Microorganisms for Functional Foods

The course “Microorganisms for Functional Foods” was carried out as a part of the PECOLO Project. The course developed for the UNALM (Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina) was conducted by the international expert Dr. Gabriel Vinderola, of the Institute of Industrial Lactology of the National University of the Litoral in Santa Fe (Argentina). Along with Dr. Vinderola, Dr. Seppo Salminen and Dr. Carlos Gómez Gallego from the University of Turku in Finland participated in teaching activities during the course.

Picture 1. Dr. Vinderola and the course participants at microbiology labs in UNALM.

The course aimed at PhD students, university staff and industry professionals included topics related to the isolation and characterization of potential probiotic bacteria, biomass production and the incorporation of probiotics in food. Likewise, aspects related to legislation and probiotics, intestinal microbiota and health were addressed during the course.

Picture 2. (from left to right) Dr. Gómez Gallego, Dr. Salminen, Dr. Repo-Carrasco Valencia and Dr Vinderola, and the students during the practical work.

During the practical sessions led by Dr. Vinderola the students elaborated vegetable drinks and fermented milks with probiotic bacteria facing the technological and microbiological problems that can be found in the elaboration of different types of probiotics.

Given the satisfaction of both participants and teachers, we all hope to be able to make new editions of this course in the future.

Dr. Carlos Gómez Gallego, Functional Foods Forum, Turku University