• Bioeconomy
  • Health and Nutrition
  • Maritime Ambitions

Structure-function relationship for the rational formulation of food and ingredients (FRAI)

Research team - UMRt INRAe 1158


The BioEcoAgro Joint Research Unit, located in Artois, is housed in the Adrianor Technology Resource Centre, which aims to support companies in the agri-food sector in all their technical issues.
Our team proposes to bring relevant elements for a better understanding of the structure-function relationships of food in a simple and/or complex system. Our unit’s approach is to take into account the entire life cycle of the food from the raw material to its consumption. This is an approach combining scientific skills in basic research with those in applied research in order to enable the different physico-physical mechanisms to be analysed and even investigatedThese are the chemicals that govern the evolution of the organoleptic and nutritional quality of a food matrix over its life cycle. Our research activities are thus structured around three axes, which through an integrated and rational approach allow the development of food products of high added value.
Axis 1: Variability of raw materials and their sources
Axis 2: Techno-functional ingredients: Structure-function relationship
Axis 3: Developed products: Impact of formulation, manufacturing process and storage conditions on food quality


  • Romdhane Karoui
    Team manager


1 Rue Jacquart
ADRIANOR - équipe FRAI site Artois



Effectif total : 9

Personnel de recherche : 3

Personnel d'appui à la recherche : 1



• Agro-resource processing and development
• Food matrix structures
• Spectral analyses
• Food quality and safety
• Analysis of biochemical compounds
• Dairy and grain product characterization
• Mechanical characteristics of food matrices
• Surfactant macromolecules
• Animal and plant proteins
• Freshness of aquatic and meat products

Example(s) of projects

• CPER-FEDER Alibiotech (2014-2020)
• IDThon FUI Project (2012-2016)
• CPER IDEAL (2021-2027)
• Excellence Project in All Its Forms of the 4th Future Investment Programme (AIP 4): EUR IFSEA Project:Transdisciplinary graduate school for marIne, Fisheries and SEAfood sciences (2021-2031)

Example(s) of publications

• M. Nogueira, S. Ben-Harb, M. Schmutz, B. Doumert, S. Nasser, A. Derensy, R. Karoui, G. Delaplace, & P. De Sa Peixoto (2020). Multiscale quantitative characterization of demineralized casein micelles: how the partial excision of nano-clusters leads to the aggregation during rehydration. Food Hydrocolloids. 105, 105778. 1129133;
• R. Karoui, G. Downey, & C. Blecker (2010) Mid infrared spectroscopy coupled with chemometrics: A tool for the analysis of intact food systems and understanding their molecular structure – relation with their quality- Chem. Rev. s 110, 6144-6168. 1129133;
• D. Vilkova, E.Kontradenko, C. Chèné, & R. Karoui (2022) Targeted and untargeted techniques used for the evaluation of sturgeon quality: a review. Food Control, 133, 108648.
• Z. Nhouchi, E. Botosoa, C. Chèné, & R. Karoui (2022) Gelatinization-induced changes in the conformational structure of polymers (proteins and starch) in slurry and batter models studied by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. LWT, 157, 113093. 1129133;
• E.P. Botosoa, & R. Karoui (2022). 3D Front Face fluorescence Spectroscopy as a tool for monitoring the oxidation level of edible vegetable oil during storage at 60 °C. LWT, 154, 112659. 1129133;

Collaborations/Partners/Scientific clients

ULCO, UPJV, Université de Lille

Université d'Etat d'Astrakan (Russie), Université de Carthage (ESIAT, Tunis, Tunisie), Université de Sfax (ENIS, Sfax, Tunisie), Université Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah (Fès, Maroc), Université de Liège (Gembloux Agro Bio Tech, Belgique), Sultan Qaboos University (Sultanat d’Oman), Faisalab University (Pakistan)

Collaborations/Partners/Private Clients

Ingrédia, Roquette, Pasquier, Groupe MOM, McCain

Inleit, Cosucra

Services offers

Applications sectors

  • Fishing / Aquaculture
  • Biotechnology
  • Agri-food industry
  • Agriculture
  • Education / Training
  • Science / Research

Services provided

• Macroscopic, microscopic and molecular characterization
• Spectral characterization (IR and fluorescence)
• Development of analytical methods
• Characterization of freshness
• Determining the impact of chemical residues
• Physico-chemical characterization
• Sensory analysis
• Characterization of thermal properties
• Determination of colorimetric properties
• Study of surfactant properties
• Characterization of rheological and textural properties
• Identification and characterization of active biomolecules
• Food formulation optimization
• Study of normal and accelerated aging

Consulting services

We provide consulting services on all our skills


Affiliated institutions / organisations

Partner institution(s)

Unit(s) of attachment

Competitive cluster

Regional strategic areas of activity

  • Bioeconomy
    • Sustainable production and mobilization of bioresources
  • Health and Nutrition
    • Genetics, biomarkers and biomolecules
    • Safe, healthy and sustainable food
  • Maritime Ambitions
    • Marine resources