Antioxidant contents and texture optimization of fruit and vegetable bars and the technological characterization of South American yam flour as a functional food

Fecha de publicación: 10/12/2022
Fuente: ISHS (International Society for Horticultural Science)
Post date: Saturday 10 December 2022
ISHS Secretariat

Sandra V. Medina-López is a Ph.D. candidate in the Food Science and Technology Institute at the National University of Colombia, in a joint guardianship with the doctoral Advanced Techniques in Food and Agricultural Research and Development program at the Technical University of Cartagena, under the supervision of her academic advisors, Dr. Maria Soledad Hernández and Dr. Juan Pablo Fernández. Sandra’s research focused on exploring sustainable ways to apply local Colombian plant biodiversity resources. She began by joining a study of functional foods being developed for children, pregnant and nursing mothers. Sandra wanted to create a snack suitable for human consumption using local species of fruits and vegetables highlighting their natural bioactive phytochemicals such as vitamin A, fructooligosaccharides, and antioxidants. She analyzed data and developed response surface designs to improve texture using naturally rich yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius) purees in combination with commercially available prebiotic fibers. The maximal combination was chosen to produce fruit and vegetable bars that were vegan, natural sugar-based, nutrient-dense snacks, and could be easily scalable to local industries or beyond. Subsequently, Sandra considered the potential of other neglected crops in the country for her doctoral thesis. She examined native species productive chains. She assessed the transformation possibilities of neglected American purple cush-cush yam (Dioscorea trifida), promoting the collaboration between academy and productive communities. In her initial approach, she analyzed the common value-added strategies of the productive region. She then produced anthocyanin-rich powders that could provide bioactive ingredients to other foods. The goal was to develop cost-effective, palatable, familiar foods, that would benefit crop production in the communities while promoting consumer health. Then, she formulated biscuits with the purple powders considering one of the main concerns was the communities’ marketing of the developed materials and the adoption of the products.
Sandra V. Medina-López won two ISHS Young Minds Awards at IHC2022 in France in August 2022. The first was for the best poster presentation 'Fruit and vegetable bars: antioxidant contents and texture optimization with prebiotic fiber addition', at the IX International Symposium on Human Health Effects of Fruits and Vegetables - FAVHEALTH2022, and the second for the best oral presentation, 'Technological potential and characterization of underutilized South American yam flour with food application', at the International Symposium on Value Adding and Innovation Management in the Horticultural Sector.
Sandra V. Medina López, Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología de Alimentos, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá 111321, Colombia, e-mail:
The article is available in Chronica HorticulturaeTags: human healthfunctional foodCategories: Young Minds Award Winners