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Bioactive compounds in foods



Bioactive substances in foods can represent ”extranutritional” constituents naturally present in small quantities that typically occur in small quantities in foods. Bioactive constituents of food evoke physiological, behavioral, and immunological effects. Many bioactive compounds have been discovered. These compounds vary widely in chemical structure and function and are grouped accordingly.
Bioactive compounds in foods
Stachnik M., Bać A. Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Koszalin University of Technology, Poland
Bioactive substances in foods represent "extranutritional" constituents naturally occuring in small quantities. Bioactive
constituents of food have physiological, behavioral, and immunological effects. Many of these compounds have been
discovered and they vary widely in chemical structure and function and are grouped accordingly.
Abioactive compound has a proven effect on a living organism, tissue or cell. In t he
field of nutrition bioactive compounds are distinguished from essential nutrients. While
nutrients are essential to the body, the bioactive compounds are not. However, bioactive
compounds can have a positive influence on health.
These secondary products of plant metabolism can modulate xenobiotic metabolizing
and cholesterol synthetic enzymes or influence intestinal transit, modify nutrient
absorption and excretion, and exhibit immunostimulating and antihypertensive activity.
Therapeutic proteins (e.g., specific antibodies) derived from animal products such as milk
may offer the potential for developing specialized food products with prophylactic as well
as nutritive quality.
1. Kitts D.D., B ioactive substances in food: identification and potential uses, Can J Physiol Pharmacol.1994
2. Weaver C. M., Bioactive Foods and Ingredients for Health Adv Nutr May 2014 Adv Nutr vol. 5, 2014, 306-311
3. "Definition of Bioactive" MedicineNet. 14 June 2012.
Bioactive food ingredients with beneficial health properties:
dietary fiber;
amino acids;
polyunsaturated fatty acids;
vitamins and minerals;
the choline and the lecithin;
plant sterols;
Stevia is a sweetener and sugar substitute extracted from the leaves of the plant
species Stevia rebaudiana. is a truly natural plant sweetener;
has zero calories;
does not cause dental caries;
reduces arterial hypertension and helps with
type 2 diabetes;
has antibacterial and antifungal properties;
is suitable for sweetening sour dishes;
does not undergo the fermentation;
can be stored for a long time;
withstands high temperature.
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol used as a sweetener. Xylitol is naturally found in low
concentrations in the fibers of many fruits and vegetables, can be extracted from various
berries, oats, and mushrooms, and can be produced by the action of yeast on the xylose
contained in fibrous material.
is similar in the appearance and the taste with sucrose;
has antibacterial properties;
improves body's immune system;
very effectively in the fight against gingivitis and tooth
improves absorption of calcium in the diet.
Ellagic acid is a natural phenol antioxidant found in numerous fruits and vegetables.
has anti-inflammatory properties, anticancer and
antioxidant properties;
additionally, it prevents skin wrinkling;
exerts photoprotective action, secures the skin f rom
radiation damage;
appearing: berries, mainly strawberries, raspberries,
the cranberry, grapes, as well as walnuts, pom egranate.
Ajoene is an organosulfur compound found in garlic (Allium sativum).
anticancer properties;
lowers level "of bad cholesterol";
has antibiotic and anti-static properties, as it
disturbs bacterial biofilm;
supports fast healing infection with Pseudomonas
Quercetin is a plant polyphenol from the flavonoid group, found in many fruits,
vegetables, leaves, and grains. It can be used as an ingredient in supplements,
beverages, or foods.
has strong anti-inflammatory properties;
inhibits secretion of the histamine, thus has strong
antiallergic properties;
prevents blood clots;
is essential for the absorption of the vitamin C;
has anticancer properties.
Lycopene is a bright red carotene and carotenoid pigment and phytochemical
found in tomatoes and other red fruits and vegetables, such as red carrots,
watermelons, and papayas, although not in strawberries or cherries.
prevents heart disease;
prevents "hardening of the arteries”
prevents cancer of the prostate, breast, lung,
bladder, ovaries, colon, and pancreas;
used for treating human papilloma v irus (HPV)
used for cataracts and asthma.
Discoveries in bioactive components and health are
escalating. Possibilities for improving human health for
weight management, prevention and treatment of chronic
disease, and wellness abound. On the horizon are
bioactive components that influence the gut microbiome
and genetic control.
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