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Monique Lacroix

Sciences, appliquées à l'alimentation

Irradiation, bioalimentaire, innocuité alimentaire, produits nutraceutiques et probiotiques

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Biography

Dr. Monique Lacroix obtained her B.Sc.A. (1980) and her M.Sc. (1982) in food science and technology from Laval University. Recipient of a one-year fellowship in biotechnology in 1983, from the France-Quebec exchange program, she participated in a study of the differential absorption kinetics of milk protein hydrolysate in vivo in pigs, at laboratory of nutrition physiology, INRA, Jouy-en-Josas, France,. She was awarded a Ph.D in nutrition by Laval University in 1986, where she specialized in the improvement of nutritional value of canola proteins using enzymatic hydrolysis, chemical pre-treatment, fermentation and ultrafiltration in order to eliminate phenolic compounds and concentrate the protein hydrolysate. In 1987, she was appointed professor in the Research Centre in Sciences Applied to Food (CRESALA), founded by Dr. Marcel Gagnon in 1972, to collaborate with the food industry in developing new technologies, ensuring safe processing methods, improving food preservation, and developing new high quality products. In addition, she worked on combined irradiation treatments designed to improve food safety, while protecting nutritional value and reducing nutritional loss. Her research in food science is focused on improving the bio food industry through the exploitation of new processing technologies and treatments to ensure the overall quality of food as well as the use of food by-products to develop new high quality products. The improvement of new technologies (ex: irradiation) or combination of treatments results in a reduction of loss and maintains both product safety and nutritional value. Research in the different areas of food toxicology, microbiology, chemistry and biochemistry, physico-chemical properties and the sensory evaluation of food is focused on perfecting new processes.

 

Research Activities

  1. Development and application of new food processing technologies to ensure food safety and prevent foodborne illness: basic research on environmental components such as the mechanism by which natural bio-active molecules (organic acids, essential oils, edible coating) can destroy pathogenic bacteria or can influence bacterial radiosensitivity during cold pasteurization under different atmospheric conditions (air, modified atmosphere conditions).
  2. Study the mechanism of action of natural endogenous compounds from plants, new probiotic bacteria recently isolated in our laboratory and their metabolites (EPS, bacteriocins) for the development of new nutraceutical products and functional foods.
    • Propose new solutions as a change of antibiotic resistance
    • Prevention of nosocomial and infectious disease
    • Maintenance of good health and prevention of degenerative sickness, by their properties to stimulate immune system, their antioxidant, antimutagenic and antiradical capacity, and the capacity to generate apoptosis of cancer cells
  3. Valorize food by-products for the development of biodegradable packaging and nanopolymer-based films to protect the environment against pollution and develop high value products.

 

Description of projects

Biofilms

Development of polymer crosslinking, functionalization and grafting, and utilization of nanopolymers to develop biodegradable films, coating formulations and capsules for food, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical applications and for the protection of environment.

Irradiation

Study the radiosensitivity, radioresistance, physiological, morphological and molecular modifications of foodborne pathogenic bacteria when exposed to irradiation treatment in the presence of natural antimicrobial compounds under different storage conditions. The long term objective is to develop new technologies to assure food safety. Collaboration with the United Nations for training is assured since 1987. Member of two expert committees in irradiation (International Atomic Energy Agency) where one is a joint committee with Welfare and Health Organization and Food Agriculture Organization to propose new recommendations and to collaborate as a member of an international research network.

NUTRACEUTICAL PRODUCTS AND DEVELOPMENT OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES TO ASSURE FOOD SAFETY:

Probiotic bacteria

We have isolated two new bacteria with probiotic potential from human intestine. These bacteria have the capacity to stimulate cytokine production in vitro, inhibit pathogens (i.e. vancomycin-resistant Enterobacteriacea) and to modulate the intestinal flora in vivo. We are working on the isolation and the characterization of two bacteriocins produced by these bacteria: study of mechanism of action; verification of the modulation of intestinal flora in vivo; evaluation of antipathogenic properties in vitro and in vivo. Encapsulation methods are developed to preserve the viability of probiotic bacteria during the gastro intestinal passage and during the storage.

Isolation and extraction of natural endogenous compounds present in plants and foods

  • Selection and studies on mechanism of action of natural endogenous compounds from plants and fruits for their antimicrobials properties, especially against pathogens responsible of foodborne disease.
  • Isolation, separation, identification and mechanism studies of phenolic compounds with antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiradical, antimutagenic and anticancer properties to develop antimicrobial formulations and functional foods.
  • Develop new coating or bead formulations to protect the bioactivity of these molecules.
  • Collaboration with industry to develop new processing techniques by using the application of bioactive compounds for the development of nutraceutical foods or antimicrobial formulation.

 

Member of scientific network

  • Member of two research networks of the United Nations: and < Production of crosslinked natural polymers using gamma-irradiation for the development of bioactive coating and packaging > and < Food irradiation >.
  • Member of the research network STELA of Québec, Laval University.
  • Member of the network INAF: Institute of nutraceutical and functional foods founded at Laval University.

Dr. Lacroix has been an invited speaker at 108 major conferences, including conferences as a member of expert scientific committees of the United Nations' conferences on irradiation. She has collaborated with 23 scientists who have visited the INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier from many parts of the world to work on projects related to irradiation. She has supervised 8 post-doctoral fellows, 43 students at the Master's and Doctoral levels, and more than 201 trainees in these fields. Dr. Lacroix is the author of 11 book chapters, 5 patents and 147 publications in the scientific journals recognized with high impact factors. According to the ISI Essential Science Indicators Web product, her works garnered the highest percent increase in terms of total citations in the field of Agricultural Sciences in 2005: http://www.in-cites.com/scientists/MoniqueLacroix.html. She is presently Professor at INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier, Laboratory of Sciences Applied to Food, and researcher at the Canadian Irradiation Center (CIC), at joint venture between INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier and MDS Nordion Inc.

 

The CIC has 25 years, May 31, 2012, video souvenir

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Entrevue

Entrevue avec Mathieu Millette, directeur de la recherche fondamentale chez Bio-K + International inc. ...

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Sécurité alimentaire ...

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Monique Lacroix et la sécurité alimentaire ...

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Fondation Armand-Frappier / Fête champêtre 2010
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La professeure Monique Lacroix, du Centre INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier

La professeure Monique Lacroix, du Centre INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier

La professeure Monique Lacroix, du Centre INRs-Institut Armand-Frappier, et deux membres de son équipe de recherche

La professeure Monique Lacroix, du Centre INRs-Institut Armand-Frappier, et deux membres de son équipe de recherche

Poudres d'épinards et de laitue

Poudres d'épinards et de laitue

Dominic Dussault, doctorant en biologie à l'INRS

Dominic Dussault, doctorant en biologie à l'INRS

Dominic Dussault, doctorant en biologie à l'INRS

Dominic Dussault, doctorant en biologie à l'INRS

25 ans de service

25 ans de service