My last secondment as part of the FODIAC project took place at SONAE where I visited the warehouses and supermarkets. During that visit, we talked about the fruits that get discarded and their management after they leave the supermarket. We focused on the relevant fruits that could be suited for the FODIAC project, i.e. grapes and berries since they are known for their high content of polyphenols, particularly anthocyanins. During my secondment, I had the opportunity to visit 3 different Continente stores in the city of Braga from which I collected samples of grapes and berries (blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries) for the extraction and analysis of their polyphenol content (Fig.1).
I carried out the extraction of polyphenols from the mix of grapes and berries using established methodologies from other FODIAC partner’s laboratories (Prof. Pintado from the Catholic University of Portugal (UCP). During my visit, I also visited Prof. Pintado’s group at the UCP to carry out other key parameters from the berries’ extract (e.g. antioxidant activity (AOC)), which again of much relevance for the FODIAC project.
Figure 1: Visit to CONTINENT supermarket and example of the berries used to extract and characterize the polyphenol content