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Special Issue "Bioactive Compounds with Applications in Health and Food"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Natural Products Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Panagiotis Zoumpoulakis
Guest Editor
National Hellenic Research Foundation; 48 Vas. Constantinou Ave.11635 Athens; Greece
Interests: metabolomics; bioanalysis; in- silico drug design
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Bioactive compounds constitute a significant field of natural products chemistry, mainly because of their structural biodiversity and their high exploitation potential. They are chemical entities that exhibit certain biological effects, related to their ability to modulate metabolic processes, and activate or inhibit receptors or enzymes with a beneficial response in the human body. Their consumption has been related to the prevention of multiple pathologies, and to the promotion of good health. Plant bioactive compounds are produced as secondary metabolites, and have singnificant and still unexplored health benefits. Natural bioactives (i.e., carotenoids, polyphenols), either isolated or in extracts, are mainly used for the development of food supplements and cosmetics, but are also widely incorporated into food products in order to enhance their sensory, nutritional, or health properties.

Stemming from the structure of natural bioactives, there is a growing trend towards the design and synthesis of new chemical entitites under the name “bio-inspired compounds”, with their structural motifs inspired by natural bioactives compounds.

This Special Issue aims to cover the current trends and the recent progress on bioactive compounds with applications in health and food. The objective of the Issue is to constitute a source of relevant information on either isolated bioactive or synthesized bioinspired compounds, as well as bioactive extracts, which could potentially be exploited for the development of pharmaceuticals, comeceuticals, and nutraceuticals.

Focus will be given to solid research findings for compounds or extracts with activities on specific biological targets or pharmacological models. Any kind of health topic related biological targtets is accepted. Papers with the main objective being the in vitro studies of the antioxidant/radical scavenging activities of plant extracts should at least provide a chemical profile of the extract, if not a complete identification and quantifiation of the relevant bioactive compounds. To this extent, studies focusing on the use of modern analytical techniques that allow for the identification of bioactive compounds and deepening the mechanisms that relate them to health are also accepted.

Types of contributions to this Special Isssue can be original research articles, short communications, and reviews/mini-reviews.
Submissions on, but not limited to, the following are welcome:

  • Isolation and characterization of bioactive compounds
  • Selective extraction of bioactive compounds
  • Biological evaluation of selected plant extracts/ isolated and/or synthetic compounds
  • Design and synthesis of bio-inspired compounds
  • Hit discovery and hit-to-lead optimization of bio-inspired compounds
  • Structure–activity relationship studies

Dr. Panagiotis Zoumpoulakis
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at 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. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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.


  • Bioactive compounds
  • Natural products
  • Extraction methodologies
  • Bio-inspired compounds
  • Design and synthesis
  • Hit discovery
  • Hit-to-lead optimization
  • Analytical techniques and methodologies
  • Structure–activity Relationship

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Copper Complexing Capacity and Trace Metal Content in Common and Balsamic Vinegars: Impact of Organic Matter
Molecules 2020, 25(4), 861; - 15 Feb 2020
Complex formation is among the mechanisms affecting metal bioaccessibility. Hence, the quantification of organic metal complexation in food items is of interest. Organic ligands in solutions of environmental and/or food origin function as buffering agents against small changes in dissolved metal concentrations, being [...] Read more.
Complex formation is among the mechanisms affecting metal bioaccessibility. Hence, the quantification of organic metal complexation in food items is of interest. Organic ligands in solutions of environmental and/or food origin function as buffering agents against small changes in dissolved metal concentrations, being able to maintain free metal ion concentrations below the toxicity threshold. Organic matter in vinegars consists of bioactive compounds, such as polyphenols, Maillard reaction endproducts, etc., capable of complexing metal ions. Furthermore, transition metal ions are considered as micronutrients essential for living organisms exerting a crucial role in metabolic processes. In this study, differential pulse anodic stripping voltammetry (DPASV), a sensitive electrochemical technique considered to be a powerful tool for the study of metal speciation, was applied for the first time in vinegar samples. The concentrations of Cu complexing ligands (LT) in 43 vinegars retailed in Greece varied between 0.05 and 52 μM, with the highest median concentration determined in balsamic vinegars (14 μM), compared to that of common vinegars (0.86 μM). In 21% of the vinegar samples examined, LT values were exceeded by the corresponding total Cu concentrations, indicating the presence of free Cu ion and/or bound within labile inorganic/organic complexes. Red grape balsamic vinegars exhibited the highest density of Cu ligands per mass unit of organic matter compared to other foodstuffs such as herbal infusions, coffee brews, and beers. Among the 16 metals determined in vinegars, Pb is of particular importance from a toxicological point of view, whereas further investigation is required regarding potential Rb biomagnification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Compounds with Applications in Health and Food)
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