Skip to main content

Public Health and Sport Sciences

Bioavailability of nutrients and phytochemicals

Improving the bioavailability of health-promoting phytochemicals found in vegetables for enhanced bioactivity

Phytochemicals are chemical compounds produced by plants, which have potential health benefits for humans. Unstable and labile (easily-broken-down) phytochemicals may undergo degradation at different stages of food processing in the industry, or during digestion in the human body. 

A plate of prepared vegetables including tomatoes, spinach, radishes and carrots.

This contributes to lower bioavailability and thus lower bioactivity - it reduces how much the compounds can benefit the body. 

With a special focus on broccoli, this study aims to develop infrared spectroscopic methods as a green tool to determine broccoli’s bioactive compounds at different stages of processing.

In addition, this study aims to protect and stabilise broccoli bioactive compounds using the advanced food processing technology, microencapsulation. We will investigate the effect of microencapsulation on in vitro bioaccessibility and in vivo bioavailability.

Project partners

This work is being carried out by Ali Ali Redha at the University of Exeter and The University of Queensland under the supervision of Dr Luciana Torquati, Prof Geoff Nash, Dr Daniel Cozzolino and Prof Mike Gidley. The project is primarily funded by the QUEX Institute.