Special Issue "Plant Foods and Underutilized Fruits as Source of Functional Food Ingredients: Chemical Composition, Quality Traits, and Biological Properties"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Dario Donno

Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Forestali e Alimentari, Università degli Studi di Torino, Grugliasco (TO), Italy
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Interests: natural compound chemistry; food science and technology; analytical chemistry; phytotherapy; food chemistry; phytochemistry
Co-Guest Editor
Dr. Federica Turrini

Dipartimento di Farmacia, Università degli Studi di Genova
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Changes in lifestyle and demographics, rising consumer incomes, and shifting preferences due to advanced knowledge about the relationships between food and health, contribute to generate new needs in food supply. Today, the role of food is not only intended as hunger satisfaction and nutrient supplying, but also as an opportunity to prevent nutrition-related diseases and improve physical and mental well-being. For this reason, there is a growing interest in novel or less well-known plant foods that offer an opportunity for health maintenance. Recently, interest in plant foods and underutilized fruits is ever more growing and agrobiodiversity exploitation offers effective and extraordinary potentialities. Plant foods could be an important source of health-promoting compounds and functional food ingredients with benefical properties: the description of quality and physico-chemical traits, the identification and quantification of bioactive compounds, and the evaluation of their biological activities are important to assess plant food efficacy as functional foods or source of food supplement ingredients.

Dr. Dario Donno
Dr. Federica Turrini
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 550 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

  • natural plant foods

  • healthy properties

  • phytochemicals

  • agrobiodiversity

  • human nutrition

  • analytical strategies

  • bioactivity

  • unconventional fruits

  • in vitro test

  • natural antioxidants

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Influence of Clitoria ternatea Flower Extract on the In Vitro Enzymatic Digestibility of Starch and Its Application in Bread
Received: 21 May 2018 / Revised: 21 June 2018 / Accepted: 29 June 2018 / Published: 2 July 2018
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Abstract
This study aimed to assess the effect of the Clitoria ternatea L. flower extract (CTE), on the inhibition of pancreatic α-amylase, in vitro starch hydrolysis, and predicted the glycemic index of different type of flours including potato, cassava, rice, corn, wheat, and glutinous
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This study aimed to assess the effect of the Clitoria ternatea L. flower extract (CTE), on the inhibition of pancreatic α-amylase, in vitro starch hydrolysis, and predicted the glycemic index of different type of flours including potato, cassava, rice, corn, wheat, and glutinous rice flour. The application in a bakery product prepared from flour and CTE was also determined. The results demonstrated that the 1% and 2% (w/v) CTE inhibited the pancreatic α-amylase activity by using all flours as a substrate. Moreover, 0.5%, 1%, and 2% (w/v) CTE showed a significant reduction in the glucose release, hydrolysis index (HI), and predicted glycemic index (pGI) of flour. In glutinous rice flour, 1% and 2% (w/v) CTE had a significantly lower level of rapidly digestible starch (RDS) and slowly digestible starch (SDS) with a concomitant higher level of undigested starch. The statistical analysis demonstrated strong positive significant correlations between the percentage of CTE and the undigested starch of wheat and cassava. The addition of 5%, 10%, and 20% (w/w) CTE significantly reduced the rate of starch digestion of the wheat bread. The pGI of bread incorporated with 5% CTE (w/w) was significantly lower than that of the control bread. Our findings suggest that CTE could reduce the starch digestibility, the HI, and pGI of flour through the inhibition of carbohydrate digestive enzymes. Taken together, CTE may be a potent ingredient for the reduced glycemic index of flours. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Buchanania obovata: Functionality and Phytochemical Profiling of the Australian Native Green Plum
Received: 13 April 2018 / Revised: 26 April 2018 / Accepted: 26 April 2018 / Published: 4 May 2018
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Abstract
The green plum is the fruit of Buchanania obovata Engl. and is an Australian Indigenous bush food. Very little study has been done on the green plum, so this is an initial screening study of the functional properties and phytochemical profile found in
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The green plum is the fruit of Buchanania obovata Engl. and is an Australian Indigenous bush food. Very little study has been done on the green plum, so this is an initial screening study of the functional properties and phytochemical profile found in the flesh and seed. The flesh was shown to have antimicrobial properties effective against gram negative (Escherichia coli 9001—NCTC) and gram positive (Staphylococcus aureus 6571—NCTC) bacteria. Scanning electron microscopy analysis shows that the antimicrobial activity causes cell wall disintegration and cytoplasmic leakage in both bacteria. Antioxidant 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) testing shows the flesh has high radical scavenging activity (106.3 ± 28.6 μM Trolox equivalant/g Dry Weight in methanol). The flesh and seed contain a range of polyphenols including gallic acid, ellagic acid, p-coumaric acid, kaempferol, quercetin and trans-ferulic acid that may be responsible for this activity. The seed is eaten as a bush food and contains a delphinidin-based anthocyanin. The green plum has potential as a functional ingredient in food products for its antimicrobial and antioxidant activity, and further investigation into its bioactivity, chemical composition and potential applications in different food products is warranted. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Chemical and Nutritional Composition of Terminalia ferdinandiana (Kakadu Plum) Kernels: A Novel Nutrition Source
Received: 22 March 2018 / Revised: 9 April 2018 / Accepted: 9 April 2018 / Published: 12 April 2018
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Abstract
Terminalia ferdinandiana (Kakadu plum) is a native Australian fruit. Industrial processing of T. ferdinandiana fruits into puree generates seeds as a by-product, which are generally discarded. The aim of our present study was to process the seed to separate the kernel and determine
[...] Read more.
Terminalia ferdinandiana (Kakadu plum) is a native Australian fruit. Industrial processing of T. ferdinandiana fruits into puree generates seeds as a by-product, which are generally discarded. The aim of our present study was to process the seed to separate the kernel and determine its nutritional composition. The proximate, mineral and fatty acid compositions were analysed in this study. Kernels are composed of 35% fat, while proteins account for 32% dry weight (DW). The energy content and fiber were 2065 KJ/100 g and 21.2% DW, respectively. Furthermore, the study showed that kernels were a very rich source of minerals and trace elements, such as potassium (6693 mg/kg), calcium (5385 mg/kg), iron (61 mg/kg) and zinc (60 mg/kg) DW, and had low levels of heavy metals. The fatty acid composition of the kernels consisted of omega-6 fatty acid, linoleic acid (50.2%), monounsaturated oleic acid (29.3%) and two saturated fatty acids namely palmitic acid (12.0%) and stearic acid (7.2%). The results indicate that T. ferdinandiana kernels have the potential to be utilized as a novel protein source for dietary purposes and non-conventional supply of linoleic, palmitic and oleic acids. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview Phytochemical Properties and Nutrigenomic Implications of Yacon as a Potential Source of Prebiotic: Current Evidence and Future Directions
Received: 5 March 2018 / Revised: 6 April 2018 / Accepted: 9 April 2018 / Published: 12 April 2018
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Abstract
The human gut is densely populated with diverse microbial communities that are essential to health. Prebiotics and fiber have been shown to possess the ability to modulate the gut microbiota. One of the plants being considered as a potential source of prebiotic is
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The human gut is densely populated with diverse microbial communities that are essential to health. Prebiotics and fiber have been shown to possess the ability to modulate the gut microbiota. One of the plants being considered as a potential source of prebiotic is yacon. Yacon is an underutilized plant consumed as a traditional root-based fruit in South America. Yacon mainly contains fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and inulin. Therefore, it has bifidogenic benefits for gut health, because FOS are not easily broken down by digestive enzymes. Bioactive chemical compounds and extracts isolated from yacon have been studied for their various nutrigenomic properties, including as a prebiotic for intestinal health and their antimicrobial and antioxidant effects. This article reviewed scientific studies regarding the bioactive chemical compounds and nutrigenomic properties of extracts and isolated compounds from yacon. These findings may help in further research to investigate yacon-based nutritional products. Yacon can be considered a potential prebiotic source and a novel functional food. However, more detailed epidemiological, animal, and human clinical studies, particularly mechanism-based and phytopharmacological studies, are lacking for the development of evidence-based functional food products. Full article
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