FoPD 2021 -Portugal / Medicinal Fruits – why these beautiful plant organs must be an essential part of our diets


Fruits are being increasingly used to treat diseases and alleviate their symptoms. Patents have been developed regarding their medicinal use. But what is present in fruits that makes them essential in a healthy lifestyle?

In this activity, we will go through the phenotypic diversity of fruits worldwide and their medicinal use. From Vaccinium macrocarpon, the American cranberry that is efficient in treating urinary tract infections to Opuntia spp., commonly called prickly pear, that diminishes triglycerides and cholesterol. The mysterious secondary compounds present in fruits will be revealed and quantified. Which fruit has higher antioxidant capacity? What about easy recipes to treat common health problems by using fruits?

Fruits are indeed fascinating. We will end our journey with a tour through paintings depicting fruits.

Organized by Prof. Ana Margarida Fortes, PhD student Helena Santos, and PhD candidate Rute Amaro.

More information:


Fruit Functional Genomics and Biotechnology Lab, PFG, BIOISI, FCUL