Special Issue "Sustainable Unconventional Processes for the Recovery and Enhancement of Functional Compounds from Plant Foods"

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Engineering and Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2023 | Viewed by 808

Special Issue Editor

CREA Research Centre for Olive, Fruit and Citrus Crops, Via di Fioranello 52, 00134 Rome, Italy
Interests: natural products; bioactive food components; phytotherapy; antioxidants; natural products chemistry; green chemistry; biomaterials; circular economy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In food and feed production, the use of plant extracts is a strategy of growing interest to replace the use of chemical and synthetic additives or ingredients as well as to meet consumer demand for innovative, high-quality, healthy, clean-labeled, and sustainable products. Other industries, such as cosmetics, phytotherapy, phytoiatric, etc., are also increasingly employing botanical extracts in response to the increased awareness regarding sustainability and well-being among the public and consumers.

At the same time, there is an urgent need to identify green encapsulation systems that can improve the solubility of lipophilic plant active ingredients, as well as the temporal stability of botanical extracts, without altering their chemical composition, to be able to successfully use them industrially.

In this context, industries are actively seeking new plant sources and environmentally friendly extraction methods for the recovery and encapsulation of these active compounds, aiming for the sustainable use of natural resources and environmental protection. As a result, innovative and unconventional extractive and encapsulation techniques are being developed in recent years to overcome the standard nonecological methodologies based on chemicals and solvents, which are no longer applicable.

Recently, unconventional and innovative extraction techniques using ultrasounds, microwaves, high pressures, supercritical fluids, natural deep eutectic solvents, pulsed electric fields, etc., have been developed to recover bioactive compounds from plants and their byproducts to achieve acceptable results in terms of both the yield and environmental sustainability of the applied process. In addition, the possibility of adopting a solvent-free green chemistry approach to encapsulate bioactives in micro- and/or nano-forms is increasingly attracting the attention of researchers worldwide.

In light of these considerations, this Special Issue will cover the most up-to-date knowledge on the green extraction/encapsulation of plant food products and byproducts in terms of innovative processes, methods, alternative solvents, and product safety, contributing to increasing the overall knowledge of plant-based phytochemicals, their biological activities, and innovative as well as sustainable processes.

Dr. Katya Carbone
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Foods is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • green chemistry
  • encapsulation techniques
  • green extraction techniques
  • natural molecules
  • functional properties
  • plant food systems

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Investigation of Consequences of High-Voltage Pulsed Electric Field and TGase Cross-Linking on the Physicochemical and Rheological Properties of Pleurotus eryngii Protein
Foods 2023, 12(3), 647; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12030647 - 02 Feb 2023
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This study aimed to evaluate the effects of high-voltage pulsed electric fields (HPEF) and transglutaminase (TGase) cross-clinking on the physicochemical and rheological properties of Pleurotus eryngii protein (PEP). The results showed that HPEF increased α-helixes and β-turns but decreased β-folds. A HPEF at [...] Read more.
This study aimed to evaluate the effects of high-voltage pulsed electric fields (HPEF) and transglutaminase (TGase) cross-clinking on the physicochemical and rheological properties of Pleurotus eryngii protein (PEP). The results showed that HPEF increased α-helixes and β-turns but decreased β-folds. A HPEF at 1500 V/cm maximized the free sulfhydryl content and solubility of PEP. TGase formed high-molecular-weight polymers in PEP. TGase at 0.25% maximized the free sulfhydryl groups, particle size, and solubility; shifted the maximum absorption wavelength from 343 nm to 339 nm and 341 nm; increased α-helixes and β-turns and decreased β-folds; and showed better rheological properties. Compared with TGase cross-linking, HPEF-1500 V/cm and 1% TGase significantly reduced the free sulfhydryl groups, particle size, and solubility, produced more uniform network structures, and improved the rheological properties. These results suggest that HPEF can increase the cross-linking of TGase and improve rheological properties of TGase-cross-linked PEP by affecting the physicochemical properties. Full article
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