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Foods, Volume 13, Issue 6 (March-2 2024) – 158 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): A new generation of rapid methods is emerging both in the literature and in industry based on spectroscopy coupled with AI-driven modelling methods. The current published studies using these advanced methods are plagued by weaknesses pertaining to the abuse of advanced modelling techniques and the process of validation for both the acquisition method and modelling. This paper aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the analytical challenges faced in research and industrial settings where screening analysis is performed while providing practical solutions in the form of guidelines for a range of scenarios. We conclude that there is no easy way to enhance the accuracy of the methods by using state-of-the-art modelling methods, and the key aspect is still capturing good-quality raw data from authentic samples in sufficient volume, which is crucial along with robust validation. View this paper
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18 pages, 532 KiB  
Article
Application of Antioxidant Poly-Lactic Acid/Polyhydroxybutyrate (PLA/PHB) Films with Rice Bran Extract for the Preservation of Fresh Pork Meat
by María Cabeza de Vaca, María Rosario Ramírez-Bernabé, David Tejerina Barrado, Javier Rocha Pimienta and Jonathan Delgado-Adámez
Foods 2024, 13(6), 972; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13060972 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 773
Abstract
Poly-lactic acid/polyhydroxybutyrate (PLA/PHB) bio-based films suppose an environmentally friendly alternative to petroleum-derived packaging. In addition, rice bran extracts (RBEs) are an interesting source of bioactive compounds. In the present study, active films were formulated with 0.3% (w/v) or 0.5% [...] Read more.
Poly-lactic acid/polyhydroxybutyrate (PLA/PHB) bio-based films suppose an environmentally friendly alternative to petroleum-derived packaging. In addition, rice bran extracts (RBEs) are an interesting source of bioactive compounds. In the present study, active films were formulated with 0.3% (w/v) or 0.5% (w/v) RBE (low-RBE and high-RBE) and compared to PLA/PHB films with no RBE. The migrations of active compounds as well as the antimicrobial and the antioxidant activities were analyzed in the three film formulations. The effects of active PLA/PHB films on fresh pork meat were evaluated by measuring the instrumental color, lipid and protein oxidations, and microbiological status of meat refrigerated for 1, 5, or 9 days. The developed films presented antioxidant activity in vitro, but they did not have an antimicrobial effect against bacterial development (E. coli nor L. innocua). The PLA/PHB film with no extract prevented changes in the instrumental color of meat during storage. However, the antioxidant effect of the PLA/PHB films on fresh pork was negligible, and the inclusion of high doses of extract favored microbial development in the pork during storage. Despite the lack of activity of active PLA/PHB films on meat, their use could be a sustainable alternative to the petroleum-based films. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Packaging and Preservation)
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16 pages, 2464 KiB  
Article
A Method of Reducing Salt Content in Fermented Soy Sauce Improves Its Flavor and Quality
by Shuang Zheng, Zhenbin Zhang, Xiuli Zhao, Wanning Li and Lihua Hou
Foods 2024, 13(6), 971; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13060971 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1250
Abstract
Most commercially available soy sauce is fermented by high-salt liquid-state (HS) fermentation, which has an excessive salt content and a long fermentation period. In this study, a new salt-reduced fermentation (SR) soy sauce technology involving multiple strains of bacteria was developed to reduce [...] Read more.
Most commercially available soy sauce is fermented by high-salt liquid-state (HS) fermentation, which has an excessive salt content and a long fermentation period. In this study, a new salt-reduced fermentation (SR) soy sauce technology involving multiple strains of bacteria was developed to reduce consumers’ salt intake. The SR soy sauce was found to have an amino acid nitrogen content of 8.40 g/L and over 80 kinds of flavor substances, which were significantly higher than those of low-salt solid-state fermented soy sauce and approximately equal to HS soy sauce. Compared with HS soy sauce, the salt content of the SR soy sauce was reduced by 59.2%, achieving the salt reduction goal. The proportion of umami amino acids in SR soy sauce reached 32.0% of the total level, enhancing SR soy sauce’s quality. Hence, the new fermentation process can decrease salt content and shorten fermentation time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Biotechnology to Fermented Foods)
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29 pages, 1561 KiB  
Article
The Role of Promoting Agricultural and Food Products Certified with European Union Quality Schemes
by Alexandra-Ioana Glogovețan and Cristina Bianca Pocol
Foods 2024, 13(6), 970; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13060970 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1131
Abstract
This study delves into the effectiveness of digital marketing strategies in promoting local agricultural and food products in Romania, certified with European Union quality schemes. By examining consumer profiles, preferences, and their awareness of EU quality labels, the research uncovers the motivations driving [...] Read more.
This study delves into the effectiveness of digital marketing strategies in promoting local agricultural and food products in Romania, certified with European Union quality schemes. By examining consumer profiles, preferences, and their awareness of EU quality labels, the research uncovers the motivations driving purchasing decisions and the influence of digital marketing on these choices. Utilizing quantitative methods, including a comprehensive survey across 903 respondents, the study identifies four distinct consumer segments: Eco−Advocates, Les Connaisseurs, Price−Sensitives, and Traditionalists. These segments exhibit unique behaviors and attitudes toward certified products. The research highlights the potential of digital marketing to significantly alter consumer behavior toward EU-certified products, underscoring the importance of tailored communication strategies. It contributes to the understanding of consumer segmentation in the context of European Union quality schemes, providing valuable insights for policymakers, marketers, and producers. The findings advocate for enhanced digital marketing efforts to increase awareness and appreciation of these certified products, thereby supporting the broader objectives of quality and certification in the European agricultural and food product sector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insights into Food Perception and Consumer Behavior)
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18 pages, 4080 KiB  
Article
Identification of Characteristic Bioactive Compounds in Silkie Chickens, Their Effects on Meat Quality, and Their Gene Regulatory Network
by Xinting Yang, Chaohua Tang, Bowen Ma, Qingyu Zhao, Yaxiong Jia, Qingshi Meng, Yuchang Qin and Junmin Zhang
Foods 2024, 13(6), 969; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13060969 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1060
Abstract
Silkie chicken, an important chicken breed with high medicinal and nutritional value, has a long history of being used as a dietary supplement in China. However, the compounds with health-promoting effects in Silkie chickens remain unclear. In the present study, we conducted a [...] Read more.
Silkie chicken, an important chicken breed with high medicinal and nutritional value, has a long history of being used as a dietary supplement in China. However, the compounds with health-promoting effects in Silkie chickens remain unclear. In the present study, we conducted a comprehensive analysis of metabolic and lipidomic profiles to identify the characteristic bioactive compounds in Silkie chickens, using a common chicken breed as control. The results showed that the levels of 13 metabolites including estradiol, four lipid subclasses including cardiolipin (CL), eight lipid molecules, and three fatty acids including docosahexaenoic acid (C22:6) were significantly increased in Silkie chickens, which have physiological activities such as resisting chronic diseases and improving cognition. These characteristic bioactive compounds have effects on meat quality characteristics, including improving its water-holding capacity and umami taste and increasing the content of aromatic compounds and phenols. The differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between the two chicken breeds revealed the regulatory network for these characteristic bioactive compounds. Fifteen DEGs, including HSD17B1, are involved in the synthesis of characteristic metabolites. Eleven DEGs, including ELOVL2, were involved in the synthesis and transport of characteristic lipids and fatty acids. In summary, we identified characteristic bioactive compounds in Silkie chickens, and analyzed their effects on meat quality characteristics. This study provided important insight into Silkie chicken meat as a functional food. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Meat)
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16 pages, 3222 KiB  
Article
Effects of Drying Methods on the Physicochemical and Functional Properties of Cinnamomum camphora Seed Kernel Protein Isolate
by Mengqiang Ye, Zhixin Wang, Xianghui Yan, Zheling Zeng, Ting Peng, Jiaheng Xia, Junxin Zhao, Weiyun Wang, Deming Gong and Ping Yu
Foods 2024, 13(6), 968; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13060968 - 21 Mar 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 780
Abstract
Cinnamomum camphora seed kernel protein isolate (CPI) has attracted increasing attention due to its sustainability and potential applications. This study aimed to investigate the effects of freeze-drying (FD), vacuum-drying (VD), and spray-drying (SD) on the physicochemical and functional properties of CPI. The morphology [...] Read more.
Cinnamomum camphora seed kernel protein isolate (CPI) has attracted increasing attention due to its sustainability and potential applications. This study aimed to investigate the effects of freeze-drying (FD), vacuum-drying (VD), and spray-drying (SD) on the physicochemical and functional properties of CPI. The morphology observation results showed that the SD-CPI, SD-CPI, and VD-CPI were spherical, lamellar, and massive, respectively. Compared to FD and SD, VD had more impact on the color, surface hydrophobicity, intermolecular disulfide bonds, intrinsic fluorescence, and thermal stability of CPI. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analyses showed that among three CPI samples, VD-CPI had the highest content of β-sheet but the lowest contents of α-helix and β-turn. At different pH values, the solubility, emulsification, and foaming properties of VD-CPI were inferior to those of FD-CPI and SD-CPI. These results provide useful information on the changes in the physicochemical and functional properties of CPI subjected to different drying methods, and offer theoretical guidance for the production and use of CPI in the food industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Foods)
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15 pages, 3520 KiB  
Article
RNA-Based Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Membrane Vesicles Derived from Lactiplantibacillus plantarum
by Shino Yamasaki-Yashiki, Fumie Kawashima, Azusa Saika, Ryota Hosomi, Jun Kunisawa and Yoshio Katakura
Foods 2024, 13(6), 967; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13060967 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 993
Abstract
Bacteria generally release extracellular membrane vesicles (MVs), which are nanoparticles that play important roles in bacterial–bacterial and bacterial–host communication. As probiotics, lactic acid bacteria provide diverse health benefits to their hosts. In this study, we found that the Gram-positive lactic acid bacteria Lactiplantibacillus [...] Read more.
Bacteria generally release extracellular membrane vesicles (MVs), which are nanoparticles that play important roles in bacterial–bacterial and bacterial–host communication. As probiotics, lactic acid bacteria provide diverse health benefits to their hosts. In this study, we found that the Gram-positive lactic acid bacteria Lactiplantibacillus plantarum subsp. plantarum NBRC 15891 produce high amounts of MVs (LpMVs), and that LpMVs inhibit interleukin (IL)-8 production induced by lipopolysaccharide in intestinal epithelial HT29 cells. Heat- or UV-killed bacterial cells did not exhibit anti-inflammatory effects, and there was no uptake of these bacterial cells; contrarily, LpMVs were taken up into the cytoplasm of HT29 cells. Small RNAs extracted from LpMVs also suppressed IL-8 production in HT29 cells, suggesting that RNAs in the cytoplasm of bacterial cells are encapsulated in the MVs and released from the cells, which may be delivered to HT29 cells to exert their anti-inflammatory effects. In addition, administration of LpMVs to mice with dextran sodium sulfate-induced colitis alleviated colitis-induced weight loss and colon length shortening, indicating that LpMV intake is likely to be effective in preventing or ameliorating colitis. Full article
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22 pages, 3192 KiB  
Article
Impacts and Risk Assessments of Climate Change for the Yields of the Major Grain Crops in China, Japan, and Korea
by Jieming Chou, Haofeng Jin, Yuan Xu, Weixing Zhao, Yuanmeng Li and Yidan Hao
Foods 2024, 13(6), 966; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13060966 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 958
Abstract
Climate change poses a high risk to grain yields. Maize, rice, and wheat are the three major grain crops in China, Japan, and Korea. Assessing the impacts and risks of climate on the yields of these grain cops is crucial. An economy–climate model [...] Read more.
Climate change poses a high risk to grain yields. Maize, rice, and wheat are the three major grain crops in China, Japan, and Korea. Assessing the impacts and risks of climate on the yields of these grain cops is crucial. An economy–climate model (C-D-C model) was established to assess the impacts of climate factors on the grain yields in different crop areas. The peaks over threshold model based on the generalized Pareto distribution was used to calculate the value at risk and the expected shortfall, which can evaluate the yield risk of different crops. The impact ratio of climate change was employed to estimate the impacts of climate change under different climate scenarios. The main conclusions can be summarized as follows: the impacts of climate factors on grain yields and the risk vary widely across the different regions and crops. Compared to 1991–2020, climate change from 2021 to 2050 exerts positive impacts on rice and wheat, while the negative impacts on maize in the crop areas are significantly affected by climate factors. The impact ratios of climate change are larger in the SSP1-2.6 and the SSP5-8.5 scenarios than under the SSP2-4.5 scenario. These findings are useful for targeting grain yields in smaller study areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Security and Sustainability)
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25 pages, 3301 KiB  
Article
Disclosing the Functional Potency of Three Oxygenated Monoterpenes in Combating Microbial Pathogenesis: From Targeting Virulence Factors to Chicken Meat Preservation
by Sarra Akermi, Moufida Chaari, Khaoula Elhadef, Mariam Fourati, Ahlem Chakchouk Mtibaa, Sofia Agriopoulou, Slim Smaoui and Lotfi Mellouli
Foods 2024, 13(6), 965; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13060965 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1231
Abstract
During the last few decades, there has existed an increased interest in and considerable consumer preference towards using natural and safe compounds derived from medicinal plants as alternatives to synthetic preservatives to combat microbial pathogenicity. In this regard, the present study investigated the [...] Read more.
During the last few decades, there has existed an increased interest in and considerable consumer preference towards using natural and safe compounds derived from medicinal plants as alternatives to synthetic preservatives to combat microbial pathogenicity. In this regard, the present study investigated the possible synergistic interactions of the anti-foodborne bacterial capacity of linalool (L), eucalyptol (E), and camphor (C). The antibacterial synergistic effect was determined against Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella enterica Typhimurium, and Escherichia coli. The optimal predicted mixture showed the highest antibacterial activity at 33.5%, 33.2%, and 33.4% of L, E, and C, respectively. Molecular docking simulations displayed that the studied monoterpenes have effective antibacterial inhibitory effects by impeding specific virulence factors such as sortase A, listeriolysin O, L, D-Transpeptidase, and polyphosphate kinase. The selected triple combination of L, E, and C was applied as a natural preservative in minced chicken breast meat. In this regard, 1 MIC (16 µg/mL), 1.5 MIC (24 µg/mL), and 2 MIC (32 µg/mL) of L. monocytogenes were used, and the microbiological, physicochemical, and sensory analyses were monitored for 14 days of storage at 4 °C. The L/E/C mixture at different levels could delay lipid and protein oxidation, inhibit the microorganisms, and maintain the sensory attributes. Additionally, by using chemometric tools, strong connections between physicochemical properties, microbiological parameters, and organoleptic attributes were established. Concisely, this research confers the importance of the use of blended monoterpenes and highlights their antibacterial mode of action, effectiveness, and synergistic effects as a powerful and safe bio-preservative formulation in chicken meat products. Full article
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13 pages, 1053 KiB  
Article
Investigation of the Effect of Different Seed Flours on Gluten-Free Products: Baton Cake Production, Characterization, and TOPSIS Application
by Tugba Dedebas and Nur Cebi
Foods 2024, 13(6), 964; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13060964 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 859
Abstract
The present study aims to develop gluten-free product formulations by using different seed flours to determine their effectiveness in gluten-free products. For this purpose, a baton cake model was selected; the cake production process was conducted by adding hemp, okra, mustard, or coriander [...] Read more.
The present study aims to develop gluten-free product formulations by using different seed flours to determine their effectiveness in gluten-free products. For this purpose, a baton cake model was selected; the cake production process was conducted by adding hemp, okra, mustard, or coriander seed flours with rice flour at a ratio of 25% seed flour to 75% rice flour to prepare the cake batters. The physicochemical, textural, and sensory properties, as well as the baking behaviors of the resulting products, were determined. The TOPSIS method was used in the sensory analyses. With the addition of seed flours, a color change occurred in the inner and crust values of the baton cake samples. It was observed that the hardness value of the baton cake samples increased with the addition of seed flour. In the TOPSIS evaluation, which is a multi-criteria decision-making method, the most preferred product in the free baton cake samples was the cake with hemp seed flour added, while the least preferred product was the control group baton cake. According to the findings, it was concluded that the use of seed flours can be used as an alternative ingredient in the production of gluten-free baton cakes that celiac patients can consume in their diets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Grain)
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16 pages, 8477 KiB  
Article
Sea Cucumber Polysaccharide from Stichopus japonicu and Its Photocatalytic Degradation Product Alleviate Acute Alcoholic Liver Injury in Mice
by Haoran Song, Chen Song, Chunhong Yan, Jingfeng Yang and Shuang Song
Foods 2024, 13(6), 963; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13060963 - 21 Mar 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 940
Abstract
To prevent alcoholic liver disease, the addition of bioactive substances to the alcoholic drink Baijiu has been considered a feasible option. In the present study, the hepatoprotective effects of a sea cucumber sulfated polysaccharide (SCSP) isolated from Stichopus japonicu were investigated. Moreover, in [...] Read more.
To prevent alcoholic liver disease, the addition of bioactive substances to the alcoholic drink Baijiu has been considered a feasible option. In the present study, the hepatoprotective effects of a sea cucumber sulfated polysaccharide (SCSP) isolated from Stichopus japonicu were investigated. Moreover, in order to enhance its solubility in an alcohol solution, it was depolymerized using a photocatalytic reaction, and the photocatalytic degradation products (dSCSPs) with an average molecular weight of less than 2 kDa were studied and compared with SCSP. They were characterized by a series of chemical and spectroscopy methods and the oligosaccharide fragments in the dSCSP were further identified by HPLC-MSn analysis. Then, the in vivo experiment showed that the addition of SCSP or dSCSP to Baijiu could alleviate alcoholic liver injury in mice. Further analysis also revealed their protective effect in reducing oxidative stress damage and their regulation of the metabolism of phosphatidylcholine (PC) and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) in the liver. Of note, dSCSP was more effective at reducing the level of malondialdehyde in the liver. These findings indicate that the addition of sea cucumber polysaccharide or its low-molecular-weight derivative in Baijiu has the potential to alleviate alcoholic liver injury. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Foods of Marine Origin)
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15 pages, 4110 KiB  
Article
Green Extraction of Natural Colorants from Food Residues: Colorimetric Characterization and Nanostructuring for Enhanced Stability
by Victoria Baggi Mendonça Lauria and Luciano Paulino Silva
Foods 2024, 13(6), 962; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13060962 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1202
Abstract
Food residues are a promising resource for obtaining natural pigments, which may replace artificial dyes in the industry. However, their use still presents challenges due to the lack of suitable sources and the low stability of these natural compounds when exposed to environmental [...] Read more.
Food residues are a promising resource for obtaining natural pigments, which may replace artificial dyes in the industry. However, their use still presents challenges due to the lack of suitable sources and the low stability of these natural compounds when exposed to environmental variations. In this scenario, the present study aims to identify different food residues (such as peels, stalks, and leaves) as potential candidates for obtaining natural colorants through eco-friendly extractions, identify the colorimetric profile of natural pigments using the RGB color model, and develop alternatives using nanotechnology (e.g., liposomes, micelles, and polymeric nanoparticles) to increase their stability. The results showed that extractive solution and residue concentration influenced the RGB color profile of the pigments. Furthermore, the external leaves of Brassica oleracea L. var. capitata f. rubra, the peels of Cucurbita maxima, Cucurbita maxima x Cucurbita moschata, and Beta vulgaris L. proved to be excellent resources for obtaining natural pigments. Finally, the use of nanotechnology proved to be a viable alternative for increasing the stability of natural colorants over storage time. Full article
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12 pages, 495 KiB  
Article
Influence of Beef Hot Carcass Weight on Sensory Characteristics of Strip Loin, Eye of Round, and Denver Cut Steaks
by Christina E. Bakker, Samantha R. Egolf, Lydia M. O’Sullivan, Ryan B. Cox, Heather R. Rode-Atkins, Amanda D. Blair, Keith R. Underwood and J. Kyle Grubbs
Foods 2024, 13(6), 961; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13060961 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 683
Abstract
The objective of this research was to investigate the influence of beef hot carcass weight (HCW) on consumer sensory attributes. Beef carcasses (n = 116) were selected based on the USDA quality grade and HCW. Lightweight (LW; 296–341 kg), middleweight (MW; 386–432 kg), [...] Read more.
The objective of this research was to investigate the influence of beef hot carcass weight (HCW) on consumer sensory attributes. Beef carcasses (n = 116) were selected based on the USDA quality grade and HCW. Lightweight (LW; 296–341 kg), middleweight (MW; 386–432 kg), or heavyweight (HW; 466–524 kg) carcasses with USDA Choice (LC) or USDA Select (SEL) quality grades were used in this study. Carcasses were tracked through fabrication and the semitendinosus, chuck roll, and strip loin were collected and fabricated into eye of round, Denver cut, and strip loin steaks, respectively, for consumer sensory evaluation. USDA Select MW Denver cut steaks had increased overall liking and texture liking scores and were more tender and juicier than the SEL LW steaks (p ≤ 0.02). USDA Select MW strip loin steaks had increased overall and flavor liking scores and were more tender than the SEL LW steaks (p ≤ 0.02). USDA Choice MW eye of round steaks had increased overall, flavor, and texture liking scores and were juicier than the LW eye of round steaks (p ≤ 0.04). The steaks evaluated in this study were differentially impacted by HCW and little to no clear pattern of effects could be determined across cut or quality grade. Additional research is needed to determine the most acceptable HCW from a consumer perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Meat Quality, Sensory and Consumer Preferences and Attitudes)
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18 pages, 2619 KiB  
Article
Exploring the miRNAs Profile in Dark-Cutting Beef
by Laura González-Blanco, Luis J. Royo, Yolanda Diñeiro, Susana García-Torres, Ana Coto-Montes, Verónica Sierra and Mamen Oliván
Foods 2024, 13(6), 960; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13060960 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 910
Abstract
In an animal production system, different stressors may cause the depletion of muscle glycogen stores, resulting in an elevated pH at 24 h post mortem (pH24), which leads to cell metabolism alterations that affect the conversion of muscle into meat, causing [...] Read more.
In an animal production system, different stressors may cause the depletion of muscle glycogen stores, resulting in an elevated pH at 24 h post mortem (pH24), which leads to cell metabolism alterations that affect the conversion of muscle into meat, causing meat quality defects, such as dark-cutting beef, also known as dark, firm, and dry (DFD) beef. This process may involve the alteration of small non-coding RNAs (miRNAs), which play critical regulatory roles in cellular processes. Here, we determined whether differential miRNA expression in the Longissimus thoracis et lumborum muscle from the Asturiana de los Valles breed at 24 h post mortem could serve as an early indicator of beef quality defects. Following total RNA extraction, complete miRNAome sequencing revealed 12 miRNAs that were significantly upregulated (p < 0.001) in DFD beef compared to the levels in CONTROL beef. These miRNAs are mainly involved in the cellular responses to redox imbalances and apoptosis. Among these, four miRNAs known to be related to oxidative stress (bta-miR-1246, bta-miR-2332, bta-miR-23b-5p, and bta-miR-2411-3p) were validated via quantitative RT-PCR. Some of their target proteins were also analyzed using Western blotting. High 70 kDa heat shock protein and low Caspase-9 expressions (p < 0.01) were found in DFD beef, suggesting the downregulation of apoptosis. These results suggest the importance of miRNAs in regulating stress in muscle cells during early post mortem, as differences in the abundance of some of these miRNAs are still observed at 24 h post mortem. These changes lead to an inadequate conversion of muscle into meat, resulting in meats with quality defects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Meat)
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12 pages, 913 KiB  
Article
Impact of Noodle Formulation, Boiling Methodology and Their Interactions on Stable Hydrogen and Oxygen Isotope Ratios
by Jingjie Yang, Sara Wilhelmina Erasmus, Qianqian Sun, Boli Guo and Saskia Marieke van Ruth
Foods 2024, 13(6), 959; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13060959 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 902
Abstract
Stable isotopes are commonly utilized for the geographical origin verification of foods, including wheat. However, assessing processed products poses a greater challenge due to the alterations that take place during processing and which have not been fully elucidated yet. In the current study, [...] Read more.
Stable isotopes are commonly utilized for the geographical origin verification of foods, including wheat. However, assessing processed products poses a greater challenge due to the alterations that take place during processing and which have not been fully elucidated yet. In the current study, the effects of the formulation (the mass ratios of gluten to starch), boiling process and their interaction on the stable hydrogen (δ2H) and oxygen (δ18O) isotopic ratios of wheat noodles were evaluated. The δ2H and δ18O of noodles with different formulations (the mass ratios of gluten to starch) as raw materials, in uncooked and cooked (boiled in water) noodles, were examined. The results indicated that the δ2H of the boiled noodles ranged from −80.1‰ to −46.8‰ and were significantly lower than those of the raw materials, which ranged from −73.0‰ to −39.2‰, and the uncooked noodles, which ranged from −73.3‰ to −39.6‰. Oppositely, 18O was enriched in the boiled noodles, ranging from 27.7‰ to 31.3‰, compared with the uncooked noodles, ranging from 28.4‰ to 29.6‰. In addition, a significant interaction effect between the formulation and the boiling process was recorded for δ18O. This study shows that the hydrogen and oxygen stable isotopic compositions of noodles were significantly changed during the boiling process, and the isotopic fractionation varies with the different formulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Analytical Methods)
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16 pages, 2387 KiB  
Article
Effects of Viable and Heat-Inactivated Bifidobacterium longum D42 on Proliferation and Apoptosis of HT-29 Human Colon Cancer Cells
by Yifan Zhang, Ting Cao, Yuqi Wang, Rui Yang, Yu Han, Shuang Li, Deyu Liu, Yingxue Yue, Yun Cao, Bailiang Li, Song Wang and Guicheng Huo
Foods 2024, 13(6), 958; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13060958 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 938
Abstract
Bifidobacterium longum is a common probiotic; both viable and heat-inactivated Bifidobacterium longum have many probiotic effects, such as anticancer effects. But some mechanisms of anticancer effects are still unclear, especially for heat-inactivated probiotics. In this study, we analyzed the effects of viable and [...] Read more.
Bifidobacterium longum is a common probiotic; both viable and heat-inactivated Bifidobacterium longum have many probiotic effects, such as anticancer effects. But some mechanisms of anticancer effects are still unclear, especially for heat-inactivated probiotics. In this study, we analyzed the effects of viable and heat-inactivated Bifidobacterium longum D42 on human colon cancer cells (HT-29). Cell proliferation, membrane permeability and apoptosis were detected by using the CCK-8 method, LDH method and Annexin V-FITC/PI kits. The ROS level and mitochondrial membrane potential were examined using the fluorescent probes DCFH-DA and JC-1. Real-time fluorescence quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) and Western blot were used to detect the expression of mitochondrial apoptosis pathway genes and proteins. The results showed that viable and heat-inactivated Bifidobacterium longum D42 at concentrations of 1 × 106 CFU/mL significantly inhibited the proliferation of and increased the level of LDH release of HT-29 colon cancer cells. We found that they could increase the apoptosis rate of HT-29 cells. Moreover, they could also induce apoptosis by inducing cells to produce ROS and destroying the mitochondrial membrane potential of cells. Further studies found that they could increase the mRNA transcription and protein expression levels of the Caspase-3, Caspase-9 and Bax genes in cells, and reduce the mRNA transcription and protein expression levels of the Bcl-2 gene. In summary, our findings revealed that viable and heat-inactivated Bifidobacterium longum D42 have inhibitory effects on proliferation and promote the apoptosis of human colon cancer cells, and also have certain adjuvant drug therapeutic effects and have potential application value in the adjuvant treatment of colon cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Microbiology)
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14 pages, 638 KiB  
Article
Probiotic Properties of Lactococcus lactis Strains Isolated from Natural Whey Starter Cultures
by Ida De Chiara, Rosangela Marasco, Milena Della Gala, Alessandra Fusco, Giovanna Donnarumma and Lidia Muscariello
Foods 2024, 13(6), 957; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13060957 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1282
Abstract
Lactococcus lactis is a lactic acid bacterium (LAB), generally recognized as safe, and has been widely used in the food industry, especially in fermented dairy products. Numerous studies have evaluated the technological and probiotic properties of lactococci; however, few studies have reported the [...] Read more.
Lactococcus lactis is a lactic acid bacterium (LAB), generally recognized as safe, and has been widely used in the food industry, especially in fermented dairy products. Numerous studies have evaluated the technological and probiotic properties of lactococci; however, few studies have reported the probiotic characteristics of L. lactis strains isolated from dairy products. In this work, probiotic potential, including survival in simulated gastric juice, tolerance to bile salts, hydrophobicity, and auto- and co-aggregation, was evaluated in L. lactis strains from natural whey starter cultures. The results highlighted the potential probiotic properties of some strains under study, which showed high values of hydrophobicity and auto-aggregation and low values of co-aggregation with the tested pathogenic strains. In addition, studies of safety parameters, such as antibiotic susceptibility and haemolytic activity, confirmed the safety status of all strains under study. Finally, the four most promising strains were investigated for their ability to inhibit the enteroinvasive Escherichia coli (EIEC) and Salmonella Typhimurium adhesion to epithelial cells, using a model of co-cultured epithelial cells. The results demonstrated that L. lactis strains A3-A5-I4-I7 showed the ability to compete with pathogens as well as the ability to exert a protective effect on cells previously infected with E. coli or S. Typhimurium. The identification of new probiotic LAB strains from dairy products aims to produce novel functional foods. Full article
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14 pages, 3669 KiB  
Article
Qualitative and Quantitative Metabolite Comparison of Korean Traditional Alcoholic Beverages: Takju, Yakju, and Traditional-Soju
by Hyun-Ji Tak, Na-Rae Lee, Sowon Yang, So-Young Kim and Choong-Hwan Lee
Foods 2024, 13(6), 956; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13060956 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 698
Abstract
With increasing interest in Korean foods and beverages, Korean traditional alcoholic beverages need to be studied. To characterize Korean traditional alcoholic beverages, we analyzed the metabolites of Takju, Yakju, and Traditional-Soju using 48 commercial products. We performed non-targeted metabolite profiling using [...] Read more.
With increasing interest in Korean foods and beverages, Korean traditional alcoholic beverages need to be studied. To characterize Korean traditional alcoholic beverages, we analyzed the metabolites of Takju, Yakju, and Traditional-Soju using 48 commercial products. We performed non-targeted metabolite profiling using gas chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC-TOF-MS) and identified 33 significantly discriminant metabolites, including nine organic acids, three amino acids, and seven fatty acids, in the three types of alcoholic beverage. Subsequently, we quantified the profiled metabolites in each product and compared their contents to identify alcoholic beverage type-specific metabolites. Thus, we figured out seven metabolites using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves. The results revealed that octadecanoic acid (limit of detection (LOD) to 168.72 mg/L), nonanoic acid (LOD to 112.54 mg/L), and octanoic acid (8.00 to 145.08 mg/L) in Takju; succinic acid (LOD to 1.90 mg/mL), heptanoic acid (LOD to 343.23 mg/L), and hexadecanoic acid (20.28 to 126.45 mg/L) in Yakju; and malonic acid (LOD to 19.13 mg/mL) in Traditional-Soju, with an area under the curve (AUC) > 0.7, are important metabolites that can distinguish the type of alcoholic beverage. Our results provide qualitative and quantitative metabolite information about Korean traditional alcoholic beverages that can be used by consumers and manufacturers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Drinks and Liquid Nutrition)
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19 pages, 3302 KiB  
Article
Carbon Dot-Mediated Photodynamic Treatment Improves the Quality Attributes of Post-Harvest Goji Berries (Lycium barbarum L.) via Regulating the Antioxidant System
by Juan Du, Zhi-Jing Ni, Wei Wang, Kiran Thakur, Run-Hui Ma, Wen-Ping Ma and Zhao-Jun Wei
Foods 2024, 13(6), 955; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13060955 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 964
Abstract
Carbon dots (CDs) have been proposed as photosensitizers in photodynamic treatment (PDT), owing to their excellent biological attributes and budding fruit preservation applications. In the present study, CDs (4.66 nm) were synthesized for photodynamic treatment to improve the quality attributes in post-harvest goji [...] Read more.
Carbon dots (CDs) have been proposed as photosensitizers in photodynamic treatment (PDT), owing to their excellent biological attributes and budding fruit preservation applications. In the present study, CDs (4.66 nm) were synthesized for photodynamic treatment to improve the quality attributes in post-harvest goji berries. The prepared CDs extended the storage time of the post-harvest goji berries by 9 d. The CD-mediated PDT postponed the hardness and decay index loss, reduced the formation of malondialdehyde (MDA), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and superoxide anion (O2•−) significantly, and delayed the loss of vital nutrients like the total protein, phenols, and flavonoids. The CD-mediated PDT improved the catalase (CAT), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), peroxidase (POD), phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL), glutathione reductase (GR), and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities, but did not improve polyphenol oxidase (PPO) activity. In addition, The CD-mediated PDT induced the accumulation of ascorbic acid (ASA) and glutathione (GSH). Overall, a CD-mediated PDT could extend the storage time and augment the quality attributes in post-harvest fresh goji berries by regulating the antioxidant system. Full article
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21 pages, 6717 KiB  
Article
Green Extraction Strategy Using Bio-Based Aqueous Biphasic Systems for Polyphenol Valorization from Grape By-Product
by Aleksandra Dimitrijević, Slađana Marić, Ana Jocić, Danijela Tekić, Jasmina Mušović and Joana S. Amaral
Foods 2024, 13(6), 954; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13060954 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1117
Abstract
Polyphenols are natural compounds with enhanced antioxidant properties. They are present in relatively high concentrations in fruit/vegetable by-products. Therefore, there is a need for the development of efficient and cost-effective methods for the separation and purification of these valuable compounds. Traditional extraction with [...] Read more.
Polyphenols are natural compounds with enhanced antioxidant properties. They are present in relatively high concentrations in fruit/vegetable by-products. Therefore, there is a need for the development of efficient and cost-effective methods for the separation and purification of these valuable compounds. Traditional extraction with organic solvents needs to be switched to novel methods that are more efficient, with reduced extraction times and low consumption of organic solvents. Aiming at developing sustainable processes for the separation and purification of phenolic compounds, we used three model compounds, namely resveratrol, quercetin, and gallic acid, to investigate ionic liquid-based aqueous biphasic systems (IL-ABSs) formed by cholinium-based IL in combination with polypropylene glycol with a molecular mass of 400 g/mol (PPG400). The ABS composition in the two-phase region was selected according to a previously determined phase diagram. Extraction studies indicated the preferential partition of resveratrol and quercetin toward the hydrophobic PPG-rich phase that is mainly dominated by its hydrophobic nature and the strong salting-out effect of ILs. On the other hand, due to its considerably hydrophilic nature, gallic acid preferentially migrates toward the IL phase. The achieved results from grape stem extract demonstrated high extraction efficiencies of cholinium dihydrogen phosphate (~99% for resveratrol for the PPG phase and 78% for gallic acid for the IL phase), with considerable selectivity, demonstrating promising outcomes for potential applications. Full article
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13 pages, 3304 KiB  
Article
A Magnetic Beads-Based Sandwich Chemiluminescence Enzyme Immunoassay for the Rapid and Automatic Detection of Lactoferrin in Milk
by Wenjie Shen, Zhihong Xuan, Hongmei Liu, Kai Huang, Xiao Guan and Baoyuan Guo
Foods 2024, 13(6), 953; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13060953 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 925
Abstract
Lactoferrin (LF), an iron-binding glycoprotein with immunological properties and a high nutritional value, has emerged as a prominent research focus in the field of food nutrition. Lactoferrin is widely distributed in raw milk and milk that has undergone low-temperature heat treatment during pasteurization, [...] Read more.
Lactoferrin (LF), an iron-binding glycoprotein with immunological properties and a high nutritional value, has emerged as a prominent research focus in the field of food nutrition. Lactoferrin is widely distributed in raw milk and milk that has undergone low-temperature heat treatment during pasteurization, making its rapid and accurate detection crucial for ensuring the quality control of dairy products. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay-based analytical protocol has often been referred to for the detection of LF in real samples. Signal amplification was accomplished using the streptavidin–biotin system. Here, an automated magnetic beads-based sandwich chemiluminescence enzyme immunoassay (MBs-sCLEIA) system was developed for the quantification of lactoferrin in pasteurized milk. The MBs-sCLEIA system consists of an automated chemiluminescence-based analyzer and a lactoferrin MBs-sCLEIA assay kit. Notably, our proposed method eliminates the need for pretreatment procedures and enables the direct addition of milk samples, allowing for the automatic quantitative detection of lactoferrin within a rapid 17 min timeframe for up to eight samples simultaneously. The MBs-sCLEIA was linear over the range of 7.24–800 ng/mL and displayed a limit of detection (LOD) of 2.85 ng/mL. As its good recovery and CV values indicate, the method exhibited high precision and accuracy. Furthermore, it was verified that it was selective towards five additional common milk proteins. A good correlation was observed between the results from the MBs-sCLEIA and heparin affinity column-HPLC (r2 = 0.99042), which proves to be a useful and practicable way of conducting an accurate analysis of lactoferrin in dairy products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Milk and Dairy Products: Quality, Microorganisms and Health Benefits)
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9 pages, 264 KiB  
Communication
Screening Traditional Foods for the Prevention of Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli K88ac (F4ac) Attachment to IPEC-J2 Cells
by Yanan Zhu, Changyan Shao and Susana María Martín-Orúe
Foods 2024, 13(6), 952; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13060952 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 631
Abstract
Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is the major diarrhoea-causing pathogen world-wide. Fimbria–receptor recognition is the primary step when attachment of ETEC to the intestine occurs. This study aims to evaluate the potential of some traditional foods, particularly those rich in β-glucans, as analogues for [...] Read more.
Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is the major diarrhoea-causing pathogen world-wide. Fimbria–receptor recognition is the primary step when attachment of ETEC to the intestine occurs. This study aims to evaluate the potential of some traditional foods, particularly those rich in β-glucans, as analogues for fimbriae or receptors in reducing ETEC colonisation. The adhesion test (AT) demonstrated that aqueous extracts of highland barley (EHB), black rice (EBR) and little millet (ELT) at concentrations of 2% and 1% could attach to more ETEC K88ac (p < 0.001), as well as aqueous extracts of shiitake (EST) (p < 0.01). The competition test (CT) revealed that EHB and EST significantly prevented ETEC K88ac from adhering to intestinal epithelial cells (IPEC-J2) at 2% (p < 0.01) and 1% (p < 0.05). In the Exclusion Test (ET) and the displacement test (DT), the food samples were unable to impair ETEC colonisation in terms of blocking receptors or removing attached pathogens. These results demonstrate how some traditional foods such as highland barley and shiitake contain bioactive compounds that interfere with the attachment of ETEC to the intestinal epithelium, and their potential in the prevention and treatment of ETEC diarrhoea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nutraceuticals, Functional Foods, and Novel Foods)
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18 pages, 967 KiB  
Article
Characterization of a Fermented Beverage from Discarded Bread Flour Using Two Commercial Probiotics Starters
by Teresa Sigüenza-Andrés, Javier Mateo, José M. Rodríguez-Nogales, Manuel Gómez and Irma Caro
Foods 2024, 13(6), 951; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13060951 - 21 Mar 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 844
Abstract
The aim of this study was to develop a plant-based fermented beverage from discarded bread flour and to analyze its characteristics as a novel functional product. Eight cereal-based probiotic beverages were produced by inoculating discarded bread flour with a monoculture of Lactobacillus rhamnosus or [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to develop a plant-based fermented beverage from discarded bread flour and to analyze its characteristics as a novel functional product. Eight cereal-based probiotic beverages were produced by inoculating discarded bread flour with a monoculture of Lactobacillus rhamnosus or a co-culture consisting of lactic acid bacteria and Bifidobacterium. Two additional factors, namely, the addition of amylolytic enzymes and matrix desalting, were studied alongside the type of culture. The organic acid content and microbial growth were monitored during fermentation and storage (15 and 21 days). Proximal composition, gamma-aminobutyric acid, and volatile compounds were measured in the final product. Sensory analysis was only conducted on the enzymatically treated samples. The estimated shelf life of the bread beverage was 15 days. The variables studied significantly influenced the amountof organic acids and specific volatile compounds responsible for the aroma of fermented beverages. The beverage produced via co-culturing was preferred by consumers in the sensory test. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Biotechnology)
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21 pages, 809 KiB  
Review
Production of Polyhydroxyalkanoates for Biodegradable Food Packaging Applications Using Haloferax mediterranei and Agrifood Wastes
by Lorena Atarés, Amparo Chiralt, Chelo González-Martínez and Maria Vargas
Foods 2024, 13(6), 950; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13060950 - 20 Mar 2024
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1395
Abstract
Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are high-value biodegradable polyesters with thermoplastic properties used in the manufacturing of different products such as packaging films. PHAs have gained much attention from researchers and industry because of their biobased nature and appropriate features, similar to conventional synthetic plastics. This [...] Read more.
Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are high-value biodegradable polyesters with thermoplastic properties used in the manufacturing of different products such as packaging films. PHAs have gained much attention from researchers and industry because of their biobased nature and appropriate features, similar to conventional synthetic plastics. This review aims to discuss some of the recent solutions to challenges associated with PHA production. The implementation of a cost-effective process is presented by following different strategies, such as the use of inexpensive carbon sources, the selection of high-producing microorganisms, and the functionalization of the final materials to make them suitable for food packaging applications, among others. Research efforts are needed to improve the economic viability of PHA production at a large scale. Haloferax mediterranei is a promising producer of PHAs due to its ability to grow in non-sterile conditions and the possibility of using seawater to prepare the growth medium. Additionally, downstream processing for PHA extraction can be simplified by treating the H. mediterranei cells with pure water. Further research should focus on the optimization of the recycling conditions for the effluents and on the economic viability of the side streams reutilization and desalinization as an integrated part of PHA biotechnological production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Packaging and Preservation)
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11 pages, 2411 KiB  
Article
Effect of UV-C Treatment on Shelf Life of Soft Wheat Bread (Bun)
by Rita Chiara Romano, Cristina Restuccia, Chiara Alessandra Carmen Rutigliano, Santi Spartà, Lucia Parafati, Riccardo N. Barbagallo and Giuseppe Muratore
Foods 2024, 13(6), 949; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13060949 - 20 Mar 2024
Viewed by 859
Abstract
The effect of exposure of soft wheat buns to Ultraviolet-C radiation (UV-C, 253.7 nm) was studied as an alternative to conventional treatments to control fungal spoilage and prolong shelf life. To identify the most suitable operating conditions, the study included preliminary tests on [...] Read more.
The effect of exposure of soft wheat buns to Ultraviolet-C radiation (UV-C, 253.7 nm) was studied as an alternative to conventional treatments to control fungal spoilage and prolong shelf life. To identify the most suitable operating conditions, the study included preliminary tests on the permeability of films to UV-C irradiation, and on treatment antifungal efficacy on target microorganisms (Penicillium digitatum and Saccharomycopsis fibuligera) in Petri dishes. A 125 µm T9250B film (Cryovac® Sealed Air S.r.l), commercially available for long-life bread treated with ethanol and conditioned in a modified atmosphere, was selected to pack buns before the UV-C treatment. The study was carried out along with the observation of the fungal growth of buns artificially inoculated with suspensions of P. digitatum and S. fibuligera, treated under UV-C at a distance of 25 cm between bread and the 15 W UV-C source, in comparison to untreated buns used as control. Estimation of fungal growth as well as sensory evaluation was made 2, 4, 7, 10 and 14 days after the treatment. UV-C treated buns showed a noticeable reduction of fungal spoilage and kept a tender texture for up to two weeks after packaging. UV-C treatment represents a good opportunity for the bakery industry, reducing costs and ensuring a prolonged shelf life of a commercial product, respecting the health and hedonistic expectations of the customers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Packaging and Preservation)
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14 pages, 3658 KiB  
Article
Modulatory Effects of Lactarius hatsudake on Obesity and Gut Microbiota in High-Fat Diet-Fed C57BL/6 Mice
by Hanyu Zhu and Tao Hou
Foods 2024, 13(6), 948; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13060948 - 20 Mar 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 874
Abstract
Lactarius hatsudake (LH), a great wild endemic fungus, contains rich nutritional components with medicinal properties. The effects of LH on body weight, liver weight, liver injury, blood lipids, and gut microbiota in C57BL/6 mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD) for 8 weeks was [...] Read more.
Lactarius hatsudake (LH), a great wild endemic fungus, contains rich nutritional components with medicinal properties. The effects of LH on body weight, liver weight, liver injury, blood lipids, and gut microbiota in C57BL/6 mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD) for 8 weeks was examined in this research. Though there was no clear impact on weight loss, the findings indicate that LH treatment effectively decreased liver damage caused by HFD, as well as lowered serum total cholesterol, triacylglycerol, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. Additionally, it positively influenced gut microbiota to resemble that of mice on a normal diet. In HFD-fed mice, LH markedly boosted the levels of Parabacteroides, unclassified Muribaculaceae, Oscillibacter, and unclassified Oscillospiraceae, while reducing the abundance of Lachnospiraceae NK4A136 group and Erysipelatoclostridium, as well as the ratio of Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes. Further analysis of correlation indicate a possible connection between obesity and gut microbiota. Obesity-related indices show a positive association with unclassified Eubacterium coprostanoligenes group, Blautia, and Erysipelatoclostridium, while displaying a negative correlation with unclassified Muribaculaceae, unclassified Clostridia vadinBB60 group, Helicobacter, Oscillibacter, unclassified Ruminococcaceae, Parabacteroides, and unclassified Oscillospiraceae. The results suggest that LH can help combat obesity and may have the potential to be utilized as a functional food. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Microbiology)
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14 pages, 3834 KiB  
Article
Preparation and Investigation of Sustained-Release Nanocapsules Containing Cumin Essential Oil for Their Bacteriostatic Properties
by Mingcheng Zhang, Mingyang Li, Danyang Zhang, Ying Yu, Kaixian Zhu, Xiaodan Zang and Dengyong Liu
Foods 2024, 13(6), 947; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13060947 - 20 Mar 2024
Viewed by 848
Abstract
Cumin essential oil chitosan nanocapsules (CENPs) were prepared through the ionic gelation method by blending chitosan (CS) with cumin essential oil (CEO) in different proportions (1:0.8, 1:1, 1:2, 1:3, 1:4). Subsequently, these nanocapsules were characterized and evaluated for their antibacterial properties to determine [...] Read more.
Cumin essential oil chitosan nanocapsules (CENPs) were prepared through the ionic gelation method by blending chitosan (CS) with cumin essential oil (CEO) in different proportions (1:0.8, 1:1, 1:2, 1:3, 1:4). Subsequently, these nanocapsules were characterized and evaluated for their antibacterial properties to determine the optimal cumin essential oil encapsulation and antibacterial efficacy. The outcomes demonstrated that the highest encapsulation efficiency of CENPs was 52%, achieved with a 1:3 CS/CEO ratio. At this point, the nanoparticles had the smallest particle size (584.67 nm) and a regular spherical distribution in the emulsion. Moreover, the CENPs could release the encapsulated CEOs slowly, leading to efficient inhibition of E. coli and L. monocytogenes over a relatively extended period (24–36 h) compared to the CS and CEO. This research offers a promising approach for the use of nanocapsules in food preservation. Full article
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16 pages, 8887 KiB  
Article
Aviation Mutagenesis Alters the Content of Volatile Compounds in Dahongpao (Camellia sinensis) Leaves and Improves Tea Quality
by Jianghua Ye, Qi Zhang, Pengyuan Cheng, Yuhua Wang, Jishuang Zou, Shaoxiong Lin, Mingzhe Li, Miao Jia, Yiling Chen, Xiaoli Jia and Haibin Wang
Foods 2024, 13(6), 946; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13060946 - 20 Mar 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 774
Abstract
Aviation mutagenesis is a fast and efficient breeding method. In this study, we analyzed the effect of aviation mutagenesis on volatile compounds and odor characteristics in Dahongpao fresh leaves and gross tea for the first time. The results showed that aviation mutagenesis significantly [...] Read more.
Aviation mutagenesis is a fast and efficient breeding method. In this study, we analyzed the effect of aviation mutagenesis on volatile compounds and odor characteristics in Dahongpao fresh leaves and gross tea for the first time. The results showed that aviation mutagenesis significantly increased the total volatile compounds of Dahongpao fresh leaves and gross tea. Aviation mutagenesis most critically significantly increased the content of beta-myrcene in Dahongpao fresh leaves, prompting its conversion to beta-pinene, cubebol, beta-phellandrene, zingiberene, (Z,Z)-3,6-nonadienal, and 6-pentyloxan-2-one after processing, which in turn enhanced the fruity, green, spicy, and woody odor characteristics of the gross tea. This study provided a reference for further exploration of aviation mutagenic breeding of Camellia sinensis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Study on Aroma Components and Bioactive Compounds of Tea)
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13 pages, 831 KiB  
Article
Consumer Insights to Eco-Design a Hot Sauce: Understanding Household Use for Product Optimization through Focus Groups and a Home-Use-Test Study
by Paula Torán-Pereg, Elena Romeo-Arroyo, Stéfani Novoa, Guillermo Pardo and Laura Vázquez-Araújo
Foods 2024, 13(6), 945; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13060945 - 20 Mar 2024
Viewed by 758
Abstract
Promoting sustainable choices requires making food with proper environmental performance readily available to consumers, but these products must be appealing to ensure market success. The aim of the present study was to investigate the acceptability and perception of an eco-designed product using a [...] Read more.
Promoting sustainable choices requires making food with proper environmental performance readily available to consumers, but these products must be appealing to ensure market success. The aim of the present study was to investigate the acceptability and perception of an eco-designed product using a home-use-test approach to identify its desired extrinsic features and to better understand how consumers would use the product in a real consumption context. First, three focus groups were conducted to identify the key perceived aspects of the product. A consumer survey was designed with the information gathered from the focus groups, and a home-use-test was then performed (n = 207). Results showed high acceptance of the product, as well as its potential corrections, e.g., to thicken the texture of the sauce. A total of 64% of consumers expressed their willingness to switch from a well-known brand to the new developed product, and this hypothetical shift could lead up to a 58% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions associated with the product use. Understanding consumer expectations at every design stage helps the development of market-viable and sustainable products, and the present research proposes an interesting methodology that can be effectively applied during the final stages of eco-designed food development. Full article
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18 pages, 452 KiB  
Article
Breaking the Taboo: Understanding the Relationship between Perception, Beliefs, Willingness to Eat Insects, and Food Neophobia among Polish Adults
by Julita Szlachciuk and Sylwia Żakowska-Biemans
Foods 2024, 13(6), 944; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13060944 - 20 Mar 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 750
Abstract
Insects are a potential source of protein for direct human consumption or indirectly in processed foods. The research examined consumer perceptions and beliefs regarding the consumption of insects and food products containing insect proteins. The study aimed to identify beliefs about insect consumption, [...] Read more.
Insects are a potential source of protein for direct human consumption or indirectly in processed foods. The research examined consumer perceptions and beliefs regarding the consumption of insects and food products containing insect proteins. The study aimed to identify beliefs about insect consumption, assess the perception of food products containing added insect proteins, and gain a deeper understanding of the role of food neophobia in accepting insects as an alternative source of protein. The data were collected in 2023 through a cross-sectional quantitative online survey of a group that was representative of consumers by age, gender, and region sample (n = 1000) who were responsible for food purchasing decisions in their households. While many respondents viewed foods enriched with insect protein as innovative and environmentally friendly, others found the idea of consuming insects repulsive and expressed concerns about potential allergic reactions. Food neophobia was a determining factor in respondents’ beliefs and perceptions regarding the consumption of insects and food products containing insect proteins. Respondents were more inclined to consume products with added insect protein rather than visibly identifiable insects. The results highlight the need for targeted marketing strategies and product development approaches to align with the varied expectations of consumers in the rapidly expanding insect-based food market. Full article
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12 pages, 2243 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Thai Silkworm (Bombyx mori L.) Hydrolysate Powder for Blood Pressure Reduction in Hypertensive Rats
by Artorn Anuduang, Wan Aida Wan Mustapha, Seng Joe Lim, Somchai Jomduang, Suphat Phongthai, Sakaewan Ounjaijean and Kongsak Boonyapranai
Foods 2024, 13(6), 943; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13060943 - 20 Mar 2024
Viewed by 892
Abstract
The angiotensin-I converting enzyme (ACE) plays a pivotal role in hypertension, and while ACE inhibitors are conventional in hypertension management, synthetic medications often carry undesirable side effects. This has spurred interest in alternative ACE inhibitors derived from natural sources, such as edible insects. [...] Read more.
The angiotensin-I converting enzyme (ACE) plays a pivotal role in hypertension, and while ACE inhibitors are conventional in hypertension management, synthetic medications often carry undesirable side effects. This has spurred interest in alternative ACE inhibitors derived from natural sources, such as edible insects. The silkworm, recognized for its bioactive peptides with potent ACE-inhibitory properties, has emerged as a promising candidate. This study aims to evaluate the acute toxicity and assess the antihypertensive efficacy of crude mature silkworm hydrolysate powder (MSHP) obtained from mature Thai silkworms. Utilizing the commercial protease Alcalase®2.4L, MSHP was administered at various doses, including 50, 100, and 200 mg kg−1, to hypertensive rats. The investigation spans a 14-day period to observe any potential acute toxic effects. Results indicate that MSHP exhibits LD50 values equal to or exceeding 2000 mg kg−1, signifying a low level of acute toxicity. Furthermore, the effective dose for blood pressure reduction in hypertensive rats surpasses 100 mg kg−1 of rat body weight. These findings suggest that MSHP derived from Thai mature silkworms holds promise as a natural antihypertensive food source. The implications of this research extend to the development of functional foods, functional ingredients, and dietary supplements aimed at managing hypertension. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Ingredients for Safe and Health-Promoting Functional Foods)
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