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  • Open access
  • 28 Reads
Effect of the Type of Thermal Treatment on the Nutritional and Nutraceutical Characteristics of Pacaya Inflorescences (Chamaedorea tepejilote Liebm)

Chamaedorea tepejilote Liebm is a specie of palm native to the south of Mexico and Central America. In Mexico, male inflorescences are consumed roasted, fried, boiled, or accompanied with other ingredients, due to a bitter aftertaste. Raw inflorescences have shown hypoglycemic, antitussive, and antimicrobial potentials, although the thermal treatment effect in these activities has not been thoroughly studied. Therefore, this study evaluated the impact of the three thermal treatments (hydrothermal (HP), steaming at elevated pressure (SEP), and microwave (MW)) on the nutritional and nutraceutical characteristics of Pacaya inflorescences. Inflorescences without thermal treatment (WTT) were considered as control. In nutritional characterization, protein content was the only fraction that increased significantly (p < 0.05) when applied to a thermal treatment. All thermal treatments modified significantly (p < 0.05) chlorophyll “a” content (HP reduced 0.59-fold; SEP and MW increased 0.07-0.25-fold), and chlorophyll “b” is reduced. There was a significant (p < 0.05) increase in all thermally treated samples in total carotenoids (between 0.80-fold and 8.73-fold) and total phenolic compounds (between 7.75-fold and 8.16-fold) compared with WTT. Microwave cooking was the only thermal treatment that significantly (p < 0.05) increased 0.97-fold the antioxidant activity in the DPPH radical. HP (14.11%) and SEP (18.20%) significantly (p < 0.05) reduced the dipeptidyl peptidase-IV enzyme inhibition concerning WTT (24.42%). These changes have been associated with partial loss, destruction, or denaturalization of cell walls’ proteins, lipids, or cellulose, causing liberating or creation of compounds with nutritional and nutraceutical activity.

  • Open access
  • 98 Reads

Honey is a natural product made by bees from nectars of flowers. Its nutritional and health benefit are known from ancient times. It is a rich source of fructose and glucose and contain many other sugars including maltose, sucrose and other complex carbohydrates. It is used as natural preservative, flavoring and sweetening agents in many foods and beverages. Its sweet taste makes it more palatable to children and has a remarkable role in child nutrition. Honey has got various therapeutic benefits like antioxidant, antimicrobial, antifungal, gastroprotective and helps in metabolism, treatment of wounds, burns, ophthalmic conditions, diabetes and so on. Ayurveda describes honey as ‘madhu’. Eight varieties of honey based on the collection by different bees are mentioned in ayurvedic texts and each variety has its own properties. Makshika variety of honey is considered as best among them. Honey is used as medication internally as well as externally. Administration of honey from the birth itself along with ghee is mentioned in Ayurveda which acts as an immunomodulator. It can be also used as an adjuvant in medicines. It is also helpful in respiratory tract disorders such as common cold, sore throat, cough. It has scraping property that helps in metabolism of fat. Ayurveda considered honey as yogavahi, that is without changing its properties, it will enhance the medicinal qualities and also helps them to circulate in the body. Functional food and nutraceuticals gain importance in the present era as they provide many health benefits characterized by disease prevention and alleviation. Honey intake as medicine and food has many nutritional and therapeutic benefits which makes it a functional food and nutraceutical.

  • Open access
  • 49 Reads
Gastric lipase and cholesterol esterase in the INFOGEST model: evaluation of sterol bioaccessibility in plant sterol-enriched wholemeal rye bread

The incorporation of key enzymes of the lipidic metabolism to the INFOGEST digestion method on plant sterol (PS) bioaccessibility is evaluated, for the first time, in a PS-enriched wholemeal ryebread. The assayed conditions were: (i) INFOGEST method; (ii) INFOGEST+gastric lipase (GL) (60 U/mL gastric digesta); and (iii) INFOGEST+GL+cholesterol esterase (CE) (0.075 U/mL intestinal digesta). The contents in PS were determined in the bioaccessible fractions after saponification, derivatization into trimethylsilylethers, and analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (for identification purposes) and gas chromatography-flame ionization detection (for quantification). The identified PS were: campesterol, campestanol, stigmasterol, b-sitosterol, sitostanol, D5-avenasterol, D5,24-stigmastadienol, D7-stigmastenol and D7-avenasterol from the PS-ingredient and rye flour. The incorporation of the lipidic enzymes slightly reduced bioaccessibility of total (from 23.2 to 17.6-18.2%) and individual PS (from 22.6-57.7 to 17.3-44%). In addition, no differences in bioaccessibility were detected when GL nor GL+CE were used. Largest bioaccessibility values were shown for D5-avenasterol and D7-avenasterol, regardless of the conditions assayed. In conclusion, the use of GL and CE means a closer approach to in vivo conditions, and we propose their inclusion in the INFOGEST model for the evaluation of the bioaccessibility of sterols and other lipid bioactive compounds.

  • Open access
  • 26 Reads
Investigation of antibacterial activity and synergistic antibacterial potential of sericin protein extracts

Many antibacterial agents have been continuously used by various industries in order to extend the shelf life by controlling spoilage bacteria and reducing the risk from pathogenic bacteria. However, there is a concern for safety and various health-related issues. Sericin in silk cocoon is considered as a waste product in the silk industry, and usually thrown away. Sericin is known to possess a number of important biochemical properties. Considering this, in the present study, sericin protein was extracted from the silk cocoon by degumming process and its antibacterial activity was investigated against a number of foodborne pathogenic bacteria by the standard procedures. Its synergistic antibacterial activity was also investigated using both sericin protein and the standard antibiotics such as ampicillin, azithromycin, cephalexin, erythromycin, gentamycin, kanamycin and streptomycin. The results showed that sericin extract displayed a prominent antibacterial effect against all the tested foodborne pathogenic bacteria with the diameter of inhibition zones ranged from 9.44±0.04 to 12.09±0.58 and the results are comparable with the standard antibiotics. The sericin extract at 500µg/disc displayed highest inhibition zones against both the tested Escherichia coli (12.09±0.58 mm) and the Listeria monocytogenes (11.51±0.35 mm). Further, the sericin along with the standard antibiotics at (25µg+5µg)/disk respectively displayed significant antibacterial potential against all the tested foodborne pathogenic bacteria with the highest inhibition zone against the Salmonella Typhimurium (26.59±0.74 mm). The minimum inhibitory concentration and minimum bactericidal concentration values of the sericin extract ranged from 0.0625 – 1.0 mg/mL. This data suggested that the sericin extract has a promising antibacterial potential, which can be utilized in the various industries as an effective antibacterial agent.

Acknowledgement: 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
  • 29 Reads
Enhanced Accumulation of Phenolics in Pea (Pisum sativum L.) Seeds upon Foliar Application of Selenate and Zinc Oxide

Selenium (Se) and zinc (Zn) are essential antioxidant enzyme cofactors. Foliar Se/Zn application is a highly effective method of plant biofortification. However, little is known on the effect of such applications on the accumulation of phytochemicals with pro- or antioxidant related activity in pea (Pisum sativum L.). A two-year pot-experiment was conducted to examine the response of pea varieties (Ambassador, Premium) to foliar-applied sodium selenate (0/50/100g Se/ha) and zinc oxide (0/375/750g Zn/ha) at the flowering stage. Concentrations of Se and Zn, total phenolic content (TPC), total flavonoid content (TFC) and total antioxidant activity (ABTS, FRAP) of seeds were determined. Selenium treatments improved seed Se accumulation in both varieties dose-dependently (p < 0.001). Premium variety accumulated greater amounts of Se in seeds than Ambassador variety. Highest Se accumulation was found in seeds of Premium treated with 100 g Se/ha (7.84 mg/kg DW) vs. the control (0.16 mg/kg DW). Contrarily, seed Zn accumulation was not significantly affected by foliar-applied zinc oxide. Selenium and zinc treatments positively influenced TPC (p < 0.001) and in part ABTS (p = 0.004) and FRAP (p = 0.006) of Ambassador. The highest TPC was found in Ambassador treated with 100 g Se/ha and 750 g Zn/ha (2926 and 3221 mg/100 g DW, respectively) vs. the control (1737 mg/100 g DW). Selenium at 50 g/ha increased TFC vs. the control (261 vs. 151 mg/100 g DW) in Premium (2014 growing season, p = 0.023). Overall, the most pronounced effects that were found for both Se and Zn were improved total phenolic contents. The results are important for producing pea/pea products rich in health-beneficial bioactive plant compounds.

  • Open access
  • 55 Reads
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Health requires healthy food. Healthy foods are those that provides the nutrients need to sustain the body’s well-being and retain energy. Food are the substances consisting essentially of protein, carbohydrate, and fat used in the body of an organism to sustain growth, repair, and vital processes and to furnish energy. Ayurveda, the science of life gives a decisive place for food in healthy as well as diseased persons. Ayurveda narrates the influence of food in different stages of a disease such as in aetiology, manifestation, treatment as well as regimens that to be followed. There are so many categories of healthy food explained in Ayurvedic science. Most of them are plant origin.

Medicated porridge is the medicated rice soup which is an important dietary regimen told in Ayurvedic medicinal system. A special medicated rice named “Karkkidaka kanji” usually followed as a seasonal food regimen in Kerala especially in monsoon or rainy season (June to August). This medicated gruel contains more than 25 herbs, 9 pulses and cereals that helps in boosting one’s immunity. It supports as a detoxifying agent as well as a remedy for rheumatic disorder mainly occurs seasonally.

The ingredients of “karkkidaka kanji” includes shashtika shali (red rice), chandrashoora (garden cress), dasamoola churna (root of 10 medicinal plants), trikatu (3 pungent herbs), dasapushpa (10 herbal flowers), methika (fenugreek), jeera (cumin seed), coconut milk, jaggery and water. The properties of these herbal medicines make this gruel as a delectable, nutritious and medicated diet. The therapeutic effect of these drugs includes prevention of respiratory ailments, relieves arthritic pain & swelling, enhances digestion, reduces constipation, antipyretic, analgesic, stress relieving effect etc. Through the literary search related to these ingredients can establish the therapeutic effect of the traditional medicated porridge, “The Karkkidaka Kanji”.

  • Open access
  • 118 Reads
Optimization of pigment extraction from quinoa flour fermented by Monascus purpureus supplemented with sodium chloride

Monascus pigments as natural food dyes have been widely used in food industries around the world, and are known to provide antimutagenic properties, anticarcinogenic and antimicrobial activities and possible anti-obesity activities. Sodium chloride may contribute to the production of these beneficial secondary metabolites. The objectives of this study were: (1) To optimize the hydroethanol extraction of the pigments from quinoa flour fermented by M. purpureus; and (2) To establish a relationship to predict extract concentration (g/ml) by spectrophotometry of the hydroethanol extracts. The samples came from a solid-state fermentation of quinoa grains with M. purpureus supplemented with 0.5% sodium chloride (w/w) harvested on the eighth day. A Box-Behnken design (BBD) with a response surface model (RSM) were used to optimize the pigment extraction conditions of these flours. The extraction yield was 26.15±0.2607 under the optimized conditions (ethanol graduation of 50º, extraction temperature of 55ºC and ethanol: sample ratio of 40:1 (v/w). In addition, the best equation to predict extract concentration was linear and was attained by adding up absorbances measured at 400, 470 and 500 nm at a dilution of 1:6 (R2=0.958). This study demonstrated that the statistical design methodology was an efficient and feasible approach to determine the optimal conditions for the hydroethanol extraction of pigments from quinoa flour fermented by M. purpureus. Furthermore, a very useful equation for future predictions of extract concentrations was derived.

  • Open access
  • 25 Reads
Does cannabidiol (CBD) in food supplements pose a serious health risk? Consequences of the EFSA clock stop regarding novel food authorisation

At present, foods containing cannabidiol (CBD) and other cannabinoids are internationally being widely advertised and sold in increasing quantities. In the European Union (EU), these products require pre-marketing authorisation under the novel food regulation, so that all available CBD oils and CBD-containing food supplements in the EU are currently placed on the marked with an infringement of the food laws.

Currently, 19 CBD applications are under assessment at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). During the initial assessment of the application files, EFSA located several knowledge gaps that need to be addressed before the safety evaluation of CBD can be concluded. Namely, the effect of CBD on the liver, gastrointestinal tract, endocrine system, nervous system, psychological function, and reproductive system needs to be clarified. Literature was searched and reviewed, but no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) could be identified in both animal and human studies. However, lowest observed adverse effect levels (LOAEL) were available in animal studies, with the lowest LOAEL of 10 mg/kg bodyweight (bw) for liver toxicity being reported in a 39-week study in dogs with highly purified CBD. Human data in healthy volunteers found increases in the liver enzymes alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) in a study at 4.3 mg/kg bw/day [1]. The EFSA panel currently concluded that the safety of CBD as a novel food cannot be evaluated, leading to a so-called clock stop of the applications until the applicants provide the required data.

Meanwhile, the authors suggest that CBD products still available on the EU market despite the lack of authorisation must be considered as being a serious health risk. At least products in exceedance of the human LOAEL of 4.3 mg/kg bw/day should be considered as being unsafe (Article 14(1) and (2) (a) of the Basic Regulation [2]).


[1] EFSA NDA Panel. Statement on safety of cannabidiol as a novel food: data gaps and uncertainties. EFSA J. 2022, 20, 7322.

[2] European Parliament and Council. Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety. Off. J. EC, 2002, L031, 1-24.

  • Open access
  • 38 Reads
General Perspective and Assessment of the Potential of Utilizing Paraprobiotics in Food Products

Functional foods refer to the food conferring health advantages beyond their nutritional value and so the consumers’ interest is ever increasing. The probiotics, live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host, have often been used to produce functional foods, under favour of antioxidant, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, and hypercholesterolemia effects of probiotics. However, there is still a great challenge regarding their incorporation and survival in the food matrix. On the other hand, recent studies have emerged that paraprobiotics, non-viable microbial cells (intact or ruptured), or raw cellular extracts (with complex chemical composition), which when administered in adequate amounts, also confer some health benefits to the consumer. Paraprobiotics can be obtained by exposing probiotics to thermal or non-thermal treatments such as high pressure, sonication, ultraviolet rays, ionizing radiation, irradiation, pulsed electrical field, and supercritical CO2, due to destroying the viability of microorganisms by rupturing and/or damaging cell wall, cell membrane, DNA, and also inactivating enzymes, decreasing of intercellular pH, denaturing or changing the structure of proteins, nucleic acids, and ribosomes. Inactivation of the microorganism would lead to the release of some compounds like exopolysaccharides, peptidoglycans, and lipoteichoic acids which have numerous health benefits. Paraprobiotics have also many technological advantages like stability in a wide range of pH and temperatures, and no interaction with other components in the food matrix, which facilitate the industrial usage, commercialization, and extending the shelf life of food. Therefore, paraprobiotics are promising components and have a great potential for producing functional food products. However, researchers mainly focus on clinical studies. Hence there are limited studies regarding the potential of paraprobiotics as a food ingredient. In this regard, the following studies should focus on the optimization of different inactivation techniques together with different probiotic strains and concentrations in different food products.

  • Open access
  • 54 Reads
Adaptation of the INFOGEST digestion for the elderly population to assess sterol bioaccessibility in a plant sterol-enriched wholemeal rye bread

Fortification of foods with cholesterol-lowering agents such as plant sterols (PS) is allowed in Europe and could be of interest for the elderly, since aging may lead to higher cardiovascular risk. To date, no studies have analyzed how the gastrointestinal conditions of the elderly affect to PS bioaccessibility. Thus, this study evaluates the impact of adapting the standardized INFOGEST 2.0 method for the adult to the elderly physiological conditions on the bioaccessibility (BA) of PS-enriched wholemeal rye bread. For this purpose, changes in gastric or gastric and intestinal phase conditions (enzyme activity, pH, digestion time or agitation) were made. Compared to adult, only when gastric and intestinal phase conditions were modified, BA (%) decreased for individual (10.9-20.5 vs 19.5-36.3) and total PS (11.4 ± 1.7 vs. 20.5 ± 1.0), demonstrating that this reduction is due to intestinal phase modifications. However, the order of BA was not modified under none of the conditions tested, following the increasing rank: β-sitosterol, campesterol, Δ7-stigmasterol, sitostanol, Δ5,24, stigmastadienol, Δ5-avenasterol, Δ7avenasterol, stigmasterol and campestanol. This complex matrix very rich in fiber, such as wholemeal rye bread, may be responsible for the enzymatic reduction affecting PS solubility in the adapted digestion elderly model.