The research group NatuRA is active in the field of medicinal plants, natural products, and functional food science. This includes the isolation and identification of biologically active substances from medicinal plants, the development and validation of analytical methods, and the evaluation of the health effects of herbal medicinal products and functional foods.

NatuRA – Natural Products & Food Research and Analysis
The research group NatuRA of the University of Antwerp has a unique expertise in Flanders in the areas of Pharmaceutical Analysis, Medicinal plants and Nutraceuticals.
The mission of NatuRA is to perform profound research with state-of-the-art equipment in the field of medicinal plants, natural products, and functional food science. Biologically active principles are isolated and identified, and analytical methods developed and validated. Health effects of food and food supplements are evaluted in vitro and in vivo. This knowledge will contribute to the development of herbal medicinal products and food supplements that meet high quality standards, and are safe and efficacious.
With flash chromatography, preparative LC-MS, semi-preparative SFC-MS and LC-SPE-NMR, the consortium has built up a fast purification and identification platform for natural compounds. By means of the different analytical techniques available in the joint research groups, methods for most classes of natural compounds can be developed.

A gastrointestinal dialysismodel was developed to study the mechanisms of metabolisation and the identification of the metabolites of active compounds. Furthermore the consortium can perform in vitro and in vivo tests on oxidative stress, and a hepatoprotective in vivo rat model, as well as an antiangiogenic rat aorta test is available.