Natural Products and Bioactive Compounds

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Science and Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2024 | Viewed by 1789

Special Issue Editors

Department of Food Engineering, Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, University of Zagreb, Pierottijeva 6, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Interests: polyphenols; pigments; extraction techniques; encapsulation; spray drying; fruit and vegetables processing; chromatographic techniques; antioxidant activity; bioavailability
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Food Engineering, Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, University of Zagreb, Pierottijeva 6, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Interests: fruit; vegetables and herbs composition and processing; fresh-cut processing; plant bioactive compounds (polyphenols, pigments, sterols, fatty acids); conventional and advanced extraction techniques; antioxidant capacity; high-performance liquid chromatography; gas-chromatography; volatiles; essential oils
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in bioactive compounds, phytochemicals, and natural products in general as a result of increasing public interest and consumer demands as well as intensive research activities aimed at bioactive compounds’ isolation, characterization and application.

Bioactive compounds, such as complex carbohydrates, proteins, pigments and minor phytochemicals, possess numerous biological activities that positively affect human health and can also contribute to food quality.

The present Special Issue aims to provide a platform for the scientific community to present high-quality research focused on all aspects of natural products and bioactive compounds, from their isolation, characterization, and assessment of biological activity to their application in food and pharmaceutical systems.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Isolation and identification of bioactive compounds from natural sources;
  • Evaluation of extraction techniques;
  • Application of encapsulation methods for bioactive delivery systems;
  • In vitro and in vivo evaluation of biological activity;
  • Potential application of bioactive compounds;
  • Product development.

Dr. Ivona Elez Garofulić
Dr. Maja Repajić
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • bioactive compounds
  • phytochemicals
  • extraction
  • encapsulation
  • biological activity
  • functional food
  • nutraceuticals

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

13 pages, 1462 KiB  
Article
Identification of Lactic Acid Bacteria Strains Isolated from Sourdoughs Prepared with Different Flour Types
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(5), 2093; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14052093 (registering DOI) - 02 Mar 2024
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Abstract
Species identification is the first step in the examination of newly isolated microorganism strains, including the cases when they are intended for application in the development of probiotic preparations or starters for different food products. The thorough identification process of newly isolated strains [...] Read more.
Species identification is the first step in the examination of newly isolated microorganism strains, including the cases when they are intended for application in the development of probiotic preparations or starters for different food products. The thorough identification process of newly isolated strains combines the application of different physiological, biochemical, and molecular genetic methods. The aim of the present study was to identify the species-level lactic acid bacteria (LAB) strains isolated from spontaneously fermented sourdoughs prepared from different flour types: Khorosan wheat, wheat, barley, buckwheat, spelled, spelt, and corn. Both classical phenotypic (cellular morphology characterization, and API 50 CHL) and molecular genetic methods (RAPD, ARDRA-analysis, 16S rDNA sequencing, and species-specific PCR) were applied. It was found that cultures with a short-rod morphology predominated among the 30 sourdough isolates. According to the RAPD profiles obtained, the isolates were divided into nine genotypes corresponding to nine genetically distinct strains. It was determined that individual sourdoughs made with different flour types shared cultures with a common genotype. The analysis of the physiological and biochemical profiles of the LAB isolates performed with the API 50 CHL system divided them into two groups according to their identification: Lactiplantibacillus plantarum (Lp. plantarum) 1 and Levilactobacillus brevis (Lv. brevis) 3. According to the 16S rDNA restriction profile, the LAB isolates showed two profiles corresponding to the Lp. plantarum and Lv. brevis groups. 16S rDNA sequencing and a comparison of the partially read 16S rDNA sequences of the studied isolates confirmed that some of them belonged to the Lv. Brevis species, but did not provide sufficient evidence that the rest of the cultures belonged to the Lp. Plantarum species. The species-specific PCR clearly separated the isolates from the Lp. plantarum group into two groups: isolates of the Lp. plantarum species and isolates of the Lp. paraplantarum species. The summary of the results of the conducted polyphasic taxonomic study determined the investigated LAB strains isolated from spontaneously fermented sourdoughs as representatives of the Lv. brevis, Lp. plantarum ssp. paraplantarum, and Lp. paraplantarum species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Bioactive Compounds)
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25 pages, 6954 KiB  
Article
Efficient and Sustainable Synthesis of Zinc Salt-Dependent Polycrystal Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles: Comprehensive Assessment of Physicochemical and Functional Properties
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(5), 1815; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14051815 - 22 Feb 2024
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Abstract
This research involved synthesizing zinc salt-dependent zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZS-ZnO-NPs) using different zinc salts (ZnCl2, ZnSO4·H2O, Zn(CH3COO)2·2H2O, and Zn(NO3)2·6H2O) and plant extracts of Phoenix dactylifera [...] Read more.
This research involved synthesizing zinc salt-dependent zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZS-ZnO-NPs) using different zinc salts (ZnCl2, ZnSO4·H2O, Zn(CH3COO)2·2H2O, and Zn(NO3)2·6H2O) and plant extracts of Phoenix dactylifera L. The synthesis efficiency was evaluated, and to carry out further investigations, zeta potential measurements, as well as SEM and TEM examinations, were performed to assess the morphology and size distribution of the nanoparticles. XRD and UV-Vis spectroscopy were also employed to confirm the crystalline nature and optical properties of the synthesized ZS-ZnO-NPs, respectively. FTIR analysis was also performed to identify chemical groups on the nanoparticle surface. Furthermore, the ZS-ZnO-NPs’ ability to scavenge free radicals (FRs), and thus their antioxidant capacity, was assessed using the DPPH FR assay. The results showed that the type of zinc salt used for the synthesis significantly influenced the yield, stability, optical properties, morphology, and size distribution of nanoparticles. The zinc salt-dependent yield exhibited a notable range, varying from 50.3% to 55.3%. The nanoparticle size ranged from 3.7 to 10.2 nm, with the zeta potential ranging from −28.6 to −46.7 mV and the gap energy (Eg) ranging from 3.28 to 3.39 eV. Moreover, the synthesized ZS-ZnO-NPs exhibited concentration and time-dependent inhibitory activity against DPPH FR, showing potential as antioxidant agents in biomedicine and other industries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Bioactive Compounds)
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17 pages, 2635 KiB  
Article
Ethanolic Extracts of Six Cultivated Mushrooms as a Source of Bioactive Compounds
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(1), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14010066 - 20 Dec 2023
Viewed by 472
Abstract
Freeze-dried stems and caps of six cultivated mushroom species, namely Agaricus bisporus (white) Agaricus bisporus (brown), Lentinula edodes, Pholiota nameko, Pleurotus eryngii and Pleurotus ostreatus were subjected to ethanolic extraction. The obtained extracts were analyzed in terms of total phenolics content, [...] Read more.
Freeze-dried stems and caps of six cultivated mushroom species, namely Agaricus bisporus (white) Agaricus bisporus (brown), Lentinula edodes, Pholiota nameko, Pleurotus eryngii and Pleurotus ostreatus were subjected to ethanolic extraction. The obtained extracts were analyzed in terms of total phenolics content, total flavonoids content and antioxidant capacity, and the results were calculated per gram of mushroom dry weight and extract dry weight. The LC–MS technique was applied to determine the profiles of phenolic acids. The amount of total phenolics in the stems (per the fruiting bodies’ dry weight) ranged from 1.09 ± 0.09 mg/g (P. ostreatus) to 4.02 ± 0.20 mg/g (the white A. bisporus), whereas in the caps it ranged from 1.49 ± 0.07 mg/g (P. nameko) to 6.22 ± 0.21 mg/g (the brown A. bisporus). The total flavonoid content in the stems (per the fruiting bodies’ dry weight) varied from 0.46 ± 0.05 mg/g (P. ostreatus) to 1.72 ± 0.02 mg/g (the brown A. bisporus), and in the caps it ranged from 0.48 ± 0.01 mg/g (P. ostreatus) to 1.93 ± 0.05 mg/g (the white A. bisporus). The antioxidant potential measured with the FRAP assay showed that the caps displayed higher activity compared to the stems. However, in the case of the DPPH assay performed on A. bisporus, this relationship was inverted. Different species contained varied concentrations of phenolic acids. P. eryngii caps contained the highest amount of 3,4-DHBA, L. edodes caps were the richest source of caffeic acid, whereas the highest amount of syringic acid was observed in L. edodes stems. The caps of P. nameko contained the highest amounts of p-coumaric and t-cinnamic acid, as well as 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Bioactive Compounds)
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22 pages, 2887 KiB  
Article
Phytochemical Screening, GCMS Profiling, In Vitro Antioxidant, In Vivo Acute Toxicity, and Hepatoprotective Activity of Cleome simplicifolia Bioactive Metabolites against Paracetamol-Intoxicated Wister Albino Rats
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(1), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14010046 - 20 Dec 2023
Viewed by 495
Abstract
The current study aimed to appraise extracts of Cleome simplicifolia (Cambess.) Hook. f. and Thomson leaves for chemical integrant and biological activities. In this study, different extracts of leaves were estimated for qualitative phytochemical screening, identification of functional groups, mineral content, and phyto-compounds [...] Read more.
The current study aimed to appraise extracts of Cleome simplicifolia (Cambess.) Hook. f. and Thomson leaves for chemical integrant and biological activities. In this study, different extracts of leaves were estimated for qualitative phytochemical screening, identification of functional groups, mineral content, and phyto-compounds and assessed for in vitro antioxidant and in vivo acute toxicity and hepatoprotective activity antagonistic toward paracetamol-intoxicated Wister albino rats. The results of the qualitative phytochemical assessment of the leaf extracts (acetone, methanol, and distilled water) exhibited the occurrence of useful metabolites. A Fourier transform infrared analysis confirmed the occurrence of O-H, N-H, C=C, S=O, C-O, C-N, C-Cl, and C-Br at 3367.14, 2920.79, 2850.32, 1631.04, 1384.59, 1168.64, 1063.78, 824.78, and 615.25 cm−1 wavelengths, whereas energy-dispersive X-ray showed the existence of carbon, oxygen, magnesium, aluminum, silicon, phosphorus, sulfur, chlorine, potassium, and calcium elements in the leaf, respectively. Thereafter, a gas chromatography–mass spectroscopy analysis unveiled the diverse volatile compounds in the methanolic leaf extracts, namely n-Heptyl acrylate—18.87%, undecane—17.49%, 2-Propenoic acid, 3-(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)-, (E)—11.40%, Neophytadiene—11.02%, n-Hexadecanoic acid—10.78%, Glafenin—10.09%, Decane—7.45%, Phytol—6.0%, Benzene, (1-methyldodecyl)—3.48%, and 4-Cyclohexyl-1-butanol—3.41%, respectively. An analysis of in vitro antioxidant activity using the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl assay of methanolic leaf extract revealed elevated levels of antioxidant ability at 20 (46.18%), 40 (53.83%), 60 (66.64%), 80 (74.03%), and 100 (85.05%) μg/mL. In addition, in vivo acute toxicity determination proved that the methanolic leaf extract was innocuous and caused no mortality at 72 mg, 78 mg, or 82 mg/kg b.wt. doses. The methanolic leaf extracts’ in vivo hepatoprotective activity against paracetamol revealed significant efficacy at 50 and 100 mg/kg b.wt. via reduction of aspartate transaminase, alanine transaminase, alkaline phosphatase, bilirubin, and cholesterol (serum blood biochemical markers) followed by an enhancement in superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione (liver antioxidants) with lipid peroxidation depletion compared with the normal group rats. From the investigated study, it was concluded that the C. simplicifolia leaf are a potential source for the isolation of biologically active phyto-compounds and have the ability to prevent liver damage by paracetamol induction, where the hepatic restoration ability is indexed to its in vivo and in vitro antioxidant ability, which might be the result of its chemical constituents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Bioactive Compounds)
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