Scientific projects

Projects in Department of Human Nutrition

  • Chair of Basic Nutrition

    New dietary strategies addressing the specific needs of elderly population for healthy ageing in Europe (NU-AGE).

    Funding Institutions:

    1. Grant no: 266486 7PR UE 2010-4, 2011.

       Project coordinator: prof. Claudio Franceschi, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy

       Leader of Polish part of the project: prof. dr hab. Barbara Pietruszka, Warsaw University   of Life Sciences – SGGW,    Warsaw, Poland

    Project duration: 2011-2016

    1. Ministry of Science and Higher Education. nr: 2310/7.PR/11/2012/2.

        Leader the project: prof. dr hab. Barbara Pietruszka, Warsaw University of Life Sciences – SGGW, Warsaw, Poland

    Duration: 2012-2016

    Projects contractors: prof. dr hab. Barbara Pietruszka, prof. dr hab. Anna Brzozowska, dr hab. Joanna Kałuża, dr hab. Anna Kołłajtis-Dołowy, dr Ewa Sicińska, dr Olga Januszko, dr Dawid Madej, dr Agata Białecka-Dębek, dr Olga Surała, dr Katarzyna Rolf, dr Justyna Bylinowska, mgr Agnieszka Stelmaszczyk-Kusz, dr Marta Jeruszka-Bielak, dr Katarzyna Kozłowska, dr. Elżbieta Wierzbicka,

    Technical staff:  mgr Anna Szczecińska, mgr Sylwester Wronowski, Joanna Domańska, Magdalena Rycembel.

    Project description:

    NU-AGE was one year randomized controlled trial ( Identifier: NCT01754012), and was conducted in 5 European Centers: Italy, France,  Poland, the Netherlands and the UK among 1250 volunteers (250 individuals in each center) aged 65-79 years. All subjects were apparently healthy, non- or pre-frail and underwent an in depth characterization covering nutritional habits, anthropometry, health and medical status, cognitive and physical functions and a series of biochemical and inflammatory measures.

    Individuals were divided into two groups:

    1 Control – individuals without any dietary changes

    1. Intervention – with modification of the usual diet to a Mediterranean-style diet (NU-AGE diet) individually for every member of this group, and supplementation of vitamin D.

    Main chosen results:

    1.The NU-AGE dietary intervention indicated that old people were able to change dietary habits, and changes were well accepted by them. Volunteers who were most adherent to the NU-AGE diet had lower plasma levels of C-reactive protein (inflammatory marker) and improved lipid profile.

    1. The impact of a NU-AGE dietary regime on ageing varied considerably on the basis of nationality, gender, and other factors (with smaller extent), such as genetics and personal lifestyle.
    2. Poor dietary choices among the elderly were driven primarily by insufficient knowledge about healthy eating rather than economic circumstances. Thus, the research indicated necessity of the promotion of healthy eating, ie. informational campaigns or nutritional education.
    3. The metagenomic analyses showed that at the end of the study subjects with a poorer diet suffered a significant loss of diversity in gut microbiota composition.
    4. Volunteers differ genetically in five centers and metabolomics data enabled to identify markers of food intake and frailty status changes. New biomarkers could be predictive of health evolution towards pre-frailty.
    5. Identification of sub-phenotypes of frailty (stable, improvement, degradation during one year of the intervention) with specific markers can contribute to better identification subject at-risk and therefore to conduct more accurate prevention with nutritional recommendations. There are several differences among subjects in various countries and between men and women both regarding the baseline status and the effect of NU-AGE intervention. These observations possibly indicate that the NU-AGE diet might not have the same outcomes on all the populations under study and underline the importance of considering gender and geographical origin in further studies evaluating the effects of dietary intervention on diseases, aging and longevity.
    6. Based on these outcomes, specific national dietary recommendations may be established for people over 65-year in order to help to improve their dietary habits. Such recommendation should take into account all the factors (i.e. nationality, gender, genetics, overall lifestyle) able to influence the impact of diet on ageing.

    Harmonising nutrient recommendations across Europe with special focus on vulnerable groups and consumer understanding (EURRECA)

    Funding Institution: EU, 6FP-FOOD, Grant no. 36196 (Network of Excellence)

    Coordinated by: International Life Science Institute – European Branch A.I.S.B.L., Brussels, Belgium

    Leader of Polish part of the project: prof. dr hab. Anna Brzozowska, Warsaw University of Life Sciences- SGGW, Faculty of Human Nutrition and Consumer Sciences, Department of Human Nutrition, Warsaw. Poland

    Duration: 2007-2012

    Polish team: prof. dr hab. Anna Brzozowska, dr hab.  Barbara Pietruszka, prof. SGGW, mgr inż.  Anna Szczecińska, dr inż.  Katarzyna Kozłowska, dr inż. Ewa Sicińska, dr inż. Marta Jeruszka-Bielak, prof. dr hab. Wojciech Roszkowski, mgr inż. Sylwester Wronowski, Magdalena Rycembel.

    Project description

    EURRECAs (The EURopean micronutrient RECommendations Aligned) objective was to create a collaborative network to support the harmonization nutrient recommendations across Europe and to provide the evidence base for policy making. The methodology to prioritize micronutrients based on the availability of new scientific evidence, public health relevance and heterogeneity of recommendations was developed. Then eight micronutrients (iron, zinc, selenium, iodine, riboflavin, folate, vitamin B12 and D) critical for the health of vulnerable population groups (infants, children, pregnant and lactating women, the elderly and social lower class) were identified. For these nutrients systematic literature reviews on intake, nutritional status and health outcomes were made. Knowledge gaps and research needs for factorial and/or dose-response approaches in nutritional requirements developing were identified. Moreover the Public Health Nutrition Policy- Making Framework was developed to facilitate policy makers to set recommendations based on  nutrition science and current situation in a country (economic, social) and the public health priorities. The final conclusions from EURRECA NoE are described  in ten papers published in Critical Reviews of Food Science and Nutrition 2013, vol. 53.


    Assessment of the dietary exposure to artificial sweeteners in different population groups and the impact of aspartame on selected parameters of calcium balance.

    Founding institution: National Science Center (NCN), Poland, No. N N312 433140

    Project manager: dr inż. Elżbieta Wierzbicka

    Duration: 2011-2014

    Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the dietary intake of food additives, in particular of artificial sweeteners among specific population groups  and to evaluate their impact on mineral balance on the example of aspartame, as well as to assess other factors that affect bone health.

    Results: It was found that children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes are in a group of higher risk of dietary exposure to artificial sweeteners, in particular of cyclamate and acesulfame K followed by aspartame and sucralose, for which the main sources are flavoured beverages and table-top sweeteners. Loading of aspartame increases the urinary excretion of calcium and magnesium, which is particularly unfavorable in case of insufficient intake of these essential minerals. Additionally, in the extended analysis, the following factors were identified as important: high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency, and low bone mass and density, that should be also taken into consideration in directing nutritional strategies for skeletal health.

    The assessment of the impact of mild dehydration on the cognitive function among the elderly

    The funding institution: European Hydration Institute (EHI Graduate Research Grants)

    Duration: June 2013 – March 2014

    Project manager: prof. dr hab. Barbara Pietruszka

    Realization: dr Agata Białecka-Dębek

    1. Objectives: The objective of the study was to investigate the relation between hydration status and cognitive function in apparently healthy older adults.
    2. Material and methods: The cross-sectional study was conducted among 60 free-living volunteers, aged 60 years and older. Information about water consumption was gathered based on 3-d records. Daily water consumption was compared with reference values for adequate intake (AI = 2000 ml for women and 2500 ml for men). The hydration status was assessed in morning urine samples by evaluating urine specific gravity. Urine density measurement was made using urometer. The cognitive function was tested using the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), the Babcock Story Recall Test and the Trail Making Test (TMT) questionnaires. The study protocol was approved by the ethical commission in the National Food and Nutriton Institute in Warsaw.
    3. Results: The mean daily water intake from all source was 2441 ml, and as many as 70% of respondents met a reference values for adequate intake (AI). Results indicated that there was no statistically significant differences between the group with water consumption above AI level and below this level in socio-demographic and health-related factors, and cognitive assessment tests. Mean urinary specific gravity amounted 1.013 (range 1.004 – 1.025), which shows that study population was in a good hydration state. Participants were classified into two groups depending on their urine specific gravity: below or equal 1.012 (n=31) and above 1.012 (n=29). We do not detect any significant differences between these two groups, either in demographic and lifestyle factors or results of cognitive assessment tests. The average result of MMSE test was 27.8. The result of 35 % of individuals was in the range of MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment), and 5% in the range of dementia. Mean result of GDS test (3.5 points) was within “normal” range (≤5 points), while the results of 25 % of individuals were in the range of “suspicion of depression” (>5 points) and 5% in the range of “depression” (>10 points).
    4. Key findings: Among elderly volunteers with good hydration status there were no significant differences in cognitive performance in relation to urine specific gravity.

    The effect of iron and zinc diet supplementation on the antioxidant defense of the reproductive system – a model study 

    The funding institution:  National Science Centre (NCN), Poland (No. N N312 256440) 

    Project manager:  Prof. dr hab. Barbara Pietruszka 

    Staff: dr inż.  Dawid Madej 

    Duration:  2011-2013 

    Project description 


    Examined the effect of iron, zinc or a combination of iron and zinc supplementation and the termination of  these treatments on the antioxidant defence of the male reproductive system in the testes, epididymis, prostate and sperm viability in rats.


    Simultaneous iron and zinc supplementation may protect the organs of the male reproductive tract against oxidative damage induced by high doses of iron and may have a beneficial effect on sperm viability. The effect of this supplementation was observed even two weeks after the termination of the intervention. Thus, simultaneous iron and zinc supplementation seems to be a safer solution than iron supplementation alone and has a similar effect on iron replenishment. 

    Relationship between nutrients intake, nutritional status and the quality of men’s semen.

    The funding institution: National Science Centre (NCN), Poland (No. N N312 256440)

    Project manager:  dr inż.  Dawid Madej 

    Duration: 2018-2019

    Project description 


    A study aimed at assessing the relationship between nutrients intake and nutritional status and the quality of men’s semen (90 men aged 18-40) in the context of the occurrence of oxidative stress and inflammation in their body.
    The obtained results allowed for the separation of dietary and nutritional features that correlated negatively with the semen quality parameters in studied men. These include an excessive intake of energy, protein, fat, cholesterol, glucose, fructose, sucrose and salt; low intake of folate and water; low folate and vitamin B12 staus; and low HDL cholesterol concentration. Negative non-nutritional factors include: living in large agglomerations, smoking and occasional use of soft drugs.

    Effect of dietary supplementation iron and zinc and its discontinuation on the apparent absorption of iron, zinc and copper in rats.

    Faculty grant as part of an internal competition mode for a young scientist in a year 2013

    nr: 505-10-100200-K00263-99

    Project manager: Olga Januszko, Ph.D.

    Duration: 2013-2014

    The aim of this study was to investigate the changes in iron apparent absorption (IAA%) during and after iron and zinc dietary supplementation in rats.

    The study was carried out on the rats in 3 stages: a 4-week adaptation period to control (C) and iron deficiency (D) diets (stage I); 4-week supplementation period with 10 times longer supplementation iron, zinc or iron and zinc compared to diet C (stage II); 2 weeks post-supplementation period (rats were fed the same diet as in the adaptation period, stage III).

    Results: Zinc administered simultaneously with iron (Zn:Fe weight ratio = 1:1) decreased IAA% in adult rats fed on iron deficient diet, but not in rats fed on control diet. IAA% reduction by zinc supplementation has been extended to 10 days after discontinuation of the treatment. Adaptation of the rats to high doses of iron or iron and zinc and also to the cessation of these treatments was relatively fast. However, IAA% was stabilized faster after introducing the supplementation than it’s discontinuation.

    Nutrition and the nutritional status of a frailty and muscle mass in the elderly.

    Project National Science Centre (Miniatura 3)

    Project manager: Olga Januszko, Ph.D.

    Duration: 2019-2021

    The aim of the study is to verify questionnaires and tools for frailty and muscle mass among the elderly.

    Results: Study in progress.

    COST Action CA15136 EUROCAROTEN – European network to advance carotenoid research and applications in agro-food and health

    EU Grant

    Duration: 17.04.2016–17.10.2020

    Management Committee COST Action CA15136 EUROCAROTEN: prof. dr hab. Agata Wawrzyniak

    Project contractors: representatives of all EU countries, including associated countries

    The main goal of the project and the international expert team are, among others, meetings and work related to the protection, promotion and restoration of human health in a broad sense, including in the aspect of nutrition and food hygiene as well as scientific and expert cooperation with the industry in order to produce plant varieties and designing innovative products rich in carotenoids. This goal includes preventive medicine, including all aspects of medical treatment of individuals and groups, up to social medicine, as well as paediatric and geriatric research, and the preparation of publication in this field by an expert team.

    Main publication of experts in the nutrition section:

    Bőhm V., Lietz G., Olmedilla-Alonso B., Phelan D., Reboul E., Bánati D., Borel P., Corte-Real J., de Lera A.R., Desmarchelier Ch., Dulinska-Litewka J., Landrier J-F., Milisav I., Nolan J., Porrini M., Riso P., Roob J.M., Valanou E., Wawrzyniak A., Winklhofer-Roob B.M., Rühl R., and Bohn T.: From carotenoid intake to carotenoid blood and tissue concentrations – implications for dietary intake recommendations. Nutrition Reviews, doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuaa008 (published 7 August 2020).

  • Chair of Nutritional Assessment

    Assessment of the effectiveness of the dietary autoimmune protocol in people with Hashimoto’s disease

    Faculty grant as part of an internal competition mode for a young scientist in a year 2013

    nr: 505-10-100200-Q00308-99

    Project manager: mgr Paulina Ihnatowicz

    Supervisor: dr hab. Małgorzata Drywień

    Duration: 2018-2019

    Information on the effectiveness of various types of diet therapy in Hashimoto’s disease is incomplete and inconsistent, while more and more scientific works prove the negative effects of gluten, casein and lactose in this disease.

    The main aim of the study was to investigate the effect of the dietary Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) on the values of biochemical indices and to improve the subjectively assessed psycho-physical condition of people suffering from Hashimoto’s disease.

    The study was conducted in 24 people, aged 19-50, diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease, who gave informed consent to participate in the study. Nutritional assessment, blood chemistry (TSH, fT3, fT4, TPO and aTG concentration) and thyroid ultrasound were performed before the start of the nutritional intervention and after 3 months of its use. The nutritional intervention consisted in the application of a diet in line with the AIP, based on standard foods with the exception of: cereals, pseudocereals, legumes, dairy products, products containing gluten, nightshade plants, cocoa, carob, vegetable oils except coconut, nuts, eggs and alcohol

    Diet therapy had effects in reducing body weight, reducing body fat and reducing the waist and hip circumference. There were no changes in the ultrasound image of the thyroid gland (location, size, echogenicity). Dietotherapy did not contribute to significant changes in TSH, fT3 and fT4 levels in the blood. Changes in aTPO and aTG antibody concentrations were not statistically significant. The obtained results allow to establish that the use of the AIP diet by people with Hashimoto’s disease for a period of 3 months improved the anthropometric parameters, but did not improve the biochemical parameters related to the functions of the thyroid gland. In light of the results obtained, the use of AIP in Hashimoto’s disease is not justified.

    Diet, nutritional status and oxidative stress in adults with metabolic disorders.

    Faculty grants as part of an internal competition mode for a young scientist in a year 2018

    nr: 505 10 100 200-Q 00309-99

    Project manager: Anna Ciecierska, Ph.D.

    Duration: 2018-2019

    The aim of the study was to assess the effect of diet and nutritional status, with particular emphasis on selected bioactive compounds on the parameters of oxidative stress in adults with metabolic disorders. The aim of the study was to broaden the current knowledge on the impact of diet on the health of adults with metabolic disorders and to provide new information in this regard.

    The study was conducted among 50 people, including 25 women and 25 men, aged 40-66, of the Clinical Department of Internal and Metabolic Diseases with metabolic disorders (obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases).

    Results: The average frequency of consumption of milk, fish, vegetables and fruit in the study group was too low. A higher frequency of consumption of milk, cheese and vegetables was reported among men, while a higher frequency of consumption of dark green vegetables and fruits and red fruits was reported among women. Among studied women tendency between the content of antioxidant compounds in plasma and the content of adipose tissue in the body were observed. Negative correlations were found between the content of β-carotene, lutein and total carotenoids and the content of adipose tissue. A positive correlation was also observed between the concentration of α-tocopherol and the content of adipose tissue.

    Assessment of hydration by beverages in elderly

    Program: European Grants for the Study of Human Hydration

    Funding: European Hydration Institute

    Duration: 2012-05-09 – 2013-02-27

    Project supervisor: dr hab. Małgorzata Ewa Drywień

    Realisation: mgr Katarzyna Galon

    The aim of the study was the assessment of water intake from food and beverages by free-living elderly in Poland. The study was conducted on 138 volunteers (women and men) at the age of 60 to 90, recruited from Warsaw and Płock Universities of the Third Age and different informal groups from the same cities. Food and beverages consumption data were collected using the method of records for 3 days, including two weekdays and one week-end day, in the period April – June 2012. Average values of total water intake in the present study indicated that women meets of the European Food Safety Agency recommendations (2000 mL/day), but men did not (less about 200 mL/day than the recommended 2500 mL/day). Taking into account the criterion of water per energy intake (mL/kcal) 51% of women and 75% of men did not meet the recommendation. Continuation of the careers and/or participation in Universities of the Third Age contributed to less intake of water from beverages, what in turn affected the total water intake. The elderly leading an active life (working, studying) may be a risk group vulnerable to dehydration, so monitoring is needed. The recommendations for the elderly concerning nutrition and various forms of activity should include detailed information on a regular and proper hydration. This is particularly important in the context of age-related diseases and medication, which are often associated with water-electrolyte balance.

    Results were published as a scientific article: Drywień ME, Galon  K.:  Assessment of water intake from food and beverages by elderly in Poland.  Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig 2016;67(4):399-408

    The influence of selected maternal eating habits on infants’ psychomotor development

    The funding institution: Warsaw University of Life Sciences

    Duration: April 2015 – July 2017

    Project manager: dr hab. Jadwiga Hamułka, prof. SGGW; dr n. biol. Aleksandra Wesołowska (Warsaw University of Medicine)

    Realization: mgr inż. Monika Zielińska

    The aim of this project was to understand the role of maternal nutrition and psychological condition on the breastmilk composition and infant psychomotor development. During the five-month follow-up period since the 1st to 6th month of lactation we collected three times the breastmilk (1st, 3rd and 6th month of lactation), assessed maternal dietary intake (3rd and 6th month of lactation) and infant psychomotor development at the 6th month of life among 53 mother-infant pairs. We found that breastmilk concentrations of selected breastmilk carotenoids (lutein + zeaxanthin, β-carotene, lycopene) were dependent on maternal dietary intake of its carotenoids, which are consumed mainly with vegetables and fruits (β-carotene r=0,442 and r=0,532; lycopene r=0.374, r=0.338; lutein + zeaxanthin r=0.711, r=0.726, third and sixth month, respectively.) Also, we found that the concentration of breastmilk SFA and LC PUFA were dependent on maternal dietary intake. Moreover, we found that average concentration of breastmilk β-carotene (β=0.359 (95% CI 0.025 – 0.693)), DHA (β=0.275 (95% CI 0.089 – 0.640)), ALA (β=0.432 (95% CI 0.039 – 0.825)), n-3 LC PUFA (β=0.423 (95% CI 0.048 – 0.800)) from the first and third month of lactation positively influenced the motor development of exclusively breastfed infants at the 6th month of life (analysis conducted in the subgroup of 39 infants).

    Main publications from the study:

    1. Zielinska M.A., Hamułka J., Wesołowska A.: Carotenoid Content in Breastmilk in the 3rd and 6th Month of Lactation and Its Associations with Maternal Dietary Intake and Anthropometric Characteristics. Nutrients, 2019, 11(1), 193. doi: 10.3390/nu11010193.
    2. Zielinska M.A., Hamulka J., Grabowicz-Chądrzyńska I., Bryś J., Wesolowska A.: Association between breastmilk LC PUFA, carotenoids and psychomotor development of exclusively breastfed infants. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2019, 16 (7), 1144. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16071144.

    Interactions of antioxidant vitamins in the protection of DNA against oxidative stress

    Research project of Ministry of Science and Higher Education no. N N312 410037

    Duration: 22.10.2009–21.10.2012

    Project supervisor: dr hab. Agata Wawrzyniak, prof. WULS-SGGW

    Project contractors: dr hab. Agata Wawrzyniak, prof. WULS-SGGW, prof. dr hab. Anna Gronowska-Senger, dr hab. Małgorzata Drywień, dr hab. Jadwiga Hamułka, dr Małgorzata Gajewska, dr Magdalena Górnicka, dr Joanna Frąckiewicz, dr Jolanta Pierzynowska, mgr Malwina Wojtaś, mgr Mariola Araucz, mgr Aleksandra Kanigowska

    Studies allowed to explain, in the absence of unambiguous knowledge in this area, which of the vitamins tested and to what extent (i.e. α-tocopherol, ascorbic acid and β-carotene) participate in the protection of DNA against oxidative stress, and whether simultaneous administration of selected compounds enhances their beneficial effects, by among others reducing the level of 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine in liver tissue (DNA damage marker) and the concentration of lipid peroxides (TBARS) in blood. At the same time, in the studies conducted, authors were looking for an answer to the question which of the above vitamins are responsible for the regulation of p53 gene transcription, whose p53 protein product promotes launching DNA repair systems and whether this action can be strengthened with their simultaneous administration.

    In research, was obtained lower, statistically significant concentrations of lipid peroxides in the plasma of rats undergoing training (causing oxidative stress) and receiving 2 or 3 of the tested compounds. The highest level of body protection against stress was observed as a result of supplementation with α-tocopherol combined with ascorbic acid or β-carotene or with simultaneous administration of 3 tested compounds, i.e. β-carotene, α-tocopherol and ascorbic acid. It was also showed a statistically significant correlation between the concentration of α-tocopherol and ascorbic acid in the plasma as well as the concentration of these vitamins and the concentration of lipid peroxides in blood. Training as well as the combined administration of tested compounds did not have a significant impact on the amount of DNA damage. The downward trends in the level of p53 protein were observed both among trained and non-trained animals, especially in the case of combined administration of the tested vitamins. Thus, the conducted studies showed that the administered vitamins had primarily antioxidant effect, and did not significantly affect the protection of the genetic material of the cell. The obtained results provide an indication for the formulation of recommendations regarding the proportion of intake of selected vitamins with antioxidant properties with the daily food ration in the prevention of diet-related diseases, especially cancer in humans.

Projects in Department of Dietetics

  • Chair of Dietetic

    Polish Adolescents’ COVID-19 Experience Study (PLACE-19 Study)

    Duration: 2020

    Funding Institution: Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education within funds of Institute of Human Nutrition Sciences, Warsaw University of Life Sciences (WULS), for scientific research

    Project team: Dominika Głąbska, PhD, DSc, Assoc Prof.; Dominika Guzek, PhD, DSc, Professor; Dominika Skolmowska, MSc

    Link to the original results:


    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization and other major authorities recommend frequent hand washing and applying proper hand hygiene procedures as one of the cheapest, easiest, and most important ways to prevent the spread of a virus. For adolescents it is especially important as it should become for them a lifelong habit. The aim of the study was to assess the hand hygiene behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic in a national Polish sample of secondary school adolescents and to verify the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on those behaviors. The study was conducted in April 2020 in a national sample of 2323 secondary school students recruited based on secondary school sampling procedure (random quota sampling with quotas for voivodeships). The hand hygiene behaviors that were assessed included: frequency of washing hands, reasons for not washing hands, circumstances of washing hands, and procedure of handwashing. Participants were asked each question twice—for the current period of the COVID-19 pandemic and for the period before the COVID-19 issue. The declared frequency of washing hands during the COVID-19 pandemic was significantly higher than before (p < 0.0001), as the majority of respondents declared doing it 6–15 times a day (58.4%) while before the pandemic, it was 3–10 times a day (68.1%). The share of respondents declaring washing their hands always while it would be needed was significantly higher for the period during the COVID-19 pandemic (54.8%) than it was for the period before (35.6%; p < 0.0001), and there was a lower share of respondents declaring various reasons for not washing hands. For the majority of circumstances of washing hands, including those associated with meals, personal hygiene, leaving home, socializing, health, and household chores, the share of respondents declaring always washing their hands was significantly higher for the period during the COVID-19 pandemic than for the period before (p < 0.0001). For the majority of steps of handwashing procedure, the share of respondents declaring including them always was significantly higher for the period during the COVID-19 pandemic than for the period before (p < 0.0001), but a higher share declared not wearing a watch and bracelet (p = 0.0006), and rings (p = 0.0129). It was concluded that during the COVID-19 pandemic all the assessed hand hygiene behaviors of Polish adolescents were improved, compared with those before, but hand hygiene education is still necessary.

    During the coronavirus-19 disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the basic strategy that is recommended to reduce the spread of the disease is to practice proper hand hygiene and personal protective behaviors, but among adolescents, low adherence is common. The present study aimed to assess the gender-dependent hand hygiene and personal protective behaviors in a national sample of Polish adolescents. The Polish Adolescents’ COVID-19 Experience (PLACE-19) Study was conducted in a group of 2323 secondary school students (814 males, 1509 females). Schools were chosen based on the random quota sampling procedure. The participants were surveyed to assess their knowledge and beliefs associated with hand hygiene and personal protection, as well as their actual behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic. The majority of respondents gave proper answers when asked about their knowledge. However, females displayed a higher level of knowledge (p < 0.05). Most of the respondents declared not leaving home, handwashing, using alcohol-based hand rub, avoiding contact with those who may be sick, and avoiding public places as their personal protective behaviors. They declared using face masks and gloves after the legal regulation requiring people to cover their nose and mouth in public places was enacted in Poland. Regarding the use of face masks and not touching the face, no gender-dependent differences were observed, while for all the other behaviors, females declared more adherence than males (p < 0.05). Females also declared a higher daily frequency of handwashing (p < 0.0001) and washing their hands always when necessary more often than males (68.2% vs. 54.1%; p < 0.0001). Males more often indicated various reasons for not handwashing, including that there is no need to do it, they do not feel like doing it, they have no time to do it, or they forget about it (p < 0.0001), while females pointed out side effects (e.g., skin problems) as the reason (p = 0.0278). Females more often declared handwashing in circumstances associated with socializing, being exposed to contact with other people and health (p < 0.05), and declared always including the recommended steps in their handwashing procedure (p < 0.05). The results showed that female secondary school students exhibited a higher level of knowledge on hand hygiene and personal protection, as well as better behaviors, compared to males. However, irrespective of gender, some false beliefs and improper behaviors were observed, which suggests that education is necessary, especially in the period of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    During the outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the lockdown, various changes of dietary habits are observed, including both positive and negative ones. However, the food choice determinants in this period were not studied so far for children and adolescents. The study aimed to analyze the changes in the food choice determinants of secondary school students in a national sample of Polish adolescents within the Polish Adolescents’ COVID-19 Experience (PLACE-19) Study population. The study was conducted in May 2020, based on the random quota sampling of schools (for voivodeships and counties) and a number of 2448 students from all the regions of Poland participated. The Food Choice Questionnaire (FCQ) (36 items) was applied twice—to analyze separately current choices (during the period of COVID-19 pandemic) and general choices (when there was no COVID-19 pandemic). For both the period before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, sensory appeal and price were indicated as the most important factors (with the highest scores). However, differences were observed between the scores of specific factors, while health (p < 0.0001) and weight control (p < 0.0001) were declared as more important during the period of COVID-19 pandemic, compared with the period before, but mood (p < 0.0001) and sensory appeal (p < 0.0001) as less important. The observations were confirmed for sub-groups, while female and male respondents were analyzed separately. It can be concluded that the COVID-19 pandemic may have changed the food choice determinants of Polish adolescents, as it may have increased the importance of health and weight control, but reduced the role of mood and sensory appeal. This may be interpreted as positive changes promoting the uptake of a better diet than in the period before the pandemic.

    Determination of the frequency of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in girls with the metabolic syndrome and the relationship between the type of dietary carbohydrate and components of the metabolic syndrome.

    Project Number: Miniatura 3 – 2019/03/X/NZ9/00433

    Duration: 2019 – 2021

    Funding Institution: National Science Center (NCN)

    Project Leader:  Aleksandra Kołota

    The aim of the study is to determine the frequency of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in girls aged 13-17 years with the metabolic syndrome and the relationship between the type of dietary carbohydrate and components of the metabolic syndrome.

    Analysis of influence of dietary vitamin D intake on the 25(OH)-cholecalciferol blood level, depending on sunshine exposure

    Project Number: 2018/02/X/NZ9/02819

    Duration: 2019-2020

    Funding Institution: National Science Center (NCN), Poland

    Project manager: Dominika Głąbska, PhD, DSc, Assoc Prof.


    Within the project, Dominika Głąbska, PhD, DSc, Assoc Prof., conducted the planned study to analyze the influence of dietary vitamin D intake on the 25(OH)-cholecalciferol blood level (indicator of vitamin D status), depending on sunshine exposure.

    The conducted study included assessment of influence of vitamin D intake within the planned dietary intervention (regular intake of 50 g of salmon daily for 8 weeks) on the vitamin D status. The intervention was conducted in a group of 50 women in the period with sunshine exposure (June – August 2019) and in a group of 50 women in the period without sunshine exposure (October – December 2019).

    The conducted study allowed to obtain unique results of the first such intervention in Poland and one of few such interventions conducted in the world.

    The conducted study revealed that the applied dietary intervention, which provided the supply of vitamin D of 10 ug/ 24h allowed to obtain the recommended 25(OH)-cholecalciferol blood level in the studied population. It was also stated that the applied daily dietary supply of vitamin D (obtained as a result of intervention) was for the vitamin D status more important than the sunshine exposure. The applied intervention including regular salmon intake allowed to reduce the frequency of vitamin D deficiency in the studied group to the half of the initial level, that provided novel knowledge about effectiveness of 10 ug/ 24 h of vitamin D dietary intake.

    The vitamin D status was in the studied group dependent on its skin biosynthesis (dependent on the sunshine exposure) and dietary intake. The vitamin D supplementation, being the other potential source of this nutrient, was not applied in the studied group. The conducted study revealed that if the dietary intake of vitamin D is adequate (for the applied intervention – 10 ug/ 24 h), it has the major influence on the vitamin D status. Moreover, it was stated that in a group of young Polish women, even with no sunshine exposure and with no supplementation applied, it may be an intake adequate to observe sufficient vitamin D status.

    The products highest in vitamin D are fish and fish products (the highest amount is in salmon, rainbow trout, herring and eel), which are in Polish diet are rarely consumed, as there are problems with a low accessibility and a high price. Hence, it may be effective to recommend the intake of specific amount of indicated fish (weekly attributed to 350 g, as this amount allows to cover the vitamin D needs), but it must be verified in further applicative studies.

    In spite of the fact that there are specific recommendations of sunshine exposure, formulated by the World Health Organization (for Caucasian individuals 30 minutes daily), in the geographical location of Poland, they are impossible to be followed. Moreover, the conducted study revealed that even such exposure in the summer period may be not enough to provide recommended vitamin D status, if the dietary intake is not adequate. However, in the studied group, the association between dietary vitamin D intake and status was proven.

    The Yellow Plate Project (scientific and educational project)

    Improving the organization and quality of children’s nutrition in mass catering establishments in Poland

    Project Number – cooperation agreement: 2 October 2017 – 31 December 2020

    Duration: 2017-2020

    Funding Institution: Kulczyk Foundation

    Project Leader: Anna Harton, Ph.D. Assistant Professor

    The aim of the project is to provide substantive support to the Yellow Plate project organized by Kulczyk Foundation. Project goals: more children eating in the canteens; better quality and healthier food; mobilizing adults to help feed children; easier access to knowledge about healthy eating. The research carried out in Poland on the assessment of planning and organization of nutrition for children in mass catering establishments proves the existence of many errors. Moreover, research on the way of nutrition provided by parents and guardians of children also shows some irregularities in this respect. In both cases, the knowledge of people dealing with child nutrition requires some systematization. The project provides substantive support to the Foundation in the tasks carried out in the project, training of staff involved in the planning and organization of children’s nutrition, as well as nutritional education of parents / guardians of children. The project also includes a study on the planning, organization and quality of children’s nutrition in selected mass catering establishments in Poland. Comprehensive activities will improve the quality of children’s nutrition, which is important in the prevention of many diet-related diseases.



    Duration: 2014-2017

    Funding Institution: Danone Ecosystem Found

    Project Leader: dr hab. Joanna Myszkowska-Ryciak


    The aim of the program was to support the employees of nurseries and kindergartens as well as parents in shaping correct eating habits in children aged 1-6. As part of the program, the menu in care facilities was analyzed in terms of compliance with the recommendations, workshops and training courses were conducted for staff responsible for the nutrition of children in institutions, as well as workshops for children and parents. The program was nationwide and free of charge for participants.

    The most important results: As part of the program, 170 nutrition educators operated in 15 voivodeships, who, before starting work, underwent a series of free training courses in the field of children’s nutrition, communication and running their own business. 2,638 institutions from all over Poland participated in the program, including 1,347 of them under the care of a nutrition educator. 13,214 employees of nurseries and kindergartens participated in the workshops conducted by nutrition educators. 93% of nurseries and kindergartens participating in the program declared that they had introduced positive changes to their menus, and 95% of institutions were interested in taking part in a similar program in the future. In care institutions, the supply of sugar and salt decreased, while the amount of milk and vegetables served increased. In many institutions, the topic of nutrition was implemented during classes aimed at children. The institutions also started to pay attention to the problem of obesity among children. In many institutions the way of perceiving the benefits of children’s participation in preparing meals changed. Children were more often offered the possibility of making table decisions while eating and the personnel of institutions limited forcing children to eat.

    List of publications:

    • Myszkowska-Ryciak J., Harton A.: Do preschools offer healthy beverages to children? A nationwide study in Poland. Nutrients 2017, 9: 1167. doi:10.3390/nu9111167.
    • Myszkowska-Ryciak J., Harton A.: Implementation of dietary reference intake standards on preschools menus in Poland. Nutrients 2018, 10: 592. doi:10.3390/nu10050592.
    • Myszkowska-Ryciak J., Harton A.: Eating healthy, growing healthy: Impact of a multistrategy nutrition education on the assortments of beverages served in preschools, Poland. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2018, 15, 1355. doi:10.3390/ijerph15071355.
    • Myszkowska-Ryciak J., Harton A.: Impact of Nutrition Education on the Compliance with Model Food Ration in 231 Preschools, Poland – Results of Eating Healthy, Growing Healthy Program. Nutrients 2018, 10(10): 1427.
    • Harton A., Myszkowska-Ryciak J.: What Type of Milk and/or its Substitutes Are Given to Children (6–36 Months) in Nurseries in Poland? Data from the Research and Education Project “Eating Healthy, Growing Healthy”. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2018, 15, 2789.
    • Myszkowska-Ryciak J., Harton A.: Eating Healthy, Growing Healthy: Outcome Evaluation of the Nutrition Education Program Optimizing the Nutritional Value of Preschool Menus, Poland. Nutrients 2019, 11(10), 2438.
    • Myszkowska-Ryciak J., Harton A.: Education on healthy eating improved nutrition-related practices in preschools in Poland. Health Problems of Civilization 2018; 12(4): 238-246.
    • Myszkowska-Ryciak J., Harton A.: Nutrition-related practices in kindergartens in the context of changes to legal regulations on foodstuffs used in canteen menus for children. Roczniki Państwowego Zakładu Higieny 2018, 69(1): 31-36.
    • Myszkowska-Ryciak J., Harton A.: Ocena realizacji norm i zaleceń żywieniowych w wybranych placówkach przedszkolnych z terenu Poznania. Problemy Higieny i Epidemiologii 2018, 99(1): 7-11.
    • Harton A., Myszkowska-Ryciak J.: Selected aspects of nutrition practices in nurseries in Poland – initial results of nationwide study. Roczniki Państwowego Zakładu Higieny 2018; 69 (1): 23-29
    • Harton A., Myszkowska-Ryciak J.: Ocena realizacji norm i zaleceń żywieniowych w żłobkach z Poznania przed i po edukacji żywieniowej personelu. Problemy Higieny i Epidemiologii 2018; 99(1): 1-6.
    • Harton A., Myszkowska-Ryciak J.: Wpływ edukacji żywieniowej na realizację zaleceń modelowej racji pokarmowej w wybranych żłobkach – wyniki wstępne. Standardy Medyczne 2016, 3, 359-367

    Wise Nutrition Healthy Generation

    Duration: 2013-2015

    The funding institution: The Coca-Cola Foundation

    Project supervisor: dr inż. Danuta Gajewska

    Wise Nutrition Healthy Generation” is the slogan of the nationwide research and educational program, addressed to secondary and upper secondary school youth, their parents and teacher, as well as dieticians. The main objective of the program was the education of the secondary and upper secondary school youth regarding the importance of healthy nutrition and physical activity in the prevention of diet-related diseases. The majority of these diseases have their beginnings during early adulthood, therefore education in this field, adjusted to the expectations of a young recipient, can in a significant way, reduce the risk of improper body weight as well as further related consequences. Detailed aims of the program included: the elaboration of standardized materials, indispensable for students’ education; the assessment of selected parameters of nutrition to identify the unhealthy nutritional habits of Polish teenagers; the assessment of selected parameters of the nutritional status of Polish teenagers and the assessment of the frequency of improper body mass among the youth; dietary counselling for students with inadequate body mass; the employment of the graduates of dietetics for the realization of the above mentioned aims, as an element of support in the first steps of their professional career; the creation of an information platform for communicating with the youth, and engaging the secondary and upper secondary school youth in an active participation in the program, through the organization of school contests.

    Within the framework of the program “Wise Nutrition Healthy Generation” more than 50 thousands of students from 2058 schools have benefited from nutritional education. The research was conducted in randomly selected schools (207 secondary and upper secondary schools) across the Polish territory, on 14044 students aged from 13 to 19 years.

    More information about the project available on the project web site:

    Main results of the research part of the project are presented in the following publications:

    • Myszkowska-Ryciak J., Harton A., Lange E., Laskowski W, Gajewska D. Nutritional behaviors of Polish adolescents: Results of the Wise Nutrition—Healthy Generation Project. Nutrients 2019,11, 1592; doi:10.3390/nu11071592
    • Harton A, Myszkowska-Ryciak J, Laskowski W, Gajewska D.: Prevalence of overweight and obesity among adolescents in Poland, Journal of Health Inequalities 2019, 5, 2, 180-187,
    • Myszkowska-Ryciak J., Harton A., Lange E., Laskowski W, Wawrzyniak A., Hamułka J., Gajewska D. Reduced screen time is associated with healthy dietary behaviors but not body weight status among Polish adolescents. Report from the Wise Nutrition—Healthy Generation Project. Nutrients 2020, 12(5), 1323;
    • Wawrzyniak A., Myszkowska-Ryciak J., Harton A., Lange E., Laskowski W., Hamułka J., Gajewska D. Dissatisfaction with body weight among Polish adolescents is related to unhealthy dietary behaviors. Nutrients 2020, 12, 2658; doi:10.3390/nu12092658

    Energy expenditure of elderly people, with particular emphasis on people with Alzheimer’s disease as an integral element of the assessment of nutritional needs

    Project Number: NN312113738

    Duration: 23.03.2010 – 22.03.2012

    Funding Institution: National Science Center (NCN)

    Project Leader:  Dariusz Włodarek

    The study aimed to evaluate the extent of the satisfaction of the nutritional needs of individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, taking into account their physical activity, energy expenditure. The sample consisted of 80 individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, and 80 individuals without (the control group). The participants were aged 60 and above, living either independently or in nursing institutions.

    The most important results showed that  compared with the control group, participants with Alzheimer’s disease, as well as individuals living in nursing institutions compared with those living independently, had lower BMI, lower fat mass, and lower ability to perform both basic and instrumental activities of daily living. The risk of malnutrition was also higher in this group. The highest levels of physical activity and energy expenditure were recorded in the case of individuals in the control group living independently. Individuals in the control group living in nursing institutions and the individuals with Alzheimer’s disease living independently were less physically active. In both these groups energy expenditure was lower, too. The lowest levels of physical activity and energy expenditure were recorded for the individuals with Alzheimer’s disease who lived in nursing institutions. The diet of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease living in nursing institutions had the highest energy value (calculated using menus) and contained the highest nutrients’ amount had. Almost all these individuals had their nutrition needs satisfied. The diet of the rest of the participants had lower energy value (calculated using three day recall). Moreover, a significant percentage of these individuals’ diets did not provide them with sufficient intake of some nutrients Compared with those living independently, individuals living in nursing institutions had their energy needs satisfied better. The energy value of diets of the individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and living in nursing institutions (calculated using menus) exceeded their energy expenditures. It was observed, however, that they did not eat all the food prepared for them. Taking into the account that the body mass of majority of people in this group was proper and constant, it was assumed that these  individuals ate enough food to satisfy their energy needs. The content of nutrients in diet was estimated for energy value equal to total energy expenditures of these individuals. The values of median of nutrients contents in diets decreased significantly and the percentage of individuals with insufficient nutrients intake increased significantly.

    Conclusion To provide adequate intake of nutrients to individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease with low energy needs and eating only part of the food prepared for them, higher nutrient density of diet must be provided.

    Assessment of the diet and nutritional status of people with Parkinson’s disease

    Project Number: 6 P06T 052 21

    Duration: 08.2001 – 07.2002

    Funding Institution: National Science Center (NCN)

    Project Leader:  Dariusz Włodarek

    The study aimed to assess Parkinson’s disease’s impact on the diet and nutritional status of people suffering from it under neurological care and undergoing pharmacological treatment.

    The sample consisted of 59 people with Parkinson’s disease (24 women and 35 men) at the age of 49-83 and 26 spouses.

    The most important results

    The diet of the respondents with Parkinson’s disease differed from the Polish standards of nutrition and nutrition. However, it can generally be assessed as satisfactory. Parkinson’s disease (duration, number, and severity of symptoms) did not affect food consumption by people suffering from this disease, although the number of symptoms did affect the share of energy from protein and sucrose in the energy value of the diet. The risk of malnutrition in the study group was not high. The consumption of macronutrients in the diet was similar among people at different risk of malnutrition. Simultaneously, it was observed that the consumption of vitamins (vitamins E and C) was lower in people at higher risk of malnutrition. The nutritional status of the respondents assessed with the use of anthropometric methods was good. There was no effect of disease duration on the assessed nutritional status indicators. The diet of people with Parkinson’s disease and the disease’s duration from the moment of its diagnosis did not show a significant effect on the change in body weight. The content of fatty tissue in the body calculated based on the thickness of the skin and fat folds was lower than that calculated by the bioimpedance method.

    Conclusion: In the studied group of patients with Parkinson’s disease who underwent modern neurological care and pharmacotherapy, the course of the disease (duration, number and severity of symptoms) did not affect the diet and nutritional status.

  • Chair of Nutritional Physiology

    Current Polish projects:

    Nanoplastic toxicity: effect on gut-brain axis

    Project Number: 2019/35/B/NZ7/04133

    Duration: 2020-2023

    Funding Institution: National Science Centre (NCN)

    Project Leader: Prof. Marcin Kruszewski; Project leader at WULS-SGGW: Katarzyna Dziendzikowska, PhD
    Project Team:
    from Institute of Human Nutrition Sciences (WULS-SGGW): Katarzyna Dziendzikowska, PhD, Prof. Joanna Gromadzka-Ostrowska, Michał Oczkowski, PhD, Tomasz Królikowski, PhD, Ewa Fürstenberg, PhD
    from Institute of Veterinary Medicine (WULS-SGGW): Jacek Wilczak, PhD, Małgorzata Gajewska, PhD, DSc, Associate Professor

    The project consortium comprises two partners – Institute of Nuclear Chemistry and Technology (INCT) (Warsaw, Poland) and University of Life Sciences (SGGW), (Warsaw, Poland).

    The main objectives of the project:

    Widespread abundance and environmental persistence if plastic products, exposure of humans and (aquatic) animals to micro- and nanoplastics (MNP) is unavoidable. Plastic products contaminating environment slowly breakdown to smaller particles, finally to form MNP that are tiny plastic particles of different shapes and sizes, which can be found in air, soil and water. Current evidence indicates that micro- and nanoplastics can be taken up by aquatic organism as well as by mammals. Despite the fact that the MNP are widely spread pollutants in the environment, our knowledge about their toxicity is still limited. Whereas detrimental effects of the MNP on fish and water invertebrates is fairly well documented, their impact on mammals needs further investigation. Even less is known about the impact of the MNP on human health. In humans gastro-intestinal tract represents the primary exposure site for the MNP uptake. Upon uptake, micro- and nanoplastics can reach the brain and exert potential neurotoxicity.

    Project description and aims

    The main and ultimate objective of this project is evaluation of different aspects of toxicity of the MNP. Different approaches will be implemented including in vivo rat model study. Since the main way of exposure to nanoplastic is oral exposure, this project will focus on gut-brain axis, as the most likely to be altered by the MNP ingestion. The additional goal of this project is to develop advanced and realistic toxicity MNP assessment. The tools that will help to identify the pathways and mechanisms involved in the MNP hazard. Project will bring valuable information to be used to estimate potential risks associated with the MNP abundance, and hopefuly to mitigate its harmfull effects on humans and the environment. The project will start with a state of the art characterization of the MNP (INTC). Subsequent to the characterization phase we will have a dual, parallel approach, studying the MNP effects in complex 3D cell co-culture models (intestine and brain (INTC), and in animal experiments (SGGW) with an extensive studies evaluating the mechanisms of NMP action within the organs of the gut-brain axis (SGGW, INTC).

    Mechanisms of action of 1-3,1-4-beta-D-glucan from oat in the early stage of colon carcinogenesis

    Project Number:  2018/29/B/NZ9/01060

    Duration:  2019-01-21 – 2023-01-20

    Funding Institution: National Science Center (NCN)

    Project Leader: Prof. Joanna Gromadzka-Ostrowska
    Project Team:
    from Institute of Human Nutrition Sciences (WULS-SGGW): Prof. Joanna Gromadzka-Ostrowska, Łukasz Kopiasz, MSc, Katarzyna Dziendzikowska, PhD, Michał Oczkowski, PhD, Tomasz Królikowski, PhD,
    from Institute of Veterinary Medicine (WULS-SGGW): Jacek Wilczak, PhD, Małgorzata Gajewska, PhD, DSc, Associate Professor, Rafał Sapierzyński, PhD, DSc, Associate Professor, Dariusz Kamola, MSc, Diana Stopka, DVM
    from Wroclaw University of Economics and Business: Joanna Harasym, PhD, DSc, Associate Professor

    The main objective of the project is to determine the potential of low molecular weight 1-3,1-4-D beta-glucan to stop or limit the colon carcinogenesis in early stage (CRC). Beta-glucan (isolated from oats and highly purified) will be administered with a diet. The study will be performed in vivo on colorectal cancer model (AOM rats). The following hypothesis concerning the activity of beta-glucan are verified: orally administered oat low molecular weight beta-glucan (1 ) inhibits development of the early stage of colon cancerogenesis by changing the course of cell metabolic stress and cell death; (2) limits the restoration of normal protein expression of close connections between colonocytes; (3) increases the normalization of CRC animals’ metabolome; (4) reverses of epigenetic changes and (5) changes in the profile and the metabolism of colon microbiota caused by early stage of colon carcinogenesis.

    Current international projects:

    Preventive measures to reduce the adverse health impact of traffic-related air pollution (PrevenTAP)

    Project Number: 260381/H10

    Duration:  2017-07-1 – 2022-06-30

    Funding Institution: Research Council of Norway (BEDREHELSE-programme)

    Project Leader: Prof. Johan Øvrevik, Division for Infection Control and Environmental Health, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Norway

    WULS-SGGW Principal Investigator: Prof. Joanna Gromadzka-Ostrowska
    Project Team:
    from Institute of Human Nutrition Sciences (WULS-SGGW): Prof. Joanna Gromadzka-Ostrowska, Katarzyna Dziendzikowska, PhD, Tomasz Królikowski, PhD, Michał Oczkowski, PhD
    from Institute of Mechanical Engineering (WULS-SGGW): Remigiusz Mruk, PhD
    from Institute of Veterinary Medicine (WULS-SGGW): Jacek Wilczak, PhD, Małgorzata Gajewska, PhD, DSc, Associate Professor, Rafał Sapierzyński, PhD, DSc, Associate Professor

    The main objectives of the project are to elucidate whether a reduction in specific compounds/sources (from engine emissions and road abrasion) has more impact on pulmonary and cardiovascular effects, and increase the understanding of interactions between course (abrasion) and fine/ultrafine (exhaust) particles on common biological effects. The project deals with evaluation and development of targeted interventions to improve public health and prevent non-communicable diseases.

    Past Polish projects:

    The effect of soluble oat beta-glucans on non-specific colon inflammation

    Project Number: 2015/17/B/NZ9/01740

    Duration: 2016-02-19 – 2020-02-18

    Funding Institution: National Science Center (NCN)

    Project Leader: Prof. Joanna Gromadzka-Ostrowska
    Project Team:
    from from Institute of Human Nutrition Sciences (WULS-SGGW): Prof. Joanna Gromadzka-Ostrowska, Ewa Żyła, MSc, Katarzyna Dziendzikowska, PhD, Michał Oczkowski, PhD, Małgorzata Jałosińska, PhD, Tomasz Królikowski, PhD,
    from Institute of Veterinary Medicine (WULS-SGGW): Jacek Wilczak, PhD, Małgorzata Gajewska, PhD, DSc, Associate Professor, Rafał Sapierzyński, PhD, DSc, Associate Professor, Dariusz Kamola, MSc, Kinga Majchrzak, DVM, PhD
    from Wroclaw University of Economics and Business: Joanna Harasym, PhD, DSc, Associate Professor

    The main objectives of the project was an assessment of impact of two chemically pure fractions of oat beta-glucans of high and low molecular weight on an artificially induced colitis. The following scientific hypotheses will be verified: oat beta-glucans administered per os (1) reduce colitis; (2) change inflammatory transcriptomics in colonocytes; (3) have different impact on anti-inflammatory and antioxidative factors gene expressions. 

    The most important results showed that both fractions of oat beta-glucans consumed with food inhibited the development of large intestine inflammation both at the initial stage of ongoing inflammation and at its more advanced stage. It should be added that low molecular weight beta-glucan was a more effective fraction. The mechanism of this action is based on modulating the secretion of numerous inflammatory mediators and regulating the expression of the genes involved in the development of the inflammatory process, as well as affecting the number and metabolism of lactic acid bacteria colonizing the large intestine beneficial for the sick organism. Results have also shown the beneficial effect of the oat beta-glucans on cellular processes in the affected large intestine, including the programmed cell death (apoptosis) – a process that prevents, among others, tumor initiation.

    List of publications:

    1. Kopiasz Ł., Dziendzikowska K., Gajewska M., Wilczak J., Harasym J., Żyła E., Kamola D., Oczkowski M., Królikowski T., Gromadzka-Ostrowska J. (2020). Time-Dependent Indirect Antioxidative Effects of Oat Beta-Glucans on Peripheral Blood Parameters in the Animal Model of Colon Inflammation. Antioxidants 9(5), 375-397; doi. 3390/antiox9050375
    2. Żyła E, Dziendzikowska K, Gajewska M, Wilczak J, Harasym J, Gromadzka-Ostrowska J (2019). Beneficial effects of oat beta-glucan dietary supplementation in colitis depend on its molecular weight. Molecules 24(19), pii: E3591. doi: 10.3390/molecules24193591
    3. Harasym J, Żyła E, Dziendzikowska K, Gromadzka-Ostrowska J (2019). Proteinaceous residue removal from oat β-glucan extracts obtained by alkaline water extraction. Molecules 24(9), E1729. doi: 10.3390/molecules24091729
    4. Dziendzikowska K, Żyła E, Wilczak J, Kamola D, Oczkowski M, Królikowski T, Gajewska M, Harasym J, Gromadzka-Ostrowska J (2018). Beneficial effects of oat β-glucans on the large intestinal inflammation. 8th International Congress of Pathophysiology, Bratysława, Slovakia, Congress Abstacts Book P1.077
    5. Harasym J, Dziendzikowska K, Gromadzka-Ostrowska J (2018). Therapeutic effect of highly purified oat beta-glucan on colon inflammation states – a model study. Food 2030: Towards sustainable agri-food systems, Stuttgart, Niemcy, Abstacts Book No. 7 (A-223)
    6. Królikowski T, Żyła E, Oczkowski M, Dziendzikowska K, Wilczak J, Gajewska M, Harasym J, Gromadzka-Ostrowska J (2018). Effect of oats β-glucans on intestinal lymphocyte subpopulations in induced colitis. 4th International Congress ‘’Food Quality, Technology and Safety and 18th International Symposium ‘’Feed Technology’’, Abstract Book P 55

    Silver nanoparticles neurotoxicity evaluation with particular emphasis on their influence on the steroid metabolism in the hippocampus

    Project Number: 2017/01/X/NZ7/00648

    Duration: 2017-2018

    Funding Institution: National Science Centre (NCN)(MINIATURA 1)

    Project Leader: dr inż. Katarzyna Dziendzikowska

    Project description and objectives:

    Epidemiological studies conducted in recent decades indicate the steadily increasing incidence of neurodegenerative disorders, with result among others cognitive impairment and depression, which is a significant problem for both health and social point of view. Among the causes of these diseases, in addition to genetic factors those related to lifestyle (including diet) and environmental causes are also mentioned, in particular, related to environmental pollution are listed.

    Nanotechnology is a multidisciplinary field of science combining physics, chemistry, engineering and biology as well as one of the fastest-growing scientific and technology disciplines. Although the nanoparticles are defined as particles whose at least one dimension is less than 100 nm were present in the human environment for a long time, the techniques for their production and use on a large scale have been developing intensively in the last two decades. Silver nanoparticles, due to antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, are included in many consumer products, as well as industrial, technological and medical products. Nanosilver is used as a component of food packaging materials, dietary supplements, coatings for kitchen appliances and medical tools, water disinfectants, air filters, electronic devices, toys, as well as cosmetic and hygiene products. In pharmacology and clinical diagnostics, great hopes are associated with the use of metal nanoparticles, in particular, silver, as drug carriers in targeted therapy and as an anti-inflammatory agent.

    Despite the many benefits of using nanoparticles, in vitro studies suggest that the silver nanoparticles exhibit proinflammatory and toxic effects on animals and humans cells. Due to their size close to the size of cell structures and unique properties, nanoparticles are able to translocate through biological barriers, including both cell membranes and the blood-brain, blood-placenta and blood-testis barrier, which in turn can cause cell damage or affect their functioning. Nanomaterials can easily accumulate in internal organs, such as liver, spleen, kidneys, lungs and brain.

    The most important results:

    The development of nanotechnology and the market expansion of nanoparticle-containing products make it necessary to evaluate their impact on the functioning of the central nervous system, including the explanation of the mechanisms of potential nanomaterials toxicity.

    The animal model study was carried out to determine the potential role of silver nanoparticles administered to healthy animals in the functioning of one of the brain structures (hippocampus), responsible among others for cognitive functions. An important element of the research was the assessment of the impact of silver nanoparticles on the steroids metabolism in the hippocampus. The research was also aimed at explaining the mechanism of action of these nanoparticles on the hippocampus and the molecular basis of this action. An important assumption of the research was also a comparison of toxicity of silver nanoparticles with the effects of silver ions in order to explain how the type of coating material applied on the nanoparticles surface affects the neurotoxicity of nanoparticles.

    The results indicate that silver nanoparticles, accumulating in hippocampus cells, influenced the expression of numerous genes related to the regulation of neurosteroids synthesis, inflammation, antioxidant defense, programmed cell death, neoplasia, neurogenesis and synaptic transmission. Obtained results show decreasing neurosteroids contents, which modulate nerve cell activity and its plasticity as well as pay an important role in learning and memory processes. The obtained results show, that silver nanoparticles cause hormonal imbalance and disturb metabolism of neurosteroids. They can also contribute to the parameters of inflammation and oxidative stress alteration leading to disruption of antioxidant defense and inflammatory response in the brain structure. The noticed at the molecular level changes result in defects at the level of the whole organism observed as disturbances of spatial memory and indicate the risk associated with the use of nanotechnology products in the daily lives of consumers.

    Oat beta glucans influence on digestive tract inflammatory processes

    Project Number:  N N 312 427440

    Duration:  2011-05-10 – 2014-11-09

    Funding Institution: The Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education

    Project Leader: Prof. Joanna Gromadzka-Ostrowska
    Project Team:
    from Faculty of Human Nutrition Consumer Sciences (WULS-SGGW): Prof. Joanna Gromadzka-Ostrowska, Dominika Suchecka, MSc, Katarzyna Błaszczyk, MSc, Sylwia Gudej, MSc, Michał Oczkowski, PhD, Małgorzata Jałosińska, PhD, Ewa Lange, PhD, DSc, Małgorzata Stachoń, PhD, Ewa Fürstenberg, PhD, Katarzyna Lachowicz, PhD, Prof. Danuta Rosołowska-Huszcz
    from Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (WULS-SGGW): Jacek Wilczak, PhD, Małgorzata Gajewska, PhD, DSc
    from Wroclaw University of Economics and Business: Joanna Harasym, PhD, DSc
    from Institute of Rural Medicine, Lublin: Rafał Filip, MD, PhD, DSc

    The main objectives of the project were to evaluate the anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, metabolic and prebiotic effects of two beta-glucans of different molecular weight (low or high) isolated from the oat. Both fractions will be obtained in the technological process constituting a part of the planned research. Evaluation of the effects of both fractions were performed in humans with chronic gastritis and on experimentally induced gastritis and enteritis in animal’s models.

    The most important results showed (on animal models) that oat beta-glucans have some beneficial anti-inflammatory, antioxidative (both in gastritis and enteritis) and prebiotical (enteritis) impacts. These impacts were evident in case of both studied, purified fractions of beta-glucans of different (high or low) molecular weight. Antioxidative and anti-inflammatory impacts of beta-glucans in other body organs including spleen and liver were also shown. What is important, our studies showed that the oat low molecular weight oat beta-glucan has all of the above mentioned properties, in many cases stronger than the high molecular weight fraction, which is very important for the practical application of these polysaccharides.

    List of publications:

    1. Suchecka D, Gromadzka-Ostrowska J, Żyła E. Harasym JP, Oczkowski M (2017). Selected physiological activities and health promoting properties of cereal beta-glucans. A review. Journal of Animal and Feed Sciences 26, 183–191;
    2. Suchecka D, Blaszczyk K, Harasym J, Gudej S, Wilczak J, Gromadzka-Ostrowska J (2017). Impact of purified oat 1-3,1-4-beta-d-glucan of different molecular weight on alleviation of inflammation parameters during gastritis. Journal of Functional Foods 28, 11-18;
    3. Suchecka D, Harasym J, Wilczak J, Gromadzka-Ostrowska J (2016). Hepato- and gastro- protective activity of purified oat 1-3, 1-4-β-d-glucans of different molecular weight. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules 91, 1177-85; doi.10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2016.06.062
    4. Błaszczyk K, Wilczak J, Harasym JP, Gudej S, Suchecka D, Królikowski T, Lange E, Gromadzka-Ostrowska J. (2015). Impact of low and high molecular weight oat beta-glucan on oxidativestress and antioxidant defense in spleen of rats with LPS induced enteritis. Food Hydrocolloids, 51, 272-280;
    5. Harasym JP, Suchecka D, Gromadzka-Ostrowska J (2015). Effect of size reduction by freeze-miling on processing properties of beta-glucan oat bran. Journal of Cereal Science 61, 119-125;
    6. Wilczak J, Błaszczyk K, Kamola D, Gajewska M, Harasym JP, Jałosińska M, Gudej S, Suchecka D, Oczkowski M, Gromadzka-Ostrowska J. (2015). The effect of low or high molecular weight oat beta-glucans on the inflammatory and oxidative stress status in the colon of rats with LPS-induced enteritis. Food & Function 6 (2), 590-603; 10.1039/c4fo00638k
    7. Suchecka D, Harasym JP, Wilczak J, Gajewska M, Oczkowski M, Gudej S, Błaszczyk K, Kamola D, Filip R, Gromadzka-Ostrowska J (2015). Antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects of high beta-glucan concentration purified aqueous extract from oat in experimental model of LPS-induced chronic enteritis. Journal of Functional Foods 14, 244-254;

    Metabolism and action of the hormones involved in the regulation of energy balance depending on the energy value of the diet

    Project Number: N N 312 379037

    Duration: 2009 – 2012

    Funding Institution: Ministry of Science and Higher Education

    Project Leader: Prof. Danuta Rosołowska-Huszcz

    Project Team: Prof. Danuta Rosołowska-Huszcz, Katarzyna Lachowicz, PhD, Małgorzata Stachoń, PhD, Ewa Fürstenberg, PhD, Prof. Joanna Gromadzka-Ostrowska, Joanna Myszkowska-Ryciak, PhD, Ewelina Pałkowska, MSc, Lucyna Kozłowska, PhD, DSc, Danuta Gajewska, PhD

    The main objectives of the project were to assess the impact of diets with different energy values (with restriction to 80% or 60% of ad libitum energy intake) on selected aspects of metabolism and the action of hormones involved in the regulation of the energy balance (thyroid hormones, adrenal cortex hormones and insulin) in younger (17-week old) and in older (45-week old at the beginning of in vivo experiment) Sprague-Dawley rats following 8 weeks of the dietary study.

    The level of receptor protein for thyroid hormones (isoform a and β) was determined in the heart, and the level of receptor protein for adrenal hormones was assessed in the liver . The concentration of hormones responsible for the hormonal regulation of the secretory functions of the thyroid gland and adrenal glands as well as the levels of thyroid hormones, adrenal cortex (corticosterone), pancreas (insulin) and adipose tissue (i.e. leptin, adiponectin) were measured in plasma.

    The most important results:

    Plasma ACTH and type 1 11β-hydroxylase protein were higher in older rats, while in the younger group, type 1 deiodinase protein level exceeded the enzyme level in older rats. Calorie restriction decreased plasma corticosterone and type 1 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase only in older rats. Direct relationships between glucocorticoid receptors and type 1 and 3 deiodinases, as well as between type 3 deiodinase and type 1 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, were observed. Caloric restriction reduced fT3, T4, and fT4 levels in both age groups, with additional decreases in TSH and T3 occurring in younger rats. Independently of age, cardiac BMHC expression was positively correlated with cardiac D3 and negatively with food intake and thyroid hormones.

    The results indicated that responses of the rat pituitary-adrenal axis to calorie deficits were age-dependent. The observed correlations suggest a mechanism linking an increase in glucocorticoid receptors with a reduction in peripheral thyroid hormone action resulting from a rise in the level of type 3 deiodinase.

    Cardiac type 3 deiodinase (D3) and myosin heavy chain β (BMHC) protein were, under conditions of differentiated dietary energy supply, directly related in both young and middle-aged rats.

    List of publications:

    1. Stachoń M., Gromadzka-Ostrowska J., Lachowicz K., Fürstenberg E., Pałkowska E., Gajewska D., Myszkowska-Ryciak J., Kozłowska L., Rosołowska-Huszcz D. (2014) Interdependence of the peripheral metabolism of glucocorticoids and thyroid hormones under calorie deficit in rats at different ages. Journal of Animal and Feed Sciences, 23, 2014, 167–176;
    2. Lachowicz K., Fürstenberg, E., Palkowska, E., Stachoń M., Gajewska D., Myszkowska-Ryciak, Kozłowska L., Ciecierska A., Rosołowska-Huszcz D (2014). The effects of caloric restriction and age on thyroid hormone signalling in the heart of rats. Journal of Animal and Feed Sciences, 23, 97-104

    Influence of Western-type diet and its modifications on testosterone metabolism and oxidative stress in liver

    Project Number: N N312 204735

    Duration: 2008-09-30 – 2011-07-07

    Funding Institution: The Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education

    Project Leader: Prof. Joanna Gromadzka-Ostrowska
    Project Team: Prof. Joanna Gromadzka-Ostrowska, Agata Krawczyńska, MSc

    The aim of this study was to determine the influence of Western type diet (high-fat, high-sucrose) and its modification concerning levels of fat and protein and dietary fat type on changes in activity of the antioxidant system and conversion of testosterone in the liver.

    The most important results: The experiment was conducted on adult male Wistar rats fed for three weeks high-sucrose diet (35%) varying in fat (5% and 21%) and protein (10% and 19%) content and dietary fat type (linseed oil, grape seed oil, lard), whereas control group fed standard rodent feed. It was found that dietary macronutrients influenced on liver metabolism. High-fat and low-protein diet consumption results in the accumulation of fat in the liver with significant disintegration of hepatocytes membrane. Moreover, hepatic total antioxidant status and activity of catalase had the lowest values. On the other hand lipid peroxidation was the lowest in liver of animals fed diets with grape seed oil. Macronutrients influence also on liver testosterone metabolism in liver where intensification of either aromatization or 5α-reduction was observed according to consumed dietary fat type: linseed oil or lard, respectively. Relationship between the activity of antioxidant system and aromatase activity and between gene expression of steroid 5α-reductase type 1 and animals weight gain were also found. Western-type diet effects on plasma levels of sex hormones, causing the lowest values of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone and the highest of estrogens. In conclusion, it was found that Western-type diet and its modification affects the liver function pointing the transformation of testosterone in this organ in the direction of either aromatization or 5α-reduction. There is also a relationship between impaired functioning of this organ and the intensity of aromatization processes.

     List of publications:

    1. Krawczyńska A, Herman AP, Antushevich H, Bochenek J, Dziendzikowska K, Gajewska A, Gromadzka-Ostrowska J. (2017). Modifications of Western-type diet regarding protein, fat and sucrose levels as modulators of steroid metabolism and activity in liver. Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 165(Part B), 331-341. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2016.07.012
    2. Krawczyńska A., Okręglicka K., Olczak E., Gromadzka-Ostrowska J. (2010). Effect of dietary fat type on plasma lipid profile and leptin concentration in rats fed high-sucrose diets. Journal of Pre-Clinical and Clinical Research 4 (1), 57-62

    The impact of the intake of alcoholic beverages on hormonal regulation of steroidogenesis in the testes and on puberty

    Project Number:  N N312 158334

    Duration:  2008-04-18 – 2010-08-28

    Funding Institution: The Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education

    Project Leader: Prof. Joanna Gromadzka-Ostrowska
    Project Team: Prof. Joanna Gromadzka-Ostrowska, Michał Oczkowski, MSc

    The main objective of the project was to determine the impact of the chronic intake of low-alcoholic beverages on endocrine functions and steroidogenesis in testes of rats which are both growing and pubertal.

    The most important results: Two animal experiments were performed on immature male Warsaw High -Preferring rats (WHP) selected for their demonstrable preference for alcohol and Wistar outbred (OB)  rats (without preference for alcoholic consumption). The rats were given beer or red wine or a 10% ethanol solution during 2, 4 and 6 weeks. An increased plasma total antioxidant status, decreased glutathione reductase activity in erythrocytes and decreased activity of 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 3 in the testes microsomal fraction were found in the WHP rats fed beer and red wine. The intake of 10% ethanol solution decreased plasma testosterone and increased 17beta-estradiol concentrations in the WHP rats. Chronic beer intake increased testosterone and decreased 17beta-estradiol plasma concentrations in OB rats. Moreover, beer intake increased the level of caspase-3 in Sertoli cells and TnNOS in Leydig cells and decreased gonadal aromatase activity and plasma 17beta-estradiol in OB rats.

    List of publications:

    1. Kołota A, Głąbska D, Oczkowski M, Gromadzka-Ostrowska J (2020) Oxidative stress parameters in the liver of growing male rats receiving various alcoholic beverages. Nutrients 12(1), 158. doi: 10.3390/nu12010158
    2. Kołota A, Głąbska D, Oczkowski M, Gromadzka-Ostrowska J (2019) Influence of alcohol consumption on body mass gain and liver antioxidant defense in adolescent growing male rats. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 16(13), 2320; doi: 10.3390/ijerph16132320
    3. Oczkowski M, Rembiszewska A, Dziendzikowska K, Wolińska-Witort E, Kołota A, Malik A, Stachoń M, Lachowicz K, Gromadzka-Ostrowska J (2019) Beer consumption negatively regulates hormonal reproductive status and reduces apoptosis in Leyding cells in peripubertal rats. Alcohol 78, 21-31. doi: 10.1016/j.alcohol.2019.01.009
    4. Oczkowski M, Średnicka-Tober D, Stachoń M, Kołota A, Wolińska-Witort E, Malik A, Hallmann E, Rusaczonek A, Gromadzka-Ostrowska J. (2014). The effect of red wine consumption on hormonal reproductive parameters and total antioxidant status in young adult male rats. Food & Function 5 (9), 2096-105, doi: 10.1039/c4fo00108g
    5. Oczkowski M, Kołota A, Dyr W, Kostowski W, Ćwiek M, Gromadzka-Ostrowska J. (2013). Ethanol intake and plasma lipid profile of young Warsaw-High-Preferring rats. Alkoholizm i Narkomania 26(2), 149-165 (in Polish)
    6. Kołota A, Rawa M, Dziendzikowska K, Oczkowski M, Gromadzka-Ostrowska J. (2012). Influence of ethanol intake on hepatic antioxidant defense parameters in male Wistar rats. Alkoholizm i Narkomania 25(3), 273-287 (in Polish)
    7. Dziendzikowska K, Oczkowski M, Kołota A, Dyr W, Kostowski W, Ćwiek M, Gromadzka-Ostrowska J. (2011). The influence of red wine consumption on testosterone and 17beta-estradiol level, and aromatase activity in the gonads of male Wistar rats. Alkoholizm i Narkomania 24(1), 23-37 (in Polish)

    Past international projects:

    Green fuels and human health – toxicity of engine emissions from 1st and 2nd generation biodiesel fuels (Fuel Health)

    Project Number: Pol-Nor/201040/72/2013

    Duration: 2013-11-01 – 2017-10-31

    Funding Institution: Polish-Norwegian Research Programme

    Project Leader: Prof. Anna Lankoff (Jan Kochanowski University);

    WULS-SGGW Principal Investigator: Prof. Joanna Gromadzka-Ostrowska
    WULS-SGGW Project Team:
    from Faculty of Human Nutrition and Consumer Sciences: Prof. Joanna Gromadzka-Ostrowska, Katarzyna Dziendzikowska, PhD, Michał Oczkowski, PhD, Tomasz Królikowski, PhD, Małgorzata Stachoń, PhD
    from Faculty of Engineering Production: Remigiusz Mruk, PhD
    from from Faculty of Veterinary Medicine: Jacek Wilczak, PhD, Małgorzata Gajewska, PhD, DSc, Rafał Sapierzyński, PhD, DSc, Associate Professor

    The FuelHealth consortium comprises 4 partners – 3 from Poland: Jan Kochanowski University, (UJK), Warsaw University of Life Sciences (SGGW), Automotive Industry Institute (PIMOT) and one from Norway: The National Institute of Public Health in Oslo (NIPH)

    The main objective of the project was to clarify how use of 1st and 2nd generation biodiesel fuels affects the toxicity of diesel engine emissions compared to conventional fossil diesel fuel.

    The most important results included (1) physicochemical characterization of engine emissions from the combustion of three biodiesel fuels: two 1st generation fuels: 7% FAME (B7) and 20% FAME (B20),  and a 2nd generation 20% FAME/HVO (SHB: Synthetic Hydrocarbon Biofuel) fuel with and without diesel particle filter (DEP); (2) the inhalation toxicity study of diesel engine emissions (in vivo study) was conducted on rats as model animals; (3) the in vitro toxicity study of diesel and biodiesel engine emissions in BEAS-2B, A549 and THP-1 cells. Obtained results revealed that exposure of rats to diesel exhaust emissions from the combustion of each type of biodiesel fuel induce mainly pro-inflammatory and cytotoxic effects, manifested as significant changes in biochemical and histological parameters of blood, distribution of immune cells and pro-inflammatory mediators in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), changes in expression of pro-inflammatory genes in lung tissue, changes in inflammation parameters and redox parameters in colon and liver tissues as well as changes in reproductive and gastrointestinal tract function. Overall, the magnitude of these changes was dependent on the studied end-point, biofuel and DPF technology. The in vitro results underscored that The in vitro toxicity of DEPs depends both on the biodiesel blend percentage and on the biodiesel feedstock, manifested as cell death (apoptosis or necrosis), decreased protein concentrations, increased growth inhibition, inductionof DNA single strand breaks and chromosomal damage as well as cell cycle disturbances.

    List of publications:

    1. Magnusson P, Dziendzikowska K, Oczkowski M, Øvrevik J, Eide DM, Brunberg G, Gutzkow KB, Instanes C, Gajewska M, Wilczak J, Saperzynski R, Kamola D, Królikowski T, Kruszewski M, Lankoff A, Mruk R, Duale N, Gromadzka-Ostrowska J, Myhre O (2019). Lung effects of 7- and 28-day inhalation exposure of rats to emissions from 1st and 2nd generation biodiesel fuels with and without particle filter – The FuelHealth project. Environmetal Toxicology and Pharmacology 67, 8-20; doi: 10.1016/j.etap.2019.01.005
    2. Valand R, Magnusson P, Dziendzikowska K, Gajewska M, Wilczak J, Oczkowski M, Kamola D, Królikowski T, Kruszewski M, Lankoff A, Mruk R, Eide DM, Sapierzynski R, Gromadzka-Ostrowska J, Duale N, Øvrevik J, Myhre O (2018). Gene expression changes in rat brain regions after 7- and 28 days inhalation exposure to exhaust emissions from 1st and 2nd generation biodiesel fuels – The FuelHealth project. Inhalation Toxicology 30(7-8), 299-312; doi: 10.1080/08958378.2018.1520370
    3. Dziendzikowska K, Gajewska M, Wilczak J, Mruk R, Oczkowski M, Żyła E, Królikowski T, Stachoń M, Øvrevik J, Myhre O, Kruszewski M, Wojewódzka M, Lankoff A, Gromadzka-Ostrowska J (2018). The effects of 1st and 2nd generation biodiesel exhaust exposure on hematological and biochemical blood indices of Fisher344 male rats – The FuelHealth project. Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology 63, 34-47; doi: 10.1016/j.etap.2018.08.001
    4. Odziemkowska M, Czarnocka J, Frankiewicz A, Szewczyńska M, Lankoff A, Gromadzka-Ostrowska J, Mruk R (2017). Chemical characterization of exhaust gases from compression ignition engine fuelled with various biofuels. Polish Journal of Environmental Studies 3, 1183-1190; doi:10.15244/pjoes/67973
    5. Kowalska M, Wegierek-Ciuk A, Brzoska K, Wojewodzka M, Meczynska-Wielgosz S, Gromadzka-Ostrowska J, Mruk R, Øvrevik J, Kruszewski M, Lankoff A (2017). Genotoxic potential of diesel exhaust particles from the combustion of first- and second-generation biodiesel fuels – the FuelHealth project. Environmental Sciences and Pollution Research International 24, 24223-24234; doi:10.1007/s11356-017-9995-0
    6. Magnusson P, Oczkowski M, Øvrevik J, Gajewska M, Wilczak J, Biedrzycki J, Dziendzikowska K, Kamola D, Królikowski T, Kruszewski M, Lankoff A, Mruk R, Brunborg G, Instanes C, Gromadzka-Ostrowska J, Myhre O (2017). No adverse lung effects of 7- and 28-day inhalation exposure of rats to emissions from petrodiesel fuel containing 20% rapeseed methyl esters (B20) with and without particulate filter – the FuelHealth project. Inhalation Toxicology 29(5), 206-218; doi:10.1080/08958378.2017.1339149
    7. Lankoff A, Brzoska K, Czarnocka J, Kowalska M, Lisowska H, Mruk R, Øvrevik J, Wegierek-Ciuk A, Zuberek M, Kruszewski M (2017). A comparative analysis of in vitro toxicity of diesel exhaust particles from combustion of 1st- and 2nd-generation biodiesel fuels in relation to their physicochemical properties – the FuelHealth project. Environmental Science and Pollution Research Int. 24(23), 19357-19374; doi: 10.1007/s11356-017-9561-9
    8. Skuland TS, Refsnes M, Magnusson P, Oczkowski M, Gromadzka-Ostrowska J, Kruszewski M, Mruk R, Myhre O, Lankoff A, Øvrevik J (2017). Proinflammatory effects of diesel exhaust particles from moderate blend concentrations of 1st and 2nd generation biodiesel in BEAS-2B bronchial epithelial cells – The FuelHealth project. Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology 52, 138-142; doi: 10.1016/j.etap.2017.04.004

    Impact of Nanomaterials on Human Health: Lessons from in vitro and animal models

    Project Number: PNRF-122-AI-1/07

    Duration: 2009 – 2011

    Funding Institution: Polish Norwegian Research Fund

    Project Leader: Prof. Marcin Kruszewski;

    Project leader at WULS-SGGW: Prof. Joanna Gromadzka-Ostrowska

    WULS-SGGW Project Team:
    from Faculty of Human Nutrition and Consumer Sciences: Prof. Joanna Gromadzka-Ostrowska, Katarzyna Dziendzikowska, MSc, Michał Oczkowski, PhD, Tomasz Królikowski, PhD
    from Faculty of Veterinary Medicine: Jacek Wilczak, PhD

    The project consortium comprised 4 partners: Institute of Nuclear Chemistry and Technology (INCT) (Warsaw, Poland), University of Life Sciences (SGGW)(Warsaw, Poland), The Norwegian Institute of Public Health in (NIPH) (Oslo, Norway) and Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU) (Kjeller, Norway).

    The main objectives of the project:

    The rapid expansion of nanotechnology promises to have significant benefits to society, yet there is increasing concern that exposure to engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) with typically size less than 100 nm will have negative impact on both human and environmental health. The overall objective of this proposal is therefore to elucidate understanding of the nature of measured comparative responses induced by ENPs in various biological models, at different levels of organization (i.e. from molecules to individuals) from which the potential hazards to human health can be determined by observation, modeling and data interpolation.

    The project plan included: (a) the characterization of selected ENPs, (b) determination of changes in their properties following interactions with physico-chemical environmental factors, (c) determination of intrinsic toxicity with focus on molecular and cellular responses, including changes in gene expression (d) determination of direct and expressed toxicity, which will take into account modes of exposures (acute vs chronic), tissue-specific effects, excretion and DNA repair capabilities in model mammalian species. Special emphasis is put to the reproductive toxicity and reproductive success. The evaluation of reproductive toxicity in representative mammalian models included a potential long-term toxic effects to humans, as well as consequences at the population/community level. A panel of biological methods used included determination of direct toxicity, genotoxicity, determination of the oxidative stress and its impact on antioxidant cellular defense, determination of ENP-induced changes in gene expression, especially cellular signalization pathways. One of the aim of the project was also to examine the adverse effects of silver nanoparticles on the regulation of reproductive functions, in particular their impact on steroid metabolism and selected inflammation parameters as well as oxidative stress and antioxidative defense in the testes.

    List of publications:

    1. Asare N, Duale N, Slagsvold HH, Lindeman B, Olsen AK, Gromadzka-Ostrowska J, Meczynska-Wielgosz S, Kruszewski M, Brunborg G, Instanes C (2016). Genotoxicity and gene expression modulation of silver and titanium dioxide nanoparticles in mice. Nanotoxicology 10, 312-321 DOI: 10.3109/17435390.2015.1071443 
    2. Dziendzikowska K, Krawczyńska A, Oczkowski M, Królikowski T, Brzóska K, Lankoff A, Dziendzikowski M, Stępkowski T, Kruszewski M, Gromadzka-Ostrowska J (2016). Progressive effects of silver nanoparticles on hormonal regulation of reproduction in male rats. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 313, 35-46; DOI: 10.1016/j.taap.2016.10.013 
    3. Krawczyńska A, Dziendzikowska K, Gromadzka-Ostrowska J, Lankoff A, Herman AP, Oczkowski M, Królikowski T, Wilczak J, Wojewódzka M, Kruszewski M (2015). Silver and titanium dioxide nanoparticles alter oxidative/inflammatory response and renin–angiotensin system in brain. Food and Chemical Toxicology 85, 96-105 DOI: 10.1016/j.fct.2015.08.005 
    4. Gromadzka-Ostrowska J, Dziendzikowska K, Lankoff A, Dobrzyńska M, Instanes C, Brunborg G, Gajowik A, Radzikowska J, Wojewódzka M, Kruszewski M (2012). Silver nanoparticles effects on epididymal sperm in rats. Toxicology Letters 214(3), 251-258, DOI: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2012.08.028 
    5. Dziendzikowska K, Gromadzka-Ostrowska J, Lankoff A, Oczkowski M, Krawczyńska A, Chwastowska J, Sadowska-Bratek M, Chajduk E, Wojewódzka M, Dušinská M, Kruszewski M (2012). Time-dependent biodistribution and excretion of silver nanoparticles in male Wistar rats. Journal of Applied Toxicology 32(11), 920-928. DOI: 10.1002/jat.2758
  • Laboratory of Human Metabolism Research


    Global metabolomic profiling and telomere length as indicators of metal’s toxicity in welding fumes in the European welders population

    Project of the National Science Centre OPUS (NCN – Poland)

    Duration: 2020 – 2023

    Head of a partner consortium, metabolomic profiling, biomarkers identification – prof. L. Kozlowska

    Contarcors: Sitek A. MSc, Sijko M.

    An estimated 110 million workers are exposed to welding fumes worldwide. Welding fumes is one of the most important and dangerous hazards to a welder’s health. In 2017, IARC classified welding fumes as carcinogenic to humans (group 1). The content of carcinogenic hexavalent chromium (Cr (VI)) and nickel(Ni) causes that exposure to welding dust is one of the important factors of the increased of the risk of respiratory diseases, including cancers, but concentrations of other metals (Mn, Co) are toxic as well. Currently used biomarkers, both exposures (e.g. metals in blood and urine), as well as early effects (e.g. oxidative stress markers) are not sufficiently to helpful in assessment of toxic effects of welding fumes. Therefore, efforts should be made to search for new markers allowing for the deeper assessment of adverse effects and the risk of health effects. It seems nowadays that the UHPLC-QE-MS non-target metabolomics method for quantitative analysis of low molecular weight metabolites is an ideal solution for the selection of significant metabolic differences to explain the metabolic, physiological and pathological mechanisms due to exposure to toxic components of welding fumes. On the other hand, exposure to welding fumes can induce free radical activity, increased oxidative stress in response to exposure to welding fumes. Free radicals can cause among others, DNA damage, which has been suggested as a one of possible mechanism for cancer development. It has been hypothesized that oxidative stress may be the primary mechanism responsible for the changes observed in telomere length. This study should clarify/explain the function of such epigenetic alterations as possible markers of   occupational exposure and early effect. This may be helpful to guide suitable risk assessment and management strategies to protect the health of workers exposed to welding fumes. So far, no such studies have been carried out involving workers exposed to welding fumes in several European populations. This study are unique, and the results will allow for harmonization and the creation of a platform for further exposure assessment and estimation of exposure to toxic welding fumes. The aim of the project will be to search the new markers of toxic welding fumes compounds, using the latest achievements of analytical techniques at the metabolomic level and epigenetic changes. The research will include workers employed in several European countries. The samples will be collected as part of the international project task, Horizon 2020, Human Biomonitoring for European Union (HBM4EU): Occupational group. It should be emphasized that the idea of combining exposure to metals with epigenetic and metabolomic research is a Polish initiative. Metabolomic analysis provides a new perspective for understanding the molecular mechanism of metal poisoning, which is the main goal of occupational medicine and environmental health. Evaluation of epigenetic changes alongside metabolomic changes may be helpful in developing appropriate risk assessment and management strategies to protect the health of employees exposed to welding fumes. The study protocol was approved by the Local Ethical Committee from all European partners and all respondents signed informed consent to participate in the study.

    Searching for prognostic metabolomic markers of the effectiveness of nutritional intervention in hemodialysis patients

    Project of the National Science Centre OPUS (NCN – Poland)

    Duration: 2019 -2021

    Head of a partner consortium, metabolomic profiling, biomarkers identification – prof. L. Kozlowska

    Contarcors: Olszewska K. PhD, Sitek A. MSc, Sijko M.

    Protein metabolism studies in haemodialysis patients (HD) have demonstrated that the introduction of intradialytic nutrition during dialysis procedure would maintain positive net protein metabolism in both skeletal muscle and throughout the body. These results clearly demonstrate that nutrition can compensate catabolic effects of the haemodialysis procedure and is an excellent strategy in the prevention and treatment of protein-energy wasting (PEW).

    The scientific goal of the project is the identification of biomarkers of malnutrition and efficiency 2 types of nutritional interventions in aspect of improving nutritional status of HD. Specific objectives are defined as following:

    1. Identification of early and prognostic metabolomic biomarkers of PEW in HD.
    2. Analysis of nutritional status and identification of early and prognostic metabolomic biomarkers of the efficiency of standard nutritional intervention without the meal served just before dialysis procedure.
    3. Analysis of nutritional status and identification of early and prognostic metabolomic biomarkers of the efficiency of nutritional intervention with the meal served just before dialysis procedure.

    Given the fact that PEW is common but remains undiagnosed and untreated in approximately three quarters of HD, it seems that the administration of meal immediately before dialysis can be a cheap and simple way of reducing inflammation, improving protein metabolism and nutritional status in HD.

    The results obtained allow for a comprehensive analysis of metabolomics profiles obtained in HD depending introduced nutritional intervention. This could be the basis for a wider introduction of personalization of nutrition for HD with PEW based on metabolomics profiling. Considering the fact that patients with PEW are hospitalized more often, suffer from more complications what making their treatment more expensive, and therefore introduction of a personalized diet, which the effects will be monitored by biochemical and metabolomic markers may also significantly reduce the cost of patients’ care.

    Monitoring and assessing exposure to chemical compounds in the work environment of professional drivers and technical services

    National Health Program

    Duration: 2018-2021

    Contractor – prof. L. Kozlowska

    Professional drivers are exposed to a number of factors that have a negative influence on their health status. These include vibrations, noise, the lack of fresh air in the car cabin, shift work (frequently at night), monotony resulting from permanent repetition of certain actions, static loads due to immobilization in a sitting position, stress resulting from the need to ensure safety in heavy traffic, as well as air pollution (dust, volatile organic sub­stances, nitrogen and sulfur oxides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, heavy metals, dioxins, furans and others). Factors associated with the specificity of the profession of a driver, including exposure to chemical substances, result in an increased risk of the development of many diseases, i.e., obesity, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, extensive genitourinary pathology experienced by taxi drivers, lung cancer and other forms of cancer. In the case of drivers, especially those covering long distances, there are also actual difficulties related to ensuring a proper diet. Although attempts at interven­tional research that would change the principles of nutrition, as well as ensure physical activity and weight reduction, have been made, their results have not been satisfactory. The study focuses on the discussion on the role of a diet and dietary phytochemicals in the prevention of adverse health effects of such chemicals as a mix of chemicals in the polluted air, benzo(a)pyrene, benzene and metals (lead, cadmium, chromium, nickel), which are the main sources of exposure in the case of transport workers.

    Kozłowska, L.; Gromadzińska, J.; Wąsowicz, W. Health Risk in Transport Workers. Part II. Dietary Compounds as Modulators of Occupational Exposure to Chemicals. Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2019, 32 (4), 441–464.

    A urinary metabolomics study of a Polish subpopulation environmentally exposed to arsenic

    Project of KGHM Polska Miedź S.A.

    Duration: 2018

    Head of the project – prof. L. Kozlowska

    Contractor: Olszewska K. PhD

    Almost every organ in the human body can be affected by arsenic (As) exposure associated with various industrial processes, as well as with contaminated food, drinking water and polluted air. Much is known about high exposure to inorganic As but there is little data on the metabolic changes connected to a low exposure e.g. in people living in smelter areas.

    The objectives of the study were: (1) characterise urinary concentration of total arsenic (AsT) in Polish inhabitants of the vicinity of a copper smelter area, (2) speciation analysis of various forms of arsenic in girls (GL), boys (BL), women (WL) and men (ML) with slightly elevated AsT and age/sex matched groups with substantially higher AsT, (GH, BH, WH and MH – respectively (3) comparison of metabolomics profiles of urine between age/sex matched people with low and high AsT concentrations.

    Urine samples were analysed for total arsenic and its chemical forms (AsIII; AsV, MMA, DMA, AsB) using HPLC-ICP-MS. Untargeted metabolomics analysis of the urine samples was performed using a UPLC system connected to Q-TOF-MS equipped with an electrospray source. The XCMS Online programme was applied for feature detection, retention time correction, alignment, statistics, annotation and identification. Potentially identified compounds were fragmented and resulting spectra were compared to the spectra in the Human Metabolome Database.

    In the people with low AsT and high AsT there were significant differences in the intensity of signal  (is.) from numerous compounds being metabolites of neurotransmitters, nicotine and hormones transformation (serotonin in the girls and women; catecholamines in the girls, boys and women; mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids in the boys, androgens in the women and men and nicotine in the boys, women and men). These changes might have been associated with higher is. from metabolites of leucine, tryptophan, purine degradation (in the GH, WH), urea cycle (in the WH and MH), glycolysis (in the WH) and with lower is. from metabolites of tricarboxylic acid cycle (in the BH) in comparison with low AsT matched groups. In the MH vs. ML higher is. from metabolite of lipid peroxidation (4-hydroxy-2-nonenal) was observed. Additionally, a presence of significant differences was reported in is. from food components metabolites, which might have modulated the negative effect of As (vitamin C in the girls, boys and men, vitamin B6 in the girls, boys and women as well as phenolic compounds in the boys and girls). We hypothesize that the observed higher is. from metabolites of sulphate (in MH) and glucoronate degradation (in BH, WH and MH) than in the matched low AsT groups may be related to the impaired glucuronidation and sulfonation and higher is. from catecholamines, nicotine and hormones.

    Our results indicated that even a low exposure to As is associated with metabolic changes and that urine metabolomics studies could be a good tool to reflect their wide spectrum connected to specific environmental exposure to As, e.g. in smelter areas.

    Kozłowska, L.; Janasik, B.; Nowicka, K.; Wąsowicz, W. A Urinary Metabolomics Study of a Polish Subpopulation Environmentally Exposed to Arsenic. Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology 201954, 44–54.

    Promoting human health and well-being by maintaining matrix related organic food qualities from field to fork

    Project of the EKHAGASTIFTELSEN (Sweden)

    Duration: 2019 -2020

    Contractor, metabolomic profiling, biomarkers identification – prof. L. Kozlowska

    Contarcor: Sitek A. MSc

    Establishment of an integrated platform for research in the science of human nutrition with the use of modern methods of assessing consumption nutrients and metabolic responses to dietary intervention

    Project of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education

    Duration: 2016 – 2017

    The main goal of the project is to create a unique research platform for the needs of a highly specialized, complex metabolomic analysis in the field of science in human nutrition and is the first such initiative in Poland – Warsaw University of Life Sciences

    Head of the project – prof. L. Kozlowska

    The effect of dietary treatment on protein metabolism, nutritional status and graft function in kidney transplant recipients

    Project of the Scientific Research Committee (KBN – Poland)

    Duration: 2007 – 2009

    Head of the project – prof. L. Kozlowska

    Impact energy deficit on protein metabolism and endocrine activity of adipose tissue in obese patients with diabetic nephropathy

    Project of the Scientific Research Committee (KBN – Poland)

    Duration: 2006 – 2008

    Main contractor – prof. L. Kozlowska

    Impact energy deficit on protein metabolism and endocrine activity of adipose tissue in obese patients with diabetic nephropathy

    Project of the Scientific Research Committee (KBN – Poland)

    Duration: 2006 – 2008

    Main contractor – prof. L. Kozlowska

    Analysis of the effect level and type of protein in the diet on the amino acids metabolism and indicators of renal function and hormonal regulation in patients with chronic renal failure

    Project of the Scientific Research Committee (KBN – Poland)

    Duration: 2004 – 2006

    Main contractor – prof. L. Kozlowska

Projects in Department of Food Gastronomy and Food Hygiene

  • Chair of Catering Technology and Food Chemistry

    The use of cornelian cherry (Cornus mas L.) fruits as a functional enrichment in confectionery products

    Funding institution: National Science Centre, Poland

    Duration: 05.12.2019 – 31.12.2020

    The study aimed at assessing effects of various additions of freeze-dried cornelian cherry (Cornus mas L.) fruits to obtain functional cookies with promising antioxidant attributes ensuring safety during storage, unique sensory and volatile compounds characteristic.

    The obtained results will allow to determine the qualitative and quantitative changes in the profile of volatile and polyphenolic compounds in cookies depending on the content of freeze-dried cornelian cherry fruits during storage. The effect of different enrichment with cornelian cherry fruits on the oxidative status of lipid fraction of cookies will be also investigated. The application of HS-SPME-GC/MS technique will enable detection of toxic compounds at a very low level, ensuring the chemical safety of product, as well as determination of marker compounds indicating the degree of changes occurring in cookies during storage.

  • Chair of Food Hygiene and Quality Management

    Developing a system for monitoring wasted food and an effective program to rationalize losses and reduce food wastage (acronym PROM)

    Funding institution:  National Center for Research and Development

    Duration:  01.09.2018 – 28.02.2020

    Scope: The aim of the PROM project is to strengthen public institutions in the management of public policy concerning the reduction of food losses and waste, as well as to develop a plan to counteract  wastage.

    We used  methods—a survey conducted among respondents, retail, foodservice establishments and laboratory tests of food products (microbiological safety study, as well as physico-chemical and sensory analysis during storage after “best before” date expired).


    As part of the WULS-SGGW task, the following results were obtained:

    1. The survey was conducted in February and March 2019, among a group of 1115 adult consumers using computer-assisted personal interviews (CAPI).The results show that factors such as age, gender, place of residence, and education influence consumer behavior in terms of food management at home. It was found that young people and those with university-level education were more likely to buy unplanned products and waste food. The causes of the risk of wasting food were identified and their frequency determined. The most common causes for the risk of food waste include food being spoiled, missing the expiry date, and failure to arrange food in cabinets according to the expiry date. Bread was the most frequently wasted product, especially by young respondents.
    2. The survey was conducted in 130 foodservice establishments located in Poland using a specially designed questionnaire. The risk of food waste was identified in the studied foodservice establishments, manifested by throwing away of semi-finished products, hot and cold served dishes, bread, vegetables and fruit, expired products, products with signs of spoilage, and products with no visible signs of spoilage. Two risk levels were identified: medium risk for fruits and vegetables, and bread, and high (not acceptable) for the other six foodstuffs.
    3. The studies were conducted in 2019 in one of the retail networks, running its activity at the territory of the whole entire Poland. Analysis of the data obtained from the trade network showed that ca. 1.3 % of food products, offered in the trade network in the years 2017 – 2018 annually was unsold. The highest participation in contribution to  the weight of unsold foods was constituted made by fruits and vegetables. Bread and baker’s products constituted more than one-fifth of the unsold foods. The vast majority of the analysed product categories, excluding bread and baker’s products, were withdrawn from the sale due to the following reasons: mechanical damage of packages, loss of freshness in fruits and vegetables, interruption of the cold chain and visible signs of spoilage
    4. Laboratory tests of milk, pasta, mayonnaise millet (Panicum miliaceum), tomato concentrate, beans in tomato sauce, canned pate made from chicken, canned tuna and sweet cream and jam confirmed the microbiological safety of the products even six months after the “best before” date. The evaluated foodstuffs were characterised by a good sensory quality and microbiological safety on the last day of minimum durability. This condition was maintained for up to 3 months of storage. However, after 6 months, significant sensory changes were found which disqualified the products, but they were still safe.

    In vitro evaluation of the phenomenon of inhibition of adhesion of pathogens to intestinal mucus by living and heat inactivated Lactobacillus cells

    Funding institution: National Science Centre, Poland (Narodowe Centrum Nauki), grant number 2017/01/X/NZ9/01627, Miniatura I.

    Duration: 10.01.2018 – 24.02.2019

    Scope: The aim of the study was quantitative – qualitative comparative assessment of the ability of Lactobacillus cells to adhere and aggregate depending on their form (live cells and dead), as well as initial identification of substances responsible for the expected effect.The bacterial strains used in the studies were isolated form food in earlier studies, identified, pre-recognized as safe for human use, and found to be resistant to conditions in the gastrointestinal tract. As part of the scientific activity carried out, 14 strains of these Lactobacillus bacteria were assessed in regard to their aggregation ability, competition with pathogensof adhesion to the mucus as well as chemicalsubstances produced by cells.


    It was found that the tested strains show a higher degree of auto-aggregation (61.9-98.6%) after heating the cultures for 5, 15, 30 and 60 minutes at 80°C, compared to the cultures of live cells (26.5-54.9%). Lactobacillus cells co-aggregated with L.monocytogenes cells (4.6-40.6%), with Salmonella (5.4-46.1%) and E. coli (6.8- 34.1%), this phenomenon was stronger in the case of Lactobacillus bacteria inactivated for 5 and 15 minutes, regardless of the indicator strains used. It was also found that the tested strains of Lactobacillus bacteria exhibited different ability to inhibit pathogens adherence to the mucus. Strong antimicrobial activity was reported in relation to E. coli (reduction of adhesion by 77.9-98.8%), Salmonella by 65.5-86.6% and L. monocytogenes by 31.1-90.6% . It was noted that the stress caused by the short incubation for 5 and 15 minutes of Lactobacillus cells intensified the effect of inhibiting adherence of pathogens to the intestinal mucus. As a result of FT-IR analysis of culture supernatant of Lactobacillus strains, it was found spectra characteristic for hydrogen bonds, which may come from the groups: -OH, -NH, -COOH, as well as bands that may originate from stretching vibrations C-H and C=O, value of positions bands indicates the carbonyl of the amide group. Stressing the bacteria cells with a thermal factor resulted in increased signals from the entioned functional groups, the stronger the longer the incubation time was. These observations allow for a preliminary confirmation of the hypothesis that, when heated, bacterial cells produce increased amounts of protective substances, usually protein or polysaccharide, that affect the ability of the bacteria to adhere.

    Taking into account the results of the research, regarding the ability of the tested Lactobacillus bacterial strains to aggregate and inhibit the adhesion of indicator microorganisms, it can be concluded that antimicrobial activity may occur in these strains. Due to the fact that there is a connection between the ability to aggregate and adhesion to mucus, and the ability to adhere and colonize the intestinal epithelium, the observed properties of the tested Lactobacillus strains suggest that they may also have probiotic potential, which requires further analysis.

    Biotechnological method of producing K2 vitamin with an extended spectrum of menaquinone content

    Funding institution: Project in the “Innovation Incubator 2.0” program implemented under the Smart Growth Operational Programme 2014-2020 (Measure 4.4)

    Duration: 13.06.2019 – 15.05.2020

    Scope: The aim of the project was to obtain, on the biotechnological path (with the use of bacteria of the Lactobacillus genus), high yield of “natural” vitamin K2 in the form of a wide spectrum of menachinon (MK) 6, 7, 8 and 9.

    The following activities were carried out under the project: (1) selection of bacterial strains for the production of vitamin K2 – screening tests were carried out for 20 selected strains of lactic acid bacteria; (2) initial optimization of vitamin K2 biosynthesis for selected 3 strains with the use of several alternative microbiological media and additives.


    It was found that the tested Lactobacillus strains produce various amounts of vitamin K2 with a wide spectrum of menachinon (MK) from 4 to 9. As a result of the analyzes, 3 strains were selected that produced the highest amounts of vitamin K2 among the tested bacteria. It was shown that in milk (reconstituted skim milk) the tested bacteria produced significantly lower amounts of vitamin K2, compared to the standard culture medium (Rogosa). On the other hand, the addition of glycerol at the level of 5% significantly increases the amount of vitamin K2 produced.

    Based on the conducted research, it can be concluded that it was possible to select Lactobacillus strains that are producers of vitamin K2 with a wide spectrum of menachinon (MK) from 4 to 9, and thus to achieve the goal of the project.

    Analysis of biofilm formation and penetration of pathogenic bacteria into food sprout seeds

    Funding institution: National Science Centre

    Duration: 2018-2019

    The aim of the study was to assess the surface condition of mung bean before and after several stages of disinfection and to analyze the biofilm formation of pathogenic bacteria on the surface of these seeds. Seed micrograph taken with an electron microscope before and after the disinfection process reveal places where bacteria can survive and multiply in favorable environmental conditions. Therefore, an attempt was made to select another factor that will be effective in inhibiting the growth of selected pathogenic microorganisms. After introducing the next stage of disinfection, i.e. soaking the beans in a solution containing the probiotic strain Lactobacillus plantarum 299v, no growth of pathogenic microflora was found. However, further research is needed to confirm this finding.

Projects in Department of Functional and Organic Food

  • Chair of Functional Food and Sensory Research

    International projects:



    Project SuSI, Sustainability in pork production with immunocastration Horyzont 2020


    Duration: 01.09.2017-30.08.2020 with extension to 28.02.2021

    Development of kiwiberry (MiniKiwi) growing technology in central Poland climatic conditions

    (PBS3/A8/35/2015. NCBiR

    Duration: 2015-2019

    Successful by nature – a comprehensive program to improve the quality of education management and teaching quality at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences 

    The SGGW project co-financed by the European Social Fund under the Operational Program Knowledge Education Development for 2014-2020 . The project is co-financed from the Operational Program Knowledge Education Development for 2014-2020, Priority Axis III. Higher education for economy and development, Action 3.5 Comprehensive Higher Education Programs

    How to eat well

    Project co-financed from the Operational Program Knowledge, Education and Development for 2014-2020, Priority Axis III. Higher education for the economy and development, Measure 3.1 Competences in higher education. “How to eat well” educational workshops under the program “Academy of the future” co-financed from the National Center for Research and Development from the program POWR.03.01.00-00-U141 / 17. Task manager, program development and implementation coordination. Preparation and conducting of classes.

    Partner Research Project – ESN ”European Sensory Network”, Internal Grant

    Measuring Temporality of Sensations and of Liking in Consumers

    Duration: 2014

    Partner Research Project – ESN ”European Sensory Network”, Internal Grant

    Palatability, satisfaction and satiation of beverages

    Duration: 2010-2011

    Program UE FP7-SM, Organic Sensory Information System (Osis)

    Documentation of sensory properties through testing and consumer research for the organic industry (Ecropolis)

    Duration: 2009-2012

    Biofood – innovative, functional products of animal origin

    no. project:POIG.01.01.02-14-090/09

    Duration: 2009–2014

    Optimising beef production in Poland according to the “from Fork to Farm” Strategy

    Project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the Innovative Economy Operational Programme

    Duration: 2007 – 2013, 2009-2014

    Glutamic Acid Manufactures Committee Of The European Union, Research project

    Sensory interaction of glutamate with model food matrices and its effect on hedonic, qualitative and temporal aspects

    Duration: 2005

    Partner Research Project – ESN ”European Sensory Network”, Internal Grant

    Proficiency Testing in Sensory Analysis: Development of reference samples for Proficiency Testing

    Duration: 2004-2005


    Implementation national projects:


    Development of production technology for functional pastry products with increased nutritional value

    PARP, co-financed by Wójcik Spółka Jawna, contract No. 4/2017 / ZZFEIT

    Duration: 2017-06-07 to 2017-11-30

    Project number: P00221

    Designing innovative functional products in the form of concentrated foods with high nutritional value and sensory quality for vegetarians in a version that meets the requirements of a vegan diet

    Project number: P00527, research topic 506-01-102700-P00527-99.

    Duration: 05/10/2017 – 04/05/2018

    Developing the composition of plant supplement as an additive to the mineral water-based beverage

    Project no. RPMP.01.02.03. – IP.01-12-065 / 17


    Duration: 2017

    Development of the recipe and production process of confectionery products with deferred baking time

    Contract No. 2 / WNoŻCiK / 2018. PARP

    Duration 01/04/2018 to 31/07/2019

    Development of an innovative pro-health fruit drink in a semi-liquid form preserved by freezing

    Contract No. 3/2017/KŻFEiT 2017. PARP

    Duration: 15/04/2017 to 15/10/2017

    Didactic projects


    Key Action 1 Mobility for Learners and Staff

    Higher Education Student and Staff Mobility” (Project no. 2015-1-PL01-KA107-016237), Taichung, Tajwan (National Chung Hsing University)

    Duration: 28.10-3.11.2016

    Key Action 1 Mobility for Learners and Staff

    Higher Education Student and Staff Mobility” (Project no. 2016-1-PL01-KA107-024921), Aurangabad, India (Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University)

    Duration: 27-31.03.2017

    Key Action 1 Mobility for Learners and Staff

    Higher Education Student and Staff Mobility” (Project no. 2017-1-PL01-KA107-037013), Bogor, Indonesia (Bogor Agricultural University)

    Duration: 20-24.03.2018

    Key Action 1 Mobility for Learners and Staff

    Higher Education Student and Staff Mobility” (Project no. 2017-1-PL01-KA107-037013), Taichung, Taiwan (National Chung Hsing University)

    Duration: 10-14.12.2018

  • Chair of Organic Food

    Project StratKIT

    Innovative Strategies for Public Catering: Sustainability ToolKIT across Baltic Sea Region, acronym: StratKIT


    Funding body:  INTERREG BSR (Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme 2014-2020)

    The project budget for WULS is 350 000 PLN (79 169,59 EUR )

    Duration: 22 IV 2020-31 XII 2021

    Project coordinator on behalf of WULS: Assoc. Prof. Renata Kazimierczak

    Partner project – StratKIT is build on the strategic collaboration across BSR countries. The coalition is based on the triple-helix structure which provides cooperation  between universities, industry and government. Project leader is University of Helsinki.  Other polish Project Partner is Municipality of Rybnik

    About the project:  The StratKIT project is about making the procurement of public catering services more sustainable. Public authorities have a large purchasing power and have the ability to give clear signals to the market towards green growth and circular economy. However, public procurement is a complex task and good practices in the Baltic Sea region are mostly isolated. StratKIT brings together public authorities, catering service providers and researchers in a network to set up a toolkit and an online open knowledge platform for sustainable public catering.

    Summary of the project:  The public sector in the Baltic Sea region opt for circular economy and show a clear interest in Green Public Procurement when it comes to catering services. In principle, the sector looks for increasing its capacity to act as innovation driver and boost local and regional economy through the collaboration with SMEs. The StratKIT project analyses and tries to understand the local conditions and specific factors enabling or limiting the progress towards increasingly sustainable procurement and catering services. Public organizations and businesses differ. For this reason they need to construct their own developmental paths with their partners, either other public organizations, or commercial and social enterprises

    Expected results:  The StratKIT project initiates the construction of these paths across the Baltic Sea region by mapping the current situation and creating the ground for networking and understanding the need for sustainable development. In addition, The results of the project’s activities are being fine tuned into a Baltic Sea region sustainability toolkit, which is an easy-to-follow and bottom-up guidance for sector’s professionals. The target is to harmonise processes towards sustainable procurement and catering services across Baltic Sea region, thus strengthening strategic efforts on the organizational and business sustainability path.

    Programme specific objective:

    Non-technological innovation: to advanced the BSR performance in non-technological innovation based on increased capacity of innovation actors.


    Main output:

       O2.4 Joint BSR Report for sustainable public procurement and catering services

       O3.4 BSR Dynamic Sustainability Model Report for public procurement and catering   services 

        O4.3 Sustainability Toolkit for public procurement and catering services     

        O5.1 BSR sustainable procurement and catering network

        O5.4 StratKIT online open knowledge platform

        O5.5 StratKIT online interactive Sustainability Toolkit


    We encourage you to follow the project website

    Project BIO Mamma

    BIO for Mother and Child, acronym:  BIO Mamma (the educational-scientific project)

    Funding body: Carrefour Foundation, France

    Duration: 1 IX 2019 – 31 X 2021

    Project coordinator: Prof. Ewa Rembiałkowska

    About the project:

    Among polish consumers the awareness about the properties of organic food and its benefits is at a low level. Poles do not know about the higher quality of organic products, do not believe in their certification, these products are too expensive for them. The organic food market in Poland is still at the initial stage of development. Only about 4% of Poles regularly buy and consume organic food, and 26% buy it irregularly, while the rest consume organic food sporadically or not at all. What’s more, even consumers consuming organic food have very little knowledge about its labelling – only 9% look for the correct labelling in the form of a green EU logo. According to the experts, the reason for this situation is the lack of a wide promotional campaign informing about organic production and explaining the sense of certification as well as lack of education in kindergarten and schools.

    Organic food is especially recommended for pregnant women and small, intensively developing children, because their diet is crucial for the proper development and reducing the risk of many diseases in the future.

    The particularly low level of nutritional awareness and low development of the organic market is typical for the eastern part of Poland, where society is afflicted by socio-economic problems. Therefore, the workshops conducted as part of the project will be located in large and medium-sized cities in the Eastern Poland and locally promoted, so as to reach as many pregnant women and mothers of children under 6 as possible.

    The project is designed to increase the scale of production and consumption of organic food in Eastern Poland, achieving the following objectives:

    1. To educate the large group of young mothers;
    2. To convert the everyday menu offered in the units comprised by the project into organic food as much as possible – from 1 product (e.g. milk) to a full diet;
    3. To stimulate the organic food consumption in Eastern Poland as a result of the above-mentioned activities.

    The project is expected to have a direct positive impact on the diet and nutritional status of approximately 6120 people: participants of meetings and their families, and employees of units co-organizing meetings in Eastern Poland.

    The project is innovative because:

    • It focuses on building nutritional awareness among the most sensitive group of consumers and can significantly reduce the risk of diseases of many generations of Poles from Eastern Poland in the future;
    • It proposes education and ad hoc financial assistance to care institutions in Eastern Poland, hoping to build a sustainable pro-ecological approach;
    • It focuses on the development of awareness and the market for organic food in Eastern Poland, which is neglected in terms of the presence of pro-ecological education campaigns, development programs and scientific research.

    We encourage you to follow the project website

    The project budget is 731 000 PLN (170 000 €) for WULS and is financed by the Carrefour Foundation in nutrition programs domain. The project partners are OSM Piątnica and HiPP; the project has received the honorary patronage of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of National Education.

    Project ProOrg

    Code of Practice for organic food processing, acronym: ProOrg  (the scientific project)

    Funding body: National Centre for Research and Development

    Duration: 1 V 2018 – 1 XI 2021

    The coordinator of the project on behalf of WULS is Prof. Ewa Rembiałkowska.

    About the project:

     The organic food market is rapidly growing and the organic food industry needs to develop and innovate to keep the pace. EC legislation regulates the use of food additives and processing aids. However, regulatory standards for organic food processing are lacking, as well as specifications that guide processors in the evaluation and selection of appropriate technologies and innovations in line with organic principles.

    ProOrg will contribute to the sustainable innovation of the organic food sector through the development of a guide (Code of Practice) for processors of organic food.

    ProOrg will allow for further improvements of organic food processing and support the development of new production methods. This will contribute to increase the competitiveness of the organic food industry, while guaranteeing consumers high quality food products with a limited number of additives and technological aids and a reduced impact on the environment.

    An appropriate communication will provide a clearer transparency for organic foods and increase consumers’ confidence towards organic processed foods and the organic sector as a whole.

    Expected results of the ProOrg:

    • A set of strategies and tools for making decisions that can help organic food processors to take the best choice for careful, minimal and mild processing methods and formulations with a limited use of additives, while addressing the organic principles, high food quality, low environmental impact and high degree of consumer acceptance.
    • A multi-dimensional assessment framework that will help the operators to take the best decisions for their specific situation.
    • To fill the gap of specific knowledge on the effects of processing technologies on food quality.
    • Information about the relevance of the processing technologies for channel listings at retailer level and decisions in the product development made at processor level.

    The Chair of Organic Food WULS is particularly committed to the implementation of tasks such as:

    • The analysis of quality parameters and indicators of apple juice based on available literature;
    • The analysis of alternatives to conventional treatment for juice processing methods based on available literature;
    • Studies assessing the properties (nutritional and sensory value) of processed fruit products- apple juice and puree- produced by various processing methods;

    Consumers of organic food are looking for the products with high nutritive value, therefore the processing methods should preserve the highest possible level of bio-compounds in the products. The case of apple juice has been analysed. In the ProOrg project we are looking for the best processing methods covering 3 main criteria – high nutritive value, good sensory properties and pro-environmental aspects. We have analysed different methods of the fruit juice production. Some of them are very sophisticated as ultra-high pressure homogenization (UHPH), thermos-sonication or ozone processing. They are not used frequently. The most common methods are centrifuging and squeezing plus pasteurization. Therefore we have focused on these methods. After first year of our study we have found that squeezing is a better method of the apple juice production than centrifuging. Apple juice contains more phenolic acids when it is prepared by squeezing compared to centrifuging; for the organic juice a difference is statistically significant, for the conventional juice it is a tendency. On the other hand the efficiency is higher if centrifuging is used compared to squeezing. It  has the impact on the economic aspect – the price of squeezed juice has to be higher.

    • The analysis of the packaging of organic food products available on the markets of four European countries (Polish, German, Dutch and Italian), in the context of presence of information raising consumer awareness of the conditions of organic food production and the advantages of organic products;

    Part of the results will be presented at the Organic World Congress 2021 in France as the oral presentation titled: “Information on organic milk packaging in countries with different level of organic market maturity- a comparison between Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Poland”.

    We encourage you to follow the progress of the project:

    Partners of the consortium implementing the project: Consiglio per la Ricerca in Agricoltura e l’Analisi dell’Economia Agraria (CREA, IT); Università Politecnica delle Marche (UNIVPM, IT);

    Associazione Nazionale delle Imprese di Trasformazione e Distribuzione di prodotti Biologici e naturali (ASOBIO, IT); University of Copenhagen (KU, DK); University of Wageningen (WUR, NL);

    Thuenen Institut (TI, D); FH Münster University of Applied Sciences (FH MU, D); Assoziation Ökologischer Lebensmittelhersteller (AÖL, D); Warsaw University of Life Sciences (WULS, PL);

    Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau (FiBL, CH); The French Network of Food Technology Institutes (ACTIA, F); Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA, F); Institut Technique de l’Agriculture Biologique (ITAB, F).

    The authors acknowledge the financial support for ProOrg provided by transnational funding bodies, being partners of the H2020 ERA-net project, CORE Organic Cofund, and the cofund from the European Commission.

    The project budget is 492 580 PLN and is financed by the National Centre for Research and Development (

    Project Ekhaga

    Promoting human health and well-being by maintaining matrix related organic food qualities from field to fork

    Funding body: Ekhaga foundation:

    Duration: 1 III 2019 – 28 II 2022

    Project coordinator: Dr. Dominika Średnicka-Tober

    Project consortium: Warsaw University of Life Sciences (Coordinator), University of Kassel (Partner)

    Goal: The aim of the project is to define and to promote food processing technologies that would assure bringing healthy attributes of the organic crops through the processing step.

    Summary: Demand for organic and biodynamic foods is strongly driven by consumers’ perception that they are more nutritious and health-beneficial. However, while vast majority of the research confirming superior qualities of organic foods is focused on raw materials, more and more food nowadays is highly processed. It is therefore a challenge to bring health related food properties from field to fork by employing more gentle processing methods. One of the organic principles (IFOAM) is the principle of processing with care, but until now details are missing on how food may be processed in such a gentle manner. The aim of our study is therefore to define and to promote food processing technologies that would assure bringing healthy attributes of the organic crops through the processing step. The study focuses on organic fruit preserves and juices processed according to a number of well-defined sets of conditions. Research studies show that the food matrix may not only play a major role in sensory perception of food but also may modulate its nutritional and health impact. Therefore the different food quality dimensions such as sensory and metabolic profiles, bioactive compounds concentrations, and health markers (in vitro anticancer and antioxidant potential, and metabolism of the exposed cells) have been included within this study.

    Link to website: there is no dedicated project website.

    Project budget: 700 000 SEK (67 550 EUR)

    Contact details: Project coordinator: Dr. Dominika Średnicka-Tober, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, e-mail:; Tel. +48 22 5937035, +48 698 11 60 11.

Projects in Department of Food Market and Consumer Research

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