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Special Issue "Secondary Metabolites in Plant Foods"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Jesus Simal-Gandara

Food Science Lab, Department of Analytical and Food Chemistry, Faculty of Food Science and Technology, University of Vigo-Ourense Campus, E-32004 Ourense, Spain
E-Mail
Phone: +34-988-387060 (or +34-988-387260)
Fax: +34-988-387001
Interests: food authenticity; food chemistry; Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in the food chain; sensorial analysis; functional ingredients; functional foods

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Secondary metabolites in plants are not directly involved in the normal growth, development, and reproduction of the organism. They contribute to sustaining the overall functional status of the cells within organ systems. Though the production of metabolites is a natural chemical and bioenzymatic reaction that occurs during metabolism in all organisms, metabolites may also be produced as by-products of the plant’s reaction to exogenous/external substances or stimuli. The network of metabolites, working with enzyme reactions during the entire process of metabolism, is called the metabolome. The metabolome involves/implicates all the series of combinations of cascading reactions between enzymes and substrates in the steps of metabolism, and ending in the production of all metabolites. Plants are an important source for the discovery of new products of medicinal value for drug development and plants’ secondary metabolites are unique sources for pharmaceuticals, food additives, flavors, supplements, cosmetics, and other industrial values. The commercial importance of these secondary metabolites has resulted in a great interest in their production and in exploring the possibilities of enhancing their production. This Special Issue aims to identify and review the latest bioactive compounds that have been demonstrated to have beneficial effects for consumers.

Prof. Dr. Jesus Simal-Gandara
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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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

  • Pharmacology
  • Biological assays
  • Extraction
  • Analysis
  • Medicinal chemistry
  • Plant foods
  • Secondary metabolites
  • Functional capacity

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Interaction of Caffeic Acid with SDS Micellar Aggregates
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1204; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071204
Received: 11 March 2019 / Revised: 22 March 2019 / Accepted: 25 March 2019 / Published: 27 March 2019
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Abstract
Micellar systems consisting of a surfactant and an additive such as an organic salt or an acid usually self-organize as a series of worm-like micelles that ultimately form a micellar network. The nature of the additive influences micellar structure and properties such as [...] Read more.
Micellar systems consisting of a surfactant and an additive such as an organic salt or an acid usually self-organize as a series of worm-like micelles that ultimately form a micellar network. The nature of the additive influences micellar structure and properties such as aggregate lifetime. For ionic surfactants such as sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), CMC decreases with increasing temperature to a minimum in the low-temperature region beyond which it exhibits the opposite trend. The presence of additives in a surfactant micellar system also modifies monomer interactions in aggregates, thereby altering CMC and conductance. Because the standard deviation of β was always lower than 10%, its slight decrease with increasing temperature was not significant. However, the absolute value of Gibbs free enthalpy, a thermodynamic potential that can be used to calculate the maximum of reversible work, increased with increasing temperature and caffeic acid concentration. Micellization in the presence of caffeic acid was an endothermic process, which was entropically controlled. The enthalpy and enthropy positive values resulted from melting of “icebergs” or “flickering clusters” around the surfactant, leading to increased packing of hydrocarbon chains within the micellar core in a non-random manner. This can be possibly explained by caffeic acid governing the 3D matrix structure of water around the micellar aggregates. The fact that both enthalpy and entropy were positive testifies to the importance of hydrophobic interactions as a major driving force for micellization. Micellar systems allow the service life of some products to be extended without the need to increase the amounts of post-harvest storage preservatives used. If a surfactant is not an allowed ingredient or food additive, carefully washing it off before the product is consumed can avoid any associated risks. In this work, we examined the influence of temperature and SDS concentration on the properties of SDS–caffeic acid micellar systems. Micellar properties can be modified with various additives to develop new uses for micelles. This allows smaller amounts of additives to be used without detracting from their benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Secondary Metabolites in Plant Foods)
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Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Profiling Metabolites and Biological Activities of Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum Linn.) Juice and its Product Molasses via a Multiplex Metabolomics Approach
Molecules 2019, 24(5), 934; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24050934
Received: 15 February 2019 / Revised: 27 February 2019 / Accepted: 28 February 2019 / Published: 7 March 2019
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Abstract
Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum L.) is an important perennial grass in the Poaceae family cultivated worldwide due to its economical and medicinal value. In this study, a combined approach using mass spectrometry (MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy was employed for the [...] Read more.
Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum L.) is an important perennial grass in the Poaceae family cultivated worldwide due to its economical and medicinal value. In this study, a combined approach using mass spectrometry (MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy was employed for the large-scale metabolite profiling of sugarcane juice and its by-product molasses. The polyphenols were analysed via UPLC-UV-ESI-MS, whereas the primary metabolites such as sugars and organic and amino acids were profiled using NMR spectroscopy and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). UPLC/MS was more effective than NMR spectroscopy or GC/MS for determining differences among the metabolite compositions of the products. Under the optimized conditions, UPLC/MS led to the identification of 42 metabolites, including nine flavonoids, nine fatty acids, and two sterols. C/O Flavone glycosides were the main subclass detected, with tricin-7-O-deoxyhexosyl glucuronide being detected in sugarcane and molasses for the first time. Based on GC/MS analysis, disaccharides were the predominant species in the sugarcane juice and molasses, with sucrose accounting for 66% and 59%, respectively, by mass of all identified metabolites. The phenolic profiles of sugarcane and molasses were further investigated in relation to their in vitro antioxidant activities using free radical scavenging assays such as 2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl free radical-scavenging ability (DPPH), Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP). In view of its higher total phenolic content (TPC) (196 ± 2.1 mg GAE/100 g extract) compared to that of sugarcane juice (93 ± 2.9 mg GAE/100 g extract), molasses exhibited a substantially higher antioxidant effect. Interestingly, both extracts were also found to inhibit α-glucosidase and α-amylase enzymes, suggesting a possible antihyperglycaemic effect. These findings suggest molasses may be a new source of natural antioxidants for functional foods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Secondary Metabolites in Plant Foods)
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