Special Issue "Development of Food Chemistry, Natural Products, and Nutrition Research"

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods".

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

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A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Antonello Santini
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples Federico II, Via D. Montesano 49, 80131 Naples, Italy
Interests: food chemistry; safety; food safety; nutraceuticals; nanonutraceuticals; recovery from byproducts of the food indystry; food contaminants; food supplements; contaminants; risk assesment; mycotoxins and secondary metabolites; chemistry and food education; food analysis; analytical chemistry; novel techniques for sustainable products; bioavailability; mechanism of action of nutraceuticals and nanonutraceuticals
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Nicola Cicero
Website
Guest Editor
Food Chemistry Section, Department of Biomedical Science, University of Messina, 98122 Messina, Italy
Interests: food chemistry; food additives; food contaminants; natural products

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Prevention and well-being are closely linked to the wrong lifestyle and dietary habits, which can determine the onset of illness. Some health conditions can be prevented and treated with the proper use of food, natural products, and nutraceuticals in daily diet. A nutraceutical can provide health beneficial effects, e.g., the prevention and/or, in some cases, the treatment of a disease. The key aspect is to define the range of possible uses for these new food–drugs and substantiate them using in vitro and in vivo clinical data that support the efficacy, safety, and possible health benefits. This Special Issue is dedicated to exploit the sources, chemistry, composition, formulation, use, experience in clinical use, mechanisms of action, and clinical data of nutraceuticals, natural products, and food, which represent a new frontier for therapy and also a valuable tool to reduce the costs of health care systems.

Prof. Dr. Antonello Santini
Prof. Dr. Nicola Cicero
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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

  • food
  • food contaminants
  • health
  • nutraceuticals
  • prevention
  • clinical data
  • in vitro data
  • therapeutic agents
  • clinical experience
  • formulation
  • natural products
  • analytical aspects
  • mechanism of action

Published Papers (14 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Development of Food Chemistry, Natural Products, and Nutrition Research: Targeting New Frontiers
Foods 2020, 9(4), 482; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040482 - 12 Apr 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
The Special Issue entitled: “Development of Food Chemistry, Natural Products, and Nutrition Research” is focused on the recent development of food chemistry research, including natural products’ sources and nutrition research, with the objectives of triggering interest towards new perspectives related to foods and [...] Read more.
The Special Issue entitled: “Development of Food Chemistry, Natural Products, and Nutrition Research” is focused on the recent development of food chemistry research, including natural products’ sources and nutrition research, with the objectives of triggering interest towards new perspectives related to foods and opening a novel horizon for research in the food area. The published papers collected in this Special Issue are studies that refer to different aspects of food, ranging from food chemistry and analytical aspects, to composition, natural products, and nutrition, all examined from different perspectives and points of view. Overall, this Special Issue gives a current picture of the main topics of interest in the research and proposes studies and analyses that may prompt and address the efforts of research in the food area to find novel foods and novel applications and stimulate an environmentally-friendly approach for the re-use of the by-products of the agro-food area. This notwithstanding, the main challenge is currently addressed to achieve a full comprehension of the mechanisms of action of food components, the nutrients, outlining their high potential impact as preventive and/or therapeutic tools, not only as a source of macro- and/or micro-nutrients, which are necessary for all the metabolic and body functions. Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle
Oleic Acid Is not the Only Relevant Mono-Unsaturated Fatty Ester in Olive Oil
Foods 2020, 9(4), 384; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040384 - 26 Mar 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
(1) Background: Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) is a precious and universally studied food matrix. Recently, the quantitative chemical composition was investigated by an innovative processing method for the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) experiments called Multi-Assignment Recovered Analysis (MARA)-NMR. (2) Methods: Any EVOO 13-carbon [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) is a precious and universally studied food matrix. Recently, the quantitative chemical composition was investigated by an innovative processing method for the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) experiments called Multi-Assignment Recovered Analysis (MARA)-NMR. (2) Methods: Any EVOO 13-carbon NMR (13C-NMR) profile displayed inconsistent signals. This mismatch was resolved by comparing NMR data to the official gas-chromatographic flame ionization detection (GC-FID) experiments: the analyses concerned many EVOOs but also the “exotic” Capparis spinosa oil (CSO). (3) Results: NMR and GC-FID evidenced the overwhelming presence of cis-vaccenic esters in the CSO and, more importantly, cis-vaccenic 13C-NMR resonances unequivocally matched the misunderstood 13C-NMR signals of EVOOs. The updated assignment revealed the unexpected relevant presence of cis-vaccenic ester (around 3%) in EVOOs; it was neglected, so far, because routine and official GC-FID profiles did not resolve oleic and cis-vaccenic signals leading to the total quantification of both monounsaturated fatty esters. (4) Conclusions: The rebuilt MARA-NMR and GC-FID interpretations consistently show a meaningful presence of cis-vaccenic esters in EVOOs, whose content could be a discrimination factor featuring specific cultivar or geographical origin. The study paves the way toward new quantification panels and scientific research concerning vegetable oils. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Use of Phycobiliproteins from Atacama Cyanobacteria as Food Colorants in a Dairy Beverage Prototype
Foods 2020, 9(2), 244; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9020244 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
The interest of the food industry in replacing artificial dyes with natural pigments has grown recently. Cyanobacterial phycobiliproteins (PBPs), phycoerythrin (PE) and phycocyanin (PC), are colored water-soluble proteins that are used as natural pigments. Additionally, red PE and blue PC have antioxidant capabilities. [...] Read more.
The interest of the food industry in replacing artificial dyes with natural pigments has grown recently. Cyanobacterial phycobiliproteins (PBPs), phycoerythrin (PE) and phycocyanin (PC), are colored water-soluble proteins that are used as natural pigments. Additionally, red PE and blue PC have antioxidant capabilities. We have formulated a new food prototype based on PBP-fortified skim milk. PBPs from Andean cyanobacteria were purified by ammonium sulfate precipitation, ion-exchange chromatography, and freeze-drying. The stability of PE and PC was evaluated by changes in their absorption spectra at various pH (1–14) and temperature (0–80 °C) values. Purified PBPs showed chemical stability under pH values of 5 to 8 and at temperatures between 0 and 50 °C. The antioxidant property of PBP was confirmed by ABTS (2,2′-Azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) diammonium salt radical ion scavenging, and FRAP (Ferric Antioxidant Power) assays. The absence of PBP toxicity against Caenorhabditis elegans was confirmed up to 1 mg PBP/mL. Skim milk fortified with PE obtained a higher score after sensory tests. Thus, a functional food based on skim milk-containing cyanobacterial PBPs can be considered an innovative beverage for the food industry. PBPs were stable at an ultra-high temperature (138 °C and 4 s). PBP stability improvements by changes at its primary structure and the incorporation of freeze-dried PBPs into sachets should be considered as alternatives for their future commercialization. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Essential Oil and Hydrolats from Myristica fragrans Seeds with Magnesium Aluminometasilicate as Excipient: Antioxidant, Antibacterial, and Anti-inflammatory Activity
Foods 2020, 9(1), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9010037 - 02 Jan 2020
Cited by 8
Abstract
Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) essential oil has antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiparasitic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. We have recently demonstrated that hydrodistillation of nutmeg essential oil by applying magnesium aluminometasilicate as an excipient significantly increases both the content and amount of bioactive substances in [...] Read more.
Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) essential oil has antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiparasitic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. We have recently demonstrated that hydrodistillation of nutmeg essential oil by applying magnesium aluminometasilicate as an excipient significantly increases both the content and amount of bioactive substances in the oil and hydrolats. In this study, we aimed to compare the antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory activity of hydrolats and essential oil obtained by hydrodistillation in the presence and absence of magnesium aluminometasilicate as an excipient. The 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging method revealed that magnesium aluminometasilicate did not significantly improved antioxidant activity of both essential oil and hydrolat. Antibacterial efficiency was evaluated by monitoring growth of 15 bacterial strains treated by a range of dilutions of the essential oil and the hydrolats. Essential oil with an excipient completely inhibited the growth of E. faecalis, S. mutans (referent), and P. multocida, whereas the pure oil was only efficient against the latter strain. Finally, the anti-inflammatory properties of the substances were assessed in a fibroblast cell culture treated with viral dsRNR mimetic Poly I:C. The essential oil with an excipient protected cells against Poly I:C-induced necrosis more efficiently compared to pure essential oil. Also, both the oil and the hydrolats with aluminometasilicate were more efficient in preventing IL-6 release in the presence of Poly I:C. Our results show that the use of magnesium aluminometasilicate as an excipient might change and in some cases improve the biological activities of nutmeg essential oil and hydrolats. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Land Snails as a Valuable Source of Fatty Acids: A Multivariate Statistical Approach
Foods 2019, 8(12), 676; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8120676 - 12 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The fatty acid (FA) profile of wild Theba pisana, Cornu aspersum, and Eobania vermiculata land snail samples, collected in Sicily (Southern Italy), before and after heat treatment at +100 °C were examined by gas chromatography with a flame ionization detector (GC-FID). The [...] Read more.
The fatty acid (FA) profile of wild Theba pisana, Cornu aspersum, and Eobania vermiculata land snail samples, collected in Sicily (Southern Italy), before and after heat treatment at +100 °C were examined by gas chromatography with a flame ionization detector (GC-FID). The results show a higher content of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in all of the examined raw snails samples, representing up to 48.10% of the total fatty acids contents, followed by monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). The thermal processing of the snail samples examined determined an overall reduction of PUFA levels (8.13%, 7.75%, and 4.62% for T. pisana, C. aspersum and E. vermiculata samples, respectively) and a species-specific variation of saturated fatty acid (SFA) contents. Oleic acid remained the most abundant FA of all of the snails species examined, accounting for up to 29.95% of the total FA content. A relevant decrease of ɷ3/ɷ6 ratio was found only for T. pisana samples. The principal component analysis (PCA) showed a separation of the snail samples in terms of species and heat treatment. The results of this work suggest land snails as a valuable source of MUFA and PUFA contents and boiling as appropriate treatment, according to the maintenance of healthy properties. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Chemical Composition and Antioxidant Activity of Steam-Distilled Essential Oil and Glycosidically Bound Volatiles from Maclura Tricuspidata Fruit
Foods 2019, 8(12), 659; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8120659 - 09 Dec 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Essential oil obtained from Maclura triscuspidata fruit has been reported to have functional properties. This study aimed at determining chemical compositions and antioxidant activities of steam-distilled essential oil (SDEO) and glycosidically bound aglycone fraction (GBAF) isolated from fully ripe M. triscuspidata fruit. SDEO [...] Read more.
Essential oil obtained from Maclura triscuspidata fruit has been reported to have functional properties. This study aimed at determining chemical compositions and antioxidant activities of steam-distilled essential oil (SDEO) and glycosidically bound aglycone fraction (GBAF) isolated from fully ripe M. triscuspidata fruit. SDEO was isolated by simultaneous steam distillation and extraction (SDE). GBAF was prepared by Amberlite XAD-2 adsorption of methanol extract, followed by methanol elution and enzymatic hydrolysis. Both fractions were analyzed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS). A total of 76 constituents were identified from both oils. Apart from fatty acids and their esters, the SDEO contained p-cresol in the highest concentration (383.5 ± 17.7), followed by δ-cadinene (147.7 ± 7.7), β-caryophyllene (145.7 ± 10.5), β-ionone (141.0 ± 4.5), n-nonanal (140.3 ± 20.5), theaspirane A (121.3 ± 4.5) and theaspirane B (99.67 ± 9.05 µg/g). Thirteen carotenoid-derived compounds identified in the SDEO are being isolated from M. triscuspidata fruit for the first time. Out of the 22 components identified in GBAF, 14 were present only in the glycosidically bound volatiles. Antioxidant activity of the GBAF was higher than that of SDEO. These results suggest that glycosidically bound volatiles of M. triscuspidata fruit have a good potential as natural antioxidants. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Bioactivity-Guided Fractionation and NMR-Based Identification of the Immunomodulatory Isoflavone from the Roots of Uraria crinita (L.) Desv. ex DC
Foods 2019, 8(11), 543; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8110543 - 03 Nov 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Uraria crinita is used as a functional food ingredient. Little is known about the association between its immunomodulatory activity and its metabolites. We applied a precise strategy for screening metabolites using immunomodulatory fractions from a U. crinata root methanolic extract (UCME) in combination [...] Read more.
Uraria crinita is used as a functional food ingredient. Little is known about the association between its immunomodulatory activity and its metabolites. We applied a precise strategy for screening metabolites using immunomodulatory fractions from a U. crinata root methanolic extract (UCME) in combination with bioactivity-guided fractionation and NMR-based identification. The fractions from UCME were evaluated in terms of their inhibitory activity against the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-6 and TNF-α) by lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated mouse bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDC). The role of the isoflavone genistein was indicated by the 1H NMR profiling of immunomodulatory subfractions (D-4 and D-5) and supported by the result that genistein-knockout subfractions (D-4 w/o and D-5 w/o) had a lower inhibitory activity compared to genistein-containing subfractions. This study suggests that genistein contributes to the immunomodulatory activity of UCME and will help in the standardization of functional food. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Elderberry (Sambucus nigra L.) Fruit Extract Alleviates Oxidative Stress, Insulin Resistance, and Inflammation in Hypertrophied 3T3-L1 Adipocytes and Activated RAW 264.7 Macrophages
Foods 2019, 8(8), 326; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8080326 - 08 Aug 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
Oxidative stress and inflammation in hypertrophied adipose tissue with excessive fat accumulation play a crucial role in the development of obesity and accompanying metabolic dysfunctions. This study demonstrated the capacity of elderberry fruit (EDB) extract to decrease the elevated production of reactive oxygen [...] Read more.
Oxidative stress and inflammation in hypertrophied adipose tissue with excessive fat accumulation play a crucial role in the development of obesity and accompanying metabolic dysfunctions. This study demonstrated the capacity of elderberry fruit (EDB) extract to decrease the elevated production of reactive oxygen species in hypertrophied 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Treatment with the EDB extract resulted in modulation of mRNA expression and protein secretion of key adipokines in hypertrophied adipocytes. Expression of leptin and adiponectin was, respectively, down- and up-regulated. Moreover, glucose uptake stimulation was noticed in mature adipocytes, both sensitive to insulin and insulin resistant. This may suggest a positive effect of EDB extract on insulin resistance status. The extract was also found to alleviate the inflammatory response in activated RAW 264.7 macrophages by down-regulating the expression of proinflammatory genes (TNF-α, IL-6, COX-2, iNOS) and suppressing the enhanced production of inflammatory mediators (TNF-α, IL-6, PGE2, NO). In vitro experiments showed that the EDB extract could inhibit digestive enzymes, including α-amylase, α-glucosidase, and pancreatic lipase, leading to reduced intestinal absorption of dietary lipids and carbohydrates. Further in vivo studies could be postulated to support EDB as a functional food component for the prevention and treatment of obesity and metabolic-immune comorbidities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fermented Sea Tangle (Laminaria japonica Aresch) Suppresses RANKL-Induced Osteoclastogenesis by Scavenging ROS in RAW 264.7 Cells
Foods 2019, 8(8), 290; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8080290 - 26 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Sea tangle (Laminaria japonica Aresch), a brown alga, has been used for many years as a functional food ingredient in the Asia-Pacific region. In the present study, we investigated the effects of fermented sea tangle extract (FST) on receptor activator of nuclear [...] Read more.
Sea tangle (Laminaria japonica Aresch), a brown alga, has been used for many years as a functional food ingredient in the Asia-Pacific region. In the present study, we investigated the effects of fermented sea tangle extract (FST) on receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) ligand (RANKL)-stimulated osteoclast differentiation, using RAW 264.7 mouse macrophage cells. FST was found to inhibit the RANKL-stimulated activation of tartrate-resistance acid phosphatase (TRAP) and F-actin ring structure formation. FST also down-regulated the expression of osteoclast marker genes like TRAP, matrix metalloproteinase-9, cathepsin K and osteoclast-associated receptor by blocking RANKL-induced activation of NF-κB and expression of nuclear factor of activated T cells c1 (NFATc1), a master transcription factor. In addition, FST significantly abolished RANKL-induced generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by activation of nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and its transcriptional targets. Hence, it seems likely that FST may have anti-osteoclastogenic potential as a result of its ability to inactivate the NF-κB-mediated NFATc1 signaling pathway and by reducing ROS production through activation of the Nrf2 pathway. Although further studies are needed to inquire its efficacy in vivo, FST appears to have potential use as an adjunctive or as a prophylactic treatment for osteoclastic bone disease. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Anti-Obesity Effect of Extract from Nelumbo Nucifera L., Morus Alba L., and Raphanus Sativus Mixture in 3T3-L1 Adipocytes and C57BL/6J Obese Mice
Foods 2019, 8(5), 170; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8050170 - 19 May 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
The antioxidant and anti-adipogenic activities of a mixture of Nelumbo nucifera L., Morus alba L., and Raphanus sativus were investigated and their anti-obesity activities were established in vitro and in vivo. Among the 26 different mixtures of extraction solvent and mixture ratios, [...] Read more.
The antioxidant and anti-adipogenic activities of a mixture of Nelumbo nucifera L., Morus alba L., and Raphanus sativus were investigated and their anti-obesity activities were established in vitro and in vivo. Among the 26 different mixtures of extraction solvent and mixture ratios, ethanol extract mixture no. 1 (EM01) showed the highest antioxidant (α,α-Diphenyl-β-picrylhydrazyl, total phenolic contents) and anti-adipogenic (Oil-Red O staining) activities. EM01 inhibited lipid accumulation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes compared to quercetin-3-O-glucuronide. Furthermore, body, liver, and adipose tissue weights decreased in the high-fat diet (HFD)-EM01 group compared to in the high-fat diet control group (HFD-CTL). EM01 lowered blood glucose levels elevated by the HFD. Lipid profiles were improved following EM01 treatment. Serum adiponectin significantly increased, while leptin, insulin growth factor-1, non-esterified fatty acid, and glucose significantly decreased in the HFD-EM01 group. Adipogenesis and lipogenesis-related genes were suppressed, while fat oxidation-related genes increased following EM01 administration. Thus, EM01 may be a natural anti-obesity agent. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Quali-Quantitative Profile of Native Carotenoids in Kumquat from Brazil by HPLC-DAD-APCI/MS
Foods 2019, 8(5), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8050166 - 16 May 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
In this study the native carotenoids composition in kumquat (Fortunella margarita) (peel + pulp) from Brazil was determined for the first time by a HPLC-DAD-APCI/MS (high performance liquid chromatography-diode array detector-atmospheric pressure chemical ionization/mass spectrometry), methodology. Eleven carotenoids were successfully identified and quantified [...] Read more.
In this study the native carotenoids composition in kumquat (Fortunella margarita) (peel + pulp) from Brazil was determined for the first time by a HPLC-DAD-APCI/MS (high performance liquid chromatography-diode array detector-atmospheric pressure chemical ionization/mass spectrometry), methodology. Eleven carotenoids were successfully identified and quantified in kumquat: four carotenoids in the free form and seven carotenoids in the esterified form. β-citraurin-laurate was the carotenoid found in the highest content (607.33 µg/100 g fresh matter), followed by β-cryptoxanthin-laurate (552.59 µg/100 g). The different esterified forms of β-citraurin and β-cryptoxanthin represented 84.34% of the carotenoids found, which demonstrates the importance of esterification in natural fruits. β-carotene and free xanthophylls (β-cryptoxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin) represented 5.50% and 14.96%, respectively, of total carotenoids in kumquat. The total carotenoid content of kumquat from Brazil was very high (2185.16 µg/100 g), suggesting that this fruit could contribute significantly to the intake of important bioactive compounds by the population. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of a Milk-Based Fruit Beverage Enriched with Plant Sterols and/or Galactooligosaccharides in a Murine Chronic Colitis Model
Foods 2019, 8(4), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8040114 - 04 Apr 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The potential anti-inflammatory effect of plant sterols (PS) enriched milk-based fruit beverages (PS, 1 g/100 mL) (MfB) with/without galactooligosaccharides (GOS, 2 g/100 mL) (MfB-G) in an experimental mice model of chronic ulcerative colitis was evaluated. Beverages were orally administered to mice every day [...] Read more.
The potential anti-inflammatory effect of plant sterols (PS) enriched milk-based fruit beverages (PS, 1 g/100 mL) (MfB) with/without galactooligosaccharides (GOS, 2 g/100 mL) (MfB-G) in an experimental mice model of chronic ulcerative colitis was evaluated. Beverages were orally administered to mice every day by gavage to achieve PS and GOS doses of 35 and 90 mg/kg, respectively, and experimental colitis was induced by giving mice drinking water ad libitum containing 2% (w/v) dextran sulphate sodium (DSS) for 7 days, alternating with periods without DSS up to the end of the study (56 days). MfB beverage showed significant reduction of symptoms associated to ulcerative colitis and improved the colon shortening and mucosal colonic damage, but it was not able to reduce the increase of myeloperoxidase levels produced by DSS. MfB-G showed higher incidence of bloody feces and loss of stool consistency than MfB, as well as high levels of immune cells infiltration in colon tissue and myeloperoxidase. Therefore, PS-enriched milk-based fruit beverage could be an interesting healthy food to extend the remission periods of the diseases and the need to evaluate, in a pre-clinical model, the anti-inflammatory effect of the combination of bioactive compounds in the context of a whole food matrix. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Antioxidant Activities of Solanum nigrum L. Leaf Extracts Determined in In Vitro Cellular Models
Foods 2019, 8(2), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8020063 - 08 Feb 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
Several medicinal foods abound in traditional medicine with antioxidant potentials that could be of importance for the management of several diseases but with little or no scientific justification to substantiate their use. Thus, the objective of this study was the assessment of the [...] Read more.
Several medicinal foods abound in traditional medicine with antioxidant potentials that could be of importance for the management of several diseases but with little or no scientific justification to substantiate their use. Thus, the objective of this study was the assessment of the antioxidant effect of two leave extracts of Solanum nigrum L. (SN), which is a medicinal plant member of the Solanaceae family, mainly used for soup preparation in different parts of the world. Then methanolic/water (80:20) (SN1) and water (SN2) leaves extracts were prepared. The total polyphenolic content and the concentration of phenolic acids and flavones compounds were determined. In order to verify whether examined extracts were able to restore the oxidative status, modified by glutamate in primary cultures of astrocytes, the study evaluated the glutathione levels, the intracellular oxidative stress, and the cytotoxicity of SN1 and SN2 extracts. Both extracts were able to quench the radical in an in vitro free cellular system and restore the oxidative status in in vitro primary cultures of rat astroglial cells exposed to glutamate. These extracts prevented the increase in glutamate uptake and inhibited glutamate excitotoxicity, which leads to cell damage and shows a notable antioxidant property. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Microethnographic and Ethnobotanical Approach to Llayta Consumption among Andes Feeding Practices
Foods 2018, 7(12), 202; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods7120202 - 09 Dec 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Llayta is a dietary supplement that has been used by rural communities in Perú and northern Chile since pre-Columbian days. Llayta is the biomass of colonies of a Nostoc cyanobacterium grown in wetlands of the Andean highlands, harvested, sun-dried and sold as an [...] Read more.
Llayta is a dietary supplement that has been used by rural communities in Perú and northern Chile since pre-Columbian days. Llayta is the biomass of colonies of a Nostoc cyanobacterium grown in wetlands of the Andean highlands, harvested, sun-dried and sold as an ingredient for human consumption. The biomass has a substantial content of essential amino acids (58% of total amino acids) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (33% total fatty acids). This ancestral practice is being lost and the causes were investigated by an ethnographic approach to register the social representations of Llayta, to document how this Andean feeding practice is perceived and how much the community knows about Llayta. Only 37% of the participants (mostly adults) have had a direct experience with Llayta; other participants (mostly children) did not have any knowledge about it. These social responses reflect anthropological and cultural tensions associated with a lack of knowledge on Andean algae, sites where to find Llayta, where it is commercialized, how it is cooked and on its nutritional benefits. The loss of this ancestral feeding practice, mostly in northern Chile, is probably associated with cultural changes, migration of the rural communities, and very limited access to the available information. We propose that Llayta consumption can be revitalized by developing appropriate educational strategies and investigating potential new food derivatives based on the biomass from the isolated Llayta cyanobacterium. Full article
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