João M. Rocha holds a degree (1996) in Biological Engineering, specialization in Chemical and Food Technology, from University of Minho (UMinho), and a PhD (2011) in Food Science and Engineering from University of Lisbon (ISA-ULisbon). He has several complementary professional qualifications, including Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) in SimaPro® (2018), HACCP (2012) and ISO 9001:2000 certification (2006).
He has developed his research between Portugal and Finland (UHelsinki) in the fields of microbiology, molecular biology, biochemistry, chemistry, chromatography, mass spectrometry and engineering.
Currently (2019-) he is researcher in the Food Polyphenol Lab, at Green Chemistry Laboratory (LAQV), REQUIMTE – Chemistry and Technology Network, in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Faculty of Sciences – University of Porto (FCUP) where he studies the dietary polyphenols as prophylactic agents in food allergies. He is the Chair, Principal Coordinator and Grant Holder Scientific Representative of the COST Action Sourdomics (CA18101) (expected overall budget ca. 656 k€, 4 years), a networking with 49 countries from the 5 Continents and almost 200 members. He is also the Secretary of the General Assembly board of the National Association of Science and Technology Researchers.
His previous/current activities involve several research areas, e.g.: (1) Cereal and pseudocereal production and sourdough biotechnology, viz. (a) Microbiota screening and characterization, fermentation and starter cultures, (b) Screening, production and extraction of functional metabolites and enzymes, (c) Design innovative food and processes, (d) Valorisation of by-products and food wastes, (e) Food safety and health promoting, and (f) Economic feasibility and environmental sustainability studies (1998-); (2) Mass spectrometry of polyphenols and health promoting (2019-); (3) LCA studies – linking different research lines with environmental sustainability, Biosensors and Mass spectrometry of glycolipids (2017-); (4) Protein crystallization in droplet-based multiphase microfluidic bioreactors (2015-16); (5) Characterization of biopolymers, formulation and characterization of films, edible coatings and biodegradable packaging, and evaluation of the performance in terms of chemical, microbiological, rheological and shelf-life quality of fresh foods, as well as environmental performance through LCA studies (2014); (6) Phenotypic and genotypic (by PCR) characterization of microorganisms for development of starter cultures, and determination of biogenic amines from fermented sausages by RP-UHPLC-DAD (2012-14); (7) Production of H2 by Chlamydomonas (2011); (8) (a) Selective extraction and analysis of mono- and oligosaccharides by GLC, (b) Selective extraction of lipids (neutral, glycol- and phospholipids), SPE fractionation, (trans)esterification, silylation, and GLC analysis, and (c) NP-HPLC-ELSD and LC-ESI-MS-MS2 analysis, (d) Classical microbiological (yeasts and bacteria – Gram+ cocci, and Gram- and Gram+ bacilli) characterization of bread products (1997-2011); and (9) Batch and semi-continuous fermentation for production of baker's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) (1996) and lipids by Rhodotorula gracilis (1997).
His professional career as a researcher was always fulfilled with other intensive activities: (1) Assistant professor of Final Projects for B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees, General Microbiology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology of the Cell (Genetics), General Chemistry I (Inorganic Chemistry) and II (Physical Chemistry and Kinetic Physics), Toxicology, Pharmacotoxicology, Chemistry and Structure of Foods, Applied Biochemistry (Enzyme kinetics), Introduction to Industrial Processes and General Biochemistry I, in the College of Biotechnology, Portuguese Catholic University (ESB-UCP) (1997-2011) and UMinho (2017-18); (2) Professional courses of Environmental Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Laboratories of Chemistry and Basic Food Chemistry (2009); and (3) Co-founder, administrator and managing partner of a biotech start-up (2002-06), awarded in entrepreneurship concourses and with an approved funding project – with the core-business in processing of dairy sub-products and isolation of compounds with high-added value due to their immunological and growth properties, and its applications in the agro-food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. His career is characterized by a high degree of independence, international exposure, extensive international networking, broad experience in multi-project/multi-task management and leadership in different environments.