Advances in Novel Foods, Gut Microbiota, and Human Health

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2023) | Viewed by 24400

Special Issue Editors

Centro de Biotecnologia e Química Fina, Laboratório Associado, Escola Superior de Biotecnologia, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, CBQF, Rua Diogo Botelho 1327, 4169-005 Porto, Portugal
Interests: food biotechnology; nanotechnology; food waste valorization; separation and extraction techniques; green processes
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Bioprocess and Microbial Biochemistry Group, Food Research Department, School of Chemistry, Autonomous University of Coahuila, Saltillo, Mexico
Interests: fermentation; polyphenols; bioprocess; agro-industrial waste; biological properties
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
School of Basic Sciences, Technology, and Engineering, Universidad Nacional Abierta y a Distancia—UNAD, Palmira 763531, Colombia
Interests: probiotics; functional foods; bioactive compounds; agri-food byproduct valorization; bioprocess
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We kindly invite you to submit your contributions to the Special Issue entitled “Advances in Novel Foods, Gut Microbiota, and Human Health”. This Special Issue aims to cover the most recent advances in the new trends of eating habits and behaviors and to assess and discuss the impact on human gut microbiota and human health and wellbeing. Thus, the development of new ingredients, new foods or new nutraceuticals or new delivery systems (e.g., hydrogels, nanoparticles and microparticles), or its application in a variety of food and nutraceutical-related industries are welcome. Topics concerning the bioaccessibility and bioavailability of new ingredients or new foods, assessment of impact on human gut microbiota, and research on the gut–brain axis and inflammatory axis are also welcome. Up-to-date original research and reviews on these topics are welcome; we look forward to receiving your interesting work.

Dr. Débora A. Campos
Dr. Sepulveda Leonardo
Dr. Liliana Londoño-Hernández
Guest Editors

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 2900 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.

Keywords

  • gut microbiota
  • gut–brain axis
  • probiotics and postbiotics
  • bioaccessibility
  • food byproducts
  • new ingredients
  • novel foods
  • food systems

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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14 pages, 1966 KiB  
Article
The Immunomodulatory Effect of β-Glucan Depends on the Composition of the Gut Microbiota
Foods 2023, 12(17), 3148; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12173148 - 22 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 895
Abstract
This study aimed to elucidate the relationship between the immunomodulatory effects of β-glucan and the composition of gut microbiota in mice. The mice were fed a diet containing β-glucan for 3 weeks, and feces, blood, and tissues were then collected to analyze the [...] Read more.
This study aimed to elucidate the relationship between the immunomodulatory effects of β-glucan and the composition of gut microbiota in mice. The mice were fed a diet containing β-glucan for 3 weeks, and feces, blood, and tissues were then collected to analyze the immunomodulatory effect and gut microbiota composition. Based on the results of the analysis of the expression level of immune-associated proteins, the high immunomodulatory effect group (HIE) and low immunomodulatory effect group (LIE) were categorized. Before the β-glucan diet, the proportions of the phylum Bacteroidota, family Muribaculaceae, and family Lactobacillaceae were significantly higher in HIE than in LIE. Furthermore, the genus Akkermansia was absent before the β-glucan diet and increased after β-glucan diet. These microbes had the ability to metabolize β-glucan or were beneficial to health. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate that variation in the composition of gut microbiota among individuals can result in varying expressions of β-glucan functionality. This outcome supports the notion that β-glucan may be metabolized through diverse pathways by gut microbes originally possessed by mice, subsequently producing various metabolites, such as short-chain fatty acids. Alternatively, the viscosity of the intestinal mucosa could be enhanced by β-glucan, potentially promoting the growth of certain bacteria (e.g., the genus Akkermansia). This study provides insights into the intricate interplay between β-glucan, gut microbiota, and immunomodulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Novel Foods, Gut Microbiota, and Human Health)
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13 pages, 3649 KiB  
Article
High Nutritional Quality of Human-Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Generated Proteins through an Advanced Scalable Peptide Hydrogel 3D Suspension System
Foods 2023, 12(14), 2713; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12142713 - 15 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1122
Abstract
Cell-cultured protein technology has become increasingly attractive due to its sustainability and climate benefits. The aim of this study is to determine the nutritional quality of the human-induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-cultured proteins in an advanced 3D peptide hydrogel system for the highly [...] Read more.
Cell-cultured protein technology has become increasingly attractive due to its sustainability and climate benefits. The aim of this study is to determine the nutritional quality of the human-induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-cultured proteins in an advanced 3D peptide hydrogel system for the highly efficient production of cell-cultured proteins. Our previous study demonstrated a PGmatrix peptide hydrogel for the 3D embedded culture of long-term hiPSC maintenance and expansion (PGmatrix-hiPSC (PG-3D)), which showed significantly superior pluripotency when compared with traditional 2D cell culture on Matrigel and/or Vitronectin and other existing 3D scaffolding systems such as Polyethylene glycol (PEG)-based hydrogels. In this study, we designed a PGmatrix 3D suspension (PG-3DSUSP) system from the PG-3D embedded system that allows scaling up a hiPSC 3D culture volume by 20 times (e.g., from 0.5 mL to 10 mL). The results indicated that the PG-3DSUSP was a competitive system compared to the well-established PG-3D embedded method in terms of cell growth performance and cell pluripotency. hiPSCs cultured in PG-3DSUSP consistently presented a 15–20-fold increase in growth and a 95–99% increase in viability across multiple passages with spheroids with a size range of 30–50 μm. The expression of pluripotency-related genes, including NANOG, OCT4, hTERT, REX1, and UTF1, in PG-3DSUSP-cultured hiPSCs was similar to or higher than that observed in a PG-3D system, suggesting continuous pluripotent maintenance. The nutritional value of the hiPSC-generated proteins from the PG-3DSUSP system was further evaluated for amino acid composition and in vitro protein digestibility. The amino acid composition of the hiPSC-generated proteins demonstrated a significantly higher essential amino acid content (39.0%) than human skeletal muscle protein (31.8%). In vitro protein digestibility of hiPSC-generated proteins was significantly higher (78.0 ± 0.7%) than that of the commercial beef protein isolate (75.7 ± 0.6%). Taken together, this is the first study to report an advanced PG-3DSUSP culture system to produce highly efficient hiPSC-generated proteins that possess more essential amino acids and better digestibility. The hiPSC-generated proteins with superior nutrition quality may be of particular significance as novel alternative proteins in food engineering and industries for future food, beverage, and supplement applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Novel Foods, Gut Microbiota, and Human Health)
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19 pages, 1261 KiB  
Article
Marketing Organic Food from Millennials’ Perspective: A Multi-Theoretical Approach
Foods 2022, 11(18), 2721; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11182721 - 06 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2267
Abstract
This study examines the significant differences between the socio-demographic characteristics of Millennials in Malaysia and their intention to purchase organic food. In addition, the study also investigates the factors that influenced their purchase intention using a multi theoretical approach based on the Theory [...] Read more.
This study examines the significant differences between the socio-demographic characteristics of Millennials in Malaysia and their intention to purchase organic food. In addition, the study also investigates the factors that influenced their purchase intention using a multi theoretical approach based on the Theory of Planned Behavior and Protection Motivation Theory. A questionnaire-based approach was applied. Data were collected via a face-to-face method at organic and non-organic food shops located in Klang Valley, Malaysia. SPSS and PLS-SEM were used to analyze 214 useable samples. The results from the independent sample T-test and ANOVA test showed that there were no significant differences between gender, age, marital status, educational level and ethnicity and intention to purchase organic food; while occupation, monthly income and prior purchase experience were found to have differences on this intention. In addition, a structural model was tested and revealed that response efficacy and attitude positively influenced organic food purchase intention; and attitude was the most important predictor of this intention. Knowing the influencing factors and differences of the target market from the socio-demographic characteristics will enable firms to create more specific selling points to market organic food to the right target markets, hence, contributing towards sustainability in the country. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Novel Foods, Gut Microbiota, and Human Health)
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11 pages, 814 KiB  
Article
Highly Nutritional Bread with Partial Replacement of Wheat by Amaranth and Orange Sweet Potato
Foods 2022, 11(10), 1473; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11101473 - 19 May 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2268
Abstract
The current dietary habits cause health problems due to foods’ composition, with bread as an important example. Our aim was to formulate an optimum dough blend with flours from wheat, amaranth and orange sweet potato to obtain a physically good and highly nutritional [...] Read more.
The current dietary habits cause health problems due to foods’ composition, with bread as an important example. Our aim was to formulate an optimum dough blend with flours from wheat, amaranth and orange sweet potato to obtain a physically good and highly nutritional bread. Bread was prepared with blends of wheat, amaranth and orange sweet potato flours, optimizing the technological properties of the doughs by the response surface methodology and analyzing their physical and nutritional properties. Amaranth provides protein and fiber, and sweet potatoes provide β-carotenoids and high antioxidant activity. The prediction models were adjusted by mixing time (MT), peak dough resistance (PDR), setback (SB) and breakdown (BD). The interaction between wheat and amaranth significantly (p < 0.05) affected MT, PDR and SB, while the interaction between amaranth and sweet potato affected BD (p < 0.05); none of the components influenced PDR. The optimized blend (68.7% wheat, 22.7% amaranth and 8.6% sweet potato) produced a bread with the best crust and crumb appearance. This bread was comparable to that made with 100% wheat in specific volume and textural characteristics, but had better protein quality, higher content of fermentable fiber, pro-vitamin A, and bioactive compounds with good antioxidant capacity, and a lower glycemic index. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Novel Foods, Gut Microbiota, and Human Health)
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13 pages, 293 KiB  
Article
Nutrition-Related Content on Instagram in the United States of America: Analytical Cross-Sectional Study
Foods 2022, 11(2), 239; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11020239 - 17 Jan 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3315
Abstract
Background: The Internet is today the largest platform for food distribution, and there are concerns about the impact that digital marketing has in the field of nutrition by promoting non-evidence-based recommendations. The purpose of this study was to describe the user profile that [...] Read more.
Background: The Internet is today the largest platform for food distribution, and there are concerns about the impact that digital marketing has in the field of nutrition by promoting non-evidence-based recommendations. The purpose of this study was to describe the user profile that draws on Instagram to follow nutrition-related content versus not, and to analyze the frequency and type of content of the information provided by nutritional influencers. Methods: A cross-sectional study involving randomly selected United States residents having an Instagram account was performed. Participants completed an anonymous online survey link. Results: From 898 respondents, 78.7% were women, and 75.6% were Millennials. Scientific evidence present in the posts was 14.3%. Influencers promoted a product or a brand in more than 90% of posts. Women followed more nutrition-related content than men (p < 0.001). Millennials, followed by Generation-Z, followed more nutrition-related content (p < 0.001). There were no significant relationships between the following status of nutrition-related content with BMI, type of job, household income, education degree, or smoking habits. Conclusions: Women and Millennials followed more nutrition-related content. Scientific evidence was scarce and commercial interest in the network was evident. The vast majority of the posts were not based on scientific evidence and instead promoted a product/supplement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Novel Foods, Gut Microbiota, and Human Health)

Review

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23 pages, 1995 KiB  
Review
Kombucha: Challenges for Health and Mental Health
Foods 2023, 12(18), 3378; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12183378 - 08 Sep 2023
Viewed by 2140
Abstract
Background: Increasing research into probiotics is showing potential benefits for health in general and mental health in particular. Kombucha is a recent beverage and can be considered a probiotic drink, but little is known about its effects on physical and mental health. This [...] Read more.
Background: Increasing research into probiotics is showing potential benefits for health in general and mental health in particular. Kombucha is a recent beverage and can be considered a probiotic drink, but little is known about its effects on physical and mental health. This product is experiencing growth in the market; however, there are no scientific results to support its potential for physical and mental health. Aim: This review article aims to draw attention to this issue and to highlight the lack of studies in this area. Key findings and conclusions: The lack of legislation for the correct marketing of this product may also constrain clinical studies. However, clinical studies are of utmost importance for an in-depth understanding of the effects of this product on the human body. More research is needed, not only to better understand the impact of Kombucha on the human body, but also to ensure the application of regulatory guidelines for its production and marketing and enable its safe and effective consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Novel Foods, Gut Microbiota, and Human Health)
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15 pages, 1486 KiB  
Review
Antioxidant Dietary Fiber Sourced from Agroindustrial Byproducts and Its Applications
Foods 2023, 12(1), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12010159 - 28 Dec 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2625
Abstract
Agroindustrial activities generate various residues or byproducts which are inefficiently utilized, impacting the environment and increasing production costs. These byproducts contain significant amounts of bioactive compounds, including dietary fiber with associated phenolic compounds, known as antioxidant dietary fiber (ADF). Phenolic compounds are related [...] Read more.
Agroindustrial activities generate various residues or byproducts which are inefficiently utilized, impacting the environment and increasing production costs. These byproducts contain significant amounts of bioactive compounds, including dietary fiber with associated phenolic compounds, known as antioxidant dietary fiber (ADF). Phenolic compounds are related to the prevention of diseases related to oxidative stress, such as neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases. The mechanism of ADF depends on its chemical structure and the interactions between the dietary fiber and associated phenolic compounds. This work describes ADF, the main byproducts considered sources of ADF, its mechanisms of action, and its potential use in the formulation of foods destined for human consumption. ADF responds to the demand for low-cost, functional ingredients with great health benefits. A higher intake of antioxidant dietary fiber contributes to reducing the risk of diseases such as type II diabetes, colon cancer, obesity, and kidney stones, and has bile-acid retention–excretion, gastrointestinal laxative, hypoglycemic, hypocholesterolemic, prebiotic, and cardioprotective effects. ADF is a functional, sustainable, and profitable ingredient with different applications in agroindustry; its use can improve the technofunctional and nutritional properties of food, helping to close the cycle following the premise of the circular economy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Novel Foods, Gut Microbiota, and Human Health)
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16 pages, 956 KiB  
Review
Kombucha: Perceptions and Future Prospects
Foods 2022, 11(13), 1977; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11131977 - 04 Jul 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 5860
Abstract
Background: Kombucha is an increasingly consumed product classified as a nutraceutical. Legislative efforts about these products remain confusing and without global harmonization. This natural product has been developed to improve or promote physical and mental health. However, it needs regulatory guidelines to control [...] Read more.
Background: Kombucha is an increasingly consumed product classified as a nutraceutical. Legislative efforts about these products remain confusing and without global harmonization. This natural product has been developed to improve or promote physical and mental health. However, it needs regulatory guidelines to control the production and guarantee the product’s efficacy and safety. Aim: The study intends to draw attention to the need for regulatory guidelines and the potential of this product in the market and peoples’ health. Key findings and conclusions: The lack of regulation and the low level of literacy about this product can limit its development, marketing, and impact on health. Thus, it is essential to highlight the potential value of this product and invest in its development and marketing. Likewise, it is important to spread awareness among the population of these products and their impacts on people’s health. Thus, this study focuses on a pertinent theme and alerts to the need for legislation for these products, to draw attention to the inexistent legislative control and the consequent need for regulatory guidelines for better and safer production and consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Novel Foods, Gut Microbiota, and Human Health)
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Other

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10 pages, 529 KiB  
Protocol
The Stance4Health Project: Evaluating a Smart Personalised Nutrition Service for Gut Microbiota Modulation in Normal- and Overweight Adults and Children with Obesity, Gluten-Related Disorders or Allergy/Intolerance to Cow’s Milk
Foods 2022, 11(10), 1480; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11101480 - 19 May 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2316
Abstract
Unhealthy diets represent a major risk for the pathogenesis of metabolic and chronic inflammatory diseases. Improving the quality of diet is important to prevent chronic diseases, and diet-induced modifications of the gut microbiota (GM) community likely play an important role. The EU-funded Stance4Health [...] Read more.
Unhealthy diets represent a major risk for the pathogenesis of metabolic and chronic inflammatory diseases. Improving the quality of diet is important to prevent chronic diseases, and diet-induced modifications of the gut microbiota (GM) community likely play an important role. The EU-funded Stance4Health project aims at performing a randomized clinical trial based on a nutritional intervention program in the context of normal weight and overweight adults as well as children with obesity and gluten-related disorders or allergy/intolerance to cow’s milk. The trial will evaluate the efficacy of a Smart Personalised Nutrition (SPN) service in modifying GM composition and metabolic function and improving consumer empowerment through technology adoption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Novel Foods, Gut Microbiota, and Human Health)
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