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INRA Nantes - BIA

Description of the INRA-BIA Unit

Description of the institute/Research center:

The BIA research Unit  is part of the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), which is one the leading Research Centre working in the fields of Food, Agriculture and Environment towards solutions for society’s major challenges in a global context of demographic and ecological transitions. Within the Research Division of Science for Food and Bioproduct Engineering, the Unit is focusing its research project on the sustainable transformation of agricultural resources and plant biomass. The overall scientific objective of the BIA Unit is to understand the construction and deconstruction phases of biopolymer (proteins, polysaccharides) and biomolecular assemblies (lipids, phenolic compounds) in plant organs, formulated foods and bio-sourced materials. The goals are to improve the quality and functionalities of native agro-resources and develop new functionalities through their transformations (liquid foams, alveolar solids, emulsions, gels, films, particles...), whether food or non-food.

Within this context, one of the main research priority of the Unit is to design bio-sourced composite materials from a biomass valorization and waste recovery perspective. The extraction of bioactive molecules from fruits and grains and the understanding of the mechanisms of self-association or process-induced association of the plant biopolymers in relation to their functionalities are also among the main challenges.

Description of the polysaccharide research activities:

Regarding the polysaccharide research activities, the main goals are to:

  • Understand the organization and dynamics of constituent biopolymers and architecture-property relationships to design biomimetic models of cell walls and understand the enzymatic deconstruction mechanisms of lignocellulosic walls and cuticular bases
  • Understand the physico-chemical basis of the elaboration of bio-sourced materials to optimize, adapt and control their functionalities with a view to biomass and waste recovery
  • Model the  interactions and functions of biological systems/processes through biomimetic assemblies
  • Improve knowledge on the organoleptic, nutritional and health impact of the composition, architecture and assemblies of biopolymers in fleshy seeds and fruits

Main pieces of equipment:

The unit has at disposal a panel of analytical devices, a certified Platform "BIBS" and an experimental bakery https://www6.angers-nantes.inra.fr/bia_eng/Technical-and-Analytical-Skills


Contact: J. Beaugrand

Email: johnny.beaugrand@inra.fr


Address:  INRA UR BIA- La Géraudière CS71627- F-44316 NANTES cedex 3

Web site: https://www6.angers-nantes.inra.fr/bia_eng/