Plant-Based Food:From Nutritional Value to Health Benefits

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Foods".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 12 August 2024 | Viewed by 12785

Special Issue Editors

College of Food Science and Engineering, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou 225009, China
Interests: phytochemicals; plant-based functional foods; germination; abiotic stress; soybeans
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
College of Food Science and Engineering, Qingdao Agricultural University, Qingdao 266109, China
Interests: plant-based bioactive compounds; nutrition and health; germination; abiotic stress; grains; beans

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Guest Editor
College of Food Science and Technology, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
Interests: phytochemicals accumulation; sprouts producing; seeds germination; gamma-aminobutyric acid metabolism and its signal function; phenolics accumulation; food chemistry; metabolomics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plants are considered to be an important source of bioactive compounds. Plant-based bioactive compounds have demonstrated their role in various health benefits, such as anti-cardiovascular disease, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, and other effects. The primary bioactive compounds in plants are flavonoids, phenolic acids, alkaloids, saponins, polysaccharides, etc. Bioactive compounds in fruits, vegetables, medicinal plants, and cereals have been widely used in the development of plant-based functional foods. However, considering the low levels of bioactive compounds in most plants, there are many traditional and innovative techniques (e.g., germination, exogenous additive treatment, abiotic stress, and physical treatments) that promote the accumulation of them. Furthermore, the molecular mechanisms that these enrichment techniques regulate, regarding the biosynthesis of active substances in plants, need to be further explored. Therefore, this Special Issue is dedicated to original research articles that cover the latest findings on the enrichment techniques and molecular mechanisms of plant-based bioactive compounds.

Dr. Yongqi Yin
Dr. Liping Guo
Dr. Runqiang Yang
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • phytochemicals
  • biological compounds
  • plant-based functional foods
  • characterization
  • functional attributes
  • phenolic compound
  • food processing
  • bioavailability
  • abiotic stress
  • physiological metabolism
  • biosynthesis mechanism

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

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18 pages, 3763 KiB  
Article
Algae-Boosted Chickpea Hummus: Improving Nutrition and Texture with Seaweeds and Microalgae
by José Matheus, Maria João Alegria, Maria Cristiana Nunes and Anabela Raymundo
Foods 2024, 13(14), 2178; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13142178 - 10 Jul 2024
Viewed by 520
Abstract
The global food industry faces a critical challenge in ensuring sustainable practices to meet the demands of a growing population while minimizing environmental impact. At the same time, consumer awareness and the demand for quality products drive innovation and inspire positive changes in [...] Read more.
The global food industry faces a critical challenge in ensuring sustainable practices to meet the demands of a growing population while minimizing environmental impact. At the same time, consumer awareness and the demand for quality products drive innovation and inspire positive changes in the food supply chain. Aiming to create a more sustainable and nutrient-rich alternative, this study is summarized by characterizing the physical and chemical characteristics of algae-enriched chickpea hummus: an innovative approach to popular food products. The algae-enriched hummuses were developed with an incorporation (6% w/w) of Gelidium corneum and Fucus vesiculosus seaweeds and Chlorella vulgaris (hetero and autotrophic) microalgae to reveal their technological potential and evaluate the nutritional and rheological characteristics relative to a control hummus (without algae). From a nutritional perspective, the main results indicated that hummus enriched with microalgae showed an increase in protein content and an improved mineral profile. This was particularly notable for the seaweed F. vesiculosus and the autotrophic microalga C. vulgaris, leading to claims of being a “source of” and “rich in” various minerals. Additionally, the antioxidant activity of hummus containing F. vesiculosus and C. vulgaris increased significantly compared to the control. From a rheological perspective, incorporating algae into the humus strengthened its structure. The microalgae further enhanced the dish’s elasticity and firmness, thus improving this chickpea-based dish´s overall texture and quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Based Food:From Nutritional Value to Health Benefits)
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19 pages, 2004 KiB  
Article
Characterization of Selected Microalgae Species as Potential Sources of Nutrients and Antioxidants
by Natália Čmiková, Przemysław Łukasz Kowalczewski, Dominik Kmiecik, Aneta Tomczak, Agnieszka Drożdżyńska, Mariusz Ślachciński, Jakub Królak and Miroslava Kačániová
Foods 2024, 13(13), 2160; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13132160 - 8 Jul 2024
Viewed by 563
Abstract
Microalgae are exceptional organisms from a nutritional perspective, boasting an array of bioactive compounds that have long justified their incorporation into human diets. In this study, we explored the potential of five microalgae species: Nannochloropsis sp., Tetraselmis chuii, Chaetoceros muelleri, Thalassiosira [...] Read more.
Microalgae are exceptional organisms from a nutritional perspective, boasting an array of bioactive compounds that have long justified their incorporation into human diets. In this study, we explored the potential of five microalgae species: Nannochloropsis sp., Tetraselmis chuii, Chaetoceros muelleri, Thalassiosira weissflogii, and Tisochrysis lutea. We conducted comprehensive analyses of their nutritional profiles, encompassing protein content, individual amino acid composition, mineral and trace element levels, fatty acid profiles (including saturated fatty acids (SFAs), monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs)), polyphenol compositions, and vitamin B content. The antioxidant activity of the ethanolic extracts was evaluated using two methods: ABTS and DPPH radical scavenging assay. The total protein content of the microalgae ranged from 34.09 ± 0.39% to 42.45 ± 0.18%, with the highest concentration observed in T. weissflogii. Essential amino acids such as histidine, threonine, lysine, valine, isoleucine, leucine, phenylalanine, and methionine were present in concentrations ranging from 0.53 ± 0.02 to 12.55 ± 2.21 g/16 g N. Glutamic acid emerged as the most abundant amino acid, with concentrations ranging from 6.73 ± 0.82 to 12.55 ± 2.21 g/16 g N. Among the microalgae species, T. chuii exhibited the highest concentrations of calcium (Ca) and manganese (Mn), while C. muelleri showed prominence in magnesium (Mg), sodium (Na), and iron (Fe). T. weissflogii stood out for its potassium (K) content, and T. lutea contained notable amounts of copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), and lead (Pb). Regarding fatty acid profiles, Nannochloropsis sp. and T. chuii were predominantly composed of SFA, while C. muelleri and T. weissflogii were rich in MUFA. PUFAs dominated the fatty acid profile of T. lutea, which also exhibited the most diverse range of polyphenolic substances. We also analyzed the B vitamin content, with T. lutea displaying the highest concentrations of niacin (B3) and riboflavin (B2). Antioxidant activity was confirmed for all microalgae tested using DPPH and ABTS radical IC50 (mg/mL) converted to Trolox equivalent (TEAC). These findings underscore the substantial potential of the examined microalgae species as sources of biologically valuable substances characterized by rapid growth and relatively undemanding cultivation conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Based Food:From Nutritional Value to Health Benefits)
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16 pages, 519 KiB  
Article
Unraveling the In Vitro Anti-Advanced Glycation End-Product (Anti-AGE) Potential of Fermented Red Cabbage and Beetroot: Insights into Composition and Activities
by Małgorzata Starowicz, Natalia Płatosz, Natalia Bączek, Dorota Szawara-Nowak, Kristýna Šimková and Wiesław Wiczkowski
Foods 2024, 13(12), 1791; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13121791 - 7 Jun 2024
Viewed by 590
Abstract
This study verified the in vitro activity of red cabbage and beetroot against the formation of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) and their relationship with the biomolecules’ content. Fermentation of cabbage increased the total phenolic (~10%) and flavonoid contents (~14%), whereas decreased total phenolics/flavonoids [...] Read more.
This study verified the in vitro activity of red cabbage and beetroot against the formation of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) and their relationship with the biomolecules’ content. Fermentation of cabbage increased the total phenolic (~10%) and flavonoid contents (~14%), whereas decreased total phenolics/flavonoids in beetroot. Fermented cabbage exhibited higher ability against AGEs, i.e., 17% in the bovine serum albumin–methylglyoxal (BSA-MGO) model and 25% in the BSA–glucose model, while beetroot exhibited 23% and 18%, respectively. The major compounds of cabbage products were cyanidin 3-(sinapoyl)(sinapoyl)-diglucoside-5-glucoside, sinapic acid, and epicatechin. Syringic acid and epicatechin were predominantly present in fermented beetroot. 2,17-bidecarboxy- and 2,15,17-tridecarboxy-betanin were the major betalains. Fermented vegetables can be effective inhibitors of the AGE formation/accumulation and could be recommended in the prevention of diet-related diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Based Food:From Nutritional Value to Health Benefits)
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13 pages, 303 KiB  
Article
Changes in Garlic Quality during Fermentation under Different Conditions
by Aurelija Paulauskienė, Šarūnas Kulbokas, Egidijus Zvicevičius and Živilė Tarasevičienė
Foods 2024, 13(11), 1665; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13111665 - 26 May 2024
Viewed by 567
Abstract
One of the garlic processing methods is fermentation, which produces black garlic with completely different chemical, physical, sensory, culinary, and health-enhancing properties. Our study aimed to compare the influence of various processing conditions on the quality indicators of black garlic (BG). Samples of [...] Read more.
One of the garlic processing methods is fermentation, which produces black garlic with completely different chemical, physical, sensory, culinary, and health-enhancing properties. Our study aimed to compare the influence of various processing conditions on the quality indicators of black garlic (BG). Samples of white garlic (WG) were placed in laboratory climatic chambers. BG1 samples were packed in plastic bags and vacuumed, BG2 and BG3 samples were packed in textile mesh bags. BG1 samples were fermented in 70% humidity at 50 °C for 28 days, BG2 samples in 85% humidity at 60 °C for 99 days, and BG3 samples in 80% humidity at 80 °C for 14 days. The dependence of changes in chemical composition, color, and texture of garlic on fermentation conditions was analyzed. Proximate composition analyses and antioxidant activity of WG and BG were performed using standard methods. It was established that regardless of the fermentation conditions, BG’s chemical composition became richer than WG’s. They significantly increased vitamin C content (1.5–5.8 fold), titratable acidity (14.7–21.0 fold), protein (1.4–3.2 fold), fiber (4.6–7.0 fold), and ash (1.2–3.9 fold) content, amount of total phenolic compounds (6.6–9.6 fold) and antioxidant activity (5.3–9.9 fold). Fermented garlic turned dark in color and soft and sticky in texture. The higher fermentation temperature (80 °C) but the shorter time (14 days) had the greatest positive effect on the quality of black garlic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Based Food:From Nutritional Value to Health Benefits)
22 pages, 2385 KiB  
Article
NMR Metabolomics of Arctium lappa L., Taraxacum officinale and Melissa officinalis: A Comparison of Spontaneous and Organic Ecotypes
by Donatella Ambroselli, Fabrizio Masciulli, Enrico Romano, Ruggero Guerrini, Cinzia Ingallina, Mattia Spano and Luisa Mannina
Foods 2024, 13(11), 1642; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13111642 - 24 May 2024
Viewed by 992
Abstract
Officinal plants are a source of metabolites whose chemical composition depends on pedoclimatic conditions. In this study, the NMR-based approach was applied to investigate the impacts of different altitudes and agronomical practices (Land, Mountain Spontaneous, and Organically Grown Ecotypes, namely LSE, MSE, and [...] Read more.
Officinal plants are a source of metabolites whose chemical composition depends on pedoclimatic conditions. In this study, the NMR-based approach was applied to investigate the impacts of different altitudes and agronomical practices (Land, Mountain Spontaneous, and Organically Grown Ecotypes, namely LSE, MSE, and OE, respectively) on the metabolite profiles of Burdock root, Dandelion root and aerial part, and Lemon balm aerial part. Sugars, amino acids, organic acids, polyphenols, fatty acids, and other metabolites were identified and quantified in all samples. Some metabolites turned out to be tissue-specific markers. Arginine was found in roots, whereas myo-inositol, galactose, glyceroyldigalactose moiety, pheophytin, and chlorophyll were identified in aerial parts. Caftaric and chicoric acids, 3,5 di-caffeoylquinic acid, and chlorogenic and rosmarinic acids were detected in Dandelion, Burdock and Lemon balm, respectively. The metabolite amount changed significantly according to crop, tissue type, and ecotype. All ecotypes of Burdock had the highest contents of amino acids and the lowest contents of organic acids, whereas an opposite trend was observed in Lemon balm. Dandelion parts contained high levels of carbohydrates, except for the MSE aerial part, which showed the highest content of organic acids. The results provided insights into the chemistry of officinal plants, thus supporting nutraceutical–phytopharmaceutical research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Based Food:From Nutritional Value to Health Benefits)
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26 pages, 1152 KiB  
Article
Influence of Harvesting Stages on Phytonutrients and Antioxidant Properties of Leaves of Five Purple-Fleshed Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas) Genotypes
by Lavhelani Tshilongo, Sephora Mutombo Mianda, Faith Seke, Sunette M. Laurie and Dharini Sivakumar
Foods 2024, 13(11), 1640; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13111640 - 24 May 2024
Viewed by 642
Abstract
Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are highly profitable, contribute to food security, and their leaves rich in phytonutrients. This study examined the optimal leaf harvesting stage by harvesting newly formed leaves (leaves 1 to 5) to achieve the highest concentration of carotenoids, [...] Read more.
Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are highly profitable, contribute to food security, and their leaves rich in phytonutrients. This study examined the optimal leaf harvesting stage by harvesting newly formed leaves (leaves 1 to 5) to achieve the highest concentration of carotenoids, phenolic compounds, antioxidant properties and mineral content. Leaves of five purple-fleshed sweet potato genotypes ‘2019-11-2’ and ‘2019-1-1’, ‘Purple-purple’, and from the USA ‘08-21P’ and ‘16-283P’ were harvested based on tuber life cycle [vegetative 8 weeks after planting (VS-8WAP), tuber initiation (TIS-12WAP), and tuber maturation phases (TMS-16WAP)]. At the 8WAP stage, leaves of genotype ‘2019-11-2’ had the highest concentrations of cyanidin-caffeoyl-sophoroside-glucoside (17.64 mg/kg), cyanidin-caffeoyl-feruloyl-sophoroside-glucoside (41.51 mg/kg), peonidin-caffeoyl-hydroxybenzoyl-sophoriside-glucoside (45.25 mg/kg), and peonidin caffeoyl-feruloyl-sophoriside-glucoside (24.47 mg/kg), as well as antioxidant scavenging activity. In contrast, ‘Purple-purple’ harvested at TIS-12WAP showed the highest concentration of caffeoylquinic acid derivatives. Zeaxanthin, lutein, all trans-β-carotene, and cis-β-carotene are the most abundant carotenoids in genotype ‘08-21P’ at VS-8WAP. As a result, local genotypes ‘2019-11-2’ harvested at 8WAP and ‘Purple-purple’ harvested at 12WAP are potential sources of anthocyanins and caffeoylquinic acid derivatives. Conversely, USA’s genotype ‘08-21P’ at the VS-8WAP stage is an excellent source of carotenoids. The leaves of USA’s ‘08-21P’ genotype and the local ‘2019-11-2’ genotype at TMS-16WAP exhibited the highest content of Fe and Mn, respectively. The study identified the optimal leaf stage for consumption of leaves and for use as a functional ingredient. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Based Food:From Nutritional Value to Health Benefits)
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15 pages, 613 KiB  
Article
Nutritional and Phytochemical Characterization of Freeze-Dried Raspberry (Rubus idaeus): A Comprehensive Analysis
by Mirko Marino, Claudio Gardana, Marco Rendine, Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, Patrizia Riso, Marisa Porrini and Cristian Del Bo’
Foods 2024, 13(7), 1051; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13071051 - 29 Mar 2024
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1009
Abstract
Several studies have highlighted the beneficial effects of consuming red raspberries on human health thanks to their high content of phytochemicals. However, the products used in these studies, both in the raw or freeze-dried form, were not fully characterized for nutrient and phytochemical [...] Read more.
Several studies have highlighted the beneficial effects of consuming red raspberries on human health thanks to their high content of phytochemicals. However, the products used in these studies, both in the raw or freeze-dried form, were not fully characterized for nutrient and phytochemical composition. In this study, we aimed to determine the nutrient and non-nutrient compounds present in a freeze-dried red raspberry powder widely used by the food industry and consumers. The main sugars identified were fructose (12%), glucose (11%), and sucrose (11%). Twelve fatty acids were detected, with linoleic acid (46%), α-linolenic acid (20%), and oleic acid (15%) being the most abundant. Regarding micronutrients, vitamin C was the main hydro-soluble vitamin, while minerals, potassium, phosphorous, copper and magnesium were the most abundant, with concentrations ranging from 9 up to 96 mg/100 g, followed by manganese, iron and zinc, detected in the range 0.1–0.9 mg/100 g. Phytochemical analysis using UHPLC-DAD-HR-MS detection revealed the presence of Sanguiin H6 (0.4%), Lambertianin C (0.05%), and Sanguiin H-10 isomers (0.9%) as the main compounds. Among anthocyanins, the most representative compounds were cyanidin-3-sophoroside, cyanidin-3-glucoside and cyanidin-3-sambubioside. Our findings can serve as a reliable resource for the food industry, nutraceutical applications and for future investigations in the context of human health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Based Food:From Nutritional Value to Health Benefits)
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14 pages, 1222 KiB  
Article
An Apple and Acáchul Berry Snack Rich in Bioaccessible Antioxidants and Folic Acid: A Healthy Alternative for Prenatal Diets
by Rocío Corfield, Mariana C. Allievi, Roy Rivero, Tamara A. López, Oscar E. Pérez, Daniela Salvatori and Carolina Schebor
Foods 2024, 13(5), 692; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13050692 - 24 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1055
Abstract
A fruit leather (apple and acáchul berry) oriented toward women of reproductive age was developed. The snack was supplemented with an ingredient composed of folic acid (FA) and whey proteins (WPI) to ensure the required vitamin intake to prevent fetal neural tube defects. [...] Read more.
A fruit leather (apple and acáchul berry) oriented toward women of reproductive age was developed. The snack was supplemented with an ingredient composed of folic acid (FA) and whey proteins (WPI) to ensure the required vitamin intake to prevent fetal neural tube defects. In order to generate a low-calorie snack, alternative sweeteners were used (stevia and maltitol). The fruit leather composition was determined. Also, an in vitro digestion process was carried out to evaluate the bioaccessibility of compounds with antioxidant capacity (AC), total polyphenols (TPCs), total monomeric anthocyanins (ACY), and FA. The quantification of FA was conducted by a microbiological method and by HPLC. The leather contained carbohydrates (70%) and antioxidant compounds, mainly from fruits. Bioaccessibility was high for AC (50%) and TPCs (90%), and low for ACY (17%). Regarding FA, bioaccessibility was higher for WPI-FA (50%) than for FA alone (37%), suggesting that WPI effectively protected the vitamin from processing and digestion. Furthermore, the product was shown to be non-cytotoxic in a Caco-2 cell model. The developed snack is an interesting option due to its low energy intake, no added sugar, and high content of bioactive compounds. Also, the supplementation with WPI-FA improved the conservation and bioaccessibility of FA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Based Food:From Nutritional Value to Health Benefits)
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14 pages, 1652 KiB  
Article
Variation in Flavonoid Compounds, Volatiles and Yield Related Traits in Different Iranian Rosa damascena Mill. Cultivars Based on SPME Arrow and LC-MS/MS
by Safoora Behnamnia, Mehdi Rahimmalek, Maryam Haghighi, Ali Nikbakht, Shima Gharibi, Natalia Pachura, Antoni Szumny and Jacek Łyczko
Foods 2024, 13(5), 668; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13050668 - 22 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 873
Abstract
Damask rose (Rosa damascena Mill.) is an aromatic industrial plant with different applications. Selection of cultivars with high-value metabolites such as flavonoids—with acceptable yields—can lead to elite cultivars for mass propagation in various industries. A field experiment was carried out in a [...] Read more.
Damask rose (Rosa damascena Mill.) is an aromatic industrial plant with different applications. Selection of cultivars with high-value metabolites such as flavonoids—with acceptable yields—can lead to elite cultivars for mass propagation in various industries. A field experiment was carried out in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) to evaluate metabolites and some yield-related morphological data. In the present investigation, for the first time 13 flavonoid components of nine Iranian damask rose cultivars were compared using LC-MS/MS. As a result, 13 flavonoids were identified, most of which were reported for the first time in rose petals. Phloridzin (72.59–375.92 mg/100 g dw), diosmetin (82.48–153.16 mg/100 g dw) and biochanin A (0–1066.89 mg/100 g dw) were the most abundant, followed by trans-chalcone (0–106.29 mg/100 g dw) and diosmin (41.55–84.57 mg/100 g dw). Levels of naringenin also ranged from 3.77 in B111 to 54.70 mg/100 g dw in C294, while luteolin varied from 4.37 in B111 to 28.87 mg/100 g dw in C294. The SPME Arrow technique also was applied to determine the real aroma of the studied cultivars. Phenethyl alcohol was the most abundant compound, in the range of 69.28 to 77.58%. The highest citronellol/geraniol (C/G) was observed in D234 (4.52%) and D237 (4.30%), while the lowest amount belonged to A104 (1.28%). Rose oxide, as the most crucial factor for odor, ranged from 0.06% in D237 to 0.15% in D211. Based on cluster and principal component analysis (PCA), D234 cultivar can be suggested as a promising cultivar with high yield, high C/G content and high rose oxide, while D234 and C294 were the most valuable cultivars in terms of flavonoids with high yield. Finally, these cultivars can be introduced for further breeding programs and industrial cultivation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Based Food:From Nutritional Value to Health Benefits)
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13 pages, 3381 KiB  
Article
iTRAQ-Based Proteomic Analyses of Regulation of Isothiocyanate and Endogenous Selenium Metabolism in Broccoli Sprouts by Exogenous Sodium Selenite
by Xiaolan Quan, Yuwei Cheng, Zhengfei Yang, Jia Yang, Weiming Fang and Yongqi Yin
Foods 2023, 12(7), 1397; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12071397 - 25 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1414
Abstract
Broccoli sprouts have high isothiocyanate and selenium accumulation capacity. This study used a combination of methods, including physiological and biochemical, gene transcription and proteomic, to investigate the isothiocyanate and endogenous selenium accumulation mechanisms in broccoli sprouts under exogenous sodium selenite treatment during germination. [...] Read more.
Broccoli sprouts have high isothiocyanate and selenium accumulation capacity. This study used a combination of methods, including physiological and biochemical, gene transcription and proteomic, to investigate the isothiocyanate and endogenous selenium accumulation mechanisms in broccoli sprouts under exogenous sodium selenite treatment during germination. Compared with the control, the sprouts length of broccoli sprouts under exogenous selenium treatment was significantly lower, and the contents of total phenol and malondialdehyde in 6-day-old broccoli sprouts were substantially higher. The contents of isothiocyanate and sulforaphane in 4-day-old were increased by up-regulating the relative expression of genes of UGT74B1, OX-1, and ST5b. The relative expression of BoSultr1;1, BoSMT, BoHMT1, and BoCOQ5-2 genes regulating selenium metabolism was significantly up-regulated. In addition, 354 proteins in 4-day-old broccoli sprouts showed different relative abundance compared to the control under selenium treatment. These proteins were classified into 14 functional categories. It was discovered that metabolic pathways and biosynthetic pathways of secondary metabolites were significantly enriched. The above results showed that exogenous selenium was beneficial in inducing the accumulation of isothiocyanate and selenium during the growth of broccoli sprouts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Based Food:From Nutritional Value to Health Benefits)
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Review

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34 pages, 1609 KiB  
Review
Effectiveness of Flavonoid-Rich Diet in Alleviating Symptoms of Neurodegenerative Diseases
by Aneta Szulc, Karolina Wiśniewska, Magdalena Żabińska, Lidia Gaffke, Maria Szota, Zuzanna Olendzka, Grzegorz Węgrzyn and Karolina Pierzynowska
Foods 2024, 13(12), 1931; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13121931 - 19 Jun 2024
Viewed by 823
Abstract
Over the past decades, there has been a significant increase in the burden of neurological diseases, including neurodegenerative disorders, on a global scale. This is linked to a widespread demographic trend in which developed societies are aging, leading to an increased proportion of [...] Read more.
Over the past decades, there has been a significant increase in the burden of neurological diseases, including neurodegenerative disorders, on a global scale. This is linked to a widespread demographic trend in which developed societies are aging, leading to an increased proportion of elderly individuals and, concurrently, an increase in the number of those afflicted, posing one of the main public health challenges for the coming decades. The complex pathomechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases and resulting varied symptoms, which differ depending on the disease, environment, and lifestyle of the patients, make searching for therapies for this group of disorders a formidable challenge. Currently, most neurodegenerative diseases are considered incurable. An important aspect in the fight against and prevention of neurodegenerative diseases may be broadly understood lifestyle choices, and more specifically, what we will focus on in this review, a diet. One proposal that may help in the fight against the spread of neurodegenerative diseases is a diet rich in flavonoids. Flavonoids are compounds widely found in products considered healthy, such as fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Many studies indicated not only the neuroprotective effects of these compounds but also their ability to reverse changes occurring during the progression of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Here, we present the main groups of flavonoids, discussing their characteristics and mechanisms of action. The most widely described mechanisms point to neuroprotective functions due to strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, accompanied with their ability to penetrate the blood-brain barrier, as well as the ability to inhibit the formation of protein aggregates. The latter feature, together with promoting removal of the aggregates is especially important in neurodegenerative diseases. We discuss a therapeutic potential of selected flavonoids in the fight against neurodegenerative diseases, based on in vitro studies, and their impact when included in the diet of animals (laboratory research) and humans (population studies). Thus, this review summarizes flavonoids’ actions and impacts on neurodegenerative diseases. Therapeutic use of these compounds in the future is potentially possible but depends on overcoming key challenges such as low bioavailability, determining the therapeutic dose, and defining what a flavonoid-rich diet is and determining its potential negative effects. This review also suggests further research directions to address these challenges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Based Food:From Nutritional Value to Health Benefits)
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21 pages, 5317 KiB  
Review
Green Onion (Allium fistulosum): An Aromatic Vegetable Crop Esteemed for Food, Nutritional and Therapeutic Significance
by Seong-Hoon Kim, Jung Beom Yoon, Jiwon Han, Yum Am Seo, Byeong-Hee Kang, Jaesu Lee and Kingsley Ochar
Foods 2023, 12(24), 4503; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12244503 - 16 Dec 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2550
Abstract
In recent years, there has been a shift towards a greater demand for more nutritious and healthier foods, emphasizing the role of diets in human well-being. Edible Alliums, including common onions, garlic, chives and green onions, are staples in diverse cuisines worldwide [...] Read more.
In recent years, there has been a shift towards a greater demand for more nutritious and healthier foods, emphasizing the role of diets in human well-being. Edible Alliums, including common onions, garlic, chives and green onions, are staples in diverse cuisines worldwide and are valued specifically for their culinary versatility, distinct flavors and nutritional and medicinal properties. Green onions are widely cultivated and traded as a spicy vegetable. The mild, onion-like flavor makes the crop a pleasant addition to various dishes, serving as a staple ingredient in many world cuisines, particularly in Eastern Asian countries such as China, Japan and the Republic of Korea. The green pseudostems, leaves and non-developed bulbs of green onions are utilized in salads, stir-fries, garnishes and a myriad of culinary preparations. Additionally, green onions have a rich historical background in traditional medicine and diets, capturing the attention of chefs and the general public. The status of the crop as an important food, its culinary diversity and its nutraceutical and therapeutic value make it a subject of great interest in research. Therefore, the present review has examined the distribution, culinary, nutritional and therapeutic significance of green onions, highlighting the health benefits derived from the consumption of diets with this aromatic vegetable crop as a constituent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Based Food:From Nutritional Value to Health Benefits)
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