NatuRAPT, Natural products and food – Research & Analysis – Pharmaceutical Technology,  is a consortium comprising the Laboratories of  Pharmacognosy, Pharmaceutical Analysis, Nutrition and Functional Food Science and Pharmaceutical Technology & Biopharmacy. This team of experts is active in the field of medicinal plants, natural products, food science and formulation development.

Nutrition and Functional Food Science - Prof. N. Hermans

Research activities of the Nutrition and Functional Food Science group are aimed at providing a scientific evaluation for possible health promoting food ingredients. 

Prof. N. Hermans is specialized in the scientific evaluation of health promoting food ingredients. The lab of Nutrition and Functional Food Science has expertise in the in vitro and in vivo research of the metabolism by the intestinal flora, absorption and antioxidative activity of food constituents and measurement of oxidative stress biomarkers in vitro and in vivo. The focus is on antioxidants and polyphenols. Furthermore, the laboratory has a long tradition in analyzing and studying the availability of minerals and trace elements from different matrices (food, drugs, biological matrices, ...).The lab has expertise in dietary intake assessment methods, allowing interpretation of the nutritional value of foods, meals, diets and eating patterns.

Medicinal plants & Natural Products – Prof. E. Tuenter

This research group is specialized in chromatographic separation, isolation and structure elucidation of natural products.

The research of Prof. E. Tuenter is focused on the phytochemical analysis of medicinal plants, marine organisms and functional food products. The phytochemical data are used in parallel with bioactivity assessments to pinpoint potentially bioactive compounds in an early stage of the research. This is then followed by their targeted purification and structure elucidation, thus aiming to identify novel bioactive compounds. Alternatively, the impact of processing conditions of functional food products is investigated by analytical methods to obtain a better understanding of desirable processing conditions, in view of levels of bioactive compounds and expected health benefits. Furthermore, the biotransformation of natural products, which is an important factor in determining the true bioactive natural products, is monitored by means of chromatographic and spectroscopic techniques in combination with non-targeted data-processing.

Pharmaceutical Analysis – Dr. K. Foubert

The University Centre for the Analysis of Pharmaceuticals and Health Products (UCAG²) of the University of Antwerp (Belgium) has a long and unique expertise for the analysis and quality control of herbal medicinal products. Drugs and herbal medicinal  are analysed in a laboratory working conform to ISO17025. The focus of UCAG² is method development and validation. 

Pharmaceutical Technology and Biopharmacy - Prof. Dr. F. Kiekens

Main focus of the laboratory is the field of innovative dosage forms, including formulation- and process-optimization activities. These forms include extrudates, medicinal films, micro- and nanoparticles, etc. and result in hard gelatin capsules, emulsions, suspensions, parenteral formulations,…. In addition to the physicochemical evaluation of these dosage forms, special attention is paid to their biopharmaceutical properties obtained after ophthalmic, nasal, pulmonary, oral or parenteral administration. Stability research and packaging studies complete the evaluation of the drug products. Furthermore, the more conventional dosage forms, e.g. like tablets are also evaluated.