About this research group...

The Fermentation Solutions Research Group focuses on white biotechnology fermentation processes, on the resulting by-products and value-added biomolecules, using renewable sources of carbon and nutrients (e.g. sugarcane). The use of white biotechnology is essential for the future competitiveness of European industry, providing a sound technological base for a sustainable society and bioeconomy and for the development of bioindustries of the future. This line works on the development and improvement of fermentation processes for industry, on finding attractive solutions for their by-products and disruptive applications for the produced biomolecules. Applied research and market driven innovative solutions for cosmetic and skin care, pharmaceutical, food and animal feed and materials applications with strong engagement of companies at an early phase of product development. Activities are settled in a profound link and interaction with European and International industries.

This group involves a multidisciplinary team to respond to R&I challenges with a wide range of competences, and is organized in 3 laboratories:

Group Leader

Raquel Madureira



Strain design and fermentation lab


Uses in-house built software products for microorganisms design, genome editing tools, metabolic and physiological engineering to develop efficient fermentative processes, which are optimized on lab-scale bioreactors to obtain large amounts of value-added bio-products/biomolecules, e.g. high value terpenoids for the pharma, cosmetic, and food industries.


Senior Researchers
Research Assistants
Software Developers
PHD Students


Carvalho LC, Oliveira AL, Carsanba C, Pintado M, Oliveira C. (2022). Phenolic compounds modulation in Beta-farnesene fed-batch fermentation using sugarcane syrup as feedstock. Industrial Crops and Products, 188: 115721.

Carsanba E, Pintado M, Oliveira C. (2021). Fermentation strategies for production of pharmaceutical terpenoids in engineered yeast. Pharmaceuticals, 14(4): 295.

Bonny AR*, Fonseca JP*, Park J, El-Samad H. (2021). TuNR: Orthogonal Control of Mean and Variability of Endogenous Genes in a Human Cell Line. Nature Communications, 12: 292. *equal contribution.

Pintado AI, Ferreira JA, Pintado MM, Gomes AM, Malcata FX, Coimbra MA. (2020). Efficiency of purification methods on the recovery of exopolysaccharides from fermentation media. Carbohydrate Polymers, 231: 115703.


Biomolecules innovation lab


Focused on understanding and unfolding the potential of different sustainable biomolecules produced via fermentative processes, aiming to create new products and business opportunities in the fields of cosmetics, pharma, nutrition, and biomedicine.


Senior Researchers
Research Assistants/ PhD Students
Lab Assistants
  • Ana Luíza Rodrigues Fontes
  • Cláudia Popov
  • Maria João Loureiro do Valle Pereira


Suitability of solvent-assisted extraction for recovery of lipophilic phytochemicals in sugarcane straw and bagasse. Foods, 2022, 11(17) :2661.

From Sharks to Yeasts: Squalene in the Development of Vaccine Adjuvants. Pharmaceuticals, 2022, 15(3): 265.

Skin Microbiota and the Cosmetic Industry. Microbial Ecology, 2022. DOI: 10.1007/s00248-022-02070-0.

Can Supplemented Skim Milk (SKM) Boost Your Gut Health? Fermentation. 2022, 8(3): 126.

Phytosterols and novel triterpenes recovered from industrial fermentation coproducts exert in vitro anti-inflammatory activity in macrophages. Pharmaceuticals, 2021, 14(6):583.


Valorisation of fermentation by-products lab


Focuses on the development of integrated processes to value fermentation by-products through the use of green extraction technologies, purification processes and product formulations for cosmetic, food and animal feed industries, in an integrated approach validated through sustainability metrics.


Senior Researchers
Research Assistants/ PhD Students


Oliveira AS, Pereira JO, Ferreira CMH, Faustino M, Durão J, Pintado ME, Carvalho AP (2022). Peptide-rich extracts from spent yeast waste streams as a source of bioactive compounds for the nutraceutical market. Innovative Food Science & Emerging Technologies, 81, 103148. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ifset.2022.103148

Ana L. S. Oliveira, Diana Valente, Helena R. Moreira, Manuela Pintado, Patrícia Costa (2022), Effect of squalane-based emulsion on polyphenols skin penetration: Ex vivo skin study, Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, DOI: 10.1016/j.colsurfb.2022.112779

Oliveira, C.M.*; Horta, B.; Leal, T.; Pintado, M.; Oliveira, C.S.S.* Valorization of spent sugarcane fermentation broth as a source of phenolic compounds. Processes 2022, 10:1339.  https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10071339

Francisca Casanova, Carla F. Pereira, Alessandra B. Ribeiro, Ricardo Freixo, Eduardo Costa, Manuela E. Pintado, João C. Fernandes & Óscar L. Ramos. Novel Micro- and Nanocellulose-Based Delivery Systems for Liposoluble Compounds. (2021). Nanomaterials, 11(10), 2593. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11102593

Antunes F, Mota IF, Burgal JS, Pintado M, Costa PS (2022). A review on the valorization of lignin from sugarcane by-products: From extraction to application. Biomass and Bioenergy, 166, 106603.