Strategies for Sustainable Extraction and Analysis of Bioactive Compounds with High Health Impacts and Nutritive Substances from Agricultural Fresh and Derived Products and Their Processing Waste

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472). This special issue belongs to the section "Agricultural Product Quality and Safety".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 October 2023) | Viewed by 1025

Special Issue Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Interest in bioactive compounds and nutritive substances from natural products has grown in recent years. Scientific studies are mainly focused on characterizing, identifying, and quantifying bioactive and nutritional molecules and relative health-promoting properties in agricultural fresh and derived products and their processing waste. Moreover, waste valorization and reuse strategies, rather than traditional waste processing, are becoming more and more popular. These techniques are very attractive for agrifood processing companies because the valorization of by-products derived from agricultural and food products and food supplements may present a significant economic impact for consumers and producers, which could be an excellent innovation in this field.

Innovative analytical strategies (fingerprinting derived from chromatographic and spectrophotometric techniques coupled to mass spectrometry and chemometrics) allow the identification and quantification of fresh or derived agrifood products; moreover, NMR, IR, and fluorescence represent other important analytical strategies that may be applied to chemically characterize the health-promoting and nutritional value of substances included in agrifood products.

This Special Issue will collect recent high-quality research and review papers in the field of i) potential health-promoting fresh and derived agrifood products; ii) the evaluation of their potential physicochemical and sensory properties; and iii) the chemical characterization of the main phytochemicals and nutritive substances in agricultural and food products and their relative processing waste to develop innovative health-promoting products or improve traditional agrifood applications.

Dr. Dario Donno
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agriculture is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • agrobiodiversity and natural resources
  • agrifood application and their health-promoting and nutritional properties
  • analytical strategies for phytochemical and nutritive characterization
  • reuse strategies for processing waste derived from agricultural and food products
  • traditional and innovative extraction methods
  • HPLC fingerprinting and chemometrics

Published Papers (1 paper)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:


14 pages, 938 KiB  
Chestnut Episperm as a Promising Natural Source of Phenolics from Agri-Food Processing by-Products: Optimisation of a Sustainable Extraction Protocol by Ultrasounds
by Dario Donno, Federica Turrini, Emanuele Farinini, Maria Gabriella Mellano, Raffaella Boggia, Gabriele Loris Beccaro and Giovanni Gamba
Agriculture 2024, 14(2), 246; - 02 Feb 2024
Viewed by 710
Chestnut processing has increasingly grown in recent years. All the processes involved in the chestnut supply chain are characterized by the production of high levels of by-products that cause several environmental and disposal issues. The Castanea spp. fruit production is related to a [...] Read more.
Chestnut processing has increasingly grown in recent years. All the processes involved in the chestnut supply chain are characterized by the production of high levels of by-products that cause several environmental and disposal issues. The Castanea spp. fruit production is related to a high number of chestnut episperm. This underutilized agricultural by-product may be evaluated as a good resource for the extraction of health-promoting natural molecules, such as phenolics. This preliminary study aimed to develop and optimize, using a multivariate statistical approach, a sustainable protocol for the ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE) of the main phenolics from chestnut episperm (cv Marsol, C. sativa × C. crenata). A design of experiment (DoE) approach was employed. This approach focused on the two quantitative UAE process factors: the extraction time (X1), within a timeframe ranging from 10 to 30 min, and the sample-to-solvent (w/v) ratio (X2), ranging from 1/30 to 1/10. These variables were investigated to determine their impact on phenol extraction yield. Exploratory analysis, in particular principal component analysis (PCA) and multiple linear regression (MLR), were carried out on the studied responses. The phenolic characterization of ten different extracts was also performed using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), both to define the levels of specific phenolics selected for their health-promoting properties and to evaluate some important features, such as the total antioxidant capacity. The values of total polyphenolic content (TPC) obtained in the different experiments ranged between 97 (extract 4) and 142 (extract 6) mg GAE/g of dried weight (DW). Moreover, results from the ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) test confirmed the high TPC values, highlighting that all the ultrasound extracts contained excellent levels of molecules with good antioxidant properties. In particular, extracts 2 and 3 showed the highest AOC values (about 490–505 mmol Fe2+/Kg of dried weight). The proposed optimized protocol allowed for obtaining formulations characterized by high levels of tannins, phenolic acids, and catechins. Indeed, episperm extracts contained high levels of chlorogenic acid (15–25 mg/100 g DW), ferulic acid (80–120 mg/100 g DW), castalagin (20–80 mg/100 g DW), and vescalagin (40–75 mg/100 g). Finally, in this research study, the potential of chestnut episperm as a source of polyphenolic molecules to be extracted by green technologies and used in several food and/or pharmaceutical applications was evaluated to valorize a sustainable reuse strategy of agri-food processing by-products, also reducing the environmental impact of this waste derived from chestnut processing. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Back to TopTop