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WP5. Quality and health


Many bioactive molecules found in food of plant origin (including phenolic compounds, methyltocols and carotenoids), in which apples are especially rich modulate physiopathological processes in human. This interaction occurs in different ways, amongst which the generic antioxidant mechanisms are well-known. However, there are also more specific interactions involving the modulation of gene expression and the cell response to key physiopaths (oncogenesis, cardiopathy). The real impact on human health is conditioned by bioavailability and the metabolic processes occurring after their ingestion. A set of advanced in-vitro and in-vivo multidisciplinary experiments have been designed to address these issues, and the project networks (WP1, 2 and 3) will also bring in their complementary expertise to define the ideotypical composition ensuring an optimal combination of the apple nutritional properties.

In contrast, apples are amongst the fruits which most frequently give rise to hypersensitive reactions in an ever increasing number of consumers, both adults and children. A series of proteins with high allergenic properties and their associated genes have been identified by national and international research programmes established some time ago by the groups participating in the present project. This knowledge has made it possible to evaluate total allergenic potential and to identify several important genetic and environmental factors governing it in the pre- and post-harvest phases. This WP will evaluate the allergenic potential of the fruit produced by new genotypes created during the processes of resistance pyramidisation to be carried out by WP2, given the frequent association between allergenicity and the genes correlated with genetic resistance traits.


WP leader: Prof. Angelo Ramina, (UNIPD) - Participants: UniPD, FEM-IASMA, UniBO