Special Issue "Quality and Functionality of Plant Foods"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Elsa Margarida Gonçalves
Website
Guest Editor
Technology and Innovation Unit, National Institute of Agrarian and Veterinary Research, I. P. (INIAV), Av. da República, Quinta do Marquês, 2780-157 Oeiras, Portugal
Interests: enhancing nutritive contents of foods; innovative and traditional processing technologies; shelf life estimation studies; sensory evaluation
Dr. Marta Abreu
Website
Co-Guest Editor
Technology and Innovation Unit, National Institute of Agrarian and Veterinary Research, I. P. (INIAV), Av. da República, Quinta do Marquês, 2780-157 Oeiras, Portugal
Interests: food science and technology in the field of horticultural products; physical and rheological properties; modeling of biochemical processes and quality parameters; conventional and emerging treatments; minimal processing of horticultural crops
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Nuno Bartolomeu Alvarenga
Website
Co-Guest Editor
Technology and Innovation Unit, National Institute of Agrarian and Veterinary Research, I. P. (INIAV), Av. da República, Quinta do Marquês, 2780-157 Oeiras, Portugal
Interests: dairy science; food development; food quality; food texture and rheology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Traditionally, consumers expect a steady increase in the quality, safety, and diversity of food. Consumers’ perception of food quality is a dynamic variable which might focus on products, processes, or management issues, such as social and environmental awareness. Today, the increase in the number of health-conscious consumers has had a significant effect on the food market, creating a new trend of foods, the so-called health promoting foods or functional foods. The definition of “functional foods” is a working concept. Still, the most accepted understanding of the term is that it can be considered to be those whole, fortified, enriched or enhanced foods that provide health benefits when they are consumed at efficacious levels as part of a varied diet on a regular basis. The aggregation of embracing both concepts of quality and functionality is a challenge. There is a need to respond to consumers’ desires, to develop products that have a particular functionality on health and are perceived of having quality. This will create the opportunity to drive consumer engagement in food products that address public health issues through their participation in diet and lifestyle. This Special Issue aims to cover recent studies addressing functional foods and drinks developed under quality and safety standards in a way that aims to inspire consumers to eat mindfully.

Objectives: Physical–chemical, microbiological, and biochemical characterization of plant foods and their components through advanced analytical methods; study of the effect of food processing technologies, both traditional and innovative, on quality and health-promoting compounds, their bioaccessibility, and bioavailability; development and optimization of new functional plant foods and ingredients and shelf-life estimation; study on the potential bioresource for the extraction of nutraceuticals and bioactive compounds and their potential application in plant foods.

Research Lines:

  • Quality and functionality of plant foods and their constituents;
  • New functional plant foods and ingredients;
  • Processing technologies and impact on quality and functionality of plant foods;
  • Characterization and optimization of healthy promoting compounds incorporated in plant food;
  • Effect of addition healthy promoting compounds on the physicochemical, microbiological, and sensory characteristics of plant foods;
  • Functional ingredients from waste food industry.

Skills:

  • Evaluation of the quality, physical–chemical, nutritional functionality and safety of plant foods, either fresh or processed, and ingredients;
  • Design of new and functional plant foods and ingredients based on consumers’ needs;
  • Evaluation of the impact of traditional and innovative technologies in quality and functionality of plant foods, including bioaccessibility and bioavailability studies;
  • Development of green extraction technologies for the recovery of added-value healthy compounds and their efficient utilization in development quality plant products;
  • Integration and model in functional plant food development.

Dr. Elsa Margarida Gonçalves
Dr. Marta Abreu
Dr. Nuno Bartolomeu Alvarenga
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

  • Plant product
  • Functional foods
  • Food processing effect
  • Green extraction technologies
  • Healthy compounds incorporation
  • Quality and safety

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Integral Valorization of Pineapple (Ananas comosus L.) By-Products through a Green Chemistry Approach towards Added Value Ingredients
Foods 2020, 9(1), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9010060 - 07 Jan 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Industrial by-products are produced every day through fruit processing industries. Pineapple is not an exception; when processed, around 60% (w/w) of its weight are peels, stem, trimmings, and crown, the only used fruit part for human consumption. Due to high concerns [...] Read more.
Industrial by-products are produced every day through fruit processing industries. Pineapple is not an exception; when processed, around 60% (w/w) of its weight are peels, stem, trimmings, and crown, the only used fruit part for human consumption. Due to high concerns of sustainability in the food system and negative high impact of human practice in the environment, a strategy has to be developed. Therefore, a green chemistry approach was applied to pineapple by-products to make an integrated valorization by the extraction of bioactive molecules. Two pineapple by-products (peels and stems) were studied, applying a green chemistry approach, which means the non-use of organic solvents or extreme methodologies. A subdivision of each by-product was done by the application of a juice machine. The peels and stems in the fresh state were ground separately, creating two fractions for each by-product—a juice and a wet pulp (press cake). The press cake was characterized, dried, and ground to create a fine powder flour. To the juice, a precipitation methodology with polysaccharides was applied, which allowed the bromelain separation (developing of an enzymatic fraction) from the fruit juice. The enzymatic extract was freeze-dried, and the juice was spray-dried, developing two more fine powders. Thus, three new ingredients were produced from each by-product, creating a total of six new ingredients. Overall, the enzymatic fractions represented around 0.26% (w/w) of pineapple weight. Pineapple stem juice represented 4.8% (w/w), and peel juice represented 17.3% (w/w). Pineapple stem flour represented 3.1% (w/w), and peel flour represented 11.4% (w/w) of the total pineapple weight. To valorize the by-products juices, a full characterization was performed of bioactive molecules and biological activities. When comparing the two juices, the peel juice showed lower content of total phenolic compounds, lower antioxidant capacity, and lower content of vitamin C. The different phenolic compounds were identified by HPLC analysis in the two pineapple by-products juices. However, the same compounds in both juices were quantified (chlorogenic, caffeic, and ferulic acids). On the other hand, the by-products flours had a high content of insoluble dietary fiber (IDF), mainly cellulose and hemicellulose. Therefore, the approach applied in this work opens the door to the production of green products, as a result of by-products valorization. This could be applied not only in the food industry but also in the nutraceutical and cosmetic industries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality and Functionality of Plant Foods)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Oil Extraction Methods on Recovery Yield and Emulsifying Properties of Proteins from Rapeseed Meal and Press Cake
Foods 2020, 9(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9010019 - 24 Dec 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
The agricultural sector is thought to be responsible for around 30% of the anthropogenic climate change and it is well established that high meat consumption has a tremendous impact on the environment. Rapeseed is mainly used for production of vegetable oil, but press [...] Read more.
The agricultural sector is thought to be responsible for around 30% of the anthropogenic climate change and it is well established that high meat consumption has a tremendous impact on the environment. Rapeseed is mainly used for production of vegetable oil, but press cake has high protein content with the potential for incorporation into new plant protein-based foods. Protein was recovered from press cakes generated from different oil pressing processes. Industrially cold-pressed, hot-pressed, and solvent-extracted rapeseed press cake and the effect of heat treatment in the recovery process was assessed. Protein recovery yield, protein concentration and emulsifying properties were analyzed. Cold-pressed rapeseed press cake (RPC) recovered in the absence of heat, yielded the highest protein recovery (45%) followed by hot-pressed rapeseed meal (RM) (26%) and solvent-extracted RM (5%). Exposure to heat during recovery significantly reduced the yield for cold-pressed RPC but no difference was found for hot-pressed RM. The protein recovery yield was improved for solvent-extracted RM when heat was applied in the recovery process. The ability to stabilize emulsions was highest for protein recovered from cold-pressed RPC, followed by hot-pressed RM and solvent-extracted RM, and was in the same range as commercial emulsifying agents. Heat treatment during recovery significantly reduced the emulsifying properties for all pressing methods examined. This study suggests that cold-pressed rapeseed press cake without heat in the recovery process could be a successful strategy for an efficient recovery of rapeseed protein with good emulsifying properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality and Functionality of Plant Foods)
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Open AccessArticle
Modified QuEChERS Extraction and HPLC-MS/MS for Simultaneous Determination of 155 Pesticide Residues in Rice (Oryza sativa L.)
Foods 2020, 9(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9010018 - 24 Dec 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is the staple food of more than half of the world’s population. The main factors affecting the quality of rice include grain length, texture, stickiness, flavor, and aroma. Pesticides are intended for the protection of plant products from [...] Read more.
Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is the staple food of more than half of the world’s population. The main factors affecting the quality of rice include grain length, texture, stickiness, flavor, and aroma. Pesticides are intended for the protection of plant products from weeds, fungi, or insects. However, pesticides also result in negative effects such as environment disturbances, pest resistance and toxicity to both users and food consumers. The aim of this study was to conduct validation experiments of a method for the determination of multi-pesticides in rice, a model food of other cereals. A quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged, and safe (QuEChERS) method was used for the extraction of pesticide residues from rice followed by high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) with a triple quadrupole instrument using electrospray ionization. The analytical method has chromatography-tandem according to SANTE/11813/2017. The limit of quantification was 5 μg/kg. Recoveries for the 155 analyzed pesticides ranged between 77.1% for pirimiphos-ethyl and 111.5% for flutriafol and they were determined at 3 spiking levels. The proposed method was demonstrated to be quick, simple, precise, and accurate and allowed for evaluating the compliance of cereals samples with legislated maximum residue levels of pesticides in the European Union. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality and Functionality of Plant Foods)
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Nutritional, Physicochemical, and Phytochemical Composition and Antioxidant Capacity of Three Strawberry “Fragaria × ananassa Duch.” Cultivars (“Primoris”, “Endurance”, and “Portola”) from Western Region of Portugal
Foods 2019, 8(12), 682; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8120682 - 14 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
In this study, nutritional composition (protein, lipids, carbohydrates, ash, and moisture), physicochemical properties (soluble solid content, titratable acidity, texture and instrumental colour on surface, and internal section), phytochemicals (total phenolic content and anthocyanin content), and antioxidant capacity (DPPH—2,2′-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging capacity and ferric-reducing [...] Read more.
In this study, nutritional composition (protein, lipids, carbohydrates, ash, and moisture), physicochemical properties (soluble solid content, titratable acidity, texture and instrumental colour on surface, and internal section), phytochemicals (total phenolic content and anthocyanin content), and antioxidant capacity (DPPH—2,2′-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging capacity and ferric-reducing antioxidant power) of three strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa Duch.) cultivars (cv. “Primoris”, cv. “Endurance”, and cv. “Portola”) produced in the western region of Portugal (Caldas da Rainha) were evaluated. From the obtained, results no significant differences (P > 0.05) in nutritional composition were detected in all of the cultivars; with the exception of lower protein content observed in cv. “Portola” (0.57 g/100 g ± 0.04; P < 0.05). Regarding the a* value of whole strawberry fruits, no significant differences (P > 0.05) were found in any of the cultivars, which revealed a similar redness. The cv. “Endurance” revealed the highest bioactivity content compared to the other cultivars. Overall, these results provide important information about the high quality of strawberry produced in the western region of Portugal and may be used as a tool for adding value to a functional food in the Mediterranean diet due to the phytochemical composition and nutritional value of strawberry fruits Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality and Functionality of Plant Foods)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Thermosonication as Postharvest Treatment Applied on Whole Tomato Fruits: Optimization and Validation
Foods 2019, 8(12), 649; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8120649 - 06 Dec 2019
Abstract
Tomatoes are a popular and rich fruit due to their nutritional and bioactive composition as vitamins, antioxidants, and phenolics contributing to the promotion of consumer health. For this reason, emerging postharvest technologies need to be evaluated to achieve the maintenance of sensorial and [...] Read more.
Tomatoes are a popular and rich fruit due to their nutritional and bioactive composition as vitamins, antioxidants, and phenolics contributing to the promotion of consumer health. For this reason, emerging postharvest technologies need to be evaluated to achieve the maintenance of sensorial and quality-related characteristics, like color and texture, while aiding to fruit decontamination. Optimization of thermosonication as postharvest treatments on whole, mature-green tomatoes (cv. “Zinac”) to improve quality (color, texture, total phenolic content, and weight loss) was performed by response surface methodology. Temperature (32–48 °C), treatment time (13–47 min), and storage period at 10 °C (1–15 days) at constant ultrasound frequency (45 kHz; 80% power level), were the independent variables. In general, thermosonication delayed tomato color changes while achieving total phenolic content increase and good overall quality. Three optimal thermosonication conditions were selected and validated (32 °C-13 min, 35 °C-20 min and 40 °C-30 min). The most suitable thermosonication condition that promoted a longer storage while keeping a high-quality standard was at 40 °C during 30 min. This study demonstrated that thermosonication provides an effective alternative methodology to guarantee tomato quality without significant change during the expected postharvest period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality and Functionality of Plant Foods)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Infrared Radiation on Eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) Greenhouse Cultivation and Fruits’ Phenolic Profile
Foods 2019, 8(12), 630; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8120630 - 02 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The implementation of Infrared (IR) radiation in heated greenhouses possesses the advantage of high directional control and focused compensation of energy losses, appropriate for creating local microclimate conditions in highly energy-consuming systems, such as greenhouses. Moreover, it can efficiently maintain favorable environmental conditions [...] Read more.
The implementation of Infrared (IR) radiation in heated greenhouses possesses the advantage of high directional control and focused compensation of energy losses, appropriate for creating local microclimate conditions in highly energy-consuming systems, such as greenhouses. Moreover, it can efficiently maintain favorable environmental conditions at the plant canopy. The present study studies the application of Infrared (IR) heating in an experimental greenhouse with eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) cultivation. The experimental results are presented from a full cultivation period inside two identical, small scale experimental greenhouses, with IR and forced air heating system, respectively. The effects of IR heating over plant growth parameters, including the yield of the fruits as well as the total phenolic content and the antioxidant profile of eggplants fruits’ extracts are measured and discussed. The results indicate a greater uniformity production in the IR heating greenhouse in terms of antioxidant and radical scavenging activities, as well as the total phenolic content. Moreover, the phenolic profile of eggplant fruits from both greenhouses revealed the existence of numerous bioactive compounds, some of which were only characteristic of the eggplant fruits from IR heated greenhouses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality and Functionality of Plant Foods)
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Open AccessArticle
Protein Recovery from Rapeseed Press Cake: Varietal and Processing Condition Effects on Yield, Emulsifying Capacity and Antioxidant Activity of the Protein Rich Extract
Foods 2019, 8(12), 627; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8120627 - 01 Dec 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Protein was recovered from five varieties and a mixed blend of cold-pressed rapeseed press cake by leaching and precipitation in a water-based process, and the protein recovery yield varied from 26–41% depending on variety. Exposure for heat during protein recovery severely reduced the [...] Read more.
Protein was recovered from five varieties and a mixed blend of cold-pressed rapeseed press cake by leaching and precipitation in a water-based process, and the protein recovery yield varied from 26–41% depending on variety. Exposure for heat during protein recovery severely reduced the rapeseed proteins’ ability to stabilize the oil–water interface of emulsion droplets. Protein extract from Lyside had the best emulsifying properties of the varieties investigated. Oxidation rate was assessed by the Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances (TBARS) method and rapeseed protein extracts from Epure and Festivo had higher capacity to delay oxidation compared with soy lecithin. There are possibilities to broaden the use of rapeseed whereby recovered rapeseed protein can be used as a plant-based multifunctional ingredient with emulsifying capacity and which has a delaying effect on oxidation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality and Functionality of Plant Foods)
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Open AccessArticle
A Multifunctional Biosurfactant Extract Obtained from Corn Steep Water as Bactericide for Agrifood Industry
Foods 2019, 8(9), 410; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8090410 - 12 Sep 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
The increase of crop production along with stricter requirements on food security have augmented the demand of new and eco-friendly bactericides. Most of the bactericides used at the moment consist of persistent organic substances, representing a risk for environmental and human health. For [...] Read more.
The increase of crop production along with stricter requirements on food security have augmented the demand of new and eco-friendly bactericides. Most of the bactericides used at the moment consist of persistent organic substances, representing a risk for environmental and human health. For instance, agriculture bactericides used for crop protection includes copper-based, dithiocarbamate and amide bactericides, which are not biodegradable, resulting in the necessity of further research about the production of new active principles that attack microorganisms without producing any harmful effect on human health or environment. The biosurfactant extract evaluated in this work as a bactericide, is obtained from corn steep water, a residual stream of corn wet milling industry, which is fermented spontaneously by probiotic lactic acid bacteria that possess the capacity to produce biosurfactants. In previous works, it has been demonstrated that this biosurfactant extract is able to promote the growth of Lactobacillus casei in drinkable yogurts, though its antimicrobial activity against pathogenic strains has not been evaluated at the moment. The results obtained in this work have proved that this biosurfactant extract is effective as bactericide against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli, at concentrations of 1 mg/mL, opening the door to its use in agrifood formulations for reducing the use of chemical pesticides and preservatives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality and Functionality of Plant Foods)
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Open AccessArticle
Structural Changes Induced by Pulsed Electric Fields Increase the Concentration of Volatiles Released in Red Onion (Allium cepa L. var. Red Pearl) Bulbs
Foods 2019, 8(9), 368; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8090368 - 26 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This study investigated whether pulsed electric field (PEF) treatment can induce structural changes of whole, intact red onion bulb (Allium cepa L. var. Red Pearl). Onion bulbs were treated at electric field strengths of 0.6 and 1.2 kV/cm combined with energy inputs [...] Read more.
This study investigated whether pulsed electric field (PEF) treatment can induce structural changes of whole, intact red onion bulb (Allium cepa L. var. Red Pearl). Onion bulbs were treated at electric field strengths of 0.6 and 1.2 kV/cm combined with energy inputs of 6 and 60 kJ/kg at different onion orientations with respect to the high voltage electrode. Results showed that onion cells across all fleshy scales experienced uniform cell damage with a higher proportion (>80%) of non-metabolically viable cells after PEF treatment at 1.2 kV/cm when the root end was positioned facing toward the PEF electrode. The findings were supported by cryogenic-scanning electron micrographs (cryo-SEM), where the underlying storage circular cells were completely damaged owing to the PEF treatment. In this study, it was found that the treatment intensity of PEF to induce structural damage across all the scale layers of an onion bulb coincided with an increase in dipropyl disulfide (DPDS) released from the onion bulbs. Therefore, DPDS was used as a volatile marker indicating cellular disruption within whole, intact onion bulbs. A considerable increase of DPDS, up to 52-fold, was detected from PEF-treated onion bulbs compared to untreated bulbs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality and Functionality of Plant Foods)
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Open AccessArticle
Phytosterol Contents of Edible Oils and Their Contributions to Estimated Phytosterol Intake in the Chinese Diet
Foods 2019, 8(8), 334; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8080334 - 09 Aug 2019
Cited by 11
Abstract
Phytosterols are important micronutrients in human diets. Evidence has shown that phytosterols play an essential role in the reduction of cholesterol in blood and therefore decrease cardiovascular morbidity. In this study, the content and composition of phytosterols in different kinds of vegetable oils [...] Read more.
Phytosterols are important micronutrients in human diets. Evidence has shown that phytosterols play an essential role in the reduction of cholesterol in blood and therefore decrease cardiovascular morbidity. In this study, the content and composition of phytosterols in different kinds of vegetable oils were analyzed, and the total phytosterol intake and contribution of foods to intake were estimated based on consumption data. The results showed that the phytosterol contents of rice bran oil, corn oil, and rapeseed oil were higher than those of other vegetable oils and the intake of phytosterol in the Chinese diet was about 392.3 mg/day. The main sources of phytosterols were edible vegetable oils (46.3%), followed by cereals (38.9%), vegetables (9.2%), nuts (2.0%), fruits (1.5%), beans and bean products (1.4%), and tubers (0.8%). Among all vegetable oils, rapeseed oil was the main individual contributor to phytosterol intake (22.9%), especially for the southern residents of China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality and Functionality of Plant Foods)
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