Research at the department concentrates on fresh and processed products of the fruit and vegetables food groups, which are investigated in view of their quality, health and safety aspects using state of the art analytical, non-invasive, molecular biological and microbiological methods.
The research priority of the department when focusing on the quality of fruit and vegetables is a comprehensive characterization of these foods regarding their spectra of compounds and changes in these as a result of different methods of cultivation, ripening, storage and processing. A special research emphasis is on the preservation of essential nutrients and functional compounds. Secondary plant compounds are investigated as to their bioavailability and metabolism, as well as their interaction with the human gastrointestinal microbiota. The aim of these investigations is to understand the contribution of these compounds to the beneficial health effects of fruit and vegetables in human beings.