Special Issue "Upcycling of Agro-Food Chain By-Products to Obtain High-Added Value Foods"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 24 February 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Graziana Difonzo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Soil, Plant and Food Sciences-University of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy
Interests: antioxidants; polyphenols; natural antimicrobials; lipid oxidation; shelf-life of food products; by-products valorization; mass spectrometry; liquid and gas chromatography; texture analysis; sensory evaluation
Dr. Silvia Grassi
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Co-Guest Editor
Department of Food, Environmental and Nutritional Sciences, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milano, Italy
Interests: Process Analytical Technology (PAT) applied to food; food quality evaluation; food authentication; non-invasive technologies; e-sensing technologies; spectroscopy; image analysis; electronic nose; Chemometrics; multivariate data analysis; by-products valorization; improved product shelf life
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Maria Paciulli
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Department of Food and Drug, Università di Parma, Parma, Italy
Interests: food technology; ingredients; physical properties; sensory evaluation; food structure
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

 

Rising challenges for food innovation and environmental issues have led to an increased interest in bio-economy and more sustainable food production. Besides these transitions, a growing number of consumers are shifting to more sustainable diets, preferring “clean label” items, e.g., minimally processed foods and natural products.

The food industry seems to already have the solution to tackle all these challenges. Indeed, among the agro-food by-products and waste discarded, most of them possess added-value compounds with high functionality and/or bioactivity. Their use represents a renewable source for originating functional compounds and ingredients to develop new added-value products, with a benefit for the entire food system.

The potential of high added-value ingredients spans a diverse range of applications allowing for the development of products with enhanced nutritional value, improved technological and physico-chemical features, increased shelf-life, as well as a good sensory profile. This paves the way for almost infinite upcycling strategies that we would like to collect in this Special Issue.

In this framework, we aim at collecting original research articles and reviews on this topic, ranging from method development and optimization to the investigation and exploitation of agro-food by-products for high value-added food production.

Dr. Silvia Grassi
Dr. Graziana Difonzo
Dr. Maria Paciulli
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 2000 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

  • By-products
  • Circular economy
  • Sustainability
  • Clean label
  • Antioxidants
  • Shelf-life
  • Natural preservatives
  • Texturing agents
  • Emulsifiers
  • Antimicrobial activity
  • Microstructure
  • Sensory and Consumer science

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Article
The Characteristics of Quark Cheese Made from Buttermilk during Refrigerated Storage
Foods 2021, 10(8), 1783; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10081783 - 31 Jul 2021
Viewed by 414
Abstract
The dairy industry releases huge amounts of by-products. One of them is buttermilk, obtained during butter production. This by-product is characterized by high nutritional and technological value and is finding more and more applications in food production. This study aimed to produce and [...] Read more.
The dairy industry releases huge amounts of by-products. One of them is buttermilk, obtained during butter production. This by-product is characterized by high nutritional and technological value and is finding more and more applications in food production. This study aimed to produce and analyze the characteristics of quark cheese obtained entirely from buttermilk during 3-week refrigerated (4 ± 1 °C) storage. Four kinds of sour buttermilk were used: two from industrial butter production, and another two from butter production at laboratory scale. Laboratory buttermilk differs in the kind of starter culture used in the production. The evaluation of cheese quality properties included physicochemical analyses, texture measurement, and sensory assessment. The results showed that the kind of buttermilk used in production influences the acidity, total solids, textural characteristics, and fat content of the obtained quark cheeses. All obtained cheeses had very high sensory quality throughout the storage period. The study indicates that buttermilk may be successfully used as a substitution for milk in quark cheese production. Full article
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Article
Characterization of Feruloyl Esterase from Bacillus pumilus SK52.001 and Its Application in Ferulic Acid Production from De-Starched Wheat Bran
Foods 2021, 10(6), 1229; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10061229 - 28 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1053
Abstract
Feruloyl esterase (FAE; EC 3.1.1.73) catalyzes the hydrolysis of the 4-hydroxy-3-methoxycinnamoyl group in an esterified sugar to assist in waste biomass degradation or to release ferulic acid (FA). An FAE-producing strain was isolated from humus soil samples and identified as Bacillus pumilus SK52.001. [...] Read more.
Feruloyl esterase (FAE; EC 3.1.1.73) catalyzes the hydrolysis of the 4-hydroxy-3-methoxycinnamoyl group in an esterified sugar to assist in waste biomass degradation or to release ferulic acid (FA). An FAE-producing strain was isolated from humus soil samples and identified as Bacillus pumilus SK52.001. The BpFAE gene from B. pumilus SK52.001 was speculated and heterogeneously expressed in Bacillus subtilis WB800 for the first time. The enzyme exists as a monomer with 303 amino acids and a molecular mass of 33.6 kDa. Its specific activity was 377.9 ± 10.3 U/(mg protein), using methyl ferulate as a substrate. It displays an optimal alkaline pH of 9.0, an optimal temperature of 50 °C, and half-lives of 1434, 327, 235, and 68 min at 50, 55, 60, and 65 °C, respectively. Moreover, the purified BpFAE released 4.98% FA of the alkali-acidic extractable FA from de-starched wheat bran (DSWB). When the DSWB was enzymatically degraded by the synergistic effect of the BpFAE and commercial xylanase, the FA amount reached 49.47%. It suggested that the alkaline BpFAE from B. pumilus SK52.001, which was heterologously expressed in B. subtilis WB800, possesses great potential for biomass degradation and achieving high-added value FA production from food by-products. Full article
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Review

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Review
Fungal Biovalorization of a Brewing Industry Byproduct, Brewer’s Spent Grain: A Review
Foods 2021, 10(9), 2159; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10092159 - 13 Sep 2021
Viewed by 382
Abstract
The beer industry is a major producer of solid waste globally, primarily in the form of brewer’s spent grain (BSG), which due to its low value has historically been diverted to livestock as feed or to landfills. However, its high moisture content and [...] Read more.
The beer industry is a major producer of solid waste globally, primarily in the form of brewer’s spent grain (BSG), which due to its low value has historically been diverted to livestock as feed or to landfills. However, its high moisture content and chemical composition positions BSG as an ideal candidate for further processing with microbial fermentation. Recent research has focused on filamentous fungi and the ability of some species therein to degrade the predominant recalcitrant cellulolignin components of BSG to produce valuable compounds. Many species have been investigated to biovalorize this waste stream, including those in the genuses Aspergillus, Penicillium, Rhyzopus, and Trichoderma, which have been used to produce a wide array of highly valuable enzymes and other functional compounds, and to increase the nutritional value of BSG as an animal feed. This review of recent developments in the application of filamentous fungi for the valorization of BSG discusses the biochemical makeup of BSG, the biological mechanisms underlying fungi’s primacy to this application, and the current applications of fungi in this realm. Full article
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Review
Potential Valorization of Hazelnut Shells through Extraction, Purification and Structural Characterization of Prebiotic Compounds: A Critical Review
Foods 2021, 10(6), 1197; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10061197 - 26 May 2021
Viewed by 996
Abstract
Hazelnuts are one of the most widely consumed nuts, but their production creates large quantities of by-products, especially shells, that could be upcycled into much more valuable products. Recent studies have shown that hazelnut shell hemicellulose is particularly rich in compounds that are [...] Read more.
Hazelnuts are one of the most widely consumed nuts, but their production creates large quantities of by-products, especially shells, that could be upcycled into much more valuable products. Recent studies have shown that hazelnut shell hemicellulose is particularly rich in compounds that are potential precursors of xylooligosaccharides and arabino-xylooligosaccharides ((A)XOS), previously defined as emerging prebiotics very beneficial for human health. The production of these compounds on an industrial scale-up could have big consequences on the functional foods market. However, to produce (A)XOS from a lignocellulosic biomass, such as hazelnut shell, is not easy. Many methods for the extraction and the purification of these prebiotics have been developed, but they all have different efficiencies and consequences, including on the chemical structure of the obtained (A)XOS. The latter, in turn, is strongly correlated to the nutritional effects they have on health, which is why the optimization of the structural characterization process is also necessary. Therefore, this review aims to summarize the progress made by research in this field, so as to contribute to the exploitation of hazelnut waste streams through a circular economy approach, increasing the value of this biomass through the production of new functional ingredients. Full article
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Review
Fermentation of Agri-Food Waste: A Promising Route for the Production of Aroma Compounds
Foods 2021, 10(4), 707; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10040707 - 26 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1122
Abstract
Food waste and byproducts are generated along the entire food processing and storage chain. The large amount of waste deriving from the whole process represents not only a great economic loss but also an important ethical and environmental issue in terms of failure [...] Read more.
Food waste and byproducts are generated along the entire food processing and storage chain. The large amount of waste deriving from the whole process represents not only a great economic loss but also an important ethical and environmental issue in terms of failure to recycle potentially reusable materials. New, clear strategies are needed to limit the amount of waste produced and, at the same time, promote its enhancement for further conversion and application to different industrial fields. This review gives an overview of the biological approaches used so far to exploit agri-food wastes and byproducts. The application of solid-state fermentation by different microorganisms (fungi, yeasts, bacteria) to produce several value-added products was analyzed, focusing on the exploitation of lactic acid bacteria as workhorses for the production of flavoring compounds. Full article
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Review
Nutritional and Bioactive Components of Pomegranate Waste Used in Food and Cosmetic Applications: A Review
Foods 2021, 10(3), 657; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10030657 - 19 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1067
Abstract
Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) is a fruit that is rich in bioactive compounds that has a biowaste (rind and seed) with the potential to be converted into value-added products in a wide variety of applications. Recent studies have demonstrated the potent antioxidant [...] Read more.
Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) is a fruit that is rich in bioactive compounds that has a biowaste (rind and seed) with the potential to be converted into value-added products in a wide variety of applications. Recent studies have demonstrated the potent antioxidant and antimicrobial effects of using pomegranate rind and seed as natural food additives, thus making researchers incorporate them into bioplastics and edible coatings for food packaging. Additionally, these components have shown great plasticizing effects on packaging materials while extending the shelf life of food through active packaging. Even within skin health applications, pomegranate seed oil and its bioactive compounds have been particularly effective in combating UV-induced stresses on animal skin and in-vitro models, where cells and microorganisms are separated from the whole organism. They have also aided in healing wounds and have shown major anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anti-bacterial properties. This review highlights all of the relevant and recent food and skin health applications found in the value-added conversion of pomegranate biowaste. The lack of research in particular areas and future outlook are also discussed. Full article
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