Food & Agriculture

Authenticity assessment, high-throughput quality monitoring and characterization of natural and food products

Team: João Lopes, Mafalda Sarraguça, Ricardo Páscoa, Cláudia Santos, Miguel Lopo, Sandia Machado


Characterization of coffee based on beans quality assessment

Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages and holds second in the international trade market next to crude oil.
It is of interest of coffee distributors to have a fast and affordable diagnosis method to check for the authenticity of the coffee brand sold by reseller establishments, in order to identify possible contract disrespect and or publicity misleading. In this work, NIRS was exploited in order to discriminate between commercial coffee brands. Characterization of coffee quality based on bean quality assessment is associated to the relative amount of defective beans among healthy beans. In this work, a methodology for quality assessment of green coffee based on NIRS is proposed. The applicability of NIRS was evaluated for Arabica and Robusta varieties from different geographic proveniences. (Mafalda Sarraguça)
Spent coffee grounds (SCG) are a significant residue produced annually worldwide. Recovery of these compounds previously to the utilization for energy production is an interesting valorization approach, since they can be further incorporated in food products. In this work, FT-NIR spectroscopy was used to determine the antioxidant capacity, total phenolic and total flavonoid content of several SCG samples.


High-throughput monitoring of vineyards with NIR spectroscopy

The characterization of wine grapes (e.g., in the ripening stages) is of crucial importance and the chemical composition of the berry at harvest will largely dictate the maximum wine quality potential thereafter. Most winemakers base their decision regarding the establishment of prices for grapes based on the minimum degree, fruits sanity, variety, quality consistency of grapes producers and also some parameters such as Brix degrees, pH, total acidity, volumic mass, reducing sugar, total anthocyanins, extractability, potential alcoholic content, malic acid, glucans, turvation or berry weight. It is therefore of key importance to develop innovative methods able to integrate information. The idea is that winemakers can support their decision at the harvesting period in terms of which grapes are more suitable for each specific wine quality and need. Our aim is implementing a high-throughput analytical technique to measure in-situ the grapes in the vineyards over the ripening period (near infrared spectroscopy). It requires intense activities in the field (measurements in the vineyards). Afterwards, we will transfer this knowledge to must and wine´s application.


  • Sarraguça M.C., Santos J.R., Magalhães L.M., Rangel A.O.S.S., Lopes J.A. Chapter X: Use of near infrared spectroscopy for coffee beans quality assessment, pag. XX. In: Coffee in Health and Disease Prevention. Edited by Victor R. Preedy, Elsevier, Amsterdam. 2013 (in-print)
  • C. A. Teixeira dos Santos, M. Lopo, R.N.M.J. Páscoa, J.A. Lopes* (2013) A review on the applications of portable near infrared spectrometers in the agro-food industry, Appl. Spectrosc., 67(11), 1215-1233 [doi: 10.1366/13-07228]
  • Andrea Catalina Galvis-Sánchez, João Almeida Lopes, Ivonne Delgadillo and António O.S.S. Rangel. Chapter 26: Sea salt, pag. 719. In: Comprehensive analytical chemistry, Vol. 60. Food Protected designation of origin: methodologies and applications. Edited by Miguel de la Guardia M and Ana Gonzalvez, Elsevier, UK. 2013. (ISBN: 978-0-444-59562-1).
  • Páscoa RNMJ, Magalhães LM, Lopes JA* (2013) FT-NIR spectroscopy as a tool for valorization of spent coffee grounds: application to assessment of antioxidant properties, Food Res. Int., 55, 579-586
  • Sarraguça MC, Santos JR, Rangel AOSS, Lopes JA* (2013) Authenticity control of roasted coffee brands with near infrared spectroscopy, Food Anal. Met., 6(3),892-899
  • Santos JR, Sarraguça MC, Rangel AOSS, Lopes JA* (2012) Evaluation of green coffee quality using NIR spectroscopy: a quantitative approach, Food Chem., 135, 1828-1835
  • Galvis-Sánchez AC, Santos IC, Mesquita RBR, Lopes JA, Rangel AOSS, Delgadillo I* (2012) Application of infrared spectroscopy for the control and chemical evaluation of brine solutions and traditional sea salts, Food Anal. Met., in-print
  • Andrea C. Galvis-Sánchez*, João A. Lopes, Ivonne Delgadillo and António O.S.S. Rangel (2011) Fourier-transform near-infrared spectroscopy application for sea salt quality evaluation, J. Agric. Food Chem., 59(10), 11109-11116
  • Gaspar F, Lopes JA, Cruz H, Schwanninger M*, Rodrigues J (2009) Application of near infrared spectroscopy and multivariate data analysis for the evaluation of glue lines of untreated and copper azole treated laminated timber before and after ageing, Polym. Degrad. Stabil., 94, 1061-1071
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