Special Issue "Sustainable Use of Natural Resources: The Need for a Circular Economy Model in Food Industry"

A special issue of Resources (ISSN 2079-9276).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (8 January 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Jesus Simal-Gandara
grade E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Analytical Chemistry and Food Science, Faculty of Food Science and Technology, University of Vigo, Ourense Campus, E-32004 Ourense, Spain
Interests: phenolic compounds; antioxidants; marine drugs; food safety; bioaccessibility; functional foods
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Worldwide, the food industry represents a very important sector capable of supplying huge amounts of food. Its relevance, however, has proportionally augmented its generation of waste. Over the last decade, a few European directives, regulations, and communications in relation with waste (disposal, reutilization, and reducing strategies) and sustainable use of natural resources have been published with the main purpose of protecting human and animal health and the environment. In order to achieve a more efficient production system that complies with European regulations, wastes and subproducts need to be re-utilized to increase their throughput that will positively impact their economical yield, while reducing their generation and thus protecting health and the environment. Different applications have been considered for re-using subproducts, even though the most efficient approach is the establishment of models that allow waste reduction. It is thus critical to update the food industry to include it into the circular economical trend to improve its economical throughput while protecting natural resources.

Prof. Dr. Jesus Simal-Gandara
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • circular economy model
  • sustainable use of natural resources
  • waste reduction
  • European regulations

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Article
Lovage (Levisticum officinale W.D.J. Koch) Roots: A Source of Bioactive Compounds towards a Circular Economy
Resources 2020, 9(7), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9070081 - 30 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2059
Abstract
Lovage (Levisticum officinale W.D.J. Koch) is an aromatic plant from the Apiaceae (Umbelliferae) family used as a condiment in several regions of Europe and also described to have medicinal properties. While the aerial parts are used as foods, the roots are generally [...] Read more.
Lovage (Levisticum officinale W.D.J. Koch) is an aromatic plant from the Apiaceae (Umbelliferae) family used as a condiment in several regions of Europe and also described to have medicinal properties. While the aerial parts are used as foods, the roots are generally discarded. In the past, lovage roots were used in folk medicine for their diuretic, carminative, and spasmolytic properties. Therefore, the exploitation of this undervalued part of the plant can be a source of valuable bioactive compounds for food and/or pharmaceutical industries. Thus, in this study, extracts of different polarity were prepared and studied regarding their chemical composition and bioactive properties. To the best of our knowledge, the composition in phenolic compounds and the volatile profile of the n-hexane extract are reported for the first time. A total of 24 compounds were identified by GC-MS in the n-hexane extract, evidencing a high relative abundance of phthalides. A total of eight phenolic compounds were identified in lovage root extracts (decoction and hydroethanolic extract), with vanillic acid being the major compound. Regarding antioxidant activity, also reported for the first time, decoction and hydroethanolic extract exhibited a high antioxidant capacity in thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) (179 ± 11 μg/mL) and in oxidative hemolysis (OxHLIA) assays (510 ± 6 μg/mL), respectively. n-Hexane extract showed relevant anti-proliferative activity against all tumor cell lines tested (GI50, 48–69 μg/mL), despite inhibiting also the growth of a non-tumoral hepatocyte cell line, however, presenting a significantly higher GI50 value (147 μg/mL). This study revealed that lovage root, an agri-food residue, can be a source of valuable bioactive compounds also presenting biological properties that deserve being explored, which could lead to a circular economy for food and/or the pharmaceutical industry. Full article
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Review
Essential Oils and Their Application on Active Packaging Systems: A Review
Resources 2021, 10(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources10010007 - 17 Jan 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1973
Abstract
The food industry is continuously evolving through the application of innovative tools and ingredients towards more effective, safe, natural and ecofriendly solutions to satisfy the demands of the costumers. In this context, natural sources (i.e., leaves, seeds, peels or unused pulp) can entail [...] Read more.
The food industry is continuously evolving through the application of innovative tools and ingredients towards more effective, safe, natural and ecofriendly solutions to satisfy the demands of the costumers. In this context, natural sources (i.e., leaves, seeds, peels or unused pulp) can entail a valuable source of compounds, such as essential oils (EOs), with recognized antioxidant and antimicrobial properties that can be used as natural additives in packaging applications. The current trend is the incorporation of EOs into diverse kinds of biodegradable materials, such as edible films, thus developing active packaging systems with improved preservation properties that can offer benefits to both the food and packaging industry by reducing food waste and improving the management of packaging waste. EOs may be added into the packaging material as free or encapsulated molecules, where, especially this last option, has been revealed as very promising. The addition of these lipophilic compounds provides to the end-product various bioactivities of interest, which can eventually extend the shelf-life of the product by preventing food spoilage. Pairing biodegradable packaging with EOs extracted from natural agro-industrial by-products can lead to a more sustainable food industry. Recent knowledge and advances on this issue will be reviewed in the present work. Full article
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Review
Metabolites from Macroalgae and Its Applications in the Cosmetic Industry: A Circular Economy Approach
Resources 2020, 9(9), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9090101 - 24 Aug 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2731
Abstract
Marine macroalgae are a suitable source of ingredients due to their huge diversity, availability and nutritional and chemical composition. Their high content in proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins, but also in secondary metabolites such as phenolic compounds, terpenoids or pigments, make them great candidates [...] Read more.
Marine macroalgae are a suitable source of ingredients due to their huge diversity, availability and nutritional and chemical composition. Their high content in proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins, but also in secondary metabolites such as phenolic compounds, terpenoids or pigments, make them great candidates for industrial applications. The cosmetic industry is one of the biggest in the world and the search for new ingredients is constantly growing as the consumer trend now is going back to those traditional cosmetics with a more natural composition. Moreover, the concept of a circular economy is also gaining importance due to the unsustainable situation of the natural resources. Although macroalgae are already used in cosmetics, especially as thickening and gelling agents, they possess an unexplored potential, not only as excipients and additives but also as a source of new active ingredients. In this context, macroalgae are considered in many cases as resources still underexploited and they could even be obtained from the waste of other industrial sectors and be used for recovering active molecules. Therefore, the aim of this review is to compile information about the different macroalgae metabolites and their possible applications in the cosmetic industry, which could employ circular economy models. Full article
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