Dr Ioannis Zabetakis

Lecturer on Food Lipids within the Department of Life Sciences in the University of Limerick


Dr Zabetakis is Lecturer on Food Lipids at the Department of Biological Sciences in the University of Limerick (UL). His main research interests are: a/ on the link of food lipids to inflammation and the related onset of Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), b/ the contamination of food chain by heavy metals and the impact of these pollutants to human health and c/ bioformation of food flavour and food sensory properties. His current research projects include: 1. the assessment of anti-inflammatory activities of dairy and aqua cultured products (e.g. milk, cheese, salmon), 2.the development of novel nutraceuticals against CVDs and 3.the valorisation of food industry by-products in order to develop novel functional animal and fish feeds against CVDs. The focus of his team is towards the sustainable production of functional food and nutraceuticals against inflammation. Dr Zabetakis has edited a book on marine oils, published >60 peer-reviewed articles (h-index 19) and is a co-inventor in two patents.

His research focus is on the anti-inflammatory compounds in food and how food production can be optimised in order to render food more functional against Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs). The focus is on CVDs since this group of diseases is the most important in EU and Ireland and with his group in UL, he is working towards the creation of novel food with enhanced functional properties against the onset of CVDs (Sioriki et al., 2016).

He is also interested in the effect of anthropogenic pollution on food chain and how these pollutants (focusing to Cr and Ni) can be up taken by food tubers. The research focus is on the role of these heavy metals in (promoting) inflammation and thus their link to the onset of a plethora of inflammation-triggered diseases (Stasinos et al., 2014). EU legislation has no legal limits for Cr and Ni and therefore studying the effect of food derived Cr and Ni to human inflammation is a top research priority.

Relevant publications


Sioriki, E., Smith, T.K., Demopoulos, C.A., Zabetakis, I., 2016. Structure and cardioprotective activities of polar lipids of olive pomace, olive pomace-enriched fish feed and olive pomace fed gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata). Food Research International 83, 143-151.

Stasinos, S., Nasopoulou, C., Tsikrika, C., Zabetakis, I., 2014. The Bioaccumulation and Physiological Effects of Heavy Metals in Carrots, Onions, and Potatoes and Dietary Implications for Cr and Ni: A Review. Journal of Food Science 79, R765-R780.

Zabetakis, I., 2015. Marine Oils (From Sea to Pharmaceuticals).