UMR_A 408 SQPOV - Safety and Quality of Plant Products


UMR 408 SQPOV brings together chemists, microbiologists and biochemists with the same objective: the valorisation and transformation of plant matter, in particular fruit and vegetables and their derivatives.

UMR 408 is organised into four teams:

  • the MicroNut team Micronutrients : Reactivity and Digestion (leader Claire Dufour) studies the reactivity of micronutrients of plant origin, in particular polyphenols and carotenoids, from the food (colour, stability) to the digestion stage (antioxidant capacity, bioaccessibility, bioavailability in models in vitro and in vivo).
  • the team Quality and Processes (leader Carine Le Bourvellec) aims to understand the impact of agri-food processes on the nutritional and organoleptic quality of F&V, particularly texture/viscosity, sugar/acid balance and micronutrients, taking into account their variability and heterogeneity in order to improve processing methods and optimise the raw material/process pair.
  • the team Sporalim: Sporulating bacteria in the food chain (facilitator Véronique Broussolle) aims to identify relevant microbiological risks and to acquire knowledge on the behaviour and adaptation of spore-forming micro-organisms in order to control them and the risks associated with food processing.
  • the team Eco-extraction of natural products(GREEN) (facilitator Farid Chemat) is developing techniques for extracting plant-based ingredients that respect molecules and the environment and are applicable to a wide range of fields such as food processing, cosmetics, perfumery, etc.

On the Internet


Trustees of the UMR

  • Avignon University (AU)

Frédéric Carlin, DR INRAE

Deputy Director

Olivier Dangles, Professor University of Avignon
Claire Dufour, CR INRAE

Courses offered

  • Master's degree in Agrosciences, with a focus on Food Consumer Products.

Research activities

  • Better understanding of the determinants of the quality and safety of fruit and vegetables with a focus on micronutrients (quality issue) and on reducing microbiological risk (safety issue).
  • Sustainability of fruit and vegetable processing and plant material extraction. 


Examples of public/private collaboration

  • Unité Mixte de Technologie" (Joint Technology Unit) Qualiveg2 "with the CTCPA
  • Natarôme +" IEF
  • CIFRE theses
  • LabCom ORTESA, Green team - Naturex
  • Institute Carnot Qualiment
  • Hosting of R&D cells Claranor and Fruit Workshop
  • Mars-Wrigley Confectionary

Further information


  • Analytical and synthetic chemistry, physical chemistry, modelling, extraction.
  • Microbiology of spore-forming bacteria, aerobic and anaerobic bacterial physiologies, microbial genetics, omics and single-cell approaches.
  • F&V analysis, fresh and in-process. Sampling, management of sample variability.
  • Rapid analysis methods (near and medium infrared), chemometrics.


  • Characterisation of F&V: physical properties and composition, colour.
  • Antioxidant properties of micronutrients (polyphenols, carotenoids), lipid oxidation.
  • Mechanisms of natural colour expression
  • Modelling of gastrointestinal digestion (static and dynamic in vitro models).
  • Diversity, metabolism and adaptation mechanisms of spore-forming bacteria.
  • Food processing and impact on vitamins and other micronutrients.
  • Plant matrix - micronutrient interactions.
  • Predictive microbiology.
  • Innovative extraction processes, bio-sourced solvents.


University of Avignon, Agrosciences Unit,
301 Baruch de Spinoza Street
BP 21239
84916 Avignon

Domaine Saint Paul - Agroparc site
228 route de l'Aérodrome
CS 40509
89914 Avignon

+33 (0)4 90 14 44 40
+33 (0)4 32 72 25 00



Fruit and vegetable / Co-product / Antioxidant / Lipid oxidation / Digestion / Polyphenol / Carotenoid / Bioavailability / Bioaccessibility / Colour / Extraction / Spore-forming bacteria / Bacterial spore / Bacterial diversity / Microbiological risk / Adaptation / Agro-food process / Preservation / Heat treatment / Biosourced solvents

Documents to download

French/English version of the fact sheet in PDF