Special Issue "Natural Food Additives: From Source to Application"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 January 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. João C.M. Barreira
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Centro de Investigação de Montanha CIMO, Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Campus de Santa Apolónia, P-5300253 Bragança, Portugal
Tel. 00351965729519
Interests: food chemistry; bioactivity; natural product chemistry; bioactive compounds; chemometrics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

One of the most recent trends associated to innovative food products regards the reduction/elimination of artificial additives and their substitution with bio-based compounds. The main reason for such a tendency is not related with effectiveness or safety, since all compounds that are legally accepted as food additives fulfil strict requirements and continuous assessment. In turn, natural-based compounds are generally preferred due to their widely recognized health benefits, which cannot be found among their artificial counterparts. Likewise, the consumers’ concerns towards the ecological impact of the food industry are generally appeased by the employment of natural-based additives, as these are achievable from renewable sources (e.g., plants, mushrooms, or seaweeds) and without implying such high volumes of hazardous chemicals and solvents.

Furthermore, natural-based ingredients often include more than one bioactive molecule, providing synergistic effects that cannot be achieved otherwise. Nevertheless, these compounds that can be directly obtained from natural sources present some technological limitations, mostly associated to their poor stability under different processing conditions. Accordingly, this Special Issue is mainly focused on critical aspects associated to the whole production chain of bio-based compounds, inviting researchers to contribute with original research or review articles focusing on particular aspects such as:

  • Natural species with highest potential as sources of bio-based food additives;
  • Optimized extraction/purification technologies;
  • Structural elucidation of isolated compounds;
  • Stabilization of bioactive compounds;
  • Protected delivery technologies;
  • Development of innovative food formulations;
  • Interaction among shelf-life conditions and overall quality;
  • Consumers’ acceptance studies.

Dr. João C.M. Barreira
Prof. Isabel C.F.R. Ferreira
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

  • Bio-based food additives
  • Extraction/purification technologies
  • Molecular structure elucidation
  • Stabilization techniques
  • Innovative food formulations
  • Consumers’ acceptance

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Potential of Phenolic Metabolites from Traditionally Used Mediterranean Herbs and Spices
Foods 2019, 8(11), 579; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8110579 - 15 Nov 2019
Abstract
The phenolic extracts of fifteen Mediterranean medicinal plants, as well as their antioxidant and antimicrobial activities were investigated to grade their potential as additives in the food industry. Phenolic profiles of plant extracts were determined spectrophotometrically (total phenolics and phenolic subgroups) while individual [...] Read more.
The phenolic extracts of fifteen Mediterranean medicinal plants, as well as their antioxidant and antimicrobial activities were investigated to grade their potential as additives in the food industry. Phenolic profiles of plant extracts were determined spectrophotometrically (total phenolics and phenolic subgroups) while individual compounds were identified using chromatographic assays. The biological activity of samples was determined using five antioxidant assays, while the antibacterial potential was determined against six foodborne pathogens (Camplyobacter coli, Escherichia coli, Salmonela Infantis, Bacillus cereus, Listeria monocytogenes, and Staphylococcus aureus). The results showed significant variations in phenolic profile of plants and consequently their biological activity. Bearberry contained the highest concentration of phenolics, was extremely rich in non-flavonoids and also had the highest amount of catechins that resulted with good reducing and free radical scavenging properties and low chelating activity. All extracts were not effective against tested microorganisms with Gram-positive bacteria being more sensitive (especially S. aureus). The most effective extracts were St. Johns wort against S. aureus with minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 1.00 mg/mL), bay laurel and nettle against B. cereus (MICs of 1.67 mg/mL), and woodland strawberry against L. monocytogenes (MIC of 3.33 mg/mL). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Food Additives: From Source to Application)
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Open AccessArticle
Edible Leafy Vegetables from West Africa (Guinea-Bissau): Consumption, Trade and Food Potential
Foods 2019, 8(10), 493; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8100493 - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
Wild Edible Plants are common in the diet of rural communities of sub-Saharan Africa. In Guinea-Bissau, West Africa, wild plant resources are widely used in human diet, but very few studies have addressed them. The aim of this study is to reveal: (1) [...] Read more.
Wild Edible Plants are common in the diet of rural communities of sub-Saharan Africa. In Guinea-Bissau, West Africa, wild plant resources are widely used in human diet, but very few studies have addressed them. The aim of this study is to reveal: (1) the wild and semi-cultivated leafy vegetables consumed in Guinea-Bissau; and (2) the nutritional composition of those plants traded at the largest country market in Bissau. Our results revealed that 24 native or naturalized species with edible leaves are currently consumed by Guinea-Bissau population. Five of them were found at the market: dried leaves of Adansonia digitata, Bombax costatum and Sesamum radiatum, and fresh leaves and shoots of Amaranthus hybridus and Hibiscus sabdariffa. The analysis of the nutritional properties revealed that leaves contain a significant amount of protein (10.1–21.0 g/100 g, dry basis), high values of macronutrients and micronutrients, as well as of phenolic compounds (13.1–40.3 mg GAE/g) and a considerable antioxidant capacity (DPPH 111.5–681.9 mg Eq Trolox). Although price and availability vary among the leafy vegetables analyzed, these traditional foods appear to be a good dietary component that can contribute to food security in Guinea-Bissau and in other West African countries, as these species are widely distributed in this region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Food Additives: From Source to Application)
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Open AccessArticle
Simple and Efficient Green Extraction of Steviol Glycosides from Stevia rebaudiana Leaves
Foods 2019, 8(9), 402; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8090402 - 11 Sep 2019
Abstract
The food industry has currently shown great interest in alternative sweeteners to sugars with the aim of producing healthier products. In light of this, steviol glycosides are natural low-caloric sweeteners present in Stevia rebaudiana, which have additionally been described as bioactive components [...] Read more.
The food industry has currently shown great interest in alternative sweeteners to sugars with the aim of producing healthier products. In light of this, steviol glycosides are natural low-caloric sweeteners present in Stevia rebaudiana, which have additionally been described as bioactive components with potential therapeutic properties. In this work, a green method for the extraction of steviol glycosides from stevia leaves was optimized by applying a factorial screening design of five variables (time, temperature, agitation, grinding, and sample–solvent ratio) and the subsequent response surface design of Box-Behnken. The optimized extraction method allows for the recovery of stevia sweeteners in a simple and efficient manner by using tap water as the extractant, without the application of an auxiliary energy source to reduce costs, thus representing an interesting strategy for their industrial-scale production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Food Additives: From Source to Application)
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Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Colorants, Flavorants and Product Identity on Perceptions of Naturalness
Foods 2019, 8(8), 317; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8080317 - 04 Aug 2019
Abstract
Natural foods are important to consumers, yet frustrating to producers due to the lack of a formal definition of “natural”. Previous work has studied how consumers define naturalness and how they rate the naturalness of various products, but there is a gap in [...] Read more.
Natural foods are important to consumers, yet frustrating to producers due to the lack of a formal definition of “natural”. Previous work has studied how consumers define naturalness and how they rate the naturalness of various products, but there is a gap in knowledge relating to how color and flavor additives impact perceptions. The objective of this study was to understand how colorants and flavorants on ingredient statements affect perceptions of naturalness. An online survey was launched in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia to determine how consumers perceive products with ingredient statements containing different combinations of artificial and natural colors and flavors when shown with and without the product identity. Results showed that consumers look at the whole product primarily to make decisions about naturalness, but also consider other factors. Products derived from plants and products with natural colors and flavors were perceived to be the most natural. Artificial flavors may be more acceptable than artificial colors due to negative health perceptions and labeling rules associated with colors. Additionally, factors like ingredient familiarity and processing likely influence consumers when making decisions about product naturalness. Males, Millennials, and educated participants have higher naturalness scores than other participants in their respective demographics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Food Additives: From Source to Application)
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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. Caleja, C.; Barreira, J.C.M.; Oliveira, M.; Oliveira, M.B.P.P; Ferreira, I.C.F.R. Consumer acceptability and antioxidant potential of biscuits incorporating herbal extracts or synthetic additives.
  2. Barreira, J.C.M.; Sousa, F.R.; Mendonça, Á.; Ferreira, I.C.F.R. Rating the quality and preference of extra-long ripe goat cheese incorporated with natural-based additives.
  3. Vinha, A.F.; Costa, A.S.G.; Pacheco, R.; Barreira, J.C.M.; Nunes, M. Antónia Pimentel, F.; Oliveira, M.B.P.P. Quercus fruits as new sources of bio-based ingredients with high-value food applications.
  4. Meiselman, H.L.; Kuesten, C. Consumer testing of phytonutrient natural food supplements.
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