Technologies for Production, Processing, and Extractions of Nature Product Compounds

A special issue of Processes (ISSN 2227-9717). This special issue belongs to the section "Separation Processes".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 May 2023) | Viewed by 28424

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Department of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Sciences, University of Palermo, 90128 Palermo, Italy
Interests: metabolomics analyses of food products; analytical techniques; green extraction technologies; fruit and vegetables; bio-transformed products; multivariate statistical analysis
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Natural bioactive compounds include a plethora of structures and functionalities providing a consistent pool of molecules for the production of nutraceuticals, functional foods, and food additives. Moreover, they have also shown great market potential for industrial applications in the pharmaceutic and cosmetic sectors. These compounds, which are produced and recovered from various biological sources (such as fruits, vegetables, medicinal plants, wastes, and byproducts), can be found in nature either at high concentration (i.e., polyphenols) or at very low levels, so that massive harvesting is needed to obtain sufficient amounts. Indeed, their structural diversity and complexity make chemical synthesis unprofitable. The development of advanced technologies has been fundamental for overcoming the inherent difficulties in screening and producing these compounds. Traditionally, they are extracted by conventional liquid–liquid or solid–liquid extraction techniques, but this approach implies negative thermal influences on extraction yield and quality with a large expenditure of organic solvents and energy. Moreover, with the growing consumer demands for greener alternatives that do not involve toxic chemicals as well as the industry concerns of sustainable, nontoxic routes of extraction, the applications of novel extraction technologies (including, for instance, ultrasound-assisted extraction, microwave-assisted extraction, and enzyme-assisted extraction, as well as their combination) are becoming more and more diffused.

This Special Issue of the journal Processes on “Technologies for Production, Processing, and Extractions of Nature Product Compounds” aims to group original research articles and review articles about the setting and optimization of production and processing strategies as well as conventional and innovative extraction technologies of natural compounds.

Dr. Pasquale Crupi
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • natural product chemistry
  • biological sources
  • leftovers
  • production methods
  • processing
  • non-conventional extractions
  • methods of analysis

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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21 pages, 50959 KiB  
Article
Impact of a Sonochemical Approach to the Structural and Antioxidant Activity of Brown Algae (Fucoidan) Using the Box–Behnken Design Method
by Uday Bagale, Ammar Kadi, Artem Malinin, Varisha Anjum, Irina Potoroko and Shirish H. Sonawane
Processes 2023, 11(7), 1884; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11071884 - 23 Jun 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1161
Abstract
A fucoidan discovered in the plant Fucus vesiculosus, which lowered the molecular weight of fucoidan, was ideal for its application in the pharmaceutical and food sectors. The aim was to study the impact of ultrasound process parameters on the molecular weight, structure, [...] Read more.
A fucoidan discovered in the plant Fucus vesiculosus, which lowered the molecular weight of fucoidan, was ideal for its application in the pharmaceutical and food sectors. The aim was to study the impact of ultrasound process parameters on the molecular weight, structure, and antioxidant activity of fucoidan. For optimization of sonochemical process parameters such as temperature, sonication time, and power (intensity), Box–Behnken design (BBD) through the response surface method (RSM) at fixed fucoidan concentrations was compared with a normal process. The outcomes demonstrated that sonochemical treatment significantly decreased molecular weight (Mw) to 318 kDa compared to the control process (815 kDa). Antioxidant activity tests revealed that the sonication treatment significantly increased antioxidant activity (88.9% compared to 65.3% with the control process). Through use of the BBD model, we found that the ideal conditions for degradation of fucoidan were a temperature of 33 °C, sonication time of 40 min, and sonication power of 102.5 W/cm2. Under these conditions, the quadratic model was fitted and the experimental values for Mw and antioxidant activity (318 kDa and 87.4%) were close to the predicated values (316 kDa and 87.9%). According to the findings, sonication treatment is a useful method for lowering fucoidan levels with no observable changes in the monosaccharide units of fucoidan through scanning electron microscope, X-Ray diffraction, and Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) analysis. Full article
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15 pages, 3396 KiB  
Article
Enzymatic Synthesis Process of EPA- and DHA-Enriched Structured Acylglycerols at the sn-2 Position Starting from Commercial Salmon Oil and Concentrated by Response Surface Methodology under Supercritical Conditions
by Gretel Dovale-Rosabal, Alejandra Espinosa, Alicia Rodríguez, Andrés Barriga, Alan Palomino-Calderón and Santiago P. Aubourg
Processes 2023, 11(2), 537; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11020537 - 10 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1548
Abstract
The bioavailability of n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFAs) has shown to be greatly influenced by their location in the triacylglycerol backbone. Therefore, the synthesis of structured acylglycerols (SAcyl), which include eicosapentaenoic acids (EPAs) or docosahexaenoic acids (DHAs) at [...] Read more.
The bioavailability of n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFAs) has shown to be greatly influenced by their location in the triacylglycerol backbone. Therefore, the synthesis of structured acylglycerols (SAcyl), which include eicosapentaenoic acids (EPAs) or docosahexaenoic acids (DHAs) at the sn-2 position, has attracted a great interest. The objective of this study was to optimize the synthesis process of a SAcyl from commercial refined salmon oil and an EPA/DHA concentrate in order to enhance the positioning of EPA and DHA in the sn-2 location of the glycerol moiety. For this purpose, immobilized lipase B from Candida antarctica (nonspecific) was used for the acidolysis process under the CO2 supercritical condition. As a result of carrying out a Draper-Lin composite design through the response surface methodology of 18 experiments, an optimized extraction including SAcyl compounds was obtained. Mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF) analysis was employed to identify the EPA/DHA location at the sn-2 position in the resulting glycerol moiety. In the fraction obtained, an increase in the EPA and DHA content at the sn-2 position was detected. Remarkably, the optimized SAcyl obtained after 6 h, 82 bar, and 60 °C led to the highest EPA/DHA yield at the sn-2 position in the resulting molecule. Full article
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11 pages, 2269 KiB  
Article
Optimization of a Green Extraction of Polyphenols from Sweet Cherry (Prunus avium L.) Pulp
by Maria Lisa Clodoveo, Pasquale Crupi and Filomena Corbo
Processes 2022, 10(8), 1657; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10081657 - 21 Aug 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1615
Abstract
This work focused on the optimization of the ultrasound (US) extraction of polyphenols from sweet cherry pulp by monitoring cyanidin-3O-rutinoside, quercetin-3O-rutinoside, and trans-3-O-coumaroylquinic acid, representing the main anthocyanin, flavonol, and hydroxycinnamate, respectively, identified in the extracts through chromatographic analyses (HPLC-DAD), as output [...] Read more.
This work focused on the optimization of the ultrasound (US) extraction of polyphenols from sweet cherry pulp by monitoring cyanidin-3O-rutinoside, quercetin-3O-rutinoside, and trans-3-O-coumaroylquinic acid, representing the main anthocyanin, flavonol, and hydroxycinnamate, respectively, identified in the extracts through chromatographic analyses (HPLC-DAD), as output variables. The optimization was performed following a two-level central composite design and the influence of the selected independent variables (i.e., extraction time and solid to solvent ratio) was checked through the response surface methodology. The maximum recovery of the phenolic compounds was obtained at 3 min and 0.25 g/mL in water/ethanol (1:1, v/v) at a set temperature (25 °C), sonication power (100 W), and sonication frequency (37 kHz). Subsequent validation experiments proved the effectiveness and reliability of the gathered mathematical models in defining the best ultrasound-assisted extraction conditions. Full article
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11 pages, 1500 KiB  
Article
Processing of Carob Kernels to Syrup by Ultrasound-Assisted Extraction
by Maria Lisa Clodoveo, Pasquale Crupi, Marilena Muraglia and Filomena Corbo
Processes 2022, 10(5), 983; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10050983 - 16 May 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2225
Abstract
Carob syrup is one of the most important carob products, which can have applications in pastry and confectionery, as a fruit preservative, but also in the pharmaceutical field because of the antimicrobial activity due to its polyphenol content. Carob syrup is traditionally made [...] Read more.
Carob syrup is one of the most important carob products, which can have applications in pastry and confectionery, as a fruit preservative, but also in the pharmaceutical field because of the antimicrobial activity due to its polyphenol content. Carob syrup is traditionally made through a very time-consuming process, involving solid–liquid extraction in boiling water and concentration at a high temperature (>100 °C), which potentially causes the degradation of the active compounds (i.e., procyanidins or flavonol glycosides). Therefore, in this work, an alternative and less drastic method based on ultrasound technology was proposed to produce carob syrup. Processing conditions (i.e., time, temperature, and liquid–solid ratio) influencing the extraction of total soluble solids (TSS) and total phenolic compounds (TPC) were optimized using a central composite design coupled to response surface methodology. Reliable mathematical models allowed us to predict the highest TSS (24 ± 2 °Brix) and TPC (1.7 ± 0.5 mg/mL) values that could be obtained at 15 min, 35 °C, and 2 mL/g. Finally, a different HPLC-DAD phenolic pattern was determined between syrups produced by traditional and ultrasound methods; epicatechin, 4-hydroxycoumaric acid, and ferulic acid were more concentrated in the former, while procyanidin B2, myricitrin, and quercitrin were prevalent in the latter one. Full article
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19 pages, 75437 KiB  
Article
Production of Non-Volatile Metabolites from Sooty Molds and Their Bio-Functionalities
by Sukanya Haituk, Patchareeya Withee, Jiraporn Sangta, Chanokned Senwanna, Pattarapol Khamsaw, Anuruddha Karunarathna, Surat Hongsibsong, Korawan Sringarm, Shashanka K. Prasad, Sarana Rose Sommano and Ratchadawan Cheewangkoon
Processes 2022, 10(2), 329; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10020329 - 8 Feb 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2692
Abstract
In the current study, eleven sooty mold isolates were collected from different tropical host plants. The isolates were identified under Capnodium, Leptoxyphium and Trichomerium, based on morphology and phylogeny. For the secondary metabolite analysis, the isolates were grown on Potato Dextrose [...] Read more.
In the current study, eleven sooty mold isolates were collected from different tropical host plants. The isolates were identified under Capnodium, Leptoxyphium and Trichomerium, based on morphology and phylogeny. For the secondary metabolite analysis, the isolates were grown on Potato Dextrose Broth (PDB). The well-grown mycelia were filtered and extracted over methanol (MeOH). The metabolites in the growth medium (or filtrate) were extracted over ethyl acetate (EtOAc). The antifungal activities of each crude extract were tested over Alternaria sp., Colletotrichum sp., Curvularia sp., Fusarium sp. and Pestalotiopsis sp. The metabolites were further tested for their total phenolic, flavonoid and protein content prior to their antioxidant and anti-fungal potential evaluation. The MeOH extracts of sooty molds were enriched with proteins and specifically inhibited Curvularia sp. The total phenolic content and 2,2-azino-bis-(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) activity was largely recovered from the filtrate corresponding to the inhibition of Alternaria sp.; while the flavonoid and free radical reduction suggested a relative induction of growth of the Fusarium sp., Colletotrichum sp. and Pestalotiopsis sp. Hence, this study reveals the diversity of sooty molds in Thailand by a modern phylogenetic approach. Furthermore, the preliminary screening of the isolates reveals the potential of finding novel compounds and providing insights for the future research on secondary metabolites of bio-trophic fungi and their potential usage on sustainable agriculture. Full article
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19 pages, 7583 KiB  
Article
Isolation and Purification of Mustard Glucosinolates by Macroporous Anion-Exchange Resin: Process Optimization and Kinetics’ Modelling
by Mathieu Hebert, Emmanuel Serra, Eugène Vorobiev and Houcine Mhemdi
Processes 2022, 10(2), 191; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10020191 - 18 Jan 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1969
Abstract
Glucosinolates (GSL) (β-thioglucoside-N-hydroxy sulfates) are rich-sulfur secondary metabolites raising potential biofumigation interest due to their biological properties. Sinigrin and gluconapin are the main glucosinolates present in brown mustard seeds (Brassica juncea). These glucosinolates are very suitable for the development of phytosanitary [...] Read more.
Glucosinolates (GSL) (β-thioglucoside-N-hydroxy sulfates) are rich-sulfur secondary metabolites raising potential biofumigation interest due to their biological properties. Sinigrin and gluconapin are the main glucosinolates present in brown mustard seeds (Brassica juncea). These glucosinolates are very suitable for the development of phytosanitary products due to their fungicidal, bactericidal and insecticidal effects. In this work, the purification of sinigrin and gluconapin extracted from defatted mustard seeds was studied using macroporous anion exchange resins. A strongly and a weakly anionic resin were first tested according to the nature of their functional group and through their selectivity towards glucosinolates. Anion-exchange resin purification was first studied in static (batch) mode in order to determine the optimal operating conditions; it was then tested in a dynamic (continuous) mode (column) to validate the process. In static mode, the adsorption behavior and characteristics of both resins were compared. The results showed that the strongly basic resin PA312LOH ensures better adsorption of glucosinolates and that the experimental data fit well with the Freundlich isotherm. Moreover, analysis showed that PA312LOH resin was selective for glucosinolates purification towards the proteins. The desorption of glucosinolates was then investigated. Firstly, the operating conditions were optimized by studying the effects of salt concentration and the eluate-resin ratio. This preliminary optimization allowed recovering 72.9% of intact sinigrin and the juice purity was increased from 43.05% to 79.63%. Secondly, dynamic (continuous mode) experiments allowed the recovery of 64.5% of sinigrin and 28% of gluconapin by varying the eluent ionic strength and the flow rate. Resin was finally successfully regenerated using NaOH. Full article
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10 pages, 444 KiB  
Article
Effect of Ultra-Fine Grinding on the Structure of Plant Raw Materials and the Kinetics of Melanin Extraction
by Igor Lomovskiy, Ekaterina Podgorbunskikh and Oleg Lomovsky
Processes 2021, 9(12), 2236; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9122236 - 13 Dec 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1977
Abstract
Enhancing the extraction rate is one of the key objectives in optimization of extraction of substances from biogenic raw materials. Ultra-fine grinding of plant raw materials (to achieve particle size less than 300 µm) is a very appealing method for increasing the extraction [...] Read more.
Enhancing the extraction rate is one of the key objectives in optimization of extraction of substances from biogenic raw materials. Ultra-fine grinding of plant raw materials (to achieve particle size less than 300 µm) is a very appealing method for increasing the extraction rate using relatively simple equipment. However, this approach often fails to yield the desired result. This study focuses on the kinetics of melanin extraction from two types of raw materials: fungus Ganoderma applanatum and buckwheat husk. Particle size is shown to be just one of the key factors. The degree of order of plant-based feedstock strongly affects the intraparticle diffusion constants and can be a parameter controlling the diffusion rate. It has been shown that there exist optimal degrees of disorder of the crystal structure of plant raw materials, which have a dome-shaped dependence pattern and allow one to increase the diffusion coefficient by several dozen times. The kinetics of melanin extraction was described by some kinetic models that include the first order equation, the Baker and Lonsdale model, the Axelrud equation, and the Ritger–Peppas model. Full article
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Review

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16 pages, 3049 KiB  
Review
Hemp: An Alternative Source for Various Industries and an Emerging Tool for Functional Food and Pharmaceutical Sectors
by Muhammad Yasir Naeem, Filomena Corbo, Pasquale Crupi and Maria Lisa Clodoveo
Processes 2023, 11(3), 718; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11030718 - 28 Feb 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3296
Abstract
Hemp is a high-value crop that originated in Central Asia and is a historic but emerging cultivated plant. It may be grown for fiber, food, paper making, textiles, and therapeutic reasons. In the 21st century, market interest in hemp and its products has [...] Read more.
Hemp is a high-value crop that originated in Central Asia and is a historic but emerging cultivated plant. It may be grown for fiber, food, paper making, textiles, and therapeutic reasons. In the 21st century, market interest in hemp and its products has notably increased because seed portions can be utilized in the agri-food business, the woody component of the stem can be used in green buildings, the outer layer of the stems can be used in the textile industry, and the extraction of bioactive components from roots can play a vital role in the pharmacological industries. Hemp has recently been demonstrated to be a viable alternative for economies built on synthetic materials by the food, pharmaceutical, textiles, paper, building, and energy industries, among others. As a result, the goal of this study is to assemble the significant advancements in hemp, as well as to identify research gaps and research direction opportunities. The hemp plant will be provided more encouragement to be grown and be used. Many applications of hemp may be pushed to the next level for both producing a green environment and profit. A strong vision and a well-defined plan will pave the path for the discovery of new technologies and concepts. Full article
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14 pages, 2477 KiB  
Review
Production and Recovery of Ectoine: A Review of Current State and Future Prospects
by Hui Suan Ng, Pik-Ki Wan, Akihiko Kondo, Jo-Shu Chang and John Chi-Wei Lan
Processes 2023, 11(2), 339; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11020339 - 20 Jan 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4502
Abstract
Ectoine (1,4,5,6-tetrahydro-2-methyl-4-pyrimidinecarboxylic acid) is a revolutionizing substance with vast applications in the cosmetic and food industries. Ectoine is often sourced from halobacteria. The increasing market demand for ectoine has urged the development of cost-effective and sustainable large-scale production of ectoine from microbial sources. [...] Read more.
Ectoine (1,4,5,6-tetrahydro-2-methyl-4-pyrimidinecarboxylic acid) is a revolutionizing substance with vast applications in the cosmetic and food industries. Ectoine is often sourced from halobacteria. The increasing market demand for ectoine has urged the development of cost-effective and sustainable large-scale production of ectoine from microbial sources. This review describes the existing and potential microbial sources of ectoine and its derivatives, as well as microbial production and fermentation approaches for ectoine recovery. In addition, conventional methods and emerging technologies for enhanced production and recovery of ectoine from microbial fermentation with a focus on the aqueous biphasic system (ABS) are discussed. The ABS is a practically feasible approach for the integration of fermentation, cell disruption, bioconversion, and clarification of various biomolecules in a single-step operation. Nonetheless, the implementation of the ABS on an industrial-scale basis for the enhanced production and recovery of ectoine is yet to be exploited. Therefore, the feasibility of the ABS to integrate the production and direct recovery of ectoine from microbial sources is also highlighted in this review. Full article
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18 pages, 3344 KiB  
Review
Edible Insects’ Transformation for Feed and Food Uses: An Overview of Current Insights and Future Developments in the Field
by Rachelle El Hajj, Houcine Mhemdi, Colette Besombes, Karim Allaf, Victor Lefrançois and Eugène Vorobiev
Processes 2022, 10(5), 970; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10050970 - 12 May 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 6112
Abstract
The integration of insect-derived extracts in feed and food products has become a field of growing interest in recent years. In this review, we collect different studies carried out on edible insects’ transformation processes and focus on the various treatment operations, extraction technologies, [...] Read more.
The integration of insect-derived extracts in feed and food products has become a field of growing interest in recent years. In this review, we collect different studies carried out on edible insects’ transformation processes and focus on the various treatment operations, extraction technologies, and solvents used in different processing steps. We include an overview of current insights into the different steps of the transformation process: insect reception, killing methods, pretreatments, storage, delipidation, protein extraction, as well as chitin and chitosan extraction. Finally, we reflect on the most important future challenges of this sector. Full article
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