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Hazelnuts as Source of Bioactive Compounds and Health Value Underestimated Food


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Hazelnut (HN) has found its way into nontraditional foods due to the recognition of its nutritional and nutraceutical properties. Among nut species, hazelnut plays a major role in human nutrition and health because of its special composition of fat (mainly oleic acid), dietary fibre, vitamins (vitamin E), minerals, phytosterols (mainly Β-sitosterol), and antioxidant phenolics. In particular, lipids represent 60% of its dry weight and are mainly represented by triacylglycerols where the main fatty acids are oleic and linoleic acids. Furthermore, HN oil is an exceptional source of specific bioactive compounds as tocopherols, mainly a-tocopherol. Besides a favourable fatty acid profile and high tocopherols content, HNs are also a source of minerals and phytosterols, where potassium and Β-sitosterol are the major ones. In addition, the presence of several phenolic antioxidants such as mono- and oligomeric flavan 3-ols has been reported. HNs represent a very interesting food, and their nutritional and health value need to be further evidenced in intervention trials. In addition, the use of HN by-products as new functional ingredient represents an important challenge for the sector and the food industry.
Hazelnuts as Source of Bioactive Compounds and
Health Value Underestimated Food
Department of Agri-Food Sciences and Technologies (DISTAL),
University of Bologna, Cesena, Italy.
Hazelnut (HN) has found its way into nontraditional foods due to the
recognition of its nutritional and nutraceutical properties. Among nut
species, hazelnut plays a major role in human nutrition and health
because of its special composition of fat (mainly oleic acid), dietary
fibre, vitamins (vitamin E), minerals, phytosterols (mainly β-sitosterol),
and antioxidant phenolics.
In particular, lipids represent 60% of its dry weight and are mainly
represented by triacylglycerols where the main fatty acids are oleic
and linoleic acids. Furthermore, HN oil is an exceptional source of
specific bioactive compounds as tocopherols, mainly α-tocopherol.
Besides a favourable fatty acid profile and high tocopherols content,
HNs are also a source of minerals and phytosterols, where potassium
and β-sitosterol are the major ones. In addition, the presence of several
phenolic antioxidants such as mono- and oligomeric flavan 3-ols has
been reported.
HNs represent a very interesting food, and their nutritional and health
value need to be further evidenced in intervention trials. In addition,
the use of HN by-products as new functional ingredient represents an
important challenge for the sector and the food industry.
Current Research in Nutrition and Food Science
ISSN: 2347-467X, Vol. 07, No. (1) 2019, Pg. 17-28
CONTACT Mattia Di Nunzio Department of Agri-Food Sciences and Technologies (DISTAL), University
of Bologna, Cesena, Italy.
© 2019 The Author(s). Published by Enviro Research Publishers.
This is an Open Access article licensed under a Creative Commons license: Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY).
Article History
Received: 04 March 2019
Accepted: 25 April 2019
Dietary Fibre;
Corylus avellana L., the European HN, is the second
most popular nut worldwide just after almonds and
production ranges from North Africa and Europe
to the Asia Minor and Caucasus region. Countries
around the Black Sea account for the majority
of production in the world: Turkey (610,264 tons,
average for the period 2009–2011), Azerbaijan
18NUNZIO, Curr. Res. Nutr Food Sci Jour., Vol. 7(1), 17-28 (2019)
(28,564 tons), and Georgia (20,567 tons). Other
important producers are Italy (114,991 tons), the
USA (35,079 tons), and Spain (16,988 tons).1
In Turkey, the principal HN producer providing
around 72% of the HN production in the world, the
major HN cultivar is Tombul, followed by Çakıldak,
Mincane and İncekara, which are located mainly
in the provinces of Ordu and Giresun.2 Italy, the
world's second largest producer, possess numerous
traditional cultivars, which are mostly growth in the
regions Campania, Latium and Piedmont. Recently,
some of the major cultivars (Tonda Romana from
Latium, Tonda di Giffoni from Campania and Tonda
delle Langhe from Piedmont) obtained the European
Community quality stamp for their traditional
peculiarity.3 Today exists a variety of almost 400 HN
cultivars, but only about 20 of them represents the
basis of world production. Nut chemical, physical and
morphological characteristics are highly dependent
on interactions with the environment and genotype,
postharvest management and cultural techniques.4
Thanks to their sensory properties, HNs are
consumed not only as a ripe or “green” fruit but also
in a variety of manufactured food such as chocolate
spread, cereal bar, cookie, nougat, pastry, ice cream
and cooking oil production. HNs are consumed
roasted or raw, chopped, intact, or processed into a
praline paste; they are typically processed integrally
into food products, although HN oil is also frequently
used for cooking.5,6
Among nuts, HN plays a key role in human nutrition
and health because of its special content of
macronutrients (lipids and fibre), micronutrients
(minerals and vitamins), fat-soluble bioactives
(tocols, phytosterols, phytostanols and squalene)
and phytochemicals (flavonoids and phenolic and
hydroxycinnamic acids).7-9 A list of each class of
nutrients and their quantity is reported in table 1.
Lipids and Fatty Acids
The main nutrient of the HN kernel is the lipid portion,
which has the biggest impact on kernel flavour,
especially after roasting. For many years the edible
vegetable oils composition has been evaluated
with the objective to obtain knowledge to improve
product quality in terms of flavour, taste, nutrition,
storage stability and guaranteeing the legitimacy of
the material.10
Lipids may constitute more than 60% of the HN
kernel dry weight and are constituted of 98.8%
triacylglycerols (TAG) and 1.2% polar lipids (PL). Within
PL, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine
and phosphatidylinositol are present at 56.4%,
30.8% and 11.7%, respectively.11 Among fatty acids,
oleic acid (C18:1n9) is by far the most predominant
ranging from 76.7% to 82.8%, followed by linoleic
(C18:2n6), palmitic (C16:0), stearic (C18:0) and
vaccenic (C18:1n7) acids with mean values of
9.2%, 5.6%, 2.7% and 1.4%, respectively.12 This
is very similar in composition to fatty acids of olive
oil and generally recommended for a healthy diet.13
Moreover, due to the high level of mono-unsaturated
fatty acids (MUFA) and tocopherols/tocotrienols
content, HN oils have an oxidative stability similar
to the value of olive oil, and higher compared to
rapeseed oil.14 As consequence, it is present only
a minor increase of the possibly harmful trans fatty
acids during the thermal treatment of nuts (roasting)
and, although some minor changes occurred in the
TAG and fatty acid compositions, the corresponding
profiles basically remained identical to that of raw
Moreover, various studies reported as lipids content
increased continuously during the development of
the kernel, from 6.38 g/100g dry matter to 68 g/100g
dry matter.13,14 Regarding fatty acids, from early to
harvest stage a reducing and an increasing trend in
the amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids (from 31
to 10.3 g/100g of oil) and MUFA (from 22 g/100g oil
to 79.2 g/100g oil) was detected, respectively. No
significant changes were observed in total saturated
fatty acids at different maturation stage.14,15
From the nutritional viewpoint, various studies have
confirmed that a diet with a low amount of saturated
fatty acids and high content of MUFA can effectively
reduce the risk of coronary heart disease amending
blood lipid levels and blood pressure ameliorating
metabolic syndrome and insulin sensitivity.18-21
Dietary Fibre
In the simple terms, dietary fibre can be considered as
a ‘roughage’ material of carbohydrates (beta-glucans,
19NUNZIO, Curr. Res. Nutr Food Sci Jour., Vol. 7(1), 17-28 (2019)
lignin, cellulose, pectin and hemicellulose) resistant
to small intestine digestion, requiring microbiota
fermentation situated in the large intestine.22,23 Types
of dietary fibre may be categorized according to
their sources, solubility, fermentability, physiological
effects, and they can be obtained from cereals,
legumes, fruit and vegetables.24-25
After cereals, nuts are the vegetables most reach in
fibre. Among tree nuts, the highest content in dietary
fibre were measured in almonds (9.2%), followed by
HNs (8.7%), walnuts (6.8%), macadamia nuts (5.5%)
and pistachios (4.2%).26 Moreover, Silva et al.27
compared the fibre in six cultivars of HNs harvested
in Portugal. The fibre content, expressed as g/100g,
ranged from 12.07 to 8.05 for Butler and Merveille de
Bollwille varieties respectively, indicating consistent
variations of dietary fibre among HN cultivars.
Today, recent and persuasive evidences confirmed
that high dietary fibre intake promotes overall
health and associates with lower mortality through
preventing and mitigating of cardiovascular disease,
colon cancer and type 2 diabetes mellitus,28
suggesting an adequate intake for the Italian adult in
the amount of 25 g/day.29 Although the mechanisms
that underline the described effects of dietary fibre
on health are not well-known, it is supposed to be
a consequence of changes in nutrient absorption,
production of short chain fatty acids, gut hormones
secretion and intestinal viscosity.30-32
Minerals are normally divided into macro-minerals
and micro-minerals. Major minerals include Ca, Mg,
K, Na, Cl, P and S; while trace minerals are I, Zn,
Se, Fe, Mn, Cu, Co, Mo, F, Cr and B. Different plant
and animal sources can be consumed to obtain a
number of essential minerals for a healthy nutrition.33
In HN, at least a total of 24 minerals have been stated
so far with an extremely high variability depending on
genotypes, geographical origin, year of harvesting,
climate, soil composition, irrigation, use of fertilizer
and method of cultivation.34,35 Generally, K is the most
present mineral with a concentration ranging from
147 mg/100g to 761 mg/100g, followed by P (from
256 mg/100g to 458 mg/100g), Ca (from 65 mg/100g
to 328 mg/100g) and Mg (from 34 mg/100g to 335
mg/100g). HNs serve also as an excellent source
of trace minerals as Cu (from 0.94 mg/100g to 3.47
mg/100g), Mn (from 1.4 mg/100g to 19 mg/100g),
and Se (from 5.5 μg/100g to 60 μg/100g).35-40 With
regard to the trace minerals, a standard portion of
HN (30g) supplies, as percentage of the Population
Reference Intake (PRI) or Adequate Intake (AI) for
Italian adult males (aged 30-59 years), 31-116% of
Cu, 16-211% of Mn, and 3-33% of Se.29
Even though each essential mineral has its own
health benefits, Se in particular is an essential trace
mineral of central importance to human health. As
part of L-selenocysteine, selenium is needed for the
Fig. 1: Natural forms of vitamin E.44
20NUNZIO, Curr. Res. Nutr Food Sci Jour., Vol. 7(1), 17-28 (2019)
synthesis of selenoproteins, a class of proteins with
important functions including skeletal and cardiac
muscle function, T-cell immunity, thyroid hormone
metabolism and antioxidant defense.41
Tocopherols and tocotrienols are monophenols
having the identical main chemical structure
constituted by a long chain attached at 2-position
of a chromane ring. Tocotrienols diverge from
tocopherols because they have a farnesyl rather than
a saturated isoprenoid C16 side chain42 and exist as
four homologues (α, β, γ, δ) which differ from each
other by the number and location of methyl groups
in their chemical structures.43
Various nuts have been reported to show significant
tocopherols and tocotrienols differences, ranging
from approximately 1.6 mg/100g of kernel for
macadamia to 32 mg/100g of kernel for black walnut.
Among them, α- and γ-tocopherol are the most
represented isoforms.45 HN oil is an exceptional
source of vitamin E, where α-tocopherol being the
dominant form with a content up to 41.9 mg/100g
extracted oil,8,34 corresponding at 96% of total
tocols.46 Differences in vitamin E content in HN
oil depend on the variety and geographical origin,
where the Tombul variety grown in Turkey seems to
have the highest tocols content.41 Moreover, roasting
and removal of the pellicle (peeling) have shown to
reduce considerably tocopherol content.46
The high α-tocopherol content represents a peculiar
characteristic, since of the eight naturally occurring
forms, α-tocopherol is the most active homologues
retained in human plasma with the highest antioxidant
activity.47 In addition to its activity as an antioxidant
in the prevention of potentially harmful phospholipid
oxidation events at plasma membrane,48 vitamin E is
also involved in various metabolic processes such
as regulation of gene expression, cell signalling
and immune function.49 Moreover, vitamin E
forms suppress pro-inflammatory signalling such
as STAT3/6 and NF-κB and inhibit eicosanoids
catalysed by cyclooxygenase- and 5-lipoxygenase.44
Consistent with mechanistic findings, assumption
of vitamin E contributes to the prevention of various
diseases as cardiovascular, neurodegenerative,
non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases and some kind of
Phytosterols and Phytostanols
HNs are also rich in plant sterols (phytosterols
and phytostanols). Phytosterols are comparable in
structure to cholesterol, possessing the same basic
cyclopentanoperhydrophenanthrene ring structure
but differentiating in the side chain at C24 and/or
the position and configuration of unsaturated double
bonds and the optical rotation at chiral carbons.51,52
Phytostanols are produced by hydrogenating
Sterols include a major percentage of the unsaponi-
fiable matter of most vegetable oils and they exist as
free sterols and sterol esters of fatty acids.
In HN, the total phytosterols content ranges from
133.8 mg/100g to 263 mg/100g of oil. Among them,
Fig. 2: Structures of common dietary phytosterols and cholesterol.53
21NUNZIO, Curr. Res. Nutr Food Sci Jour., Vol. 7(1), 17-28 (2019)
β-sitosterol is the major one with a mean percentage
of 83.6%, while 5-avenasterol and campesterol
are the second and the third components of
the group with mean values of 6.1% and 5.8%,
respectively.12 Other minor phytosterol/phytostanol
found in HN are sitostanol, stigmasterol, cholestenol,
campestanol, 7-campesterol, 5,23-stigmastadienol,
5,24-stigmastadienol, clerosterol, 7-stigmastenol,
and 7-avenasterol.10 The HN oil sterol composition
is influenced by agronomic and environmental
conditions, crop season, cultivar as well as storage
conditions and oil extraction methods.2 In particular,
the percentage of sterol esters ranged from 11% to
75%, mainly depending on the refined process and
geographical origin. It is remarkable that sterol esters
of Turkish HN oils (either crude or refined) included
more than 40%, while they were less than 35% in
HN oils from Franch, Italy and Spain, the lowest
values being for roasted crude HN oils (11–16%).16
Phytosterols are well-known for their ability of
reducing blood cholesterol. In fact, many studies
have demonstrated that phytosterols induce clinically
significant reductions in low-density lipoprotein
cholesterol (LDL-C) levels.54 In particular, daily
dose of 1.5 g - 3 g of phytosterols, phytostanols
and their esters have been suggested for lowering
total cholesterol (TC) and LDL-C concentration
significantly.34 One of the most suggested
mechanisms of action of phytosterols in lowering
plasma cholesterol concentration is their capacity
to reduce cholesterol absorption at intestinal
level. In fact, phytosterols are structurally similar
to cholesterol and are assimilated into micelles in
the intestinal tract. Since plant sterols are more
hydrophobic than cholesterol, they possess a higher
inclination for micelles than they have for cholesterol.
Consequently, they displace cholesterol from mixed
micelles and determine a reduction in the duodenal
cholesterol absorption and a higher fecal excretion
of cholesterol.55 Furthermore, in vitro and in vivo
studies suggest that phytosterols content in diet
promotes a decrease in various cancers including
colon, breast and prostate cancer by slowing cell
cycle progression, inducing apoptosis, and inhibiting
tumor metastasis.53,56-58
Squalene is a highly unsaturated all-trans linear
terpenoid hydrocarbon which comports as the
biochemical precursor of terpenoids and sterols
with their central role in human, animal and plant
It is extensively present in nature, and considerable
quantities are found in oil from shark and whale liver,
wheat-germ, palm, rice bran, olive and amaranth.61
Among nuts, squalene content was higher in HN >
macadamia > peanuts > almonds > walnut,62 with
a value in HN ranging from 93 mg/kg to 885 mg/kg
oil, depending by cultivar, environmental conditions,
geographical origin, fruit development and the
method of squalene extraction.2,63-65 In particular for
the latter, squalene contents appeared higher in HN
oil extracted with solvent compared to cold pressed
one, probably due to higher squalene solubility in
From a nutritional perspective, squalene has
important beneficial effects on health, mainly
related to its hypolipidemic, anticancer, antioxidant
and detoxifying activity.66 Enriched squalene diet
significantly increased paraoxonase 1and high-
density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and reduced
oxidative damage in animals.67
In parallel to its plasma lipids lowering effect,
experimental studies have revealed that squalene
may efficiently prevent chemically-induced skin, lung
Fig. 3: Structure of squalene in coiled form.60
22NUNZIO, Curr. Res. Nutr Food Sci Jour., Vol. 7(1), 17-28 (2019)
and colon tumorigenesis in rats. The mechanisms
implicated for the chemopreventive action of
squalene can comprise modulation of carcinogen
activation, anti-oxidative activities and inhibition
of Ras farnesylation.68,69 Furthermore, various in
vivo and in vitro studies suggested that squalene
possesses an antioxidant activity, principally acting
as radical scavenger, and may protect different
biological molecules as DNA, lipids and protein
against oxidative stress.70-74
The health effects of diets rich in fruits and vegetables
are due not only to minerals, vitamins and fibre but
also to a variety of plant secondary metabolites
referred collectively as polyphenols,75 to which
many biological effects have been attributed.76-78
The preponderance of polyphenols in plants exist
as glycosides with diverse sugar units at different
positions of the polyphenol skeletons and have
been categorized by their biological function, source
of origin and chemical structure.79-80 According to
the chemical structures of aglycones, polyphenols
may be classified in flavonoids, stilbenes, lignans,
flavonoids, hydrobenzoic and hydroxycinnamic
The presence of several phenolic and hydroxycinnamic
acids (sinapic acid, gallic acid, p-coumaric acid,
caffeic acid, vanillic acid, protocatechuic acid, ferulic
acid,), and flavonoids (catechin, quercetin, myricetin,
kaempferol) have been reported in HNs. In particular,
the main polyphenolic subclass comprises of mono-
and oligomeric flavan 3-ols, which accounts between
34.2 and 58.3% in HN kernels, with a total phenolic
content ranging from 491.2 to 1700.4 mg of gallic
acids equivalent/kg.82
Moreover, roasting increase the phenolic content
in a time and temperature dependent manner
compared to raw HNs.83 Numerous epidemiological
and nutritional evidences suggest that natural
polyphenols play a key role in prevention of cancer,84
and in particular Li & Parry have shown that extract
of HN roasted skin cultivated in Oregon significantly
reduce the proliferation of a human colon cancer
cell line.85
Table 1. HS Nutrient Composition
Total lipids > 60% d.w.
Oleic acid 76.7% - 82.8%
Linoleic acid 9.2%
Palmitic acid 5.6%
Stearic acid 2.7%
Vaccenic acid 1.4%
Fibre 8.05 g/100g - 12.07 g/100g
K 147 mg/100 – 761 mg/100mg
P 256 mg/100g – 458 mg/100g
Ca 65 mg/100g – 328 mg/100g
Mg 34 mg/100g – 335 mg/100g
Cu 0.94 mg/100g – 3.47 mg/100g
Mn 1.4 mg/100g – 19 mg/100g
Se 5.5 μg/100 – 60 μg/100
Tocols 41.9 mg/100g extracted oil
Total phytosterols 133.8 mg/100g – 263 mg/100g
Total sterol esters 11% - 75%
β-Sitosterol 83.6%
5-Avenasterol 6.1%
Campesterol 5.8%
Squalene 93 mg/kg oil – 885 mg/kg oil
Total polyphenols 0.491 g/kg oil – 1.7 g of gallic acid equivalent/kg
Flavan 3-ols 34.2% - 58.3%
23NUNZIO, Curr. Res. Nutr Food Sci Jour., Vol. 7(1), 17-28 (2019)
Health Effects of HNs Consumption
Even though a significant number of clinical
studies on various tree nuts have been realized,
only few studies specifically related to HN have
been conducted. In a recent systematic review and
bayesian meta-analysis, Perna et al. evidenced that
HN-enriched diet is associated with a decrease of
LDL-C and TC equal to -0.150 mmol/L and -0.127
mmol/L, respectively, in favour of a HN-enriched
diet.86 More recently, this trend was also confirmed
by Deon et al., who reported in adolescents with
primary hyperlipidemia a significant effect on serum
LDL-C, HDL-C/LDL-C ratio and non-HDL-C.87 Similar
results in the reduction of serum LDL-C were also
observed by Santi et al. in healthy volunteers.88 At the
same time, HN consumption was able to decrease
LDL oxidation (-15.7%) in normolipidemic healthy
volunteers89 and plasma inflammatory markers
such as high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (-35.9%),
soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (-10.6%)
and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1
(-8.08%) in hypercholesterolemic subjects, compared
to a control diet.90
Future Directions
At present, considering the world production of HNs,
another relevant challenge for the sector could be
to turn food processing by-products and wastes
into new ingredients. In fact, during processing of
HN, by-products arise as waste materials. Among
them, none has any commercial value except
the HN hard shell, which is currently used as a
heating source upon burning. HN wastes could
represent functional ingredients to take advantage
of to improve nutritional and health value of foods.
To do it, comprehensive studies of their chemical
composition, physical structure, sensorial properties
and nutritional characteristics are necessary.
The expansion of studies and investigations intended
to exam the effectiveness of functional nutrients
and food components has illuminated many parts
of the multifaceted connection between nutrition
and health. Despite, we have to take in mind that
our diet is based on foods and not on individual
compounds. Consequently, it is fundamental to
demonstrate that certain nutrients have a positive
effect in the prevention of a disease, and to
recognize which foods possess them at relevant
concentration.91 Moreover, foods are complex
matrices in which those components could have
synergistic effects, and bioaccessibility may be
influenced by both gastrointestinal conditions and
chemical characteristics of the food matrix.92-97
HN is an example of synergism among nutrients that
can be transformed into a large variety of products
consumed by a wide range of population every day.
Studies reported in this review underscore the health-
promoting effects of HN nutrients and consumption.
At present, more scientific confirmations are needed
to regard HNs as functional food, but results are
auspicious and there are various elements of great
attention that push the researchers to expand the
scientific acquaintance about nuts in general and
HNs in particular.
Conflict of Interest
The Author reports no potential conflict of interest.
This work was partially supported by a Grant of
Italian MIUR (RFO M.D.N.)
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Benefits of Einkorn-Based Breads. Nutrients
... There are many studies on the nutrient content of hazelnut in Turkey. There are studies in the literature in terms of fatty acid composition [25][26][27], bioactive compounds [17,28,29], and mineral contents [30][31][32]. ...
... Therefore, S-1 accession could contribute to breeding efforts as a source of total phenolics and total flavonoids. Foods high in phenolic content protect against the harmful effects of cancer and oxidative stress, and also promote human health [17]. Significant differences were determined in term of antioxidant activity between hazelnut accessions and standard hazelnut cultivars (p < 0.05). ...
... Many of the accessions investigated (particularly S-1 and T-2) were found to possess high antioxidant activity. Antioxidant-rich foods have important effects in reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular, inflammatory, and neurodegenerative disorders, as well as colon cancer [17]. These accessions can be used as genetic material in hazelnut breeding programs as a crucial source of antioxidant activity. ...
Full-text available
This study was carried out to determine the fatty acid composition, bioactive compounds, and mineral element content of standard hazelnut cultivars and accessions from the Eastern Black Sea region. A wide variation was determined in terms of the traits examined between hazelnut accessions and cultivars. Most of the accessions investigated had higher values of bioactive compounds, oleic acid, stearic acid, Na, and Ca than the standard cultivars. Among accessions investigated, S-1 had the highest total phenolics and antioxidants (557.3 mg/100 g and 0.53 mmol/100 g) while P-4 had the lowest (307.3 mg/100 g and 0.22 mmol/100 g). The highest oleic acid content was determined in P-2 (87.16%); the lowest was in H-1 (71.24%). Linoleic acid ranged from 4.35% (P-1) to 18.06% (H-1). P-2 (3349 mg/kg and 2464 mg/kg, respectively) had the highest K and P contents. The highest mg content was found in S-1 (1787 mg/kg). The highest value of Ca and Na was determined in P-1 (2701 mg/kg and 412 mg/kg, respectively). Principal component analysis revealed that the traits studied could effectively explain the variability among hazelnut genetic sources. First, three components explained about 60% of total variation. PC1 was related to arachidonic acid and most of the mineral elements (P, K, mg, Ca, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, B, Cd, Ni, and S), and explained 27.6% of the total variation. PC2 explained 18.3% of the total variation, and was mainly related to oleic, linoleic, and linolenic acid, as well as Ca. PC3 was related to total phenolics, total flavonoids, antioxidant activity, and palmitic acid, and explained 14.5% of total variation. The oleic acid had a strong negative correlation with linoleic acid (−0.99 ***) and linolenic acid (−0.95 ***). A strong positive correlation was determined between antioxidant activity and total flavonoids (r = 0.95 ***). K content showed a strong positive correlation with P (r = 0.92 ***) and mg (r = 0.82 ***) contents. A strong positive correlation was also determined between P and mg (r = 0.91***). These findings revealed that many of the accessions investigated were a good source of fatty acids and bioactive compounds. As a conclusion, most accessions with superior nutritional content can be evaluated as genetic material for the development of new cultivars in hazelnut breeding programs.
... Hazelnut constitutes a significant part of the daily diet in developed and developing countries as well as being widely used in the confectionery, ice cream, baking, and chocolate industries. Hazelnut is rich in dietary fiber, lipids, fatty acids, micro-macro mineral elements, vitamins (Balta et al., 2006;Alasalvar et al., 2010;Turan, 2019), phytosterols and phytostanols, squalene, and phenolic compounds (Yılmaz et al., 2019;Di Nunzio, 2019). It stands out as an antioxidant source in preventing diseases such as cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, inflammatory, colon cancer, and type-2 diabetes (Di Nunzio, 2019; Yılmaz et al., 2019). ...
... n= 300 for the nut and kernel traits (three replicates × five plants for each replicate × twenty nuts) antioxidant properties of phenolic compounds are effective against many pathological problems associated with oxidative stress damage. In addition, bioactive compounds in plants have anti-inflammatory, antiulcer, antiallergic, antimicrobial, antithrombotic, antiatherogenic and anticarcinogenic effects (Di Nunzio, 2019). Ecological conditions, cultivar (Yılmaz et al., 2019), maturity level, and cultural practices (Cristofori et al., 2015) affect the bioactive compounds in hazelnuts. ...
... Flavonoids are a significant group of polyphenols with antioxidant properties (Di Nunzio, 2019). The total flavonoid content in all cultivars was significantly affected by cluster drop intensity (p < 0.05). ...
Full-text available
This study was conducted to determine how the intensity of the cluster drop effects nut traits, bioactive compounds, and fatty acid composition in Tombul, Palaz and Kalınkara hazelnut cultivars. The cluster drop significantly affected bioactive compounds and fatty acid composition while it did not affect the traits of the nuts. As cluster drop intensity increased, nut traits and bioactive compounds in all cultivars increased. Strong cluster drop intensity determined the highest total phenolics, total flavonoids, and antioxidant activity. Except for the Kalınkara cultivar, a low amount of linoleic acid was detected while high amounts of oleic and stearic acid were determined in slight cluster drop intensity. As cluster drop intensity increased, palmitic acid increased. Principal component analysis showed that the slight and intermediate drop intensity were generally associated with kernel length, oleic, linoleic, stearic, palmitoleic, 11-eicosenoic and arachidic acids. In contrast, strong intensity was associated with nut and kernel weight, kernel ratio, kernel width, kernel thickness, kernel size, bioactive compounds, and palmitic acid. As a result, the bioactive compounds and fatty acid composition, which are important for human health, was significantly affected by cluster drop intensity.
... In recent years nuts are gaining popularity, not only among the consumers but also among the producers. Hazelnut (Coryllus avellana L.) is the second most consumed nut worldwide, just after almond, being Turkey the biggest producer (Nunzio, 2019). Hazelnut consumption is associated with several health benefits, due to its composition in macronutrients (lipids and fibre), micronutrients (minerals and vitamins), fat-soluble bioactives (tocols, phytosterols, phytostanols and squalene) and phytochemicals (flavonoids and phenolic and hydroxycinnamic acids) (Alasalvar & Bolling, 2015;Glei et al., 2018;Oliveira et al., 2008). ...
... Approximately, 80% of the hazelnut production is used in the chocolate industry, confectionery, pastry, ice cream and biscuits (Aydoğan et al., 2018). Nowadays, there are different hazelnut varieties, almost 400, although only 20 of them represent the basis of the worldwide production (Nunzio, 2019). According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO, 2017), in 2017, the worldwide production of hazelnut was approximately one million tonnes. ...
Full-text available
Introduction: Hazelnut is one of the most consumed nuts in the world, and its consumption is associated with numerous health benefits. Objectives: This study aimed to analyse the post-harvest practices in the hazelnut sector in a sample of Portuguese producers living in the Viseu district and also in the unique Portuguese industry in this sector. Methods: It was undertaken a descriptive cross-sectional study on a sample consisting of 11 participants (10 hazelnut producers and one hazelnut industry in Portugal). The surveys were applied by personal interview after informed consent only to adults (aged 18 or over). Results: The results obtained showed that 80.0% had their hazelnut plantation in the form of an orchard, with areas under 10 hectares, and in most cases aged 20 years or more. The main varieties used by the producers were Grada de Viseu and Segorbe. For the industry, the main varieties were Grada de Viseu, Ennis and Tonda de Giffoni. For the majority of participants (87.5%), the harvest was done manually, with the fruits being stored in warehouses at room temperature and without relative humidity control. In the case of industry, hazelnut kernels were stored at a controlled temperature (0-10 ⁰C) and with relative humidity control (<70%). The material used for transport/sale was different for industry and producers. Conclusions: This study clarified the post-harvest practices, as well as some of the difficulties experienced by hazelnut producers in Portugal.
... Hazelnut plays a vital role in human nutrition and health thanks to its phenolics, fat and fatty acids, protein, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals (Balta et al. 2006;Di Nunzio 2019). Hazelnut kernel is consumed as natural (unprocessed) and roasted (Schlörmann et al. 2015). ...
... These compounds in hazelnut play a significant role in promoting human health and reducing disease risk (Yılmaz et al. 2019;Karaosmanoglu and Ustun 2021). Hazelnut is especially effective in reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular, inflammatory, and neurodegenerative disorders as well as colon cancer and type 2 diabetes (Contini et al. 2011;Di Nunzio 2019). Due to these effects, the hazelnut has been suggested for the human diet (Fraser 2000). ...
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This study was conducted to determine the effect of cluster drop intensity (CDI) on nut traits, biochemical properties, and fatty acids composition in the ‘Çakıldak’ hazelnut cultivar. Many nut traits, biochemical properties, and fatty acids composition were affected by CDI. Depending on the increase in CDI, nut weight, kernel weight, nut size, kernel size, total phenolic, total flavonoids, and antioxidant activity increased. Nut weight, kernel weight, and kernel ratio were determined from 2.00 (low) to 2.31 g (high), 1.09 (low and intermediate) to 1.25 g (high), and 53.34 (intermediate) to 54.27 (low), respectively. The highest total phenolics, total flavonoids, and antioxidant activity (3675 mg per 100 g, 37.3 mg per 100 g, and 5.14 mmol per 100 g, respectively) were detected in high CDI, while the lowest (1947 mg per 100 g, 17.5 mg per 100 g, and 2.01 mmol per 100 g, respectively) were determined in low CDI. The effects of CDI on fatty acids composition were different. Oleic acid ranged from 82.46 (low) to 84.06% (intermediate), while linoleic acid was determined between 6.77 (high) and 8.78% (low). According to principal component analysis, many of the traits investigated were associated with high CDI, except nut length, kernel length, oleic acid, and linoleic acid. In conclusion, it was determined that bioactive compounds and fatty acids composition are significantly affected depending on CDI. Also, the findings of this study showed the potential consequences of the coming hazards of global warming on hazelnuts and will be helpful for future studies.
... Hazelnut plays an important role in terms of nutrition and human health due to their content in proteins, fats (mainly oleic and linoleic acids), dietary fiber, vitamins (especially vitamin E), minerals, phytosterols (mainly β-sitosterol), and phenolic compounds with antioxidants properties (detailed in Figure 3). Hazelnuts typically consists of 62% fat, 16% protein, and 11% carbohydrate, and its composition can change depending on variety [93,94]. ...
... Hazelnut plays an important role in terms of nutrition and human health due to their content in proteins, fats (mainly oleic and linoleic acids), dietary fiber, vitamins (especially vitamin E), minerals, phytosterols (mainly β-sitosterol), and phenolic compounds with antioxidants properties (detailed in Figure 3). Hazelnuts typically consists of 62% fat, 16% protein, and 11% carbohydrate, and its composition can change depending on variety [93,94]. In the group of tree nuts, hazelnut has often been reported as causing allergic reactions [95] with symptoms ranging from mild oral to severe systemic reactions [96]. ...
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Consumption of tree nuts and peanuts has considerably increased over the last decades due to their nutritional composition and the content of beneficial compounds. On the other hand, such widespread consumption worldwide has also generated a growing incidence of allergy in the sensitive population. Allergy to nuts and peanuts represents a global relevant problem, especially due to the risk of the ingestion of hidden allergens as a result of cross-contamination between production lines at industrial level occurring during food manufacturing. The present review provides insights on peanuts, almonds, and four nut allergens—namely hazelnuts, walnuts, cashew, and pistachios—that are likely to cross-contaminate different food commodities. The paper aims at covering both the biochemical aspect linked to the identified allergenic proteins for each allergen category and the different methodological approaches developed for allergens detection and identification. Attention has been also paid to mass spectrometry methods and to current efforts of the scientific community to identify a harmonized approach for allergens quantification through the detection of allergen markers.
... Walnut Catechin, chlorogenic acid Antioxidant activity, stables blood sugar levels, improves gut microbiome, good for brain health, neuroprotective properties [107,108] Hazelnut Β-sitosterol, tocopherols, flavonols Prevents cardiovascular diseases, improves bowel movement, fights free radicals [109] Sunflower Luteolin, quercetin Anti-inflammatory enhances metabolism and maintains blood pressure and cholesterol. [110] Almond Tocopherol, arabinose Maintains gut microbiome, prevents lipid oxidation, and potent antioxidant properties [88,111] Sesame sesamin, sesamolin hypocholesterolemic, anticancerous, antiviral properties [27,112] Peanut Niacin, phenols Good for heart health, prevents oxidative stress, enhances the immune system [88,113] Pistachio Phenols, phytosterols Prevents atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases, helps in cell repair [114,115] Hemp γ-tocopherol, linolenic acid Prevents blood clots, relaxes blood vessels, helps in skin and neurodegenerative diseases [116][117][118] Flaxseed α-linolenic acid, omega-3 fatty acid, secoisolariciresinol diglucoside Aids in brain, heart and bone health, boosts immune system, relieves constipation [119,120] Oat β-glucan, avenanthramides It lowers LDL cholesterol, maintains body weight, stabilizes blood pressure, and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties [121][122][123] Quinoa Phenolic components Management of hypertension and diabetes, better substitute for obese [124] Rice β-sitosterol, γ-oryzano Useful in diabetes, hypertension and inflammation, hypoallergic and antioxidant properties [88,125,126] Coconut Gallic acid, lauric acid, phenolics Nourishes brain and skin cells, promotes weight loss, improves digestion and immune system [88,127,128] Soybean Daidzein, genistein Maintains lipid profile, promotes bone density, prevents cancers of colon, breast, and prostate, benefits people with osteoporosis [129][130][131][132] Chickpea Carotenoids, isoflavones Management of cardiovascular health, Antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and anticancerous properties, [38,133,134] CONCLUSION PBDA has proven to be an established substitute in the modern food industry for its immense nutritional benefits, especially for people struggling with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies. ...
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Plant-based dairy substitutes (PBDS) are non-dairy products made from plant ingredients as an alternative to traditional dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yoghurt. These dairy substitutes cater to those with lactose intolerance, dairy allergies, vegans, and those who prefer more sustainable and ethical food options. They provide options for various culinary purposes while reducing reliance on animal-based products. PBDS generally have a low environmental footprint, requiring fewer resources and lower greenhouse gas emissions than dairy farming. Some PBDS are enriched with vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin D and calcium, providing similar nutritional benefits to dairy products. They have advantages over conventional dairy products due to their low glycemic content and hence have better suitability for diabetic patients. Moreover, people with heart ailments or arthritis can also consume PBDS for its hypocholesterolemic and anti-inflammatory properties. They also help in befitting pregnant women, foetus, lactating mothers, infants and elderly people. As plant-based dairy substitutes offer many benefits, selecting products that suit an individual's dietary needs and preferences ensures sufficient intake of essential nutrients. Ongoing research and development in the plant-based industry has improved taste and texture, making these substitutes increasingly attractive for routine human consumption
... In Russia, they are cultivated in the Crimea, Transcaucasia, and the Caucasus. The kernel -shell ratio of hazelnuts ranges from 45 to 55. Hazelnut kernels are rich in amino acids and vitamins [12][13][14]. ...
... carbohydrates, 17 g of lipids, vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, organic acids (taste enhancer), phytosterols, tocopherols, and phenolic compounds, all of which are beneficial for human health and nutrition. Hazelnut yogurt is thought to have a higher water-holding capacity due to its higher protein content, amino acid composition, protein structure, and surface polarity/hydrophobicity ratio (Atalar, 2019;Gul et al., 2017;Nunzio, 2019;Tey et al., 2011). Coconut (Cocos nucifera) milk is obtained by mechanically extracting liquid from mature coconut flesh. ...
... Hazelnut is essential in human nutrition and health, with high nutritional value thanks to being rich in fat, protein, vitamins, carbohydrates, minerals, fatty acids, phenolics, and antioxidants (Cosmulescu et al., 2013). It promotes human health and reduces the risk of many chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, neurodegenerative and inflammatory, especially cardiovascular diseases (Contini et al., 2011;Di Nunzio, 2019). Hazelnut also lowers the risk of heart disease and the adverse effects of hypertension due to the mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids it contains (Yücesan et al., 2010). ...
In this study investigated the effect of region on the nut and biochemical traits in Mincane hazelnut cultivar. The study was carried out in the Trabzon (Black Sea Region) and Sakarya (Marmara Region) districts, in 2021 and 2022. The material of the study consisted of the nut of Mincane hazelnut cultivar grown in both regions. Depending on regions, nut weight was determined from 1.89 (Black Sea) to 2.14 g (Marmara), while kernel weight was found from 1.89 (Black Sea) to 2.14 g (Marmara). The highest total phenolics was detected in Black Sea region (118.1 mg 100 g-1). Conversely, Marmara region had the highest total flavonoids (8.1 mg 100 g-1) and antioxidant activity (1027.8 and 738.1 µmol 100 g-1 according to DPPH and FRAP assays, respectively). As a result, the region had a significant effect on the investigated nut and biochemical traits. The Marmara region produced the best results for many of the traits examined.
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Despite being rich sources of monounsaturated fat and a number of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, hazelnuts have received less attention than some other nut types. A qualitative systematic review was carried out to determine the effects of hazelnut consumption on acceptance and markers of cardiometabolic health, including blood lipids and lipoproteins, apolipoproteins A1 and B100, body weight and composition, blood pressure, glycemia, antioxidant status, oxidative stress, inflammation, and endothelial function. In total, 22 intervention studies (25 publications) met our inclusion criteria. The findings indicate some improvements in cardiometabolic risk factors; however, limitations in study design mean interpretation is problematic. The inclusion of hazelnuts in the diet did not adversely affect body weight and composition. Acceptance of hazelnuts remained stable over time confirming nut consumption guidelines are feasible and sustainable. Future studies using more robust study designs in a variety of populations are required to draw more definitive conclusions on the health benefits of hazelnut consumption.
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Although selenium is of great importance for the human body, in several world regions the intake of this essential trace element does not meet the dietary reference values. To achieve optimal intake, fortification of bread by using selenium-enriched flour has been put forward. Less is known on the potential effect of sourdough fermentation, which might be worth exploring as the biological effects of selenium strongly depend on its chemical form and sourdough fermentation is known to cause transformations of nutrients and phytochemicals, including the conversion of inorganic selenium into organic selenocompounds. Here we investigated the bio transformation of selenium by sourdough fermentation in a typical Italian flatbread (piadina) made with standard (control) or selenium-enriched flour. The different piadina were submitted to in vitro digestion, and the biological activity of the resulting hydrolysates was tested by means of cultured human liver cells exposed to an exogenous oxidative stress. The use of selenium-enriched flour and sourdough fermentation increased the total content of bioaccessible selenium in organic form, compared to conventional fermentation, and led to protective effects counteracting oxidative damage in cultured cells. The present study suggests that selenium-rich, sourdough-fermented bakery products show promise for improving human selenium nutrition whenever necessary.
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Less than 10% of most Western populations consume adequate levels of whole fruits and dietary fiber with typical intake being about half of the recommended levels. Evidence of the beneficial health effects of consuming adequate levels of whole fruits has been steadily growing, especially regarding their bioactive fiber prebiotic effects and role in improved weight control, wellness and healthy aging. The primary aim of this narrative review article is to examine the increasing number of health benefits which are associated with the adequate intake of whole fruits, especially fruit fiber, throughout the human lifecycle. These potential health benefits include: protecting colonic gastrointestinal health (e.g., constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel diseases, and diverticular disease); promoting long-term weight management; reducing risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome; defending against colorectal and lung cancers; improving odds of successful aging; reducing the severity of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; enhancing psychological well-being and lowering the risk of depression; contributing to higher bone mineral density in children and adults; reducing risk of seborrheic dermatitis; and helping to attenuate autism spectrum disorder severity. Low whole fruit intake represents a potentially more serious global population health threat than previously recognized, especially in light of the emerging research on whole fruit and fruit fiber health benefits.
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Hazelnuts are a well-known source of different healthy molecules. However, only few studies have investigated deeply their amounts considering simultaneously the contribution of the cultivar, the pellicle and the effect of roasting. For such purpose, peeled/unpeeled and raw/toasted samples of “Nocchione”, “Tonda di Giffoni”, “Tonda Gentile delle Langhe” and “Tonda Gentile Romana” hazelnuts were investigated as regards to their fatty acid composition, tocopherols and total phenolic compounds. Our results indicate that all four cultivars contain a high fraction of mono- and poly-unsaturated fatty acids, about 110–210 mg/kg of tocopherols and, when unpeeled, 1250–2100 mg/kg of phenolic compounds. In particular, unpeeled and toasted “Tonda Gentile delle Langhe” hazelnuts contain more than 2 g/kg dry weight of hydrophilic phenolics and more than 200 mg/kg dry weight of tocopherols. The study confirms that the highest concentration of bioactive compounds is contained in hazelnut’s pellicle. Accordingly, a principal component analysis (PCA) demonstrates that removal of the pellicle is associated with reduced amounts of phenolic compounds and α- and γ-tocopherols. The PCA also indicates that β-tocopherol, together with total fat, are the variables that most characterize the cultivar. Toasting, on the other hand, induces the oxidation of monounsaturated fatty acids, but does not influence the presence of tocopherols and has a positive impact on the presence of phenolic compounds whose concentration significantly increased regardless of kernel’s pellicle.
For many years, anticancer polyphenols have attracted significant attention as substances that prevent tumor growth and progression. These compounds are simple phenolic acids; complex phenolic acids, such as caffeoylquinic acids, rosmarinic acid and its derivatives; stilbenes (resveratrol and piceatannol); flavones; isoflavones (genistein and tectorigenin); and anthocyanins. Some compounds, such as tea and coffee polyphenols, can be produced in large quantities by traditional methods, while many others cannot. Here, we focus on the biotechnological aspects of polyphenol production by cultured plant cells and describe approaches that have been used to obtain high levels of anticancer polyphenols (resveratrol, podophyllotoxin, genistein, rosmarinic acid, lithospermic acid B, dicaffeoylquinic acids, daidzin, and others). Additionally, we provide our view on bioengineering strategies that could be important for the further improvement of cell biosynthetic characteristics. The main trend is the activation of entire biosynthetic pathways based on a comprehensive knowledge of protein-protein interaction networks involved in the regulation of polyphenol biosynthesis. As an example, we consider the jasmonate subnetwork, which will be increasingly used by plant biotechnologists. The next-generation technologies to sustained polyphenol production are likely to involve manipulations with microRNAs and reproduction of rol-gene effects.
Polyphenols are a large family of phytochemicals with great chemical diversity, known to be bioactive compounds of foods, species, medicinal plants and nutraceuticals. These compounds are ingested through the diet in significant amounts, around 1 g per day, an amount that be may be increased through supplements. The in vitro action of many representative polyphenols has been reported. However, their beneficial effects and their role in modulating the risk of high-prevalence diseases are difficult to demonstrate due to the wide variability of polyphenol structures and bioactive actions; the complexity of estimating the polyphenol content of food as a result of their variability in foods and cooked dishes; the potential modulation of the effects of polyphenols by food matrices; the addition of polyphenols and their synergistic interactions with each other and with other dietary bioactive components; the modulation of polyphenol bioavailability as a consequence of food composition and culinary techniques; their metabolism by the human body and the polyphenol gut microbiota metabolism in each metabotypes. Computational strategies, including virtual screening, shape-similarity-screening and molecular docking, were recently used to identify potential targets of polyphenols and thus gain a better understanding of the therapeutic effects exerted of polyphenols and modify natural polyphenol structures to potentiate specific activities. Here, we present the most relevant current knowledge and propose directions for future research in these fields, from the culinary world to the clinical setting. We hope this commentary will prompt scientists and clinicians to consider the therapeutic value of bioactive polyphenols and help shed some light on how much scientific truth lies in Hippocrates' famous quote: "Let your food be your medicine".
Over the past years, researchers and food manufacturers have become increasingly interested in olive polyphenols due to the recognition of their biological properties and probable role in the prevention of various diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease. Olive pomace, one of the main by-products of olive oil production, is a potential low-cost, phenol-rich ingredient for the formulation of functional food. In this study, the aqueous extract of olive pomace was characterized and used to supplement human intestinal cell in culture (Caco-2). The effect on the cell metabolome and the anti-inflammatory potential were then evaluated. Modification in the metabolome induced by supplementation clearly evidenced a metabolic shift toward a “glucose saving/accumulation” strategy that could have a role in maintaining anorexigenic hormone secretion and could explain the reported appetite-suppressing effect of the administration of polyphenol-rich food. In both basal and inflamed condition, supplementation significantly reduced the secretion of the main pro-inflammatory cytokine, IL-8. Thus, our data confirm the therapeutic potential of polyphenols, and specifically of olive pomace in intestinal bowel diseases. Although intervention studies are needed to confirm the clinical significance of our findings, the herein reported results pave the road for exploitation of olive pomace in the formulation of new, value-added foods. In addition, the application of a foodomics approach allowed observing a not hypothesized modulation of glucose metabolism.
Squalene is a triterpenic compound found in a large number of plants and other sources with a long tradition of research since it was first reported in 1926. Herein we present a systematic review of studies concerning squalene published in the last eight years. These studies have provided further support for its antioxidant, anti‐inflammatory and anti‐atherosclerotic properties in vivo and in vitro. Moreover, an anti‐neoplastic effect in nutrigenetic‐type treatments, which depend on the failing metabolic pathway of tumors, has also been reported. The bioavailability of squalene in cell cultures, animal models and in humans has been well established, and further progress has been made as regards the intracellular transport of this lipophilic molecule. Squalene accumulates in the liver and decreases hepatic cholesterol and triglycerides, with these actions being exerted via a complex network of changes in gene expression at both transcriptional and post‐transcriptional levels. Its presence in different biological fluids has also been studied. The combination of squalene with other bioactive compounds has been shown to enhance its pleiotropic properties and might lead to the formulation of functional foods and nutraceuticals to control oxidative stress and, therefore, numerous age‐related diseases in human and veterinary medicine. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
Phytosterols (plant sterols) occur in the cells of all plants. They are important structural components that stabilize the biological membranes of plants. Sterols can occur in the "free" unbound form or they can be covalently bound via an ester or glycosidic bond. Since our previous 2002 review on phytosterols and phytosterol conjugates, phytosterol glucosides have been found to be important structural components in the lipid rafts of the plasma membrane of plant cells, where they are thought to be essential to the function of plasma membrane enzymes and perhaps other proteins. Phytosterols also serve as precursors in the synthesis of important bioactive compounds such as steroidal saponins, steroidal glycoalkaloids, phytoecdysteroids, and brassinosteroids. Methods for the analysis of phytosterols range from traditional gas chromatography of free phytosterols to modern sophisticated forms of mass spectrometry which have been used for the new field of sterol lipidomics, sometimes called "sterolomics." Phytosterol-enriched functional foods first appeared about twenty years ago and many clinical studies have confirmed the low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol-lowering properties of various types of phytosterols. In recent years additional clinical studies and more than ten important meta-analyses have provided insights to better understand the cholesterol-lowering and other biological effects of plant sterols.
Background/aim: Due to their unique composition of health-promoting compounds, the consumption of hazelnuts may contribute to the prevention of colon cancer. Materials and methods: Since hazelnuts are often consumed roasted, the impact of different roasting conditions (RC1=140.6°C/25 min, RC2=155.1°C/20 min and RC3=180.4°C/21 min) on chemopreventive effects of in vitro fermented hazelnuts was analyzed in LT97 colon adenoma cells. Results: FS (2.5%) of raw and roasted hazelnuts reduced H2O2-induced DNA damage while 5% FS significantly induced gene expression of SOD2 (3.0-fold) and GSTP1 (2.1-fold). GPx1 mRNA levels were significantly decreased (0.6-fold) by FS (2.5%). The growth of LT97 cells was significantly reduced by hazelnut FS in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Hazelnut FS (5%) increased the numbers of early apoptotic cells (9.6% on average) and caspase-3 activities (6.4-fold on average). Conclusion: These results indicate a chemopreventive potential of in vitro fermented hazelnuts which is largely unaffected by the roasting process.
Plant sterols (PS) have been incorporated to foods due to their cholesterol-lowering effect. Because of their low intestinal absorption (0.5–2%), they can reach the colon and exert local actions. The aim of this study was to evaluate the antiproliferative effect of individual (β-sitosterol, campesterol and stigmasterol) and combined PS in colon cancer cells (Caco-2) at human colonic concentrations after simulated gastrointestinal digestion of a PS enriched milk-based fruit beverage. β-Sitosterol, campesterol and stigmasterol induced significant cell viability reduction (13–59% vs control), but only stigmasterol produced an overproduction of reactive oxygen species (92% vs control). Individual PS induced reversible arrest in phase G0/G1 of the cell cycle, suggesting that they act as cytostatic agents. Combined PS showed a greater effect than individual PS, inducing also cell necrosis and irreversible cell cycle arrest (G0/G1 phase). The consumption of PS-enriched foods therefore could exert a potential preventive effect against colon cancer.