The food matrix can be defined as the whole of the food chemical components and their molecular relationships, i.e. chemical bonds and physical interactions. In other words, the chemical composition of food and the way those components are structurally organized at micro-, meso- and macroscopic scales (Figure 1).
FM can affect the nutritional quality and the potential health effect of food in 2 different ways: By affecting the stability of bioactive compounds during processing (including storage and cooking) and affecting the level of bioactive compounds that are available for absorption in the digestive tract.
In my research activity I investigate how to describe, predict and optimize this effect. This would help consumers in better design their meals and dietary habits as well as food industry in designing food that are able to deliver the desired level of nutrients/bioactive compounds in the gastrointestinal tract.