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  • Open access
  • 96 Reads
Bioactive Compound Contents and Biological Activities of the Algerian Medicinal Plant Rhus Pentaphylla (Jacq.) Desf. (Anacardiaceae)

Background: Rhus pentaphylla (Jacq.) Desf. is an Algerian food and medicinal specie used to treat diarrhea, abdominal colic and employed as digestive [1-3], yet there is little information available concerning their bioactive composition.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to quantify bioactive compounds and to investigate antioxidant and acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activities of extracts obtained from leaves of R. pentaphylla, in order to prove its possible use as potential natural source for human health.

Methods: The bioactive compounds were quantified by colorimetric methods. The phytochemical analysis was carried out by chromatographic techniques. The antioxidant activity was assayed by using several test systems, namely total antioxidant capacity, DPPH, ABTS and OH radicals scavenging activity, ferric reducing power assay, ferrous ion chelating capacity and β-carotene bleaching assay. The acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity was determined by bioautographic and spectrophotometric methods.

Results: The results showed that the extracts of R. pentaphylla are an excellent source of phenolic compounds especially regarding its high flavonoid and hydrolysable tannin contents (36.26 ± 1.77 mg CE/g DE and 898.64 ± 26.56 mg TAE/g DE, respectively) promoting high antioxidant activity. The phytochemical analysis led to the identification of several phenolic compounds that were dominated by flavonoids and phenolic acids. The extracts showed a potential antioxidant activity by the different tests. This could be attributed to their polyphenol, tannin and flavonoid contents. The extracts of R. pentaphylla also exhibited anti-acetylcholinesterase activity.

Conclusion: Owing to its phenolic profile and biological activities, R. pentaphylla could be considered as potential functional-ingredient for pharmaceutical applications.

  • Open access
  • 72 Reads
Berry-based products classification by FIA−HRMS fingerprinting and chemometric analysis

In the last years, nutraceuticals prepared with cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) have gained special attention because of their beneficial effects on human health (e.g., antioxidant activity and antimicrobial activity against bacteria involved in a wide range of diseases), which are mainly attributed to the high content of specific polyphenols in cranberry. However, these products present a risk of fraud consisting of the total or partial substitution of cranberry extracts with cheaper and more abundant fruit extracts.

Therefore, in this study, flow injection analysis coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry (FIA−HRMS) fingerprinting was proposed as a rapid high-throughput analytical approach to address the classification of berry-based products through chemometrics, focusing on cranberry-based products authentication. Thus, several berry-based natural products (including 18 based on blueberry, 25 on grape, 12 on raspberry, and 28 on cranberry) and 21 cranberry-based nutraceuticals were analysed. Sample treatment consisted of a simple solid-liquid extraction method, using acetone:water:hydrochloric acid (70:29.9:0.1, v/v/v) as the extracting mix. After both negative and positive electrospray ionisation FIA−HRMS sample analysis, raw data were processed with mzMine 2.53 software to obtain the corresponding fingerprints. In this line, four different data matrices —including negative, positive, low-level data fusion (LLDF), and mid-level data fusion (MLDF) FIA−HRMS fingerprints— were then subjected to principal component analysis (PCA) and partial least squares regression-discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) using Solo 8.6 chemometrics software.

PCA results allowed the identification of specific sample groups and trends. Subsequently, the complete sample classification was segregated through a classification decision tree —consecutive two-input class PLS-DA models—, leading to excellent assignment accuracies after external validation according to sample botanical origin (independently of the employed data matrix).

  • Open access
  • 93 Reads
Croatian traditional apple cultivars: why are they more resistant to plant diseases?

Polyphenols are molecules with strong biological activity, which are the bearers of apple resistance to plant diseases, as well as to abiotic stress from various sources. Moreover, it has been shown that apple cultivars with higher content of polyphenols are more resistant to plant diseases. Some of the biological activities of polyphenols are antiphlogistic, antimutagenic and antioxidant activity. In addition to the above, some polyphenols such as chlorogenic acid, phloridzin and quercetin showed potent antimicrobial and antifungal activities by targeting intracellular processes in microorganisms or inducing irreversible permeability changes in cell membrane. Based on that, this study aimed to detect, quantify, and compare the amounts of chlorogenic acid, phloridzin, and quercetin in ten Croatian traditional and five conventional apple cultivars by high- performance liquid chromatography with diode- array detector. Total phenolic acids, dihydrochalcones and flavonols were also determined. The results showed that Croatian traditional apple cultivars had significantly higher amounts of the investigated compounds compared to conventional apple cultivars. The highest amount of chlorogenic acid (30.29 ± 0.34 mg/100 g DW), phloridzin (3.12 ± 0.01 mg/100 g DW) and quercetin (11.68 ± 0.09 mg/100 g DW) had ‘Božičnica’, ‘Mašanka’ and ‘Petrovnjača’, respectively. The highest contents of the total phenolic acids, dihydrochalcones and flavonols were detected in ‘Božićnica’ (31,94 ± 0.65 mg/100 g DW), ‘Mašanka’ (3,52 ± 0,52 mg/100 g DW) and ‘Fuji’ (19.11 ± 0,56 mg/100 g DW), respectively. The main flavonol detected in ‘Fuji’ was quercetin-3-rutinoside. These results present the beginning of the research on the resistance of Croatian traditional apple cultivars to plant diseases funded by the Croatian Science Foundation (UIP-2020-02-8461).

  • Open access
  • 90 Reads
Application of response surface methodology to optimize maceration extraction of antioxidants from Cosmos caudatus

Cosmos caudatus has been proclaimed as a high source of bioactive compounds such as chlorogenic acid, quercetin and ascorbic acid. Reported evidence indicated that C. caudatus exhibits high antioxidant activities. This study is undertaken to study the effect of extraction time and ethanol concentration on yield and DPPH scavenging activity and to optimize the maceration extraction conditions for C. caudatus. Response surface methodology (RSM) based on central composite design (CCD) was applied to obtain significant variables and the optimum conditions. The independent variables were extraction time (h) and ethanol concentration (%, v/v). The range of the extraction time was between 6 to 24 h and ethanol concentration was 30 to 100% (v/v). The dependent variables were yield (%) and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) scavenging activity (%). Results show that extraction yields ranged between 11% and 25% and DPPH scavenging activity ranged between 29% and 99%. Yield was only influenced by ethanol concentration. However, both extraction time and ethanol concentration significantly affected towards DPPH scavenging activity. Maximum yield and DPPH scavenging activity are the optimal extract qualities. Thus, the optimal conditions were 24 h extraction time and 84% (v/v) ethanol concentration. The experimental values agreed with those expected by RSM models, showing the eligibility of the method used and RSM’s performance in optimizing the conditions of extraction.

  • Open access
  • 193 Reads
FIA-ESI-MS Fingerprinting method with chemometrics for the characterization of adulterated coffee samples

Food products are very complex matrices, which makes the quality of these products an issue of great interest in our society. Considering the complexity of the food chain, the adulteration of food is increasing, causing food fraud cases.

In this field, drinks are food products that can be very easily adulterated. This work will focus on the thematic of fraud detection in coffee, one of the most popular beverages in the world. Coffee contains an elevated number of bioactive substances (phenolic acids, polyphenols and alkaloids; being especially abundant ellagic, caffeic and chlorogenic acids) that give place to its important antioxidant activity, known for its beneficial health effects.

The aim of this work was to develop an efficient non-targeted FIA-ESI-MS fingerprinting method in combination with chemometrics to achieve the characterization, classification, and authentication of coffee samples, together with possible adulterants (barley, chicory and flours) using partial least squares regression-discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) chemometric method.

Besides, Arabica and Robusta coffee samples were adulterated with barley, chicory and flour and the obtained FIA-ESI-MS data subjected to partial least squares (PLS) regression. Results demonstrated the feasibility of the proposed methodology to assess coffee authenticity and to quantify adulteration levels (down to 15%), showing good calibration and prediction errors.

  • Open access
  • 63 Reads
Influence of oenological processes and product qualities on the compositional profiles of biogenic amines of sparkling wines

Biogenic amines (BAs) are low molecular nitrogenous compounds especially abundant in fermented foodstuff such as wine and cheese as well as in spoiled products. BAs are bioactive compounds that can cause toxicological problems —e.g. migraine, hypertension, rash, etc.— when ingested in high amounts. Contents of BAs in wines may depend on different factors such as fermentation processes and other oenological practices as well as on grape quality.

This work aims at assessing the evolution of biogenic amines during the manufacturing process of sparkling wines by analysing samples of must, base wines, stabilized wines and 3-month and 7-month aged sparkling wines obtained from Pinot Noir and Xarel·lo grape varieties. In addition, the effect of grape quality was also evaluated. The determination of BA contents relies on liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection (HPLC-FLD) with precolumn derivatization of analytes with dansyl chloride. Principal component analysis has been applied to try to extract featured information concerning overall patterns dealing with wine production steps and qualities. The analysis has shown that putrescine is the most abundant amine in this type of samples. Ethanolamine, tyramine, cadaverine and histamine concentrations are also remarkable.

Regarding BA formation, their concentrations are quite low in musts but especially rise after the first alcoholic fermentation. Besides, BA levels are smaller in the products elaborated with grapes of the best qualities while significantly increase when using grapes of lower qualities.

  • Open access
  • 230 Reads
Application of Sericin based materials in food packaging: An overview


Proteins are one of the most commonly used biomaterials in food technology especially in food packaging, coatings, and additives. They are outstanding candidates for producing innovative food components due to their immense nutritional properties, molecular characteristics, biocompatibility, biodegradability, and generally recognized as safe status. Numerous application examples of protein-based films and coatings in food packaging also approve their significant role in food packaging materials. Sericin is a natural silk globular protein, which is usually discarded as a biological waste material after removing the fibroin for making silk products from the silk cocoon. In the current investigation, an attempt has been made to extract this usually wasted silk protein from the silk cocoon, purify it and study its potential applications in the food sector as a food packaging material. The sericin was extracted from the silk cocoon by the degumming method. The protein concentration of the extracted crude sericin sample was estimated by the standard Lowry’s method using the bovine serum albumin as the reference standard. Linearity was obtained (R2 > 0.99), and the protein concentration of the crude sericin was found out to be 3.60 % (W/V). The purification of the crude protein was carried out by dialysis using a cellulose tubing with a molecular weight cutoff of 12 kDa, followed by freeze-drying. The protein concentration of the purified sericin was found out to be 0.64 % (W/V). Following extraction, sericin can be used as the food packaging material. Proteins especially sericin which is a byproduct, can provide a low-cost and naturally occurring raw material to be used as green formulation ingredients in the food industry as a food packaging material. Further research is under process to evaluate the antimicrobial and antioxidant potential of the extracted sericin and study its applications like food packaging materials.

Acknowledgment: This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (No. 2020R1G1A1004667), the Republic of Korea.

  • Open access
  • 64 Reads
By-products to prolong the shelf life of ready-to-cook fish: the case-study of cod sticks breaded with dried olive paste or pomegranate peel powder.

In recent years food sector is focused on the potential of recycling fruit and vegetable by-products to reduce food waste. The by-products contain valuable compounds, especially phenolic substances, and therefore can be used to fortify food or to prolong the shelf life. In this context, two case-studies are presented, one dealing with dried olive paste, as by-products of oil production process, and the other one dealing with pomegranate peel powder as by-products of fruit. Both by-products were adopted as breading of ready-to-cook cod sticks. To the aim, shelf-life tests were carried out on all breaded cod sticks, during a proper refrigerated storage period at 4 °C. To verify the effectiveness of selected by-products on fish shelf life, microbiological quality and sensory properties were monitored. In addition, pH and chemical quality (total phenols, flavonoids and antioxidant activity) of both control and active samples were also assessed.

Results confirmed that all active samples, due to the by-products addition, showed higher content of phenols and flavonoids and greater antioxidant activity than the control fish. Furthermore, both types of active breading led to delay microbial growth, without affecting the sensory properties; rather, the presence of by-products as fish breading helped to slow down the sensory decline during the refrigerated storage. While samples with olive paste recorded 3 days of shelf life prolongation compared to the control fish, sticks breaded with pomegranate peel powder recorded more than 7 days of shelf life prolongation respect to the control sample.

  • Open access
  • 57 Reads
Targeted HPLC-UV-FLD polyphenolics to assess paprika geographical origin

Paprika is a red powder seasoning with a characteristic flavour obtained from the drying and grinding of red pepper fruits of the genus Capsicum (Solanaceae family). In Europe, seven paprika products are distinguished with the protected designation of origin (PDO) label, which ensures a high-quality product by strict requirements, leading to higher retail prices than not-labelled paprika and making them susceptible to fraudulent practices.

Contents of polyphenol and phenolic compounds depend on several factors, such as the environmental conditions of the production area. Thus, in the present study, a simple and feasible high-performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet and fluorescent detection (HPLC-UV-FLD) method was developed to determine 17 polyphenols in paprika samples, aiming at their authentication through chemometrics. A reversed-phase chromatographic separation was optimised, using a C18 column and 0.1% formic acid aqueous solution and acetonitrile as the mobile phase components. The proposed methodology exhibited limits of detection below 0.9 mg L-1, as well as good linearity (R2≥0.984), precision (RSD day-to-day values below 24%), and trueness (relative errors below 14%). Moreover, compound confirmation was carried out by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS).

The proposed methodology was applied to 109 paprika samples, including samples from Spain (La Vera PDO, Murcia PDO and Mallorca PDO), Hungary, and the Czech Republic. The obtained HPLC-UV-FLD polyphenolic profiles were employed as sample chemical descriptors to authenticate paprika geographical origin by a classification decision tree constructed by partial least squares regression-discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) models. As a result, a sample classification rate of 87.8% was reached after external validation. Moreover, two different paprika geographical origin blend scenarios (La Vera vs. Murcia and the Czech Republic vs. Murcia) were evaluated through partial least squares (PLS) regression, allowing blend percentage prediction with errors below 10.8% after external validation.

  • Open access
  • 82 Reads
Functionalization of bread with Lycium barbarum (goji) puree

Enrichment of bread with Lycium barbarum (goji) puree

Monica Rosa Loizzo1,*, Antonio Mincione2, Rosa Tundis1 and Vincenzo Sicari2

1Department of Pharmacy, Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Calabria, 87036 Arcavacata di Rende (CS), Italy. (Email:

2Department of Agraria, University “Mediterranea” of Reggio Calabria, Salita Melissari, Feo di Vito, Reggio Calabria (RC), 89124, Italy


With a great variety of foods on the market, the consumer’s responsibility is choose food that can allow him to maintain his state of health and prevent chronic diseases. For this reason, several functional foods classified as fortified or enriched foods are developed In fact, the functional food market size is estimated to reach $267,924.4 million by 2027 [1]. Functional foods are able to provide essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and bioactive substances. The opportunities for incorporating these bioactive constituents into bread have grown rapidly as bread is the staple food in many countries. Lycium barbarum (goji) berries are a source of phytochemicals with important biological functions and are designated as super-fruits [2]. The aim of the study was to add goji puree at different percentages (50 and 70%) to the bread dough. To evaluate the characteristics of bread enriched in goji puree, chemical-physical, sensory, rheological analysis and radical scavenging activity test were carried out [3,4] The best results were obtained with the sample enriched with 50% of goji puree (B50G) that showed a total phenol content of 42.07 mg gallic acid equivalent /100 g bread and am ABTS radical scavenging activity of 833.48 µmol Trolox/ 100g bread. Bread sensory profile was identified by a trained panel using quantitative descriptive analysis, showing significant differences compared to the untreated sample in crust and crumb colour and for structural crunchiness, while olfactory and gustatory descriptors did not differ significantly. Furthermore, the enriched product is characterized by a higher content of bioactive substances with particular references to phenolic compounds and by an interesting antioxidant activity. The absence of substantial changes on the sensory profile will represent another fundamental and appreciated aspect by the consumers. Collectively, our results demonstrated the potential health properties of this enriched bread.

[1] Functional Food Market by Ingredient (Probiotics, Minerals, Proteins & Amino Acids, Prebiotics, & Dietary Fibers, Vitamins and Others), Product (Bakery & Cereals, Dairy Products, Meat, Fish & Eggs, Soy Products, Fats & Oils and Others), Application (Sports Nutrition, Weight Management Clinical Nutrition, Cardio Health, and Others): Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast 2021–2027, (, access 24 June 2021); [2] Yao, R.; Heinrich, M.; Weckerle, C.S. (2015). The genus Lycium as food and medicine: A botanical, ethnobotanical and historical review. J. Ethnopharmacol., 212, 50-66. 10.1016/j.jep.2017.10.010. Epub 2017 Oct 16. PMID: 29042287. [3] Carullo, G.; Scarpelli, F.; Belsito, E.L.; Caputo, P.; Oliviero Rossi, C.; Mincione, A.; Leggio, A.; Crispini, A.; Restuccia, D.; Spizzirri, U.G.; Aiello, F. Formulation of New Baking (+)-Catechin Based Leavening Agents: Effects on Rheology, Sensory and Antioxidant Features during Muffin Preparation. Foods 2020, 9, 1569.; [4] Sicari, V.; Pellicanò, T.M.; Laganá, V.; Poiana, M. (2018). Use of orange by‐products (dry peel) as an alternative gelling agent for marmalade production: Evaluation of antioxidant activity and inhibition of HMF formation during different storage temperature. J. Food Proces. Preserv. 42. e13429. 10.1111/jfpp.13429.