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Foods, Volume 9, Issue 4 (April 2020) – 159 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Legumes are rich sources of health-promoting bioactives such as saponins. Epidemiological studies [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
In Vitro Effect of the Common Culinary Herb Winter Savory (Satureja montana) against the Infamous Food Pathogen Campylobacter jejuni
Foods 2020, 9(4), 537; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040537 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 748
Abstract
The culinary herb Satureja montana, known as winter savory, is an ingredient of traditional dishes known in different parts of the world. As an ingredient of foods it has the potential to improve their safety. In this study, the herb’s activity was [...] Read more.
The culinary herb Satureja montana, known as winter savory, is an ingredient of traditional dishes known in different parts of the world. As an ingredient of foods it has the potential to improve their safety. In this study, the herb’s activity was investigated against Campylobacter jejuni, the leading cause of the most prevalent bacterial gastroenteritis worldwide. The ethanolic extract and essential oil of the herb were chemically characterized and six pure compounds—carvacrol, thymol, thymoquinone, p-cymene, γ-terpinene, and rosmarinic acid—were chosen for further analysis. The antimicrobial activity of the ethanolic extract (MIC 250 mg/L) was 4-fold higher compared to the essential oil. Carvacrol, thymol and thymoquinone had the strongest antimicrobial effect (MIC 31.25 mg/L) and a strong synergistic activity between carvacrol and thymol was determined (FICi 0.2). Strong inhibitory effect on C. jejuni efflux pumps (2-fold inhibition) and disruption of membrane integrity (> 80% disruption) of the herb were determined as modes of action. For resistance against the herb, C. jejuni need efflux pumps, although increased resistance against this herb does not co-occur with increased efflux pump activity, as for antibiotics. This study shows the potential of a common culinary herb for the reduction of the food pathogen C. jejuni without increasing resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial and Antioxidant Activities of Natural Compounds)
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Open AccessArticle
A Chemometric Approach to Establish Underlying Connections between Lipid and Protein Oxidation and Instrumental Color and Texture Characteristics in Brazilian Dry-cured Loin
Foods 2020, 9(4), 536; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040536 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 443
Abstract
This study aimed to use chemometrics to evaluate the influence of lipid and protein oxidation on the color and texture characteristics of Brazilian dry-cured loin (Socol, BDL). Upon exploration using hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA), two clusters were formed, indicating that higher water activity [...] Read more.
This study aimed to use chemometrics to evaluate the influence of lipid and protein oxidation on the color and texture characteristics of Brazilian dry-cured loin (Socol, BDL). Upon exploration using hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA), two clusters were formed, indicating that higher water activity (aw) was associated with higher lipid and protein oxidation. However, this fact was associated with softening and low color quality (a*, chroma, and cured color). In a more in-depth exploration, using principal component analysis (PCA) for each cluster separately, connections between protein and lipid oxidation were found in high aw, as demonstrated by their statistical association. In the same way, relationships between high hardness and carbonyl contents were obtained only in high aw. In addition, an overall relationship (p < 0.05) between nondestructive measurements, such as hardness, and destructive methods (malonaldehyde and carbonyl contents) demonstrate that nondestructive techniques can be promising for further studies in the method replacement field. In this study, reasonable explanations of the connections between oxidative damage and quality traits in Socol are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Meat)
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Open AccessArticle
Pleurotus Mushrooms Content in Glucans and Ergosterol Assessed by ATR-FTIR Spectroscopy and Multivariate Analysis
Foods 2020, 9(4), 535; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040535 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 510
Abstract
Attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy was used to monitor the infrared absorption spectra of 79 mushroom samples from 29 Pleurotus ostreatus, P. eryngii and P. nebrodensis strains cultivated on wheat straw, grape marc and/or by-products of the olive industry. The [...] Read more.
Attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy was used to monitor the infrared absorption spectra of 79 mushroom samples from 29 Pleurotus ostreatus, P. eryngii and P. nebrodensis strains cultivated on wheat straw, grape marc and/or by-products of the olive industry. The spectroscopic analysis provided a chemical insight into the mushrooms examined, while qualitative and quantitative differences in regions related to proteins, phenolic compounds and polysaccharides were revealed among the species and substrates studied. Moreover, by using advanced chemometrics, correlations of the recorded mushrooms’ spectra versus their content in glucans and ergosterol, commonly determined through traditional analytical techniques, allowed the development of models predicting such contents with a good predictive power (R2: 0.80–0.84) and accuracy (low root mean square error, low relative error and representative to the predicted compounds spectral regions used for the calibrations). Findings indicate that FTIR spectroscopy could be exploited as a potential process analytical technology tool in the mushroom industry to characterize mushrooms and to assess their content in bioactive compounds. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Phenolic Acids of Plant Origin—A Review on Their Antioxidant Activity In Vitro (O/W Emulsion Systems) Along with Their in Vivo Health Biochemical Properties
Foods 2020, 9(4), 534; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040534 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 758
Abstract
Nature has generously offered a wide range of herbs (e.g., thyme, oregano, rosemary, sage, mint, basil) rich in many polyphenols and other phenolic compounds with strong antioxidant and biochemical properties. This paper focuses on several natural occurring phenolic acids (caffeic, carnosic, ferulic, gallic, [...] Read more.
Nature has generously offered a wide range of herbs (e.g., thyme, oregano, rosemary, sage, mint, basil) rich in many polyphenols and other phenolic compounds with strong antioxidant and biochemical properties. This paper focuses on several natural occurring phenolic acids (caffeic, carnosic, ferulic, gallic, p-coumaric, rosmarinic, vanillic) and first gives an overview of their most common natural plant sources. A summary of the recently reported antioxidant activities of the phenolic acids in o/w emulsions is also provided as an in vitro lipid-based model system. Exploring the interfacial activity of phenolic acids could help to further elucidate their potential health properties against oxidative stress conditions of biological membranes (such as lipoproteins). Finally, this review reports on the latest literature evidence concerning specific biochemical properties of the examined phenolic acids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Benefits of Plant Extracts for Human Health)
Open AccessEditorial
Rapid Methods for Assessing Food Safety and Quality
Foods 2020, 9(4), 533; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040533 - 23 Apr 2020
Viewed by 491
Abstract
Food safety represents a central issue for the global food chain and a daily concern for all people. Contaminated food by physical, biological or chemical hazards can harm consumers, increasing demand for health services, government expenditure on public health and other social costs. [...] Read more.
Food safety represents a central issue for the global food chain and a daily concern for all people. Contaminated food by physical, biological or chemical hazards can harm consumers, increasing demand for health services, government expenditure on public health and other social costs. The quality assurance programs are based on the continuous monitoring of raw matter, production process, storage and distribution of the end products, including the purpose for which they are intended. Such programs represent an important objective for food producers, not only for the potential risk to human health, but also for the economic losses to which they can be subjected. The development and use of rapid analytical methods able to identify the main failures in food production can benefit food companies by saving time and costs for the good and fast control of products through the entire food chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rapid Methods for Assessing Food Safety and Quality)
Open AccessConcept Paper
Food Environment Typology: Advancing an Expanded Definition, Framework, and Methodological Approach for Improved Characterization of Wild, Cultivated, and Built Food Environments toward Sustainable Diets
Foods 2020, 9(4), 532; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040532 - 22 Apr 2020
Viewed by 1739
Abstract
The food environment is a critical place in the food system to implement interventions to support sustainable diets and address the global syndemic of obesity, undernutrition, and climate change, because it contains the total scope of options within which consumers make decisions about [...] Read more.
The food environment is a critical place in the food system to implement interventions to support sustainable diets and address the global syndemic of obesity, undernutrition, and climate change, because it contains the total scope of options within which consumers make decisions about which foods to acquire and consume. In this paper, we build on existing definitions of the food environment, and provide an expanded definition that includes the parameter of sustainability properties of foods and beverages, in order to integrate linkages between food environments and sustainable diets. We further provide a graphical representation of the food environment using a socio-ecological framework. Next, we provide a typology with descriptions of the different types of food environments that consumers have access to in low-, middle-, and high-income countries including wild, cultivated, and built food environments. We characterize the availability, affordability, convenience, promotion and quality (previously termed desirability), and sustainability properties of food and beverages for each food environment type. Lastly, we identify a methodological approach with potential objective and subjective tools and metrics for measuring the different properties of various types of food environments. The definition, framework, typology, and methodological toolbox presented here are intended to facilitate scholars and practitioners to identify entry points in the food environment for implementing and evaluating interventions that support sustainable diets for enhancing human and planetary health. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Formation of Acrylamide and other Heat-Induced Compounds during Panela Production
Foods 2020, 9(4), 531; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040531 - 22 Apr 2020
Viewed by 504
Abstract
Non-centrifugal cane sugar (panela) is an unrefined sugar obtained through intense dehydration of sugarcane juice. Browning, antioxidant capacity (measured by ABTS (2,2'-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) assay and total phenolic content) and the formation of acrylamide and other heat-induced compounds such as hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) and [...] Read more.
Non-centrifugal cane sugar (panela) is an unrefined sugar obtained through intense dehydration of sugarcane juice. Browning, antioxidant capacity (measured by ABTS (2,2'-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) assay and total phenolic content) and the formation of acrylamide and other heat-induced compounds such as hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) and furfural, were evaluated at different stages during the production of block panela. Values ranged between below the limit of quantitation (LOQ)–890 µg/kg, < LOQ–2.37 mg/kg, < LOQ–4.5 mg/kg, 0.51–3.6 Abs 420 nm/g, 0.89–4.18 mg gallic acid equivalents (GAE)/g and 5.08–29.70 µmol TE/g, for acrylamide, HMF, furfural, browning, total phenolic content and ABTS (all data in fresh weight), respectively. Acrylamide significantly increased as soluble solid content increased throughout the process. The critical stages for the formation of acrylamide, HMF and furfural were the concentration of the clarified juice in the concentration stage to get the panela honey and the final stage. Similar trends were observed for the other parameters. This research concludes that acrylamide, HMF and furfural form at a high rate during panela processing at the stage of juice concentration by intense evaporation. Therefore, the juice concentration stage is revealed as the critical step in the process to settle mitigation strategies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Twelve-Month Studies on Perilla Oil Intake in Japanese Adults—Possible Supplement for Mental Health
Foods 2020, 9(4), 530; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040530 - 22 Apr 2020
Viewed by 497
Abstract
Perilla oil (PO), rich in α-linolenic acid (LNA, C18:3, ω-3), is increasingly alleged to have numerous health benefits in humans. However, the current reports detailing the effects of PO on human mental health are not adequate. Therefore, in the current investigation we compared [...] Read more.
Perilla oil (PO), rich in α-linolenic acid (LNA, C18:3, ω-3), is increasingly alleged to have numerous health benefits in humans. However, the current reports detailing the effects of PO on human mental health are not adequate. Therefore, in the current investigation we compared the effects of PO or placebo treatment on the mental condition of healthy adult Japanese volunteers. At baseline and after 12 months of treatment, mental health condition was assessed using the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS) and Apathy Scale, and serum biochemical parameters were determined. From baseline to 12 months of intervention, both SDS depression and apathy scores improved significantly in the PO-administered group. Compared to those of control group, serum norepinephrine and serotonin levels after 12 months decreased in the PO-administered group. The enhanced mental state observed in PO-subjects was accompanied by LNA level increases in erythrocyte plasma membranes. Our data demonstrate that PO intake enhances blood LNA levels and may maintain healthy mental conditions in adult subjects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oils and Bioactive Lipids: Quality, Stability, and Funcitionality)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Demographic Factors on Sheepmeat Sensory Scores of American, Australian and Chinese Consumers
Foods 2020, 9(4), 529; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040529 - 22 Apr 2020
Viewed by 430
Abstract
Along with animal production factors, it is important to understand whether demographic factors influence untrained consumer perceptions of eating quality. This study examined the impact of demographic factors and sheepmeat consumption preferences on eating quality scores of American, Australian and Chinese untrained consumers. [...] Read more.
Along with animal production factors, it is important to understand whether demographic factors influence untrained consumer perceptions of eating quality. This study examined the impact of demographic factors and sheepmeat consumption preferences on eating quality scores of American, Australian and Chinese untrained consumers. M. longissimus lumborum (LL) and m. semimembranosus (SM) were grilled according to sheep Meat Standards Australia protocols and evaluated by 2160 consumers for tenderness, juiciness, flavour and overall liking. Linear mixed effects models were used to analyse the impact of demographic factors and sheepmeat consumption habits on eating quality scores. Consumer age, gender, number of adults in a household and income had the strongest effect on sensory scores (P ≤ 0.05), although, the impact was often different across countries. Frequency of lamb consumption had an impact on sensory scores of American, Australian and Chinese consumers but larger sample sizes in some underrepresented subclasses for Australian and Chinese consumers are needed. Results suggest it is important to balance sensory panels for demographic factors of age, gender, number of adults and income to ensure sensory preferences are accurately represented for these particular populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consumer Preferences and Acceptance of Meat Products)
Open AccessArticle
Tangsa and Wancho of North-East India Use Animals not only as Food and Medicine but also as Additional Cultural Attributes
Foods 2020, 9(4), 528; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040528 - 22 Apr 2020
Viewed by 412
Abstract
Cultural and ritual uses of animals beyond those for food and medicine should not be dismissed if we wish to understand the pressure that wildlife is under. We documented such uses for the Tangsa and Wancho tribals of Eastern Arunachal Pradesh (India). Group [...] Read more.
Cultural and ritual uses of animals beyond those for food and medicine should not be dismissed if we wish to understand the pressure that wildlife is under. We documented such uses for the Tangsa and Wancho tribals of Eastern Arunachal Pradesh (India). Group discussions with assembled members of 10 accessible villages in each of the tribal areas were carried out in 2015 and 2016. Vernacular names of culturally important species were noted and details of hunting practices were recorded. The different uses of animals and their parts during rituals and festivals and their significance in decorations and adornments, in supernatural beliefs and in connection with tribal folklore (stories) are documented. Folklore helps us understand why some species are hunted and consumed while others for no apparent reason are killed or simply ignored. Similarities as well as differences between the two tribes were recorded and possible reasons for the differences are given. The roles that the government as well as the tribal leaders play to halt or slow down the erosion and gradual disappearance of traditions that define the two cultures without losing already rare and endangered species are highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Ethnobiology of Wild Foods)
Open AccessReply
Reply to Comment on Watanabe, A.; Kadota, Y.; Yokoyama, H.; Tsuruda, S.; Kamio, R.; Tochio, T.; Shimomura, Y.; Kitaura, Y. Experimental Determination of the Threshold Dose for Bifidogenic Activity of Dietary 1-Kestose in Rats. Foods 2020, 9, 4
Foods 2020, 9(4), 527; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040527 - 22 Apr 2020
Viewed by 473
Abstract
The manuscript entitled “Comment on Experimental Determination of the Threshold Dose for Bifidogenic Activity of Dietary 1-Kestose in Rats” by Shen et al [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Korean Red Ginseng Suppresses the Expression of Oxidative Stress Response and NLRP3 Inflammasome Genes in Aged C57BL/6 Mouse Ovaries
Foods 2020, 9(4), 526; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040526 - 22 Apr 2020
Viewed by 553
Abstract
Female infertility and subfertility have been increasing in prevalence worldwide. One contributing factor is ovarian function, which is highly age-dependent. Korean red ginseng is widely used as an herbal medicine and has many beneficial properties. We aimed to determine the effect of the [...] Read more.
Female infertility and subfertility have been increasing in prevalence worldwide. One contributing factor is ovarian function, which is highly age-dependent. Korean red ginseng is widely used as an herbal medicine and has many beneficial properties. We aimed to determine the effect of the Korean red ginseng saponin fraction (KRGSF) on ovarian function in female C57BL/6 mice. Ovaries were isolated from 6- and 12-month-old female mice and treated with KRGSF, and then RNA was extracted and microarray analysis was performed. The expression of key genes was subsequently verified using quantitative RT-PCR. Aging markedly increased the expression of genes encoding oxidative stress factors and NLRP3 inflammasome components, but the expression of these genes was significantly reduced by KRGSF treatment. Thus, the reduction in ovarian health with age is associated with greater oxidative stress response and inflammation, but KRGSF treatment may limit these age-related changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development of Functional Food Ingredients from Natural Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Various Statistical Approaches to Assess and Predict Carcass and Meat Quality Traits
Foods 2020, 9(4), 525; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040525 - 22 Apr 2020
Viewed by 479
Abstract
The beef industry is organized around different stakeholders, each with their own expectations, sometimes antagonistic. This article first outlines these differing perspectives. Then, various optimization models that might integrate all these expectations are described. The final goal is to define practices that could [...] Read more.
The beef industry is organized around different stakeholders, each with their own expectations, sometimes antagonistic. This article first outlines these differing perspectives. Then, various optimization models that might integrate all these expectations are described. The final goal is to define practices that could increase value for animal production, carcasses and meat whilst simultaneously meeting the main expectations of the beef industry. Different models previously developed worldwide are proposed here. Two new computational methodologies that allow the simultaneous selection of the best regression models and the most interesting covariates to predict carcass and/or meat quality are developed. Then, a method of variable clustering is explained that is accurate in evaluating the interrelationships between different parameters of interest. Finally, some principles for the management of quality trade-offs are presented and the Meat Standards Australia model is discussed. The “Pareto front” is an interesting approach to deal jointly with the different sets of expectations and to propose a method that could optimize all expectations together. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Pre-Mortem Factors on Meat Quality)
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Open AccessReview
Review of Research into the Determination of Acrylamide in Foods
Foods 2020, 9(4), 524; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040524 - 22 Apr 2020
Viewed by 663
Abstract
Acrylamide (AA) is produced by high-temperature processing of high carbohydrate foods, such as frying and baking, and has been proved to be carcinogenic. Because of its potential carcinogenicity, it is very important to detect the content of AA in foods. In this paper, [...] Read more.
Acrylamide (AA) is produced by high-temperature processing of high carbohydrate foods, such as frying and baking, and has been proved to be carcinogenic. Because of its potential carcinogenicity, it is very important to detect the content of AA in foods. In this paper, the conventional instrumental analysis methods of AA in food and the new rapid immunoassay and sensor detection are reviewed, and the advantages and disadvantages of various analysis technologies are compared, in order to provide new ideas for the development of more efficient and practical analysis methods and detection equipment. Full article
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Open AccessPerspective
The Food Systems in the Era of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Crisis
Foods 2020, 9(4), 523; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040523 - 22 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 4111
Abstract
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19, broadly referred to as “coronavirus”) a global pandemic, while thousands of infections and deaths are reported daily. The current article explores the food systems in the era of the [...] Read more.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19, broadly referred to as “coronavirus”) a global pandemic, while thousands of infections and deaths are reported daily. The current article explores the food systems in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. It provides insights about the properties of bioactive ingredients of foods and herbs for the support of the human immune system against infections before discussing the possibility of COVID-19 transmission through the food chain. It also highlights the global food security issues arising from the fact that one-third of the world’s population is on lockdown. Finally, it underlines the importance of sustainability in the food chain in order to avoid or reduce the frequency of relevant food and health crises in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Security and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Various Soybean Allergen Levels in Genetically and Non-Genetically Modified Soybeans
Foods 2020, 9(4), 522; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040522 - 21 Apr 2020
Viewed by 649
Abstract
Several analyses of allergen levels have been reported as part of the safety assessment of genetically modified (GM) soybean; however, few comprehensive analyses have included new allergens. Thus, in this study the levels of eight major soybean allergens, including Gly m 7 (a [...] Read more.
Several analyses of allergen levels have been reported as part of the safety assessment of genetically modified (GM) soybean; however, few comprehensive analyses have included new allergens. Thus, in this study the levels of eight major soybean allergens, including Gly m 7 (a newly reported soybean allergen), were semi-quantitatively detected in six GM soybeans and six non-GM soybeans using antigen-immobilized ELISA and immunoblotting. We also analyzed the IgE-reactivity to these soybeans through immunoblotting, using sera from three soybean-allergic patients. The results showed that there were no significant differences in the levels of the major soybean allergens in the GM and non-GM soybeans. Moreover, there were no significant differences in the serum IgE-reactive protein profiles of the patients, as analyzed using immunoblotting. These results indicate that, in general, CP4-EPSPS-transfected GM soybeans are not more allergenic than non-GM soybeans. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Canjiqueira Fruit: Are We Losing the Best of It?
Foods 2020, 9(4), 521; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040521 - 21 Apr 2020
Viewed by 446
Abstract
Fruits and byproducts are valuable sources of nutrients and bioactive compounds, which are associated with a decreased risk of developing several diseases, such as cancer, inflammation, cardiovascular diseases, and Alzheimer’s. The fruits of canjiqueira (Byrsonima cydoniifolia) are already exploited as a [...] Read more.
Fruits and byproducts are valuable sources of nutrients and bioactive compounds, which are associated with a decreased risk of developing several diseases, such as cancer, inflammation, cardiovascular diseases, and Alzheimer’s. The fruits of canjiqueira (Byrsonima cydoniifolia) are already exploited as a food resource, while the seeds are discarded. This study aimed at showing the potential of the whole fruit of canjiqueira. Elemental characterization was performed on ICP OES, while thermal stability was assessed on thermogravimetry. The determination of the fatty acid profile was carried out on gas chromatography and bioactive compound identification using liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. Results show that both parts of canjiqueira fruit are a source of various minerals, such as Ca, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, and Mn while the seed only is a good source for Zn. Oleic and linoleic acids are the main compounds in pulp and seed. The thermal stability of seed oil is superior to pulp oil, while piceatannol concentration is higher in seed than pulp. All parts of canjiqueira fruit may be used as a strategy to address nutrition issues and are valuable ingredients to prospective food products. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Fermentation, Drying and Roasting on Biogenic Amines and Other Biocompounds in Colombian Criollo Cocoa Beans and Shells
Foods 2020, 9(4), 520; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040520 - 21 Apr 2020
Viewed by 699
Abstract
The composition of microbiota and the content and pattern of bioactive compounds (biogenic amines, polyphenols, anthocyanins and flavanols), as well as pH, color, antioxidant and reducing properties were investigated in fermented Criollo cocoa beans and shells. The analyses were conducted after fermentation and [...] Read more.
The composition of microbiota and the content and pattern of bioactive compounds (biogenic amines, polyphenols, anthocyanins and flavanols), as well as pH, color, antioxidant and reducing properties were investigated in fermented Criollo cocoa beans and shells. The analyses were conducted after fermentation and drying (T1) and after two thermal roasting processes (T2, 120 °C for 22 min; T3, 135 °C for 15 min). The fermentation and drying practices affected the microbiota of beans and shells, explaining the great variability of biogenic amines (BAs) content. Enterobacteriaceae were counted in a few samples with average values of 103 colony forming units per gram (CFU g−1), mainly in the shell, while Lactobacillus spp. was observed in almost all the samples, with the highest count in the shell with average values of 104 CFU g−1. After T1, the total BAs content was found to be in a range of 4.9÷127.1 mg kg−1DFW; what was remarkable was the presence of cadaverine and histamine, which have not been reported previously in fermented cocoa beans. The total BAs content increased 60% after thermal treatment T2, and of 21% after processing at T3, with a strong correlation (p < 0.05) for histamine (ß = 0.75) and weakly correlated for spermidine (ß = 0.58), spermine (ß = 0.50), cadaverine (ß = 0.47) and serotonine (ß = 0.40). The roasting treatment of T3 caused serotonin degradation (average decrease of 93%) with respect to unroasted samples. However, BAs were detected in a non-alarming concentration (e.g., histamine: n.d ÷ 59.8 mg kg−1DFW; tyramine: n.d. ÷ 26.5 mg kg−1DFW). Change in BAs level was evaluated by principal component analysis. PC1 and PC2 explained 84.9% and 4.5% of data variance, respectively. Antioxidant and reducing properties, polyphenol content and BAs negatively influenced PC1 with both polyphenols and BA increasing during roasting, whereas PC1 was positively influenced by anthocyanins, catechin and epicatechin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biogenic Amines and Food Safety)
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Open AccessComment
Comment on Experimental Determination of the Threshold Dose for Bifidogenic Activity of Dietary 1-Kestose in Rats. Foods 2020, 9, 4
Foods 2020, 9(4), 519; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040519 - 21 Apr 2020
Viewed by 383
Abstract
Currently, our group is undertaking a program trying to evaluate the bifidogenic effect/activity of different prebiotics and their dose-effect relationships [...] Full article
Open AccessReview
Advances in Analysis and Detection of Major Mycotoxins in Foods
Foods 2020, 9(4), 518; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040518 - 20 Apr 2020
Viewed by 633
Abstract
Mycotoxins are the most widely studied biological toxins, which contaminate foods at very low concentrations. This review describes the emerging extraction techniques and the current and alternatives analytical techniques and methods that have been used to successfully detect and identify important mycotoxins. Some [...] Read more.
Mycotoxins are the most widely studied biological toxins, which contaminate foods at very low concentrations. This review describes the emerging extraction techniques and the current and alternatives analytical techniques and methods that have been used to successfully detect and identify important mycotoxins. Some of them have proven to be particularly effective in not only the detection of mycotoxins, but also in detecting mycotoxin-producing fungi. Chromatographic techniques such as high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with various detectors like fluorescence, diode array, UV, liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry, and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, have been powerful tools for analyzing and detecting major mycotoxins. Recent progress of the development of rapid immunoaffinity-based detection techniques such as immunoassays and biosensors, as well as emerging technologies like proteomic and genomic methods, molecular techniques, electronic nose, aggregation-induced emission dye, quantitative NMR and hyperspectral imaging for the detection of mycotoxins in foods, have also been presented. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Study of the Effects Induced by Ball Milling Treatment on Different Types of Hydrocolloids in a Corn Starch–Rice Flour System
Foods 2020, 9(4), 517; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040517 - 20 Apr 2020
Viewed by 446
Abstract
The effects of ball milling treatment on both the structure and properties of guar gum (GG), tara gum (TG), and methylcellulose (MC) were analyzed prior to assessing their potential interactions with starch components when they are used alone or in blends in a [...] Read more.
The effects of ball milling treatment on both the structure and properties of guar gum (GG), tara gum (TG), and methylcellulose (MC) were analyzed prior to assessing their potential interactions with starch components when they are used alone or in blends in a corn starch–rice flour system. X-ray diffraction profiles showed that the ball milling caused a reduction in the crystallin domain and, in turn, a diminished viscosity of the GG aqueous solutions. Despite an increase in its viscosity properties, effects on TG were minimal, while the milled MC exhibited reduced crystallinity, but similar viscosity. When both milled and un-milled hydrocolloids were individually added to the starch–flour system, the pasting properties of the resulting mixtures seemed to be affected by the type of hydrocolloid added rather than the structural changes induced by the treatment. All hydrocolloids increased the peak viscosity of the binary blends (especially pure GG), but only milled and un-milled MC showed values of setback and final viscosity similar to those of the individual starch. Ball milling seemed to be more effective when two combined hydrocolloids (milled GG and MC) were simultaneously used. No significant differences were observed in the viscoelastic properties of the blends, except for un-milled GG/starch, milled TG/starch, and milled MC/milled TG/starch gels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rheology and Quality Research of Cereal-Based Food)
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Open AccessArticle
Quality Parameters and Consumer Acceptance of Jelly Candies Based on Pomegranate Juice “Mollar de Elche
Foods 2020, 9(4), 516; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040516 - 20 Apr 2020
Viewed by 589
Abstract
There is an upward trend towards reducing or suppressing additives in foods, as well as reducing the use of E-numbers in labels providing clean label foods. Therefore, the development of confectionary products based exclusively on natural ingredients with antioxidant properties may offer valuable [...] Read more.
There is an upward trend towards reducing or suppressing additives in foods, as well as reducing the use of E-numbers in labels providing clean label foods. Therefore, the development of confectionary products based exclusively on natural ingredients with antioxidant properties may offer valuable solutions to the confectionery industry. Fruit juices and purées may provide functional and organoleptic properties in jelly candies in a natural way. The consumption of pomegranate fruit and derivative products has increased due to their association with health benefits. The aim of this study was to determine consumer insights about pomegranate-based jellies, cultivar “Mollar de Elche”, as affected by formulation (100% pomegranate juice or 50%–50% pomegranate juice–apple purée) and type of sweetener (sugar or honey), and to link affective and descriptive data from sensory studies. The most valued quality parameter of pomegranate products, red color (measured by the green–red coordinate, a*), was not negatively affected by jelly preparation. It was determined that the main liking drivers for pomegranate jellies were intense red color and high brightness. The results might be used by pomegranate processing companies to improve their manufacturing protocols and to develop successful products meeting consumer demands and needs. The formulation containing 20% gelatin, pure “Mollar de Elche” pomegranate juice, 1% citric acid, and sucrose as sweetener provided the best quality of jellies in terms of color, texture, antioxidant capacity, and sensory attributes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flavor and Aroma Analysis as a Tool for Quality Control of Foods)
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Open AccessArticle
Virtual Reality and Immersive Environments on Sensory Perception of Chocolate Products: A Preliminary Study
Foods 2020, 9(4), 515; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040515 - 20 Apr 2020
Viewed by 614
Abstract
Traditional booths where sensory evaluation usually takes place are highly controlled and therefore have limited ecological validity. Since virtual reality (VR) is substantially interactive and engaging, it has the potential to be applied in sensory science. In this preliminary study, three chocolate types [...] Read more.
Traditional booths where sensory evaluation usually takes place are highly controlled and therefore have limited ecological validity. Since virtual reality (VR) is substantially interactive and engaging, it has the potential to be applied in sensory science. In this preliminary study, three chocolate types (milk, white, and dark) were evaluated under three contextual settings, including sensory booths (control) and two VR environments (360-degree videos using VR headsets: (i) a pleasant sightseeing tour, and (ii) a live music concert). Untrained participants (n = 67) were asked to rate their liking and the intensity of different chocolate attributes based on the 9-point hedonic scale and just-about-right-scale (JAR). Emotions were evaluated using the check-all-that-apply (CATA) method. Results showed that there were no significant effects of context type on the tasting experience; however, there were significant effects of chocolate type. Milk and white chocolates were preferred over dark chocolate irrespective of the context type. Additionally, more positive emotions were elicited for the dark chocolate in the “virtual live concert” environment. Dark chocolate under the other two environments was associated with negative emotional terms, such as “bored” and “worried.” In terms of more reliable and ecologically valid sensory responses, further research is needed to match suitable VR environments to different chocolate types. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Table Olives: An Overview on Effects of Processing on Nutritional and Sensory Quality
Foods 2020, 9(4), 514; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040514 - 20 Apr 2020
Viewed by 443
Abstract
Table olives are a pickled food product obtained by a partial/total debittering and subsequent fermentation of drupes. Their peculiar sensory properties have led to a their widespread use, especially in Europe, as an appetizer or an ingredient for culinary use. The most relevant [...] Read more.
Table olives are a pickled food product obtained by a partial/total debittering and subsequent fermentation of drupes. Their peculiar sensory properties have led to a their widespread use, especially in Europe, as an appetizer or an ingredient for culinary use. The most relevant literature of the last twenty years has been analyzed in this review with the aim of giving an up-to-date overview of the processing and storage effects on the nutritional and sensory properties of table olives. Analysis of the literature has revealed that the nutritional properties of table olives are mainly influenced by the processing method used, even if preharvest-factors such as irrigation and fruit ripening stage may have a certain weight. Data revealed that the nutritional value of table olives depends mostly on the balanced profile of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids and the contents of health-promoting phenolic compounds, which are best retained in natural table olives. Studies on the use of low salt brines and of selected starter cultures have shown the possibility of producing table olives with an improved nutritional profile. Sensory characteristics are mostly process-dependent, and a relevant contribute is achieved by starters, not only for reducing the bitterness of fruits, but also for imparting new and typical taste to table olives. Findings reported in this review confirm, in conclusion, that table olives surely constitute an important food source for their balanced nutritional profile and unique sensory characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Characterization and Processing of Table Olives)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Reconstituted Broth on the Taste-Active Metabolites and Sensory Quality of Stewed and Roasted Pork-Hock
Foods 2020, 9(4), 513; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040513 - 20 Apr 2020
Viewed by 413
Abstract
Stewed pork-hock in soy sauce (SPHSS) is a cuisine that is stewed in broth with abundant taste-active compounds. Broth plays an important role in determining the meat taste. In order to promote the comprehensive utilization of the broth we treated it by spray [...] Read more.
Stewed pork-hock in soy sauce (SPHSS) is a cuisine that is stewed in broth with abundant taste-active compounds. Broth plays an important role in determining the meat taste. In order to promote the comprehensive utilization of the broth we treated it by spray drying, and secondary processed it into reconstituted broth. Two new products: SPH (stewed pork-hock with reconstituted broth) and MRPH (marinated and roasted pork-hock with reconstituted broth) were processed. Their metabolome consisted of amino acids, sugars, organic acids, nucleic acids and their derivatives. PC1 and PC2 explained a total of 63.07% and 35.31% of the variation, respectively. All the metabolite levels in SPH were higher than those in SPHSS, except for histidine and phosphorylcholine. SPH kept the highest levels of total FAAs and total sugars, which corresponded to the highest score of overall taste in the three products. These results demonstrated that reconstituted broth can promote the metabolite concentration in and improve the taste of pork-hock. Compared with marinating and roasting, reconstituted broth was more suitable for stewing pork-hock. This study preliminarily explored a feasible method to comprehensively utilize the surplus broth in food processing. SPH with a shortened processing time by a reconstituted broth have potential application in the industry due to the high concentrations of taste metabolites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Processing and Preservation Technologies for Meat and Meat Products)
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Open AccessArticle
Applicability of Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) Pre-Treatment for a Convective Two-Step Drying Process
Foods 2020, 9(4), 512; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040512 - 19 Apr 2020
Viewed by 537
Abstract
Available literature and previous studies focus on the Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) parameters influencing the drying process of fruit and vegetable tissue. This study investigates the applicability of PEF pre-treatment considering the industrial-scale drying conditions of onions and related quality parameters of the [...] Read more.
Available literature and previous studies focus on the Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) parameters influencing the drying process of fruit and vegetable tissue. This study investigates the applicability of PEF pre-treatment considering the industrial-scale drying conditions of onions and related quality parameters of the final product. First, the influence of the PEF treatment (W = 4.0 kJ/kg, E = 1.07 kV/cm) on the convective drying was investigated for samples dried at constant temperatures (65, 75, and 85 °C) and drying profiles (85/55, 85/65, and 85/75 °C). These trials were performed along with the determination of the breakpoint to assure an industrial drying profile with varying temperatures. A reduction in drying time of 32% was achieved by applying PEF prior to drying at profile 85/65 °C (target moisture ≤7%). The effective water diffusion coefficient for the last drying section has been increased from 1.99 × 10−10 m2/s to 3.48 × 10−10 m2/s in the PEF-treated tissue. In case of the 85/65 °C drying profile, the PEF-treated sample showed the highest benefits in terms of process efficiency and quality compared to the untreated sample. A quality analysis was performed considering the colour, amount of blisters, pyruvic acid content, and the rehydration behavior comparing the untreated and PEF-treated sample. The PEF-treated sample showed practically no blisters and a 14.5% higher pyruvic acid content. Moreover, the rehydration coefficient was 47% higher when applying PEF prior to drying. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Engineering and Technology)
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Open AccessArticle
An Analysis of Public Opinions Regarding Take-Away Food Safety: A 2015–2018 Case Study on Sina Weibo
Foods 2020, 9(4), 511; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040511 - 18 Apr 2020
Viewed by 527
Abstract
Take-away food (also referred to as “take-out” food in different regions of the world) is a very convenient and popular dining choice for millions of people. In this article, we collect online textual data regarding “take-away food safety” from Sina Weibo between 2015 [...] Read more.
Take-away food (also referred to as “take-out” food in different regions of the world) is a very convenient and popular dining choice for millions of people. In this article, we collect online textual data regarding “take-away food safety” from Sina Weibo between 2015 and 2018 using the Octopus Collector. After the posts from Sina Weibo were preprocessed, users’ emotions and opinions were analyzed using natural language processing. To our knowledge, little work has studied public opinions regarding take-away food safety. This paper fills this gap by using latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA) and k-means to extract and cluster topics from the posts, allowing for the users’ emotions and related opinions to be mined and analyzed. The results of this research are as follows: (1) data analysis showed that the degree of topics have increased over the years, and there are a variety of topics about take-away food safety; (2) emotional analysis showed that 93.8% of the posts were positive; and (3) topic analysis showed that the topic of public discussion is diverse and rich. Our analysis of public opinion on take-away food safety generates insights for government and industry stakeholders to promote the healthy and vigorous development of the food industry. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Development of a Model System for Tasting Grain Varieties
Foods 2020, 9(4), 510; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040510 - 17 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 456
Abstract
This study investigated suitable approaches and effective applications for the evaluation of grain flavor differences among cultivars. A model system that helps to facilitate the characterization of flavors in grain varieties was developed using sorghum grain as a tool. Five different applications were [...] Read more.
This study investigated suitable approaches and effective applications for the evaluation of grain flavor differences among cultivars. A model system that helps to facilitate the characterization of flavors in grain varieties was developed using sorghum grain as a tool. Five different applications were initially used, including cooked grain, porridge, cookies, muffins, and extruded puffed snacks. Six highly trained sensory panelists participated in the project. The effectiveness of each application was determined based on the results of the attribute generation process and from panelist feedback. The results indicate that the combination of a cooked whole grain procedure and the use of flour made into cookies provides an effective and potent model for flavor characterization in both their grain form and as finished products. Both the recipes for the cooked grain and cookie applications effectively brought out the flavor characteristics of the grains as well as differentiated the flavor differences between grain cultivars. The developed model can be applied for the flavor evaluation of multiple grain types and can help researchers understand the flavor differences among grain cultivars. As a result, such knowledge will help to facilitate the selection of suitable products with favorable characteristics for specific applications as well as for selective breeding purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensory Evaluation and Flavor Analysis of Foods)
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Open AccessEditorial
Sensory Nudges: The Influences of Environmental Contexts on Consumers’ Sensory Perception, Emotional Responses, and Behaviors toward Foods and Beverages
Foods 2020, 9(4), 509; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040509 - 17 Apr 2020
Viewed by 457
Abstract
Food products with highly acceptable flavors are not always successful in the marketplace. Sales of identical food products sold in two different stores often differ. Patrons’ choices of specific menu items vary depending on menu designs at restaurants. Such examples suggest that consumer [...] Read more.
Food products with highly acceptable flavors are not always successful in the marketplace. Sales of identical food products sold in two different stores often differ. Patrons’ choices of specific menu items vary depending on menu designs at restaurants. Such examples suggest that consumer behavior related to eating, preparing, or purchasing foods and beverages is typically complex, dynamic, and sensitive. There is a growing body of evidence that environmental cues surrounding foods and beverages can modulate consumer perception and behavior in the context of eating and drinking. In light of increasing interest in environmental cues, this Special Issue was designed to introduce recent research that highlights how sensory cues derived from environmental cues can modulate consumer perceptions, emotional responses, and behavior related to foods and beverages. The eleven articles addressed in this Special Issue provide informative and insightful findings that may be applied to a wide range of food-related sites, including grocery stores, retail markets, restaurants, dining facilities, and public dining areas. The findings from these articles also suggest that product developers, sensory professionals, retailers, marketers, and business owners should consider not only sensory aspects of food products, but also sensory cues derived from surrounding contexts to better understand consumer perception, acceptability, and behavior toward their food products. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Influence of Grape Pomace Intake on Nutritional Value, Lipid Oxidation and Volatile Profile of Poultry Meat
Foods 2020, 9(4), 508; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040508 - 17 Apr 2020
Viewed by 516
Abstract
Grape pomace (GP) represents the main solid by-product deriving from grape processing. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of dietary GP intake on nutritional quality, lipid oxidation and volatile profile of chicken meat. A total of 112 Ross 508 [...] Read more.
Grape pomace (GP) represents the main solid by-product deriving from grape processing. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of dietary GP intake on nutritional quality, lipid oxidation and volatile profile of chicken meat. A total of 112 Ross 508 broilers were randomly divided into 4 groups and fed for 21 days with a standard diet. For the remaining 28 days of the trial, the control group (CG) continued to receive a standard diet, while the experimental groups (EGs) were fed with diets containing different GP concentrations: 2.5% (EG1), 5% (EG2) and 7% (EG3). Following the slaughtering, samples of breast meat were collected from each group. No significant differences were observed for pH, cooking loss and meat brightness, whereas the GP intake showed effectiveness in inducing variations in drip loss, meat yellowness and redness. The experimental feeding strategy also induced changes in the fatty acid profile, with an overall increase in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), mainly due to the increase in concentration of linoleic acid. The dietary supplementation also induced a decrease in lipid oxidation in meat, a finding also confirmed by the reduction in volatile aldehydes in 7 days stored raw meat. The feeding strategy based on the use of GP did not induce detrimental effects on the quality of broiler meat and showed the potential to lengthen the shelf-life as a direct consequence of the improvement in the oxidative stability. Overall, the present study showed a viable way for the recovery and the valorization of an agro-industrial by-product, with potential benefits also from an environmental point of view. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Grapes and their Derivatives in Functional Foods)
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