Editor's Choice Articles

Editor’s Choice articles are based on recommendations by the scientific editors of MDPI journals from around the world. Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to readers, or important in the respective research area.The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.

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Article
Development of Multifunctional Pullulan/Chitosan-Based Composite Films Reinforced with ZnO Nanoparticles and Propolis for Meat Packaging Applications
Foods 2021, 10(11), 2789; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10112789 - 12 Nov 2021
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 1234
Abstract
Pullulan/chitosan-based multifunctional edible composite films were fabricated by reinforcing mushroom-mediated zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnONPs) and propolis. The ZnONPs were synthesized using enoki mushroom extract and characterized using physicochemical methods. The mushroom-mediated ZnONPs showed an irregular shape with an average size of 26.7 ± [...] Read more.
Pullulan/chitosan-based multifunctional edible composite films were fabricated by reinforcing mushroom-mediated zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnONPs) and propolis. The ZnONPs were synthesized using enoki mushroom extract and characterized using physicochemical methods. The mushroom-mediated ZnONPs showed an irregular shape with an average size of 26.7 ± 8.9 nm. The combined incorporation of ZnONPs and propolis pointedly improved the composite film’s UV-blocking property without losing transparency. The reinforcement with ZnONPs and propolis improved the mechanical strength of the pullulan/chitosan-based film by ~25%. Additionally, the water vapor barrier property and hydrophobicity of the film were slightly increased. In addition, the pullulan/chitosan-based biocomposite film exhibited good antioxidant activity due to the propolis and excellent antibacterial activity against foodborne pathogens due to the ZnONPs. The developed edible pullulan/chitosan-based film was used for pork belly packaging, and the peroxide value and total number of aerobic microorganisms were significantly reduced in meat wrapped with the pullulan/chitosan/ZnONPs/propolis film. Full article
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Article
Deep Eutectic Solvent-Assisted Extraction, Partially Structural Characterization, and Bioactivities of Acidic Polysaccharides from Lotus Leaves
Foods 2021, 10(10), 2330; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10102330 - 30 Sep 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 977
Abstract
Lotus leaves are often discarded as byproducts in the lotus industry. Polysaccharides are regarded as one of the essentially bioactive components in lotus leaves. Therefore, in order to promote the application of lotus leaves in the functional food industry, the deep eutectic solvent [...] Read more.
Lotus leaves are often discarded as byproducts in the lotus industry. Polysaccharides are regarded as one of the essentially bioactive components in lotus leaves. Therefore, in order to promote the application of lotus leaves in the functional food industry, the deep eutectic solvent (DES) assisted extraction of polysaccharides from lotus leaves (LLPs) was optimized, and structural and biological properties of LLPs extracted by DES and hot water were further investigated. At the optimal extraction conditions (water content of 61.0% in DES, extraction temperature of 92 °C, liquid-solid ratio of 31.0 mL/g and extraction time of 126 min), the maximum extraction yield (5.38%) was obtained. Furthermore, LLP-D extracted by DES and LLP-W extracted by hot water possessed the same sugar residues, such as 1,4-α-D-GalAp, 1,4-α-D-GalAMep, 1,3,6-β-D-Galp, 1,4-β-D-Galp, 1,5-α-L-Araf, and 1,2-α-L-Rhap, suggesting the presence of homogalacturonan (HG), rhamnogalacturonan I and arabinogalactan in both LLP-W and LLP-D. Notably, LLP-D was much richer in HG fraction than that of LLP-W, suggesting that the DES could assist to specifically extract HG from lotus leaves. Additionally, the lower molecular weight and higher content of uronic acids were observed in LLP-D, which might contribute to its much stronger in vitro antioxidant, hypoglycemic, and immunomodulatory effects. These findings suggest that the optimized DES assisted extraction method can be a potential approach for specific extraction of acidic polysaccharides with good bioactivities from lotus leaves for applications in the functional food industry. Full article
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Article
Development and Characterization of Fenugreek Protein-Based Edible Film
Foods 2021, 10(9), 1976; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10091976 - 24 Aug 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2078
Abstract
The present investigation studied the physicochemical, mechanical, structural, thermal, and morphological attributes of a novel edible film formed from fenugreek protein concentrate. Films were produced at different pH—9, 10, 11, and 12—and the effect of the pH on the films was studied. As [...] Read more.
The present investigation studied the physicochemical, mechanical, structural, thermal, and morphological attributes of a novel edible film formed from fenugreek protein concentrate. Films were produced at different pH—9, 10, 11, and 12—and the effect of the pH on the films was studied. As the pH increased, tensile strength increased while water vapor absorption decreased, which is interrelated to the surface morphological properties; as the pH increased, the surface became smoother and compact without any cavities. The films produced were darker in color. Fenugreek protein films exhibited good thermal stability. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) revealed the presence of strong bonding for the films made at alkaline pH. X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD) indicated the major structure of the film was amorphous. The study demonstrated that the fenugreek protein concentrate film has influential characteristics and can be used as an edible packaging film. Full article
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Article
Headspace/GC–MS Analysis and Investigation of Antibacterial, Antioxidant and Cytotoxic Activity of Essential Oils and Hydrolates from Rosmarinus officinalis L. and Lavandula angustifolia Miller
Foods 2021, 10(8), 1768; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10081768 - 30 Jul 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 1384
Abstract
In this work, essential oils (EOs) and hydrolates (Hys) of Rosmarinus officinalis L. and Lavandula angustifolia Mill., grown in Tuscany (Italy), were studied to describe their chemical composition and biological activities. The aromatic profile of the EOs liquid phase was carried out by [...] Read more.
In this work, essential oils (EOs) and hydrolates (Hys) of Rosmarinus officinalis L. and Lavandula angustifolia Mill., grown in Tuscany (Italy), were studied to describe their chemical composition and biological activities. The aromatic profile of the EOs liquid phase was carried out by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS), while the volatile composition of vapor phase EOs and Hys was performed by headspace (HS)/GC–MS. The obtained results show that monoterpene hydrocarbons (71.5% and 89.5%) were the main compounds, followed by oxygenated monoterpenes (26.0% and 10.5%) in the liquid and vapor phase of R. officinalis EO, respectively. The oxygenated monoterpenes were the main components of L. angustifolia EO, reaching 86.9% in the liquid phase and 53.7% in the vapor phase. Regarding Hys, they consisted only of oxygenated monoterpenes, and 1,8-cineole (56.2%) and linalool (42.9%), were the main components of R. officinalis and L. officinalis Hys, respectively. Their cytotoxicity was investigated on an SHSY5Y neuroblastoma cell line by thiazolyl blue tetrazolium bromide (MTT) test, showing a notable effect of the EOs with a time-independent manner of activity and half maximal effective concentration (EC50) values quite similar for the two plant species (from 0.05% to 0.06% v/v for the three time points evaluated). A measurable activity of Hys was also obtained although with higher EC50 values. The antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli ATCC® 25922, Pseudomonas fluorescens ATCC® 13525, Acinetobacter bohemicus DSM 102855 as Gram-negative bacteria and Kocuria marina DSM 16420, Bacillus cereus ATCC® 10876 as Gram-positive bacteria, was evaluated by the agar disk-diffusion method and the VPT (vapor phase test) to determinate the MIC (minimal inhibitory concentration) and the MBC (minimal bactericidal concentration) values. Both EOs possessed a high activity against all the bacterial strains with MIC values ranging from 0.19% to 3.13% v/v. Unlike EOs, Hys did not show an inhibition of the bacterial growth at the tested concentrations. Furthermore, antioxidant power was measured by 2,2′-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) diammonium salt-based (ABTS•+) and the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assays, showing a remarkable ability to reduce radicals by both EOs; Hys were slightly less active. The findings highlighted that R. officinalis and L. angustifolia EOs and Hys have a chemical composition rich in bioactive molecules, which can exert different biological activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemistry of Essential Oils and Food Flavours)
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Article
Effects of CaCl2 Treatment Alleviates Chilling Injury of Loquat Fruit (Eribotrya japonica) by Modulating ROS Homeostasis
Foods 2021, 10(7), 1662; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10071662 - 19 Jul 2021
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 1457
Abstract
The effects of calcium chloride (CaCl2) treatment on chilling injury (CI), reactive oxygen species (ROS) metabolism, and ascorbate-glutathione (AsA-GSH) cycle in loquat fruit at 1 °C storage for 35 d were investigated. The results indicated that CaCl2 treatment remarkably suppressed [...] Read more.
The effects of calcium chloride (CaCl2) treatment on chilling injury (CI), reactive oxygen species (ROS) metabolism, and ascorbate-glutathione (AsA-GSH) cycle in loquat fruit at 1 °C storage for 35 d were investigated. The results indicated that CaCl2 treatment remarkably suppressed the increase in browning index and firmness as well as the decrease in extractable juice rate. CaCl2 treatment also decreased the production of superoxide radical (O2), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) content, but increased the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), hydroxyl radical (OH) scavenging ability, the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and their gene expressions. Moreover, compared to the control loquat fruit, CaCl2-treated fruit maintained higher contents of AsA, GSH, higher levels of activities of ascorbate peroxidase (APX), glutathione reductase (GR), dehydroascorbate reductase (DHAR), and monodehydroascorbate reductase (MDHAR) and expressions of EjAPX, EjGR, EjMDHAR, and EjDHAR, but exhibited lower glutathione disulfide (GSSG) content. These results suggested that CaCl2 treatment alleviated CI in loquat fruit through enhancing antioxidant enzymes activities and AsA-GSH cycle system to quench ROS. Full article
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Article
Development and Characterization of Physical Modified Pearl Millet Starch-Based Films
Foods 2021, 10(7), 1609; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10071609 - 12 Jul 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1678
Abstract
Pearl millet is an underutilized and drought-resistant crop that is mainly used for animal feed and fodder. Starch (70%) is the main constituent of the pearl millet grain; this starch may be a good substitute for major sources of starch such as corn, [...] Read more.
Pearl millet is an underutilized and drought-resistant crop that is mainly used for animal feed and fodder. Starch (70%) is the main constituent of the pearl millet grain; this starch may be a good substitute for major sources of starch such as corn, rice, potatoes, etc. Starch was isolated from pearl millet grains and modified with different physical treatments (heat-moisture (HMT), microwave (MT), and sonication treatment (ST)). The amylose content and swelling capacity of the starches decreased after HMT and MT, while the reverse was observed for ST. Transition temperatures (onset (To), peak of gelatinization (Tp), and conclusion (Tc)) of the starches ranged from 62.92–76.16 °C, 67.95–81.05 °C, and 73.78–84.50 °C, respectively. After modification (HMT, MT, and ST), an increase in the transition temperatures was observed. Peak-viscosity of the native starch was observed to be 995 mPa.s., which was higher than the starch modified with HMT and MT. Rheological characteristics (storage modulus (G′) and loss modulus (G′′)) of the native and modified starches differed from 1039 to 1730 Pa and 83 to 94 Pa; the largest value was found for starch treated with ST and HMT. SEM showed cracks and holes on granule surfaces after HMT as well as MT starch granules. Films were prepared using both native and modified starches. The modification of the starches with different treatments had a significant impact on the moisture, transmittance, and solubility of films. The findings of this study will provide a better understanding of the functional properties of pearl millet starch for its possible utilization in film formation. Full article
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Article
Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Zingiber officinale roscoe and Allium subhirsutum: In Silico, Biochemical and Histological Study
Foods 2021, 10(6), 1383; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10061383 - 15 Jun 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 1400
Abstract
In this study, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of Zingiber officinale roscoe and Allium subhirsutum aqueous extracts were examined in a carrageenan-induced acute inflammation model. Some markers of inflammation such as hematological parameters, fibrinogen and C-reactive protein were measured. Variables reflecting oxidative stress [...] Read more.
In this study, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of Zingiber officinale roscoe and Allium subhirsutum aqueous extracts were examined in a carrageenan-induced acute inflammation model. Some markers of inflammation such as hematological parameters, fibrinogen and C-reactive protein were measured. Variables reflecting oxidative stress included thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), advanced oxidation of protein products (AOPP), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and glutathione were determined in both inflamed foci and erythrocytes. The in silico molecular docking simulation showed that the main components of Zingiber officinale roscoe and Allium subhirsutum bound to toll-like receptor 6 (TLR6) with high affinities. Moreover, histological examinations of paw edema were carried out. Both Zingiber officinale roscoe and Allium subhirsutum ameliorated the induced inflammation and oxidative stress status as outlined by anti-edematous, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Our investigation lends pharmacological support to the medical uses of these spices in the management of inflammatory disorders and oxidative damage. The results of the in silico assay satisfactory explain the in vivo effects as compared with indomethacin. Full article
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Article
Dietary Curcumin Alleviated Acute Ileum Damage of Ducks (Anas platyrhynchos) Induced by AFB1 through Regulating Nrf2-ARE and NF-κB Signaling Pathways
Foods 2021, 10(6), 1370; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10061370 - 14 Jun 2021
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 1379
Abstract
Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is a stable toxic metabolite threatening health of human and animal and widely contaminated animal feed and human food. This present study aimed to investigate the effects of dietary curcumin on ileum injury in ducks induced by AFB1 administration and [...] Read more.
Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is a stable toxic metabolite threatening health of human and animal and widely contaminated animal feed and human food. This present study aimed to investigate the effects of dietary curcumin on ileum injury in ducks induced by AFB1 administration and explore its underlying mechanisms. Ducks (N = 450, one-day-old male) with a similar weight were randomly assigned to 3 groups, containing the control group, AFB1 group (60 μg AFB1 kg−1 body weight) and curcumin (500 mg curcumin kg−1 diet) + AFB1 group. AFB1 administration markedly increased the ileum damage, AFB1-DNA adducts in the plasma and oxidation stress and inflammation. Adding curcumin into diet protected the ileum against morphology damage induced by AFB1 administration, decreased AFB1-DNA adducts in the plasma and eliminated oxidation stress and inflammation in the ileum of ducks. Anti-oxidation and anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin could protect the ileum against acute damage via activating Nrf2-ARE signaling pathway and inhibiting NF-κB signaling pathway. Conclusively, curcumin was a dietary anti-oxidation and anti-inflammation agent via activating Nrf2-ARE signaling pathway and inhibiting NF-κB signaling pathway to protect ileum against acute damage induced by AFB1 administration. Full article
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Article
Blockchain-Based Traceability System That Ensures Food Safety Measures to Protect Consumer Safety and COVID-19 Free Supply Chains
Foods 2021, 10(6), 1289; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10061289 - 04 Jun 2021
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 3243
Abstract
The world is facing an unprecedented socio-economic crisis caused by the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19). The virus is also spreading through the import and export food supply chains. The Chinese authorities have discovered the COVID-19 virus in various imported frozen meat packages. Traceability [...] Read more.
The world is facing an unprecedented socio-economic crisis caused by the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19). The virus is also spreading through the import and export food supply chains. The Chinese authorities have discovered the COVID-19 virus in various imported frozen meat packages. Traceability plays a vital role in food quality and food safety. The Internet of Things (IoT) provides solutions to overseeing environmental conditions, product quality, and product traceability. These solutions are traditionally based on a centralized architecture, which does not guarantee tamper-proof data sharing. The blockchain is an emerging technology that provides tamper-proof data sharing in real-time. This article presents a blockchain-enabled supply chain architecture to ensure the availability of a tamper-proof audit trail. This tamper-proof audit trail helps to make sure that all safety measures are undertaken to minimize the risk of COVID-19 and other bacteria, fungi, and parasites being present in the frozen meat supply chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Concepts in Food Safety Strategy)
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Article
Explaining Chinese Consumers’ Green Food Purchase Intentions during the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Extended Theory of Planned Behaviour
Foods 2021, 10(6), 1200; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10061200 - 26 May 2021
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 3354
Abstract
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has strongly influenced consumers’ habits and behaviours, creating a more sustainable and healthier era of consumption. Hence, there is a potential for further expanding the green food sector in China. The theory of planned behaviour (TPB) is [...] Read more.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has strongly influenced consumers’ habits and behaviours, creating a more sustainable and healthier era of consumption. Hence, there is a potential for further expanding the green food sector in China. The theory of planned behaviour (TPB) is one widely used framework to explain consumers’ food choices. Considering consumers’ internal norms, their perceptions of green food attributes, and the shifting consumer behaviour, our study has extended the TPB framework (E-TPB) by adding constructs of moral attitude, health consciousness, and the impact of COVID-19 (IOC). The results of structural equation modelling among 360 functional samples revealed that the E-TPB model has a superior explanatory and predictive power, compared with the original TPB model regarding Chinese consumers’ green food buying intentions in the current and post-pandemic periods. The path analysis demonstrated that attitude, perceived behavioural control, moral attitude, health consciousness, and IOC have significant positive effects on green food purchase intentions. However, the association between subjective norm and purchase intention varies within the TPB and E-TPB models, which showed a non-significant impact in E-TPB. These findings can generate more suitable managerial implications to promote green food consumption in China during the current and post-pandemic periods. Full article
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Article
Extending the Shelf-Life of Fresh-Cut Green Bean Pods by Ethanol, Ascorbic Acid, and Essential Oils
Foods 2021, 10(5), 1103; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10051103 - 17 May 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 1489
Abstract
Green beans are a perishable crop, which deteriorate rapidly after harvest, particularly when minimally processed into ready-to-eat fresh-cut green beans. This study investigated the effectiveness of ethanol, ascorbic acid (AsA), tea tree essential oil (TTO), and peppermint essential oil (PMO) on the quality [...] Read more.
Green beans are a perishable crop, which deteriorate rapidly after harvest, particularly when minimally processed into ready-to-eat fresh-cut green beans. This study investigated the effectiveness of ethanol, ascorbic acid (AsA), tea tree essential oil (TTO), and peppermint essential oil (PMO) on the quality and storability of fresh-cut green bean pods samples stored at 5 °C for 15 days. Our results indicated that samples treated with ethanol, AsA, TTO, and PMO preserved appearance, firmness (except ethanol), chlorophyll content, and moisture compared with the samples without any treatment (control). Additionally, higher vitamin C, total soluble solids (TSS), total sugars, and total phenolic compounds (TPC) were observed in samples treated with ethanol, AsA, TTO, and PMO compared with the control. The most effective treatments for controlling microbial growth were ethanol followed by either TTO or PMO. All the treatments had positive effects on shelf life, maintained quality, and reducing microbial growth during 15 days of cold storage. A particular treatment can be selected based on the economic feasibility and critical control point in the value chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Postharvest Management of Fruits and Vegetables)
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Article
Green Extraction Techniques for Obtaining Bioactive Compounds from Mandarin Peel (Citrus unshiu var. Kuno): Phytochemical Analysis and Process Optimization
Foods 2021, 10(5), 1043; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10051043 - 11 May 2021
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 1679
Abstract
In this study, an efficient utilization and valorization of mandarin peel (Citrus unshiu Marc. var. Kuno) was investigated using innovative and green extraction techniques. The first step of this study included the extraction and analysis of the volatile compounds by performing [...] Read more.
In this study, an efficient utilization and valorization of mandarin peel (Citrus unshiu Marc. var. Kuno) was investigated using innovative and green extraction techniques. The first step of this study included the extraction and analysis of the volatile compounds by performing a supercritical CO2 (SC-CO2) extraction under different operating pressure conditions (100 and 300 bar). The analysis of volatile compounds of the obtained extracts was conducted by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), and limonene was found to be the dominant volatile component (13.16% at 100 bar; 30.65% at 300 bar). After SC-CO2 treatment, the exhausted citrus peel waste enriched with bioactive compounds was subjected to subcritical water extraction (SWE) in a wide temperature range (130–220 °C) using different solvent-solid ratio (10–30 mL/g) in time periods from 5 to 15 min, in order to obtain bioflavonoids. Identification and quantification of present bioflavonoids was conducted by high-performance liquid chromatography with a with a diode array detector (HPLC), and hesperidin (0.16–15.07 mg/g) was determined as the most abundant flavanon in mandarin peel with other polyphenolic compounds that were possible by-products of thermal degradation. At higher temperatures, the presence of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF) and chlorogenic acid were detected. Antiradical activity and total phenolic content in the extracts were determined using spectrophotometric methods, while the process optimization was performed by response surface methodology (RSM). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Industry By-Products as a Source of Phytochemical Compounds)
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Article
A Preliminary Study of Chemical Profiles of Honey, Cerumen, and Propolis of the African Stingless Bee Meliponula ferruginea
Foods 2021, 10(5), 997; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10050997 - 02 May 2021
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 1920
Abstract
Recently, the honey and propolis of stingless bees have been attracting growing attention because of their health-promoting properties. However, studies on these products of African Meliponini are still very scarce. In this preliminary study, we analyzed the chemical composition of honey, two cerumen, [...] Read more.
Recently, the honey and propolis of stingless bees have been attracting growing attention because of their health-promoting properties. However, studies on these products of African Meliponini are still very scarce. In this preliminary study, we analyzed the chemical composition of honey, two cerumen, and two resin deposits (propolis) samples of Meliponula ferruginea from Tanzania. The honey of M. ferruginea was profiled by NMR and indicated different long-term stability from Apis mellifera European (Bulgarian) honey. It differed significantly in sugar and organic acids content and had a very high amount of the disaccharide trehalulose, known for its bioactivities. We suggested trehalulose to be a potential marker for African stingless bee honey analogously to the recent proposal for Meliponini honey from Asia, South America, and Australia and demonstrated its easy discrimination by 13C NMR. Propolis and cerumen were studied by GC-MS (gas chromatography-mass spectometry). The samples contained mainly terpenoids (di-and triterpenes) but demonstrated qualitative and quantitative differences. This fact was an indication that possibly M. ferruginea has no strict preferences for resins used to construct and protect their nests. The antimicrobial and anti-quorum sensing properties of the two materials were also tested. These first results demonstrated that the honey, cerumen, and propolis of African stingless bees were rich in biologically active substances and deserved further research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Composition and Biological Properties of Bee Products)
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Article
Exploring the Effect of Dehydration on Water Migrating Property and Protein Changes of Large Yellow Croaker (Pseudosciaena crocea) during Frozen Storage
Foods 2021, 10(4), 784; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10040784 - 06 Apr 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1064
Abstract
This study aimed to explore the effect of dehydration on the water migrating property and protein changes of large yellow croaker during frozen storage. A freeze-dryer was used to accelerate experiments, which was isolated from oxygen and excluded the effects of protein oxidation. [...] Read more.
This study aimed to explore the effect of dehydration on the water migrating property and protein changes of large yellow croaker during frozen storage. A freeze-dryer was used to accelerate experiments, which was isolated from oxygen and excluded the effects of protein oxidation. After dehydration time (3, 9, 18, and 30 h) for both fast- and slow-freezing samples, the results showed that the ice sublimation of samples containing small ice crystals was faster than that of samples containing large ice crystals in the early stages of dehydration, but in the latest stage, there was an opposite trend. The results indicated that dehydration reduced the water freedom degrees and water–protein interaction. At the same time, dehydration had a significant effect on protein secondary and tertiary structures. The significant increase in surface hydrophobicity and particle size indicated that dehydration exacerbated myofibrillar protein aggregation. The ΔH1 values (from 1.275 to 0.834 J/g for slow-freezing group and from 1.129 to 0.855 J/g for fast-freezing group) decreased gradually as the dehydration time extended, indicating the decrease in protein thermal stability. Additionally, significant protein degradation occurred when the water content of the sample decreased to a certain level. This study showed that ice crystal size had an important effect on the rate of ice sublimation, and the occurrence of dehydration during frozen storage accelerated the water loss and the decrease in protein stability. Full article
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Article
Highly-Efficient Release of Ferulic Acid from Agro-Industrial By-Products via Enzymatic Hydrolysis with Cellulose-Degrading Enzymes: Part I–The Superiority of Hydrolytic Enzymes Versus Conventional Hydrolysis
Foods 2021, 10(4), 782; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10040782 - 05 Apr 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2163
Abstract
Historically Triticum aestívum L. and Secale cereále L. are widely used in the production of bakery products. From the total volume of grain cultivated, roughly 85% is used for the manufacturing of flour, while the remaining part is discarded or utilized rather inefficiently. [...] Read more.
Historically Triticum aestívum L. and Secale cereále L. are widely used in the production of bakery products. From the total volume of grain cultivated, roughly 85% is used for the manufacturing of flour, while the remaining part is discarded or utilized rather inefficiently. The limited value attached to bran is associated with their structural complexity, i.e., the presence of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin, which makes this material suitable mostly as a feed supplement, while in food production its use presents a challenge. To valorize these materials to food and pharmaceutical applications, additional pre-treatment is required. In the present study, an effective, sustainable, and eco-friendly approach to ferulic acid (FA) production was demonstrated through the biorefining process accomplished by non-starch polysaccharides degrading enzymes. Up to 11.3 and 8.6 g kg−1 of FA was released from rye and wheat bran upon 24 h enzymatic hydrolysis with multi-enzyme complex Viscozyme® L, respectively. Full article
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Spatiotemporal Patterns and Determinants of Grain Self-Sufficiency in China
Foods 2021, 10(4), 747; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10040747 - 01 Apr 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 964
Abstract
The pattern of grain self-sufficiency plays a fundamental role in maintaining food security. We analyzed the patterns and determinants of grain production and demand, as well as grain self-sufficiency, in China over a 30-year period. The results show that China’s total grain production, [...] Read more.
The pattern of grain self-sufficiency plays a fundamental role in maintaining food security. We analyzed the patterns and determinants of grain production and demand, as well as grain self-sufficiency, in China over a 30-year period. The results show that China’s total grain production, with an obvious northeast–southwest direction, increased by 63%, and yields of rice, wheat, corn, tubers, and beans increased by 16, 49, 224, 6, and 103%, respectively. The trends in ration and feed grain consumption changes at the provincial scale were roughly the same as at the national scale, with the ration consumption ratio decreasing and the ratio of feed grain consumption increasing. The ration consumption in Northwest China was relatively high, while the feed grain consumption rates in Shanghai, Guangdong, Beijing, Tianjin, and Chongqing were higher. Compared with ration and feed grain, the proportions of seed grain and grain loss were relatively small. China’s grain consumption mainly concentrated in the central and eastern regions of China. Total grain, rice, corn, wheat, tubers, and beans consumption in feed grain showed a northeast–southwest trend, with consumption centers all shifting southward in the 30-year period. Corn accounted for the largest proportion in feed grain, followed by beans. Urban feed grain and urban ration hot spot areas have gradually transferred from the northwest to southeast coastal areas. The hot spots of rural feed grain consumption and rural ration consumption remained almost unchanged, located in the south of the Yangtze River and Central and Southern China, respectively. The grain self-sufficiency level developed well in the study period, while the areas with grain deficit were Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Fujian, Guangdong, and Hainan. The areas with high supply and high demand were mainly located in Central and East China, the areas with high supply and low demand were mainly distributed in Northeast China, and the areas with low supply and low demand were mainly located in Western China. The pattern of self-sufficiency of corn in feed grain has remained basically unchanged; the areas with corn feed grain deficit were Central and Southeast China, while North China had corn feed grain surplus. Compared with corn feed, the surplus of soybean feed was relatively poor. Factor detector analysis revealed that in different periods, the same impact factor had different explanatory power in the supply and demand pattern, and the comprehensive consideration of any two factors will enhance the explanatory power of grain supply and demand pattern. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Security and Sustainability)
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Article
Effect of Oil Content and Oil Addition Point on the Extrusion Processing of Wheat Gluten-Based Meat Analogues
Foods 2021, 10(4), 697; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10040697 - 25 Mar 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2158
Abstract
High-moisture extrusion is a common process to impart an anisotropic, meat-like structure to plant proteins, such as wheat gluten. The addition of oil during the process promises to enhance the sensory properties of the meat analogs. In this study, the influence of oil [...] Read more.
High-moisture extrusion is a common process to impart an anisotropic, meat-like structure to plant proteins, such as wheat gluten. The addition of oil during the process promises to enhance the sensory properties of the meat analogs. In this study, the influence of oil on extrusion-relevant parameters as well as the structure-related characteristics of extruded wheat gluten was investigated. Oil was added directly to the extruder at different contents (0, 2, 4, 6%) and addition points (front/end of the extruder barrel). Process conditions, complex viscosity, Young’s modulus and oil phase morphology were determined as a function of oil content and oil addition point. With increasing oil content, material temperature, die pressure, and complex viscosity decreased. The addition of oil at the end of the extruder barrel reduced this effect compared to the addition of oil in the front part of the extruder. It was observed that the extrudate’s tensile strength is a function of material temperature, resulting in an increase in tensile strength with increasing material temperature. The oil was dispersed in the gluten matrix as small droplets with irregular shape. As the oil content increased, the size of the oil droplets increased, while the addition of oil at the end of the extruder resulted in a decrease in droplet size. Full article
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Article
In Vitro Bile Salt Hydrolase (BSH) Activity Screening of Different Probiotic Microorganisms
Foods 2021, 10(3), 674; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10030674 - 22 Mar 2021
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 2110
Abstract
Bile salt hydrolase (BSH) activity in probiotic strains is usually correlated with the ability to lower serum cholesterol levels in hypercholesterolemic patients. The objective of this study was the evaluation of BSH in five probiotic strains of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and a [...] Read more.
Bile salt hydrolase (BSH) activity in probiotic strains is usually correlated with the ability to lower serum cholesterol levels in hypercholesterolemic patients. The objective of this study was the evaluation of BSH in five probiotic strains of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and a probiotic yeast. The activity was assessed using a qualitative direct plate test and a quantitative high-performance thin- layer chromatography assay. The six strains differed in their BSH substrate preference and activity. Lactobacillus plantarum DGIA1, a potentially probiotic strain isolated from a double cream cheese from Chiapas, Mexico, showed excellent deconjugation activities in the four tested bile acids (69, 100, 81, and 92% for sodium glycocholate, glycodeoxycholate, taurocholate, and taurodeoxycholate, respectively). In the case of the commercial probiotic yeast Saccharomyces boulardii, the deconjugation activities were good against sodium glycodeoxycholate, taurocholate, and taurodeoxycholate (100, 57, and 63%, respectively). These last two results are part of the novelty of the work. A weak deconjugative activity (5%) was observed in the case of sodium glycocholate. This is the first time that the BSH activity has been detected in this yeast. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods)
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Article
Revalorization of Coffee Husk: Modeling and Optimizing the Green Sustainable Extraction of Phenolic Compounds
Foods 2021, 10(3), 653; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10030653 - 19 Mar 2021
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2225
Abstract
This study aimed to model and optimize a green sustainable extraction method of phenolic compounds from the coffee husk. Response surface methodology (RSM) and artificial neural networks (ANNs) were used to model the impact of extraction variables (temperature, time, acidity, and solid-to-liquid ratio) [...] Read more.
This study aimed to model and optimize a green sustainable extraction method of phenolic compounds from the coffee husk. Response surface methodology (RSM) and artificial neural networks (ANNs) were used to model the impact of extraction variables (temperature, time, acidity, and solid-to-liquid ratio) on the recovery of phenolic compounds. All responses were fitted to the RSM and ANN model, which revealed high estimation capabilities. The main factors affecting phenolic extraction were temperature, followed by solid-to-liquid ratio, and acidity. The optimal extraction conditions were 100 °C, 90 min, 0% citric acid, and 0.02 g coffee husk mL−1. Under these conditions, experimental values for total phenolic compounds, flavonoids, flavanols, proanthocyanidins, phenolic acids, o-diphenols, and in vitro antioxidant capacity matched with predicted ones, therefore, validating the model. The presence of chlorogenic, protocatechuic, caffeic, and gallic acids and kaemferol-3-O-galactoside was confirmed by UPLC-ESI-MS/MS. The phenolic aqueous extracts from the coffee husk could be used as sustainable food ingredients and nutraceutical products. Full article
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Article
Safety and Transfer Study: Transfer of Bromoform Present in Asparagopsis taxiformis to Milk and Urine of Lactating Dairy Cows
Foods 2021, 10(3), 584; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10030584 - 10 Mar 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 6484
Abstract
Enteric methane (CH4) is the main source of greenhouse gas emissions from ruminants. The red seaweeds Asparagopsis taxiformis (AT) and Asparagopsis armata contain halogenated compounds, including bromoform (CHBr3), which may strongly decrease enteric CH4 emissions. Bromoform is known [...] Read more.
Enteric methane (CH4) is the main source of greenhouse gas emissions from ruminants. The red seaweeds Asparagopsis taxiformis (AT) and Asparagopsis armata contain halogenated compounds, including bromoform (CHBr3), which may strongly decrease enteric CH4 emissions. Bromoform is known to have several toxicological effects in rats and mice and is quickly excreted by the animals. This study investigated the transfer of CHBr3 present in AT to milk, urine, feces, and animal tissue when incorporated in the diet of dairy cows. Twelve lactating Holstein-Friesian dairy cows were randomly assigned to three treatment groups, representing the target dose (low), 2× target dose (medium), and 5× target dose (high). The adaptation period lasted seven days, and subsequently cows were fed AT for 22 days maximally. The transfer of CHBr3 to the urine at days 1 and 10 (10–148 µg/L) was found with all treatments. On day 1, CHBr3 was detected in the milk of most cows in the low and medium treatment groups (9.1 and 11 µg/L, respectively), and detected in the milk of one cow in the high treatment group on day 9 (35 µg/L). Bromoform was not detected in milk and urine at day 17, nor at concentrations above the detection limit in feces and collected animal tissues. Two animals (low) were sacrificed, and their rumen wall showed abnormalities. Upon histological examination, signs of inflammation became visible. Animals regularly refused the feed or distinctively selected against AT. In conclusion, within the confines of the present experiment, CHBr3 does not accumulate in animal tissue, but can be excreted in urine and milk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment of Food Quality and Safety of Cultivated Macroalgae)
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Article
A Novel Approach for Tuning the Physicochemical, Textural, and Sensory Characteristics of Plant-Based Meat Analogs with Different Levels of Methylcellulose Concentration
Foods 2021, 10(3), 560; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10030560 - 08 Mar 2021
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 3906
Abstract
This study assessed the effects of Methylcellulose (MC) at different concentrations on plant-based meat analog (PBMA) patties, comprised of commercial texture vegetable protein (C-TVP) and textured isolate soy protein (T-ISP) as key ingredients, and compared to beef patty control. A significantly higher difference [...] Read more.
This study assessed the effects of Methylcellulose (MC) at different concentrations on plant-based meat analog (PBMA) patties, comprised of commercial texture vegetable protein (C-TVP) and textured isolate soy protein (T-ISP) as key ingredients, and compared to beef patty control. A significantly higher difference was observed in moisture content in control with increasing MC concentration than the C-TVP and T-ISP patties. However, protein varied significantly among three different protein sources, with control had higher protein content than PBMA patties. Crude fiber content recorded higher values in C-TVP as compared to control. Significantly lower pH values were recorded in control than C-TVP and T-ISP respectively. Regardless, with the addition of MC or ingredient PBMA and control patties tend to reduce lightness (L*) and redness (a*) value after cooking. Although control sample before cooking exhibits lighter and redder than PBMA patties (C-TVP and T-ISP). Likewise, water holding capacity (WHC) decreases as the concentration of MC increases (1.5–4%) in control and PBMA patties. Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF) and texture profile analysis (TPA), including hardness, chewiness, and gumminess of control, were significantly higher than C-TVP and T-ISP. Consequently, panelists’ in the sensory analysis presented that C-TVP patties containing 3% of MC had better sensory properties than T-ISP. Hence, PBMA patties with C-TVP and incorporation of 3% MC are considered ideal for manufacturing of meat analog as related to control (beef). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Strategies for Innovative and Enhanced Meat and Meat Products)
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Article
Chitosan Films Functionalized with Different Hydroxycinnamic Acids: Preparation, Characterization and Application for Pork Preservation
Foods 2021, 10(3), 536; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10030536 - 05 Mar 2021
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 1418
Abstract
Hydroxycinnamic acids are one category of bioactive phenolic acids that are widely distributed in plants. In this study, chitosan (CS) was functionalized with three kinds of hydroxycinnamic acids (p-coumaric acid, caffeic acid and ferulic acid) through the carbodiimide-mediated grafting method. The [...] Read more.
Hydroxycinnamic acids are one category of bioactive phenolic acids that are widely distributed in plants. In this study, chitosan (CS) was functionalized with three kinds of hydroxycinnamic acids (p-coumaric acid, caffeic acid and ferulic acid) through the carbodiimide-mediated grafting method. The obtained hydroxycinnamic-acid-grafted CSs (hydroxycinnamic acid-g-CSs) were further fabricated into food packaging films through solvent casting. For the first time, the functionalities of the different hydroxycinnamic acid-g-CS films were compared. Results showed the grafting ratio of p-coumaric acid-g-CS, caffeic acid-g-CS and ferulic acid-g-CS was 73.68, 129.42 and 91.75 mg/g, respectively. Instrumental analyses confirmed hydroxycinnamic acids conjugated with CS through amide and ester bonds. The functionalization of CS film with hydroxycinnamic acids produced a more compact microstructure and higher UV light barrier ability, mechanical strength, water vapor barrier ability, thermal stability and antioxidant and antimicrobial activities. Among the different hydroxycinnamic acid-g-CS films, caffeic acid-g-CS film presented the strongest barrier, mechanical, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Moreover, caffeic acid-g-CS film packaging effectively extended the shelf life of pork to 10 days at 4 °C. Our results suggest caffeic acid-g-CS film can be used in the active food packaging field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Bioactive Compounds in Foods and Food Packages)
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Article
Using Einkorn and Tritordeum Brewers’ Spent Grain to Increase the Nutritional Potential of Durum Wheat Pasta
Foods 2021, 10(3), 502; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10030502 - 26 Feb 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1703
Abstract
Brewers’ spent grain (BSG), the major by-product of the brewing industry, can be used as a functional ingredient to increase the nutritional value of cereal-based products. In this work, micronized BSG from the einkorn and tritordeum brewing processes were characterized and used to [...] Read more.
Brewers’ spent grain (BSG), the major by-product of the brewing industry, can be used as a functional ingredient to increase the nutritional value of cereal-based products. In this work, micronized BSG from the einkorn and tritordeum brewing processes were characterized and used to produce four macaroni pasta formulations enriched with BSG at ratios of 5 g and 10 g/100 g of semolina. Einkorn BSG showed the highest values for all the parameters analyzed—proteins, total dietary fiber (TDF) and total antioxidant capacity (TAC)—except for β-glucan. TDF increased up to 42 and 68% in pasta samples enriched with 10% of BSG from tritordeum and einkorn, respectively. The replacement of 10% of semolina with BSG from both cereals significantly increased the β-glucan content and TAC values. Finally, the addition of BSG from einkorn and tritordeum affected to a minimal extent the sensory properties of cooked pasta, which showed higher values of optimal cooking time and cooking loss, but lower total organic matter compared to semolina pasta. Results from the sensorial judgment fell in the good quality ranges for durum wheat pasta; the incorporation of 10% of einkorn BSG resulted in the best compromise in terms of technological, nutritional and sensorial aspects of enriched pasta. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Pasta with High Nutritional and Health Potential)
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Article
Chinese Consumers’ Attitudes and Potential Acceptance toward Artificial Meat
Foods 2021, 10(2), 353; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10020353 - 07 Feb 2021
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 4129
Abstract
The interest for artificial meat has recently expanded. However, from the literature, perception of artificial meat in China is not well known. A survey was thus carried out to investigate Chinese attitudes toward artificial meat. The answers of 4666 respondents concluded that 19.9% [...] Read more.
The interest for artificial meat has recently expanded. However, from the literature, perception of artificial meat in China is not well known. A survey was thus carried out to investigate Chinese attitudes toward artificial meat. The answers of 4666 respondents concluded that 19.9% and 9.6% of them were definitely willing and unwilling to try artificial meat respectively, whereas 47.2% were not willing to eat it regularly, and 87.2% were willing to pay less for it compared to conventional meat. Finally, 52.9% of them will accept artificial meat as an alternative to conventional meat. Emotional resistance such as the perception of “absurdity or disgusting” would lead to no willingness to eat artificial meat regularly. The main concerns were related to safety and unnaturalness, but less to ethical and environmental issues as in Western countries. Nearly half of the respondents would like artificial meat to be safe, tasty, and nutritional. Whereas these expectations have low effects on willingness to try, they may induce consumers’ rejection to eat artificial meat regularly, underlying the weak relationship between wishes to try and to eat regularly. Thus, potential acceptance of artificial meat in China depends on Chinese catering culture, perception of food and traditional philosophy. Full article
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Article
Food Choice Determinants and Perceptions of a Healthy Diet among Italian Consumers
Foods 2021, 10(2), 318; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10020318 - 03 Feb 2021
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 2908
Abstract
Healthy food choices are crucial for a healthy lifestyle. However, food choices are complex and affected by various factors. Understanding the determinant factors affecting food choices could aid policy-makers in designing better strategies to promote healthy food choices in the general public. This [...] Read more.
Healthy food choices are crucial for a healthy lifestyle. However, food choices are complex and affected by various factors. Understanding the determinant factors affecting food choices could aid policy-makers in designing better strategies to promote healthy food choices in the general public. This study aims to evaluate the food choice motivations and to segment consumer groups, according to their food choice motivations, in a sample of 531 Italian consumers (collected by convenience sampling), through offline and online survey platforms. K-means cluster analysis was applied to identify consumer groups using six food choice motivation categories (health, emotional, economic and availability, social and cultural, environmental and political, and marketing and commercial). The results suggest that the strongest determinants for the food choices of Italian consumers are Environmental factors and Health. Two consumer profiles were identified through the segmentation analysis: Emotional eating and Health-driven consumers. The respondents were found to have a good awareness of what comprises a healthy diet. There is a potential market for healthy and sustainable food products, especially products with minimal or environmentally friendly packages. Food labels and information strategies could be promoted as tools to assist consumers to make healthy food choices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Motivations Associated with Food Choices and Eating Practices)
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Article
Monitoring the Interaction between Thermally Induced Whey Protein and Anthocyanin by Fluorescence Quenching Spectroscopy
Foods 2021, 10(2), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10020310 - 03 Feb 2021
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 1316
Abstract
The color stability of anthocyanins was shown to improve with addition of whey proteins (WP). The goal of this study was to investigate the binding mechanisms of purple corn, grape and black carrot anthocyanin extracts to native and preheated WP (40–80 °C, 3.6 [...] Read more.
The color stability of anthocyanins was shown to improve with addition of whey proteins (WP). The goal of this study was to investigate the binding mechanisms of purple corn, grape and black carrot anthocyanin extracts to native and preheated WP (40–80 °C, 3.6 μM) at a pH of 3 using fluorescence quenching spectroscopy. The fluorescence spectra were collected with an excitation wavelength of 280 nm at 25 °C, 35 °C and 45 °C. The quenching data were analyzed by using the Stern–Volmer equation. The fluorescence intensity of WP decreased (up to 73%) and its λmax increased (by ~5 nm) with increasing anthocyanin concentration (0–100 μM). The quenching data showed that the interaction between anthocyanin extracts and WP was a static quenching process. Thermodynamic analysis showed their binding was mainly through hydrophobic interactions. Their binding affinity was higher for preheated WP than native WP and decreased gradually with increasing preheating temperature. Black carrot anthocyanin extract had the lowest binding affinity with WP, likely due to the larger molecular structure. These results help better understand the protection mechanism of native and preheated WP on anthocyanin color stability, expanding the application of anthocyanins as food colorants that better withstand processing and storage. Full article
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Article
COVID-19 Lockdown and Self-Perceived Changes of Food Choice, Waste, Impulse Buying and Their Determinants in Italy: QuarantEat, a Cross-Sectional Study
Foods 2021, 10(2), 306; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10020306 - 02 Feb 2021
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 4595
Abstract
Data about self-perceived food choice (FC) changes and their determinants during COVID-19 lockdowns are limited. This study investigated how the Italian lockdown affected self-perceived food purchases (FP), occurrence of impulse buying (IB), household food waste production (HFWP) and their determinants. A web-based cross-sectional [...] Read more.
Data about self-perceived food choice (FC) changes and their determinants during COVID-19 lockdowns are limited. This study investigated how the Italian lockdown affected self-perceived food purchases (FP), occurrence of impulse buying (IB), household food waste production (HFWP) and their determinants. A web-based cross-sectional survey was distributed in May 2020, collecting an opportunistic sample of the Italian population. A total of 1865 (70% females) people were enrolled, the median age was 29 (IQR 16.0). Most of the sample increased overall FP (53.4%), food consumption (43.4%), reduced HFWP (53.7%) and halved the prevalence of IB (20.9%) compared to the period before the lockdown (42.5%). Baking ingredients, fresh vegetables, fresh fruit and chocolate had the largest sales increase by individuals, while bakery products, fresh fish and salted snacks purchases highly decreased. Increased FP was associated with the occurrence of IB (adjOR 2.48, p < 0.001) and inversely associated with not having worked during lockdown (adjOR 0.71, p = 0.003). Multivariable logistic regressions revealed occurrence of IB was associated with low perceived dietary quality (adjOR 2.22, p < 0.001), resulting at risk, according to the Emotional Overeating Questionnaire (EOQ, adjOR 1.68, p < 0.001), and inversely associated with decreased HFWP (adjOR 0.73, p < 0.012). Reduced HFWP was associated with higher perceived dietary quality (adjOR 2.27, p < 0.001) and negatively associated with low score at WHO-5 Well-Being Index (adjOR 0.72, p = 0.002). The Italian lockdown highly affected FC behaviours, leading to positive and sustainable habits towards food purchase and consumption. Public health interventions are needed to keep these new positive effects and avoid negative consequences in case of future lockdowns. Full article
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Article
Optimization and Prediction of the Drying and Quality of Turnip Slices by Convective-Infrared Dryer under Various Pretreatments by RSM and ANFIS Methods
Foods 2021, 10(2), 284; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10020284 - 31 Jan 2021
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 1250
Abstract
Drying can prolong the shelf life of a product by reducing microbial activities while facilitating its transportation and storage by decreasing the product weight and volume. The quality factors of the drying process are among the important issues in the drying of food [...] Read more.
Drying can prolong the shelf life of a product by reducing microbial activities while facilitating its transportation and storage by decreasing the product weight and volume. The quality factors of the drying process are among the important issues in the drying of food and agricultural products. In this study, the effects of several independent variables such as the temperature of the drying air (50, 60, and 70 °C) and the thickness of the samples (2, 4, and 6 mm) were studied on the response variables including the quality indices (color difference and shrinkage) and drying factors (drying time, effective moisture diffusivity coefficient, specific energy consumption (SEC), energy efficiency and dryer efficiency) of the turnip slices dried by a hybrid convective-infrared (HCIR) dryer. Before drying, the samples were treated by three pretreatments: microwave (360 W for 2.5 min), ultrasonic (at 30 °C for 10 min) and blanching (at 90 °C for 2 min). The statistical analyses of the data and optimization of the drying process were achieved by the response surface method (RSM) and the response variables were predicted by the adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS) model. The results indicated that an increase in the dryer temperature and a decline in the thickness of the sample can enhance the evaporation rate of the samples which will decrease the drying time (40–20 min), SEC (from 168.98 to 21.57 MJ/kg), color difference (from 50.59 to 15.38) and shrinkage (from 67.84% to 24.28%) while increasing the effective moisture diffusivity coefficient (from 1.007 × 10−9 to 8.11 × 10−9 m2/s), energy efficiency (from 0.89% to 15.23%) and dryer efficiency (from 2.11% to 21.2%). Compared to ultrasonic and blanching, microwave pretreatment increased the energy and drying efficiency; while the variations in the color and shrinkage were the lowest in the ultrasonic pretreatment. The optimal condition involved the temperature of 70 °C and sample thickness of 2 mm with the desirability above 0.89. The ANFIS model also managed to predict the response variables with R2 > 0.96. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Novel Thermal Technology in Foods Processing)
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Genotype and Successive Harvests Interaction Affects Phenolic Acids and Aroma Profile of Genovese Basil for Pesto Sauce Production
Foods 2021, 10(2), 278; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10020278 - 30 Jan 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 1510
Abstract
Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) is an essential ingredient of the Mediterranean cuisine due to its distinctive aroma. Genovese basil leaves are used to prepare “pesto”, a condiment that has always caught the interest of consumers and producers. Usually, basil for industrial processing [...] Read more.
Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) is an essential ingredient of the Mediterranean cuisine due to its distinctive aroma. Genovese basil leaves are used to prepare “pesto”, a condiment that has always caught the interest of consumers and producers. Usually, basil for industrial processing is harvested more than once to extract a higher yield. However, successive cuts can affect quality traits that play a crucial role in defining the product’s final sensory profile. This research was aimed to evaluate the impact of cut on the quantitative and qualitative properties of three Genovese basil cultivars (Aroma 2, Eleonora and Italiano Classico) grown in an open field. Nitrate content, phenolic acids and aromatic profile were determined by ion chromatography (IC), high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and gas chromatography coupled to a mass spectrometer (GC/MS) analysis, respectively. The second harvest increased fresh biomass and total phenolic acids content by 172% and 413%, respectively, with Italiano Classico recording the highest values. The combination of second-cut Aroma 2 yielded the lowest nitrate (473.8 mg kg−1 of fresh weight) and Eugenol (2.4%) levels. In the second harvest, Eleonora showed an increase in eugenol and trans-α-bergamotene of 75.3% and 48.2%, respectively; whereas, eucalyptol and β-cis-ocimene decreased by 34.4% and 51.6%, respectively. Although successive harvests may increase basil yield and quality overall, the cultivar-dependent response to successive cuts needs to be accounted for in order to accomplish standardization of industrial “pesto” sauce. Full article
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Article
The Quality of Red Bell Pepper Subjected to Freeze-Drying Preceded by Traditional and Novel Pretreatment
Foods 2021, 10(2), 226; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10020226 - 22 Jan 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 1270
Abstract
It has been demonstrated previously in the literature that utilization of PEF or a combination of a pulsed electric field (PEF) and ultrasounds (US) can facilitate dehydration processes and improve the quality of dried products even better than the application of thermal methods [...] Read more.
It has been demonstrated previously in the literature that utilization of PEF or a combination of a pulsed electric field (PEF) and ultrasounds (US) can facilitate dehydration processes and improve the quality of dried products even better than the application of thermal methods such as blanching. The aim of the study was to evaluate the quality of red bell pepper subjected to freeze-drying preceded by blanching or PEF or US treatment applied in a single and combined mode. Furthermore, the freeze-drying was preceded by shock freezing or vacuum freezing performed inside the freeze-dryer as a result of pressure drop during the first stage of freeze-drying. All of the analyzed technological variants enhanced the drying kinetics when compared to the intact material. Freeze-dried bell pepper subjected to non-thermal pretreatment exhibited higher vitamin C, total phenolic and carotenoids content than blanched material despite the fact that blanching reduced drying time the most compared to all other analyzed methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Freeze-Drying Technology Application in Food Processing)
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Article
Recovery of Bioactive Compounds from Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) Peel Using Pressurized Liquid Extraction
Foods 2021, 10(2), 203; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10020203 - 20 Jan 2021
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 1669
Abstract
Pressurized liquid extraction (PLE) is a clean and environmentally friendly alternative for the recovery of bioactive compounds from fruit by-products. Herein we focused on PLE for the extraction of bioactive compounds from pomegranate peel using a combination of pressurized water and ethanol. The [...] Read more.
Pressurized liquid extraction (PLE) is a clean and environmentally friendly alternative for the recovery of bioactive compounds from fruit by-products. Herein we focused on PLE for the extraction of bioactive compounds from pomegranate peel using a combination of pressurized water and ethanol. The main aim was to determine the optimal PLE conditions, i.e., ethanol percentage and process temperature, to obtain a pomegranate peel extract (PPE) with maximum total phenolic content (TPC), punicalagin content, and antimicrobial activity (AMA). The experimental design was conducted using a central composite design with axial points. Response surface methodology was applied to optimize the response variables using the desirability function. Multiple response optimization indicated a process temperature of 200 °C and ethanol of 77% as optimal conditions. The TPC and the punicalagin content of PPE-PLE obtained under optimal conditions were 164.3 ± 10.7 mg GAE/g DW and 17 ± 3.6 mg/g DW, respectively. Our findings support the efficacy of PLE on TPC recovery but not in punicalagin recovery. The AMA against S. aureus was 14 mm. The efficacy of PPE-PLE in food applications must continue to be studied in order to achieve adequate information on its potential for developing new food additives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recovery of Bioactive Compounds from Food Waste)
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Article
Bioactive Compounds in Wild Nettle (Urtica dioica L.) Leaves and Stalks: Polyphenols and Pigments upon Seasonal and Habitat Variations
Foods 2021, 10(1), 190; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10010190 - 18 Jan 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 1915
Abstract
This study evaluated the presence of bioactives in wild nettle leaves and stalks during the phenological stage and in the context of natural habitat diversity. Thus, wild nettle samples collected before flowering, during flowering and after flowering from 14 habitats situated in three [...] Read more.
This study evaluated the presence of bioactives in wild nettle leaves and stalks during the phenological stage and in the context of natural habitat diversity. Thus, wild nettle samples collected before flowering, during flowering and after flowering from 14 habitats situated in three different regions (continental, mountain and seaside) were analyzed for low molecular weight polyphenols, carotenoids and chlorophylls using UPLC-MS/MS and HPLC analysis, while the ORAC method was performed for the antioxidant capacity measurement. Statistical analysis showed that, when compared to the stalks, nettle leaves contained significantly higher amounts of analyzed compounds which accumulated in the highest yields before flowering (polyphenols) and at the flowering stage (pigments). Moreover, nettle habitat variations greatly influenced the amounts of analyzed bioactives, where samples from the continental area contained higher levels of polyphenols, while seaside region samples were more abundant with pigments. The levels of ORAC followed the same pattern, being higher in leaves samples collected before and during flowering from the continental habitats. Hence, in order to provide the product’s maximum value for consumers’ benefit, a multidisciplinary approach is important for the selection of a plant part as well as its phenological stage with the highest accumulation of bioactive compounds. Full article
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Article
Changes in the Food-Related Behaviour of Italian Consumers during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Foods 2021, 10(1), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10010169 - 15 Jan 2021
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 4041
Abstract
The principal aim of this study is to explore the effects of the first lockdown of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on changes in food consumption and food-related behaviour on a diverse sample of Italian consumers aged ≥18 years. To achieve this [...] Read more.
The principal aim of this study is to explore the effects of the first lockdown of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on changes in food consumption and food-related behaviour on a diverse sample of Italian consumers aged ≥18 years. To achieve this aim, the research path starts with an investigation of some of the first few studies conducted on Italian consumers. It then reports the findings of a pilot survey carried out on a small sample of Italian consumes who live in Molise. The studies chosen for investigation were published as articles or research reports. In total, six relevant studies were chosen, each involving a different sized sample of Italian consumers. The average number of respondents is 2142, with a standard deviation of 1260.56. A distinction is made between the results of the articles, the research reports, and the pilot survey. The latter was conducted to develop and validate the components of a new questionnaire and, furthermore, to assess changes in the eating habits of individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results suggest that the effects of the pandemic on consumer behaviour can, above all, be grouped into changes related to shopping for food, eating habits, and food-related behaviour. This article can serve as the basis for future research in this area as it identifies and highlights key changes, in addition to comparing the earliest evidence available, using a critical approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Security and Sustainability)
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Article
Consumer Perception of Food Quality and Safety in Western Balkan Countries: Evidence from Albania and Kosovo
Foods 2021, 10(1), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10010160 - 14 Jan 2021
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 3124
Abstract
Domestic food markets are of significant importance to Kosovar and Albanian companies because access to export markets is under-developed, partly as a result of the gaps in food safety and quality standards. Kosovar and Albanian consumers’ use of food safety attributes and their [...] Read more.
Domestic food markets are of significant importance to Kosovar and Albanian companies because access to export markets is under-developed, partly as a result of the gaps in food safety and quality standards. Kosovar and Albanian consumers’ use of food safety attributes and their evaluation of the quality of domestic food versus imported food are the research objectives of this study. The paper is based on a structured consumer survey of 300 Kosovars and 349 Albanians analyzing their perceptions of issues related to food safety and quality, measured through two respective batteries of items using a 5-point Likert scale. We used the t-test to identify differences between populations, correlation analysis and the bootstrapping method. Despite the prevalent problems with food safety, consumers in both countries consider domestic food to be safer as well as of higher quality than imported products. Kosovars are more likely than Albanians to perceive domestic food products to be significantly better than imported products. Female and better educated consumers use information related to food safety more often. Expiry date, domestic and local origin, and brand reputation are the most frequently used safety and quality cues for both samples. International food standards such as ISO or HACCP are less frequently used as quality cues by these consumer groups. It is important to strengthen the institutional framework related to food safety and quality following best practices from EU countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food, Health and Safety in Cross Cultural Consumer Contexts)
Article
Comparative Study of Early- and Mid-Ripening Peach (Prunus persica L.) Varieties: Biological Activity, Macro-, and Micro- Nutrient Profile
Foods 2021, 10(1), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10010164 - 14 Jan 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 1725
Abstract
Exploring the chemical composition and biological activity of different fruit varieties is essential for the valorization of their health claims. The current study focuses on a detailed comparative analysis of three early- and two mid-ripening peach varieties: “Filina” (peach), “July Lady” (peach), “Laskava” [...] Read more.
Exploring the chemical composition and biological activity of different fruit varieties is essential for the valorization of their health claims. The current study focuses on a detailed comparative analysis of three early- and two mid-ripening peach varieties: “Filina” (peach), “July Lady” (peach), “Laskava” (peach), “Gergana” (nectarine), and “Ufo 4” (flat peach). They were characterized in terms of essential nutrients such as carbohydrates (sugars and dietary fibers), amino acid content, and lipids as well as mineral content, fat-soluble vitamins, carotenoids, and chlorophyll. Polyphenolic compounds and the related antioxidant activity were also assessed. The methanolic extract of the peel seems to be richer in the studied biologically active substances compared to the fleshy part of the fruit. Anthocyanins were most abundant in “Gergana” and “July Lady” extracts (6624.8 ± 404.9 and 7133.6 ± 388.8 µg cyanidin-3-glucoside/100 g fw, resp.). The total phenol content of the samples varied from 34.11 ± 0.54 to 157.97 ± 0.67 mg gallic acid equivalents (GAE)/100 g fw. “Filina” and “July Lady” varieties possessed the highest antioxidant activity. Overall, the results of this study confirm that the studied peach varieties have satisfactory nutritional value and are potential sources of biologically active substances. Each variety represents an individual palette of nutrients that should be considered separately from the other. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Foodomics: New Approaches to Evaluate Food Quality)
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Article
The Effect of Steaming and Fermentation on Nutritive Values, Antioxidant Activities, and Inhibitory Properties of Tea Leaves
Foods 2021, 10(1), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10010117 - 08 Jan 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 1836
Abstract
Fermented tea (Cha-miang in Thai) is a local product made by traditional food preservation processes in Northern Thailand that involve steaming fresh tea leaves followed by fermenting in the dark. Information on changes in nutritive values, bioactive compounds, antioxidant activities, and health properties [...] Read more.
Fermented tea (Cha-miang in Thai) is a local product made by traditional food preservation processes in Northern Thailand that involve steaming fresh tea leaves followed by fermenting in the dark. Information on changes in nutritive values, bioactive compounds, antioxidant activities, and health properties that occur during the steaming and fermenting processes of tea leaves is, however, limited. Changes in nutritive values, phenolics, antioxidant activities, and in vitro health properties through inhibition of key enzymes that control obesity (lipase), diabetes (α-amylase and α-glucosidase), hypertension (angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)), and Alzheimer’s disease (cholinesterases (ChEs) and β-secretase (BACE-1)) of fermented tea were compared to the corresponding fresh and steamed tea leaves. Results showed that energy, carbohydrate, and vitamin B1 increased after steaming, while most nutrients including protein, dietary fiber, vitamins (B2, B3, and C), and minerals (Na, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, and Zn) decreased after the steaming process. After fermentation, energy, fat, sodium, potassium, and iron contents increased, while calcium and vitamins (B1, B2, B3, and C) decreased compared to steamed tea leaves. However, the contents of vitamin B1 and iron were insignificantly different between fresh and fermented tea leaves. Five flavonoids (quercetin, kaempferol, cyanidin, myricetin, and apigenin) and three phenolic acids (gallic acid, caffeic acid, and p-coumaric acid) were identified in the tea samples. Total phenolic content (TPC) and antioxidant activities increased significantly after steaming and fermentation, suggesting structural changes in bioactive compounds during these processes. Steamed tea exhibited high inhibition against lipase, α-amylase, and α-glucosidase, while fermented tea possessed high anti-ChE and anti-ACE activities. Fresh tea exhibited high BACE-1 inhibitory activity. Results suggest that tea preparations (steaming and fermentation) play a significant role in the amounts of nutrients and bioactive compounds, which, in turn, affect the in vitro health properties. Knowledge gained from this research will support future investigations on in vivo health properties of fermented tea, as well as promote future food development of fermented tea as a healthy food. Full article
Article
Basil Essential Oil: Composition, Antimicrobial Properties, and Microencapsulation to Produce Active Chitosan Films for Food Packaging
Foods 2021, 10(1), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10010121 - 08 Jan 2021
Cited by 35 | Viewed by 3002
Abstract
The essential oil (EO) from basil—Ocimum basilicum—was characterized, microencapsulated by vibration technology, and used to prepare a new type of packaging system designed to extend the food shelf life. The basil essential oil (BEO) chemical composition and antimicrobial activity were analyzed, [...] Read more.
The essential oil (EO) from basil—Ocimum basilicum—was characterized, microencapsulated by vibration technology, and used to prepare a new type of packaging system designed to extend the food shelf life. The basil essential oil (BEO) chemical composition and antimicrobial activity were analyzed, as well as the morphological and biological properties of the derived BEO microcapsules (BEOMC). Analysis of BEO by gas chromatography demonstrated that the main component was linalool, whereas the study of its antimicrobial activity showed a significant inhibitory effect against all the microorganisms tested, mostly Gram-positive bacteria. Moreover, the prepared BEOMC showed a spheroidal shape and retained the EO antimicrobial activity. Finally, chitosan-based edible films were produced, grafted with BEOMC, and characterized for their physicochemical and biological properties. Since their effective antimicrobial activity was demonstrated, these films were tested as packaging system by wrapping cooked ham samples during 10 days of storage, with the aim of their possible use to extend the shelf life of the product. It was demonstrated that the obtained active film can both control the bacterial growth of the cooked ham and markedly inhibit the pH increase of the packaged food. Full article
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Article
Evaluation of the Bioactive Compounds Found in Tomato Seed Oil and Tomato Peels Influenced by Industrial Heat Treatments
Foods 2021, 10(1), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10010110 - 07 Jan 2021
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 2125
Abstract
The circular economy action plan involves principles related to food waste reduction and integration of recovered nutrients to the market. In this context, the present study aims to highlight the valuable bioactive components found in tomato processing by-products (carotenoids, phenolic compounds and fatty [...] Read more.
The circular economy action plan involves principles related to food waste reduction and integration of recovered nutrients to the market. In this context, the present study aims to highlight the valuable bioactive components found in tomato processing by-products (carotenoids, phenolic compounds and fatty acids) influenced by industrial pre-treatments, particularly cold break (CB) process at 65–75 °C and hot break (HB) process at 85–95 °C. The fatty acid profile of the tomato seed oil was examined by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS), individual carotenoid and phenolic compositions were determined by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and the viscoelastic properties were evaluated by rheological measurements. The physicochemical properties revealed appropriate characteristics of the tomato seed oil to fit the standards of generally accepted edible oils, for both CB and HB derived samples, however, significant qualitative and quantitative differences were detected in their phenolic composition and carotenoids content. Lycopene (37.43 ± 1.01 mg/100 mL) was a major carotenoid in the examined samples, linoleic acid was the main fatty acid (61.73%) detected in the tomato seed oil and syringic acid appeared to be one of two major phenolic acids detected in the samples of CB process. Our findings extend the boundaries of tomato processing industry by validating that tomato seed oil is a bioactive rich edible oil with additional health benefits, which can be integrated in functional food products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Security and Sustainability)
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Article
Olive Pomace-Derived Biomasses Fractionation through a Two-Step Extraction Based on the Use of Ultrasounds: Chemical Characteristics
Foods 2021, 10(1), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10010111 - 07 Jan 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 1617
Abstract
Olive-derived biomass is not only a renewable bioenergy resource but also it can be a source of bioproducts, including antioxidants. In this study, the antioxidant composition of extracted olive pomace (EOP) and a new byproduct, the residual fraction from olive pit cleaning (RFOPC [...] Read more.
Olive-derived biomass is not only a renewable bioenergy resource but also it can be a source of bioproducts, including antioxidants. In this study, the antioxidant composition of extracted olive pomace (EOP) and a new byproduct, the residual fraction from olive pit cleaning (RFOPC or residual pulp) was characterized and compared to olive leafy biomass, which have been extensively studied as a source of antioxidants and other bioactive compounds with pharmacological properties. The chemical characterization showed that these byproducts contain a high amount of extractives; in the case of EOP, it was even higher (52.9%) than in olive leaves (OL) and olive mill leaves (OML) (35.8–45.1%). Then, ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE) was applied to recover antioxidants from the extractive fraction of these biomasses. The solubilization of antioxidants was much higher for EOP, correlating well with the extractives content and the total extraction yield. Accordingly, this also affected the phenolic richness of the extracts and the differences between all biomasses were diminished. In any case, the phenolic profile and the hydroxytyrosol cluster were different. While OL, OML, and EOP contained mainly hydroxytyrosol derivatives and flavones, RFOPC presented novel trilignols. Other compounds were also characterized, including secoiridoids, hydroxylated fatty acids, triterpenoids, among others, depending on the bioresource. Moreover, after the UAE extraction step, alkaline extraction was applied recovering a liquid and a solid fraction. While the solid fraction could of interest for further valorization as a biofuel, the liquid fraction contained proteins, sugars, and soluble lignin, which conferred antioxidant properties to these extracts, and whose content depended on the biomass and conditions applied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue By-Products: Characterisation and Use as Food)
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Article
High Moisture Extrusion of Soy Protein: Investigations on the Formation of Anisotropic Product Structure
Foods 2021, 10(1), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10010102 - 06 Jan 2021
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2947
Abstract
The high moisture extrusion of plant proteins is well suited for the production of protein-rich products that imitate meat in their structure and texture. The desired anisotropic product structure of these meat analogues is achieved by extrusion at high moisture content (>40%) and [...] Read more.
The high moisture extrusion of plant proteins is well suited for the production of protein-rich products that imitate meat in their structure and texture. The desired anisotropic product structure of these meat analogues is achieved by extrusion at high moisture content (>40%) and elevated temperatures (>100 °C); a cooling die prevents expansion of the matrix and facilitates the formation of the anisotropic structure. Although there are many studies focusing on this process, the mechanisms behind the structure formation still remain largely unknown. Ongoing discussions are based on two very different hypotheses: structure formation due to alignment and stabilization of proteins at the molecular level vs. structure formation due to morphology development in multiphase systems. The aim of this paper is, therefore, to investigate the mechanism responsible for the formation of anisotropic structures during the high moisture extrusion of plant proteins. A model protein, soy protein isolate, is extruded at high moisture content and the changes in protein–protein interactions and microstructure are investigated. Anisotropic structures are achieved under the given conditions and are influenced by the material temperature (between 124 and 135 °C). Extrusion processing has a negligible effect on protein–protein interactions, suggesting that an alignment of protein molecules is not required for the structure formation. Instead, the extrudates show a distinct multiphase system. This system consists of a water-rich, dispersed phase surrounded by a water-poor, i.e., protein-rich, continuous phase. These findings could be helpful in the future process and product design of novel plant-based meat analogues. Full article
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Article
A Combined Metabolomic and Metagenomic Approach to Discriminate Raw Milk for the Production of Hard Cheese
Foods 2021, 10(1), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10010109 - 06 Jan 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2023
Abstract
The chemical composition of milk can be significantly affected by different factors across the dairy supply chain, including primary production practices. Among the latter, the feeding system could drive the nutritional value and technological properties of milk and dairy products. Therefore, in this [...] Read more.
The chemical composition of milk can be significantly affected by different factors across the dairy supply chain, including primary production practices. Among the latter, the feeding system could drive the nutritional value and technological properties of milk and dairy products. Therefore, in this work, a combined foodomics approach based on both untargeted metabolomics and metagenomics was used to shed light onto the impact of feeding systems (i.e., hay vs. a mixed ration based on hay and fresh forage) on the chemical profile of raw milk for the production of hard cheese. In particular, ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UHPLC-QTOF) was used to investigate the chemical profile of raw milk (n = 46) collected from dairy herds located in the Po River Valley (Italy) and considering different feeding systems. Overall, a total of 3320 molecular features were putatively annotated across samples, corresponding to 734 unique compound structures, with significant differences (p < 0.05) between the two feeding regimens under investigation. Additionally, supervised multivariate statistics following metabolomics-based analysis allowed us to clearly discriminate raw milk samples according to the feeding systems, also extrapolating the most discriminant metabolites. Interestingly, 10 compounds were able to strongly explain the differences as imposed by the addition of forage in the cows’ diet, being mainly glycerophospholipids (i.e., lysophosphatidylethanolamines, lysophosphatidylcholines, and phosphatidylcholines), followed by 5-(3′,4′-Dihydroxyphenyl)-gamma-valerolactone-4′-O-glucuronide, 5a-androstan-3a,17b-diol disulfuric acid, and N-stearoyl glycine. The markers identified included both feed-derived (such as phenolic metabolites) and animal-derived compounds (such as lipids and derivatives). Finally, although characterized by a lower prediction ability, the metagenomic profile was found to be significantly correlated to some milk metabolites, with Staphylococcaceae, Pseudomonadaceae, and Dermabacteraceae establishing a higher number of significant correlations with the discriminant metabolites. Therefore, taken together, our preliminary results provide a comprehensive foodomic picture of raw milk samples from different feeding regimens, thus supporting further ad hoc studies investigating the metabolomic and metagenomic changes of milk in all processing conditions. Full article
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Article
Presence of Parabens and Bisphenols in Food Commonly Consumed in Spain
Foods 2021, 10(1), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10010092 - 05 Jan 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 1880
Abstract
Given the widespread use of bisphenols and parabens in consumer products, the assessment of their intake is crucial and represents the first step towards the assessment of the potential risks that these compounds may pose to human health. In the present study, a [...] Read more.
Given the widespread use of bisphenols and parabens in consumer products, the assessment of their intake is crucial and represents the first step towards the assessment of the potential risks that these compounds may pose to human health. In the present study, a total of 98 samples of food items commonly consumed by the Spanish population were collected from different national supermarkets and grocery stores for the determination of parabens and bisphenols. Our analysis demonstrated that 56 of the 98 food samples contained detectable levels of parabens with limits of quantification (LOQ) between 0.4 and 0.9 ng g−1. The total concentration of parabens (sum of four parabens: ∑parabens) ranged from below the LOQ to 281.7 ng g−1, with a mean value of 73.86 ng g−1. A total of 52% of the samples showed detectable concentrations of bisphenols. Bisphenol A (BPA) was the most frequently detected bisphenol in the food samples analysed, followed by bisphenol S (BPS) and bisphenol E (BPE). Bisphenol AF (BPAF), bisphenol B (BPB) and bisphenol P (BPP) were not found in any of the analysed samples. LOQ for these bisphenols were between 0.4 and 4.0 ng g−1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Security and Sustainability)
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Article
Wheat Bread Fortification by Grape Pomace Powder: Nutritional, Technological, Antioxidant, and Sensory Properties
Foods 2021, 10(1), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10010075 - 02 Jan 2021
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 2619
Abstract
Grape pomace powder (GPP), a by-product from the winemaking process, was used to substitute flour for wheat bread fortification within 0, 5, and 10 g/100 g. Rheological properties of control and fortified doughs, along with physicochemical and nutritional characteristics, antioxidant activity, and the [...] Read more.
Grape pomace powder (GPP), a by-product from the winemaking process, was used to substitute flour for wheat bread fortification within 0, 5, and 10 g/100 g. Rheological properties of control and fortified doughs, along with physicochemical and nutritional characteristics, antioxidant activity, and the sensory analysis of the obtained bread were considered. The GPP addition influenced the doughs’ rheological properties by generating more tenacious and less extensible products. Concerning bread, pH values and volume of fortified products decreased as the GPP inclusion level increased in the recipe. Total phenolic compounds and the antioxidant capacity of bread samples, evaluated by FRAP (ferric reducing ability of plasma) and ABTS (2,2′-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid)) assays, increased with GPP addition. Moreover, the GPP inclusion level raised the total dietary fiber content of bread. Regarding sensory evaluation, GPP fortification had a major impact on the acidity, the global flavor, the astringency, and the wine smell of bread samples without affecting the overall bread acceptability. The current results suggest that GPP could be an attractive ingredient used to obtain fortified bread, as it is a source of fiber and polyphenols with potentially positive effects on human health. Full article
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Article
Innovative Antimicrobial Chitosan/ZnO/Ag NPs/Citronella Essential Oil Nanocomposite—Potential Coating for Grapes
Foods 2020, 9(12), 1801; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9121801 - 04 Dec 2020
Cited by 36 | Viewed by 1794
Abstract
New packaging materials based on biopolymers are gaining increasing attention due to many advantages like biodegradability or existence of renewable sources. Grouping more antimicrobials agents in the same packaging can create a synergic effect, resulting in either a better antimicrobial activity against a [...] Read more.
New packaging materials based on biopolymers are gaining increasing attention due to many advantages like biodegradability or existence of renewable sources. Grouping more antimicrobials agents in the same packaging can create a synergic effect, resulting in either a better antimicrobial activity against a wider spectrum of spoilage agents or a lower required quantity of antimicrobials. In the present work, we obtained a biodegradable antimicrobial film that can be used as packaging material for food. Films based on chitosan as biodegradable polymer, with ZnO and Ag nanoparticles as filler/antimicrobial agents were fabricated by a casting method. The nanoparticles were loaded with citronella essential oil (CEO) in order to enhance the antimicrobial activity of the nanocomposite films. The tests made on Gram-positive, Gram-negative, and fungal strains indicated a broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity, with inhibition diameters of over 30 mm for bacterial strains and over 20 mm for fungal strains. The synergic effect was evidenced by comparing the antimicrobial results with chitosan/ZnO/CEO or chitosan/Ag/CEO simple films. According to the literature and our preliminary studies, these formulations are suitable as coating for fruits. The obtained nanocomposite films presented lower water vapor permeability values when compared with the chitosan control film. The samples were characterized by SEM, fluorescence and UV-Vis spectroscopy, FTIR spectroscopy and microscopy, and thermal analysis. Full article
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Article
Screening and Characterization of Phenolic Compounds and Their Antioxidant Capacity in Different Fruit Peels
Foods 2020, 9(9), 1206; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9091206 - 01 Sep 2020
Cited by 75 | Viewed by 4712
Abstract
Fruit peels have a diverse range of phytochemicals including carotenoids, vitamins, dietary fibres, and phenolic compounds, some with remarkable antioxidant properties. Nevertheless, the comprehensive screening and characterization of the complex array of phenolic compounds in different fruit peels is limited. This study aimed [...] Read more.
Fruit peels have a diverse range of phytochemicals including carotenoids, vitamins, dietary fibres, and phenolic compounds, some with remarkable antioxidant properties. Nevertheless, the comprehensive screening and characterization of the complex array of phenolic compounds in different fruit peels is limited. This study aimed to determine the polyphenol content and their antioxidant potential in twenty different fruit peel samples in an ethanolic extraction, including their comprehensive characterization and quantification using the LC-MS/MS and HPLC. The obtained results showed that the mango peel exhibited the highest phenolic content for TPC (27.51 ± 0.63 mg GAE/g) and TFC (1.75 ± 0.08 mg QE/g), while the TTC (9.01 ± 0.20 mg CE/g) was slightly higher in the avocado peel than mango peel (8.99 ± 0.13 mg CE/g). In terms of antioxidant potential, the grapefruit peel had the highest radical scavenging capacities for the DPPH (9.17 ± 0.19 mg AAE/g), ABTS (10.79 ± 0.56 mg AAE/g), ferric reducing capacity in FRAP (9.22 ± 0.25 mg AA/g), and total antioxidant capacity, TAC (8.77 ± 0.34 mg AAE/g) compared to other fruit peel samples. The application of LC-ESI-QTOF-MS/MS tentatively identified and characterized a total of 176 phenolics, including phenolic acids (49), flavonoids (86), lignans (11), stilbene (5) and other polyphenols (25) in all twenty peel samples. From HPLC-PDA quantification, the mango peel sample showed significantly higher phenolic content, particularly for phenolic acids (gallic acid, 14.5 ± 0.4 mg/g) and flavonoids (quercetin, 11.9 ± 0.4 mg/g), as compared to other fruit peel samples. These results highlight the importance of fruit peels as a potential source of polyphenols. This study provides supportive information for the utilization of different phenolic rich fruit peels as ingredients in food, feed, and nutraceutical products. Full article
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Article
European Markets for Cultured Meat: A Comparison of Germany and France
Foods 2020, 9(9), 1152; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9091152 - 21 Aug 2020
Cited by 39 | Viewed by 9750
Abstract
The negative impacts of meat consumption for animals, the environment, and human health are more pressing than ever. Although some evidence points to an ongoing reduction in meat consumption in Europe, consumers are overall unwilling to cut their meat consumption in a substantial [...] Read more.
The negative impacts of meat consumption for animals, the environment, and human health are more pressing than ever. Although some evidence points to an ongoing reduction in meat consumption in Europe, consumers are overall unwilling to cut their meat consumption in a substantial way. The present study investigates dietary identities and perceptions of cultured meat in nationally representative samples from Germany (n = 1000) and France (n = 1000). Participants were recruited through an Ipsos panel to answer an online survey, which included questions about their current and intended consumption of conventional meat, as well as questions about their opinions of cultured meat. We find that, whilst rates of vegetarianism were relatively low in France, unrestricted meat-eaters were a minority in Germany, and concern for animal welfare was the most common reason given for meat reduction. Substantial markets for cultured meat exist in both countries, although German consumers are significantly more open to the concept than the French. Strikingly, cultured meat acceptance is significantly higher amongst agricultural and meat workers, indicating that those who are closest to existing meat production methods are most likely to prefer alternatives. We found some evidence that pro-cultured meat messages, which focus on antibiotic resistance and food safety, are significantly more persuasive than those that focus on animals or the environment. Furthermore, consumers project that they would be significantly more likely to consume cultured meat that does not contain genetically modified ingredients. Overall, we find substantially large markets for cultured meat in Germany and France, and identify some potential ways to further increase acceptance in these markets. We conclude by highlighting the most promising markets for cultured meat, and highlighting a lack of antibiotics as a potentially persuasive message about cultured meat. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Engineered and Cell-Based Meat and Seafood)
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Communication
Biodegradable Hybrid Nanocomposite of Chitosan/Gelatin and Green Synthesized Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles for Food Packaging
Foods 2020, 9(9), 1143; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9091143 - 19 Aug 2020
Cited by 38 | Viewed by 3768
Abstract
In the context of emerging global concerns with synthetic plastic packaging, alternative natural biodegradable packaging materials are gaining increasing attention for food packaging applications. In this study, chitosan and gelatin nanocomposite hybrid films containing green synthesized zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles (NPs) were developed [...] Read more.
In the context of emerging global concerns with synthetic plastic packaging, alternative natural biodegradable packaging materials are gaining increasing attention for food packaging applications. In this study, chitosan and gelatin nanocomposite hybrid films containing green synthesized zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles (NPs) were developed and microstructural properties were studied. Antimicrobial activity of the developed films was evaluated using both Gram negative (Escherichia coli) and Gram positive bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus). Green synthesis protocol was used for the precipitation of ZnO NPs using fruit extract of Cassia fistula. The as-synthesized polyhedral ZnO NPs were in the range of 20–40 nm (average size ≈29 nm). Reinforcement with ZnO NPs in the hybrid films lead to improved thermal stability, elongation-at-break (EAB), and compactness properties. The developed films with 2% and 4% ZnO NPs showed a smooth, compact, and heterogeneous surface morphology compared to the control (chitosan-gelatin hybrid) films. Disc diffusion assays showed that the nanocomposite film had significant antimicrobial activity against E. coli. The developed hybrid nanocomposite films have potential to be developed as biodegradable alternative for postharvest packaging of fresh fruits and vegetables. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Packaging and Preservation)
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Article
Characterization and Antimicrobial Activity of Biodegradable Active Packaging Enriched with Clove and Thyme Essential Oil for Food Packaging Application
Foods 2020, 9(8), 1117; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9081117 - 13 Aug 2020
Cited by 33 | Viewed by 3369
Abstract
Bioactive packaging contains natural antimicrobial agents, which inhibit the growth of microorganisms and increase the food shelf life. Solvent casting method was used to prepare the Poly (lactide)-Poly (butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PLA-PBAT) film incorporated with the thyme oil and clove oil in various concentrations [...] Read more.
Bioactive packaging contains natural antimicrobial agents, which inhibit the growth of microorganisms and increase the food shelf life. Solvent casting method was used to prepare the Poly (lactide)-Poly (butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PLA-PBAT) film incorporated with the thyme oil and clove oil in various concentrations (1 wt%, 5 wt% and 10 wt%). The clove oil composite films depicted less green and more yellow as compared to thyme oil composite films. Clove oil composite film has shown an 80% increase in the UV blocking efficiency. The tensile strength (TS) of thyme oil and clove oil composite film decreases from 1.35 MPs (control film) to 0.96 MPa and 0.79, respectively. A complete killing of S. aureus that is a reduction from 6.5 log CFU/mL to 0 log CFU/mL was observed on the 10 wt% clove oil incorporated composite film. Clove oil and thyme oil composite film had inhibited E. coli biofilm by 93.43% and 82.30%, respectively. Clove oil composite film had exhibited UV blocking properties, strong antimicrobial activity and has high potential to be used as an active food packaging. Full article
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Article
Sourdough Fermentation Degrades Wheat Alpha-Amylase/Trypsin Inhibitor (ATI) and Reduces Pro-Inflammatory Activity
Foods 2020, 9(7), 943; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9070943 - 16 Jul 2020
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 4322
Abstract
The ingestion of gluten-containing foods can cause wheat-related disorders in up to 15% of wheat consuming populations. Besides the role of gluten, α-amylase/trypsin inhibitors (ATI) have recently been identified as inducers of an innate immune response via toll-like receptor 4 in celiac disease [...] Read more.
The ingestion of gluten-containing foods can cause wheat-related disorders in up to 15% of wheat consuming populations. Besides the role of gluten, α-amylase/trypsin inhibitors (ATI) have recently been identified as inducers of an innate immune response via toll-like receptor 4 in celiac disease and non-celiac wheat sensitivity. ATI are involved in plant self-defense against insects and possibly in grain development. Notably, they are largely resistant to gastrointestinal proteases and heat, and their inflammatory activity affects not only the intestine, but also peripheral organs. The aim of this study was to understand the changes of ATI throughout the sourdough and yeast-fermented bread-making processes. ATI tetramers were isolated, fluorescein-labelled, and added to a mini-dough bread-making system. When the pH decreased below 4.0 in sourdough fermentation, the ATI tetramers were degraded due to the activation of aspartic proteases, whilst in yeast fermentation, ATI tetramers remained intact. The amylase inhibitory activity after sourdough fermentation decreased significantly, while the concentration of free thiol groups increased. The glutathione reductase activity of Fructilactobacillus sanfranciscensis did not contribute to the reduction of ATI tetramers. Compared to the unfermented wheat, sourdough fermentation was able to decrease the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) in quantitative ATI extracts added to the human monocytic cell line THP-1. The current data suggest that sourdough fermentation can degrade ATI structure and bioactivity, and point to strategies to improve product development for wheat sensitivity patients. Full article
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Article
Physiochemical Characteristics of Hot and Cold Brew Coffee Chemistry: The Effects of Roast Level and Brewing Temperature on Compound Extraction
Foods 2020, 9(7), 902; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9070902 - 09 Jul 2020
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 3913
Abstract
The role of roasting in cold brew coffee chemistry is poorly understood. The brewing temperature influences extraction processes and may have varying effects across the roast spectrum. To understand the relationship between brew temperature and roast temperature, hot and cold brew coffees were [...] Read more.
The role of roasting in cold brew coffee chemistry is poorly understood. The brewing temperature influences extraction processes and may have varying effects across the roast spectrum. To understand the relationship between brew temperature and roast temperature, hot and cold brew coffees were prepared from Arabica Columbian coffee beans roasted to light, medium, and dark levels. Chemical and physical parameters were measured to investigate the relationships among degree of roast, water temperature, and key characteristics of resulting coffees. Cold brew coffees showed differential extraction marked by decreased acidity, lower concentration of browned compounds, and fewer TDS indicating that cold water brewing extracts some compounds less effectively than hot water brewing. Compounds in coffee did exhibit sensitivity to degree of roast, with darker roasts resulting in decreased concentrations for both hot and cold brew coffees. Total antioxidant capacity (TAC) was only sensitive to degree of roast in cold brew coffees, while hot brew coffees had a constant TAC for all three roast levels. This indicates that the solid bean matrix and its chemical constituents interact with cold water differently than with hot water. Surface wetting, pore dynamics, and solubility all contribute to the extraction potential during brewing and are all functions of water temperature. Full article
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