Finca Camps i Armet
17121 Monells

Tel: (+34) 972 63 00 52 1402
Fax: (+34) 972 63 09 80


Other contacts


Food Engineering

The Food Engineering subprogramme works on; Modelling transformation processes of food.  Transport operations (mass, heat and quantity of movement). Process simulation and control. Process Engineering.

Their lines of work are:

  • Drying Engineering studies the optimization of the traditional processes and the development of new drying systems. Optimization of traditional processes works in the modelling of mass transfer processes and transformation kinetics of foods in order to enhance their quality and energetic efficiency.
  • New Technologies Engineering studies food packaging and transformation and conservation processes.
  • Control systems are applied to raw material, processes and products.

Pere Gou Botó

Pere Gou Botó
Head of Food technology program

Tel: 902789449

Process in the Food Industry

The objectives from the subprogramme of Process in the food industry are the improvement of traditional technologies in order to enhance quality, safety and sensorial characteristics of the product or the efficiency of the process.

The lines of work are: 

Food Drying studies the changes caused by the drying process in the product (nutritional, microbiological stability, texture, sensory quality …) and the interaction between the product and the applied technology (traditional or innovating), optimizing selection criteria of raw materials and the variables of the drying process for each product.

Pre-cooked food: Technical advice for companies of the sector and research companies.

Food Sensory Analysis and consumer studies.

Nutritional improvement. Sodium reduction, fat substitution, probiotics addiction, reduction of nitrificants

Food Packaging. Interaction between packaging materials and foodstuffs, shelf life, modified atmospheres, active packages …

New process technologies in the food industry

The objective of the subprogram New process technologies in the food industry is the study of the application of new technologies that have not been used traditionally due to the transformation, control and conservation of foodstuffs.

Your lines of work are: 

High pressure. Introducing the technology in food processing to increase food safety and the conservation of sensory and nutritional characteristics.

Microwaves and Radiofrequency. Evaluation of this technology as a substitute for conventional thermal treatments in different fields of the agro-food sector.

Computed Tomography. Nuclear magnetic resonance and Spectroscopy by near infrared region (NIR). Adaptation of food analysis technology. Incorporation of this technology in on-line control systems.

Development of new technologies to optimize foodstuffs drying: Quick drying of sliced products (QDS), on-line control of product quality and energetic optimization (dynamic dryer) ...

Adaptation of packages to new technologies: study of packages requirements to be used in new technologies.

Josep Comaposada Beringues

Josep Comaposada Beringues
Director of New process technologies in the food industry subprogram

Tel: 902789449

Carcass Quality

The Carcass Quality subprograme works on evaluation of carcass quality from different measurements of fat thickness, muscles, lean content areas, yield grade and composition of meat when cutting, among others. Carcass classification, calibration and validation of classifying equipment using dissections and computed tomography.

Their lines of work are:

  • Determining the effect of gender, genetics and nutrition in the quality of carcasses and cuts (length, width, fat and muscle thickness, yield grade, composition, lean percentage, etc.).
  • Authorisation of carcass classification equipment nationally for the EU.
  • Calibration of the classification equipment of carcasses and cuts. Cutting optimisation.
  • Certification of automatic devices for beef carcasses classificationCertification of automatic devices for beef carcasses classification
  • Evaluation of carcass composition and characterisation using dissections, semiautomatic probes and computed tomography.
  • Use of computed tomography to determine the composition of the live animal, the carcass and intramuscular fat.

Maria Font Furnols

Maria Font Furnols
Head of Product quality program

Tel: 902789449

Quality and functionality

The Quality and functionality subprogramme studies the technological, nutritional and sensory quality of meat and fish regarding the production system, genetics, nutrition and ante-mortem treatment, as well as acceptability of products by consumers and the sector in general.

Their lines of work are:

  • Evaluation of meat quality from a technological, nutritional, sensory and social perspective in relation to genetics, pre and post-mortem treatment of meat (pigs, cattle, sheep, rabbits, poultry) and fish.
  • Consumer preferences. Finding out the opinion, acceptability and attitude of consumers in relation to meat and fish.
  • Research to improve and innovate native breeds of pig, cattle, etc. regarding the sustainability of the production system and how it relates to Catalonia.
  • End product quality regarding friendly production.
  • Studies related to the composition of the product in order to improve human health.
  • Meat quality alternatives to castration in pigs. New methods for evaluation of boar taint.

New Preservation Technologies

The New Preservation Technologies subprogram studies microbial cellular inactivation and cellular response to stress by high hydrostatic pressure from a triple perspective: proteomics, transcriptomics and predictive microbiology.

Their lines of work are:

  • Studies of microbial stress associated to food production and preservation processes.
  • Studies of high-pressure treatments (500-900 MPa) and other emerging technologies (microwaves, radiofrequencies, etc.) on the viability, sublethal injury, recovery capacity and physiology of relevant pathogens in food.
  • Development and validation of mathematical models that describe the inactivation of different relevant bacteria (pathogens and alterants) for ready-to-eat products.

Margarita Garriga Turon

Margarita Garriga Turon
Head of Food safety program

Tel: 902789449

Chemical Food Safety

The Chemical Food Safety subprogram deals with the chemical compounds that can be a potential risk for the consumer, as veterinary medicinal product residues and other contaminants which can be accumulated during food production, preservation and transformation.

The research lines are:

  • Development of chromatographic techniques and non-conventional measurement systems (ELISA, Biosensors) to improve the implementation of the veterinary drugs control plans.
  • Evaluation of biomarkers of exposure in eggs, related with the administration of antibiotics (protein and lipid metabolism, oxidative stress).</LI<
  • Estimation of potentially health-threatening compounds which can accumulate at some stage during the Food Processing treatments[Neo Formed Contaminants (NFC), nitrotyrosine, acrylamide, anhydrotetracyclines].
  • Evaluation of endocrine disruptors in shellfish (PCBs, pesticides).

Massimo Castellari

Massimo Castellari
Director of Chemical food safety subprogram

Tel: 902789449

Biotic Fodd Safety

The Biotic Food Safety subprogramme studies the incidence of pathogens and safe shelf life studies of food. It combines inoculation studies, predictive microbiology, conventional microbiology, genomics and transcriptomics to identify, trace and quantify food pathogens and micro-organisms of technological interest.

Their lines of work are:

  • Studies on the microbial ecology in food.
  • Development of starter cultures, bioprotectors and/or probiotics.
  • Studies on shelf life and safe shelf life using challenge tests.
  • Quick detection and quantification of food pathogens.

Teresa Aymerich Calvet

Teresa Aymerich Calvet
Director of Biotic fodd safety subprogram

Tel: 902789449

Functionality & Nutrition

The Ingredients & Functional Molecules works obtaining healthier foods using ingredients and bioactive compounds that help fight against degenerative diseases, inflammatory processes and cancer.

Isolation and characterisation of bioactive compounds from by-products and other alternative natural sources.  Physiological activity, synergy and activation of genes.

Their lines of work are:

  • Function and use of polyphenols, isoflavones, lipids (fatty acids, w-3, w- 6, diacylglycerides, CLA, etc.) and phytosterols in food.
  • Extraction, purification and characterisation of bioactive compounds in food and by-products.
  • Identification of oligomeric fractions of bioactive compounds. Stability of ingredients and bioactive molecules in technological processing. Use of new technologies to improve stability and function.
  • Evaluation of shelf life using bioactive compounds. Identification of food oxidation products (volatile agents, cholesterol oxides, TBARS, radicals, etc.)
  • Evaluation models of biological activity using cell cultures, in silico models and digestive process simulation.

Jose A. Garcia Regueiro

Jose A. Garcia Regueiro
Laboratory Adviser

Tel: 902789449

Pig Genetics & Improvement

The subprograme Pig Genetics& Improvement performs research genetic statistics and structural and functional genomics in order to study aspects of economic and social interest and the genetic improvement of pigs.

Their lines of work are:

  • Genetic evaluation and characterization of pig populations in order to implement and/or optimice selection and diffusion programes for genetic improvement.
  • Study the genetic architecture of aspects of productive interest and product quality in pigs using structural and functional genomic approaches.
  • Develop statistical methods that can be used for research on quantitative genetics and genomics as well as for the genetic improvement of animal populations.
  • Development and maintain databases of pig populations to acquire information to be used as a reference . Carry out genetic, productive and productive genotype/system interactions studies in pig populations.
  • Study and implementat sustainable and/or alternative pig production systems (ecological production, nativecbreeds …).


Raquel Quintanilla Aguado

Raquel Quintanilla Aguado
Head of Animal breeding & genetics program

Tel: 902789449

Animal welfare

The subprogramme Animal welfare study the behaviour and welfare of cattle, pigs and sheep on farm, while in transport and during their slaughter. The transversality of a subject such as animal welfare allows it to be included in different research lines, such as meat and carcass quality, nutrition, genetics, rabbits, ruminants, poultry and aquaculture.

Their lines of work are:

  • Animal welfare during slaughter.
  • Animal welfare during transport.
  • Evaluation of animal welfare in farm and at the abattoir.
  • Alternatives to the practice of painful processes.

Antonio Velarde Calvo

Antonio Velarde Calvo
Cap del programa

Tel: 902789449

Technical Facilities


Building A _ CENTA is 4.050,82 m constructed and 3.746 m net surface area divided into Pilot plant: 2.542,01 m2. Offices: 1.026,19 m2 . Laboratories: 25 m2 . Visitors hallway: 250,01 m2 . Engine room and service rooms: 130,21 m2 . Other service rooms: 77,40 m

Building B _IRTA is 2695,3 m2 , divided into Pilot plant: 800 m2 , Auditorium: 192 m (including service areas, restrooms, dressing rooms, etc.), Staff dining room + restrooms: 88 m2 , Sensory analysis hall: 23 m2 , Engine room: 65 m2 , Offices: 665.2 m2 , Laboratories: 569.0 m2 , Storage rooms and interior patio: 293.1 m2


Offices and dressing rooms: 500 m

4 animal management buildings (2.000 m2 ): Pre-control and control of animals through automated systems capable of monitoring individual intake, climate and animals behaviour.



Unique equipment