Safety and Nutritional Quality of Mediterranean Food and Food Products

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 March 2022) | Viewed by 25909

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Biomedical, Dental, Morphological and Functional Images Sciences, University of Messina, Messina, Italy
Interests: characterization of food bioactives; reclaim and valorization of agro-food waste; analytical methods in food analysis
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Mediterranean diet represents the heritage of millennia of exchanges of people, cultures, and foods of all countries around the Mediterranean basin. It has long been the basis of food habits in the populations that originally relied on the Mediterranean pyramid model, and it is currently advancing into modern society, opposing the equally increasing globalization of (unhealthy) food behaviours. Considering the acknowledgment of the Mediterranean diet as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO and its contribution to the health and well-being of consumers, this Special Issue aims to highlight the added value of traditional foods linked to a given Mediterranean region or locality as well as (novel) food products derived from natural Mediterranean sources.

Hence, original works and reviews on Mediterranean food and derived products are welcomed. Emphasis should be given to the following aspects:

  • Safety, intended as the screening of contaminants along the food chain with reference to the ongoing security policies or the assessment of authenticity by traceability tools, especially in the case of PGI or PDO products.
  • Nutritional quality, intended as the exhaustive elucidation of nutrients and bioactives, and the investigation of their variability in relation to intrinsic and extrinsic factors.

Dr. Ambrogina Albergamo
Prof. Dr. Giuseppa Di Bella
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • mediterranean diet
  • chemical characterization
  • organic and inorganic contaminants
  • bioactives
  • food authentication
  • food safety and quality

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

26 pages, 3409 KiB  
Article
Valorization of Traditional Alcoholic Beverages: The Study of the Sicilian Amarena Wine during Bottle Aging
by Giuseppa Di Bella, Miriam Porretti, Ambrogina Albergamo, Claudio Mucari, Alessia Tropea, Rossana Rando, Vincenzo Nava, Vincenzo Lo Turco and Angela Giorgia Potortì
Foods 2022, 11(14), 2152; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11142152 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2492
Abstract
Traditional alcoholic beverages have always been part of the Mediterranean culture and, lately, they have been re-evaluated to valorize both the territory and local customs. In this study, the Amarena wine, a fortified wine included in the national list of the traditional agri-food [...] Read more.
Traditional alcoholic beverages have always been part of the Mediterranean culture and, lately, they have been re-evaluated to valorize both the territory and local customs. In this study, the Amarena wine, a fortified wine included in the national list of the traditional agri-food products, was characterized during bottle aging for oenological parameters, chromaticity, volatiles, and inorganic elements. Then, experimental data were visually interpreted by a principal component analysis (PCA). PCA revealed that most of oenological parameters (i.e., alcoholic grade, total dry extract, sugars, organic acids, and phenolic compounds) had a scarce discriminating power. Additionally, ethyl esters were only present in younger products, while remaining at quite constant levels. Conversely, certain metals (i.e., Mg, Na, Mn, Zn, and Cu), chromatic properties, and pH differentiated older Amarena bottles from the younger counterpart. Particularly, acetaldehyde and furanic compounds proved to be valid aging markers. A sensorial analysis highlighted that fruity and floral odors and flavors characterized younger beverages, while dried fruity, nutty, and spicy notes were displayed by older products, along with the valuable attribute of “oxidized” typically observed in aged Sherry wines. Overall, this study may encourage the production and commercialization of the Amarena wine, thus preserving the cultural heritage of the Mediterranean area. Full article
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19 pages, 800 KiB  
Article
Chemical Characterization of Different Products from the Tunisian Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill.
by Ambrogina Albergamo, Angela Giorgia Potortí, Giuseppa Di Bella, Nawres Ben Amor, Giovanna Lo Vecchio, Vincenzo Nava, Rossana Rando, Hedi Ben Mansour and Vincenzo Lo Turco
Foods 2022, 11(2), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11020155 - 7 Jan 2022
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 3779
Abstract
Various dried (by-)products from the Tunisian O. ficus-indica were elucidated for their proximate composition, fatty acid (FA) composition, inorganic elements, sugars, and polyphenols. Nopal and prickly pear peel and seeds were abundant in fiber (respectively, 28.39, 12.54, and 16.28%). Seeds had also high [...] Read more.
Various dried (by-)products from the Tunisian O. ficus-indica were elucidated for their proximate composition, fatty acid (FA) composition, inorganic elements, sugars, and polyphenols. Nopal and prickly pear peel and seeds were abundant in fiber (respectively, 28.39, 12.54, and 16.28%). Seeds had also high protein (17.34%) and may be source of an edible oil, due to lipids (9.65%) poor in saturated FAs (14.12%) and rich in linoleic acid (61.11%). Nopal and peel showed the highest levels of Mg (493.57 and 345.19 mg/100 g), K (6949.57 and 1820.83 mg/100 g), Mn (59.73 and 46.86 mg/Kg) and Fe (23.15 and 15.23 mg/Kg), while the fruit pulp predominantly constituted of sugars, glucose and arabinose being predominant (42.57 and 13.56 g/100 g). Total polyphenols widely varied among the Opuntia products (108.36–4785.36 mg GAE/100 g), being mainly represented by hydroxycinnamic and hydroxybenzoic acids, and flavonoids as well. In particular, peel may be revalorized for these valuable bioactives, including 4-hydroxybenzoic acid (484.95 mg/100 g), cinnamic acid (318.95 mg/100 g), rutin (818.94 mg/100 g), quercetin (605.28 mg/100 g), and several isorhamnetin and kaempferol glycosides. Overall, the Tunisian prickly pear cactus could encourage a sustainable production, an effective waste management, and may provide several benefits for human health, in accordance with the model of the Mediterranean diet. Full article
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16 pages, 1917 KiB  
Article
Performance of Olive-Pomace Oils in Discontinuous and Continuous Frying. Comparative Behavior with Sunflower Oils and High-Oleic Sunflower Oils
by Francisca Holgado, María Victoria Ruiz-Méndez, Joaquín Velasco and Gloria Márquez-Ruiz
Foods 2021, 10(12), 3081; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10123081 - 11 Dec 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3372
Abstract
Frying performance of olive-pomace oils (OPOs) as compared to sunflower oils (SOs) and high-oleic sunflower oils (HOSOs) was studied in discontinuous frying (DF) and continuous frying (CF) for the first time. DF is used in household, restaurants and frying outlets, while CF is [...] Read more.
Frying performance of olive-pomace oils (OPOs) as compared to sunflower oils (SOs) and high-oleic sunflower oils (HOSOs) was studied in discontinuous frying (DF) and continuous frying (CF) for the first time. DF is used in household, restaurants and frying outlets, while CF is used in the food industry. Oil alteration during frying was determined by measurements of polar compounds (PC) and polymers. Fried potatoes were analyzed for oil absorption and alteration, color, and evaluated in an acceptability test. Results for DF showed that all SOs reached 25% PC at the 9th frying operation (FO), whereas HOSOs did between the 17–18th FO and variable results were found for OPOs since initial levels of diacylglycerols were different. Rates of formation of PC or polymers were the lowest for OPOs, thus showing the best performance in DF. Specifically for PC, relative rates of formation were 1.00–1.11, 2.46–2.71 and 1.37–1.41 for OPOs, SOs and HOSOs respectively. In CF, OPOs and HOSOs behaved similarly and better than SOs, although none reached 25% PC after 40 FO. The good performance of OPOs can be attributed to the high monounsaturated-to-polyunsaturated ratio, in common with HOSOs, and the additional positive effect of minor compounds, especially β-sitosterol and squalene. Full article
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17 pages, 7998 KiB  
Article
Characterization of Polyphenol and Volatile Fractions of Californian-Style Black Olives and Innovative Application of E-nose for Acrylamide Determination
by Elísabet Martín-Tornero, Ramiro Sánchez, Jesús Lozano, Manuel Martínez, Patricia Arroyo and Daniel Martín-Vertedor
Foods 2021, 10(12), 2973; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10122973 - 2 Dec 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1994
Abstract
Californian-style black olives require a sterilization treatment that produces a carcinogenic contaminant, acrylamide. Thus, this compound was evaluated in two different olive cultivars using an electronic nose (E-nose). The sterilization intensity had a significant influence on the final phenol concentrations, acrylamide content, and [...] Read more.
Californian-style black olives require a sterilization treatment that produces a carcinogenic contaminant, acrylamide. Thus, this compound was evaluated in two different olive cultivars using an electronic nose (E-nose). The sterilization intensity had a significant influence on the final phenol concentrations, acrylamide content, and volatile compounds. Increasing the sterilization intensity from 10 to 26 min (F0) reduced the phenol content, but it promoted acrylamide synthesis, leading to a wide range of this toxic substance. The Ester and phenol groups of volatile compounds decreased their content when the sterilization treatment increased; however, aldehyde and other volatile compound groups significantly increased their contents according to the thermal treatments. The compounds 4-ethenyl-pyridine, benzaldehyde, and 2,4-dimethyl-hexane are volatile compounds with unpleasant odours and demonstrated a high amount of influence on the differences found after the application of the thermal treatments. The “Manzanilla Cacereña” variety presented the highest amount of phenolic compounds and the lowest acrylamide content. Finally, it was found that acrylamide content is correlated with volatile compounds, which was determined using multiple linear regression analysis (R2 = 0.9994). Furthermore, the aroma of table olives was analysed using an E-nose, and these results combined with Partial Least Square (PLS) were shown to be an accurate method (range to error ratio (RER) >10 and ratio of performance to deviation (RPD) >2.5) for the indirect quantification of this toxic substance. Full article
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17 pages, 924 KiB  
Article
Stability of Bioactive Compounds in Olive-Pomace Oil at Frying Temperature and Incorporation into Fried Foods
by María-Victoria Ruiz-Méndez, Gloria Márquez-Ruiz, Francisca Holgado and Joaquín Velasco
Foods 2021, 10(12), 2906; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10122906 - 24 Nov 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2502
Abstract
The stability of minor bioactive compounds in olive-pomace oils (OPOs) was evaluated at frying temperature under the conditions of a thermoxidation test. Bioactive compounds analyzed included squalene, tocopherols, sterols, triterpenic acids and alcohols, and aliphatic alcohols. In order to determine the amount of [...] Read more.
The stability of minor bioactive compounds in olive-pomace oils (OPOs) was evaluated at frying temperature under the conditions of a thermoxidation test. Bioactive compounds analyzed included squalene, tocopherols, sterols, triterpenic acids and alcohols, and aliphatic alcohols. In order to determine the amount of OPO bioactive compounds incorporated into foods after frying, three different kinds of frozen products were selected, i.e., pre-fried potatoes (French fries), pre-fried battered chicken nuggets, and chicken croquettes (breaded patties), and were used in discontinuous frying experiments. Results obtained in both the thermoxidation and frying studies showed high stability of triterpenic alcohols (erythrodiol and uvaol), oleanolic acid, and aliphatic alcohols, naturally present in OPOs. In all fried foods, the content of lipids increased after frying, as expected, although the extent of absorption of OPOs into fried foods and the exchange with food lipids depended on the food characteristics. Overall, frying with OPOs improved the nutritional properties of all products tested by increasing the level of oleic acid and by the incorporation of squalene, triterpenic acids and alcohols, and aliphatic alcohols, in significant quantities. Full article
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16 pages, 829 KiB  
Article
More than Just Wine: The Nutritional Benefits of Grapevine Leaves
by Marisa Maia, Ana Rita Cavaco, Gonçalo Laureano, Jorge Cunha, José Eiras-Dias, Ana Rita Matos, Bernardo Duarte and Andreia Figueiredo
Foods 2021, 10(10), 2251; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10102251 - 23 Sep 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4242
Abstract
The domesticated species Vitis vinifera L. harbours many cultivars throughout the world that present distinctive phenology and grape quality. Not only have the grapes been used for human consumption, but the leaves are also used as a source of bioactive compounds and are [...] Read more.
The domesticated species Vitis vinifera L. harbours many cultivars throughout the world that present distinctive phenology and grape quality. Not only have the grapes been used for human consumption, but the leaves are also used as a source of bioactive compounds and are present in the diets of several Mediterranean countries. We have selected seven different cultivars and performed elemental, fatty acid (FA) and pigment profiling. Total reflection X-ray fluorescence (TXRF) enabled the identification of 21 elements. Among them, Na, Ca and K were highly represented in all the cultivars and Zn was prevalent in V. vinifera cv. ‘Pinot noir’ and ‘Cabernet sauvignon’. Through gas chromatography, six FAs were identified, including omega-3 and omega-6 FA, the most abundant mainly in V. vinifera cv. ‘Tinta barroca’, ‘Pinot noir’ and ‘Cabernet sauvignon’. FA composition was used to determine nutritional quality parameters, namely atherogenic, thrombogenic, hypocholesterolemic/hypercholesterolemic and peroxidisability indexes as well as oxidability and oxidative susceptibility. Grapevine leaves were highlighted as a suitable source of health-promoting lipids. Given the popularity of “green” diets, we have also performed a leaf pigment analysis. Seventeen pigments including chlorophylls, trans-lutein, b-carotene and zeaxanthins were detected. ‘C19’ presented the highest content of most of the detected pigments. Full article
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22 pages, 770 KiB  
Article
Physicochemical, Nutritional, Microbiological, and Sensory Qualities of Chicken Burgers Reformulated with Mediterranean Plant Ingredients and Health-Promoting Compounds
by Ambrogina Albergamo, Rossella Vadalà, Daniela Metro, Vincenzo Nava, Giovanni Bartolomeo, Rossana Rando, Antonio Macrì, Laura Messina, Roberto Gualtieri, Nadia Colombo, Sabrina Sallemi, Michelangelo Leonardi, Vincenzo Lo Turco, Giacomo Dugo and Nicola Cicero
Foods 2021, 10(9), 2129; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10092129 - 9 Sep 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3405
Abstract
The quality of chicken burgers reformulated by the partial replacement of meat by Mediterranean plant ingredients and enriched with peculiar amounts of n-3 PUFAs, Mg, Fe, Se, and folic acid, was evaluated in comparison to conventional chicken burgers. Specifically, two types of burger [...] Read more.
The quality of chicken burgers reformulated by the partial replacement of meat by Mediterranean plant ingredients and enriched with peculiar amounts of n-3 PUFAs, Mg, Fe, Se, and folic acid, was evaluated in comparison to conventional chicken burgers. Specifically, two types of burger were developed, namely the “Sicilian burger”—based on cherry tomato and rosemary—and the “Mediterranean burger”—with basil leaves and thyme essential oil—every recipe being differentially functionalized according to the nutritional requirements of consumers, such as children, pregnant women and elderly. Mediterranean ingredients were responsible for different pH, color, and cooking loss between conventional and functional burgers. Except for n-3 PUFAs resulting poorly fortified, the functionalization with Mg, Fe, Se, and vitamin B9 was successful in all products. Considering the target consumer categories, the daily consumption of the functional burger may assure an intake of Mg, Fe, and Se equal, respectively, to 37.31–59.90%, 17.76–46.81%, and 27.20–50.05%, and a cover of vitamin B9 of 31.98–48.31% of the relative population reference intakes. Fortified products kept a good microbiological quality during 5 days of refrigerated storage, and, according to the sensorial descriptive analysis and the hedonic test, they showed a higher acceptability than conventional burgers. Full article
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12 pages, 2510 KiB  
Article
Comparative Study Regarding the Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet and the Eating Habits of Two Groups—The Romanian Children and Adolescents Living in Nord-West of Romania and Their Romanian Counterparts Living in Italy
by Costanza Pira, Gianfranco Trapani, Maurizio Fadda, Concetta Finocchiaro, Enrico Bertino, Alessandra Coscia, Catalina Ciocan, Magdalena Cuciureanu, Simona-Codruţa Hegheş, Maria Vranceanu, Doina Miere and Lorena Filip
Foods 2021, 10(9), 2045; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10092045 - 31 Aug 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2836
Abstract
Background: The Mediterranean diet (MD) is associated with significant health benefits, including prevention of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). Given the important migratory flow from Romania to Italy in recent decades, this study seeks to evaluate the differences between the nutritional habits of Romanian children [...] Read more.
Background: The Mediterranean diet (MD) is associated with significant health benefits, including prevention of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). Given the important migratory flow from Romania to Italy in recent decades, this study seeks to evaluate the differences between the nutritional habits of Romanian children and adolescents in Romania compared with those of Romanian children who moved to Italy or were born in Italy from both Romanian parents. Method: To assess adherence to MD, parents of Romanian children in Romania (RCR) and Romanian children in Italy (RCI) answered questions from an adapted version of the KIDMED test. Results: The results show that the high KIDMED index among RCI is significantly higher than the same index among RCR (68.09 versus 17.76, p < 0.05). RCR obtained a higher KIDMED score on different items: they had a lower consumption of fast food and sweets but an increased consumption of nuts, yogurts, and cheese. Conclusions: RCI have a better adherence to MD, but, at the same time, they are more exposed to westernized diet and practice less physical activity. Nutrition education is an important tool for improving health outcome. Full article
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