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Special Issue "Bioactive Molecules with Healthy Features to Food and Non-food Applications"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 December 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. María Dolores Torres
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemical Engineering, Universidade de Vigo (Campus Ourense), Science Faculty, As Lagoas, 32004 Ourense, Spain
Interests: functional hydrogels; rheology; underused sources; green technologies; bioactive compounds
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Elena Falqué López
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Analytical and Food Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, University of Vigo, Edificio Politécnico, As Lagoas s/n, 32004 Ourense, Spain
Interests: natural bioactive compounds; food chemistry; functional foods; nutraceuticals; agro-food quality control; byproduct valorization; beverages; algae; plants; essential oils; cosmetics; sensorial analysis; chemical analysis; GC–MS; extraction
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

You are cordially invited to contribute to the Special Issue on “Bioactive Molecules with Healthy Features in Food and Non-food Applications”, a hot topic and trendy subject.

In the last years, there has been a growing interest in the study of bioactive molecules recovered from agri-food, forestry, or marine sources to alleviate the incresing market demands. It is well known that a broad range of antioxidant and biological activites can be derived from these bioactive compounds, which is of interest to the scientific, industrial, and social world. The valorization of residual processing streams and by-products to recover bioactive compounds is a relevant current trend. Processing optimization to obtain these highly valuable compounds for food and non-food applications is another outstanding challenge. Concepts of sustainable production or healthy innovative applications taking advantage of natural sources adjusted to consumer demands are being proposed according to bioeconomy principles. For this purpose, comprehensive studies on the characterization of these innovative bioactive molecules, their structure–activiy relationships, the impact of the processing conditions, their role with structuring biopolymers, their use for the development of potential functional matrices and their mechanical features, as well as their bioaccessibility and bioavailability are required.

In this context, the main aim of this Special iIsue is to provide an overview on the recent advances in the processing, characterization, determination of structure–activity links, and applications of natural bioactive molecules from a wide range of sources. The incorporation of these bioactive compounds in innovative functional matrices is also a matter of interest.

These are only some of the topics of interest, and you are welcome to add new ones and contribute to a high-impact Special Issue.

Dr. María Dolores Torres Pérez
Prof. Dr. Elena Falqué López
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 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.

Keywords

  • Innovative natural sources
  • Agri-food, forestry, and marine sources
  • Wastes, by-products
  • Bioactive compounds
  • Extraction, separation, purification
  • Analysis
  • Chemical profile
  • Phytochemical profile
  • Structure–activity links
  • Biological activities
  • Bioaccessibility and bioavailability
  • Conventional and emerging technologies
  • Advances in processing
  • Functional matrices
  • Novel applications

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Microwave Hydrodiffusion and Gravity (MHG) Extraction from Different Raw Materials with Cosmetic Applications
Molecules 2020, 25(1), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25010092 - 25 Dec 2019
Abstract
Microwave hydrodiffusion and gravity (MHG) and ethanolic solid-liquid extraction were compared using selected plant sources. Their bioactive profile, color features, and proximate chemical characterization were determined. MHG extracts, commercial antioxidants, and three distinct types of thermal spring water were used in a sunscreen [...] Read more.
Microwave hydrodiffusion and gravity (MHG) and ethanolic solid-liquid extraction were compared using selected plant sources. Their bioactive profile, color features, and proximate chemical characterization were determined. MHG extracts, commercial antioxidants, and three distinct types of thermal spring water were used in a sunscreen cream formulation. Their bioactive capacity, chemical and rheological properties were evaluated. MHG Cytisus scoparius flower extract provided the highest bioactive properties. Pleurotus ostreatus MHG liquor exhibited the highest total solid extraction yield. The Brassica rapa MHG sample stood out for its total protein content and its monosaccharide and oligosaccharide concentration. Quercus robur acorns divided into quarters supplied MHG extract with the lowest energy requirements, highest DPPH inhibition percentage, total lipid content and the highest enzyme inhibition. The chemical and bioactive capacities stability of the sunscreen creams elaborated with the selected MHG extracts and the thermal spring waters showed a similar behavior than the samples containing commercial antioxidants. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Immunomodulatory Effects of the Meretrix Meretrix Oligopeptide (QLNWD) on Immune-Deficient Mice
Molecules 2019, 24(24), 4452; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24244452 - 05 Dec 2019
Abstract
The aim of this study was to explore the immunomodulatory effects of the Meretrix meretrix oligopeptide (MMO, QLNWD) in cyclophosphamide (CTX)-induced immune-deficient mice. Compared to untreated, CTX-induced immune-deficient mice, the spleen and thymus indexes of mice given moderate (100 mg/kg) and high (200 [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to explore the immunomodulatory effects of the Meretrix meretrix oligopeptide (MMO, QLNWD) in cyclophosphamide (CTX)-induced immune-deficient mice. Compared to untreated, CTX-induced immune-deficient mice, the spleen and thymus indexes of mice given moderate (100 mg/kg) and high (200 mg/kg) doses of MMO were significantly higher (p < 0.05), and body weight loss was alleviated. Hematoxylin-eosin (H&E) staining revealed that MMO reduced spleen injury, thymus injury, and liver injury induced by CTX in mice. Furthermore, MMO boosted the production of immunoglobulin G (IgG) and hemolysin in the serum and promoted the proliferation and differentiation of spleen T-lymphocytes. Taken together, our findings suggest that MMO plays a vital role in protection against immunosuppression in CTX-induced immune-deficient mice and could be a potential immunomodulatory candidate for use in functional foods or immunologic adjuvants. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Marine Collagen Peptides Promote Cell Proliferation of NIH-3T3 Fibroblasts via NF-κB Signaling Pathway
Molecules 2019, 24(22), 4201; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24224201 - 19 Nov 2019
Abstract
Marine collagen peptides (MCPs) with the ability to promote cell proliferation and migration were obtained from the skin of Nibea japonica. The purpose of MCPs isolation was an attempt to convert the by-products of the marine product processing industry to high value-added [...] Read more.
Marine collagen peptides (MCPs) with the ability to promote cell proliferation and migration were obtained from the skin of Nibea japonica. The purpose of MCPs isolation was an attempt to convert the by-products of the marine product processing industry to high value-added items. MCPs were observed to contain many polypeptides with molecular weights ≤ 10 kDa and most amino acid residues were hydrophilic. MCPs (0.25–10 mg/mL) also exhibited 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), hydroxyl, superoxide anion, and 2′-azino-bis-3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid (ABTS) radical scavenging activities. Furthermore, MCPs promoted the proliferation of NIH-3T3 cells. In vitro scratch assays indicated that MCPs significantly enhanced the scratch closure rate and promoted the migration of NIH-3T3 cells. To further determine the signaling mechanism of MCPs, western blotting was used to study the expression levels of nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-κB) p65, IκB kinase α (IKKα), and IκB kinase β (IKKβ) proteins of the NF-κB signaling pathway. Our results indicated protein levels of NF-κB p65, IKKα and IKKβ increased in MCPs-treated NIH-3T3 cells. In addition, MCPs increased the expression of epidermal growth factor (EGF), fibroblast growth factor (FGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and transforming growth factor (TGF-β) in NIH-3T3 cells. Therefore, MCPs, a by-product of N. japonica, exhibited potential wound healing abilities in vitro. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Impact of Fermentation on the Phenolic Compounds and Antioxidant Activity of Whole Cereal Grains: A Mini Review
Molecules 2020, 25(4), 927; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25040927 - 19 Feb 2020
Abstract
Urbanization, emergence, and prominence of diseases and ailments have led to conscious and deliberate consumption of health beneficial foods. Whole grain (WG) cereals are one type of food with an array of nutritionally important and healthy constituents, including carotenoids, inulin, β-glucan, lignans, vitamin [...] Read more.
Urbanization, emergence, and prominence of diseases and ailments have led to conscious and deliberate consumption of health beneficial foods. Whole grain (WG) cereals are one type of food with an array of nutritionally important and healthy constituents, including carotenoids, inulin, β-glucan, lignans, vitamin E-related compounds, tocols, phytosterols, and phenolic compounds, which are beneficial for human consumption. They not only provide nutrition, but also confer health promoting effects in food, such as anti-carcinogenic, anti-microbial, and antioxidant properties. Fermentation is a viable processing technique to transform whole grains in edible foods since it is an affordable, less complicated technique, which not only transforms whole grains but also increases nutrient bioavailability and positively alters the levels of health-promoting components (particularly antioxidants) in derived whole grain products. This review addresses the impact of fermentation on phenolic compounds and antioxidant activities with most available studies indicating an increase in these health beneficial constituents. Such increases are mostly due to breakdown of the cereal cell wall and subsequent activities of enzymes that lead to the liberation of bound phenolic compounds, which increase antioxidant activities. In addition to the improvement of these valuable constituents, increasing the consumption of fermented whole grain cereals would be vital for the world’s ever-growing population. Concerted efforts and adequate strategic synergy between concerned stakeholders (researchers, food industry, and government/policy makers) are still required in this regard to encourage consumption and dispel negative presumptions about whole grain foods. Full article
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Open AccessReview
An Updated Review on Pharmaceutical Properties of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
Molecules 2019, 24(15), 2678; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24152678 - 24 Jul 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (Gaba) is a non-proteinogenic amino acid that is widely present in microorganisms, plants, and vertebrates. So far, Gaba is well known as a main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Its physiological roles are related to the modulation of synaptic [...] Read more.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (Gaba) is a non-proteinogenic amino acid that is widely present in microorganisms, plants, and vertebrates. So far, Gaba is well known as a main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Its physiological roles are related to the modulation of synaptic transmission, the promotion of neuronal development and relaxation, and the prevention of sleeplessness and depression. Besides, various pharmaceutical properties of Gaba on non-neuronal peripheral tissues and organs were also reported due to anti-hypertension, anti-diabetes, anti-cancer, antioxidant, anti-inflammation, anti-microbial, anti-allergy, hepato-protection, reno-protection, and intestinal protection. Therefore, Gaba may be considered as potential alternative therapeutics for prevention and treatment of various diseases. Accordingly, this updated review was mainly focused to describe the pharmaceutical properties of Gaba as well as emphasize its important role regarding human health. Full article
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