UCEN Group


Laboratory of Science of Foods (LabCial)
Universidad Central de Chile – Facultad de Ingeniería
Director Prof: Prof. Dr. Loreto Muñoz H.



The research group of Laboratory of Science of Foods (LabCial) of the Engineering Faculty of the Universidad Central de Chile UCEN, has a vast experience in the study of chia seeds, other grains and seeds of interest for human consumption..

. The Dr. Muñoz has been studying chia seeds for more than 10 years and the research has been focused to the morphological characterization of the seed and the study of the physical, chemical and functional properties of its components, specifically mucilage and proteins.
The group has experience in extraction, separation and concentration of some of its components and has made a contribution in terms of the characterization of by-products obtained from the seed and application in foods matrices with functional properties.

The group experience is based on:
1. Characterization of food materials from different origins in terms of their microstructural and physical properties (optical, rheological, textural, mechanical and thermal)
2. Characterization of chemical properties
3. Design of food structures for health and well-being
4. Dietary fiber digestibility (in vitro digestion)
5. Functional ingredients

In general terms, the group research aims at the design and development of healthier, safer and tasty foods, covering basic as applied aspects that go from the row materials (characteristics and functionality), development, process and shelf life, in order to obtain an impact in health and quality of life of the consumers.


Liliana Zura

Tesista postgrado

Natalia Vera

Tesista postgrado




  • PYT- 2018 – 0261 Desarrollo de ingredientes funcionales a partir de semillas de chia y viborera producidas en Chile (2018-2019)
  • PYT-2017-0490 FIA Polos Territoriales Desarrollo de ingredientes funcionales y aditivos especializados para la valorización de la pequeña y mediana agricultura de secano (2017-2020)
  • FONDECYT 11150307 Evaluation of the effect of mucilage from chia seed on the digestion process such as soluble fiber. In vitro study. (2016-2018)
  • I-LINK 0923 CSIC Investigadora Principal Grupo Chile Estudio físico-químico nutricional y tecnológico de la contribución de subproductos de chia (Salvia hispanica L.) como nuevos ingredientes alimentarios en Europa. (2015-2016)
  • CORFO 12IDL2-16204 Proyecto I+D Aplicada InnovaChile– Desarrollo de metodología para extraer proteínas a partir de harina de semilla de chia desgrasada y sin mucílago. 2012 – 2014
  • Proyecto CI-221 acogido a Ley I+D InnovaChile CORFO Determinación de parámetros y condiciones para la optimización de la extracción del mucílago de chía (Salvia hispanica L.). 2012-2014



  • Lázaro, H., Puente, L., Zúñiga, M. C., & Muñoz, L. A. (2018). Assessment of rheological and microstructural changes of soluble fiber from chia seeds during an in vitro micro-digestion. LWT, 95, 58-64.
  • Muñoz, L. A., & Haros, C. M. (2018). In vitro glycaemic index and microstructure analysis of bakery products with chia. Paper presented at the II International Conference of the Chia-Link Network, Sevilla, España.
  • Muñoz, L. A., A. Cobos, Diaz, O., Aguilera, J. M., (2013) Chia seed (Salvia hispanica) an ancient grain and new functional product. Food Reviews International, 29(4), 394-408
  • Muñoz L. A., Aguilera J.M., Rodriguez-Turienzo L., Cobos A., Diaz O. (2012) Characterization and microstructure of films made from mucilage of Salvia hispanica and whey protein concentrate. Journal of Food Engineering, 111(3): 511-518
  • Muñoz, L. A., A. Cobos, Diaz, O., Aguilera, J. M., (2012). “Chia seeds: Microstructure, mucilage extraction and hydration.” Journal of Food Engineering 108(1): 216-224.
  • Muñoz L., Aguilera J.M, Díaz O., Cobos A. (2011) Development and characterization of composite edible films from mucilage of Salvia hispanica and whey protein concentrate. Proceedings in International Congress of Engineering and Food, Greece, vol 2, page 985-986 L.) seeds. LWT, 45 94-102 (2012).
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