrated suspensions. We demonstrate by direct observation the ability of plant particles to compress and decrease their volume when the concentration of the suspension increases.

Design of model apple cells suspensions: Rheological properties and impact of the continuous phase.

Design of model apple cells suspensions: Rheological properties and impact of the continuous phase. Leverrier C. et al. (Accepted for publication in Food Biophysics).

The objective of this work is twofold: to develop a relevant model system to study plant cells suspensions’ rheology and to evaluate the impact of the continuous phase composition and viscosity on the rheological behaviour of apple cells suspensions. Model suspensions of individual or clustered apple cells were developed. Rheological behaviours of both type of suspensions were observed separately, suspending from 0.145 g/100mL to 3.48 g/100mL of particles in
the model media and in the original apple serum. Our results show that model suspensions successfully reproduce the rheological behaviour of apple purees, following three concentration domains. In particular, cell clusters greatly reproduce the behaviour of bimodal apple purees, suggesting that clusters dominate the rheological behaviour of the whole puree. One of our main result is that continuous phase does not affect elastic properties of suspensions in the concentrated domain since they are essentially governed by particle interactions: G’ values are similar whatever the continuous phase. If the continuous phase has the main impact on diluted suspensions’ viscosity, its effect becomes smaller as particle concentration increases. A lubricating effect was observed in the concentrated domain for continuous phases containing polymers. Presence of polymers may help in structuring the network in the intermediate domain.

New publication: CORDIS Optifel results in brief

Food for the elderly gets a total makeover

When physical disabilities and lack of appetite set in with age, it’s very difficult to maintain a balanced diet. EU researchers have tested more than 1 200 elderlies with a whole new range of food, taking into account taste and texture to nutritional quality, as well as microbial safety.

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Optifel final conference

The final conference of project Optifel was held on the 1st of February 2017, in Paris at the auditorium of Business France (77 Boulevard Saint Jacques 75 014 Paris, France).

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January 2017 – Selected Publications

Plasma Carotenoids, Tocopherols, and Retinol in the Age-Stratified (35-74 Years) General Population: A cross-Sectionnal Study in Six European Countries. Stuetz et al. Nutrients 2016, 8(10).

Executive functioning and dietary intake: Neurocognitive correlates of fruit, vegetable, and saturated fat intake in adults with obesity. Wyckoff et al. Appetite. Volume 111, 1 April 2017, Pages 79–85


December 2016 – Selected publications

Hydroethanolic extracts from different genotypes of acaï (Euterpe oleracea) presented antioxidant potential and protected human neuron-like cells (SH-SY5Y). Priscila do Carmo Marchioro Raupp Torma et al. Food Chemistry. Volume 222, 1 May 2017, Pages 94–104

Potential health benefits and quality of dried fruits: Goji fruits, cranberries and raisins. Magdalena Jeszka-Skowron et al. Food Chemistry. Volume 221, 15 April 2017, Pages 228–236



Optifel Dissemination day – Barcelona December 2016

A dissemination day about Optifel project has been organized by IRTA in Barcelona next 14th December.

Program (In Catalan): jornada-optifel-final
9:30 Taula Rodona 1. Anàlisi de la situació actual. Moderador: Toni Massanés
– Fotografia actual en dades. Jaume Serra. Agencia catalana de salut pública
– Necessitats nutricionals gent gran i canvis deguts a l’envelliment. Laura Padró. UB
– Alimentar-se, què hi diuen els nostres protagonistes?. Mª Gràcia Artigas. Emporhotel
– Discussió i preguntes
10:45 Taula Rodona 2. Especificacions i necessitats: dels nutrients a la taula. Moderador: M. Dolors Guàrdia
– Patologia de l’alimentació en la gent gran. Isabel Hernández. Fundació ACE.
– Disfàgia i alimentació per a la gent gran. Ivet Clemente. Serveis de Salut Integrats del Baix Empordà
– Solucions culinàries aplicades a l’alimentació triturada. Elena Roura. Fundació Alícia
– Discussió i preguntes

12.30 Reptes de l’alimentació a domicili per a la gent gran. Vicenç Sellés, Compass Group Spain
13:00 El camí per elaborar nous conceptes de productes per a persones grans: l’experiència del projecte OPTIFEL.
Pierre Picouet. ESA/IRTA
13.30 Showcooking, cuinar per seguir sent independents. Jaume Biarnés. Fundació Alícia
14.00 Dinar

2nd COOK & Health Scientific Symposium

Call for abstracts!
The 2nd COOK & Health Scientific Symposium will be held on Thursday, 2 March 2017 in the University of West London.
Organised by BCC INNOVATION -Research and Innovation Center and University of West London, this event will share up-to-date knowledge on the relationships between cooking, eating behaviours and health.

Abstracts should be sent to before the 23rd of December 2016.

More information: Call for abstracts C&H symposium