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: 31 October 2019.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Elsa Margarida Gonçalves
E-Mail 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
E-Mail 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: fresh-cut vegetables; valorization of food by-products; nonthermal and thermal processing; modeling and optimisation
Dr. Nuno Bartolomeu Alvarenga
E-Mail 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 1200 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 (3 papers)

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Research

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
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
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
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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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.

Title 1: Quality alteration during thermal processing of two mixed formulas of fruits and vegetable pulps. A comparative study

Authors: Dr. Elsa Margarida Gonçalves  and Dr. Marta Abreu et al.

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