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Research Centre 06 EBIOTEFA

Biotechnologies and Equipment in Food and Agriculture

1. Introduction

The BIOTEFA Centre is part of the Department of Engineering and Management in Food and Tourism and follows the research strategy of the Transilvania University of Brașov. It is headquartered within the Research and Development Institute / GENIUS Campus - Laboratory 10.

Centre 06 - EBIOTEFA is integrated in the interdisciplinary field "Agriculture, biotechnology, food and tourism development" and has as mission excellent research, certification and approval in the area of agri-food and prototyping bioprocesses, optimization and production, high-tech products, biofood and adjacent equipment, while adopting methods pertaining to ecological biotechnologies (eco-biotechnologies).

The specifics of the Centre's research is focused on the study of foods designed with eco-biotechnologies, from the area of sanogenic foods (functional foods, nutraceuticals, supplements, etc.) or from composite foods (products from classic or excellency gastronomy). In this sense, the aim is to capitalize on biodiversity, especially of plant origin, through biological and biotechnical methods, but also through clean and non-destructive traditional technological processes in the agri-food field. Issues regarding the efficiency and maintenance of equipment and installations specific to the agri-food field are also addressed.

The centre has workspaces with equipment for physico-chemical analysis, necessary for the prototyping of designed foods and for the field of food safety. The research of optimization and innovation of the technical systems in the agri-food field is carried out on experimental stands interconnected with the measuring and control equipment. All this takes place in two work modules of the EBIOTEFA Centre:

  • Section I - Eco-biotechnologies in agri-tourism and public catering
  • Section II - Eco-biotechnologies and technical systems in the food industry and food safety.

The applied research strategy to be developed within the institutional framework comprises two complex programmes, with specific directions and designed to use the existing infrastructure:


  1. Development of technologies for the extraction of bioactive compounds from plant resources
  2. Innovation of sanogenic food products


  1. Development of technologies and equipment for optimized agri-food processing
  2. Development of expertise and technical analysis systems in the complex field of food and tourism industry

The research follows the programmes and strategy established by the Centre's researchers, post-doc researchers and doctoral students, together with the teaching staff of the Faculty of Food and Tourism. In the technological area, doctoral topics in Engineering and Management are approached, as for the technical systems research, topics within the doctoral field of Mechanical Engineering are approached.

The activity of the Research Centre EBIOTEFA is funded through projects in the top field of ecological biotechnologies and related equipment optimization, with applications in the field of food and of agricultural food production. They are the centre’s main concern, thereby fostering the areas of “food safety and security” and “develop their technological breakthroughs into viable products with real commercial potential”). These are important aspects in the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation - HORIZON 2020 (The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation - HORIZON 2020).

Additionally, the research activity of EBIOTEFA is carried out mainly within grants concluded with the Ministry of Education and Research, as well as contracts with other research and production units in the country and abroad, the main objective being to promote basic research results and applications in the direction of agri-food bioprocesses and prototyping of functional and sanogenic foods (food supplements, bio-foods, its energizers) and optimization of machinery and equipment related to new agri-food technologies. Also, research is done apart from the contracted topics, from the university’s own funding and included in the doctoral research.

2. Mission

Excellency Research, certification and homologation in the area of agri-food and prototyping bioprocesses, optimization and production of high-tech bio-food products and related equipment, addressing the issue of ecological biotechnologies (eco-biotechnologies).

Some of the objectives of the research activity of the EBIOTEFA Centre are:

  • Use of natural agri-forestry resources and production of food bioproducts to increase the quality of life;
  • Certification and approval of bioprocesses, specific equipment and bioproducts regarding the nutritional, biological and toxicological quality of food and nutritional supplements, as well as management and service systems, including in the field of gastronomy and tourism development;
  • - Professional training, consultancy and dissemination of information through research master's degree courses, but especially through doctoral and post-doctoral research.

Objectives for the future: we aim to develop extraction technologies, to engage in innovation of sanogenic products and food preparations, in the optimization of agri-food processing equipment and the development of systems of expertise and technical analysis in the field, including the area of mountain development and biodiversity, in collaboration with the Romanian Academy.

3. Priority research directions

The following table summarizes the scientific fields and related disciplines addressed in the research activity of the EBIOTEFA Research Centre:

Areas of basic research Biochemistry, Ecology, Genetics Agri-food biotechnologies Agri-food mechanical engineering, Thermotechnics Eco-biotechnologies, Nutrigenomics, Molecular gastronomy, Maintenance of agri-food equipment
Fields of applied research Agriculture, health and biotechnologies for processing plant and animal foods Ecological and biological agriculture, Food Safety and Security, Biodiversity enhancement, Optimizations and technical solutions by types of mechanisms and equipment
Applied research for the following types of industries and production activities: food industry, vegetable production industries, animal production industries, culinary production industries, agricultural machinery and food industry installations and equipment Functional food industry (biofood, healthy food, supplements, additives, energizers, etc.), herbal products industries,
Composite food industries (haute cuisine, catering, etc.),
Phytopharmaceutical industries,
Phytocosmetic industries,
Ecological reconstruction industries (biodegradation of waste, depollution, biological control, etc.),
Agricultural industries - machinery and installations,
Food industry - machinery and installations

4. Research and managerial flow in Lab. 10 - EBIOTEFA Centre

As a result of this complex activity, the following technical flow necessary for the research activity was structured, conceptually and operationally, according to the pre-established objectives:

1. Drying system - by computer-controlled automatic dryer
2. Sterilization system - by bactericidal lamps
3. Crushing system - through laboratory mill / grinding with variable sieves
4. Fat-soluble extraction system - by FC100 Subcritical Pressure Gas Extractor
5. System for production and use of water with variable pH - equipment for obtaining acidic or basic hydroalcoholic solutions
6. Water-soluble extraction system - by TIMATIC Extracor
7. Extract filtration system – to be purchased
8. Primary analysis system - laboratory equipment physico-chemical analysis
9. Extract packaging system - to be purchased

10. Semi-finished and finished storage system - standard and refrigerated cabinets

The research is focused on the study of PROJECTED FOOD based on eco-biotechnologies, namely those in the group of composite foods (culinary products) and innovative foods (intelligent gastronomic products, functional foods, nutraceuticals).

It aims to capitalize on biodiversity (in the first phase, that of plant origin), through biological and biotechnical methods, through extracts and in-depth analyzes, but also through traditional clean and non-destructive technological processes in the agri-food field.

The issues regarding the efficiency and maintenance of equipment and installations specific to the agri-food field are addressed.

The research programmes are carried out with state-of-the-art infrastructure and logistics, such as a computer-assisted drying line, with a system for capturing volatile substances in the oily substrate and a line for extracting subcritical pressures of biologically active, fat-soluble substances from plant resources, in correlation with the extraction of water-soluble substances.

5. Specific activities of the EBIOTEFA Centre

5.1 Services

Improving the methods of extraction of bioactive substances from plant raw materials for their superior recovery have taken into account extractions of fat-soluble bioactive substances and essential oils from lavender, sea buckthorn, walnut kernels, pine buds, St. John's wort, etc.; the depleted results after extraction in subcritical fluids were further processed by extraction in liquid solvents under pressure (using the TIMATIC extractor) for the extraction of water-soluble bioactive substances; in collaboration with other partners, the extraction of bioactive substances from Pleurotus Ostreatus was also attempted, in order to make food supplements with antidiabetic potential. In the future, by accessing other projects, after analyzing the extracts made by the mentioned methods, we can start designing food supplements based on standardized extracts in certain bioactive substances (and patenting methods for obtaining and their composition) with recommendations for ameliorating certain diseases.

In this context, the following types of services that can be performed within the centre are: Bio-food technologies / Design and certification of processes and equipment in agri-tourism / Food quality management studies and tourism / Studies regarding the control of the mechanical analysis of the vegetal resources / Analyzes regarding the humidity of the vegetal products, etc.

5.2 Related activities

(a) The study of invasive adventitious plants with a strong negative influence on biodiversity, with a view to their exploitation in the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries, etc., following the possibilities of extracting valuable antioxidant compounds that can be incorporated into functional foods, food supplements with a role in preventing the negative effects produced by free radicals.

(b) Montanology and biodiversity studies and research through collaboration with the Romanian Academy / INCE - National Institute for Economic Research. The research results are published in ISI Thomson Procedia Economics and Finances by participating in INCE in the ESPERA International Conferences as well as the publication in the Journal of Montanology of the papers from the Montanological Research Conferences.

(c) Organization of seminars and workshops within the R&D Institute (Official opening of the EHEDG Romania working point - March 31, 2017) or within the conferences of some traditional partners (seminar: Biofilms in hygiene and sanitation - Control strategies, within the AGRILIFE conference, USAMV Bucharest June 9, 2017).

5.3. Activities within contracts with third parties

In various negotiation phases, the 06 EBIOTEFA Research Centre carries out excellence research activities for third parties with a view to increasing the quality of life, certification and homologation in the area of agri-food bioprocesses and prototyping and production of high-tech products such as food additives, biofoods, nutraceuticals, sanogenic food nutrients, and related equipment. The aim is the technological transfer through the application of ecological biotechnologies for the capitalization of natural resources and the creation of agri-food bioproducts and forest resources.

- certification and homologation of bioprocesses and bioproducts regarding the nutritional, biological and toxicological quality of foods and nutritional supplements, as well as of management and service systems;

In collaboration with the Romanian Academy, through the EBIOTEFA Centre at Transilvania University of Braşov, the participation in the CE-MONT project of INCE / Romanian Academy, we established the Institute for Research in Mountain Economy at Vatra Dornei. We also took part in the reconstruction of the territorial capital in the fragile areas: Carpathian Mountains, respectively Danube - Delta (SUERD Project) within multipurpose and multinational projects.

The research activity is periodically disseminated through our own academic events or by participating in conferences, seminars, workshops, etc. in the field.

5.4. Publishing

The research results of the EBIOTEFA Centre are disseminated through its own specialized journal, Journal of EcoAgriTourism ISSN 1844–8577, authorized by CNCSIS, which is indexed in international databases (CAB Abstracts or Global Health, EBSCO)

Coordinator of the EBIOTEFA Research Centre
Prof. Dr. habil. Eng. Liviu GACEU