Publications

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    ABSTRACT: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the major causes of cancer death worldwide. The development of novel anti-CRC agents able to overcome drug resistance and/or off-target toxicity is of pivotal importance. The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) plays a critical role in CRC, regulating protein translation and controlling cell growth, proliferation, metabolism and survival. The aim of this study was to explore the effect of a combination of three natural compounds, eicosapentaenoic acid-free fatty acid (EPA-FFA), epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and proanthocyanidins (grape seed [GS] extract) at low cytotoxic concentrations on CRC cells and test their activity on mTOR and translational regulation. The CRC cell lines HCT116 and SW480 were treated for 24 h with combinations of EPA-FFA (0-150 μM), EGCG (0-175 μM) and GS extract (0-15 μM) to evaluate the effect on cell viability. The low cytotoxic combination of EPA-FFA 150 μM, EGCG 175 μM and GS extract 15 μM completely inhibited the mTOR signaling in HCT116 and SW480 cells, reaching an effect stronger than or comparable to that of the mTOR inhibitor Rapamycin in HCT116 or SW480 cells, respectively. Moreover, the treatment led to changes of protein translation of ribosomal proteins, c-Myc and cyclin D1. In addition, we found a reduction of clonal capability in both cell lines, with block of cell cycle in G0G1 and induction of apoptosis. Our data suggest that the low cytotoxic combination of EPA-FFA, EGCG and GS extract, tested for the first time here, inhibits mTOR signaling and thus could be considered for CRC treatment.
    Carcinogenesis 08/2014; · 5.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A wide variety of natural sources are under investigation to evaluate their possible use for new functional ingredient formulation. Some records attested the traditional and ancient use of wild harvested microalgae as human food but their cultivation for different purposes started about 40 years ago. The most popular species are Arthrospira (traditional name, Spirulina), Chlorella spp., Dunaliella spp. and Haematococcus spp. Microalgae provide a bewildering array of opportunities to develop healthier food products using innovative approaches and a number of different strategies. Compared to other natural sources of bioactive ingredients, microalgae have many advantages such as their huge biodiversity, the possibility to grow in arid land and with limited fresh water consumption and the flexibility of their metabolism, which could be adapted to produce specific molecules. All these factors led to very sustainable production making microalgae eligible as one of the most promising foods for the future, particularly as source of proteins, lipids and phytochemicals. In this work, a revision of the knowledge about the use of microalgae as food and as a source of functional ingredients has been performed. The most interesting results in the field are presented and commented upon, focusing on the different species of microalgae and the activity of the nutritionally relevant compounds. A summary of the health effects obtained together with pros and cons in the adoption of this natural source as functional food ingredients is also proposed.
    Food & Function 06/2014; · 2.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study aimed at elucidating the influence of food matrix on the release of antioxidant activity from five plant foods (apple, spinach, walnut, red beans and whole wheat). To this purpose a protocol based on sequential enzymatic digestion was adopted. The total antioxidant capacity (TAC) of solubilized and insoluble material were measured at each steps. Results showed that the overall TAC obtained by enzyme treatments was usually higher than that obtained by chemical extraction-based methods. In apple most of the TAC was released upon water washing and after pepsin treatment while in spinach, beans, and whole wheat the TAC released by treatments with bacterial enzymes was prominent. Walnut had the highest TAC value which was mainly released after pancreatin treatment. Therefore the enzyme treatment is fundamental to estimate the overall potential TAC of foods having a high amount of polyphenols bound to dietary fiber or entrapped in the food matrix.
    Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 04/2014; · 2.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Inflammatory bowel diseases are associated with increased risk of developing colitis-associated colorectal cancer (CAC). Epidemiological data show that the consumption of ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 PUFAs) decreases the risk of sporadic colorectal cancer (CRC). Importantly, recent data have shown that eicosapentaenoic acid-free fatty acid (EPA-FFA) reduces polyp formation and growth in models of familial adenomatous polyposis. However, the effects of dietary EPA-FFA are unknown in CAC. We tested the effectiveness of substituting EPA-FFA, for other dietary fats, in preventing inflammation and cancer in the AOM-DSS model of CAC. The AOM-DSS protocols were designed to evaluate the effect of EPA-FFA on both initiation and promotion of carcinogenesis. We found that EPA-FFA diet strongly decreased tumor multiplicity, incidence and maximum tumor size in the promotion and initiation arms. Moreover EPA-FFA, in particular in the initiation arm, led to reduced cell proliferation and nuclear β-catenin expression, whilst it increased apoptosis. In both arms, EPA-FFA treatment led to increased membrane switch from ω-6 to ω-3 PUFAs and a concomitant reduction in PGE2 production. We observed no significant changes in intestinal inflammation between EPA-FFA treated arms and AOM-DSS controls. Importantly we found that EPA-FFA treatment restored the loss of Notch signaling found in the AOM-DSS control and resulted in the enrichment of Lactobacillus species in the gut microbiota. Taken together, our data suggest that EPA-FFA is an excellent candidate for CRC chemoprevention in colitis-associated colorectal cancer. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    International Journal of Cancer 03/2014; · 6.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper a new targeted metabolic profile approach using Orbitrap High Resolution Mass Spectrometry was described. For each food matrix various classes of bioactive compounds and some specific metabolites of interest were selected on the basis of the existing knowledge creating an easy-to-read fingerprinting named “FancyTiles”. The procedure resulted in a plot of semi-quantitative data allowed to highlight for each food the main metabolites related to the biological or sensorial attributes within an educated schema. Results showed that the FancyTile procedure is an useful tool for research programs aiming at improving the health potential of food and ingredients. In this paper the FancyTile was described and it was successfully applied to verify the differences in the metabolic profile. Olive oils from different cultivars, waste mill waters from olive grown in different location and artichokes cultivated with different agronomical practices was used as case study.
    Food Research International. 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The effects of nutrient or sodium chloride (NaCl) salinity on pepper grown in closed soilless culture systems were studied. A control (2 dS m−1) and two saline nutrient solutions (4 dS m−1) differing in the salt sources (fertilizers or NaCl) were studied. Shoot biomass production as well as total and marketable yield were more affected by NaCl than nutrient salinity. Fruit dry matter and total soluble solids increased in both salinity treatments compared to the control. Total phenol content rose slightly (10%) with NaCl salinity, while the concentration of carotenoids was enhanced by 40% with NaCl compared to the control and nutrient salinity. The results showed that the response of pepper to salinity is both osmotic and ion specific, but a more negative effect was recorded under NaCl stress. Moreover, the highest content of antioxidant compounds in NaCl treated fruits may indicate that NaCl caused more stressful conditions than nutrient salinity.
    Journal of Plant Nutrition 01/2014; · 0.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this chapter is to provide a brief overview of the recent results of studies on extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and its interactions with other food ingredients during cooking, to highlight basic molecular aspects of the "magic" of EVOO and its role in Mediterranean gastronomy. The use of raw EVOO added to foods after cooking (or as a salad oil) is the best way to express the original flavour and to maximize the intake of natural antioxidants and compounds related to positive effects on human health (hypotensive, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancerogenic, among others). EVOO, however, also exhibits its protective properties during/after cooking. Different chemical interactions between biophenolic compounds and other food ingredients (water, milk proteins, carotenoids of tomato, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in canned-in-oil fish and meat or fish proteins) occur. Even during cooking, EVOO exhibits strong antioxidant properties and influences the overall flavour of cooked foods. The physical (partitioning, emulsion) and chemical (hydrolysis, covalent binding, antioxidant properties) phenomena occurring during cooking of EVOO are discussed with emphasis on the changes in the sensory (bitterness and fruity flavour) and nutritional qualities of some traditional Mediterranean foods. In particular, tomato-oil interactions during cooking, fish canning in EVOO, meat marinated in EVOO before cooking and roasting and frying in EVOO are examined. The interactions between EVOO antioxidants and flavours with milk proteins are also briefly discussed.
    Cancer treatment and research 01/2014; 159:325-338.
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    Antonio Dario Troise, Alberto Fiore, Vincenzo Fogliano
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    ABSTRACT: Acrylamide detection still represents one of the hottest topics in food chemistry. Solid phase cleanup coupled to liquid chromatography separation and tandem mass spectrometry detection along with GC-MS detection are nowadays the gold standard procedure for acrylamide quantitation thanks to high reproducibility, good recovery, and low relative standard deviation. High-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) is particularly suitable for the detection of low molecular weight amides, and it can provide some analytical advantages over other MS techniques. In this paper a liquid chromatography (LC) method for acrylamide determination using HRMS detection was developed and compared to LC coupled to tandem mass spectrometry. The procedure applied a simplified extraction, no cleanup steps, and a 4 min chromatography. It proved to be solid and robust with an acrylamide mass accuracy of 0.7 ppm, a limit of detection of 2.65 ppb, and a limit of quantitation of 5 ppb. The method was tested on four acrylamide-containing foods: cookies, French fries, ground coffee, and brewed coffee. Results were perfectly in line with those obtained by LC-MS/MS.
    Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 12/2013; · 2.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Coffee consumption is inversely related to the degree of liver injury in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Molecular mediators contributing to coffee's beneficial effects in NAFLD remain to be elucidated. In this study, we administrated decaffeinated espresso coffee or vehicle to rats fed an high-fat diet (HFD) for 12 weeks and examined the effects of coffee on liver injury by using two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis 2D-PAGE proteomic analysis combined with mass spectrometry. Rats fed an HFD and water developed panacinar steatosis, lobular inflammation, and mild fibrosis, whereas rats fed an HFD and coffee exhibited only mild steatosis. Coffee consumption increased liver expression of the endoplasmic reticulum chaperones glucose-related protein 78 and protein disulfide-isomerase A3; similarly, coffee drinking enhanced the expression of the mitochondrial chaperones heat stress protein 70 and DJ-1. Furthermore, in agreement with reduced hepatic levels of 8-isoprostanes and 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine, proteomic analysis showed that coffee consumption induces the expression of master regulators of redox status (ie, peroxiredoxin 1, glutathione S-transferase α2, and D-dopachrome tautomerase). Last, proteomics revealed an association of coffee intake with decreased expression of electron transfer flavoprotein subunit α, a component of the mitochondrial respiratory chain, involved in de novo lipogenesis. In this study, we were able to identify by proteomic analysis the stress proteins mediating the antioxidant effects of coffee; moreover, we establish for the first time the contribution of specific coffee-induced endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondrial chaperones ensuring correct protein folding and degradation in the liver.
    Translational research : the journal of laboratory and clinical medicine. 12/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Cooking induced many chemical and physical modifications in foods: among them also phytochemicals content can change. Many authors studied variations in vegetable nutrients after cooking, and great data variability was reported. In this review more than one-hundred articles from indexed scientific journals were considered in order to assess the effect of cooking on different phytochemical classes. Phytochemical changes upon cooking may result from two opposite phenomena: the thermal degradation reducing their concentration, and the matrix softening effect which increased phytochemical extractability resulting in a higher concentration respect to the raw material. The final effect of cooking on phytochemical concentration depends on the processing parameters, the structure of food matrix, the chemical nature of the specific compound. Looking at the different cooking procedure it can be concluded that steaming will ensure a better preservation/extraction yield of phenols and glucosinolates than other cooking methods: steamed tissues are not into direct contact with cooking material (water or oil) so the leaching of soluble compounds in water is minimized and at the same time thermal degradation is limited. Carotenoids showed a different behavior: a positive effect on extraction and the solubilization of carotenes were reported after severe processing.
    Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 11/2013; · 1.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Virgin olive oil (VOO) is the pillar fat of Mediterranean diet. It is made from olive fruits and obtained by squeezing olives without any solvent extraction. Respect to the seed oils, an unique polar polyphenol-rich fraction gives to VOO a bitter and pungent taste. The recent substantiation by European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) of a health claim for VOO polyphenols, may represent an efficient stimulus to get the maximum health benefit from one of the most valuable traditional product of Mediterranean countries educating consumers to the relationship between the VOO bitterness and its health effect. Agronomical practices and new processing technology to avoid phenolic oxidation and hydrolysis and to enhance the aromatic components of the VOO have been developed and they can be used to modulate taste and flavour to diversify the products on the market. VOOs having high concentration of phenol compounds are bitter and pungent therefore many people do not consume them, thus loosing the health benefits related to their intake. In this paper the chemist's and nutritionist's points of view have been considered to address possible strategies to overcome the existing gap between the quality perceived by consumer and that established by expert tasters. Educational campaigns emphasizing the bitter-health link for olive oils should be developed.
    Critical reviews in food science and nutrition. 10/2013;
  • Veronika Somoza, Vincenzo Fogliano
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    Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 10/2013; · 2.91 Impact Factor
  • Ecem Evrim Celik, Vural Gökmen, Vincenzo Fogliano
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    ABSTRACT: This study aimed to investigate the regeneration potential of antioxidant capacity of insoluble food matrix. Investigations were performed in vitro with several food matrices rich in dietary fiber (DF) and bound antioxidants. After removing soluble fraction, antioxidant capacity (AC) of insoluble fraction was measured by the QUENCHER procedure using ABTS•+ or DPPH• radicals. After measurement, the insoluble residue was washed out to remove the excess of radicals, and treated with pure antioxidant solution or antioxidant-rich beverage to regenerate depleted antioxidants on the fiber. Results revealed that the antioxidant capacity of compounds chemically bound to insoluble moiety could be reconstituted in the presence of other hydrogen donating substances in liquid phase. Regeneration efficiency was found to range between 21.5% and 154.3% depending on the type of insoluble food matrix and regeneration agent. Among the food matrices studied, cereal products were found to have slightly higher regeneration efficiency, while antioxidant-rich beverages were more effective than pure antioxidants as regeneration agents. Taking wheat bran as reference insoluble material, the regeneration abilities of beverages were in the following order: green tea > espresso coffee> black tea > instant coffee > orange juice > red wine. These results highlighted the possible physiological relevance of antioxidants bound to the insoluble food material in gastrointestinal tract. During the digestion process they could react with the free radicals and at the same time they can be regenerated by other soluble antioxidant compounds present in the meal.
    Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 10/2013; · 2.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Radio frequency (RF) heating has been used for numerous applications in the food industry such as baking, thawing or pasteurisation. It reduces cooking time, and it helps to retain acceptable food colour and texture. In this paper, chemical and sensory data obtained from broccoli, potatoes, salmon and cocoa cakes cooked using an innovative RF oven were reported. The oven has an algorithm able to monitor the energy feedback from the cavity and to adjust the energy output accordingly. The different foods were cooked to the same end point and the concentration of phytochemicals, vitamins and acrylamide were assessed. Results demonstrated that RF oven preserved ascorbic acid and increased glucosinolates concentration in broccoli and it decreased the formation of acrylamide in roasted potatoes more than 50%. The total amount of vitamins B was 30% and 50% higher in RF cooked salmon than conventionally cooked salmon prepared at 55 and 75°C, respectively.
    Food Chemistry 08/2013; 139(1-4):515-20. · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper artichoke phenolic pattern was characterized using an Orbitrap Exactive Mass Spectrometer at high mass accuracy and conventional HPLC MS/MS. Twenty four phenolic acids and 40 flavonoids were identified, many of them not previously reported in artichoke. Variations in phenolic compounds were investigated in relation to mycorrhization: results showed that inoculation with mycorrhizae greatly influences metabolite profile proving to be a good strategy to enhance the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites in this plant. This practice also caused a different distribution of the main phenolic compounds within head parts. Both steaming and microwaving cooking treatments caused an increase in antioxidant activity: the lower the initial concentration the higher the effect. A similar trend was observed looking at the phenolic compounds concentration: it increased because of cooking treatments the lower the initial content, the highest the increase. Steamed artichoke showed higher phenols content than microwaved ones.
    Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 07/2013; · 2.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this study the antioxidant composition of fresh and stored strawberries and the bioavailability of the main strawberry bioactive compounds were determined in humans. In addition we have investigated plasma total antioxidant capacity. On 13 healthy volunteers, blood samples were collected before and after acute ingestion of fresh and stored strawberries, 300 g respectively. Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Power (FRAP) values after consumption of fresh and stored strawberries showed a significant increase (P < 0.05) at 5 and 8 hours time interval, while significantly decreased TRAP (Total Radical-Trapping Antioxidant Parameter) values (P < 0.05) were found at 8 hours respect to baseline after stored strawberries consumption. After consuming fresh strawberries, plasma levels of -carotene increased significantly (P < 0.05) respect to stored ones. Moreover, consumption of fresh and stored strawberries resulted in a significant increase of vitamin C at 2, 3 and 5 hours (P < 0.05). The bioavailable amount of strawberries antioxidant compounds reflects the variations observed in fresh and stored fruits. We could summarize that the global food quality is related to both native quantity of bioactive compounds and storage treatments.
  • Vincenzo Fogliano, Inès Birlouez-Aragon
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    ABSTRACT: A graphical abstract is available for this content
    Food & function. 06/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Studies of the molecular basis of microbial metabolic activities that are important for the changes in food quality are valuable in order to help in understanding the behavior of spoiling bacteria in food. The growth of a psychrotrophic Serratia proteamaculans strain was monitored in vitro and in artificially inoculated raw beef. Two growth temperatures (25°C and 4°C) were tested in vitro, while growth at 15°C and 4°C was monitored in beef. During growth, the expression of inducible lysine and ornithine-decarboxylase genes was evaluated by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR), while the presence of cadaverine and putrescine was quantified by LC-ESI-MS/MS. The expression of the decarboxylase genes, and the consequent production of cadaverine and putrescine were shown to be influenced by the temperature, as well as by the complexity of the growth medium. Generally, the maximum gene expression and amine production took place during the exponential and early stationary phase, respectively. In addition, lower temperatures caused slower growth and gene downregulation. Higher amounts of cadaverine compared to putrescine were found during growth in beef with the highest concentrations corresponding to microbial loads of ca. 9CFU/g. The differences found in gene expression evaluated in vitro and in beef suggested that such activities are more reliably investigated in situ in specific food matrices.
    International journal of food microbiology 06/2013; 165(3):332-338. · 3.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fructosamines, also known as Amadori products, are formed by the condensation of glucose with the amino group of amino acids or proteins. These compounds are precursors of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) that can be formed either endogenously during aging and diabetes, and exogenously in heat-processed food. The negative effects of dietary AGEs on human health as well as their negative impact on the quality of dairy products have been widely described, therefore specific tools able to prevent the formation of glycation products are needed. Two fructosamine oxidase enzymes isolated from Aspergillus sp. namely, Faox I and Faox II catalyze the oxidative deglycation of Amadori products representing a potential tool for inhibiting the Maillard reaction in dairy products. In this paper, the ability of recombinant Faox I and II in limiting the formation of carboxy-methyl lysine (CML) and protein-bound hydroxymethyl furfurol (b-HMF) in a commercial UHT low lactose milk and a beta-lactoglobulin (β-LG) glucose model system was investigated. Results show a consistent reduction of CML and b-HMF under all conditions. Faox effects were particularly evident on b-HMF formation in low lactose commercial milk. Peptide analysis of the β-LG glucose system identified some peptides, derived from cyanogen bromide hydrolysis, as suitable candidates to monitor Faox action in milk-based products. All in all data suggested that non-enzymatic reactions in dairy products might be strongly reduced by implementing Faox enzymes.
    Amino Acids 04/2013; · 3.91 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Hepatology 04/2013; 58:S91. · 9.86 Impact Factor

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