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Food Research Division. Technological Centre. RESEARCH+ DEVELOPMENT INNOVATION + TECHNOLOGY SERVICES. Knowledge and Innovation.

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Food research division

Food Research Division

  • Technological Centre



Knowledge and Innovation

AZTI-Tecnalia Technological Centre, is a private foundation committed to the social and economical development of the food and fishing industries, and to the protection of the marine environment and its natural resources. AZTI-Tecnalia is organised in two research units:

  • Marine Research

  • Food Research

  • 170 employees

  • 16 Million € (income)

  • 30 European Projects running* facts 2006

Sukarrieta (Bizkaia)

Pasaia (Gipuzkoa)

  • 2 Research Centres in the north of Spain ( 5.000 m2 )

  • Technical Office in South-America (Ecuador)

Food Research

Our work is based on a global and integral vision of foodstuffs, “from fork to farm”, and the product, “as natural as possible”, while respecting the environment.

The Food Research Division, comprised by 60 researchers and technicians, is currently working on three large areas:

Food Safety and Biodetection:

“Research for the detection and prevention of risks”

New Food Products and Biomolecules:

“Creating the foods of the future”

New Technologies:

“We innovate with emerging technologies for the Food Industry”

Food Research

Food Safety and Biodetection:

New technologies, methods and design of detection systems for the control, identification and traceability of agricultural food products:

- Biosensors

- Intelligent packaging

- Molecular Biology Techniques

Models of validation that guarantee safety of new technologies and new foodstuffs

Prevention of food risks, by means of reducing and/or eliminating contaminant agents and allergens in foods.

  • Emerging technologies for preservation

  • Predictive Microbiology

  • Techniques for prevention and elimination of contaminants.

Food Research

New Food Products and Biomolecules:

Development of formulations for the design of new food products (functional food, ready-meals, etc.) and biopolymer based edible films and coatings.

- Functional foods

- Restructured foods

- Ready-cooked meals

- New formats and packaging

- Edible films and coatings

Extraction and characterization of biomolecules from natural sources with added high value.

- Antioxidants

- Antimicrobials

- Dietetic fibres

- Food proteins, enzymes and bioactive peptides

- Fatty acids

Biomolecule modification and characterization for improvement of food quality and functionality.

Food Research

New Technologies:

Preservation of new foodstuffs: Minimally processed, more natural, developing new treatments for stabilisation, aimed at the direct destruction or inhibition of spoilage agents found in foods in order to guarantee their shelf life.

Work on thermal preservation technologies:

- Vacuum pasteurisation

- Commercial sterilization

Work on non-thermal preservation technologies:

  • Biopreservation

  • Active packaging

  • Modified atmosphere packaging

  • Light pulses

  • Freeze drying

  • Separating techniques: centrifugation, filtration, etc.

  • Combined technologies (hurdletech)

  • Cold plasma

    Decontamination, in order to obtain safer food: We opt for emerging technologies and combined treatments that are more effective in the reduction and elimination of microbiological (i.e. virus, new emerging pathogens, …) and chemical risks (i.e. allergen reactivity, mycotoxins, pesticides, …) and at the same time, able to better preserve the sensory and nutritional qualities of the foodstuffs.

Food Research

Science + Innovation




We carry out analysis in all the food groups, guarantee of origin and quality, quality labels, own brands.


We have the latest microbiological methods and techniques.


First accredited food sensory analysis laboratory in Spain.


We have the latest technologies in molecular biology applied to the food and biotechnology fields.

European projects

AZTI-Tecnalia has been involved in multiple industrial and research projects for agro-food sector at national and international level. We include a selection of some European projects in which the Food Research Division is actually involved (or has been involved) within the last years:

Food Research centre

[email protected]

AZTI, february 2007


AZTI, december 2007

Txatxarramendi ugartea z/g.

48395 SUKARRIETA (Bizkaia)

Tel.: +34 946029400 / Fax: +34 946870006

New Food Research Center

70 people will work at this center (although 100 researchers could be located in).

  • Research laboratories with the most modern equipments :

    • 7 laboratories at the first floor.

      • General Chemistry

      • Instrumental Laboratory

      • Microstructure Laboratory

      • Biosensors Laboratory

      • R+D New Food Products I

      • R+D New Food Products II

    • 6 Biological laboratories at the second floor

      • General Microbiology Laboratory

      • Molecular Biology

      • Virus Laboratory

      • Fungi Laboratory

      • Biosafety P3 Laboratory

      • Toxicology Laboratory. Zebrafish Model

  • - A pilot plant of more than 800 square meters for pre-industrial tests.

    • Modern equipments and emerging technologies

    • Equipped with best ICTs to carry out high level training courses,

  • - A cooking plant of more than 120 square meters for demonstration testing new technologies.

    • New technologies demonstration, new food processors, new electrical appliances

    • Catering and gastronomy sectors support

  • Tecnalia


    TECNALIA Corporation is the result of the union of common desires and objectives amongAZTI, INASMET,


    Corporative institutions:

    Marine & Food Research

    • 1. 350 staff

    • 125 companies and bodies in the steering boards of our centers

    • 28 centers (120.000 m2)

    • More than 3.500 clients/ companies per year

    • 95 M€ turnover

    Materials – Industrial Processes- Environment

    Civil Building - Energy - Automotive Iron and Steel Industry

    Telecommunications - Electronics – SMe Companies -Computers - E-business

    Mecatronics, Fabrication Process

    Engineering and Software quality

    Research in Agriculture and Animal Production

    How can we contribute?

    PUFFIN: New application-Pathogen & ugly microbe free food industry net work

    • WP2: Advanced use of antimicrobial coatings and novel decontamination technologies on process and product surfaces

    • Task 3: Decontamination of product and process surfaces with novel methods:

    • Inactivation effectiveness of pulsed-light technology and/or ozonation against the selected micro-organisms [Hepatitis A virus(HAV) and/or norovirus surrogate]

    • Evaluation of the processing critical factors (duration, intensity, ... )to inactivate the selected micro-organisms.

    • Decontamination of product surfaces with pulsed-light technology and/or ozonation.

    Expertise on Pathogen risk reduction : Bacteria and virus detection (HAV, Norovirus) and emerging methodologies to decontaminate water and food products (bacteria and virus inactivation)

    Validation of emerging processes

    How can we contribute?

    PUFFIN: New application-Pathogen & ugly microbe free food industry net work

    • Task 3: Lacks to solve during this meeting.

    • Selection of models simulating processing surfaces.

    • Selection of surface material samples.