Plant, Food and Nutritional Metabolomics

A special issue of Metabolites (ISSN 2218-1989). This special issue belongs to the section "Nutrition and Metabolism".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 August 2023) | Viewed by 12054

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Departamento de Química Orgánica, Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biológicas, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Prol. de Carpio y Plan de Ayala, Ciudad de Mexico 11340, Mexico
Interests: 1H NMR; metabolomics; natural products research; organic chemistry

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Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction, Section of Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, Commonwealth Building, Hammersmith Campus, Imperial College London, London W12 0NN, UK
Interests: metabolic phenotyping; inflammatory bowel disease; personalized nutrition; pharmacology; toxicology
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Metabolomics, metabonomics, metabolic profiling, or metabolic phenotyping continues to be a highly dynamic and important line of research in the biological sciences. Nowadays, metabolomics studies have provided valuable information for a better understanding of the complex action of biological systems, becoming in a few years an essential tool of primary choice to undertake research focused on cellular metabolism and its physiological implications.

A metabolomics study requires the support of analytical platforms that provide information on the systematic identification and quantification of specialized metabolites, mainly from the various metabolic pathways that occur at the corresponding levels in systems biology.

The main analytical platforms for metabolomics studies are Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and double or triple hyphenated-Mass Spectrometry as well as, to a lesser extent, infrared or ultraviolet. Altogether, these analytical tools have found in metabolomics a wide and fertile field of applications that have motivated the development of new techniques associated with technological innovations and bioinformatic packages that greatly facilitate the analysis of samples in an untargeted and targeted context.

Multivariate and univariate tools, including linear and non-linear methods, are normally used to analyze data sets collected by any analytical platform used in metabolomics. These chemometric tools allow to extract information from spectroscopic data with biological meaning to better understand the model under study.

Metabolic profiling makes it possible to elucidate at molecular level any link between diet and disease risk in the context of a superorganism in which the gut microbiota plays a pivotal role in health and disease. In this sense, some foods or food supplements may influence the gut microbiota, such as probiotics, prebiotics, symbiotics, and postbiotics. In the specific case of diet, it is possible to relate its biomarkers with health risk, which could also include co-metabolites and/or metabolites produced by the gut microbiota alone.

When studying the beneficial effect of traditional medicine, nutraceuticals or any dietary intervention in nutritional and epidemiological protocols, it is possible to discover the molecule, or combination of molecules, derived from these sources that produce therapeutic effects on a given disease. The final purpose of metabolic profiling is to translate this knowledge into clinical practice in order to recommend a properly stratified patient to take a personalized treatment, and thus monitor adherence, efficacy and effectiveness.  

Metabolic profiling allows to explore biomarkers generated by the intake of a specific natural product, food and/or a complete diet, and to relate them with a beneficial effect. It is suggested to first include healthy models or participants, and then patients or models targeting a specific disease or biological activity. In this way, the aim is to unveil the biomarkers or pathways affected by such intake per se, to confirm whether they are related to the therapeutic effect or not.

The strongly multidisciplinary nature of metabolomics has achieved the convergence of several areas of knowledge focused on the interrogation of biological systems with the aim of understanding their integral functioning and their sensitive environmental interactions. The emergence of new metabolomics protocols has broadened their applications in all areas of knowledge related to the great cascade of biochemical events that define the state of any biological system. Through this approach it is possible to obtain an accurate biological interpretation, allowing a deeper understanding of the biological model under study. Thus, metabolomics studies are currently having a great impact not only in research focused on human health, but also in cellular, animal and plant research.

In this regard, this Special Issue welcomes clinical and non-clinical studies performing an untargeted or targeted approach using ex vivo, in vivo, or in vitro models targeting communicable or noncommunicable diseases, where any treatment using natural products, drugs, food or diet prove to be beneficial. Natural products used in traditional and complementary medicine are advised, including a broad range of sources such as microbes, plants, fungus, insects, algae, marine, etc. This Issue also aims to cover studies on the health of livestock, poultry, plants and crops, including genetic modification, as well as those related to environmental and human health effects, and agricultural and biotechnological sectors.

Dr. L. Gerardo Zepeda Vallejo
Dr. José Iván Serrano-Contreras
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Metabolites 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 2700 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

  • 1H/13C NMR-based metabolomics
  • UPLC/HPLC/GC-Mass spectrometry-based metabolomics
  • chemical/metabolic profiling
  • chemotaxonomic markers
  • marine metabolites
  • specialized metabolites
  • lipids
  • biofluids
  • medicinal plants
  • foodomics
  • nutrimetabolomics
  • metabolic pathways
  • gut microbiome
  • multiomics
  • untargeted/targeted analysis
  • multivariate statistics
  • chemometrics

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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13 pages, 1151 KiB  
Article
Comparative Analysis of Amino Acid and Biogenic Amine Compositions of Fermented Grape Beverages
by Erdenetsetseg Nokhoijav, Andrea Guba, Uladzislau Vadadokhau, József Tőzsér, Zoltán Győri, Gergő Kalló and Éva Csősz
Metabolites 2023, 13(8), 892; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo13080892 - 27 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1207
Abstract
Amino acids and biogenic amines are important components of food and beverages. In grape-derived products such as wine and wine vinegar, they can have different origins and can influence the odor and taste of the products. Their concentration is influenced by the grape [...] Read more.
Amino acids and biogenic amines are important components of food and beverages. In grape-derived products such as wine and wine vinegar, they can have different origins and can influence the odor and taste of the products. Their concentration is influenced by the grape variety, vintage, and winemaking process. In our study, we carried out an LC-MS-based comparative analysis of 22 grape-derived beverages, including three different wine types and four wine vinegar samples from the Tokaj region in Hungary. The concentrations of 23 amino acids and 10 biogenic amines were examined, and the differences among the sample types were analyzed. The differences in the concentrations of some metabolites between Aszú–Furmint pairs originating from the same wineries and year provide information on the effect of botrytized grape on wine composition. Our data can provide further evidence on how the production process shapes the metabolite content of beverages and highlight the nutritional value of wine vinegar. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant, Food and Nutritional Metabolomics)
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18 pages, 2382 KiB  
Article
Differences Due to Sex and Sweetener on the Bioavailability of (Poly)phenols in Urine Samples: A Machine Learning Approach
by Diego Hernández-Prieto, Alberto Garre, Vicente Agulló, Cristina García-Viguera and Jose A. Egea
Metabolites 2023, 13(5), 653; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo13050653 - 11 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1726
Abstract
Metabolic diseases have been related to the overdrinking of high-sugar content beverages. As a result, the demand for alternative formulations based on plant-based ingredients with health-promoting properties has increased during the last few years. Nonetheless, the design and production of effective formulations requires [...] Read more.
Metabolic diseases have been related to the overdrinking of high-sugar content beverages. As a result, the demand for alternative formulations based on plant-based ingredients with health-promoting properties has increased during the last few years. Nonetheless, the design and production of effective formulations requires understanding the bioavailability of these compounds. For this purpose, a two-month longitudinal trial with 140 volunteers was conducted to measure the beneficial effects of a maqui–citrus beverage, rich in (poly)phenols. From data obtained by quantifying metabolites present in urine samples, biostatistical and machine learning (data imputation, feature selection, and clustering) methods were applied to assess whether a volunteer’s sex and the sweetener added to the beverage (sucrose, sucralose, or stevia) affected the bioavailability of (poly)phenol metabolites. Several metabolites have been described as being differentially influenced: 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid and naringenin with its derivatives were positively influenced by stevia and men, while eriodictyol sulfate and homoeridictyol glucunoride concentrations were enhanced with stevia and women. By examining groups of volunteers created by clustering analysis, patterns in metabolites’ bioavailability distribution as a function of sex and/or sweeteners (or even due to an uncontrolled factor) were also discovered. These results underline the potential of stevia as a (poly)phenol bioavailability enhancer. Furthermore, they also evidence sex affects the bioavailability of (poly)phenols, pointing at a sex-dependent metabolic pathway regulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant, Food and Nutritional Metabolomics)
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Review

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18 pages, 1756 KiB  
Review
Detecting and Profiling of Milk Thistle Metabolites in Food Supplements: A Safety-Oriented Approach by Advanced Analytics
by Ancuța Cristina Raclariu-Manolică and Carmen Socaciu
Metabolites 2023, 13(3), 440; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo13030440 - 17 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2604
Abstract
Milk thistle (Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn.) is among the top-selling botanicals used as a supportive treatment for liver diseases. Silymarin, a mixture of unique flavonolignan metabolites, is the main bioactive component of milk thistle. The biological activities of silymarin have been well [...] Read more.
Milk thistle (Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn.) is among the top-selling botanicals used as a supportive treatment for liver diseases. Silymarin, a mixture of unique flavonolignan metabolites, is the main bioactive component of milk thistle. The biological activities of silymarin have been well described in the literature, and its use is considered safe and well-tolerated in appropriate doses. However, commercial preparations do not always contain the recommended concentrations of silymarin, failing to provide the expected therapeutic effect. While the poor quality of raw material may explain the low concentrations of silymarin, its deliberate removal is suspected to be an adulteration. Toxic contaminants and foreign matters were also detected in milk thistle preparations, raising serious health concerns. Standard methods for determination of silymarin components include thin-layer chromatography (TLC), high-performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC), and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with various detectors, but nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) have also been applied. This review surveys the extraction techniques of main milk thistle metabolites and the quality, efficacy, and safety of the derived food supplements. Advanced analytical authentication approaches are discussed with a focus on DNA barcoding and metabarcoding to complement orthogonal chemical characterization and fingerprinting of herbal products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant, Food and Nutritional Metabolomics)
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32 pages, 2246 KiB  
Review
Mediterranean Lavenders from Section Stoechas: An Undervalued Source of Secondary Metabolites with Pharmacological Potential
by Joana Domingues, Fernanda Delgado, José Carlos Gonçalves, Mónica Zuzarte and Ana Paula Duarte
Metabolites 2023, 13(3), 337; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo13030337 - 24 Feb 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2818
Abstract
Globally, climate change and wildfires are disrupting natural ecosystems, thus setting several endemic species at risk. The genus Lavandula is widely present in the Mediterranean region and its species, namely, those included in the section Stoechas, are valuable resources of active compounds with [...] Read more.
Globally, climate change and wildfires are disrupting natural ecosystems, thus setting several endemic species at risk. The genus Lavandula is widely present in the Mediterranean region and its species, namely, those included in the section Stoechas, are valuable resources of active compounds with several biological assets. Since ancient times lavenders have been used in traditional medicine and for domestic purposes. These species are melliferous, decorative, and essential oil-producing plants with a high economic interest in the pharmaceutical, flavor, fragrance, and food industries. The essential oils of Lavandula section Stoechas are characterized by high amounts of 1,8-cineole, camphor, fenchone, and specifically for L. stoechas subsp. luisieri one of the major compounds is trans-α-necrodyl acetate. On the other hand, the diversity of non-volatile components like phenolic compounds, such as phenolic acids and flavonoids, make these species an important source of phytochemicals with pharmacological interest. Rosmarinic, caffeic, and salvianolic B acids are the major phenolic acids, and luteolin and eriodictyol-O-glucuronide are the main reported flavonoids. However, the concentration of these secondary metabolites is strongly affected by the plant’s phenological phase and varies in Lavandula sp. from different areas of origin. Indeed, lavender extracts have shown promising antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties as well as several other beneficial actions with potential for commercial applications. Despite several studies on the bioactive potential of lavenders from the section Stoechas, a systematized and updated review of their chemical profile is lacking. Therefore, we carried out the present review that gathers relevant information on the different types of secondary metabolites found in these species as well as their bioactive potential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant, Food and Nutritional Metabolomics)
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31 pages, 412 KiB  
Review
An Overview of Analytical Methods for Quantitative Determination of Coenzyme Q10 in Foods
by Andersina Simina Podar, Cristina Anamaria Semeniuc, Simona Raluca Ionescu, Maria-Ioana Socaciu, Melinda Fogarasi, Anca Corina Fărcaș, Dan Cristian Vodnar and Sonia Ancuța Socaci
Metabolites 2023, 13(2), 272; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo13020272 - 14 Feb 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2945
Abstract
Food analysts have developed three primary techniques for coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) production: isolation from animal or plant matrices, chemical synthesis, and microbial fermentation; this literature review is focused on the first method. Choosing the appropriate analytical method for determining CoQ10 in a particular [...] Read more.
Food analysts have developed three primary techniques for coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) production: isolation from animal or plant matrices, chemical synthesis, and microbial fermentation; this literature review is focused on the first method. Choosing the appropriate analytical method for determining CoQ10 in a particular food product is essential, as this analyte is a quality index for healthy foods; various associations of extraction and quantification techniques are available in the literature, each having advantages and disadvantages. Several factors must be considered when selecting an analytical method, such as specificity, linear range, detection limit, quantification limit, recovery rate, operation size, analysis time, equipment availability, and costs. In another train of thought, the food sector produces a significant amount of solid and liquid waste; therefore, waste-considered materials can be a valuable source of CoQ10 that can be recovered and used as a fortifying ingredient or dietary supplement. This review also pursues identifying the richest food sources of CoQ10, and has revealed them to be vegetable oils, fish oil, organs, and meat. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant, Food and Nutritional Metabolomics)
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