Plant Foods for Human Nutrition

Published by Springer Nature
Online ISSN: 1573-9104
Learn more about this page
Recent publications
Protein content of fresh and dried rosemary leaves
Fresh and dried rosemary leaves (a) Phosphorus, (b) Potassium, (c) Calcium, (d) Magnesium, (e) Sodium, (f) Iron, (g) Copper, (h) Manganese, and (i) Zinc content
Article
  • Aslihan YilmazAslihan Yilmaz
  • Ilknur AlibasIlknur Alibas
In the study, we examined in detail the effect of dehydrating using natural drying in the shade, convection drying, and microwave drying, which are the most widely used techniques, especially for tea and spices, both in practice and in theory, on the protein, and mineral composition of rosemary leaves. Also, we determined the color parameters, which are the reason for the selection because it creates the allure for spices. In microwave drying at 600 W, we obtained results close to fresh rosemary in all color parameters, especially brightness and greenness. Although natural drying, which does not have any energy and investment costs, is the second-best method in terms of color, 50 °C, which is the most common drying technique in the market, caused significant color losses affecting the commercial value of the product. We reached the closest protein and P, Ca, Mg, Fe, Zn, Mn, and contents to fresh products in dried ones at 600 W. In contrast, in K only, the highest measurement was at 200 W. Strikingly, we observed dramatic losses reducing the benefit obtained from the product regarding protein and almost all nutrients in both convective and natural drying techniques, the most common methods in practice.
 
Enzyme type, pH, temperature and time conditions found in static and dynamic in vitro digestion methods suitable for study starch digestibility in infants
Article
Complementary feeding starts at around six months of age because neither breast milk nor formula assure the proper nutrition of infants. Therefore, along with breast milk, solid foods are gradually introduced, particularly cereal-based foods, which will provide starch as a new source of energy and nutrients. As a result, the need of an adequate in vitro digestion method to study the influence of different aspects of weaning period is unquestionable. This critical review summarizes the in vitro digestion methods available for the analysis of starch hydrolysis under infant conditions considering different features, namely, starch digestion, infant digestive conditions and in vitro models suitable for the study of starch digestion (static, semi-dynamic and dynamic). Key factors such as enzyme concentrations, transit time, oral, gastric and intestinal conditions and differences with current adult models, have been addressed. The need for standardized infant digestion models adapted to the complementary feeding period was discussed. Existing literature data demonstrate that more effort has to be done to improve the research on this issue, in order to obtain comparable results that would address a better understanding of the digestibility of different food nutrients under infant conditions facilitating the development of appropriate formulations that may assure proper infant nutrition.
 
Encapsulation efficiency (EE) of total phenolic compounds (TPC), quercetin (Q), and kaempferol (K) for the three employed wall materials. Different letters for each group indicate significant differences (p ≤ 0.05)
Degradation kinetics of (a) total phenolic content (TPC), (b) quercetin (Q), (c) kaempferol (K), and (d) antioxidant capacity (AOC) in the three powders during the accelerated shelf-life test. For Q and K a 1st-order fitting was proposed (p < 0.0001 for all regressions)
Effect of TtMP on small intestine contractility. (A) Ileal inhibitory neuromuscular response induced by TtMP or TtME. (B) Ileal neuromuscular excitatory response induced by 10 Hz electrical field stimulation after 15 min-incubation with TtMP or TtME. Data are reported as mean ± SE. n = 12/experimental group. *** p < 0.001; TtMP: Tilia tomentosa Moench powder; TtME: Tilia tomentosa Moench extract
Article
Silver linden ( Tilia tomentosa Moench, TtM ) flowers possess several health-promoting properties, especially at the neurological level, such as intestinal relaxation activity associated with specific flavonols, particularly quercetin and kaempferol derivatives. However, such molecules are susceptible to degradation upon different triggers like heat, light and extreme pH values. To overcome the scarce stability of TtM flowers bioactive molecules and make them suitable for developing functional food and supplements, we applied microencapsulation. Spray-drying microencapsulation of TtM flowers extract was performed using three starch-derived wall materials: maltodextrin 12 DE (MD12) and 19 DE (MD19), and OSA-modified starch (OSA-S). The stability of total phenols, flavanols, and antioxidant capacity was monitored for 70 days under accelerated stress conditions (40 °C/70% RH) by HPLC and spectrophotometric methods, and the intestinal contractile activity was tested in a murine model. In comparison to MD12 and MD19, OSA-S stood out for the higher encapsulation efficiency of quercetin and kaempferol glycosides (+ 36–47% compared to MD12 and + 18–24% compared to MD19) and stability thereof (half-life on average + 30% compared to MD12 and + 51% compared to MD19). The intestinal contractile activity of OAS-S powders resulted comparable to the original extract, indicating that flavonols were biologically active and accessible. Our results underly the potential advantages of OSA-S encapsulated formulation as a functional ingredient for the development of nutraceutical products.
 
Scheme of treatment in the oxidative stress model induced by acrylamide. Schematic representation of treatments made in https://biorender.com/ (accessed on 14 June 2022)
Chromatogram of UHPLC–ESI–MS/MS analysis of LAqE-RM presenting the main substances of each class
Article
Lepidium meyenii Walp (red maca) is a high Andean plant cultivated since the Incas and has innumerable therapeutic properties. The study aims to identify its phytochemical composition using UHPLC-ESI-MS/MS, and evaluate its effects on acrylamide-induced oxidative stress. The lyophilized aqueous extract of red maca (LAqE-RM) was orally administered in doses of 1 and 2 g/kg body weight for 4 weeks. Malondialdehyde (MDA) levels in erythrocytes, brain, and liver, as well as hepatic levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) were determined. Administration of acrylamide for 2 and 4 weeks significantly increased (p < 0.001) MDA levels in erythrocytes, brain, and liver. However, LAqE-RM prevented (p < 0.001) an increase in MDA levels in all tissues studied. Likewise, the groups treated with LAqE-RM presented significantly (p < 0.001) lower levels of ALT and AST compared to the control. Treatment with LAqE-RM ameliorated the acrylamide-induced oxidative stress by reducing MDA levels in erythrocytes, brain, and liver and by lowering liver levels of ALT and AST in a dose-dependent manner. Twenty-five secondary metabolites were identified and characterized from LAqE-RM based on UHPLC mass
 
Dopaminergic degeneration induced by 6-OHDA is rescued in the presence of an extracellular Zn²⁺ chelator TH immunostaining with Alexa Fluor 633 fluorescence was determined in the SNpc surrounded by the white dotted line (left). Scale bar; 200 µm. Each bar and line represent the ratio of Alexa Fluor 633 fluorescence in the ipsilateral SNpc to Alexa Fluor 633 fluorescence in the contralateral SNpc, which was expressed as 100% (right). Control, n = 6; 6-OHDA, n = 4, 6-OHDA + CaEDTA, n = 3. *, p < 0.05, vs. control; ##, p < 0.01, vs. 6-OHDA (Tukey test)
Increase in intracellular Zn²⁺ induced by 6-OHDA is rescued in the presence of coriander Intracellular ZnAF-2 fluorescence was determined in the SNpc surrounded by the white dotted line (upper). Scale bar; 200 µm. Each bar and line represent the ratio of ZnAF-2 fluorescence to the control ZnAF-2 fluorescence, which was expressed as 100% (lower). Control, n = 4; 6-OHDA, n = 7; 6-OHDA + coriander, n = 6. *, p < 0.05, vs. control; ##, p < 0.01, vs. 6-OHDA (Tukey test)
Dopaminergic degeneration induced by 6-OHDA is rescued in the presence of coriander TH immunostaining with Alexa Fluor 633 fluorescence was determined in the SNpc surrounded by the white dotted line (left). Scale bar; 200 µm. Each bar and line represent the ratio of Alexa Fluor 633 fluorescence in the ipsilateral SNpc to Alexa Fluor 633 fluorescence in the contralateral SNpc, which was expressed as 100% (right). Control, n = 6; 6-OHDA, n = 4; 6-OHDA + coriander, n = 4. **, p < 0.01, vs. Control; #, p < 0.05, vs. 6-OHDA (Tukey test)
Increase in ROS induced by 6-OHDA is rescued in the presence of coriander Intracellular APF fluorescence was determined in the SNpc surrounded by the white dotted line (upper). Scale bar; 200 µm. Each bar and line represent the ratio of APF fluorescence to the control APF fluorescence, which was expressed as 100% (lower). Control, n = 9; 6-OHDA, n = 8; coriander, n = 10. *, p < 0.05, vs. control. ##, p < 0.01, vs. 6-OHDA (Tukey test)
Article
Coriandrum sativum L. (coriander), which is an annual herb of the Apiaceae family, has been traditionally used as a remedy. Here we tested whether heated extract of coriander leaf protects nigral dopaminergic neurodegeneration after exposure to 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA). After injection of 6-OHDA into the rat substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc), dopaminergic degeneration, which was determined by tyrosine hydroxylase immunostaining, was rescued by co-injection of CaEDTA, an extracellular Zn²⁺ chelator, suggesting that extracellular Zn²⁺ influx is involved in neurodegeneration. Both intracellular Zn²⁺ dysregulation determined by ZnAF-2 fluorescence and dopaminergic degeneration in the SNpc induced by 6-OHDA were rescued by co-injection of 0.25% coriander extract, which also reduced reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in the SNpc determined by aminophenyl fluorescein fluorescence. The present study suggests that coriander leaf extract protects nigral dopaminergic neurodegeneration induced by intracellular Zn²⁺ dysregulation. It is likely that the nutraceutical property of coriander leaf extract contributes to the protection via reducing ROS production.
 
Study design and methodology
Percentage change from baseline for the levels of insulin, leptin, IL-6 and IL-10 of study participants
Article
Matcha tea has been used as an adjunct in weight loss programs. The weight loss effects of matcha tea were evaluated in a prospective non-randomized open-label comparative study of overweight and obese individuals who followed a specified low-calorie diet (LCD) plan. A total of 40 participants were enrolled and assigned to either matcha tea or control groups. The matcha tea group followed a LCD plan and received matcha tea once daily, whereas the control group followed only the LCD diet plan. The study lasted 12 weeks. The main outcome measures included anthropometric measurements, fasting blood glucose, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), lipid profile, obesity-related hormone peptides, pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines, and oxidative stress biomarkers. Thirty-four participants had completed the study. The matcha tea and control groups showed significant reductions in body weight, body mass index, waist circumference, water content, minerals, and fat mass at week 12. The post-treatment body composition and anthropometric measurements were not significantly different between the two groups. The matcha tea group showed a potential increase in HDL-C, a potential decrease in blood glucose, and a potential increase in HbA1c. Furthermore, the study indicated a potential decrease in insulin and leptin levels, a potential increase in the activity of superoxide dismutase, and a potential decreased activity of glutathione peroxidase. IL-10 was increased by matcha tea consumption. The data suggest that matcha tea may have some potential effect on weight loss, along with anti-inflammatory properties. The findings of this study will be used to design a multicenter randomized clinical trial to examine the potential weight loss benefits of matcha tea.
 
a SDS-PAGE of boiled alimentary lentil pasta, boiled lentil seeds, and boiling water samples; (b) detection of IgE reactivity by western blot and ELISA using a serum pool from patients with allergic sensitization to lentil; (c) detection of the allergens 7S globulin by western blot and ELISA; (d) detection of the allergens LTP by western blot and ELISA; (e) detection of the allergens PR-10 by western blot and ELISA. For ELISAs results, ANOVA was used to analyze the statistical significances. ns, not significant; * p < 0.05; ** p < 0.01
Article
There is growing interest in legumes such as lentil as healthy ingredients in gluten-free products. In that respect, foods based on lentils, like alimentary pasta, have been produced and successfully commercialized in recent years. Lentils are also known for inducing severe allergic reactions; however, it is currently unknown if novel alimentary pasta based on lentil retains the same allergenic potential as lentil seeds. In this study, the allergenic content of alimentary lentil pasta compared with lentil seeds was analyzed by immunoassays using sera from patients with allergic sensitization to lentil or with specific antibodies that recognize major lentil allergens. The effect of boiling processing was also analyzed. Results showed that alimentary lentil pasta has a significant allergenic content close to the general allergenic content observed for lentil seeds. Both alimentary lentil pasta and lentil seeds were similarly affected by boiling, with an important transfer of allergens from the food to the boiling water. This study shows that alimentary pasta made of lentils has a significant allergenic potential and highlights the necessity to analyze the allergenic content of new foods and novel ingredients introduced in traditional food products.
 
Article
Two flavonols quercetin and myricetin were assessed for their in vitro activities to attenuate the acrylamide-induced cytotoxicity and barrier loss in rat intestinal epithelial (IEC-6) cells and to identify whether heat treatment of the flavonols might cause activity changes. The results showed that the flavonols could alleviate the acrylamide-caused cell injury, resulting in higher cell viability, lower lactate dehydrogenase release, and less formation of reactive oxygen species. Meanwhile, the flavonols could antagonize the acrylamide-induced barrier dysfunction via decreasing the paracellular permeability, increasing the transepithelial resistance of cell monolayer, and enhancing the expression of three tight junction proteins namely occludin, claudin-1, and zonula occludens-1. The flavonols also could down-regulate the expression of JNK/Src proteins and thus cause lower relative protein ratios of p-JNK/JNK and p-Src/Src, resulting in a suppressed JNK/Src activation. Totally, quercetin was more potent than myricetin to exert these assessed activities, while the heated flavonols obtained lower activity than the unheated ones. It is thus concluded that the flavonols had beneficial activities towards the intestinal epithelial cells with acrylamide exposure by alleviating the acrylamide-induced cytotoxicity and barrier disruption, while heat treatment of the flavonols was unfavorable because it led to a reduced flavonol activity to the cells.
 
Article
Phenolic compounds in camu-camu (Myrciaria dubia) have received interest due to their health-promoting effects. However, these compounds have been poorly investigated in the different parts of the camu-camu fruit (pulp, peel, and seeds). This study aimed to optimize the solvent composition for extraction of phenolic compounds from pulp, peels, and seeds of camu-camu through a simplex-centroid mixture design. Then, the profile of phenolic compounds in samples of camu-camu pulp, peels, and seeds from different regions in Brazil and South America was determined by UPLC-ESI-MS/MS. Aqueous ethanol (80%, v/v) yielded the highest extraction for the pulp and peel, while aqueous methanol (50%, v/v) was selected for the seed. Camu-camu parts had p-coumaric acid, catechin, epicatechin, luteolin, rutin, and quercetin, with catechin as the major compound in the pulp, peels, and seeds of all the evaluated samples. The peel showed lower concentrations of these compounds compared with the pulp and the seed; the content of phenolic compounds also differed according to the geographic region. These results broaden the knowledge on phytochemical extraction and composition of camu-camu pulp, peel, and seed and may guide future applications of their extracts in the food industry.
 
Article
Bread is a commonly consumed staple and could be a viable medium to deliver plant-based ingredients that demonstrate health effects. This review brings together published evidence on the bioactive properties of bread formulated with plant-based ingredients. Health effects associated with the consumption of bread formulated with plant-based functional ingredients was also reviewed. Bioactive properties demonstrated by the functional ingredients fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts and tea incorporated into bread include increased phenolic and polyphenolic content, increased antioxidant activity, and extension of bread shelf-life by impairment of lipid and protein oxidation. Acute health effects reported included appetite suppression, reduced diastolic blood pressure, improvements in glycaemia, insulinaemia and satiety effect. These metabolic effects are mainly short lived and not enough for a health claim. Longer term studies or comparison of those who consume and those who do not are needed. The incorporation of plant-based functional ingredients in bread could enhance the health-promoting effects of bread.
 
The inhibition of HCC cell growth by Crithmum maritimum (CM) ethyl acetate extracts in HCC cells (a-c) is associated with stimulation of OXPHOS (b-d), increase of oligomycin sensitivity (e-f) and a reduction of lactic fermentation (g-h). See text for more details. Data reported are representative of three independent experiments performed in duplicate. ns not significant, **p < 0.01, *** p < 0.001. Basal = Basal cellular respiration value; ATP dependent = Basal–Oligomycin values; Max uncoupling carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone (CCCP) = CCCP value; Respiratory reserve = CCCP–Antimycin A value
Article
In the past few years, evidence has supported the role of plants as a valuable tool for the development of promising therapeutic support options for many diseases, including cancer. We recently discovered that the edible wild plant Crithmum maritimum L. effectively inhibits the growth of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells and we provide insights into the biological mechanisms involved. Here, we aimed to characterize the effect of ethyl acetate extract of Crithmum maritimum on the bioenergetic phenotype of HCC cells and if this is associated with the anti-tumour effect we previously described. Results show that Crithmum maritimum significantly increases cellular respiration and reduces lactic fermentation in HCC cells, and that this reduction of the fermentative glycolytic phenotype is linked to inhibition of HCC growth. These data provide new preclinical evidence supporting the role of Crithmum maritimum L. as a nutraceutical option to expand the therapeutic opportunities in the management of HCC.
 
Article
Fruit and fruit juices are a valuable source of bioactive compounds, which can protect our organisms from oxidative stress. The phenolic compounds and other phytochemicals may affect the antimicrobial properties of juices. The aim of this study has been to evaluate antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of selected berry juices and vitamin C-rich fruit juices. The research material was composed of seven juices, including three from berries (elderberry chokeberry, cranberry), three from vitamin C-rich fruit (sea buckthorn, wild rose, Japanese quince) and one exotic juice from noni fruit. Antioxidant capacity, total polyphenol, total flavonoid and total anthocyanin content were determined. Furthermore, the antimicrobial activity and the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) as well as the minimal bactericidal concentration (MBC) were evaluated. The research showed that fruit juices from wild rose, chokeberry and Japanese quince had the highest antioxidant capacity. These juices were characterised by the rich content of polyphenols. Elderberry and chokeberry juices had the highest total anthocyanins. The juices differed in the content of bioactive compounds and specific bactericidal properties against Gram-positive or Gram-negative bacteria. Fruit juices from cranberry, Japanese quince and sea buckthorn had the highest antimicrobial activity. Wild rose, chokeberry and elderberry juices, despite their high antioxidant properties, showed antimicrobial activity only against Gram-positive strains, except Enterococcus faecalis and Clostridium perfringens . Significant differences in the content of bioactive compounds in fruit juices affect the antimicrobial properties juices.
 
Flow diagram of the study screening process
Risk of bias assessment in included studies. a: Rob-2 tool; b: Newcastle–Ottawa Scale; c: ROBIN-I tool
Quantitative analysis. Effect of yerba mate consumption on final lipid levels. a: total cholesterol; b: LDL-C; c: HDL-C; d: triglycerides. Fixed or random effects mean difference, 95% confidence intervals (CI) and I.² statistics. MD: mean difference; SD: standard deviation; TC: total cholesterol; TG: triglycerides
Meta-regression analysis. The effect on final lipid levels was adjusted for baseline lipid differences. a: total cholesterol; b: LDL-C; c: HDL-C; d: triglycerides
Funnel plot to assess publication bias. a: total cholesterol; b: LDL-C; c: HDL-C; d: triglycerides
Article
Several studies have evaluated the lipid-lowering properties of yerba mate, although the results were conflicting. The objective of this systematic review was to assess the effect of yerba mate consumption on lipid levels. A literature search was performed to detect observational and experimental studies that evaluated the association between yerba mate consumption and lipid levels. A quantitative analysis was performed with the subgroup of experimental studies. A meta-regression was performed considering the difference in baseline lipid values between the intervention and control groups as a covariate. Thirteen studies were considered eligible for this systematic review and seven studies (378 patients) were selected for quantitative analysis. In the qualitative analysis, the results were conflicting, both in the observational and in the experimental studies. In quantitative analysis, we found no differences in total cholesterol [mean difference 6.4 (CI 95% -2.2 to 15.0)], LDL-C [mean difference 5.5 (CI 95% - 1.5 to 12.6)], HDL-C [mean difference 0.4 (CI 95% -2.8 to 3.7)] and triglycerides [mean difference 5.7 (CI 95% 0.0 to 11.4)] levels when comparing the yerba mate and control groups. According to meta-regression, differences between baseline levels could influence the findings on total cholesterol and LDL-C but not on HDL-C or triglycerides. In conclusion, this research showed that yerba mate consumption was not associated with a significant change in lipid levels. Since the results are based on small inconclusive studies, more research is needed to confirm these findings.
 
Effect of Phaseolus vulgaris L. bean leaves on weight per week. Values are the mean ± SD (n = 9). ANOVA and the Duncan posthoc analysis were performed, and significant differences of *p ≤ 0.05 for H versus S, and H versus HBL were identified. S = standard diet, SBL = S + 10% FME bean leaves, H = high-fat/high-fructose diet, HBL = H + 10% FME bean leaves
Effect of Phaseolus vulgaris L. bean leaves on (A) the postprandial glycemia response and (B) the area under the curve in the intraperitoneal glycemic tolerance test. Values are the mean ± SD (n = 9). ANOVA and Duncan post hoc analysis were performed, significant difference *p ≤ 0.05 H vs. S and SBL, &p ≤ 0.05 H vs. S, $p ≤ 0.05 H vs. S, SBL and HBL; #p ≤ 0.05 HBL vs. S and SBL %p ≤ 0.05 HBL vs. S. S = standard diet, SBL = S + 10% FME bean leaves, H = high fat-high/high-fructose diet, HBL = H + 10% FME bean leaves
Effect of Phaseolus vulgaris L. bean leaves on (A) fecal excretion per day, (B) triglycerides in fecal fat (n = 6), and (C-F) the production of short-chain fatty acids in the colon luminal contents (n = 3). Values correspond to the mean ± SD. ANOVA and Duncan post hoc analysis were performed, significant difference *p ≤ 0.05 S vs. H and HBL, &p ≤ 0.05 SBL vs. H and HBL, #p ≤ 0.0001 S vs. SBL, H and HBL, $p ≤ 0.0001 H vs. SBL and HBL, %p ≤ 0.0001 S vs. SBL and HBL. S = standard diet, SBL = S + 10% FME bean leaves, H = high-fat/high-fructose diet, HBL = H + 10% FME bean leaves, total SCFA: acetate, propionate, isobutyrate, butyrate, isovalerate, valeric and isocaproic
Article
High-fat/high-fructose diets promote early metabolic disorders in weight and lipid and glucose metabolism. Bioactive compounds such as polyphenols and fiber present in plant-based food prevent the development of metabolic disorders. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effect of Phaseolus vulgaris L. Flor de Mayo Eugenia (FME) bean leaves on early metabolic alterations in male Wistar rats fed a high-fat/high-fructose diet. After proximate and chemical analysis of FME bean leaves, thirty-six male Wistar rats (ethical approval 06FCN2019 and 77FCN2019) were randomly assigned to one of four groups: 1) standard diet (S) fed with Rodent Laboratory Chow 5001®; 2) standard diet + 10% dry FME bean leaves (SBL); 3) high-fat (lard) and high-fructose diet (H); and 4) high-fat/high-fructose diet + 10% dry FME bean leaves (HBL). The study was carried out for six weeks. Group H exhibited early metabolic alterations compared to Group S: final weight gain (↑15%), abdominal fat accumulation (waist circumference, ↑11%), triglycerides (↑30%), glucose (↑16%), insulin resistance (HOMA-IR, ↑32%), and fecal triglycerides (↑284%) and decreased total short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs, ↓17%). FME bean leave supplementation (HBL) prevented body weight gain (↓12%), abdominal fat accumulation (waist circumference, ↓10%), and early insulin resistance (glucose area under the curve, ↓6%) compared to Group H. The supplementary bean leave diet increased SCFA production (↑54%), most likely mediated by the fiber and polyphenols present in the leaves. Therefore, bean leaves are a low-cost alternative for human nutritional care and prevention of early metabolic alterations.
 
Characterization of anthocyanins in red radish extract: (A) Red radish; (B) UHPLC-QqQ-MS/MS chromatogram in MRM mode; (C) Content and retention time (min) of ARR
Serum metabolic profiling of ARR in mice: (A) MRM chromatogram of anthocyanins and anthocyanidins obtained via UHPLC-QqQ-MS/MS analysis; (B) Serum concentrations of anthocyanins and anthocyanidins
ARR prevention of PA-induced SVAREC apoptosis: (A) PA at 200–400 µM found to change the cell viability of SVAREC; (B) Effects of ARR at 100–400 µg/mL on PA-treated SVAREC; (C, D) Western blot analyses of the Bcl-2 and Bax expression levels in SVAREC; (E) Images of SVAREC stained with Hoechst 33,342 after PA treatment, with and without ARR. FC: fold change
Gene expression changes in PA-treated SVAREC regulated by ARR revealed via transcriptome analysis: (A) Venn diagram; (B) PCA score plot; (C) Volcano plot of different genes in the PA and PA + ARR groups; (D) Top 30 genes enriched in the KEGG pathways of the SVAREC; (E) The correlation network among different genes; (F) Underlying mechanism through which ARR inhibits PA-induced SVAREC apoptosis
SB203580 enhanced ARR prevention of PA-induced SVAREC apoptosis: (A, B) Western blotting of the p38 MAPK, p-p38 MAPK and phosphorylated mitogen-activated protein kinase 3/6 (p-MKK3/6) protein expression levels in SVAREC; (C, D) Western blotting of the Bcl-2 and Bax protein expression levels in SVAREC; (E) Images of SVAREC stained with Hoechst 33,342 after PA and ARR treatment, with and without SB203580
Article
Palmitic acid (PA), a widely consumed saturated fat, is known to induce the apoptosis of vascular endothelial cells. This study examined the protective effect of anthocyanin from red radish (ARR), which has been shown to protect the cardiovascular system and is rich in polyacylated pelargonidin (P) glycosides, on PA-treated SV 40 transfected aortic rat endothelial cells (SVAREC). In all, 22 distinct anthocyanins were identified in the ARR via ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-triple quadrupole mass spectrometry, the most abundant of which were pelargonidin-3-(p-coumaroyl)diglucoside-5-glucoside (31.60%), pelargonidin-3-(feruloyl)diglucoside-5-(malonyl)glucoside (22.98%), pelargonidin-3-(p-coumaroyl)diglucoside-5-(malonyl)glucoside (8.02%), and pelargonidin-3-(feruloyl)diglucoside-5-glucoside (6.25%). P displayed the highest serum level (93.72%) in the ARR-treated mice, while polyacylated P glucosides were also absorbed intact. Furthermore, ARR treatment effectively increased cellular activity and reduced the ratio of Bcl-2-associated X protein : B cell lymphoma-2, while simultaneously alleviating the excessive production of reactive oxygen species in PA-treated SVAREC. Transcriptome and further verification analyses confirmed that the ARR-inhibiting PA-induced apoptosis of SVAREC was related to the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway. Our results are the first to demonstrate that ARR may be a promising phytochemical in the prevention of PA-induced endothelial dysfunction.
 
Article
Existing studies on the biological activity of theabrownins are not based on their free state but on the complexes of theabrownins, polysaccharides, proteins, and flavonoids. In this study, theabrownins (TBs-C) were prepared by weak alkali oxidation of tea polyphenols. The ultraviolet-visible scanning spectrum of TBs-C showed two characteristic absorption peaks at 203 and 270 nm. The zeta potential of the TBs-C aqueous solution was negative, and the values varied from − 6.26 to -19.55 mV with a solution pH of 3–9. Storage conditions of pH 5.0–7.0 and around 25 °C were beneficial for the physical and chemical stability of the TBS-C solution. Cells were treated with series concentrations and examined by MTT, HE staining, PI immunofluorescence staining, flow cytometry, and real-time PCR to investigate the antiproliferative effect of TBs-C on human colon cancer HT-29 cells. The results showed that TBs-C, particularly at 500 µg/mL, inhibited cell growth. TBs-C induced HT-29 cell apoptosis, as confirmed by morphological changes, nucleus propidium iodide staining, and distributions of the cell cycle. The apoptotic mechanism may be due to the intracellular redox imbalance induced by TBs-C.
 
Body weight variation (A), fluid intake (B) and food intake (C) of mice. *P < 0.05 compared with control group. Different letters (a-c) indicate significant difference (P < 0.05) between each group
Histological analysis of jejunum (A) and colon (B), morphometrical analysis of villus height of jejunum (C), crypt depth of jejunum and colon (D), histological score of jejunum and colon (E). *P < 0.05, **P < 0.01 and ***P < 0.001 compared with control group, and #P < 0.05 compared with 5FU group
Concentration of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) (A) and lipopolysaccharide LPS (B) in serum, concentration of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) (C), malondialdehyde MDA (D) and glutathione (GSH) (E) of jejunum and colon
Concentration of short-chain fatty acids including acetic acid (A), propionic acid (B), n-butyric acid (C) and iso-butyric acid (D) in feces
Expression of genes related to oxidative stress (nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), A and B), inflammation (nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-κB) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), C and D) and gut barrier function (hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) and Claudin-1, E and F) in jejunum and colon. *P < 0.01 compared with control group, and #P < 0.05 compared with 5FU group
Article
Taurine (Tau), a β-amino acid, exists in red goji fruit (Lycium barbarum L.). It exerts many cellular physiological functions such as anti-inflammation and oxidation resistance. The chemotherapy drug 5-fluorouracil (5FU) can cause intestinal mucositis. However, current therapeutic approaches for mucositis have limited efficacy and are associated with various side effects. It is still unknown whether Tau can alleviate intestinal mucositis. This study aimed to investigate the protective effect of the Tau in a mucositis mouse model and elucidate the underlying molecular mechanisms. The intestinal mucositis symptoms were alleviated by the Tau administration as evidenced by decreased body weight loss, histopathological score, oxidative stress, and improved glutathione (GSH). The Tau supplementation strengthened intestinal epithelial tight junction and reduced serum lipopolysaccharide (LPS) levels in intestinal mucositis mice. Moreover, the 5FU-induced inflammatory responses were alleviated by Tau treatment via the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2/heme oxygenase-1 (Nrf2/HO-1) and nuclear factor kappa-B/inducible nitric oxide synthase (NF-κB/iNOS) signaling pathway. Tau administration modulated short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in the colon of mice. The results indicated that the Tau might be a new dietary strategy for intestinal mucositis caused by 5FU.
 
Article
The inhibitory effects of procyanidins from lotus (Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn.) seedpods on the activities of α-amylase, α-glucosidase and protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B), were studied and compared with those of (+)-catechin, (−)-epicatechin, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), procyanidin dimer B2 and trimer C1. The results showed that Lotus procyanidin extract (LPE) significantly inhibited α-amylase, α-glucosidase and PTP1B with IC50 values of 5.5, 1.0, and 0.33 μg/mL, respectively. The inhibition increased with the degree of polymerization and the existence of galloyl or gallocatechin units. Kinetic analysis showed that LPE inhibited α-glucosidase activity in a mixed competitive and noncompetitive mode. Fluorescence quenching revealed that α-glucosidase interacted with LPE or EGCG in an apparent static mode, or the model of “sphere of action”. The apparent static (K) and bimolecular (kq) constants were 4375 M⁻¹ and 4.375 × 10¹¹ M⁻¹ s⁻¹, respectively, for LPE and 1195 M⁻¹ and 1.195 × 10¹¹ M⁻¹ s⁻¹, respectively, for EGCG. Molecular docking analysis provided further information on the interactions of (+)-catechin, (−)-epicatechin, EGCG, B2 and C1 with α-glucosidase. It is hypothesized that LPE may bind to multiple sites of the enzyme through hydrogen bonding and hydrophobic interactions, leading to conformational changes in the enzyme and thus inhibiting its activity. These findings first elucidate the inhibitory effect of LPE on diabetes-related enzymes and highlight the usefulness of LPE as a dietary supplement for the prophylaxis of diabetes.
 
Total phenolic content (TP) and total flavonoid content (TF) in tested herbs. F - free forms of polyphenolic compounds; E - polyphenolic compounds released from ester bonds; G - polyphenolic compounds released from glucoside bonds
Antioxidant activity (AA) determined by ABTS (a) and DPPH (b) assays in tested herbs. F – antioxidant activity determined in non-hydrolyzed extracts; E - antioxidant activity determined in extracts after alkaline hydrolysis; G - antioxidant activity determined in extracts after acid hydrolysis
Article
Herbs are characterized by a high content of biologically active substances that positively affect human health. Phenolic compounds are one of the main bioactive compounds in these plants with highly beneficial properties ( e.g ., anti-carcinogenic, cardioprotective, immune system support and antibacterial). Therefore, this study aimed to determine the composition of free and bound phenolic compounds and antioxidant activity in 10 different herbs (bogbean leaves, sage leaves, whole Indian hemp, whole heartsease, whole horsetail, whole blessed thistle, whole thyme, chamomile flower, corn silk and pine buds). Phenolic compounds were analyzed using the HPLC-TOF-MS/MS method, total phenolic (TP) and flavonoid (TF) contents were measured using spectrophotometric methods, while antioxidant activity was determined by ABTS and DPPH assays. The highest content of free TP was found in thyme, while sage was characterized by the highest range of these compounds released from ester and glycosidic derivatives by hydrolysis. In turn, the highest values of TF in non-hydrolyzed extracts were found in Indian hemp. The highest values of TF, including bound phenols were observed in extracts obtained from sage leaves. In the analyzed herbs thirty-three phenolic compounds were found, constituting 16 phenolic acids, 9 flavonoids and eight stilbenes. Moreover, the analyzed compounds appeared in the bound form than in the free form. The antioxidant activity of herb extracts differed significantly across varieties ( P < 0.05). The research showed that each tested herb possesses its own fingerprint of phenolic compounds and antioxidant properties.
 
Article
Hypertension is one of the main factors of cardiovascular disease worldwide and is strongly related to the overall mortality. High salt intake is a major risk factors for hypertension. Identifying functional foods that can help prevent mechanistic abnormalities mediating salt-induced hypertension is an issue of considerable nutraceutical and scientific interest. Dietary Momordica charantia may be an alternative approach to avoid salt-induced hypertension. Dahl salt-sensitive (DSS) rats were used to determine whether Momordica charantia water extracts (ME) exerts anti-hypertensive effects in the present study. ME gavage could significantly prevented the increase of blood pressure, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, and urine protein-to-creatinine ratio of DSS rats. Metabolomics analysis indicated that high-salt diet induced abnormal amino acid metabolism was related to nitric oxide (NO) deficiency, but ME gavage could upregulate the activities of nitric oxide synthase, aspartate aminotransferase, argininosuccinate lyase, argininosuccinate synthase and restore endogenous synthesis of arginine and NO. Meanwhile, renal function was improved after ME gavage. Citrulline, as one of the important component in ME, could attenuate salt-induced hypertension by increasing endogenous synthesis of arginine and NO. Antioxidants in ME, such as phenolic compound, may avoid high-salt induced oxidative stress in DSS rats, which may be another mechanism by which ME prevented blood pressure increase. Thus, the present study indicated that feeding Momordica charantia could avoid high-salt-induced hypertension in DSS rats.
 
Article
Gynostemma pentaphyllum (G. pentaphyllum) is a perennial liana herb of the Cucurbitaceae family which has both nutraceutical and pharmacological functions. The objective of the current study was to investigate the preventative effects of G. pentaphyllum and Gypenoside-IV (GP-IV, a saponin monomer in G. pentaphyllum) on metabolic symptoms in high fat diet induced obese (DIO) mice with gut microbiota dysbiosis. G. pentaphyllum water extract (GPWE, 150 mg/kg•d− 1) and GP-IV (50 mg/kg•d− 1) were orally administered to DIO mice by gavage for 10 weeks. The results showed that both GPWE and GP-IV prevented obesity development by decreasing body weight gain, reducing fat mass/body weight ratio and inhibiting adipocyte hypertrophy. GPWE and GP-IV also improved lipid profile and glucose tolerance effectively. Moreover, GPWE and GP-IV treatments partly restored gut microbiota in DIO mice. Typically, GPWE and GP-IV reduced Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio, increased the abundance of certain health-promoting bacteria and reduced the abundance of microbiota that were associated with metabolic disorders. We conclude that GPWE and GP-IV can ameliorate metabolic symptoms possibly via modulating gut microbiota in DIO mice.
 
Liver histology of the female Sprague Dawley rats fed diets containing 20% casein in the absence (D1) or presence (D2) of supplemental isoflavones (ISF, 50 mg/kg diet) or increasing amounts of alcohol-washed soy protein isolate (SPI), 5% (D3), 10% (D4) or 20% (D5) in replacement of the same amounts of casein for 90 days. For the assessment of hepatic lipid droplet (HLD) formation and accumulation, the sections were stained with hematoxylin and eosin. The circumference of 100 randomly selected fat droplets in five fields of each section at 20× was measured under microscope using the software Northern eclipse version 7.0. The scale bars represent 10 μm, and the total areas of HLD were presented (E), and the means in (E) with different letters (a, b) differ. (Adapted and reformatted from Xiao et al. [55])
Potential molecular mechanism(s) involved in the soy effects on NAFLD in the non-obese models. Soy protein and isoflavones speed up hepatic lipolysis through activation of SREBP-2 and up-regulation of the downstream gene (HMGC-R and LDLR) expression, while soy protein suppresses hepatic lipogenesis by down-regulation of SREBP-1 and its target genes (such as ME and FAS). Moreover, both soy protein and isoflavones inhibit formation and accumulation of lipid droplets in liver via suppression of PPAR-γ2 and FSP-27 expression. FAS, fatty acid synthase; FSP-27, fat-specific protein 27; HMGC-R, 3-hydroxyl-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA reductase; LD, lipid droplets; LDLR, low-density lipoprotein receptor; ME, malic enzyme; PPAR-γ2, peroxisome proliferation-activated receptor γ2; SREBP-1, sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1; TG, triglycerides
Article
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common chronic liver disease and affects about 25% of the population globally. Obesity and diabetes are the main causes of the disease characterized by excessive accumulation of lipids in the liver. There is currently no direct pharmacological treatments for NAFLD. Dietary intervention and lifestyle modification are the key strategies in the prevention and treatment of the disease. Soy consumption is associated with many health benefits such as decreased incidence of coronary heart disease, type-2 diabetes, atherosclerosis and obesity. The hypolipidemic functions of soy components have been shown in both animal studies and human clinical trials. Dietary soy proteins and associated isoflavones suppressed the formation and accumulation of lipid droplets in the liver and improved NAFLD-associated metabolic syndrome. The molecular mechanism(s) underlying the effects of soy components are mainly through modulation of transcription factors, sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1 and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ2, and expressions of their target genes involved in lipogenesis and lipolysis as well as lipid droplet-promoting protein, fat-specific protein-27. Inclusion of appropriate amounts of soy protein and isoflavones in the diets might be a useful approach to decrease the prevalence of NAFLD and mitigate disease burden.
 
Hydrolysis extent based on reducing sugar content in the effluent after treatment (150XY: xylanase-treated; 150 CE: cellulase-treated; 150CX: cellulase-xylanase treated). Values represent means ± standard deviation (n = 3). Means with different lower case indicates the significance of different treatment on the same type of sample, while different upper case indicates the significance of the different type of sample on the same type of treatment (P < 0.05)
Log CFU/mL and pH of yogurt added with guava by-products. (CT: untreated; 150XY: xylanase-treated; 150 CE: cellulase-treated; 150CX: cellulase-xylanase treated). Values represent means ± standard deviation (n = 4). Means with different letters of the same type of sample were significantly different (P < 0.05)
Article
Fruit processing by-products may be re-utilized as prebiotic ingredients to minimize the environmental impact of solid wastes generated from food industries. This study investigated the effects of enzymatic-induced hydrolysis on two types of guava purée by-products, particularly the prebiotic activity after its inclusion in yogurt-making. Commercial cellulase and xylanase were applied together or separately on refiner (the seed-rich fraction), and decanter (the pulp-rich fraction); labelled as 150 XY (xylanase); 150 CE (cellulase), 150 CX (combined cellulase-xylanase), and CT (control, untreated). The hydrolysis extents followed the order of 150 XY < 150 CE < 150CX. The ethanolic extracts (EEC) of the treated samples were analyzed on selected sugar content and the prebiotic activity score. Rhamnose and xylose were the main sugar constituents in both refiner and decanter. A two to four-fold increments of prebiotic activity score were observed on EEC of combined cellulase and xylanase treated decanter and refiner. Incorporating the combined enzymatically treated whole guava by-products into UHT fresh milk containing a yogurt starter culture significantly increased the log CFU/mL up to 77.6%, enhanced hardness, stickiness, and adhesiveness ranging from 22.2 to 86.4%, and decreased pH values. Combined cellulase-xylanase treatment can convert guava purée by-products into potential prebiotic sources for food applications.
 
Article
The aim of the present study was to investigate the anti-diabetic effect of CGSGCG and its beneficial effects on gut microbiota in type 2 diabetes (T2D) mice induced by streptozotocin and high sucrose and high fat diet. The results showed that treatment with CGSGCG reduced fasting blood glucose, improved oral glucose tolerance test, protected the liver from injury, and reduced inflammation in T2D mice. The contents of acetic acid, propionic acid, butyric acid, isobutyric acid, valeric acid and isovaleric acid in CGSGCG group were 2.49-, 1.74-, 3.31-, 1.93-, 1.36- and 1.30-fold than that of the model group. Moreover, administration of CGSGCG up-regulated the expression of INSR/IRS-1/PI3K/AKT/GLUT4 and mTOR but down-regulated the P38MAPK expression. Furthermore, the abundance of beneficial bacteria such as Verrucomicrobia, Proteobacteria, Osillibacter, Dubosiella and Lactococcus in intestinal tract increased, indicating that CGSCGG regulated and improved the bacterial community structure of T2D mice, which were closely related to glycometabolism. Graphical abstract
 
Ingested food allergens pass through the intestinal epithelium by a variety of mechanisms
Article
The pulp of the banana fruit is rich in bioactive compounds like dietary fibers, low glycemic carbohydrates, natural sugars, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These beneficial compounds are responsible for the proper functioning of immune system and enhance prevention against various deadly diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart diseases. Despite having, positive effects, the fruit are recognized as an important source for causing allergy to 0.6% of people in general population and up to 67 and 46% for people with asthma or atopic dermatitis. Fruit allergy is one of the most common food allergies witnessed worldwide. Banana fruit allergy results from the abnormal immune response to the banana proteins soon after its consumption. Symptoms range from oral allergy syndrome (OAS) to the life-threatening anaphylaxis. IgE reactivity of banana is associated with different proteins of which six proteins have been identified as major allergens, viz., Mus a1 (Profilin-actin binding protein), Mus a 2 (Class 1 chitinase), Mus a 3 (Nonspecific lipid transfer protein), Mus a 4 (Thaumatin like protein), Mus a 5 (Beta 1,3 glucanase) and Mus a 6 (Ascorbate peroxidase). This review focuses on pathogenesis, clinical features, diagnosis, and different food processing methods to mitigate the allergenicity of banana fruit.
 
Effects of ellagic acid (EA) and a bioactive tripeptide (FPL) alone and in combination (A). The combination index (CI) values of EA and FPL in combination at different concentrations (B)
Effects of EA and FPL on the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines in lipopolysaccharide -stimulated RAW264.7 macrophage cells. Levels of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) (A), interleukin-6 (IL-6) (B), and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) (C). Values are expressed as the mean ± SD of three independent determinations. Different letters indicate significant differences (P < 0.05)
The fluorescence spectra of FPL in the presence of EA at different concentrations. a: 0.1 mg, b: 0.08 mg, c: 0.06 mg, d: 0.04 mg; e: 0.02 mg; f: 0.01 mg and g: the FPL control
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) spectra of EA, control FPL, and EA / FPL at the same concentration of 100 μM FPL
Article
The anti-inflammatory effect of the interaction between ellagic acid (EA) and a bioactive tripeptide (FPL) from walnut meal was investigated in this study. We found that lipopolysaccharide (LPS) -induced expression of nitric oxide, tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-6, and interleukin-1β were significantly inhibited by the interaction of EA and FPL in RAW264.7 macrophage cells. Cell viability assays and CompuSyn simulations predicted the highest synergistic effect of the combination at doses of EA-25 µM and FPL-100 µM, with the lowest combination index (CI) values reaching 0.56. Fluorescence spectra revealed the intrinsic fluorescence of phenylalanine in FPL was quenched by interaction with EA. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy indicated FPL had electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions with EA through N–H, C = O, C-N bonds and the secondary structure of FPL had effectively changed, with a decrease in α-helix when interacting with EA. Our results demonstrated that the synergistic anti-inflammatory effect of EA and FPL as potential inflammatory inhibitors in food industry.
 
HPLC analysis of PTC from E. nipponica demonstrating (a) separation between 6,8′-bieckol and 8,8′-bieckol and (b) separation between PFF-A and PFF-B
Serum antibody levels in mice immunized with OVA. Data are calculated from the results of five experiments (n = 5). Values are presented as means ± standard deviations. Statistically significant differences between groups are donated by lower case letters (p < 0.05). (#) indicates 0.05 < p < 0.1 compared to the PC group. ELISA values are provided as arbitrary units (AU). One AU was defined as the value corresponding to the amount of OVA-specific antibody. Data values are shown in Table S2 (ESM 2)
Splenic cytokine mRNA expression levels and lineal lymphocyte cytokine production in mice immunized with OVA. a, balancing square schematic including relevant mRNA expression and cytokine production profiles; b, mRNA expression of master transcription factors; c, mRNA expression levels and cytokine production in Tfh cells. Data were calculated from the results of five experiments (n = 5). Values are presented as means ± standard deviations. Statistically significant differences between groups are donated by lower case letters (p < 0.05). (#) indicates 0.05 < p < 0.1 compared to the PC group. (*) indicates p < 0.01 among NC, PC, and 0.9 mg groups using the Tukey test. Data values are shown in Table S3 (ESM 2)
Flow cytometry analyses in lienal lymphocytes of mice immunized with OVA. a, representative flow cytometry plots. Total B cells, total T cells, and Treg cells were stained with FITC-conjugated anti-B220 antibody, APC-conjugated anti-CD3 antibody, and APC-conjugated anti-Foxp3 antibody and phycoerythrin (PE)-conjugated anti-CD25 antibody, respectively. Numbers indicate the proportion of the stained cells. b, column diagrams of total B-cell population, total T cell population, and Treg cell subpopulation. B220⁺ B cells, CD3⁺ T cells, and CD25⁺ Foxp3⁺ T cells indicate total B, total T, and Treg cells, respectively. Data were calculated from the results of five experiments (n = 5). Values are presented as means ± standard deviations. Statistically significant differences between groups are donated by lower case letters (p < 0.05)
Schematic of phlorotannin immunomodulation via T cell regulation. Phlorotanins may improve the immunological balance by stimulating Treg cells and suppressing Th cells leading to antiallergic effects
Article
The immunomodulating effect of phlorotannin was investigated in mice stimulated by ovalbumin. When analyzing the main components of phlorotannin concentrate (PTC) from Eisenia nipponica, seven phlorotannins [eckol, 6,6′-bieckol, 6,8′-bieckol, 8,8′-bieckol, dieckol, phlorofucofuroeckol (PFF)-A, and PFF-B] were detected. These phlorotannins accounted for approximately 80% of PTC. Oral administration of PTC to mice daily for 21 days reduced serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) and total IgG1 levels attributable to Th2 cells. The production of splenic cytokines [interleukin (IL)-10 and transforming growth factor-β1] and Treg cell-mediated expression of forkhead box protein P3 mRNA were significantly increased whereas the production of inflammatory cytokines (interferon-γ, IL-4, IL-5, and IL-17) by Th1, Th2, and Th17 cells was markedly suppressed. IL-21 production and basic leucine zipper ATF-like transcription factor mRNA expression attributable to follicular helper T (Tfh) cells were also suppressed. Flow cytometric analyses demonstrated increased number of Treg cells despite a decrease in the total T cell population. An increase in total B cells was also observed by the flow cytometric analyses in addition to increases in IL-10 production, which activates B cells. In contrast, the significantly suppressed production of inflammatory cytokines and moderate increase in Treg cell subpopulation indicated a direct impact of PTC on inflammatory lymphocytes (Th1, Th2, Th17, and Tfh). Thus, PTC may exert antiallergic effects by immunomodulation of T cells and inactivation of inflammatory lymphocyte. Graphical abstract
 
Mortality of worms exposed to epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) (a) and caffeine (b) for 24 h. Data are expressed as means ± standard deviation in three independent experiments
Effects of individual treatment with epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) or caffeine on lipid storage in worms. Effects of EGCG treatment on Nile Red staining (a), triglycerides content (b), and total cholesterol level (c) of worms. Effects of caffeine exposure on Nile Red staining (d), triglycerides content (e), and total cholesterol level (f) of worms. Values were normalized to average measurements in the corresponding K-medium-treated worms (negative control, NC), and are shown as mean + standard deviation (n = 3). Worms treated with orlistat (145 μg/ml) were used as a positive control (PC). Asterisks indicate values significantly different from the negative control (*p < 0.05, **p < 0.01, one-way analysis of variance followed by least significant difference test or Dunnett’s T3 test)
Combination effects of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and caffeine on Nile Red staining (a), triglycerides content (b) and total cholesterol level (c) in worms. Values were normalized to average measurements in the non-treated controls (0 mM EGCG +0 mM caffeine), and are shown as mean + standard deviation (n = 6; the experiment was conducted twice, each with three replicates). *, ** represent difference between treatment groups at p < 0.05, p < 0.01, respectively (two-way analysis of variance followed by Dunnett’s T3 test)
Article
Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and caffeine, two phytochemicals found in a wide range of natural dietary sources, have been reported to have protective effects against hyperlipidemia, a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. However, their relative efficacy and synergy in lowering lipid level are unclear. This study intended to compare lipid-lowering activity of EGCG and caffeine and to elucidate their joint action using Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) as a model organism. The worms were exposed to EGCG, caffeine or both agents, and lipid accumulation determined by levels of total lipids, triglycerides and cholesterol was monitored. A 3 × 3 factorial design combined with response surface methodology was used to characterize the nature of interactive effects. Total lipids, triglycerides and cholesterol in C. elegans were reduced by either EGCG or caffeine in a dose-dependent manner, with EGCG displaying a stronger lipid-lowering efficacy than caffeine. Overall, the EGCG/caffeine combination for lowering lipids was more effective than either substance alone. Factorial regression models revealed that the combination was antagonistic for total lipid reduction, perhaps due to a “ceiling” effect, and was synergistic for triglyceride-lowering and additive for cholesterol-lowering. Taken together, our work proposes the use of a combination of EGCG and caffeine as an alternative dietary intervention for the prevention of hyperlipidemia, and additionally highlights the suitability of C. elegans model for evaluating lipid-lowering capacity of natural products.
 
Flow diagram of the process for making biscuits enriched with orange by-product fiber obtained using HAD+MW drying method
Images of biscuits after the penetration test carried out with samples made with a commercial orange fiber (left) and a fiber obtained by hot air-microwave drying of orange by-products (right)
Article
Circular use of resources implies developing mild processes to transform food by-products into value-added products, without using organic solvents or extensive washing and drying steps. Refined ingredients are commonly used in gluten-free bakery resulting in high levels of saturated fatty acids and sugars as well as a lack of essential nutrients like dietary fibres. The objective of this study was (i) to compare the nutritional composition and the water retention capacity (WRC) of an upcycled orange fibre dried by hot air combined with microwave (HAD+MW) and a commercial orange fibre obtained by different methods (COM), and (ii) to compare the nutritional, texture and sensory profile of gluten-free biscuits formulated with HAD+MW and with COM fibres. The total dietary fibre content (72.0 ± 3.0%) and WRC (21.1 ± 2.7 gwater/ g) of HAD+MW fibre did not differ from the nutritional composition of the control orange fibre (COM). However, for HAD+MW fibre, protein (+2.34 fold), fat (−4.75 fold), ash (−2.31 fold), sugars (−1.42 fold) and moisture content (+11.5 fold) was different from COM. Instrumental texture analysis showed that biscuits with HAD+MW fiber resulted in less hardness (26%) than those with COM fiber. However, this difference was not perceived by panellists (p > 0.05). Exterior colour, cereal, vanilla and citrus aroma-flavour, and granularity were slightly more intense in HAD+MW biscuits but still similar to the commercial control fiber. Thus, the HAD+MW drying method can be used for upcycling orange by-products, obtaining less refined and more nutritious and sustainable ingredients for fiber-enrichment of gluten-free biscuits.
 
Percent of dry matter (a), oil percentage (b), and content of 𝛂-tocopherol (mg 100 g⁻¹ FW) (c) in avocado mesocarp of San Miguel and AVO40 genotypes at 100, 160, 220 and 220 + 5 days after flowering (DAF). Values correspond to the average of three biological replicates, bars represent the standard error. Values with different letters represent significant (p ≤ 0.05) differences between interaction of factors in a Duncan test
Relative expression levels of VTE5–1, VTE5–2, VTE5–3 and VTE1 tocopherol biosynthesis genes in San Miguel and AVO40 genotypes, at 100, 160, 220 and 220 + 5 days after flowering (DAF). Values correspond to the average of three biological replicates ± the standard error. Values with different letters represent significant (p ≤ 0.05) differences in a Duncan’s test. Pearson’s correlations among gene expression and α-tocopherol levels is shown. * Significant at p ≤ 0.05
Article
α-tocopherol is found in high concentrations in avocado fruit mesocarp, however, its accumulation and genetic control during maturation and ripening has not been elucidated. Based in the relevance of VTE1 and VTE5 genes in tocopherol biosynthesis and aiming to determine the association between tocopherol accumulation and expression of tocopherol biosynthetic genes, gene expression of VTE1 and VTE5 were evaluated through the time during three developmental stages: before harvest at 100, 160 and 220 days after flowering (DAF) and after harvest (220 DAF + 5) in two contrasting avocado genotypes (San Miguel and AVO40). San Miguel reached the highest levels at 220 DAF, whereas AVO40 increased α-tocopherol only after ripening (220 DAF + 5). A genome-wide search for VTE1 and VTE5 allowed to identify one and three genes, respectively. Both genotypes showed contrasting patterns of gene expression. Interestingly, AVO40 showed a highly positive correlation between α-tocopherol levels and gene expression of VTE1 and all VTE5 variants. On the other hand, San Miguel showed only a positive correlation between α-tocopherol level and VTE1gene expression.
 
FT-IR spectra (a), TG curves (b), and XRD (c) diagrams of TSBGPs
Effect of three TSBGPs on the levels of glucose consumption (a), INS (b), IGF-1 (c), SOD (d), TNF-α (e), IL-6 (f), CRP (g), NF-κB (h), mRNA expression levels of IRS2 (i), GLUT2 (j), PDE3B (k), G-6-Pase (l), PEPCK (m), and GSK3 (n), and the protein expression levels of AKT and cAMP (o) in high-glucose and high-insulin LO2 cells. Asterisk indicates a significant difference between the two groups. *, p < 0.05; **, p < 0.01, ***, p < 0.001; ****, p < 0.0001; ns, not significant
Pearson correlation analysis between the chemical composition and hypoglycemic activities
Article
Various functional components in tea have been well developed, but less research has been explored on glycoproteins in tea. In this paper, three types of glycoprotein fractions, namely tea selenium-binding glycoprotein1–1 (TSBGP1–1), TSBGP2–1, and TSBGP3–1, respectively, were extracted and purified from selenium-enriched coarse green tea. Chemical analysis revealed that three fractions were glycoproteins, but their selenium content, molecular weight, and monosaccharide composition were significantly different. Fourier transforms infrared (FT-IR) analysis indicated that three fractions contained characteristic absorption peaks of glycoproteins but differed in secondary structural composition. Thermogravimetric (TG) analysis showed that the thermal stability of the three fractions was dramatically distinct. The in vitro hypoglycemic activity showed that TSBGPs significantly activated the insulin receptor substrate 2 (IRS2)/protein kinase B (Akt) pathway in LO2 cells, then enhanced glucose metabolism and inhibited gluconeogenesis, and finally ameliorated insulin resistance (IR) and glucose metabolism disorders. Furthermore, Pearson correlation analysis reveals that the hypoglycemic activity was significantly correlated with Se, protein, monosaccharide composition (especially glucose), molecular weight, and secondary structure. Our results show that Se-enriched tea glycoprotein is a desirable candidate for developing anti-diabetic food, and TSBGP-2 and TSBGP-3 had a better regulation effect. Our results can provide a research reference for the extraction, physicochemical property, and function of selenium-enriched plant glycoproteins.
 
Article
Sugars and acids of wampee predominantly influence consumer taste preference and its commercial value. The molecular basis of taste variations is currently unknown due to the lack of a large-scale investigation of metabolites in wampee. Here, three tastes cultivars, including YF1 (sweet), YF2 (sweet-sour) and YF3 (sour) wampees with sugar-acid ratios ranging from 1.74 to 26.32, were selected. Then, UPLC-MS/MS based widely targeted metabolome analysis was performed to uncover the molecular mechanism underlying these taste variations, followed by the analysis of KEGG pathways. Results showed that 449, 470, 147 metabolites differed between YF1 vs YF2, YF1 vs YF3, and YF2 vs YF3. Fifty of them were screened as common differential metabolites (DMs) by Venn diagram, including 9 phenolic acids. Among them, the abundance level of methyl 3-O-methyl gallate (M3MG) showed a positive correlation with the titratable acids (R² = 0.9009) and negative correlation with sugar-acid ratio (R² = 0.9802) in three cultivars. Therefore, M3MG could be a taste biomarker for wampees. KEGG pathway enrichment analysis also verified that M3MG played a crucial role in the “biosynthesis of amino acids” pathway. These results above provide important insights into the taste-forming mechanism of wampee and will be beneficial for superior eating quality wampee breeding.
 
FTIR spectra of different parts of Ficusgeniculata (a) shoot (b) leaves (c) bark
FTIR spectra of prepared Ficusgeniculata supplemented traditional nuggets; (a) Control 1 (25% Ficusgeniculata, 0.5% Salt, 0.5% Black pepper), (b) Control 2 (0% Ficusgeniculata, 0.25% Salt, 0.25% Black pepper), (c) Control 3 (20% Ficusgeniculata, 0.5% Salt, 0.08% Black pepper) (d) Optimized sample (34.44% Ficusgeniculata, 0.25% salt and 0.75% black pepper)
Effect of different variables on the physicochemical and phytochemical attributes of Ficusgeniculata supplemented traditional nuggets
Article
Ficusgeniculata (FG) is one of the underutilized fig species in India and throughout the world. However, the different parts of the plant have numerous phytochemicals and have the potential to boom the functional food as well as the pharmaceutical food industry. The plant is still unexplored and needs the attention of researchers and industrialists for its value addition. Therefore, in the present investigation, different parts (shoot, leaves and bark) of FG were exploited and leaves were selected based on physicochemical and phytochemical analysis for nugget supplementation. The FG leaves powder incorporated nuggets were prepared using different variables: FG (0 to 50%), salt (0.07 to 0.92%), and black pepper (0.079 to 0.92%) along with black gram as filler to make it 100%. The optimum conditions for the production of supplemented nuggets were having 0.82 desirability. The Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) also confirms the retention of bioactive compounds in the nuggets. No remarkable clustering was observed, which indicating the significant (p ≤ 0.05) effect of all the variables on the quality attributes of the supplement nuggets. Thus the developed conditions will be useful for the nugget industry and also may be a good alternative to the vegetarian people.
 
Flow diagram of the in vitro gastrointestinal digestion procedure
Article
The consumption of sprouts has increased as the germination process causes changes in the chemical composition of the seeds, improving their nutritional value. The aim of this work was to compare the total phenolic content and antioxidant capacity of broccoli, lentils and wheat sprouts before and after in vitro digestion, and the total phenolic content and antioxidant capacity between seeds and sprouts. Broccoli and wheat showed no difference in total phenolic content before and after germination, while lentils showed a significant decrease in total phenolic content after germination. The antioxidant capacity of broccoli and wheat increased after germination. After simulated digestion, the total phenolic content and antioxidant activity of broccoli sprouts significantly decreased during digestion in the gastric phase compared to the sprouts before digestion. Lentil sprouts did not show a decrease in total phenolic content during the gastric phase of digestion compared to the sprouts before digestion. However, they showed a significant increase in total phenolic content during the enteric phase. Finally, wheat sprouts showed a significant increase in total phenolic content and antioxidant activity during the gastric phase of digestion compared to grain before digestion. The germination process may increase the antioxidant capacity of sprouts, although this is not always related to the phenolic compound. Graphical Abstract
 
Article
Corn kernels were soaked with different selenium (Se) solutions (0, 12 or 24 mg Na2SeO3/L), sprouted for different times and then lime-cooked for the pilot plant production of tortillas. The dough and tortillas were quantified in terms of total Se, starch and protein content. Also, in vitro digestibility, texture, color, and sensory properties were evaluated. Results indicated that lime-cooking times were significantly reduced from 39.15 to 14.34, 8.42 and 2.80 min when whole corn was compared with kernels germinated for 1, 2 or 3 days. The Se content of regular tortillas (0.08 µg/g dw) increased about eight-fold in tortillas (0.651–0.625 µg/g dw) produced of corn germinated for two day and treated with 24 mg of Na2SeO3/L. The highest α-amylase activity and lower starch viscosity values were observed in 3-day germinated supplemented with the highest Se. Se-enriched tortillas produced from 2-day sprouted kernels treated with 12 mg Na2SeO3 showed the highest levels of general acceptability, texture and flavor.
 
UV-vis (a) and FT-IR (b) spectra of water-soluble polysaccharides extracted from Pueraria lobate
Scavenging activity of WSPS on DPPH radical (a) and hydroxyl radical (b). Ascorbic acid is abbreviated as AA. Bars indicate means ± SD
Relative ROS level (a), MDA content (b) and SOD activity (c) of C. elegans treated with different concentrations of WSPS under heat stress. Bars indicate means ± SD. Stars (*) indicate significant differences (p < 0.05) compared with the control group
WSPS changed expression of genes in C. elegans under heat stress. Bars indicate means ± SD. Stars (*) indicate significant differences (p < 0.05) compared with the control group
Article
Pueraria lobata is a perennial legume, commonly used as a food source in China. The polysaccharides extracted from P. lobata have demonstrated various biological activities. However their anti-aging effects and the underline mechanisms are largely unknown. In this study, water-soluble polysaccharides (WSPS) from P. lobata were extracted and demonstrated antioxidant activity against DPPH radicals and hydroxyl radicals in vitro. Using nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a model, we found that WSPS remarkably prolonged the survival, increased growth and locomotion under heat stress. To investigate the possible mechanism, the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and lipid peroxidation product malondialdehyde (MDA) were determined. WSPS significantly decreased ROS and MDA levels which is consistent with increased activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD). Meanwhile, WSPS upregulated the expression of stress resistance genes sod-1, sod-5, hsf-1, hsp-12.6, hsp-16.2, skn-1 and gst-4. Together, these results suggest that the anti-aging activity of WSPS under heat stress was mediated most likely by activation of the target genes of heat-shock transcription factor (HSF)-1 and skinhead (SKN)-1, and thus inducing endogenous ROS scavenging response.
 
Article
In the early stage, oxidized low density lipoprotein (ox-LDL) caused atherosclerosis, followed by human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) damage, leading to a variety of cardiovascular related diseases. This study investigated the mechanism of nonapeptide (EMFGTSSET, ETT) isolated from in vitro gastrointestinal digestion of Isochrysis zhanjiang on endothelial cell inflammation and apoptosis induced by ox-LDL in atherosclerosis. At the cellular level, the results shown that ETT inhibited the up-regulation of oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor-1 (LOX-1) induced by ox-LDL. Furthermore, ETT inhibited the fluorescence intensity of ROS, inflammatory factors (interleukin-6, interleukin-1β, and tumor necrosis factor-α) and the expression of cell adhesion molecules (vascular cell adhesion protein 1 and intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1). In addition, it also upregulates nuclear red blood cell 2 related factor 2 (Nrf2), heme oxygenase-1 (HO -1), p-Akt, and bcl-2 levels. But down-regulated the expression of p-p65, p-IκB-α, p-p38, p-ERK, p-JNK, bax, and cleaved caspase-9/-3 (c-c-9/-3), thereby inhibited ox-LDL induction inflammation and apoptosis of atherosclerosis. Through molecular docking, it was judged that the stable interaction between ETT and LOX-1 and VCAM-1 was maintained through hydrogen bonding. These results can provide a theoretical basis for ETT as a potential substance for the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis, and further improve the value of Isochrysis zhanjiangensis.
 
Candida spp. growth kinetics in the presence of different cell-free supernatants concentrations obtained from Lactobacillus paracasei: A-B supernatants without treatment, C-D neutralized supernatants, and E-F supernatants at 121 °C. The values are reported in optical density (O.D.) as mean ± SD of three replicates. (*) means statistical difference compared to control (P < 0.05)
Candida spp. growth kinetics in the presence of different cell-free supernatants concentrations obtained from Lactobacillus plantarum:A-B supernatants without treatment, C-D neutralized supernatants, and E-F supernatants at 121 °C. The values are reported in optical density (O.D.) as mean ± SD of three replicates. (*) means statistical difference compared to control (P < 0.05)
Biofilm inhibition of Candida spp. in the presence of different concentrations of cell-free supernatants. A and B represent the inhibition of cell-free supernatants obtained from Lactobacillus paracasei. C and D represent the inhibition of cell-free supernatants obtained from Lactobacillus plantarum. The values are reported in optical density (O.D.) as mean ± SD of three replicates. Different lowercase letters indicate significant differences between treatments (P < 0.05)
Article
There is great interest in the search for new alternatives to antimicrobial drugs, and the use of prebiotics and probiotics is a promising approach to this problem. This study aimed to assess the effect of inulin-type fructans, used in synbiotic combinations with Lactobacillus paracasei or Lactobacillus plantarum, on the production of short-chain fatty acids and antimicrobial activity against Candida albicans. The inhibition assay using the L. paracasei and L. plantarum supernatants resulting from the metabolization of inulin-type fructans displayed growth inhibition and antibiofilm formation against C. albicans. Inhibition occurred at concentrations of 12.5, 25, and 50% of the L. paracasei supernatant and at a concentration of 50% of the L. plantarum supernatant. The analysis of short-chain fatty acids by gas chromatography showed that lactic acid was the dominating produced metabolite. However, acetic, propionic, and butyric acids were also detected in supernatants from both probiotics. Therefore, the synbiotic formulation of L. paracasei or L. plantarum in the presence of inulin-type fructans constitutes with anticandidal effect is a possible option to produce antifungal drugs or antimicrobial compounds.
 
Elution profile of BRPHs and cell viability of different fractions. (A) Elution profile of BRPHs on the macroporous adsorption resin DA201-C. (B) Murine macrophage cell activity of separated fractions F1-F5. (C) Production of NO by LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells, and results are presented as mean ± standard deviation of three independent experiments. ##p < 0.01 compared to the control group, *p < 0.05 compared to the proinflammatory group, **p < 0.01 compared to the proinflammatory group
The peptide sequence and simulation docking of the IR13 peptide with the MHC-II molecule. (A) MS/MS map of the IR13 peptide. (B) Chemical structure of the IR13 peptide. (C) In silico simulated docking of the IR13 peptide and MHC-II molecule: the combined spatial simulation between the IR13 peptide and the MHC-II molecule (a) and (b), and the contact details of the interface between the MHC-II molecule and the peptide IR13 (c) and (d)
Production of NO, IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α by LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells. Results are presented as mean ± standard deviation of three independent experiments. ##p < 0.01 compared to the control group, *p < 0.05 compared to the proinflammatory group, **p < 0.01 compared to the proinflammatory group
mRNA expression of TNF-α, iNOS, IL-6, and IL-1β in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells. Results are presented as mean ± standard deviation of three independent experiments. ##p < 0.01 compared to the control group, *p < 0.05 compared to the proinflammatory group, **p < 0.01 compared to the proinflammatory group
Article
Inflammation is a contributing factor to the initiation and progression of many diseases, and some food-derived biofunctional peptides show high anti-inflammatory activity. In our previous study, we demonstrated that peptides derived from trypsin hydrolysis of rice protein show good immunological activity. In the present study, proteins of broken rice were extracted and identified by macroporous resin fractionation and liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Subsequently, a bioinformatics prediction and in silico simulation approach was used to screen for peptides showing anti-inflammatory activity, including inhibition of the production of nitric oxide and proinflammatory cytokines (interleukin-1β, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α) by lipopolysaccharide-stimulated RAW264.7 mice macrophages. Three peptides (DNIQGITKPAIR, IAFKTNPNSMVSHIAGK, and IGVAMDYSASSKR) that demonstrated the highest binding affinity were synthesized, and their in vitro anti-inflammatory activity was investigated. This is the first study that integrates LC-MS/ MS identification and bioinformatics prediction for reporting the anti-inflammatory activity of anti-inflammatory peptides derived from broken rice protein. The study findings revealed that the peptides derived from the byproduct of rice milling could be potentially used as natural anti-inflammatory alternativities.
 
Stress resistance of C.elegans by OV (a) Suvival of worms assay: L4 synchronized nematodes were treated by 1 mL OV or M9 buffer for 16 h and then were cultured with 5 mM sodium arsenite. (b) DCF fluorescence assay in vivo. Data are the mean ± SD; * P < 0.05; *** P < 0.001
OV prolongs the lifespan of C.elegans by activating skn-1 gene Age-synchronized nematodes were treated with different concentration of OV(0.5 mL, 1 mL, and 1.5 mL) or M9 buffer for 3 d. (a) assay the lifespan of C. elegans according to the suvival. (b) quantitative of skn-1 gene expression by RT-PCR: effect of OV on gene expression in C. elegans normal or skn-1 RNAi. Data are the mean ± SD; * P < 0.05; # No significant difference
Signal pathways related to antioxidative stress of nutritional active factors in Caenorhabditis elegans. The insulin signal pathway components are colored green, and molecules that either antagonize IIS or are antagonized by IIS are colored red. Abbreviations: ILPs, insulin-like peptides; PI3K, phosphoinositide 3-kinase; PIP2, phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate; PIP3, phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate
Article
Recently, there has been renewed interest in biorefining of agricultural onion into functional products. In this study, onion vinegar (OV) are prepared by a two-stage semi-continuous fermentation method, and its content of total flavonoids (3.01 mg/mL) and polyphenols (976.76 μg/mL) is superior to other commercial vinegars. OV possesses a high radical scavenging activity and enhances the antioxidant enzyme activities in vivo, alleviating intracellular oxidative stress in Caenorhabditis elegans. Treated by OV, the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl radical (DPPH·), diammonium 2,2′-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzo thiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS⁺·) and 2-phenyl-4,4,5,5- tetramethylimidazoline-1-oxyl 3-Oxide (PTIO·) free radicals clearance rates are 88.76, 98.76 and 90.54%, respectively in vitro. Whereas the glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) enzyme activities in C. elegans reach 271.57, 129.26, and 314.68%, respectively. Using RNAi and RT-PCR, it has been further confirmed that OV modulates transcription factor SKN-1, the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) homologous, in C. elegans, enhancing the resistance of C. elegans against sodium arsenite stress. Lifespan analysis reveals that 1 mL OV extends the maximum lifespan of the nematode to 26 days. Evidence is presented which shows that OV increases the lifespan of C. elegans by activating the SKN-1 signaling pathway. Overall, the OV is a well functional condiment, enhancing the value-added of onion.
 
¹HNMR spectra of the isolated fragment 5 in D2O
S-plot of the two varieties of Opuntia spp. prickly pear
General structures of betalain pigments: a) betalamic acid moiety, which is common to all compounds of this class, b) betacyanins, c) betaxanthins
Article
Replacing synthetic dyes with natural pigments has gained great attention over the past years in the food industry, due to the increased alertness of consumers for nontoxic and natural additives. Betalains are water-soluble nitrogenous natural pigments that are used as natural colorants in food industries, due to their applicability and their rich pharmacological profile including antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anticancer properties. Therefore, there is a need for a detailed exploration of betalains to fully exploit their properties. Opuntia spp. plants are one of the primary sources of betalains. The objective of this study was to identify betalain phytochemical content in prickly pear cactus of two different Opuntia species from Greece (an Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill (OFI) orange prickly pear cultivar and an Opuntia spp. purple prickly pear cultivar) using modern analytical techniques as also to evaluate their antioxidant and cytotoxicity profile. To achieve this we used an array of analytical techniques, including ultra-violet-vis (UV-Vis) spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and liquid chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS) as also cell based in vitro assays. These enabled us to establish a rapid approach that can distinguish the different Opuntia spp. cultivars based on their phytochemical constituents through untargeted metabolomics analysis using ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry - quadrupole time-of-flight (UPLC/MS Q-TOF). These findings could allow a further exploitation of Opuntia species and especially their enriched betalain phytochemical profile as viable source of natural food colorants.
 
Changes in (a) available lysine content and (b) CML level in model biscuits stored for six months at room temperature. Available lysine: LOD 0.009 µg/kg, LOQ 0.03 µg/kg; CML: LOD 0.42 ng/ml, LOQ 1.29 ng/ml. Results with different letters are significantly different (P < 0.05). Sample codes: CB: control model biscuits; GPB: model biscuits with the addition of grape by-product
PCA of score plot (a) and loading plot (b) of model biscuits stored for six months at room temperature. Sample codes: CB: control model biscuits; GPB: model biscuits with the addition of grape by-product; A0, A2, A4, A6: samples packaged under air after 0, 2, 4 and 6 months of storage; M0, M2, M4, M6: samples packaged under modified atmosphere after 0, 2, 4, and 6 months of storage
Article
We investigated the changes in Nɛ-(carboxymethyl)lysine (CML) and available lysine content, antioxidant properties, volatiles, and oxidation products of biscuits enriched with grape by-product (GP), stored for six months under a modified atmosphere of 0%/30%/70% O2/CO2/N2 and in air. Fresh GP-formulated biscuits showed lower concentrations of CML (89%), available lysine (40%), and pyrazines (75%), but higher antioxidant capacities (~ sixfold), furans (12-fold), and lipid-derived compounds (three-fold) than the control. Although ~ 15% higher losses of Maillard-type volatiles were identified in the air atmosphere during storage, lipid oxidation was ~ 30% less pronounced in the modified atmosphere. A significant correlation of 0.994 between the reduction in CML and the available lysine suggest further CML reactions with the ɛ-NH2 group of amino acids. Significant correlations (of -0.550 to -0.980) between oxidation products, antioxidant capacities, and changes in CML content during storage suggest that these parameters might be involved in the CML elimination mechanism.
 
Article
Technologies such as UV-A radiation applied to sprouted sorghum can stimulate the synthesis or release of phenolic compounds. Since the optimal conditions for stimulating the formation of these compounds in sorghum sprouts are unknown, we used the response surface methodology to identify the optimal conditions of irradiation duration and intensity to obtain the highest free phenol content and antioxidant activity in sprouted sorghum. The results showed that, compared with nonirradiated sorghum sprouts, sprouts irradiated under the optimal duration of 11.7 h and the optimal intensity of 5.4 µW/cm2 had a significantly higher phenol content (26.3%) and antioxidant activity as measured by DPPH (28.3%) and TEAC (21.1%) assays. Our findings suggest that UV-A radiation can help develop sorghum sprouts with high biological potential that can be used to produce healthy foods for human consumption.
 
Viability of U373MG cells exposed to AV extracts. Cell viability U373 MG cell line exposed to SP and treated with whole Aloe vera (AV) and A. vera polysaccharide (AP) extracts, non-digestible fraction of A. vera (AVND), and A. vera polysaccharides (APND), A. vera fractions fermented at 4 (AVF4) and 24 h (AVF24). IC50 was 10 mg/mL in all samples
Viability response (%) of U373 MG cell line exposed to 10 mg/ml AV, AP, AVND, APND, AVF4, and AVF24, with and without SP stimulus. Controls with DFC (100 μM), and AE (20 μm). Data shown are representative results of three experiments conducted independently (n = 3). Two-way ANOVA and Bonferroni post-hoc test were used in the analysis; p < 0.05
Densitometric analysis of IL6 levels. ELISA kit of three experiments was conducted independently (n = 3). Two-way ANOVA and Bonferroni post-hoc test were used in the analysis; p < 0.05
Expression of MAPK inflammatory pathway proteins in U373 MG astrocytes analyzed by western blot. A) Immunoblot of total P-ERK(1/2) and TERK(1/2) expression and densitometric analysis of P-ERK(1/2)/T-ERK(1/2); B) immunoblot of total P-p38/p38 expression and densitometric analysis of P-p38/T-p38; C) immunoblot of total P-NF-kB/NF-kB expression and densitometric analysis of P-NF-kB/NF-kB. Treatment with 10 mg/mL AV, AP, AVND, APND, AVF4, and AVF24 extracts for 1 h. Data shown are representative results of three experiments conducted independently (n = 3). Two-way ANOVA and Bonferroni post-hoc test were used in the analysis; p < 0.05. Note: Interactions of ERK1/ERK2, p38 and NFκB proteins in inflammatory activation of astrocytes is shown in the Supplementary Material
Article
The anti-inflammatory effects of Aloe vera (AV), polysaccharide extract from AV, and extracts from the digestion and colonic fermentation of AV were evaluated using an immortal astrocyte cell line (U373 MG) that develops a neuro-inflammatory profile. Cell viability and inflammatory markers were assessed after stimulation with neuropeptide substance P (SP) that activates the pro-inflammatory MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) pathway. Cell viability after SP treatment was over 50% at 10 mg/mL AV, polysaccharide extract from AV, extracts from the digestion: non-digestible fraction of AV non-digestible fraction of polysaccharide extract from AV and extracts from the colonic fermentation of AV, at 4 and 24 h. Moreover, cells exposed to SP and treated with these extracts showed lower protein-activated ERK1/ERK2 (extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2), p38 (MAPK protein p38), and NFκB (nuclear factor κB) levels with respect to the SP-stimulated control. Inflammation inhibition by extracts of polysaccharide extract from AV and extracts from the colonic fermentation of AV, at 24 h in the study of p38 was not as statistically significant in ERK1/ERK2 and NFκB. Nevertheless, there was a significant decrease (p < 0.05) in pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6 levels in cells exposed to all samples. Samples with extracts from the colonic fermentation of AV, at 4 or 24 h showed the highest inhibitory effect on IL-6 production.
 
Gel permeation chromatography (GPC) spectra (A) and fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectra of PRDFP-P (B)
Thermo gravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) spectra of phosphorylated red dragon fruit peel pectin (PRDFP-P) (A) and native red dragon fruit peel pectin (PRDFP) (B)
X-ray diffraction (XRD) spectra of phosphorylated red dragon fruit peel pectin (PRDFP-P) and native red dragon fruit peel pectin (PRDFP) (A) and scanning electron microscope (SEM) micrographs of PRDFP and PRDFP-P (B), a and b, PRDFP, c and d, PRDFP-P
Antibacterial activities against E. coli and S. aureus (A), hydroxyl radical scavenging activity (B), 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity (C) and 3-(4,5-Dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2,5-diphenyl-2-H-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay (D) for phosphorylated red dragon fruit peel pectin (PRDFP-P) and native red dragon fruit peel pectin (PRDFP). The assay experiments of antibacterial activity and antioxidant activity were triplicated. The MTT assay experiments were repeated five times. The IC50 values were defined as the half maximal concentration of samples that inhibited 50% of HepG2 cells. The data were expressed as mean ± SD. * and ** denoted the significant differences at 0.05 and 0.01 level
Article
Red dragon fruit peel, as a fruit waste, is rich in plant-based nutritional pectins that can be applied as food additives. The present study aims to characterize a novel phosphorylated red dragon fruit peel pectin (PRDFP-P) and to explore its functional activities. The thermal analysis, morphology analysis, antibacterial, antioxidant and antitumor activities of PRDFP-P were evaluated. The results showed that the phosphorylated derivative PRDFP-P had typical phosphate groups. Compared with the native red dragon fruit peel pectin (PRDFP), PRDFP-P possessed superior thermal stability and exhibited significant inhibition effects on Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Moreover, the phosphate groups on the derivative PRDFP-P chains remarkably enhanced the scavenging ability of hydroxyl radicals and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radicals. In addition, PRDFP-P showed a significant inhibition effect on growth of human hepatic carcinoma cells (HepG2) and the IC50 value was determined to be 248.69 μg/mL (P < 0.05). Our results suggested that the phosphorylated derivative PRDFP-P might be potentially applied as stabilizing, thickening and gelling agents with functional activities in the food industry. Graphical Abstract
 
Breaking force (a) and breaking deformation (b) for bean protein isolate (BPI) gels at different pHs. Different capital letters for each value indicate significant differences p < 0.05 among samples of pH = 6.5 (A –dark grey-) and pH = 7 (B –light grey-) without salt. Different lowercase letters for each value indicate significant differences p < 0.05 among samples of pH A and B with 2% NaCl
Electrophoretic profile for bean protein isolate (BPI) gels at different pHs
Mechanical spectra of gels at 14% and 17% BPI concentration for lots A and B at 20 °C
Article
Gelling ability of a bean protein isolate (BPI) obtained from a naturally low-lectin variety ( Phaseolus vulgaris var. Almonga) was analysed. For that purpose differences on gels processing: concentration (14% and 17%), salt addition (0 and 2%), and pH (6.5 –lot A- and 7 –lot B), were studied to obtain suitable colour, mechanical and viscoelastic properties for making appropriate meat and seafood analogues. Gelation at pH 7 at both 14 and 17% BPI concentrations, produced less rigid, more flexible, time-stable and cohesive gel networks. Colour of the resulting gels was white enough to be considered as an adequate base for making plant-based analogues. The content of total galactoside, inositol phosphates and trypsin inhibitors (bioactive compounds) present in one serving (100 g) of these BPI gels were up to 0.80 mg/g, 8.06 mg/g and 239 TIUs, respectively.
 
Anatomical structure of a coffee cherry
Coffee processing stages, from harvest to consumption. Coffee as a product for human consumption starts with the harvesting of cherry coffee by the farmers. Later, it is treated to obtain parchment coffee in the post-harvest stage, and stored for the first time. Green coffee is ready for commercialization. Before its final consumption, the coffee is roasted, ground and brewed. Coffee can stay in storage for prolonged periods between processing stages
Chemical composition of coffee, contribution of the compounds and reactions to the sensorial quality of the final product
Article
Coffee is one of the most valued consumer products. Surprisingly, there is limited scientific knowledge about the biochemical processes during the storage of green coffee that affects its sensory quality. This review analyzes the impact of the different variables involved in the green coffee storage on quality from a chemical point of view. Further, it highlights the relationship between the physiological processes of the grain, its viability, and shelf-life. Notably, the storage conditions and postharvest treatment affect both the longevity and the sensory quality of the coffee, probably due to the biological behavior of green coffee. Various studies found modifications in their chemical profiles involving carbohydrates, lipids, proteins/amino acids, and phenolic compounds. To make future studies more comparable, we recommend standardized protocols for evaluating and linking the sensory coffee quality with instrumental analysis methods and pre-defined settings for experimental storage conditions.
 
Article
The MeOH:H2O (7:3) extracts of leaves from Chilean bean landraces were assessed for total phenolic (TP), total flavonoid (TF), total proanthocyanidin (TPA) content, antioxidant capacity (ORAC, FRAP, TEAC, CUPRAC, DPPH) and the inhibition of enzymes associated with metabolic syndrome (α-glucosidase, α-amylase, pancreatic lipase). The chemical profiles were analyzed by HPLC-DAD. Higher antioxidant activity in the ORAC and CUPRAC assay was found for the landrace Coscorrón, and the best effect in the TEAC for Sapito, respectively. The main phenolics were flavonol glycosides and caffeic acid derivatives. The extracts presented strong activity against α-glucosidase, but were inactive towards α-amylase and pancreatic lipase. The leaf extract from the Sapito landrace was fractionated to isolate the main α-glucosidase inhibitors, leading to caffeoylmalic acid with an IC50 of 0.21 μg/mL. The HPLC fingerprints of the leaves differentiate three groups of chemical profiles, according to the main phenolic content. A significant correlation was found between the α-glucosidase inhibition, the content of caffeoylmalic acid (r = −0.979) and kaempferol 3-O-β-D-glucoside (r = 0.942) in the extracts. The presence of α-glucosidase inhibitors in the leaves of Chilean beans support their potential as a source of bioactive compounds.
 
Effect of resveratrol on daily average protein levels of key metabolic factors in AML-12 hepatocytes. A pPP2A/PP2A. B pAKT/AKT. C pFOXO1/FOXO1. D pmTOR. E pBMAL1/BMAL1. F PEPCK. G pAMPK/AMPK. H SIRT1. AML-12 were treated with resveratrol for 6 h and incubated for additional 24 h. Protein levels were measured by Western blot analyses and normalized to β-actin. Data are presented as the mean ± SD. * indicates p < 0.05 compared with control
Oscillation of circadian and metabolic genes in AML-12 hepatocytes. A Bmal1.B Sirt1. C Pgc1α. D Srebp1c. AML-12 were treated with resveratrol for 6 h and incubated for additional 24 h. Transcript levels were measured using real-time quantitative PCR and normalized to β-actin mRNA levels. Data are presented as the mean ± SD; all groups were significant (p < 0.05) versus control
Effect of resveratrol on daily average mRNA levels of clock and metabolic gene expression in AML-12 hepatocytes. A Bmal1.B Sirt1. C Pgc1α. D Srebp1c. AML-12 were treated with resveratrol for 6 h and incubated for additional 24 h. All time-points were averaged to achieve an average daily level. Transcript levels were measured using real-time quantitative PCR and normalized to β-actin mRNA levels. Data were presented as the mean ± SD. (*) indicates p < 0.05 compared with control
Metabolic and circadian effect of resveratrol in AML-12 hepatocytes. Resveratrol leads to increased cAMP levels, which lead to PKA activation. PKA activates PP2A and inhibits AKT and mTOR signaling, which leads to FOXO1 activation and increased PEPCK expression. PP2A also inhibits AMPK, which activates gluconeogenesis. Low mTOR signaling leads to reduced pBMAL1, allowing BMAL1 to work as a transcription factor, rather than a translation factor, leading to phase advances in circadian expression
Phase and amplitude of clock genes in resveratrol- treated AML-12 hepatocytes
Article
Resveratrol is a nutritional substance that has both metabolic and circadian effects. While some studies indicate a correlation between resveratrol and reduced gluconeogenesis, others propose the opposite. Our aim was to study the metabolic effect of resveratrol around the circadian clock in order to determine more accurately the hepatic signaling pathways involved. AML-12 hepatocytes were treated with resveratrol and clock and metabolic markers were measured around the clock. Resveratrol-treated AML-12 hepatocytes showed reduced ratio of the following key metabolic factors: phosphorylated PP2A to total PP2A (pPP2A/PP2A), pAKT/AKT, pFOXO1/FOXO1 and pAMPK/AMPK, indicating inhibition of AKT and AMPK, but activation of PP2A and FOXO1. In addition, the levels of phosphorylated mTOR were low after resveratrol treatment. The levels of the key gluconeogenic enzyme phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) were significantly higher after resveratrol treatment. In accordance with the reduced mTOR activity, the ratio of pBMAL1/BMAL1, the clock transcription factor, also decreased. Bmal1 mRNA oscillated robustly in AML-12 hepatocytes, but resveratrol treatment led to a phase advance and a decrease in its amplitude, similarly to the effect on Srebp1c and Pgc1α mRNA. After resveratrol treatment, daily mRNA levels of Bmal1, Sirt1 and Srebp1c were significantly higher. Resveratrol changes the circadian expression of metabolic and clock genes activating the fasting state and inducing the PP2A-FOXO1-PEPCK pathway.
 
Article
The growing world population will increase the demand for new sustainable foods and ingredients. Here we studied the safety and tolerance of Lemna minor, a new sustainable vegetable crop from the duckweed family. Twenty-four healthy adults consumed either L. minor plant material or spinach as vegetable (170 g fresh weight) as part of a warm meal on 11 consecutively days in a randomized controlled parallel trial design. The intervention meals had a different recipe for each day of the week. All participants had to report daily if they experienced gastric complaints, feelings of hunger, fullness, desire to eat, thirst, general health, nausea, and stool consistency. Only hunger, flatulence and constipation were significantly different between both intervention groups. At the start and end of the intervention, blood and urine were sampled in order to analyze biomarkers for general health, e.g ., kidney function, liver function, cardiovascular health, inflammation and iron status. Both intervention groups did not show significant differences for these biomarkers. In taste attributes the L. minor -based products showed in only a few specific cases a significant difference compared to the spinach-based products. Based on the results we conclude that 11 consecutive days intake of 170 g fresh weight L. minor plants as a cooked vegetable does not result in any adverse effect in healthy adult subjects.
 
Top-cited authors
Octavio Paredes-Lopez
  • Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute
Shela Gorinstein
  • Hebrew University of Jerusalem
José A. Fernández-López
  • Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena
Janet A. Gutiérrez-Uribe
  • Tecnológico de Monterrey
Sergio O Serna-Saldivar
  • Tecnológico de Monterrey