The research interests of the GAIA Center’s Bioanalytical Department are focused on aspects of quality of life, such as the investigation of the relation between dietary habits and health, assessment of the effects of various environmental factors on food and human health, and integrated utilization of waste produced by agricultural industry. State-of-the-art technologies are used, with emphasis on the techniques of chromatography and mass spectrometry.
More specifically, the Department’s research activity covers the following fields:
- Investigation of nutrition and health relationships and determination of the biological effects of certain nutritional elements on humans. The cardinal part of this research area is the assessment of bioactive components from Cretan diet towards sustaining health, and preventing age-related diseases.
- The extensive and systematic research of the Greek flora on a molecular level for the discovery and molecular identification of bioactive elements originated from plants as well as their bioavailability.
- The mutual effect on a molecular level of the above bioactive elements with biological macromolecules.
- The quantitative identification of substances acting as environmental estrogens as well as food pollutants and the processes of their transportation through the food chain.
- Participation in the development of strategies for the reduction or the elimination of environmental consequences from industrial or agricultural activities. This mainly aims at the development of a viable high-technology process for the recovery of natural antioxidants from olive oil mill and wineries wastewater.
The Bioanalytical Laboratory collaborates with several academic and research institutes in Greece, Europe and the USA:
- University of Athens, Pharmacy Department, Athens
- University of Patras, Pharmacy Department, Patras
- University of Crete, Medical School, Iraklion, Crete
- Agricultural University of Athens, Athens
- Foundation for Biomedical Research of the Academy of Athens
- University of Thessaloniki, Agricultural Department, Thessaloniki
- University of Frankfurt, Pharmacy Department, Germany
- Uppsala University, Chemistry Department, Sweden
- INRA Theix, Groupe Ostéoporose Unité des Maladies Métaboliques et Micronutriments, FRANCE
- Scripps Research Institute, Chemistry Department, San Diego, USA
- University of Cyprus, Department of Biological Sciences, Cyprus