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Special Issue "Food Bioactives: Chemical Challenges and Bio-Opportunities"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 29 February 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Severina Pacifico
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technologies, Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Naples, Italy
Interests: phenols and polyphenols; UHPLC-HR-MS/MS analysis; antioxidants; chemoprotection; chemoprevention; neuro-nutraceuticals; cosmeceuticals
Dr. Simona Piccolella
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technologies, Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Naples, Italy
Interests: food chemistry, natural products chemistry, nutraceuticals, mass spectrometry polyphenols, chemoprevention

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A full awareness of the role played by a healthy diet, as part of a healthy lifestyle, in countering or slowing-down chronic and degenerative diseases has strongly increased the interest in food bioactives and the return of ancient but nowadays functionally considered foods. In fact, these dietary substances, to which nutraceutical attributes are increasingly entrusted, could display disease-preventing effects on animals and humans. In this context, polyphenols, which are widespread and mostly copious in dietary plant sources, have gained a lot of attention thanks to their potential ability to halt or reverse oxidative stress-related diseases. Indeed, food could contain, beyond health-promoting compounds, toxicants, which are naturally occurring or process-induced dietary compounds with adverse effects on human health. Bioactives’ presence and abundance are strictly related to their food source. Edible plant components largely contain beneficial secondary metabolites, but understanding them fully is still an important challenge as complex biotic and abiotic interactions are involved in their biosynthesis. Analytical methods, which are increasingly powerful, could enhance our knowledge of food bioactives, whereas the deep investigation of their bioactivity and bioavailability could make them particularly useful.

This Special Issue aims to attract contributions on analytical challenges in food bioactives’ chemistry and bioactivity, which form the basis of proper bio-opportunities.

Prof. Dr. Severina Pacifico
Dr. Simona Piccolella
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. 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 1800 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 bioactives
  • Nutraceuticals
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Spectroscopic techniques
  • Natural products bioactivity

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
UHPLC-HR-MS/MS-Guided Recovery of Bioactive Flavonol Compounds from Greco di Tufo Vine Leaves
Molecules 2019, 24(19), 3630; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24193630 - 08 Oct 2019
Abstract
Leaves of Vitis vinifera cv. Greco di Tufo, a precious waste made in the Campania Region (Italy), after vintage harvest, underwent reduction, lyophilization, and ultrasound-assisted maceration in ethanol. The alcoholic extract, as evidenced by a preliminary UHPLC-HR-MS analysis, showed a high metabolic complexity. [...] Read more.
Leaves of Vitis vinifera cv. Greco di Tufo, a precious waste made in the Campania Region (Italy), after vintage harvest, underwent reduction, lyophilization, and ultrasound-assisted maceration in ethanol. The alcoholic extract, as evidenced by a preliminary UHPLC-HR-MS analysis, showed a high metabolic complexity. Thus, the extract was fractionated, obtaining, among others, a fraction enriched in flavonol glycosides and glycuronides. Myricetin, quercetin, kaempferol, and isorhamnetin derivatives were tentatively identified based on their relative retention time and TOF-MS2 data. As the localization of saccharidic moiety in glycuronide compounds proved to be difficult due to the lack of well-established fragmentation pattern and/or the absence of characteristic key fragments, to obtain useful MS information and to eliminate matrix effect redundancies, the isolation of the most abundant extract’s compound was achieved. HR-MS/MS spectra of the compound, quercetin-3-O-glucuronide, allowed us to thoroughly rationalize its fragmentation pattern, and to unravel the main differences between MS/MS behavior of flavonol glycosides and glycuronides. Furthermore, cytotoxicity assessment on the (poly)phenol rich fraction and the pure isolated compound was carried out using central nervous system cell lines. The chemoprotective effect of both the (poly)phenol fraction and quercetin-3-O-glucuronide was evaluated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Bioactives: Chemical Challenges and Bio-Opportunities)
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Open AccessArticle
In vitro Fermentation of Polysaccharides from Aloe vera and the Evaluation of Antioxidant Activity and Production of Short Chain Fatty Acids
Molecules 2019, 24(19), 3605; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24193605 - 07 Oct 2019
Abstract
Soluble or fermentable fibre has prebiotic effects that can be used in the food industry to modify the composition of microbiota species to benefit human health. Prebiotics mostly target Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains, among others, which can fight against chronic diseases since colonic [...] Read more.
Soluble or fermentable fibre has prebiotic effects that can be used in the food industry to modify the composition of microbiota species to benefit human health. Prebiotics mostly target Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains, among others, which can fight against chronic diseases since colonic fermentation produces short chain fatty acids (SCFAs). The present work studied the changes produced in the fibre and polyphenolic compounds during in vitro digestion of gel (AV) and a polysaccharide extract (AP) from Aloe vera, after which, these fractions were subjected to in vitro colonic fermentation to evaluate the changes in antioxidant capacity and SCFAs production during the fermentation. The results showed that the phenolic compounds increased during digestion, but were reduced in fermentation, as a consequence, the antioxidant activity increased significantly in AV and AP after the digestion. On the other hand, during in vitro colon fermentation, the unfermented fibre of AV and AP responded as lactulose and the total volume of gas produced, which indicates the possible use of Aloe vera and polysaccharide extract as prebiotics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Bioactives: Chemical Challenges and Bio-Opportunities)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Therapeutic Perspectives of Molecules from Urtica dioica Extracts for Cancer Treatment
Molecules 2019, 24(15), 2753; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24152753 - 29 Jul 2019
Abstract
A large range of chronic and degenerative diseases can be prevented through the use of food products and food bioactives. This study reports the health benefits and biological activities of the Urtica dioica (U. dioica) edible plant, with particular focus on [...] Read more.
A large range of chronic and degenerative diseases can be prevented through the use of food products and food bioactives. This study reports the health benefits and biological activities of the Urtica dioica (U. dioica) edible plant, with particular focus on its cancer chemopreventive potential. Numerous studies have attempted to investigate the most efficient anti-cancer therapy with few side effects and high toxicity on cancer cells to overcome the chemoresistance of cancer cells and the adverse effects of current therapies. In this regard, natural products from edible plants have been assessed as sources of anti-cancer agents. In this article, we review current knowledge from studies that have examined the cytotoxic, anti-tumor and anti-metastatic effects of U. dioica plant on several human cancers. Special attention has been dedicated to the treatment of breast cancer, the most prevalent cancer among women and one of the main causes of death worldwide. The anti-proliferative and apoptotic effects of U. dioica have been demonstrated on different human cancers, investigating the properties of U. dioica at cellular and molecular levels. The potent cytotoxicity and anti-cancer activity of the U. dioica extracts are due to its bioactive natural products content, including polyphenols which reportedly possess anti-oxidant, anti-mutagenic and anti-proliferative properties. The efficacy of this edible plant to prevent or mitigate human cancers has been demonstrated in laboratory conditions as well as in experimental animal models, paving the way to the development of nutraceuticals for new anti-cancer therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Bioactives: Chemical Challenges and Bio-Opportunities)
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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.

Planned paper1: by Dr. Jose Libardo Tapiero Cuellar

Analysis of volatile compounds and antioxidant activity of ginger essential oil (Zingiber officinale)

 Abstract

 

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a plant of the Zingiberaceae family, whose underground stem is a horizontal rhizome widely used in gastronomy for its aroma and spicy flavor. Essential oils (AE) are complex natural products ; Tthey present between 25-70 components, differently concentrated,  and exhibit two or three main components with a concentration between 20% and 70% compared to the other components. For the extraction of EA, rhizomes from 10 Colombian geographical locations obtained by microwave radiated hydrodisilation (MWHD) and stored at 4°C in amber vials were used. Samples were prepared by dissolving 50 µL of EA and 1.0 µL of internal standard of (n-tetradecane) in dichloromethane to a final volume of 1.0 mL. The oil components were recognized in a gas chromatograph (BRUKER 450 GC) with triple quadruple mass detector (BRUKER 320). For its antioxidant activity (AA), the methodology standardized by (Prior, Wu, & Schaich, 2005) for DPPH * and ABTS + was used. The treatment of the rhizomes of the 10 Colombian zones showed a yield between 0.053 and 0.109% for 300 g of sample with 700 watt and 40 minutes of process. The chromatographic profile showed 43 components referring to ketones, alcohols, cyclic ethers, aldehydes and 23 hydrocarbons, with the majority being α-Zingiberene, considered as the molecular marker of this EA. The AA presents significant differences between the samples evaluated for the locations studied.

 

Keywords: Chromatography; Microwave; Antioxidant activity; Natural Products; Aromatic plants.

 

Planned paper 2: by Dr. Matteo Briguglio

Tentative title: Exploring the lack of signs after oral supplementation with Sucrosomial® iron plus ascorbic acid in orthopedic surgery: considerations from a randomized controlled trial to ameliorate therapeutic bioactivity.
Short abstract of the paper: Low blood hemoglobin before orthopedic surgery is associated with higher blood transfusion rates and complications. Authors investigated the efficacy of Sucrosomial® iron plus ascorbic acid to increase blood iron profiles in patients undergoing elective orthopedic surgery. Despite numerous literature evidences supporting the efficacy of oral iron supplementation, unsatisfying results were obtained. Authors discussed the formulation of the sucrosome ferric pyrophosphate and its chemical and kinetic characteristics in tandem with ascorbic acid. Better options in terms of drug interactions and dependence on the patient's condition of illness are also discussed. Future bio-opportunities may derive from the coupling of ferric pyrophosphate with other dietary supplements, and professionals should also consider to plan preoperative tailored dietetic programs to maximize the efficacy of oral dietary supplements.

 

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