Special Issue "Mediterranean Foods: Technological, Sensorial and Nutraceutical Features"

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 10 December 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Francesca Venturi
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
Interests: food technology; food quality; novel foods; sensory analysis; shelf life; storage; wine; olive oil; bread; sourdough
Prof. Dr. Angela Zinnai
Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
Interests: food science; food technology; conceiving new foods; nutraceutical food properties; new wine process production; new EVO process production; traditional Mediterranean foods and food technology; sourdough bakery products; recycling food waste

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Being aware of the wide interaction of human diet and culture, UNESCO recognized the Mediterranean diet (MD) as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2010.

Although different countries in the Mediterranean region have their own diets, they share the following pattern:

- Assumption of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) as the main dietary fat.

- Use of cereals, mainly wheat (i.e., bread, pasta, couscous, and bulgur) and rice, as the main sources of carbohydrates and calories.

- High consumption of fruits, vegetables, fish, and seafoods together with moderate consumption of dairy products (mainly cheese and yogurt) and low consumption of meat and meat products.

- Consumption of moderate quantities of wine during meals.

Furthermore, as widely reported in the literature, the MD could be a strategic dietary pattern for the prevention and control of chronic diseases over the entire lifespan and improvement of life expectancy and quality.

In this context, this Special Issue will present an overview of the innovative trends about Mediterranean foods. We invite authors to submit original research papers or comprehensive review papers concerning innovation trends in technological processes for the production and storage of Mediterranean foodstuffs as well as food chemical, sensorial, and nutraceutical characterization and their influence on human health. Manuscripts related to the development of innovative foods based on the valorisation of food waste or the recovery of natural value-added components from the Mediterranean food chain are also encouraged.  

Dr. Francesca Venturi
Prof. Dr. Angela Zinnai
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 papers will be 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 monthly 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 1600 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

  • Mediterranean diet
  • Mediterranean foods
  • Mediterranean food chain
  • innovation trends in food technology
  • innovation trends in food storage
  • reduction of food additives
  • innovative foods development
  • valorisation of food wastes
  • nutraceuticals and value-added compounds
  • human health
  • sustainability of the Mediterranean food chain

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Quality Changes during Frozen Storage of Mechanical-Separated Flesh Obtained from an Underutilized Crustacean
Foods 2020, 9(10), 1485; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9101485 - 17 Oct 2020
Abstract
Despite their high nutritional value, high quantities of fish caught in the Adriatic Sea are underused or discarded for their insignificant economic value. Mechanical separation of flesh represents an opportunity for developing innovative semi-finished products, even if it can promote an increased quality [...] Read more.
Despite their high nutritional value, high quantities of fish caught in the Adriatic Sea are underused or discarded for their insignificant economic value. Mechanical separation of flesh represents an opportunity for developing innovative semi-finished products, even if it can promote an increased quality degradation rate. The aim of this study was to evaluate physico-chemical modifications of mechanically separated mantis shrimp flesh during deep-freezing storage. Flesh samples obtained using a belt-drum separator, frozen and vacuum-packed, were stored at 3 temperatures (industrial: −26 °C; domestic: −18 °C and abuse: −10 °C) for 12 months. During storage, qualitative (color, water content, pH, fatty acids (FA) and lipid oxidation) were evaluated. Fish freshness parameters (e.g., trimethylamine (TMA), dimethylamine (DMA) and amino acids) were assessed using nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR). The mechanical separation process accelerated the initial oxidation phenomena, promoting color alterations, compared to manual separation. The main degradation phenomena during storage were significantly affected by temperature and were related to changes in luminosity, oxidation of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), increased lipolysis with release of free FA, production of TMA and DMA by residual enzymatic activity, and changes in amino acids due to proteolysis. The inter-disciplinary approach permitted important findings to be made, in terms of the extent of different degradative phenomena, bound to processing and storage conditions of mechanically separated mantis flesh. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Interface Compositions as Determinants of Resveratrol Stability in Nanoemulsion Delivery Systems
Foods 2020, 9(10), 1394; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9101394 - 02 Oct 2020
Abstract
The incorporation of hydrophobic ingredients, such as resveratrol (a fat-soluble phytochemical), in nanoemulsions can increase the water solubility and stability of these hydrophobic ingredients. The nanodelivery of resveratrol can result in a marked improvement in the bioavailability of this health-promoting ingredient. The current [...] Read more.
The incorporation of hydrophobic ingredients, such as resveratrol (a fat-soluble phytochemical), in nanoemulsions can increase the water solubility and stability of these hydrophobic ingredients. The nanodelivery of resveratrol can result in a marked improvement in the bioavailability of this health-promoting ingredient. The current study hypothesized that resveratrol can bind to caprine casein, which may result in the preservation of the biological properties of resveratrol. The fluorescence spectra provided proof of this complex formation by demonstrating that resveratrol binds to caprine casein in the vicinity of tryptophan amino acid residues. The caprine casein/resveratrol complex is stabilized by hydrophobic interactions and hydrogen bonds. Hence, to study the rate of resveratrol degradation during processing/storage, resveratrol losses were determined by reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) in nanoemulsions stabilized by bovine and caprine caseins individually and in combination with polysorbate-20. At 48 h oxidation, 88.33% and 89.08% was left of resveratrol in the nanoemulsions stabilized by caprine casein (αs1-I)/polysorbate-20 complex and caprine (αs1-II)/polysorbate-20 complex, while there was less resveratrol left in the nanoemulsions stabilized by bovine casein/polysorbate-20 complex, suggesting that oxygen degradation was involved. The findings of this study are crucial for the food industry since they imply the potential use of caprine casein/polysorbate-20 complex to preserve the biological properties of resveratrol. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
By-Products from Winemaking and Olive Mill Value Chains for the Enrichment of Refined Olive Oil: Technological Challenges and Nutraceutical Features
Foods 2020, 9(10), 1390; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9101390 - 01 Oct 2020
Abstract
A growing body of literature is available about the valorization of food by-products to produce functional foods that combine the basic nutritional impact with the improvement of the health status of consumers. In this context, this study had two main objectives: (i) An [...] Read more.
A growing body of literature is available about the valorization of food by-products to produce functional foods that combine the basic nutritional impact with the improvement of the health status of consumers. In this context, this study had two main objectives: (i) An innovative multistep extraction process for the production of a refined olive oil enriched with phenolic compounds (PE-ROO) extracted from olive pomace, olive leaves, or grape marc was presented and discussed. (ii) The most promising PE-ROOs were selected and utilized in in vitro and in vivo trials in order to determine their effectiveness in the management of high fat diet-induced-metabolic syndrome and oxidative stress in rats. The best results were obtained when olive leaves were used as source of phenols, regardless of the chemical composition of the solvent utilized for the extraction. Furthermore, while ethanol/hexane mixture was confirmed as a good solvent for the extraction of phenols compounds soluble in oil, the mix ROO/ethanol also showed a good extracting power from olive leaves. Besides, the ROO enriched with phenols extracted from olive leaves revealed an interesting beneficial effect to counteract high fat diet-induced-metabolic disorder and oxidative stress in rats, closely followed by ROO enriched by utilizing grape marc. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fatty Acids and Free Amino Acids Changes during Processing of a Mediterranean Native Pig Breed Dry-Cured Ham
Foods 2020, 9(9), 1170; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9091170 - 25 Aug 2020
Abstract
The aim of this work is to analyse the intramuscular fatty acids and the free amino (FAA) acids in Chato murciano dry-cured ham. There are several Mediterranean native pig breeds whose characteristics of derived products have been described, but the impact of lipolysis [...] Read more.
The aim of this work is to analyse the intramuscular fatty acids and the free amino (FAA) acids in Chato murciano dry-cured ham. There are several Mediterranean native pig breeds whose characteristics of derived products have been described, but the impact of lipolysis and proteolysis on Chato murciano dry-cured ham has not yet been studied. Fatty acids and free amino acids were determined in the fresh piece and at 14, 18, 22 and 24 months of manufacturing. Monounsaturated fatty acids are the majority in the neutral lipids and free fatty acid fractions. Lipolysis took place mainly until the 18th month, resulting in a decrease in the levels of fatty acids of neutral lipids (from 95.43% to 83.38%) and polar lipids (from 2.57% to 0.41%), accompanied by a corresponding increase in free fatty acids (from 2% to 16.21%). Neutral lipids hydrolysis provides the main free fatty acids as in other native breeds. Results for FAA showed an increase in concentration during the time preceding the 14th month. From this point onwards, until month 18, total FAA concentration remained stable, and the content decreased at the end of the processing (between months 22 and 24). Full article
Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Three Domestications and Wild-Harvested Plants for Nutraceutical Properties and Sensory Profiles in Five Wild Edible Herbs: Is Domestication Possible?
Foods 2020, 9(8), 1065; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9081065 - 06 Aug 2020
Abstract
In this study, five wild edible herbs traditionally consumed in the Tuscany region (Italy) were evaluated for their potential in human nutrition. The nutraceutical characterization of Rumex acetosa, Cichorium intybus, Picris hieracioides, Sanguisorba minor, and Plantago coronopus, as [...] Read more.
In this study, five wild edible herbs traditionally consumed in the Tuscany region (Italy) were evaluated for their potential in human nutrition. The nutraceutical characterization of Rumex acetosa, Cichorium intybus, Picris hieracioides, Sanguisorba minor, and Plantago coronopus, as well as their sensory profile were reported. Additionally, a preliminary assessment of completely different domestication of the wild species (named “soilless”, pot, and open field) was conducted to verify the possibility of their marketability, which is impossible if the plants are only gathered as wild. The open field domestication allowed to obtain plants with nutraceutical and sensory profiles similar to those of the wild species, especially in C. intybus, P. hieracioides, and S. minor. The pot domestication allow to obtain plants with chlorophyll and carotenoid contents close to those of the wild species, as well as a lower total phenolic and flavonoid content and ascorbic acid content than wild species. In the “soilless” method, R. acetosa and P. coronopus exhibited a high quality in terms of phytochemicals and antioxidant activity. Afterward, the sensory profile was strongly affected by the domestication in terms of the palatability, except for R. acetosa and P. coronopus, which displayed Hedonic Index (HI) values close to the consumer acceptability limit (HI = 6). A sensory profile similar to that of wild species was reported in open field domestication, whereas a worse sensory profile was reported in P. hieracioides and C. intybus domesticated using the soilless method. Finally, according to the preliminary assessment carried out in this study through an analysis of the general nutraceutical properties, S. minor was shown to be the most promising species thanks to its intrinsically highest nutraceutical properties considering the marketability of wild edible herbs as “new” functional food. However, further research on the bioavailability and bioactivity tests of nutraceutical compounds present in this species are required to confirm the findings of this study. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Flaxseed Cake as a Tool for the Improvement of Nutraceutical and Sensorial Features of Sourdough Bread
Foods 2020, 9(2), 204; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9020204 - 16 Feb 2020
Cited by 7
Abstract
Flaxseed has been recently studied for the formulation of healthy functional foods that are also useful for the prevention of chronic diseases. In this context, the production of sourdough bread fortified with different percentages of flaxseed cake was performed and the interactions among [...] Read more.
Flaxseed has been recently studied for the formulation of healthy functional foods that are also useful for the prevention of chronic diseases. In this context, the production of sourdough bread fortified with different percentages of flaxseed cake was performed and the interactions among the bioactive compounds derived from both sourdough and flaxseed cake were investigated. The organoleptic properties as well as nutraceutical and chemical characteristics regarding pH, ethanol, lactic and acetic acid content, fatty acids profile, the concentration of total polyphenols, antioxidant capacity, and aroma volatile organic compounds were determined to evaluate the efficacy of leavening in the different matrices in comparison with the traditional bread. The results obtained demonstrated that flaxseed cake-enriched sourdough bread can represent a potential vehicle for bioactive compounds with the possibility of obtaining high-quality products with improved nutritional profiles and desired health attributes. Furthermore, the bread obtained with the addition of 7.5% of flaxseed cake was individuated as the best formulation to produce sourdough bread fortified with flaxseed cake by the overlap between three series of information coming from physical-chemical, nutritional, and sensorial analyses. In conclusion, in the operating conditions adopted, the use of flaxseed cake could represent a viable alternative for the production of fortified bread based on sourdough technology. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

1. Different food wastes as a source of bioactive compounds for the improvement of nutritional value of Olive oil.

2. Fortified sourdough bread: chemical, sensorial and nutraceutical features as a function of technological innovation and/or food waste management.

3. Flaxseed cake as a tool for the improvement of nutraceutical and sensorial features of sourdough bread.

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