Topic Editors

Prof. Dr. Marcello Iriti
Department of Biomedical, Surgical and Dental Sciences, Università degli Studi di Milano, 20133 Milan, Italy
Prof. Dr. Sara Vitalini
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy

Frontiers in Phytochemicals

Abstract submission deadline
closed (31 December 2021)
Manuscript submission deadline
closed (31 March 2022)
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Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

Phytochemicals are a large group of secondary metabolites produced by plant organisms and involved in the complex network of ecological interactions within the ecosystem. For instance, they attract pollinators, giving color and scent to the flowers. These low molecular weight metabolites arise from different biosynthetic pathways and are grouped into chemical classes such as phenylpropanoids, isoprenoids and alkaloids derived from precursors (e.g., amino acids) that are final products of primary metabolic pathways. Phytochemicals also contribute to increase the adaptability of plants to environmental changes.

Indeed, plants need to defend themselves from the surrounding biota, including pathogens, nematodes, noxious insects, phytophages, parasitic plants and weeds. In addition, they have to cope with a plethora of adverse abiotic conditions due to extreme meteorological events, temperature fluctuations, drought, flooding, UV and high solar radiation, and anthropogenic pollutants. As sessile organisms, plants are not able to escape from a harsh environment, and, therefore, they have evolved an array of strategies to defend themselves from biotic and abiotic stress factors affecting the plant health and distribution. Phytochemicals are an essential part of these strategies, as UV and light protectants, antimicrobials, repellents, antifeedants and reactive oxygen species scavengers to name just a few. In other words, the evolutionary success of plants has depended on their metabolic plasticity and chemical diversity.

Since the appearance of humanity on earth, phytochemicals entered the human diet and life through consumption of plant foods and use of herbal remedies, in a process of coevolution between plants and humans. Nowadays, this coevolutionary relationship has led to the human’s dependence on food and medicinal plants as source of macronutrients, micronutrients, and bioactive phytochemicals. Indeed, compelling evidence has demonstrated that dietary patterns rich in plant foods may contribute to lower the risk of chronic-degenerative disorders such as cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, some cancers and diabetes. Phytochemicals can also be consumed as dietary supplements to ameliorate the physiological functions of the organism in healthy subjects.

In addition, due to their multitarget mechanism of action, phytochemicals can be developed as adjuvant agents and sensitizers in conventional antibiotic and anticancer therapies, to reduce the risk of selecting resistant microbial strains and cancer cells. However, some preclinical (i.e., in vitro and in vivo) pharmacological activities of phytochemicals need to be further substantiated by clinical studies in healthy and unhealthy subjects, as well as their effective dose, administration route, possible adverse effects and interaction with drugs. Likewise, in observational epidemiological studies, a causal relationship between diet and risk of disease has not been fully demonstrated yet.

Prof. Dr. Marcello Iriti
Prof. Dr. Sara Vitalini
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • plant secondary metabolism and metabolites
  • plant biochemistry
  • plant stress physiology
  • plant ecology
  • chemoecology
  • plant diseases
  • phytoalexins & phytoanticipins
  • plant protection products
  • plant health
  • food security
  • nutraceuticals
  • functional foods
  • food plants
  • medicinal plants
  • plant foods
  • herbal remedies
  • healthy diets
  • Mediterranean diet
  • antimicrobial resistance
  • anticancer drugs
  • cardioprotection
  • neuroprotection
  • antidiabetic agents
  • anti-obesity agents
  • antioxidant activity
  • one health

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Applied Sciences
applsci
2.838 3.7 2011 17.4 Days 2300 CHF
Foods
foods
5.561 4.1 2012 15.1 Days 2200 CHF
Plants
plants
4.658 3.6 2012 13.3 Days 2200 CHF
Forests
forests
3.282 4.0 2010 19.7 Days 2000 CHF

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Published Papers (30 papers)

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Review
Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas L.) Phenotypes: From Agroindustry to Health Effects
Foods 2022, 11(7), 1058; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11071058 - 06 Apr 2022
Abstract
Sweet potato (SP; Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam) is an edible tuber native to America and the sixth most important food crop worldwide. China leads its production in a global market of USD 45 trillion. SP domesticated varieties differ in specific phenotypic/genotypic traits, yet [...] Read more.
Sweet potato (SP; Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam) is an edible tuber native to America and the sixth most important food crop worldwide. China leads its production in a global market of USD 45 trillion. SP domesticated varieties differ in specific phenotypic/genotypic traits, yet all of them are rich in sugars, slow digestible/resistant starch, vitamins, minerals, bioactive proteins and lipids, carotenoids, polyphenols, ascorbic acid, alkaloids, coumarins, and saponins, in a genotype-dependent manner. Individually or synergistically, SP’s phytochemicals help to prevent many illnesses, including certain types of cancers and cardiovascular disorders. These and other topics, including the production and market diversification of raw SP and its products, and SP’s starch as a functional ingredient, are briefly discussed in this review. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Frontiers in Phytochemicals)
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Article
GC/MS Profiling, Anti-Collagenase, Anti-Elastase, Anti-Tyrosinase and Anti-Hyaluronidase Activities of a Stenocarpus sinuatus Leaves Extract
Plants 2022, 11(7), 918; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11070918 - 29 Mar 2022
Cited by 4
Abstract
Today, skin care products and cosmetic preparations containing natural ingredients are widely preferred by consumers. Therefore, many cosmetic brands are encouraged to offer more natural products to the market, such as plant extracts that can be used for their antiaging, antiwrinkle, and depigmentation [...] Read more.
Today, skin care products and cosmetic preparations containing natural ingredients are widely preferred by consumers. Therefore, many cosmetic brands are encouraged to offer more natural products to the market, such as plant extracts that can be used for their antiaging, antiwrinkle, and depigmentation properties and other cosmetic purposes. In the current study, the volatile constituents of the hexane-soluble fraction of a Stenocarpus sinuatus (family Proteaceae) leaf methanol extract (SSHF) were analyzed using GC/MS analysis. Moreover, the antiaging activity of SSHF was evaluated through in vitro studies of anti-collagenase, anti-elastase, anti-tyrosinase, and anti-hyaluronidase activities. In addition, an in silico docking study was carried out to identify the interaction mechanisms of the major compounds in SSHF with the active sites of the target enzymes. Furthermore, an in silico toxicity study of the identified compounds in SSHF was performed. It was revealed that vitamin E (α-tocopherol) was the major constituent of SSHF, representing 52.59% of the extract, followed by γ-sitosterol (8.65%), neophytadiene (8.19%), β-tocopherol (6.07%), and others. The in vitro studies showed a significant inhibition by SSHF of collagenase, elastase, tyrosinase, and hyaluronidase, with IC50 values of 60.03, 177.5, 67.5, and 38.8 µg/mL, respectively, comparable to those of the positive controls epigallocatechin gallate (ECGC, for collagenase, elastase, hyaluronidase) and kojic acid (for tyrosinase). Additionally, the molecular docking study revealed good acceptable binding scores of the four major compounds, comparable to those of ECGC and kojic acid. Besides, the SSHF identified phytoconstituents showed no predicted potential toxicity nor skin toxicity, as determined in silico. In conclusion, the antiaging potential of SSHF may be attributed to its high content of vitamin E in addition to the synergetic effect of other volatile constituents. Thus, SSHF could be incorporated in pharmaceutical skin care products and cosmetics after further studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Frontiers in Phytochemicals)
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Article
Identification of Sieve Element Occlusion Gene (SEOs) Family in Rubber Trees (Hevea brasiliensis Muell. Arg.) Provides Insights to the Mechanism of Laticifer Plugging
Forests 2022, 13(3), 433; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13030433 - 09 Mar 2022
Abstract
P proteins encoded by SEOs (sieve element occlusion) have been shown to be associated with the blockage of sieve tubes after injury in many plants, but the presence of SEO genes and their association with rubber tree laticifer plugging and latex yield remain [...] Read more.
P proteins encoded by SEOs (sieve element occlusion) have been shown to be associated with the blockage of sieve tubes after injury in many plants, but the presence of SEO genes and their association with rubber tree laticifer plugging and latex yield remain unclear. Through a systematic identification and analysis, seven SEO genes were identified from the rubber tree genome. The physicochemical properties of their proteins, gene structures, conserved domains, and locations on chromosomes were analyzed. According to their phylogenetic distance, HbSEOs were divided into two clusters. The transcript levels of HbSEO genes varied with tissues, in which HbSEO3 and HbSEO4 were most highly expressed in leaf, bark, and latex. HbSEOs could be induced by ethephon, methyl jasmonate, mechanical injury, and tapping; furthermore, they were highly expressed in trees with short flow duration, suggesting their possible association with rubber tree laticifer plugging and latex yield. To our knowledge, this is the first report of HbSEOs in rubber trees. It provides us with a better understanding of the mechanism of laticifer plugging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Frontiers in Phytochemicals)
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Article
Dissipation and Residues of Pyraclostrobin in Rosa roxburghii and Soil under Filed Conditions
Foods 2022, 11(5), 669; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11050669 - 24 Feb 2022
Cited by 4
Abstract
Rosa roxburghii has been widely planted in China. Powdery mildew is the most serious disease of R. roxburghii cultivation. Pyraclostrobin was widely used as a novel fungicide to control powdery mildew of R. roxburghii. To assess the safety of pyraclostrobin for use [...] Read more.
Rosa roxburghii has been widely planted in China. Powdery mildew is the most serious disease of R. roxburghii cultivation. Pyraclostrobin was widely used as a novel fungicide to control powdery mildew of R. roxburghii. To assess the safety of pyraclostrobin for use on R. roxburghii fruits, its residue rapid analysis as well as an investigation on its dissipation behaviors and terminal residues in R. roxburghii and soil under field conditions were carried out. The QuEChERS method was simplified using LC–MS/MS detection and combined with liquid–liquid extraction purification to allow determination of pyraclostrobin levels in R. roxburghii fruits and the soil. The fortified recoveries at 0.1~5.0 mg/kg were 93.48~102.48%, with the relative standard deviation of 0.64~3.21%. The limit of detection of the analytical method was 0.16 and 0.15 µg/kg for R. roxburghii fruit and soil, respectively. The effects of different spray equipment and formulations on the persistence of pyraclostrobin in R.roxburghii were as follows: gaston gasoline piggyback agricultural sprayer (5.38 d) > manual agricultural backpack sprayer (3.37 d) > knapsack multi-function electric sprayer (2.91 d), suspension concentrate (SC) (6.78 d) > wettable powder (WP) (5.64 d) > water dispersible granule (WG) (4.69 d). The degradation of pyraclostrobin followed the first-order kinetics and its half-lives in R.roxburghii and soil were 6.20~7.79 days and 3.86~5.95 days, respectively. The terminal residues of pyraclostrobin in R. roxburghii and soil were 0.169~1.236 mg/kg and 0.105~3.153 mg/kg, respectively. This study provides data for the establishment of the maximum residue limit (MRL) as well as the safe and rational use of pyraclostrobin in R. roxburghii production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Frontiers in Phytochemicals)
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Article
Phytochemical Profiling and Assessment of Anticancer Activity of Leptocarpha rivularis Extracts Obtained from In Vitro Cultures
Plants 2022, 11(4), 546; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11040546 - 18 Feb 2022
Abstract
Plant cell culture is a source of plant material from which bioactive metabolites can be extracted. In this work, the in vitro propagation of Leptocarpha rivularis, an endemic Chilean shrub with anticancer activity, is described. Different media were tested and optimized for [...] Read more.
Plant cell culture is a source of plant material from which bioactive metabolites can be extracted. In this work, the in vitro propagation of Leptocarpha rivularis, an endemic Chilean shrub with anticancer activity, is described. Different media were tested and optimized for the introduction, propagation, and rooting steps of the micropropagation process. At the end of this process, 83% of plants were successfully acclimatized under greenhouse conditions. Callus induction from the internodal stem segment was performed using various combinations of phytohormones. Green-colored, friable, and non-organogenic callus was generated with a callus induction index higher than 90%. The chemical composition of extracts and callus, obtained from clonal plants, was assessed and the results indicate that the phytochemical profiles of extracts from micropropagated plants are like those found for plants collected from natural habitats, leptocarpine (LTC) being the major component. However, no LTC was detected in callus extract. HeLa and CoN cells, treated with LTC or extract of micropropagated plants, exhibit important diminution on cell viability and a drastic decrease in gene expression of IL-6 and mmp2, genes associated with carcinogenic activity. These effects are more important in cancer cells than in normal cells. Thus, micropropagated L. rivularis could be developed as a potential source of efficient antiproliferative agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Frontiers in Phytochemicals)
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Article
Chemical Composition of Salix koreensis Anderss Flower Absolute and Its Skin Wound Healing Activities In Vitro
Plants 2022, 11(3), 246; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11030246 - 18 Jan 2022
Abstract
Salix koreensis Anderss (SKA) has been used traditionally to treat inflammation, pain, and edema. SKA has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, but no study has examined its effects on skin wound healing. Here, we aimed to investigate the effects of the absolute extracted from [...] Read more.
Salix koreensis Anderss (SKA) has been used traditionally to treat inflammation, pain, and edema. SKA has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, but no study has examined its effects on skin wound healing. Here, we aimed to investigate the effects of the absolute extracted from SKA flower (SKAFAb) on skin wound healing-associated responses in keratinocytes. SKAFAb was produced using a solvent extraction method and its chemical composition was analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. The effects of SKAFAb on HaCaT cells (a human epidermal keratinocyte cell line) were investigated using a Boyden chamber and 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine incorporation, sprout outgrowth, immunoblotting, enzyme-linked immunosorbent, and water-soluble tetrazolium salt assays. Sixteen constituents were identified in SKAFAb. SKAFAb promoted HaCaT cell proliferation, migration, and type I and IV collagen productions. SKAFAb increased sprout outgrowth and increased the phosphorylations of serine/threonine-specific protein kinase (Akt), c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase, extracellular signal-regulated kinase1/2, and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) in HaCaT cells. These results indicate that SKAFAb promotes keratinocyte proliferation and migration, probably by activating Akt and MAPK signaling pathways, and induces collagen synthesis in keratinocytes. SKAFAb may be a promising material for promoting skin wound healing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Frontiers in Phytochemicals)
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Communication
Comparative Analysis of Proanthocyanidin Metabolism and Genes Regulatory Network in Fresh Leaves of Two Different Ecotypes of Tetrastigma hemsleyanum
Plants 2022, 11(2), 211; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11020211 - 14 Jan 2022
Cited by 1
Abstract
Tetrastigma hemsleyanum Diels et Gilg is a rare and wild medicinal resource. Metabolites, especially secondary metabolites, have an important influence on T. hemsleyanum adaptability and its medicinal quality. The metabolite proanthocyanidin (PA) is a polyphenol compound widely distributed in land plants, which can [...] Read more.
Tetrastigma hemsleyanum Diels et Gilg is a rare and wild medicinal resource. Metabolites, especially secondary metabolites, have an important influence on T. hemsleyanum adaptability and its medicinal quality. The metabolite proanthocyanidin (PA) is a polyphenol compound widely distributed in land plants, which can be used as antioxidants and anticancer agents. Here, we discovered that three types of PA accumulated in large amounts in purple leaves (PL), but not in green leaves (RG), based on widely non-targeted metabolomics. In addition, we further found that catechins and their derivatives, which are the structural units of PA, are also enriched in PL. Afterwards, we screened and obtained five key genes, DNR1/2, ANS, ANR and LAR closely related to PA biosynthesis through transcriptome analysis and found they were all highly expressed in PL compared to RG. Therefore, observed the regulatory relationship between the main compounds and genes network, and the PA metabolism regulatory pathway was complicated, which may be different to other species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Frontiers in Phytochemicals)
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Review
Role of Phaseolus vulgaris L. in the Prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases—Cardioprotective Potential of Bioactive Compounds
Plants 2022, 11(2), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11020186 - 11 Jan 2022
Cited by 2
Abstract
In terms of safe and healthy food, beans play a relevant role. This crop belongs to the species of Phaseolusvulgaris L., being the most consumed legume worldwide, both for poor and developed countries, the latter seek to direct their diet to healthy [...] Read more.
In terms of safe and healthy food, beans play a relevant role. This crop belongs to the species of Phaseolusvulgaris L., being the most consumed legume worldwide, both for poor and developed countries, the latter seek to direct their diet to healthy feeding, mainly low in fat. Phaseolus vulgaris L. stands out in this area—an important source of protein, vitamins, essential minerals, soluble fiber, starch, phytochemicals, and low in fat from foods. This species has been attributed many beneficial properties for health; it has effects on the circulatory system, immune system, digestive system, among others. It has been suggested that Phaseolus vulgaris L. has a relevant role in the prevention of cardiovascular events, the main cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. Conversely, the decrease in the consumption of this legume has been related to an increase in the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases. This review will allow us to relate the nutritional level of this species with cardiovascular events, based on the correlation of the main bioactive compounds and their role as cardiovascular protectors, in addition to revealing the main mechanisms that explain the cardioprotective effects regulated by the bioactive components. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Frontiers in Phytochemicals)
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Article
Comparative Study of Metabolomic Profile and Antioxidant Content of Adult and In Vitro Leaves of Aristotelia chilensis
Plants 2022, 11(1), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010037 - 23 Dec 2021
Abstract
This work aimed to identify the bioactive compounds present in adult maqui (Aristotelia chilensis) leaves from different stages of development and seasons of the year and compare them with leaves obtained from maqui plants grown in vitro. The qualitative and quantitative [...] Read more.
This work aimed to identify the bioactive compounds present in adult maqui (Aristotelia chilensis) leaves from different stages of development and seasons of the year and compare them with leaves obtained from maqui plants grown in vitro. The qualitative and quantitative analysis of maqui leaf extracts by HPLC-DAD-ESI-MSn showed the presence of different polyphenolic compounds classified into galloyl and caffeoyl quinic acids, ellagitannins and ellagic acid- and flavonoid-derivatives. In general, the total phenolic content of the in vitro samples was higher than that of ex vitro samples, whereas the total flavonoid content was higher in winter basal leaves. Additionally, the analysis by HPLC-MS showed that the extract from spring basal leaves was enriched in quercetin, catechin, kaempferol and 3-caffeoyl quinic acids, while in the in vitro leaves extract, quercetin was not present. As regards lipophilic compounds identified by GC/MS, the samples of in vitro leaves showed a high presence of α-tocopherol and β-sitosterol. In contrast, the samples of adult leaves presented a hight level of linolenic and linoleic acids. These results suggest that maqui leaves could be an excellent source of antioxidants and lipophilic compounds for many industries, such as the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Frontiers in Phytochemicals)
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Article
Characterization of Two BAHD Acetyltransferases Highly Expressed in the Flowers of Jasminum sambac (L.) Aiton
Plants 2022, 11(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010013 - 21 Dec 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Volatile benzenoid compounds are found in diverse aromatic bouquets emitted by most moth-pollinated flowers. The night-blooming Jasminum sambac is widely cultivated worldwide in the tropics and subtropics for ornamental and industrial purposes owing to its fragrant flowers. Benzylacetate is a characteristic constituent in [...] Read more.
Volatile benzenoid compounds are found in diverse aromatic bouquets emitted by most moth-pollinated flowers. The night-blooming Jasminum sambac is widely cultivated worldwide in the tropics and subtropics for ornamental and industrial purposes owing to its fragrant flowers. Benzylacetate is a characteristic constituent in jasmine scent which makes up to approximately 20–30% of the total emission in the headspace or extract, but the biosynthesis enzymes and the encoding genes have not yet been described. Here, we identify two cytosolic BAHD acyltransferases specifically expressed in the petals with a positive correlation closely to the emission pattern of the volatile benzenoids. Both JsBEAT1 and JsBEAT2 could use benzylalcohol and acetate-CoA as substrates to make benzylacetate in vitro. The recombinant GST-JsBEAT1 has an estimated apparent Km of 447.3 μM for benzylalcohol and 546.0 μM for acetate-CoA, whereas in the instance of the His-JsBEAT2, the Km values are marginally lower, being 278.7 and 317.3 μM, respectively. However, the catalytic reactions by the GST-JsBEAT1 are more efficient than that by the His-JsBEAT2, based on the steady-state kcat parameters. Furthermore, ectopic expression of JsBEAT1 and JsBEAT2 in the transgenic P. hybrida plants, driven by a flower-specific promotor, significantly enhances the biosynthesis of benzylbenzoate and benzylacetate, as well as the total VOCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Frontiers in Phytochemicals)
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Article
Simultaneous Determination of Four Marker Compounds in Lobelia chinensis Lour. Extract by HPLC-PDA
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(24), 12080; https://doi.org/10.3390/app112412080 - 18 Dec 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Lobelia chinensis Lour. (L. chinensis) has traditionally been used as a treatment for snake bites, high fever, jaundice, edema, and diarrhea, and modern studies have reported its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiviral activities. L. chinensis contains various compounds, such as flavonoids and [...] Read more.
Lobelia chinensis Lour. (L. chinensis) has traditionally been used as a treatment for snake bites, high fever, jaundice, edema, and diarrhea, and modern studies have reported its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiviral activities. L. chinensis contains various compounds, such as flavonoids and coumarins, and its flavonoid components have been identified in many studies. In this study, a high-performance liquid chromatograph equipped with a photodiode array (PDA) detector and an Aegispak C18-L reverse-phase column (4.6 mm × 250 mm i.d., 5 μm) was used to simultaneously analyze four marker components in L. chinensis for standardization purposes. HPLC-PDA (detection at 340 nm), performed using a 0.1% formic acid-water/0.1% formic acid-acetonitrile gradient, separated the four marker compounds: luteolin-7-O-β-d-glucuronopyranosyl (1→2)-O-β-d-glucuronopyranoside, clerodendrin, chrysoeriol-7-O-diglucuronide, and diosmin. The developed analytical method showed excellent linearity values (r2 > 0.9991), limits of detection (LODs: 0.376–2.152 μg/mL), limits of quantification (LOQs: 1.147–6.521 μg/mL), intra- and inter-day precisions (RSD < 1.96%), and analyte recoveries (96.83–127.07%; RSD < 1.73%); thus, it was found to be suitable for the simultaneous analysis of these four marker compounds in L. chinensis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Frontiers in Phytochemicals)
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Article
Astaxantin and Isoflavones Inhibit Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia in Rats by Reducing Oxidative Stress and Normalizing Ca/Mg Balance
Plants 2021, 10(12), 2735; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10122735 - 12 Dec 2021
Cited by 2
Abstract
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a common pathology among aging men. Despite the broad pharmacological interventions, the available remedies to treat BPH are yet not devoid of side effects. Herbal compounds are suggested to be an alternative option for the BPH treatment. In [...] Read more.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a common pathology among aging men. Despite the broad pharmacological interventions, the available remedies to treat BPH are yet not devoid of side effects. Herbal compounds are suggested to be an alternative option for the BPH treatment. In our study, we evaluated the effect of kudzu isoflavones and astaxanthin on the BPH animal model. The animals were randomly divided into five groups: control; testosterone-induced BPH group; and three BPH-induced groups, which received intragastrically for 28 days finasteride (5 mg/kg) as a positive control, isoflavones (200 mg/kg), and astaxanthin (25 mg/kg). BPH was induced by castration of animals and subsequent subcutaneous injections of prolonged testosterone (25 mg/kg). Prostate index and histology, biochemical parameters, and antioxidant activity were evaluated. A significant decrease in prostate weight, immunohistochemical markers, and normalization of prostate Ca/Mg ratio was found in all treatment groups. Astaxanthin treatment also resulted in decreased epithelial proliferation and normalized superoxide dismutase activity. In conclusion, both isoflavones and astaxanthin inhibited BPH development at a level comparable to finasteride in terms of prostate weight, prostatic epithelium proliferation, and prostate tissue cumulative histology score. These results suggest that isoflavones and especially astaxanthin could serve as a potential alternative therapy to treat BHP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Frontiers in Phytochemicals)
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Article
Activity of Chloroformic Extract from Salvia connivens (Lamiales: Lamiaceae) and Its Principal Compounds against Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(24), 11813; https://doi.org/10.3390/app112411813 - 12 Dec 2021
Abstract
Spodoptera frugiperda (Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is one of the most damaging pests in maize crops. In order to manage it, synthetic insecticides such as diamides, neonicotinoids, and pyrethroids are used, but they present a risk for humans and the environment. Investigations of safer [...] Read more.
Spodoptera frugiperda (Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is one of the most damaging pests in maize crops. In order to manage it, synthetic insecticides such as diamides, neonicotinoids, and pyrethroids are used, but they present a risk for humans and the environment. Investigations of safer alternatives include the use of natural extracts. Thus, this research evaluated the effects of chloroform extract (CHCl3Sc) (5000, 4000, 2000, 1000, and 500 ppm) on aerial parts of Salvia connivens and of nonanal and pyrocatechol (1000, 600, 400, and 80 ppm) on S. frugiperda mortality, duration of the larva and pupae phases, and pupae weight after 24 h. The second instars of S. frugiperda larvae were fed an artificial diet incorporating the extract and compounds. The CHCl3Sc had insecticidal activity against S. frugiperda, showing an LC50 of 1504 ppm. Insectistatic activity began at 1000 ppm, increasing pupal and larval duration in 7.6 and 1.4 days, respectively. Pyrocatechol and nonanal were found in this extract. The first did not have any significant difference in larval or pupal mortalities. On the other hand, insectistatic activity was shown at 500 ppm, increasing the larval duration by 1.7 days compared with the control. In the case of nonanal, the insecticide activity was LC50 of 200 ppm, and insectistatic activity started at 80 ppm, increasing larval duration by 3.2 days compared with the control and reducing pupal weight by 3.4%. The results show that chloroformic extract had insecticidal and insectistatic activities against S. frugiperda; nonanal was an aldehyde compound present in this extract, which confers insecticidal and insectistatic activities against this pest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Frontiers in Phytochemicals)
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Article
Prevention Effect of TGF-β Type I Receptor Kinase Inhibitor in Esophageal Stricture Formation after Corrosive Burn
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(23), 11536; https://doi.org/10.3390/app112311536 - 06 Dec 2021
Abstract
Corrosive burns lead to progressive esophageal stricture and dysphagia. There are many trials to prevent esophageal stricture formation after corrosive burn. EW-7197 has been proven in several animal models of fibrosis to have antifibrotic and antiproliferative effect. This study aimed to assess the [...] Read more.
Corrosive burns lead to progressive esophageal stricture and dysphagia. There are many trials to prevent esophageal stricture formation after corrosive burn. EW-7197 has been proven in several animal models of fibrosis to have antifibrotic and antiproliferative effect. This study aimed to assess the effects of EW-7197 on prevention for esophageal stricture formation after corrosive esophageal burn. An animal study was carried out, where the animals were divided into three groups: a healthy group, a control group (corrosive burn without EW-7197), and a treatment group (corrosive burn with EW-7197). Corrosive esophageal burns were induced using 30% NaOH on the lower esophagus. For 3 weeks, the control group received vehicle and the treatment group received 20 mg/kg/day EW-7197. Treatment efficacy was assessed by measuring the stenosis ratio by esophagogram with contrast media on day 21. Histologic staining was performed to evaluate the fibrosis area ratio, and Western blotting was performed to evaluate fibrotic markers. Among 20 rats that underwent surgery, 14 survived. Three in the treatment group died because of esophageal perforation, and three in the control group died due to their debilitating status. The esophageal stenosis ratio was significantly lower in the treatment group than in the control group (12.1 ± 9.5% and 42.2 ± 8.3%, respectively; p = 0.001). The histologic fibrosis area ratio was also significantly lower in the treatment group (12.5 ± 3.0% and 21.6 ± 2.1%, respectively; p = 0.001). The treatment group showed lower expressions of profibrogenic proteins such as TGF-β1, pSmad3, and α-SMA. EW-7197 may be a good alternative for the prevention esophageal stricture formation after corrosive burn. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Frontiers in Phytochemicals)
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Review
The Regulatory Effects and the Signaling Pathways of Natural Bioactive Compounds on Ferroptosis
Foods 2021, 10(12), 2952; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10122952 - 01 Dec 2021
Cited by 2
Abstract
Natural bioactive compounds abundantly presented in foods and medicinal plants have recently received a remarkable attention because of their various biological activities and minimal toxicity. In recent years, many natural compounds appear to offer significant effects in the regulation of ferroptosis. Ferroptosis is [...] Read more.
Natural bioactive compounds abundantly presented in foods and medicinal plants have recently received a remarkable attention because of their various biological activities and minimal toxicity. In recent years, many natural compounds appear to offer significant effects in the regulation of ferroptosis. Ferroptosis is the forefront of international scientific research which has been exponential growth since the term was coined. This type of regulated cell death is driven by iron-dependent phospholipid peroxidation. Recent studies have shown that numerous organ injuries and pathophysiological processes of many diseases are driven by ferroptosis, such as cancer, arteriosclerosis, neurodegenerative disease, diabetes, ischemia-reperfusion injury and acute renal failure. It is reported that the initiation and inhibition of ferroptosis plays a pivotal role in lipid peroxidation, organ damage, neurodegeneration and cancer growth and progression. Recently, many natural phytochemicals extracted from edible plants have been demonstrated to be novel ferroptosis regulators and have the potential to treat ferroptosis-related diseases. This review provides an updated overview on the role of natural bioactive compounds and the potential signaling pathways in the regulation of ferroptosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Frontiers in Phytochemicals)
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Article
Characterization of Soybean Protein Isolate-Food Polyphenol Interaction via Virtual Screening and Experimental Studies
Foods 2021, 10(11), 2813; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10112813 - 16 Nov 2021
Cited by 2
Abstract
(1) Background: Protein–polyphenol interactions have been widely studied regarding their influence on the properties of both protein and the ligands. As an important protein material in the food industry, soybean protein isolate (SPI) experiences interesting changes through polyphenols binding. (2) Methods: In this [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Protein–polyphenol interactions have been widely studied regarding their influence on the properties of both protein and the ligands. As an important protein material in the food industry, soybean protein isolate (SPI) experiences interesting changes through polyphenols binding. (2) Methods: In this study, a molecular docking and virtual screening method was established to evaluate the SPI–polyphenol interaction. A compound library composed of 33 commonly found food source polyphenols was used in virtual screening. The binding capacity of top-ranking polyphenols (rutin, procyanidin, cyanidin chloride, quercetin) was validated and compared by fluorescence assays. (3) Results: Four out of five top-ranking polyphenols in virtual screening were flavonoids, while phenolic acids exhibit low binding capacity. Hydrogen bonding and hydrophobic interactions were found to be dominant interactions involved in soybean protein–polyphenol binding. Cyanidin chloride exhibited the highest apparent binding constant (Ka), which was followed by quercetin, procyanidin, and rutin. Unlike others, procyanidin addition perturbed a red shift of SPI fluorescence, indicating a slight conformational change of SPI. (4) Conclusions: These results suggest that the pattern of SPI–polyphenol interaction is highly dependent on the detailed structure of polyphenols, which have important implications in uncovering the binding mechanism of SPI–polyphenol interaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Frontiers in Phytochemicals)
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Article
Nano Zinc Oxide Green-Synthesized from Plumbago auriculata Lam. Alcoholic Extract
Plants 2021, 10(11), 2447; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10112447 - 12 Nov 2021
Cited by 4
Abstract
Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) were synthesized by using an alcoholic extract of the flowering aerial parts of Plumbago auriculata Lam. Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) revealed that the average size of synthesized ZnO NPs was 10.58 ± 3.350 nm and the zeta potential [...] Read more.
Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) were synthesized by using an alcoholic extract of the flowering aerial parts of Plumbago auriculata Lam. Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) revealed that the average size of synthesized ZnO NPs was 10.58 ± 3.350 nm and the zeta potential was −19.6 mV. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) revealed that the particle size was in the range from 5.08 to 6.56 nm. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis verified the existence of pure hexagonal shaped crystals of ZnO nanoparticles with an average size of 35.34 nm in the sample, which is similar to the particle size analysis acquired by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) (38.29 ± 6.88 nm). HPLC analysis of the phenolic ingredients present in the plant extract showed that gallic acid, chlorogenic acid, and catechin were found as major compounds at concentrations of 1720.26, 1600.42, and 840.20 µg/g, respectively. Furthermore, the inhibitory effects of ZnO NPs and the plant extract against avian metapneumovirus (aMPV) subtype B were also investigated. This assessment revealed that the uncalcinated form of Nano-ZnO mediated by P. auriculata Lam. extract possessed a significant antiviral activity with 50% cytotoxic concentration (CC50) and 50% inhibition concentration (IC50) of 52.48 ± 1.57 and 42.67 ± 4.08 µg/mL, respectively, while the inhibition percentage (IP) was 99% and the selectivity index (SI) was 1.23. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Frontiers in Phytochemicals)
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Article
Arnica montana Cell Culture Establishment, and Assessment of Its Cytotoxic, Antibacterial, α-Amylase Inhibitor, and Antioxidant In Vitro Bioactivities
Plants 2021, 10(11), 2300; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10112300 - 26 Oct 2021
Cited by 2
Abstract
Arnica montana cell suspension culture could be a sustainable source of a vegetal material producer of secondary metabolites (SMs) possessing biological effects. Different plant growth regulator concentrations (0–5 mg/L) were tested in foliar explants to induce a callus that was used to establish [...] Read more.
Arnica montana cell suspension culture could be a sustainable source of a vegetal material producer of secondary metabolites (SMs) possessing biological effects. Different plant growth regulator concentrations (0–5 mg/L) were tested in foliar explants to induce a callus that was used to establish a cell suspension culture. Growth kinetics was carried out for 30 days. A methanolic extract obtained from biomass harvested at 30 days of growth kinetics was fractionated, and three fractions were tested for bioactivities. We induced a callus with 1 mg/L of picloram and 0.5 mg/L of kinetin in foliar explants, which allowed for the establishment of a cell suspension culture, and the latter had the highest total SMs contents at day 30. Three fractions showed differences in total SMs contents, with the highest values per gram as follows: 270 mg gallic acid equivalent for total phenolic content, 200 mg quercetin equivalent for total flavonoid content, 83 mg verbascoside equivalent for total phenolic acid content, and 396 mg parthenolide equivalent for total sesquiterpene lactone content. The best bioactivities were 2–6 µg/mL for the 50% inhibition of 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical, 30% cellular viability of lymphoma cells at 40 µg/mL, 17% inhibition against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus at 8 µg/disk, and α-amylase inhibition at 12% with 10 µg/mL. The total SMs contents were correlated with bioactivities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Frontiers in Phytochemicals)
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Article
Physicochemical Characteristics and Bioactive Compounds of New Black Cherry Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) Varieties Grown in Vietnam
Plants 2021, 10(10), 2134; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10102134 - 08 Oct 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Some physicochemical characteristics and bioactive compounds of three varieties of black cherry tomato (Indigo Rose, OG, F1:001) grown in Vietnam were investigated. The results showed that the two varieties OG and F1:001 have roughly the same size with weight, height, diameter, geometric diameter [...] Read more.
Some physicochemical characteristics and bioactive compounds of three varieties of black cherry tomato (Indigo Rose, OG, F1:001) grown in Vietnam were investigated. The results showed that the two varieties OG and F1:001 have roughly the same size with weight, height, diameter, geometric diameter and surface area ranging from 21.62 to 22.25 g, 25.69 to 26.40 mm, 24.46 to 25.11 mm, 24.86 to 25.53 mm and 19.47 to 20.51 cm2, respectively. Meanwhile, the Indigo variety is twice as large with the corresponding parameters as 45.2 g, 48.03 mm, 55.18 mm, 52.69 mm and 87.20 cm2. All three varieties are in a spherical shape with sphericity and aspect ratios ranging from 96.72 to 109.69% and 0.951 to 1.149, respectively. The variety of OG contained higher levels of bioactive compounds, especially anthocyanin, not only in the skin but also in the outer tissue. Six anthocyanin compounds were identified in the two varieties of OG and Indigo Rose while only four anthocyanin compounds were found in the variety of F1:001. Among them, two new compounds (delphinidin-3-(p-coumaroyl)-glucoside and delphinidin-3-(p-coumaroyl)-glucoside-arabinoside) were discovered in all three varieties. The finding of this study will be a basis for consumers to better understand the nutritious properties of black cherry tomatoes grown in Vietnam, thereby promoting the need to grow and consume this beneficial fruit. The study also provides the important physicochemical parameters of black cherry tomatoes, which are the initial basis for fruit preservation and processing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Frontiers in Phytochemicals)
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Review
Natural Deep Eutectic Solvents (NADES): Phytochemical Extraction Performance Enhancer for Pharmaceutical and Nutraceutical Product Development
Plants 2021, 10(10), 2091; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10102091 - 01 Oct 2021
Cited by 5
Abstract
Natural products from plants were extracted and widely studied for their activities against many disease conditions. The selection of the extracting solvent is crucial to develop selective and effective methods for the extraction and isolation of target compounds in the plant matrices. Pharmacological [...] Read more.
Natural products from plants were extracted and widely studied for their activities against many disease conditions. The selection of the extracting solvent is crucial to develop selective and effective methods for the extraction and isolation of target compounds in the plant matrices. Pharmacological properties of plant extracts and their bioactive principles are related to their excellent solubility, stability, and bioavailability when administered by different routes. This review aims to critically analyze natural deep eutectic solvents (NADES) as green solvents in their application to improve the extraction performance of plant metabolites in terms of their extractability besides the stability, bioactivity, solubility, and bioavailability. Herein, the opportunities for NADES to be used in pharmaceutical formulations development including plant metabolites-based nutraceuticals are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Frontiers in Phytochemicals)
Article
A Novel Cytotoxic Steroidal Saponin from the Roots of Asparagus cochinchinensis
Plants 2021, 10(10), 2067; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10102067 - 30 Sep 2021
Abstract
A new steroidal saponin, 26-O-β-d-glucopyranosyl-(25R)-furost-5-ene-3β,22α,26-triol 3-O-(1−4)-β-d-glucopyranosyl-α-l-rhamnopyranosyl-(1−2)-[α-l-rhamnopyranosyl-(1−4)]-β-d-glucopyranoside [asparacochioside A (1)] [...] Read more.
A new steroidal saponin, 26-O-β-d-glucopyranosyl-(25R)-furost-5-ene-3β,22α,26-triol 3-O-(1−4)-β-d-glucopyranosyl-α-l-rhamnopyranosyl-(1−2)-[α-l-rhamnopyranosyl-(1−4)]-β-d-glucopyranoside [asparacochioside A (1)] was isolated from a hot water extract of the roots of Asparagus cochinchinensis, together with the known steroidal saponins protodioscin (2), methyl protodioscin (3), aspacochioside A (4), aspacochioside C (5), 15−hydroxypseudoprotodioscin (6), and chamaedroside E (7). The structure of the new compound 1 was determined by interpretation of its spectroscopic data (1D- and 2D-NMR and HR−Q−TOF−MS) and sugar analysis. The isolated compounds 17 were tested for their in vitro cytotoxicity against human ovarian cancer cell lines (A2780 and SKOV3). Asparacochioside A (1) exhibited a significant cytotoxicity against both A2780 and SKOV3 cells with IC50 values of 5.25 ± 2.2 and 46.82 ± 9.43 μM, respectively. Furthermore, asparacochioside A (1) significantly increased the percentage of Annexin V-positive cells (apoptotic cells), suggesting that asparacochioside A induces ovarian cancer cell death via apoptosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Frontiers in Phytochemicals)
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Article
Valorization of Polysaccharides Obtained from Dark Tea: Preparation, Physicochemical, Antioxidant, and Hypoglycemic Properties
Foods 2021, 10(10), 2276; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10102276 - 26 Sep 2021
Cited by 3
Abstract
The structure and hypoglycemic activity of tea polysaccharides has been extensively studied, while there are few reports on the characterization and hypoglycemic activity of dark tea polysaccharides. The crude dark tea polysaccharide (CDTPS) was optimally extracted from Fuzhuan dark tea. Six polysaccharide fractions [...] Read more.
The structure and hypoglycemic activity of tea polysaccharides has been extensively studied, while there are few reports on the characterization and hypoglycemic activity of dark tea polysaccharides. The crude dark tea polysaccharide (CDTPS) was optimally extracted from Fuzhuan dark tea. Six polysaccharide fractions (namely DTPS-1, DTPS-2, DTPS-3, DTPS-4, DTPS-5, and DTPS-6) were isolated from CDTPS, and their physicochemical, structural, and biological properties were compared and analyzed. The results revealed that the compositions, structural characteristics, and biological properties of the six DTPSs were different. Therein, DTPS-4 and DTPS-6 had looser morphology, faster solubility, and a more stable structure. Additionally, DTPS-4 had the optimum in vitro antioxidant capabilities, and DTPS-6 had the strongest in vitro hypoglycemic capabilities. In addition, a correlation analysis revealed that the molecular weight and uronic acid content were significantly related to their antioxidant and hypoglycemic activities. Our results indicated that DTPS-4 and DTPS-6 could be further developed into functional foods or additives, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Frontiers in Phytochemicals)
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Review
Green Synthesis of Metallic Nanoparticles Using Some Selected Medicinal Plants from Southern Africa and Their Biological Applications
Plants 2021, 10(9), 1929; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10091929 - 16 Sep 2021
Cited by 17
Abstract
The application of metallic nanoparticles (MNPs), especially that of silver, gold, cobalt, and zinc as antimicrobial, anticancer, drug delivery, contrast, and bioimaging agents has transformed the field of medicine. Their functions, which are attributed to their physicochemical properties, have gained prominence in various [...] Read more.
The application of metallic nanoparticles (MNPs), especially that of silver, gold, cobalt, and zinc as antimicrobial, anticancer, drug delivery, contrast, and bioimaging agents has transformed the field of medicine. Their functions, which are attributed to their physicochemical properties, have gained prominence in various technological fields. Although MNPs can be produced via rigorous physical and chemical techniques, in recent years, a biological approach utilizing natural materials has been developed. With the increasing enthusiasm for safe and efficient nanomaterials, the biological method incorporating microorganisms and plants is preferred over physical and chemical methods of nanoparticle synthesis. Of these bio-entities, plants have received great attention owing to their capability to reduce and stabilize MNPs in a single one-pot protocol. South Africa is home to ~10% of the world’s plant species, making it a major contributor to the world’s ecological scenery. Despite the documented contribution of South African plants, particularly in herbal medicine, very few of these plants have been explored for the synthesis of the noble MNPs. This paper provides a review of some important South African medicinal plants that have been utilized for the synthesis of MNPs. The enhanced biological properties of the biogenic MNPs attest to their relevance in medicine. In this endeavour, more of the African plant biodiversity must be explored for the synthesis of MNPs and be validated for their potential to be translated into future nanomedicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Frontiers in Phytochemicals)
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Article
Effect of Storage Conditions on the Quality of Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil and the Impact on the Composition of Flavor-Related Compounds (Phenols and Volatiles)
Foods 2021, 10(9), 2161; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10092161 - 13 Sep 2021
Cited by 9
Abstract
Commercialization of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) requires a best before date recommended at up to 24 months after bottling, stored under specific conditions. Thus, it is expected that the product retains its chemical properties and preserves its ‘extra virgin’ category. However, inadequate [...] Read more.
Commercialization of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) requires a best before date recommended at up to 24 months after bottling, stored under specific conditions. Thus, it is expected that the product retains its chemical properties and preserves its ‘extra virgin’ category. However, inadequate storage conditions could alter the properties of EVOO. In this study, Arbequina EVOO was exposed to five storage conditions for up to one year to study the effects on the quality of the oil and the compounds responsible for flavor. Every 15 or 30 days, samples from each storage condition were analyzed, determining physicochemical parameters, the profiles of phenols, volatile compounds, α-tocopherol, and antioxidant capacity. Principal component analysis was utilized to better elucidate the relationships between the composition of EVOOs and the storage conditions. EVOOs stored at −23 and 23 °C in darkness and 23 °C with light, differed from the oils stored at 30 and 40 °C in darkness. The former was associated with a higher quantity of non-oxidized phenolic compounds and the latter with higher elenolic acid, oxidized oleuropein, and ligstroside derivatives, which also increased with storage time. (E)-2-nonenal (detected at trace levels in fresh oil) was selected as a marker of the degradation of Arbequina EVOO quality over time, with significant linear regressions identified for the storage conditions at 30 and 40 °C. Therefore, early oxidation in EVOO could be monitored by measuring (E)-2-nonenal levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Frontiers in Phytochemicals)
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Article
Metabolomic Investigation of Synergistic Mechanism for Fangfeng Extract Preventing LPS Induced Neuroinflammation in BV-2 Microglia Cells
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(17), 8155; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11178155 - 02 Sep 2021
Abstract
The root of Saposhnikovia divaricata (Fangfeng) is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for headache and neuroinflammation-related disease treatment. The mRNA expression of IL-6 and IL-1β were significantly inhibited after Fangfeng extract (FFE) treatment in LPS-induced BV-2 cells. Metatolome profiling indicated that [...] Read more.
The root of Saposhnikovia divaricata (Fangfeng) is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for headache and neuroinflammation-related disease treatment. The mRNA expression of IL-6 and IL-1β were significantly inhibited after Fangfeng extract (FFE) treatment in LPS-induced BV-2 cells. Metatolome profiling indicated that dopamine, palmitic acid, corticosterone, and eicosapentaenoic acid metabolites could be regulated by FFE for LPS stimulated inflammation responses in BV-2 cells. The disturbed metabolic pathways include caffeine metabolism, mannose type O-glycan biosynthesis, arachidonic acid metabolism, and steroid biosynthesis. This study will enable us to identify potential protein targets and metabolite intermediates for FFE exerting its protective function in BV-2 cells, and it also provided a potential application of Fangfeng in neuroinflammation-related disease treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Frontiers in Phytochemicals)
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Article
Phenolic Composition and Antioxidant Properties of Cooked Rice Dyed with Sorghum-Leaf Bio-Colorants
Foods 2021, 10(9), 2058; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10092058 - 31 Aug 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
White rice is an important staple food globally. It is a rich source of energy but is low in dietary phenolic antioxidants. This current research aimed at providing scientific evidence for an alternative rice dish that has increased phenolic-antioxidant health-promoting potential by combining [...] Read more.
White rice is an important staple food globally. It is a rich source of energy but is low in dietary phenolic antioxidants. This current research aimed at providing scientific evidence for an alternative rice dish that has increased phenolic-antioxidant health-promoting potential by combining white rice with red cowpea beans and cooking with dye sorghum leaves hydrothermal extract, as a source of natural colorant. Boiled white rice and the rice–cowpea–sorghum extract dish were freeze-dried, and the free and bound phenolic compounds of raw and cooked samples were extracted. Phenolic composition, total phenolic content (TPC), and antioxidant activities (measured by 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging capacity, Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity, and oxygen radical absorbance capacity methods) of the raw and cooked samples were determined. Combining white rice with cowpea seeds and sorghum leaves extract significantly (p < 0.0001) increased the TPC and antioxidant activities of the rice due to the higher TPC and antioxidant activities of cowpea and sorghum leaves. Although boiling caused substantial losses of flavonoids and anthocyanins in the rice–cowpea–sorghum extract composite meal, the resulting dish had higher TPC and antioxidant activities than boiled white rice. Compositing white rice with phenolic-rich pulses can be an innovative approach to providing alternative healthy rice dishes to consumers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Frontiers in Phytochemicals)
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Article
Exploration of the Medicinal Flora of the Aljumum Region in Saudi Arabia
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(16), 7620; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11167620 - 19 Aug 2021
Cited by 2
Abstract
Understanding the natural resources of native flora in a particular area is essential to be able to identify, record, and update existing records concerning the flora of that area, especially medicinal plants. Until recently, there has been very little scientific documentation on the [...] Read more.
Understanding the natural resources of native flora in a particular area is essential to be able to identify, record, and update existing records concerning the flora of that area, especially medicinal plants. Until recently, there has been very little scientific documentation on the biological diversity of Aljumum flora. The current study aimed to document medicinal plants among the flora of this region and determine the traditional usages that are documented in the literature. In the flowering season from November 2019 to May 2020, we conducted more than 80 field trips to the study area. The results reported 90 species belonging to 79 genera and 34 families in the Aljumum region, which constitute 82 species of medicinal plants from a total of 2253 known species in Saudi Arabia. The most distributed species were Calotropis procera, Panicum turgidum, and Aerva javanica (5.31%); within four endemic families, we found Fabaceae (32.35%), Poaceae (20.58%), and Asteraceae and Brassicaceae (17.64%). The present study reviews a collection of medicinal plants in Aljumum used in ethnomedicine. Additionally, these natural resources should be preserved, and therefore, conservation programs should be established to protect the natural diversity of the plant species in this region with sustainable environmental management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Frontiers in Phytochemicals)
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Review
Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus L.) as a Potential Functional Food Source of Mucilage and Bioactive Compounds with Technological Applications and Health Benefits
Plants 2021, 10(8), 1683; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10081683 - 16 Aug 2021
Cited by 8
Abstract
Abelmoschus esculentus has fruit popularly known as okra and belongs to the Malvaceae family. It is commonly used in cooking but also in traditional medicine in the treatment of worms, dysentery, inflammation, and also irritation of the stomach, intestines, and kidneys, as it [...] Read more.
Abelmoschus esculentus has fruit popularly known as okra and belongs to the Malvaceae family. It is commonly used in cooking but also in traditional medicine in the treatment of worms, dysentery, inflammation, and also irritation of the stomach, intestines, and kidneys, as it is a potential functional food. Its mucilage is a highly viscous polysaccharide that is mostly composed of monosaccharides D-galactose, L-rhamnose, and galacturonic acid, as well as proteins and minerals. The functional properties of okra mucilage have been widely studied, mainly for its potential antidiabetic activity; thus, its use as adjuvant or nutraceutical therapy for diabetes is very promising. Due to its rheological properties, it is a potential resource for pharmaceutical and food applications. Okra mucilage can be extracted by several methods, which can directly influence its physicochemical characteristics and biological activity. Features such as low cost, non-toxicity, biocompatibility, and high availability in nature arouse the interest of researchers for the study of okra mucilage. The survey of research on the applications of okra mucilage highlights the importance of using this promising source of bioactive compounds with interesting technological properties. The potential of okra as a functional food, the properties of okra mucilage, and its technological applications are discussed in this review. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Frontiers in Phytochemicals)
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Article
Antilisterial Effect of a Natural Formulation Based on Citrus Extract in Ready-To-Eat Foods
Foods 2021, 10(7), 1475; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10071475 - 25 Jun 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Controlling Listeria in food is a major challenge, especially because it can persist for years in food processing plants. The best option to control this pathogen is the implementation of effective cleaning and disinfection procedures that guarantee the safety and quality of the [...] Read more.
Controlling Listeria in food is a major challenge, especially because it can persist for years in food processing plants. The best option to control this pathogen is the implementation of effective cleaning and disinfection procedures that guarantee the safety and quality of the final products. In addition, consumer trends are changing, being more aware of the importance of food safety and demanding natural foods, minimally processed and free of chemical additives. For this reason, the current consumption model is focusing on the development of preservatives of natural origin, from plants or microorganisms. In sum, this study aimed to evaluate the antimicrobial effectiveness of a citrus extract formulation rich in flavonoids against several L. monocytogenes and L. innocua strains, using in vitro test (agar diffusion test, minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC), and time-kill curves) and challenge test in food trials (carne mechada, salami, fresh salmon, lettuce, brine, and mozzarella cheese). The results presented in this work show that citrus extract, at doses of 5 and 10%, had a relevant antimicrobial activity in vitro against the target strains tested. Besides this, citrus extract applied on the surface of food had a significant antilisterial activity, mainly in carne mechada and mozzarella cheese, with reductions of up to eight logarithmic units with respect to the control. These results suggest that citrus extract can be considered a promising tool to improve the hygienic quality of ready-to-eat foods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Frontiers in Phytochemicals)
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Article
Improving the Functionality of Proso Millet Protein and Its Potential as a Functional Food Ingredient by Applying Nitrogen Fertiliser
Foods 2021, 10(6), 1332; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10061332 - 09 Jun 2021
Cited by 2
Abstract
Nitrogen is required for proso millet growth and has a critical influence on yield and quality. However, the effect of nitrogen fertilisation on proso millet protein properties remains unclear. This study aimed to investigate how nitrogen fertiliser treatment (180 kg/hm2) affects [...] Read more.
Nitrogen is required for proso millet growth and has a critical influence on yield and quality. However, the effect of nitrogen fertilisation on proso millet protein properties remains unclear. This study aimed to investigate how nitrogen fertiliser treatment (180 kg/hm2) affects the structural and functional properties of proso millet protein. In comparison with the control group (N0), nitrogen fertiliser treatment loosened the dense structure of the protein and presented a larger particle size. Nitrogen treatment did not change the main subunit composition, and β-sheet and α-helix were the main secondary structures of proso millet protein based on Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. In addition, nitrogen fertiliser treatment improved the content of hydrophobic amino acids and β-sheet proportion from proso millet protein, and high water/oil absorption capacity and thermal stability was observed, but the solubility, emulsion stability and foaming properties from proso millet protein decreased. Proso millet proteins exhibited high amino acid content and good functional properties, including solubility, foaming capacity and emulsifying properties, especially the w139 variety. Results show that proso millet protein has great potential for food applications. The above results provide useful information for the food industry to determine emerging gluten-free protein resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Frontiers in Phytochemicals)
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