Genomics and bioinformatics
Global demand for food and alternative energy sources has never been so great or so urgent. It is estimated that food production will need to have doubled by 2050, while reducing the associated environmental impact by achieving output per unit of land, water and energy.
Increasing demand for vegetal proteins and fatty acids can be predicted given the high cost of fishmeal and fish oil, increasing demand and the low availability of marine sources, which has resulted in the replacement of marine products by flour and oils of vegetal origin in the production of feed for fish farming companies.
Consequently, it is urgent to generate technological innovations capable of responding to these food and energy demands, as well as to prevent the possible effects of climatic change.
It is precisely because of this scenario that the Genomics and Bioinformatics Unit (UGB), located in the best national mega-environment for annual cultivars, seeks to promote production of premium raw vegetal materials, understood as raw vegetal materials with an outstanding quality and quantity of proteins, fatty acids, soluble fibers, antioxidants, etc., environmentally friendly and with a low proportion of non-nutritional components.
The UGB generates know-how through research and development (R&D) on the genomics of cultivars to create the innovations required by agroindustry. This is possible thanks to the involvement and development of top-level professionals and alliances with pioneering international research centers in agricultural biotechnology.
The UGB has developed and continues developing a battery of valuable genetic resources, genomic bioinformatic tools and applications of proteomics and genetic engineering with the aim of improving proteagenous cultivars like the yellow lupine and oleaginous cultivars like rapeseed canola and flax. In this way, we contribute to regional and national development, allowing for the development from the Araucanian Region of a more competitive and sustainable agricultural sector.
Technology and Processes
The objectives of the Technology and Processes Unit are to develop technologies to obtain functional ingredients, develop nutritional complements, identify and characterize bioactive and techno-functional compounds, and improve the nutritional properties of raw materials of vegetal origin to be used by the food production industry.
As well as the research project that we work on, we conduct parallel research on:
- Characterization of the techno-functional properties of mucilage and linseed proteins and development of the processes for obtaining them.
- Evaluation of lupine as a source of ingredients with techno-functional properties.
- Characterization of functional and bioactive compounds of microalgae and the development of technologies for their extraction.
Researchers from the Chemical Engineering Department of the Universidad de La Frontera and professionals from CGNA make up this research unit.
Nutrition and adaption to industrial use
This line involves co-research with companies in the intermediate food-processing sector and final producers of animal feed products and their derivatives with the objective of finding substitutes for current raw materials with products designed by CGNA with higher nutritional and economic added value.
This line strengthens current CGNA developments and the design of new supply sources with incremental and radical innovations.
This approach to generating technological innovation in industry involves the active participation of the private sector, which results in greater demand of know-how, and most importantly, since it draws on internal demand, it has an immediate application since the knowledge is developed in collaboration with the client.
This research line results in technology and processes to promote regional agro-industrial development and adds value to primary production that extends to industrial processing.