The objectives of the group are:

  • Photoscience applications – Photonics in Agrofoods and Environment

We apply our know-how from the basic research studies for investigations in several applied fields such as:

  • Mass spectrometry in combination with laser induced break down spectroscopy (LIBS) for the analysis of the composition and structure of cultural heritage materials  (in collaboration with the group working in the cultural heritage projects).

  • Nanostructured materials produced by laser ablation in liquids in conjugation with biomolecules.

  • Uv-Vis and fluorescence spectroscopy to control the quality and the origin of agrofoods.

  • Laser spectroscopy for environmental studies aiming in detecting traces of greenhouse gases in the environment due to agricultural applications.


Research Topics

The research targets the understanding of  the formation mechanisms, the stability, the structure (geometric and/or electronic) and the properties (optical activity, chemical reactivity, catalytic activity) of clusters and free biomolecules and also the study of nanostructured materials made out of clusters.

At the Photonics for Agrofoods and Environment laboratory, we employ an alternative approach for the quick monitoring of the characteristic substances contained in food samples, with little or no processing. 

We rely on our expertise in the area of the interaction of light with matter and the development of specialized optical spectroscopic analysis methods (such as light absorption and fluorescence techniques). This way, we can record the optical spectrum that is the characteristic "fingerprint" and reflects the chemical composition of a sample. Different samples have a different fingerprint and the detected differences or similarities are used for:

  • identification,
  • origin and quality control

We focus on spectroscopic methods such as UltraViolet/Visible, Near Infrared, Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR), Fluorescence, Laser induced Fluorescence (LIF), Time Resolved Florescence, Raman and Laser Induced Break Down Spectroscopy (LIBS). These techniques are quick and much "cheaper" than the time-consuming and costly conventional analytical techniques.

Our technology is used for:

  • Distinction of varieties of several agrofoods products (wine, oil, honey, milk, etc.)
  • Monitoring of wine maturation in relation to time and kind of barrel
  • Quality control of products
  • Detection of adulteration
  • Application of laser spectroscopic techniques for the detection of specific chemical substances in foods (contaminants, plasticizers, pesticides ...)
  • Creation of a database for the prominence of local varieties and the characterization of their geographical origin
Application of innovative optical methods to improve the quality of Greek wine through monitoring and control of winemaking parameters.
Development of an optical spectroscopy system prototype for fuel adulteration detection
Innovative technologies for climate change mitigation by Mediterranean agricultural sector
Quality and authenticity of the end products of olives (Edible olives– olive oil)
Development of rapid methods for checking the safety, quality and identity of dairy products in Crete
Protection and promotion of the quality of virgin olive oil, through the development and use of innovative methods for detection of contamination
Comparative study using classical chemical analytical techniques, combined with innovative spectroscopic methods based on photonics and machine learning for the authenticity and origin detection of Greek honey
Characterization of Greek Wines by Ultraviolet–Visible Absorption Spectroscopy and Statistical Multivariate Methods
Aggelos Philippidis, Emmanouil Poulakis, Marianthi Basalekou, Argiro Strataridaki, Stamatina Kallithraka & Michalis Velegrakis
Analytical Letters, Volume:50, Issue:12, Page:1950-1963, Year:2017, DOI:
Comparative Study using Raman and Visible Spectroscopy of Cretan Extra Virgin Olive Oil Adulteration with Sunflower Oil
Aggelos Philippidis, Emmanouil Poulakis, Antigoni Papadaki & Michalis Velegrakis
Analytical Letters, Volume:50, Issue:7, Page:1182-1195, Year:2017,
Verifying the Geographical Origin and Authenticity of Greek Olive Oils by Means of Optical Spectroscopy and Multivariate Analysis
Renate Kontzedaki, Emmanouil Orfanakis, Georgia Sofra-Karanti, Katerina Stamataki, Aggelos Philippidis, Aikaterini Zoumi, Michalis Velegrakis
Molecules, Volume:25, Issue:4180, Page:doi:10.3390/molecules25184180, Year:2020, DOI:doi:10.3390/molecules25184180
Application of Ultraviolet-Visible Absorption Spectroscopy with Machine Learning Techniques for the Classification of Cretan Wines
Aggelos Philippidis, Emmanouil Poulakis, Renate Kontzedaki, Emmanouil Orfanakis, Aikaterini Symianaki, Aikaterini Zoumi, Michalis Velegrakis
Foods, Volume:10, Issue:9, Page: foods10010009, Year:2021, DOI: foods10010009
Optical spectroscopy methods combined with multivariate statistical analysis for the classification of Cretan thyme, multi-floral and honeydew honey
Emmanouil Orfanakis,Michail Markoulidakis,Aggelos Philippidis, Aikaterini Zoumi,Michalis Velegrakis
JSFA, Volume:published online, Page:DOI 10.1002/jsfa.11182, Year:2021, DOI:


Dr. Velegrakis Michalis
Researcher Emeritus
Dr. Samartzis Petros
Principal Researcher

Technical Staff

Ms. Stamataki Katerina
Mr. Lamprakis Yannis
Technical Scientist

Research Associates

Dr. Philippidis Aggelos
PostDoctoral Fellow
Dr. Siozos Panagiotis
PostDoctoral Fellow


Ms. Kontzedaki Renate
Ph.D. student
Mr. Orfanakis Emmanouil
Ph.D. student
Mr. Fragkoulis Nikolaos
Ph.D. student


Mr. Stavrakakis Georgios
M.Sc. student
Ms. Zakaki Evangelia
Ms. Skarvelaki Konstantina
Ms. Sofra-Karanti Georgia
Undergraduate trainee
Ms. Mavrakaki Styliani
Undergraduate trainee
Ms. Symianaki Aikaterini
Undergraduate trainee
Ms. Tylaki Georgia
Mr. Poulakis Emmanouel
Ms. Papadaki Antigoni
Ms. Karagiannaki Ioulia
Ms. Vlasiadi Maria