Editor’s Choice Articles

Editor’s Choice articles are based on recommendations by the scientific editors of MDPI journals from around the world. Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to readers, or important in the respective research area. The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.

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21 pages, 318 KiB  
Review
A Critical Review of Risk Assessment Models for Listeria monocytogenes in Meat and Meat Products
by Ursula Gonzales-Barron, Vasco Cadavez, Juliana De Oliveira Mota, Laurent Guillier and Moez Sanaa
Foods 2024, 13(3), 359; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13030359 - 23 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1662
Abstract
A review of the published quantitative risk assessment (QRA) models of L. monocytogenes in meat and meat products was performed, with the objective of appraising the intervention strategies deemed suitable for implementation along the food chain as well as their relative effectiveness. A [...] Read more.
A review of the published quantitative risk assessment (QRA) models of L. monocytogenes in meat and meat products was performed, with the objective of appraising the intervention strategies deemed suitable for implementation along the food chain as well as their relative effectiveness. A systematic review retrieved 23 QRA models; most of them (87%) focused on ready-to-eat meat products and the majority (78%) also covered short supply chains (end processing/retail to consumption, or consumption only). The processing-to-table scope was the choice of models for processed meats such as chorizo, bulk-cooked meat, fermented sausage and dry-cured pork, in which the effects of processing were simulated. Sensitivity analysis demonstrated the importance of obtaining accurate estimates for lag time, growth rate and maximum microbial density, in particular when affected by growth inhibitors and lactic acid bacteria. In the case of deli meats, QRA models showed that delicatessen meats sliced at retail were associated with a higher risk of listeriosis than manufacture pre-packed deli meats. Many models converged on the fact that (1) controlling cold storage temperature led to greater reductions in the final risk than decreasing the time to consumption and, furthermore, that (2) lower numbers and less prevalence of L. monocytogenes at the end of processing were far more effective than keeping low temperatures and/or short times during retail and/or home storage. Therefore, future listeriosis QRA models for meat products should encompass a processing module in order to assess the intervention strategies that lead to lower numbers and prevalence, such as the use of bio-preservation and novel technologies. Future models should be built upon accurate microbial kinetic parameters, and should realistically represent cross-contamination events along the food chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quantitative Risk Assessment of Listeria monocytogenes in Foods)
24 pages, 5339 KiB  
Article
Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Water Lentil (Duckweed): An Emerging Source of Proteins for the Production of Antihypertensive Fractions
by Marie-Ève Bernier, Jacinthe Thibodeau and Laurent Bazinet
Foods 2024, 13(2), 323; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13020323 - 19 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1080
Abstract
Water lentil (Duckweed), an emerging protein source, is a small floating aquatic plant with agronomic and compositional characteristics rendering it a potential source of bioactive peptides. However, enzymatic hydrolysis of duckweeds has only been carried out to assess the antioxidant and antimicrobial activities [...] Read more.
Water lentil (Duckweed), an emerging protein source, is a small floating aquatic plant with agronomic and compositional characteristics rendering it a potential source of bioactive peptides. However, enzymatic hydrolysis of duckweeds has only been carried out to assess the antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of the hydrolysates. The main objectives of this study were to perform enzymatic hydrolysis of duckweed powder utilizing several enzymes and to evaluate the final antihypertensive activity of the fractions. Duckweed powder was efficiently hydrolyzed by pepsin, chymotrypsin, papain and trypsin, with degree of hydrolysis ranging from 3% to 9%, even without prior extraction and concentration of proteins. A total of 485 peptide sequences were identified in the hydrolysates and only 51 were common to two or three hydrolysates. It appeared that phenolic compounds were released through enzymatic hydrolyses and primarily found in the supernatants after centrifugation at concentrations up to 11 mg gallic acid/g sample. The chymotryptic final hydrolysate, the chymotryptic supernatant and the papain supernatant increased the ACE inhibitory activity by more than 6- to 8-folds, resulting in IC50 values ranging between 0.55 to 0.70 mg peptides/mL. Depending on the fraction, the ACE-inhibition was attributed to either bioactive peptides, phenolic compounds or a synergistic effect of both. To the best of our knowledge, this was the first study to investigate the enzymatic hydrolysis of duckweed proteins to produce bioactive peptides with therapeutic applications in mind. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Biotechnology)
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20 pages, 2259 KiB  
Article
Sustainable In Silico-Supported Ultrasonic-Assisted Extraction of Oligomeric Stilbenoids from Grapevine Roots Using Natural Deep Eutectic Solvents (NADES) and Stability Study of Potential Ready-to-Use Extracts
by Mats Kiene, Malte Zaremba, Edwin Januschewski, Andreas Juadjur, Gerold Jerz and Peter Winterhalter
Foods 2024, 13(2), 324; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13020324 - 19 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1430
Abstract
Grapevine roots, as a side-stream of a vineyard, are a sustainable resource for the recovery of oligomeric stilbenoids, such as the bioactive r-viniferin. The aim of this study is to evaluate an in silico-supported method, based on the Conductor-like Screening Model for Real [...] Read more.
Grapevine roots, as a side-stream of a vineyard, are a sustainable resource for the recovery of oligomeric stilbenoids, such as the bioactive r-viniferin. The aim of this study is to evaluate an in silico-supported method, based on the Conductor-like Screening Model for Real Solvents (COSMO-RS), for selection of environmentally friendly natural deep eutectic solvents (NADES) with regard to the extraction of grapevine roots. The most suitable NADES system for ultrasonic-assisted extraction of r-viniferin was choline chloride/1,2-propanediol. The optimal extraction parameters for r-viniferin were determined using single-factor experiments as follows: choline chloride/1,2-propanediol 1/2 mol/mol, 10 wt% H2O, biomass/NADES ratio 1/10 g/g, and 10 min extraction time. Under optimized conditions, the extraction yield of r-viniferin from grapevine roots reached 76% of the total r-viniferin content. Regarding stability, stilbenoids in choline chloride/1,2-propanediol remained stable during 128 days of storage at ambient temperature. However, fructose/lactic acid-based NADES were observed to degrade stilbenoids; therefore, the removal of the NADES will be of interest, with a suitable method implemented using Amberlite® XAD-16N resin. As green solvents, the NADES have been used as effective and environmentally friendly extractants of stilbenoid-containing extracts from grapevine roots for potential applications in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry or as nutraceuticals in the food industry. Full article
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29 pages, 1504 KiB  
Review
Global Food Security and Sustainability Issues: The Road to 2030 from Nutrition and Sustainable Healthy Diets to Food Systems Change
by Theodoros Varzakas and Slim Smaoui
Foods 2024, 13(2), 306; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13020306 - 18 Jan 2024
Viewed by 3074
Abstract
The accomplishment of food/nutrition security for all across sustainable food systems (SFS) is tied to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SFS is connected to all SDGs via the traditional framework of social inclusion, economic development, environmental safety, inclusivity, and the development of sustainable [...] Read more.
The accomplishment of food/nutrition security for all across sustainable food systems (SFS) is tied to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SFS is connected to all SDGs via the traditional framework of social inclusion, economic development, environmental safety, inclusivity, and the development of sustainable food systems. We suggest that, for the world to achieve sustainable development, a shift to SFS is necessary to guarantee food/nutrition security for all, while operating within planetary boundaries to protect ecosystems and adapt to and mitigate climate change. Therefore, there is a requirement for original approaches that implement systemic and more participatory methods to engage with a wider range of food system stakeholders. However, the lack of skills and tools regarding novel methodologies for food system transformation is a key obstacle to the deployment of such approaches in practice. In the first part of this review, a summary of some challenges that occur in the governance of food system transformation is given. Through a case study of plant-based proteins and their biological and chemical modification as diets shift towards alternative proteins, we demonstrate that resource-efficient food systems and food waste, through system transformation, are useful in understanding both (i) how food system transformation has ensued and (ii) how the required transformation is prohibited. Finally, we discuss the implications of food system transformation in terms of nutrition and sustainable healthy diets, which are needed to achieve changes in food safety systems in the future. The linkage of food and the environment is evident, focusing on nutrition and sustainable healthy diets. This cannot be accomplished without system change and research towards new foods and, more specifically, new proteins such as plant-based ones and their biological and chemical modification. Full article
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17 pages, 1095 KiB  
Article
Consumer Perception and Liking of Parmigiano Reggiano Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) Cheese Produced with Milk from Cows Fed Fresh Forage vs. Dry Hay
by Matilde Tura, Mara Antonia Gagliano, Francesca Soglia, Alessandra Bendini, Francesca Patrignani, Massimiliano Petracci, Tullia Gallina Toschi and Enrico Valli
Foods 2024, 13(2), 309; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13020309 - 18 Jan 2024
Viewed by 858
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate consumer sensory profiles and liking of Parmigiano Reggiano PDO cheese produced with milk from cows reared indoors and fed with different forage sources, i.e., dry hay and fresh forage. Two cheese samples were tested by 119 Italian subjects, [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate consumer sensory profiles and liking of Parmigiano Reggiano PDO cheese produced with milk from cows reared indoors and fed with different forage sources, i.e., dry hay and fresh forage. Two cheese samples were tested by 119 Italian subjects, following a protocol that included a Check-All-That-Apply method to assess the sensory profile, a Just-About-Right scale to evaluate the adequacy of attributes, and questions on liking (9-point hedonic scale). A questionnaire related to personal information and consumption habits was also submitted. The color of the two samples, based on image analysis, was different: the sample produced with milk from the dairy cows fed fresh forage had a higher intensity of yellow than the other; they were also described differently (p ≤ 0.05) by participants in the consumer test. Indeed, Parmigiano Reggiano produced with milk from the cows that were fed dry hay was mainly characterized by a “fresh milk” and “solubility”, while the sample produced with milk from cows fed fresh forage was described as “yellow”, “seasoned”, “pungent”, and with a “cheese crust” flavor. Even if no significant differences were observed between the two samples in terms of liking (p ≤ 0.05), the attribute “graininess” showed a great impact on liking ratings together with “yellow” (p ≤ 0.05), apparently corresponding to a specific expectation regarding the intensity of these attributes. Data were also analyzed according to the gender of consumers, highlighting that for women, the adequacy of “fresh milk”, “sweet”, and “graininess” greatly impacted liking for the cheese from cows fed dry hay. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sensory and Consumer Sciences)
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16 pages, 659 KiB  
Article
Co-Occurrence of Aflatoxin B1, Zearalenone and Ochratoxin A in Feed and Feed Materials in Central Italy from 2018 to 2022
by Stefano Sdogati, Tommaso Pacini, Rita Bibi, Angela Caporali, Emanuela Verdini, Serenella Orsini, Roberta Ortenzi and Ivan Pecorelli
Foods 2024, 13(2), 313; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13020313 - 18 Jan 2024
Viewed by 981
Abstract
Mycotoxin contamination of feed and feed materials represent a serious health hazard. This study details the occurrence of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), zearalenone (ZEN) and ochratoxin A (OTA) in 826 feed and 617 feed material samples, collected in two Italian Regions [...] Read more.
Mycotoxin contamination of feed and feed materials represent a serious health hazard. This study details the occurrence of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), zearalenone (ZEN) and ochratoxin A (OTA) in 826 feed and 617 feed material samples, collected in two Italian Regions (Umbria and Marche) from 2018 to 2022 analyzed using a UPLC-FLD platform. The developed method was validated and accredited (ISO/IEC 17025) with satisfactory accuracy and precision data obtained in repeatability and intralaboratory reproducibility conditions. Feed had a higher incidence of contaminated samples (26%) with respect to feed materials (6%). AFB1 was found up to 0.1045 mg/kg in cattle feeds and 0.1234 mg/kg in maize; ZEN was detected up to 6.420 mg/kg in sheep feed while OTA was rarely reported and in lower concentrations (up to 0.085 mg/kg). Co-contamination of at least two mycotoxins was reported in 0.8% of the analyzed samples. The incidence of above maximum content/guidance level samples was 2% for feed and feed materials while almost 3-fold-higher for maize (5.8%) suggesting how mycotoxin contamination can affect some matrices more than others. Obtained data can be useful to improve official monitoring plans and therefore further raise awareness of this issue between agriculture stakeholders, healthcare entities and non-professionals. Full article
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20 pages, 2818 KiB  
Article
The Identification of a Strain for the Biological Purification of Soy Molasses to Produce Functional Soy Oligosaccharides and Optimize Purification Conditions
by Ran Yang, Jinghao Ma, Zechen Wang, Yihua Du, Shubin Tian, Guangsen Fan, Xiaoyan Liu and Chao Teng
Foods 2024, 13(2), 296; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13020296 - 17 Jan 2024
Viewed by 939
Abstract
Soy molasses is rich in oligosaccharides like sucrose, stachyose, and raffinose, with stachyose and raffinose being functional oligosaccharides. Harnessing soy molasses for the production of functional soy oligosaccharides (FSO) can significantly elevate its value. Biological purification, a method leveraging the selective utilization of [...] Read more.
Soy molasses is rich in oligosaccharides like sucrose, stachyose, and raffinose, with stachyose and raffinose being functional oligosaccharides. Harnessing soy molasses for the production of functional soy oligosaccharides (FSO) can significantly elevate its value. Biological purification, a method leveraging the selective utilization of different carbon sources by microorganisms, allows for the specific removal of sucrose from soy molasses while preserving stachyose and raffinose, thereby increasing the FSO content. This research identified a yeast named YT312 with strong purification capabilities for soy molasses and optimized the purification conditions. The study revealed that yeast YT312 was Wickerhamomyces anomalus, exhibiting a broad range of growth temperatures and pH levels alongside a high tolerance to glucose, sucrose, and NaCl. Through single-factor and orthogonal experiments, it was established that under specific conditions—0.375% inoculum size, 30 °C fermentation temperature, 150 rpm shaking speed, 10-fold dilution ratio, pH of 7, and 12 h of fermentation—sucrose was completely removed from soy molasses, while functional raffinose and stachyose were retained at rates of 96.1% and 90.2%, respectively. Consequently, W. anomalus YT312 displayed exceptional characteristics for the biological purification of soy molasses and the production of FSO. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microorganisms and Enzymes in Fermented Products)
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21 pages, 5130 KiB  
Article
Commercial Egg Replacers in Pound Cake Systems: A Comprehensive Analysis of Market Trends and Application
by Juliane Halm, Aylin W. Sahin, Laura Nyhan, Emanuele Zannini and Elke K. Arendt
Foods 2024, 13(2), 292; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13020292 - 17 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1153
Abstract
Replacing eggs without influencing pound cakes’ texture, appearance, and taste is challenging. Ovalbumin, the major protein in egg white, contributes to the structures of cakes by providing SH Groups that form a firm gel during baking. However, there is a shift in the [...] Read more.
Replacing eggs without influencing pound cakes’ texture, appearance, and taste is challenging. Ovalbumin, the major protein in egg white, contributes to the structures of cakes by providing SH Groups that form a firm gel during baking. However, there is a shift in the consumers’ behaviour regarding health, well-being, animal welfare standards, and environmental concerns. To meet upcoming trends and consumer needs, 102 egg replacement products were launched globally to the best of the authors’ knowledge, with 20 of them advertised as suitable for baking applications. Ten locally available commercial egg replacers with a range of protein contents were chosen and applied in a pound cake model system to evaluate their functionality by evaluating cake and cake batter quality. Three different categories of egg replacements were chosen: replacers containing no protein (R1–R3), a low amount of protein (1–10 g/100 g; R4–R5), and a high amount of protein (>10 g/100 g; R6–R10). Those were compared to three control cakes containing powdered whole egg, fresh egg, and liquid whole egg. All the analysed egg replacers significantly differed from the control cakes, including low-protein egg replacement R4. Despite R4 achieving the highest specific volume (1.63 ± 0.07 mL/g) and comparable texture values, none of the examined egg replacers compared favourably with the egg control cakes regarding appearance, physical and textural properties, and nutritional value. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Systems)
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17 pages, 1286 KiB  
Article
HPLC-MS/MS Phenolic Characterization of Olive Pomace Extracts Obtained Using an Innovative Mechanical Approach
by Ilaria Grigoletto, Patricia García Salas, Enrico Valli, Alessandra Bendini, Federico Ferioli, Federica Pasini, Sebastián Sánchez Villasclaras, Roberto García-Ruiz and Tullia Gallina Toschi
Foods 2024, 13(2), 285; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13020285 - 16 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1258
Abstract
Olive pomace results from the production of olive oil. Even if olive pomace represents a potential environmental problem, it contains phenolic compounds, which are widely recognized for their beneficial properties for human health. In this study, an innovative and sustainable technological approach to [...] Read more.
Olive pomace results from the production of olive oil. Even if olive pomace represents a potential environmental problem, it contains phenolic compounds, which are widely recognized for their beneficial properties for human health. In this study, an innovative and sustainable technological approach to extract phenolic compounds from fresh olive pomace, based on food-grade solvent instead of those usually adopted, is investigated. Characterization and shelf-life evaluation of the hydroalcoholic extracts obtained from the procedure developed for different industrial purposes were also carried out. The phenolic fractions of the different samples were studied with the Folin–Ciocâlteu method to quantify that the total reducing molecules and HPLC-MS/MS analysis was used to define the profile through the identification and quantification of 42 compounds, belonging to five chemical families. Regarding shelf-life, the hydroalcoholic extract showed no significant reduction in phenolic content, for both instrumental evaluations, retaining most of the phenolic compounds present in the raw material; negative attributes were not perceived by sensory evaluation. Thus, these lab-scale results can be the starting point to develop a procedure that is suitable for a real olive mill, representing a valorization strategy in a circular economy and the perspective of new business models. Full article
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19 pages, 1474 KiB  
Review
The Cardioprotective Properties of Selected Nuts: Their Functional Ingredients and Molecular Mechanisms
by Beata Olas
Foods 2024, 13(2), 242; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13020242 - 11 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1109
Abstract
Nuts have been known as a nutritious food since ancient times and can be considered part of our original diet: they are one of the few foods that have been eaten in the same form for thousands of years. They consist of various [...] Read more.
Nuts have been known as a nutritious food since ancient times and can be considered part of our original diet: they are one of the few foods that have been eaten in the same form for thousands of years. They consist of various dry fruits and seeds, with the most common species being almonds (Prunus dulcis), hazelnuts (Corylus avellana), cashews (cashew nuts, Anacardium occidentale), pistachios (Pistacia vera), walnuts (Italian nuts, Juglans regia), peanuts (Arachia hypogaca), Brazil nuts (Bartholletia excels), pecans (Corya illinoinensis), macadamia nuts (Macademia ternifolia) and pine nuts. Both in vitro and in vivo studies have found nuts to possess a range of bioactive compounds with cardioprotective properties, and hence, their consumption may play a role in preventing and treating cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). The present work reviews the current state of knowledge regarding the functional ingredients of various nuts (almonds, Brazil nuts, cashew nuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pecan nuts, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts) and the molecular mechanisms of their cardioprotective action. The data indicate that almonds, walnuts and pistachios are the best nut sources of bioactive ingredients with cardioprotective properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nutraceuticals, Functional Foods, and Novel Foods)
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33 pages, 2037 KiB  
Review
The Microbial Diversity on the Surface of Smear-Ripened Cheeses and Its Impact on Cheese Quality and Safety
by Jasmine S. Ritschard and Markus Schuppler
Foods 2024, 13(2), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13020214 - 10 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1443
Abstract
Smear-ripened cheeses are characterized by a viscous, red-orange surface smear on their rind. It is the complex surface microbiota on the cheese rind that is responsible for the characteristic appearance of this cheese type, but also for the wide range of flavors and [...] Read more.
Smear-ripened cheeses are characterized by a viscous, red-orange surface smear on their rind. It is the complex surface microbiota on the cheese rind that is responsible for the characteristic appearance of this cheese type, but also for the wide range of flavors and textures of the many varieties of smear-ripened cheeses. The surface smear microbiota also represents an important line of defense against the colonization with undesirable microorganisms through various types of interaction, such as competitive exclusion or production of antimicrobial substances. Predominant members of the surface smear microbiota are salt-tolerant yeast and bacteria of the phyla Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, and Proteobacteria. In the past, classical culture-based approaches already shed light on the composition and succession of microorganisms and their individual contribution to the typicity of this cheese type. However, during the last decade, the introduction and application of novel molecular approaches with high-resolution power provided further in-depth analysis and, thus, a much more detailed view of the composition, structure, and diversity of the cheese smear microbiota. This led to abundant novel knowledge, such as the identification of so far unknown community members. Hence, this review is summarizing the current knowledge of the diversity of the surface smear microbiota and its contribution to the quality and safety of smear-ripened cheese. If the succession or composition of the surface-smear microbiota is disturbed, cheese smear defects might occur, which may promote food safety issues. Hence, the discussion of cheese smear defects in the context of an increased understanding of the intricate surface smear ecosystem in this review may not only help in troubleshooting and quality control but also paves the way for innovations that can lead to safer, more consistent, and higher-quality smear-ripened cheeses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights in Microbial Diversity of Fermented Foods)
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24 pages, 4115 KiB  
Review
Food Processing and Nutrition Strategies for Improving the Health of Elderly People with Dysphagia: A Review of Recent Developments
by Ting Liu, Jianheng Zheng, Jun Du and Gengsheng He
Foods 2024, 13(2), 215; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13020215 - 10 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1962
Abstract
Dysphagia, or swallowing difficulty, is a common morbidity affecting 10% to 33% of the elderly population. Individuals with dysphagia can experience appetite, reduction, weight loss, and malnutrition as well as even aspiration, dehydration, and long-term healthcare issues. However, current therapies to treat dysphagia [...] Read more.
Dysphagia, or swallowing difficulty, is a common morbidity affecting 10% to 33% of the elderly population. Individuals with dysphagia can experience appetite, reduction, weight loss, and malnutrition as well as even aspiration, dehydration, and long-term healthcare issues. However, current therapies to treat dysphagia can routinely cause discomfort and pain to patients. To prevent these risks, a non-traumatic and effective treatment of diet modification for safe chewing and swallowing is urgently needed for the elderly. This review mainly summarizes the chewing and swallowing changes in the elderly, as well as important risk factors and potential consequences of dysphagia. In addition, three texture-modified food processing strategies to prepare special foods for the aged, as well as the current statuses and future trends of such foods, are discussed. Nonthermal food technologies, gelation, and 3D printing techniques have been developed to prepare soft, moist, and palatable texture-modified foods for chewing and swallowing safety in elderly individuals. In addition, flavor enhancement and nutrition enrichment are also considered to compensate for the loss of sensory experience and nutrients. Given the trend of population aging, multidisciplinary cooperation for dysphagia management should be a top priority. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Engineering and Technology)
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15 pages, 1403 KiB  
Article
Influence of the Mozzarella Type on Chemical and Sensory Properties of “Pizza Margherita”
by Amalia Piscopo, Antonio Mincione, Carmine Summo, Roccangelo Silletti, Corinne Giacondino, Ilenia Rocco and Antonella Pasqualone
Foods 2024, 13(2), 209; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13020209 - 09 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1298
Abstract
Background: According to Neapolitan Pizza Traditional Specialty Guaranteed (TSG) regulation, Mozzarella di Bufala Campana and Fiordilatte mozzarella are the exclusive cheeses to be used, together with tomato and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), to season pizza in the “Margherita” variant. However, the so-called [...] Read more.
Background: According to Neapolitan Pizza Traditional Specialty Guaranteed (TSG) regulation, Mozzarella di Bufala Campana and Fiordilatte mozzarella are the exclusive cheeses to be used, together with tomato and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), to season pizza in the “Margherita” variant. However, the so-called “Pizza mozzarella”, that is a diary product having lower moisture content and a longer shelf life than Mozzarella di Bufala Campana and Fiordilatte mozzarella, is widely used in many pizzerias, both in Italy and abroad. Therefore, we investigated its quality, in comparison with Mozzarella di Bufala and Fiordilatte mozzarella, as well as its effect on the quality of the Margherita pizza. Methods: Chemical and sensory analyses were conducted on mozzarella samples and on baked pizza topping samples. Results: The results revealed a better quality of pizza with Mozzarella di Bufala and Fiordilatte mozzarella for their higher antioxidant activity, oxidative stability and lower amount of undesired volatile compounds. Conclusions: The use of Mozzarella di Bufala and Fiordilatte mozzarella in the preparation of Margherita pizza improves its quality, especially if these mozzarella types are combined with other high-quality ingredients, namely tomato sauce and EVOO, characterized by the presence of antioxidant compounds (e.g., α-tocopherol not affected by the heat treatment of pizza baking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Dairy)
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23 pages, 4891 KiB  
Article
Metabolomics of Red Wines Aged Traditionally, with Chips or Staves
by Georgiana-Diana Dumitriu (Gabur), Fernando Sánchez-Suárez, Rafael A. Peinado, Valeriu V. Cotea, Nieves López de Lerma, Iulian Gabur and Violeta Simioniuc
Foods 2024, 13(2), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13020196 - 07 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1010
Abstract
Traditionally and alternatively aged wines’ odour activity values (OAVs) are investigated to differentiate and highlight the differences between the selected methods. An analysis of the volatile aroma compounds of wines derived from ageing in barrels, oak chips, and staves was performed using stir [...] Read more.
Traditionally and alternatively aged wines’ odour activity values (OAVs) are investigated to differentiate and highlight the differences between the selected methods. An analysis of the volatile aroma compounds of wines derived from ageing in barrels, oak chips, and staves was performed using stir bar sorptive extraction chromatography–mass spectroscopy (SBSE-GC-MS). The results showed that alcohols, esters, and oak compounds were the main contributors to aroma, and their OAVs were higher in the stave samples after 3 months than in the samples from the other two systems of ageing. Furthermore, wines aged with staves have stronger fruity, spiced, and woody aromas, while samples aged in barrels present more chemistry-driven, floral, caramelly, and creamy aromas. The staves—medium plus toast (SMPT at 3 months > 225) and chips—medium plus toast (CMPT at 3 months > 170) showed the highest levels of aromatic series, suggesting that alternative systems provided more powerful aromas than traditional systems, such as barrels—medium plus toast (BMPT at 3 months > 150). A principal component analysis (PCA), orthogonal partial least squares (OPLS) analysis, and cluster analysis allowed for a clear differentiation to be made between red wines according to ageing systems and ageing times. The odour activity values fingerprint in winemaking is a feasible approach to characterise and distinguish wines. Moreover, OAVs provide important information on the effects of production methods on wine quality and aroma profile. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Drinks and Liquid Nutrition)
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20 pages, 2892 KiB  
Article
Food Security in Israel: Challenges and Policies
by Ayal Kimhi
Foods 2024, 13(2), 187; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13020187 - 06 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1911
Abstract
This article analyzes Israel’s food security in comparison to other developed countries, using multiple indicators divided into four sections: food availability, food affordability, food quality and safety, and natural resources and resilience. Overall, the state of food security in Israel is better than [...] Read more.
This article analyzes Israel’s food security in comparison to other developed countries, using multiple indicators divided into four sections: food availability, food affordability, food quality and safety, and natural resources and resilience. Overall, the state of food security in Israel is better than in most countries, but the threats to food security arising from the triple risk of climate change, international conflicts, and disruptions in global supply chains, require better preparation for the future. Israel’s population growth and the slowdown in the growth rate of its agricultural production, as well as the short-term political desire to reduce prices, are leading the country to increasingly rely on food imports. Such imports expose Israel to even greater global risks, and require the formulation of a risk-management strategy that will balance local production and imports. The global triple risk to food security is currently exacerbated for Israel by the risk of shortage of labor due to the security situation, making this risk-management strategy even more necessary. This calls for the establishment of a governmental authority to oversee the formulation of a long-term food-security strategy, to break it down into feasible objectives and policy measures, and to supervise their implementation. Most importantly, in order to maintain and perhaps even enhance the productive capacity of the agricultural sector, the government must reinstall trust between farmers and the state by establishing a stable long-term policy environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Challenges and Strategies of Food Security under Global Change)
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18 pages, 1238 KiB  
Article
Olive Oil Waste as a Source of Functional Food Ingredients: Assessing Polyphenolic Content and Antioxidant Activity in Olive Leaves
by Carolina L. Ronca, Sara S. Marques, Alberto Ritieni, Rafael Giménez-Martínez, Luisa Barreiros and Marcela A. Segundo
Foods 2024, 13(2), 189; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13020189 - 06 Jan 2024
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1187
Abstract
Around two million tons of olive oil are produced in Europe annually, with Portugal being among the top five European olive oil-producing countries. Olive oil production results in a substantial amount of waste in the form of olive leaves. These discarded olive leaves [...] Read more.
Around two million tons of olive oil are produced in Europe annually, with Portugal being among the top five European olive oil-producing countries. Olive oil production results in a substantial amount of waste in the form of olive leaves. These discarded olive leaves contain valuable phenolic compounds with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, hypoglycaemic, neuroprotective, and antiproliferative properties. Due to their richness in polyphenols with health-promoting properties, olive leaves can be considered a potential functional food ingredient. Thus, sustainable practices for reusing olive leaf waste are in demand. In this study, the polyphenolic content in olive leaves from different Portuguese locations was determined using HPLC-UV-Vis after defining the best fit-for-purpose liquid extraction strategy. The differences in the in vitro antioxidant activity in these samples were determined by several methodologies based on radical scavenging (against 2,2′-azino-bis-3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulphonic acid (ABTS), 2,2-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), and peroxyl radical (ORAC)) and on reducing properties (cupric-reducing antioxidant capacity (CUPRAC), and Folin–Ciocalteu assay (FC)), to unveil the relationship between the profile and quantity of polyphenols with antioxidant mechanisms and their capacity. At last, the stability of extracted compounds upon lyophilization and exposition to surrogate biological fluids was assessed, envisioning the future incorporation of olive leaves extracted compounds in food products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Valorization of Food Waste for Novel Products)
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16 pages, 966 KiB  
Article
Simultaneous Analysis of Organic Acids, Glycerol and Phenolic Acids in Wines Using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
by Violeta Garcia-Viñola, Candela Ruiz-de-Villa, Jordi Gombau, Montse Poblet, Albert Bordons, Cristina Reguant and Nicolas Rozès
Foods 2024, 13(2), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13020186 - 05 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1048
Abstract
Fermented beverages, particularly wines, exhibit variable concentrations of organic and phenolic acids, posing challenges in their accurate determination. Traditionally, enzymatic methods or chromatographic analyses, mainly high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), have been employed to quantify these compounds individually in the grape must or wine. [...] Read more.
Fermented beverages, particularly wines, exhibit variable concentrations of organic and phenolic acids, posing challenges in their accurate determination. Traditionally, enzymatic methods or chromatographic analyses, mainly high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), have been employed to quantify these compounds individually in the grape must or wine. However, chromatographic analyses face limitations due to the high sugar content in the grape must. Meanwhile, phenolic acids, found in higher quantities in red wines than in white wines, are typically analyzed using HPLC. This study presents a novel method for the quantification of organic acids (OAs), glycerol, and phenolic acids in grape musts and wines. The approach involves liquid-liquid extraction with ethyl acetate, followed by sample derivatization and analysis using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) in selected ion monitoring (SIM) detection mode. The results indicated successful detection and quantification of all analyzed compounds without the need for sample dilution. However, our results showed that the method of adding external standards was more suitable for quantifying wine compounds, owing to the matrix effect. Furthermore, this method is promising for quantifying other metabolites present in wines, depending on their extractability with ethyl acetate. Fermented beverages, particularly wines, exhibit variable concentrations of organic and phenolic acids, posing challenges in their accurate determination. Traditionally, enzymatic methods or chromatographic analyses, mainly high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), have been employed to quantify these compounds individually in the grape must or wine. The approach of this proposed method involves (i) methoximation of wine compounds in a basic medium, (ii) acidification with HCl, (iii) liquid-liquid extraction with ethyl acetate, and (iv) silyl derivatization to analyze samples with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) in ion monitoring detection mode (SIM). The results indicated successful detection and quantification of all analyzed compounds without the need for sample dilution. However, our results showed that the method of adding external standards was more suitable for quantifying wine compounds, owing to the matrix effect. Furthermore, this method is promising for quantifying other metabolites present in wines, depending on their extractability with ethyl acetate. In other words, the proposed method may be suitable for profiling (targeted) or fingerprinting (untargeted) strategies to quantify wine metabolites or to classify wines according to the type of winemaking process, grape, or fermentation. Full article
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16 pages, 4237 KiB  
Article
Development of Healthy Snacks Incorporating Meal from Tenebrio molitor and Alphitobius diaperinus Using 3D Printing Technology
by Francisco Madail Herdeiro, Maria Otília Carvalho, Maria Cristiana Nunes and Anabela Raymundo
Foods 2024, 13(2), 179; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13020179 - 05 Jan 2024
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1349
Abstract
This study analyzes the nutritional properties of edible insects, specifically Tenebrio molitor and Alphitobius diaperinus, and explores the potential of 3D printing technology to introduce a nutritious and tasty alternative to essential nutrients for Western consumers. An original formulation for the printing [...] Read more.
This study analyzes the nutritional properties of edible insects, specifically Tenebrio molitor and Alphitobius diaperinus, and explores the potential of 3D printing technology to introduce a nutritious and tasty alternative to essential nutrients for Western consumers. An original formulation for the printing of snacks with microalgae was adapted to incorporate edible insects. Concentrations of 10% of edible insects, both isolated and mixed, were incorporated into the developed ink-doughs. Stress and frequency sweeps were performed on the doughs to understand the rheology and the impact on the internal structure to better adapt these materials to the 3D printing process. The nutritional profile of the developed snacks was assessed, revealing a significant amount of protein, enough to claim the snacks as a “source of protein”, as well as an increased mineral profile, when compared to the control snack. The antioxidant profile and total phenolic content were equally assessed. Finally, a sensory analysis test was performed, comparing the control snack to three other samples containing 10% T. molitor, 10% A. diaperinus and 5% + 5% of T. molitor and A. diaperinus, respectively, resulting in a preference for the A. diaperinus and for the combination of the two insects. Considered as a “novel food”, foods incorporating edible insects represent, in fact, the reintroduction of foods used in the West before the Middle Ages, when the Judeo-Christian tradition began to consider insects as not kosher. Educating consumers about the transition to novel foods can be helped by 3D printing food, as an innovative process that can be used to design creative rich animal protein snacks that make final products more appealing and acceptable to consumers. Full article
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17 pages, 2096 KiB  
Article
Red Onion Peel Powder as a Functional Ingredient for Manufacturing Ricotta Cheese
by Florin Daniel Lipșa, Florina Stoica, Roxana Nicoleta Rațu, Ionuț Dumitru Veleșcu, Petru Marian Cârlescu, Iuliana Motrescu, Marius Giorgi Usturoi and Gabriela Râpeanu
Foods 2024, 13(2), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13020182 - 05 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1188
Abstract
Onion (Allium cepa L.) is a vegetable widely cultivated and consumed due to its rich content in bioactive compounds. Red onion peel (ROP) powder, which is a by-product derived from the onion industry, has been attracting significant interest as a potential functional [...] Read more.
Onion (Allium cepa L.) is a vegetable widely cultivated and consumed due to its rich content in bioactive compounds. Red onion peel (ROP) powder, which is a by-product derived from the onion industry, has been attracting significant interest as a potential functional ingredient for improving the overall quality of foods. The present study explores the potential of ROP powder as a functional ingredient to improve the quality and nutritional value of whey cheese. Despite being frequently viewed as a food processing waste byproduct, ROP is a rich source of bioactive substances, including antioxidants, flavonoids, and dietary fiber, having antioxidant and antibacterial effects. The ROP extract exhibited high amounts of total polyphenols (119.69 ± 2.71 mg GAE/g dw) and antioxidant activity (82.35 ± 1.05%). Different quantities (1 and 3%) of ROP powder were added to cheese formulations, and the subsequent impact on the texture characteristics, sensory attributes, and phytochemical composition of the value-added cheeses was evaluated. The findings show that the addition of ROP powder improved the texture and the color of the cheeses, providing a visually appealing product. Additionally, adding the ROP powder significantly raised the amount of phytochemicals and antioxidant activity (17.08 ± 0.78 µmol TE/g dw for RCROP1, 24.55 ± 0.67 µmol TE/g dw for RCROP2) in the final product’s formulation. Moreover, adding powder to cheese is an effective way to increase the value of onion by-products and produce polyphenol-enriched cheese. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Dairy)
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20 pages, 1265 KiB  
Review
The Relationship between Preparation and Biological Activities of Animal-Derived Polysaccharides: A Comprehensive Review
by Bochun Yang, Conghao Yang, Rui Liu, Wenjie Sui, Qiaomei Zhu, Yan Jin, Tao Wu and Min Zhang
Foods 2024, 13(1), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13010173 - 04 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 953
Abstract
Polysaccharides are biomolecules found in microorganisms, plants, and animals that constitute living organisms. Glycosaminoglycans, unique acidic polysaccharides in animal connective tissue, are often combined with proteins in the form of covalent bonds due to their potent biological activity, low toxicity, and minimal side [...] Read more.
Polysaccharides are biomolecules found in microorganisms, plants, and animals that constitute living organisms. Glycosaminoglycans, unique acidic polysaccharides in animal connective tissue, are often combined with proteins in the form of covalent bonds due to their potent biological activity, low toxicity, and minimal side effects, which have the potential to be utilized as nutrition healthcare and dietary supplements. Existing studies have demonstrated that the bioactivity of polysaccharides is closely dependent on their structure and chain conformation. The characteristic functional groups and primary structure directly determine the strength of activity. However, the relationship between structure and function is still unclear, and the target and mechanism of action are not fully understood, resulting in limited clinical applications. As a result, the clinical applications of these polysaccharides are currently limited. This review provides a comprehensive summary of the extraction methods, structures, and biological activities of animal-derived polysaccharides that have been discovered so far. The aim is to promote developments in animal active polysaccharide science and provide theoretical support for exploring other unknown natural products. Full article
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21 pages, 5839 KiB  
Article
Porcine Intestinal Mucosal Peptides Target Macrophage-Modulated Inflammation and Alleviate Intestinal Homeostasis in Dextrose Sodium Sulfate-Induced Colitis in Mice
by Yucong Wang, Zhixin Xie, Xiaolong Wu, Lei Du, Zhengchen Chong, Rongxu Liu and Jianchun Han
Foods 2024, 13(1), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13010162 - 03 Jan 2024
Viewed by 2015
Abstract
Porcine intestinal mucosal proteins are novel animal proteins that contain large amounts of free amino acids and peptides. Although porcine intestinal mucosal proteins are widely used in animal nutrition, the peptide bioactivities of their enzymatic products are not yet fully understood. In the [...] Read more.
Porcine intestinal mucosal proteins are novel animal proteins that contain large amounts of free amino acids and peptides. Although porcine intestinal mucosal proteins are widely used in animal nutrition, the peptide bioactivities of their enzymatic products are not yet fully understood. In the present study, we investigated the effect of porcine intestinal mucosal peptides (PIMP) on the RAW264.7 cell model of LPS-induced inflammation. The mRNA expression of inflammatory factors (interleukin 6, tumor necrosis factor-α, and interleukin-1β) and nitrous oxide levels were all measured by quantitative real-time PCR and cyclooxygenase-2 protein expression measured by Western blot. To investigate the modulating effect of PIMP and to establish a model of dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced colitis in mice, we examined the effects of hematoxylin-eosin staining, myeloperoxidase levels, pro-inflammatory factor mRNA content, tight junction protein expression, and changes in intestinal flora. Nuclear factor κB pathway protein levels were also assessed by Western blot. PIMP has been shown in vitro to control inflammatory responses and prevent the activation of key associated signaling pathways. PIMP at doses of 100 and 400 mg/kg/day also alleviated intestinal inflammatory responses, reduced tissue damage caused by DSS, and improved intestinal barrier function. In addition, PIMP at 400 mg/kg/day successfully repaired the dysregulated gut microbiota and increased short-chain fatty acid levels. These findings suggest that PIMP may positively influence inflammatory responses and alleviate colitis. This study is the first to demonstrate the potential of PIMP as a functional food for the prevention and treatment of colitis. Full article
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17 pages, 1385 KiB  
Article
Shelf-Life Enhancement Applying Pulsed Electric Field and High-Pressure Treatments Prior to Osmotic Dehydration of Fresh-Cut Potatoes
by Maria Katsouli, Efimia Dermesonlouoglou, George Dimopoulos, Eleftheria Karafantalou, Maria Giannakourou and Petros Taoukis
Foods 2024, 13(1), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13010171 - 03 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1110
Abstract
From a quality standpoint, it is desirable to preserve the characteristics of fresh-cut potatoes at their peak. However, due to the mechanical tissue damage during the cutting process, potatoes are susceptible to enzymatic browning. This study pertains to the selection of the appropriate [...] Read more.
From a quality standpoint, it is desirable to preserve the characteristics of fresh-cut potatoes at their peak. However, due to the mechanical tissue damage during the cutting process, potatoes are susceptible to enzymatic browning. This study pertains to the selection of the appropriate osmotic dehydration (OD), high pressure (HP), and pulsed electric fields (PEF) processing conditions leading to effective quality retention of potato cuts. PEF (0.5 kV/cm, 200 pulses) or HP (400 MPa, 1 min) treatments prior to OD (35 °C, 120 min) were found to promote the retention of the overall quality (texture and color) of the samples. The incorporation of anti-browning agents (ascorbic acid and papain) into the osmotic solution improved the color retention, especially when combined with PEF or HP due to increased solid uptake (during OD) as indicated by DEI index (2.30, 1.93, and 2.10 for OD treated 120 min, non-pre-treated, HP pre-treated, and PEF pre-treated samples, respectively). PEF and HP combined with OD and anti-browning agent enrichment are sought to improve the quality and microbial stability of fresh-cut potatoes during refrigerator storage. Untreated fresh-cut potatoes were characterized by color degradation from the 2nd day of storage at 4 °C, and presented microbial growth (total viable counts: 6 log (CFU)/g) at day 6, whereas pre-treated potato samples retained their color and microbiologically stability after 6 days of cold storage (total viable counts, <4 log(CFU)/g). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Application of Hurdle Technology in Extending Food Shelf Life)
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17 pages, 3074 KiB  
Article
Nanoliposome-Mediated Encapsulation of Chlorella Oil for the Development of a Controlled-Release Lipid-Lowering Formulation
by Lanlan Tu, Jihao Zeng, Xue Bai, Ziyun Wu, Jinhong Wu and Shannan Xu
Foods 2024, 13(1), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13010158 - 02 Jan 2024
Viewed by 904
Abstract
Chlorella oil nanoliposomes (CO-NLP) were synthesized through ultrasonic injection with ethanol, and their physicochemical properties and hypolipidemic efficacy were systematically investigated. The results revealed that the mean particle size of CO-NLP was 86.90 nm and the encapsulation efficiency (EE) was 92.84%. Storage conditions [...] Read more.
Chlorella oil nanoliposomes (CO-NLP) were synthesized through ultrasonic injection with ethanol, and their physicochemical properties and hypolipidemic efficacy were systematically investigated. The results revealed that the mean particle size of CO-NLP was 86.90 nm and the encapsulation efficiency (EE) was 92.84%. Storage conditions at 4 °C were conducive to the stability of CO-NLP, maintaining an EE of approximately 90% even after 10 days of storage. The release profile of CO-NLP adhered more closely to the first-order kinetic model during in vitro assessments, exhibiting a slower release rate compared to free microalgae oil. In simulated in vitro digestion experiments, lipolytic reactions of CO-NLP were observed during intestinal digestion subsequent to nanoliposome administration. Notably, the inhibitory effect of CO-NLP on cholesterol esterase activity was measured at 85.42%. Additionally, the average fluorescence intensity of nematodes in the CO-NLP group was 52.17% lower than in the control group at a CO-NLP concentration of 500 μg/mL, which suggests a pronounced lipid-lowering effect of CO-NLP. Therefore, the CO-NLP exhibited characteristics of small and uniform particle size, elevated storage stability, gradual release during intestinal digestion, and a noteworthy hypolipidemic effect. These findings designate CO-NLP as a novel lipid-lowering active product, demonstrating potential for the development of functional foods. Full article
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16 pages, 314 KiB  
Article
Integral Use of Red Wine Pomace after Hydrostatic High Pressure: Application of Two Consecutive Cycles of Treatment
by Matilde D’Arrigo, Jonathan Delgado-Adámez, Javier Rocha-Pimienta, M. Esperanza Valdés-Sánchez and M. Rosario Ramírez-Bernabé
Foods 2024, 13(1), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13010149 - 01 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 893
Abstract
The influence of applying hydrostatic high pressure (HHP) to red grape pomace cv. Tempranillo was studied to obtain an ingredient rich in bioactive compounds for the manufacture of food products. Four treatments were investigated: (i) 600 MPa/1 s; (ii) 600 MPa/300 s, and [...] Read more.
The influence of applying hydrostatic high pressure (HHP) to red grape pomace cv. Tempranillo was studied to obtain an ingredient rich in bioactive compounds for the manufacture of food products. Four treatments were investigated: (i) 600 MPa/1 s; (ii) 600 MPa/300 s, and other two treatments with 2 cycles of HHP: (iii) 2 cycles of 600 MPa/1 s; and (iv) 1 first cycle of 400 MPa/1 s and a second cycle 600 MPa/1 s. Treated pomace was stored at different temperatures (4 and 20 °C). The application of two consecutive cycles had no effect on the microorganisms’ inactivation compared to only one cycle. Immediately after HHP, the phenolic compounds content was maintained. However, HHP had no influence on the polyphenol oxidase enzyme (PPO), and so the phenolic compounds were significantly reduced during storage. Hence, the shelf-life of red grape pomace was significantly reduced at both temperatures, although phenolic compounds were better preserved under refrigeration than at room temperature. Full article
18 pages, 6342 KiB  
Article
Influence of Flow Rate, Particle Size, and Temperature on Espresso Extraction Kinetics
by Benedikt K. L. Schmieder, Verena B. Pannusch, Lara Vannieuwenhuyse, Heiko Briesen and Mirjana Minceva
Foods 2023, 12(15), 2871; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12152871 - 28 Jul 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3107
Abstract
Brewing espresso coffee (EC) is considered a craft and, by some, even an art. Therefore, in this study, we systematically investigated the influence of coffee grinding, water flow rate, and temperature on the extraction kinetics of representative EC components, employing a central composite [...] Read more.
Brewing espresso coffee (EC) is considered a craft and, by some, even an art. Therefore, in this study, we systematically investigated the influence of coffee grinding, water flow rate, and temperature on the extraction kinetics of representative EC components, employing a central composite experimental design. The extraction kinetics of trigonelline, caffeine, 5-caffeoylquinic acid (5-CQA), and Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) were determined by collecting and analyzing ten consecutive fractions during the EC brewing process. From the extraction kinetics, the component masses in the cup were calculated for Ristretto, Espresso, and Espresso Lungo. The analysis of the studied parameters revealed that flow rate had the strongest effect on the component mass in the cup. The intensity of the flow rate influence was more pronounced at finer grindings and higher water temperatures. Overall, the observed influences were minor compared to changes resulting from differences in total extracted EC mass. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Engineering and Technology)
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19 pages, 8645 KiB  
Article
Effect of Thermoresponsive Xyloglucan on the Bread-Making Properties and Preservation of Gluten-Free Rice-Flour Bread
by Keiko Fujii, Momomi Usui, Akiko Ohsuga and Michiko Tsuji
Foods 2023, 12(14), 2761; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12142761 - 20 Jul 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1194
Abstract
This study clarified the effect of adding thermoresponsive xyloglucan on the bread-making properties and preservation of gluten-free rice-flour bread. The thickening polysaccharides used for preparing gluten-free rice-flour bread were modified tamarind gum (MTG; thermoresponsive xyloglucan), tamarind gum (TG), and xanthan gum (XT). The [...] Read more.
This study clarified the effect of adding thermoresponsive xyloglucan on the bread-making properties and preservation of gluten-free rice-flour bread. The thickening polysaccharides used for preparing gluten-free rice-flour bread were modified tamarind gum (MTG; thermoresponsive xyloglucan), tamarind gum (TG), and xanthan gum (XT). The mechanical properties of the added polysaccharide thickener solutions and bread dough, the mechanical properties and sensory characteristics of rice-flour bread, and the aging properties of rice-flour bread were measured. The results showed that the MTG solution exhibited solification at 40 °C and gelation below 40 °C, which affected the dynamic viscoelasticity of the dough. The addition of MTG to gluten-free rice-flour bread reduced the specific volume, increased the moisture content, and reduced the stress at 70% compression. Therefore, the bread with MTG added was soft, moist, and preferred over other those with other additives. In terms of preservation, the addition of 0.5–0.75% of polysaccharides inhibited the hardening and aging of beard with MTG added. This indicates that the addition of MTG at low concentrations is effective in preserving gluten-free rice-flour breads. We found that the thickening polysaccharides had to be added in appropriate concentrations to improve the bread-making properties and achieve the preferred effect. Full article
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18 pages, 1093 KiB  
Review
Climate Change—A Global Threat Resulting in Increasing Mycotoxin Occurrence
by Jovana Kos, Mislav Anić, Bojana Radić, Manuela Zadravec, Elizabet Janić Hajnal and Jelka Pleadin
Foods 2023, 12(14), 2704; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12142704 - 14 Jul 2023
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2654
Abstract
During the last decade, scientists have given increasingly frequent warnings about global warming, linking it to mycotoxin-producing moulds in various geographical regions across the world. In the future, more pronounced climate change could alter host resilience and host–pathogen interaction and have a significant [...] Read more.
During the last decade, scientists have given increasingly frequent warnings about global warming, linking it to mycotoxin-producing moulds in various geographical regions across the world. In the future, more pronounced climate change could alter host resilience and host–pathogen interaction and have a significant impact on the development of toxicogenic moulds and the production of their secondary metabolites, known as mycotoxins. The current climate attracts attention and calls for novel diagnostic tools and notions about the biological features of agricultural cultivars and toxicogenic moulds. Since European climate environments offer steadily rising opportunities for Aspergillus flavus growth, an increased risk of cereal contamination with highly toxic aflatoxins shall be witnessed in the future. On top of that, the profile (representation) of certain mycotoxigenic Fusarium species is changing ever more substantially, while the rise in frequency of Fusarium graminearum contamination, as a species which is able to produce several toxic mycotoxins, seen in northern and central Europe, is becoming a major concern. In the following paper, a high-quality approach to a preventative strategy is tailored to put a stop to the toxicogenic mould- and mycotoxin-induced contamination of foods and feeds in the foreseeable future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycotoxin in Foods: Implications of Climate Change)
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15 pages, 668 KiB  
Article
Enhancing the Nutritional Profile of Tenebrio molitor Using the Leaves of Moringa oleifera
by Konstantina Kotsou, Theodoros Chatzimitakos, Vassilis Athanasiadis, Eleni Bozinou, Christos I. Rumbos, Christos G. Athanassiou and Stavros I. Lalas
Foods 2023, 12(13), 2612; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12132612 - 06 Jul 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1674
Abstract
Nowadays, more and more research is being carried out on various feeds of Tenebrio molitor larvae, in order to increase their nutritional value and render them a valuable component of the human diet. In this study, Moringa oleifera leaves were used in different [...] Read more.
Nowadays, more and more research is being carried out on various feeds of Tenebrio molitor larvae, in order to increase their nutritional value and render them a valuable component of the human diet. In this study, Moringa oleifera leaves were used in different proportions (up to 50%) to substitute wheat bran (the usually employed feed), in order to evaluate their effect on the growth and development of the larvae, as well as on their composition in crude protein, fat and fatty acids, ash, vitamins, and antioxidants. It was found that the addition of M. oleifera leaves in the feed had no negative impact on the development and survival of the insects, while an increase in their nutritional value was recorded. More specifically, an increase in the crude protein of up to 22.61% and vitamin C and A contents of up to 40.74% and 491.63%, respectively, was recorded. Therefore, the use of M. oleifera leaves as a feed additive is highly recommended for rearing T. molitor larvae to enhance the nutritional value of the insects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Security and Sustainability)
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15 pages, 2613 KiB  
Article
Physicochemical, Rheological, and Sensory Characteristics of Yogurt Fermented by Lactic Acid Bacteria with Probiotic Potential and Bioprotective Properties
by Ramize Hoxha, Yana Evstatieva and Dilyana Nikolova
Foods 2023, 12(13), 2552; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12132552 - 29 Jun 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2745
Abstract
The applicability of two lactic acid bacterial strains with probiotic potential and bioprotective properties as additions in the starter culture in yogurt fermentation was examined. The studied strains, Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus KZM 2-11-3 and Lactiplantibacillus plantarum KC 5-12, inhibited the growth of [...] Read more.
The applicability of two lactic acid bacterial strains with probiotic potential and bioprotective properties as additions in the starter culture in yogurt fermentation was examined. The studied strains, Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus KZM 2-11-3 and Lactiplantibacillus plantarum KC 5-12, inhibited the growth of Kluyveromyces lactis, Kluyveromyces marxianus, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The strain L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus KZM 2-11-3 directly inhibited Escherichia coli. The important characteristics for the quality of the yogurt product, such as physicochemical parameters during fermentation and storage, rheological characteristics, and sensory changes during the storage of samples were determined. The yogurt samples with the strains did not differ in most parameters from the control yogurt with the commercial starter. The added strains showed stable viability in the yogurt samples during storage. The yogurt sample with L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus KZM 2-11-3 and the sample with both strains based on the total evaluation were very similar to the control yogurt with the commercial starter. Using these strains as probiotic supplements to enrich the starter cultures in yogurt production will contribute to developing new products with benefits to human health. Full article
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23 pages, 1136 KiB  
Review
Nutritional Composition of Hass Avocado Pulp
by Nikki A. Ford, Paul Spagnuolo, Jana Kraft and Ella Bauer
Foods 2023, 12(13), 2516; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12132516 - 28 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 7486
Abstract
Avocados (Persea americana) are a unique fruit that can provide health benefits when included in a healthy diet. As health care moves towards precision health and targeted therapies or preventative medicine, it is critical to understand foods and their dietary components. [...] Read more.
Avocados (Persea americana) are a unique fruit that can provide health benefits when included in a healthy diet. As health care moves towards precision health and targeted therapies or preventative medicine, it is critical to understand foods and their dietary components. The nutritional composition and plant physiology of the Hass avocado is strikingly different from other fruits. This paper reviews the nutrient and bioactive composition of the edible portion of the Hass avocado (pulp) reported in the literature and from commercial lab analyses of the current market supply of fresh Hass avocados. These results provide comprehensive data on what nutrients and bioactives are in avocado and the quantity of these nutrients. We discuss the reasons for nutrient composition variations and review some potential health benefits of bioactive compounds found in Hass avocados. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analysis of Nutrients and Contaminants in Foods)
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16 pages, 4090 KiB  
Article
Optimization of Exopolysaccharide Produced by Lactobacillus plantarum R301 and Its Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Activities
by Junyong Wang, Jing Zhang, Henan Guo, Qiang Cheng, Zaheer Abbas, Yucui Tong, Tiantian Yang, Yichen Zhou, Haosen Zhang, Xubiao Wei, Dayong Si and Rijun Zhang
Foods 2023, 12(13), 2481; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12132481 - 25 Jun 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1789
Abstract
In this study, the yield of exopolysaccharide (EPS) from Lactobacillus plantarum R301 was optimized using a single-factor experiment and response surface methodology (RSM). After optimization, the EPS yield was increased with a fold-change of 0.85. The significant factors affecting EPS production, as determined [...] Read more.
In this study, the yield of exopolysaccharide (EPS) from Lactobacillus plantarum R301 was optimized using a single-factor experiment and response surface methodology (RSM). After optimization, the EPS yield was increased with a fold-change of 0.85. The significant factors affecting EPS production, as determined through a Plackett–Burman design and Central Composite Design (CCD), were MgSO4 concentration, initial pH, and inoculation size. The maximum yield was 97.85 mg/mL under the condition of 0.01% MgSO4, an initial pH 7.4, and 6.4% of the inoculation size. In addition, the EPS exhibited strong antioxidant activity, as demonstrated by its ability to scavenge DPPH, ABTS, and hydroxyl radicals. The scavenging rate was up to 100% at concentrations of 4 mg/mL, 1 mg/mL, and 2 mg/mL, respectively. Moreover, the EPS also exhibited reducing power, which was about 30% that of ascorbic acid when both tended to be stable with the increased concentration. These results suggest that L. plantarum R301 EPS possesses different antioxidant mechanisms and warrants further investigation. In addition to its antioxidant activity, the EPS also demonstrated good anti-inflammatory activity by inhibiting the inflammation induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in RAW 264.7 cells, which could decrease nitric oxide (NO) production and expression of the proinflammatory cytokine Il-6. These findings suggest that L. plantarum R301 EPS could be used as a potential multifunctional food additive in the food industry. Full article
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16 pages, 2715 KiB  
Article
A Multimethodological Approach for the Chemical Characterization of Edible Insects: The Case Study of Acheta domesticus
by Mattia Spano, Giacomo Di Matteo, Carlos Alberto Fernandez Retamozo, Alba Lasalvia, Marco Ruggeri, Giuseppina Sandri, Carlos Cordeiro, Marta Sousa Silva, Carlotta Totaro Fila, Stefania Garzoli, Maria Elisa Crestoni and Luisa Mannina
Foods 2023, 12(12), 2331; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12122331 - 09 Jun 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1505
Abstract
Acheta domesticus (house cricket) has been recently introduced into the official European list of novel foods, representing an alternative and sustainable food source. Up to now, the chemical characterization of this edible insect has been focused only on specific classes of compounds. Here, [...] Read more.
Acheta domesticus (house cricket) has been recently introduced into the official European list of novel foods, representing an alternative and sustainable food source. Up to now, the chemical characterization of this edible insect has been focused only on specific classes of compounds. Here, three production batches of an A. domesticus powder were investigated by means of a multimethodological approach based on NMR, FT-ICR MS, and GC-MS methodologies. The applied analytical protocol, proposed for the first time in the study of an edible insect, allowed us to identify and quantify compounds not previously reported in crickets. In particular, methyl-branched hydrocarbons, previously identified in other insects, together with other compounds such as citrulline, formate, γ-terpinene, p-cymene, α-thujene, β-thujene, and 4-carene were detected. Amino acids, organic acids, and fatty acids were also identified and quantified. The improved knowledge of the chemical profile of this novel food opens new horizons both for the use of crickets as a food ingredient and for the use of extracts for the production of new formulations. In order to achieve this objective, studies regarding safety, biological activity, bioaccessibility, and bioavailability are needed as future perspectives in this field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Quality and Safety)
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18 pages, 3212 KiB  
Article
Dendrobium officinale Polysaccharide Prevents Diabetes via the Regulation of Gut Microbiota in Prediabetic Mice
by Haodong Liu, Yan Xing, Yinbo Wang, Xinxiu Ren, Danyang Zhang, Jianying Dai, Zhilong Xiu, Shiqiang Yu and Yuesheng Dong
Foods 2023, 12(12), 2310; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12122310 - 08 Jun 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1652
Abstract
Dendrobium officinale polysaccharide (DOP), which serves as a prebiotic, exhibits a variety of biological activities, including hypoglycemic activities. However, the effects of DOP on diabetes prevention and its hypoglycemic mechanisms are still unclear. In this study, the effects of DOP treatment on the [...] Read more.
Dendrobium officinale polysaccharide (DOP), which serves as a prebiotic, exhibits a variety of biological activities, including hypoglycemic activities. However, the effects of DOP on diabetes prevention and its hypoglycemic mechanisms are still unclear. In this study, the effects of DOP treatment on the prediabetic mice model were studied and the mechanism was investigated. The results showed that 200 mg/kg/d of DOP reduced the relative risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) from prediabetes by 63.7%. Meanwhile, DOP decreased the level of LPS and inhibited the expression of TLR4 by regulating the composition of the gut microbiota, consequently relieving the inflammation and alleviating insulin resistance. In addition, DOP increased the abundance of SCFA (short chain fatty acid)-producing bacteria in the intestine, increased the levels of intestinal SCFAs, promoted the expression of short-chain fatty acid receptors FFAR2/FFAR3, and increased the secretion of the intestinal hormones GLP-1 and PYY, which helped to repair islet damage, suppress appetite, and improve insulin resistance. Our results suggested that DOP is a promising functional food supplement for the prevention of T2DM. Full article
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19 pages, 3498 KiB  
Article
Towards a Better Understanding of Texturization during High-Moisture Extrusion (HME)—Part II: Characterization of Thermophysical Properties of High-Moisture Meat Analogues
by Elisabeth Högg and Cornelia Rauh
Foods 2023, 12(12), 2283; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12122283 - 06 Jun 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1459
Abstract
It is crucial to determine the thermophysical properties of high-moisture extruded samples (HMESs) to properly understand the texturization process of high-moisture extrusion (HME), especially when the primary objective is the production of high-moisture meat analogues (HMMAs). Therefore, the study’s aim was to determine [...] Read more.
It is crucial to determine the thermophysical properties of high-moisture extruded samples (HMESs) to properly understand the texturization process of high-moisture extrusion (HME), especially when the primary objective is the production of high-moisture meat analogues (HMMAs). Therefore, the study’s aim was to determine thermophysical properties of high-moisture extruded samples made from soy protein concentrate (SPC ALPHA® 8 IP). Thermophysical properties such as the specific heat capacity and the apparent density were experimentally determined and further investigated to obtain simple prediction models. These models were compared to non-HME-based literature models, which were derived from high-moisture foods, such as soy-based and meat products (including fish). Furthermore, thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity were calculated based on generic equations and literature models and showed a significant mutual influence. The combination of the experimental data and the applied simple prediction models resulted in a satisfying mathematical description of the thermophysical properties of the HME samples. The application of data-driven thermophysical property models could contribute to understanding the texturization effect during HME. Further, the gained knowledge could be applied for further understanding in related research, e.g., with numerical simulation studies of the HME process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Physics and (Bio)Chemistry)
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19 pages, 1305 KiB  
Article
Impact of Starch Concentration on the Pasting and Rheological Properties of Gluten-Free Gels. Effects of Amylose Content and Thermal and Hydration Properties
by Raúl Ricardo Mauro, Antonio José Vela and Felicidad Ronda
Foods 2023, 12(12), 2281; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12122281 - 06 Jun 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2472
Abstract
The pasting and rheological properties of starch gels from different botanical origins have been widely used to evaluate the application of these starches in pharmaceutical and food products. However, the ways in which these properties are modified by starch concentration and their dependence [...] Read more.
The pasting and rheological properties of starch gels from different botanical origins have been widely used to evaluate the application of these starches in pharmaceutical and food products. However, the ways in which these properties are modified by starch concentration and their dependence on amylose content and thermal and hydration properties have not been adequately established so far. An exhaustive study of the pasting and rheological properties of starch gels (maize and rice (normal and waxy in both cases), wheat, potato, and tapioca) at concentrations of 6.4, 7.8, 9.2, 10.6, and 11.9 g/100 g was performed. The results were evaluated in terms of a potential equation fit between each parameter and each gel concentration. The parameters determined for the gels at the studied concentrations were correlated with the hydration properties and thermal properties by applying principal component analysis (PCA). Wheat starch, followed by normal maize and normal rice starches, presented a greater capacity to modulate their gels’ pasting and viscoelastic properties via their concentration in water. On the contrary, the characteristics of waxy rice and maize, potato, and tapioca starches were barely modified by concentration in pasting assays, but the gels of potato and tapioca showed noticeable changes in their viscoelastic properties as functions of concentration. In the PCA plot, the non-waxy cereal samples (wheat, normal maize, and normal rice) were located close to each other. Wheat starch gels were the most dispersed on the graph, which is consistent with the high dependence on the concentration of the gel shown in most of the studied parameters. The waxy starches had close positions not too distant from those of the tapioca and potato samples and with little influence from amylose concentration. The potato and tapioca samples were close to the vectors of the crossover point in rheology and peak viscosity in their pasting properties. The knowledge gained from this work allows a better understanding of the effects of starch concentration on food formulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gluten-Free Food and Celiac Disease)
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32 pages, 1499 KiB  
Review
Sustainable Strategies for Increasing Legume Consumption: Culinary and Educational Approaches
by Isaac Amoah, Angela Ascione, Fares M. S. Muthanna, Alessandra Feraco, Elisabetta Camajani, Stefania Gorini, Andrea Armani, Massimiliano Caprio and Mauro Lombardo
Foods 2023, 12(11), 2265; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12112265 - 04 Jun 2023
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 6201
Abstract
Legumes are nutrient-dense crops with health-promoting benefits. However, several barriers are associated with their consumption. Emerging issues including food neophobic tendencies or taboos, unclear dietary guidelines on legume consumption, health concerns, and socio-economic reasons, as well as long cooking procedures, adversely affect legume [...] Read more.
Legumes are nutrient-dense crops with health-promoting benefits. However, several barriers are associated with their consumption. Emerging issues including food neophobic tendencies or taboos, unclear dietary guidelines on legume consumption, health concerns, and socio-economic reasons, as well as long cooking procedures, adversely affect legume consumption frequency. Pre-treatment methods, including soaking, sprouting, and pulse electric field technology, are effective in reducing the alpha-oligosaccharides and other anti-nutritional factors, eventually lowering cooking time for legumes. Extrusion technology used for innovative development of legume-enriched products, including snacks, breakfast cereals and puffs, baking and pasta, represents a strategic way to promote legume consumption. Culinary skills such as legume salads, legume sprouts, stews, soups, hummus, and the development of homemade cake recipes using legume flour could represent effective ways to promote legume consumption. This review aims to highlight the nutritional and health effects associated with legume consumption, and strategies to improve their digestibility and nutritional profile. Additionally, proper educational and culinary approaches aimed to improve legumes intake are discussed. Full article
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18 pages, 3717 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Synbiotics on Dextran-Sodium-Sulfate-Induced Acute Colitis: The Impact of Chitosan Oligosaccharides on Endogenous/Exogenous Lactiplantibacillus plantarum
by Yunjiao Zhao, Liangyu Xue, Shunqin Li, Tao Wu, Rui Liu, Wenjie Sui and Min Zhang
Foods 2023, 12(11), 2251; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12112251 - 02 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1379
Abstract
In this work, Lactiplantibacillus plantarum (L. plantarum) isolated from mice feces (LP-M) and pickles (LP-P) were chosen as the endogenous and exogenous L. plantarum, respectively, which were separately combined with chitosan oligosaccharides (COS) to be synbiotics. The anti-inflammatory activity of [...] Read more.
In this work, Lactiplantibacillus plantarum (L. plantarum) isolated from mice feces (LP-M) and pickles (LP-P) were chosen as the endogenous and exogenous L. plantarum, respectively, which were separately combined with chitosan oligosaccharides (COS) to be synbiotics. The anti-inflammatory activity of LP-M, LP-P, COS, and the synbiotics was explored using dextran-sodium-sulfate (DSS)-induced acute colitis mice, as well as by comparing the synergistic effects of COS with LP-M or LP-P. The results revealed that L. plantarum, COS, and the synbiotics alleviated the symptoms of mice colitis and inhibited the changes in short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-10, and myeloperoxidase (MPO) caused by DSS. In addition, the intervention of L. plantarum, COS, and the synbiotics increased the relative abundance of beneficial bacteria Muribaculaceae and Lactobacillus and suppressed the pathogenic bacteria Turicibacter and Escherichia-Shigella. There was no statistically difference between LP-M and the endogenous synbiotics on intestinal immunity and metabolism. However, the exogenous synbiotics improved SCFAs, inhibited the changes in cytokines and MPO activity, and restored the gut microbiota more effectively than exogenous L. plantarum LP-P. This indicated that the anti-inflammatory activity of exogenous LP-P can be increased by combining it with COS as a synbiotic. Full article
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15 pages, 2093 KiB  
Article
Antilisterial and Antimicrobial Effect of Salvia officinalis Essential Oil in Beef Sous-Vide Meat during Storage
by Robert Gál, Natália Čmiková, Aneta Prokopová and Miroslava Kačániová
Foods 2023, 12(11), 2201; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12112201 - 30 May 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1241
Abstract
If food is contaminated with pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes, improper cooking during sous-vide preparation can lead to foodborne illnesses. In this study, it was found that L. monocytogenes were inactivated with both heat and the essential oil of Salvia officinalis (sage [...] Read more.
If food is contaminated with pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes, improper cooking during sous-vide preparation can lead to foodborne illnesses. In this study, it was found that L. monocytogenes were inactivated with both heat and the essential oil of Salvia officinalis (sage EO) in beef tenderloin of the musculus psoas major that had undergone sous-vide processing. To determine whether the enhancement of the efficacy of heat treatment is prospective, L. monocytogenes and sage EO were mixed. Groups with L. monocytogenes alone and sage essential oil combined with L. monocytogenes and test groups without EO were established. The samples were vacuum-packed, inoculated with L. monocytogenes, and then cooked sous-vide for the predetermined duration at 50, 55, 60, or 65 °C. In both groups with sous-vide beef tenderloin, the total bacterial count, the coliforms bacterial count, and the amount of L. monocytogenes were assessed on days 0, 3, 6, 9, and 12. Over these days, the amounts of L. monocytogenes, coliform bacteria, and overall bacteria increased. The identification of bacterial strains in various days and categories was performed by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. The test group that was exposed to a temperature of 50 °C for 5 min had a higher overall bacterial count for each day that was assessed. Pseudomonas fragi and L. monocytogenes were the most isolated organisms from the test group and the treated group. To ensure the safety for the consumption of sous-vide beef tenderloin, it was found that the addition of natural antimicrobials could produce effective outcomes. Full article
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18 pages, 5555 KiB  
Article
Third-Generation Snacks Manufactured from Andean Tubers and Tuberous Root Flours: Microwave Expansion Kinetics and Characterization
by Liliana Acurio, Diego Salazar, Purificación García-Segovia, Javier Martínez-Monzó and Marta Igual
Foods 2023, 12(11), 2168; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12112168 - 27 May 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1888
Abstract
Andean tubers and tuberous roots have nutritional and medicinal properties transferred through ancestral generations. In this study, we aim to promote cultivation and consumption by developing a snack based on these crops. Corn grits were thoroughly mixed with sweet potato, mashua, and three [...] Read more.
Andean tubers and tuberous roots have nutritional and medicinal properties transferred through ancestral generations. In this study, we aim to promote cultivation and consumption by developing a snack based on these crops. Corn grits were thoroughly mixed with sweet potato, mashua, and three varieties of oca flour (white, yellow, and red) in an 80:20 ratio, and a single-screw laboratory extruder was utilized to produce third-generation (3G) dried pellets. Microwave expansion was studied, and the dried 3G pellets and expanded snacks were characterized. The microwave expansion curves of the dried 3G pellets were adjusted to the Page, logarithmic, and Midilli–Kucuk models. During the characterization, the influence of the raw material composition was observed in sectional expansion, water content, water activity, water absorption, water solubility, swelling, optical and textural properties, and bioactive compounds. According to global color variation (mixture vs. expanded and dried vs. expanded) and bioactive compound analysis, the mashua suffered little chemical change or nutritional loss during the process. The extrusion process was shown to be an ideal method for manufacturing snacks from Andean tuber flours. Full article
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14 pages, 3719 KiB  
Article
Effects of Drying Treatments on Nutritional Compositions, Volatile Flavor Compounds, and Bioactive Substances of Broad Beans
by Si Li, Fangwei Liu, Mulan Wu, Yuhao Li, Xiaoxiao Song and Junyi Yin
Foods 2023, 12(11), 2160; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12112160 - 26 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1527
Abstract
In this study, different drying methods, including hot air drying, sun drying, and freeze drying were employed to dry fresh broad beans. The nutritional composition, volatile organic components and bioactive substances of the dried broad beans were systematically compared. The results indicated significant [...] Read more.
In this study, different drying methods, including hot air drying, sun drying, and freeze drying were employed to dry fresh broad beans. The nutritional composition, volatile organic components and bioactive substances of the dried broad beans were systematically compared. The results indicated significant differences (p < 0.05) in nutritional composition, such as protein and soluble sugar content. Among the 66 identified volatile organic compounds, freeze drying and hot air drying significantly promote the production of alcohols and aldehydes, while sun drying effectively preserves esters. In terms of bioactive substances, broad beans dried by freeze drying exhibit the highest total phenol content as well as the strongest antioxidant capacity and gallic acid, followed by sun drying. The chemometric analysis revealed that the bioactive compounds in broad beans dried by three different methods were primarily composed of flavonoids, organic acids, and amino acids with significant differentiation. Notably, freeze-dried and sun-dried broad beans exhibited a higher concentration of differential substances. Full article
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17 pages, 3185 KiB  
Article
Optimization of Extraction Parameters for Enhanced Recovery of Bioactive Compounds from Quince Peels Using Response Surface Methodology
by Vassilis Athanasiadis, Theodoros Chatzimitakos, Eleni Bozinou, Konstantina Kotsou, Dimitrios Palaiogiannis and Stavros I. Lalas
Foods 2023, 12(11), 2099; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12112099 - 23 May 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1622
Abstract
Quinces are well known for their multiple health benefits, including antioxidant, hypoglycemic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, etc., properties. Despite the widespread utilization of various plant parts, the peel has been largely ignored in the industry. In this study, we explored the effects of different [...] Read more.
Quinces are well known for their multiple health benefits, including antioxidant, hypoglycemic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, etc., properties. Despite the widespread utilization of various plant parts, the peel has been largely ignored in the industry. In this study, we explored the effects of different extraction parameters, such as temperature, time, and composition of the extraction solvent, and techniques such as ultrasound (US) and a pulsed electric field (PEF), either alone or in combination, and optimized these parameters using a response surface methodology (RSM) to enhance the extraction of bioactive compounds such as chlorogenic acid, total polyphenols, flavonoids, and ascorbic acid from waste quince peels. From our results, it was apparent that quince peels are a great source of many bioactive compounds with high antioxidant activity. More specifically, after principal component analysis (PCA) and partial least squares (PLS) analysis, quince peels contain high levels of total polyphenols (43.99 mg gallic acid equivalents/g dw), total flavonoids (3.86 mg rutin equivalents/g dw), chlorogenic acid (2.12 mg/g dw), and ascorbic acid (543.93 mg/100 g dw), as well as antioxidant activity of 627.73 μmol AAE/g and 699.61 μmol DPPH/g as evidenced by FRAP and DPPH assays, respectively. These results emphasize the potential of utilizing quince peels as an eco-friendly and cost-effective source of bioactive compounds with various applications in the food and pharmaceutical industries for the prepared extracts. Full article
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16 pages, 7474 KiB  
Article
Application of Central Composite Design and Superimposition Approach for Optimization of Drying Parameters of Pretreated Cassava Flour
by Ellyas Alga Nainggolan, Jan Banout and Klara Urbanova
Foods 2023, 12(11), 2101; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12112101 - 23 May 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1785
Abstract
The primary goals of this study were to identify the influence of temperature and drying time on pretreated cassava flour, as well as the optimal settings for the factors and to analyze the microstructure of cassava flour. The experiment was designed using the [...] Read more.
The primary goals of this study were to identify the influence of temperature and drying time on pretreated cassava flour, as well as the optimal settings for the factors and to analyze the microstructure of cassava flour. The experiment was designed using the response surface methodology with central composite design and the superimposition approach in order to assess the effect of drying temperature (45.85–74.14 °C) and drying time (3.96–11.03 h) and the optimal drying conditions of the cassava flour investigated. Soaking and blanching were applied as pretreatments to freshly sliced cassava tubers. The value moisture content of cassava flour was between 6.22% and 11.07%, whereas the observed whiteness index in cassava flour ranged from 72.62 to 92.67 in all pretreated cassava flour samples. Through analysis of variance, each drying factor, their interaction, and all squared terms had a substantial impact on moisture content and whiteness index. The optimized values for drying temperature and drying time for each pretreated cassava flour were 70 °C and 10 h, respectively. The microstructure showed a non-gelatinized, relatively homogeneous in size and shape sample with pretreatment soaked in distilled water at room temperature. These study results are relevant to the development of more sustainable cassava flour production. Full article
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22 pages, 2606 KiB  
Article
Health-Aware Food Recommendation Based on Knowledge Graph and Multi-Task Learning
by Yi Chen, Yandi Guo, Qiuxu Fan, Qinghui Zhang and Yu Dong
Foods 2023, 12(10), 2079; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12102079 - 22 May 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2978
Abstract
Current food recommender systems tend to prioritize either the user’s dietary preferences or the healthiness of the food, without considering the importance of personalized health requirements. To address this issue, we propose a novel approach to healthy food recommendations that takes into account [...] Read more.
Current food recommender systems tend to prioritize either the user’s dietary preferences or the healthiness of the food, without considering the importance of personalized health requirements. To address this issue, we propose a novel approach to healthy food recommendations that takes into account the user’s personalized health requirements, in addition to their dietary preferences. Our work comprises three perspectives. Firstly, we propose a collaborative recipe knowledge graph (CRKG) with millions of triplets, containing user–recipe interactions, recipe–ingredient associations, and other food-related information. Secondly, we define a score-based method for evaluating the healthiness match between recipes and user preferences. Based on these two prior perspectives, we develop a novel health-aware food recommendation model (FKGM) using knowledge graph embedding and multi-task learning. FKGM employs a knowledge-aware attention graph convolutional neural network to capture the semantic associations between users and recipes on the collaborative knowledge graph and learns the user’s requirements in both preference and health by fusing the losses of these two learning tasks. We conducted experiments to demonstrate that FKGM outperformed four competing baseline models in integrating users’ dietary preferences and personalized health requirements in food recommendations and performed best on the health task. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Artificial Intelligence in Food Industry)
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15 pages, 2630 KiB  
Article
Formation, Structural Characterization, and Functional Properties of Corn Starch/Zeaxanthin Composites
by Songnan Li, Duo Feng, Enpeng Li and Robert G. Gilbert
Foods 2023, 12(10), 2076; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12102076 - 22 May 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1206
Abstract
Zeaxanthin is a natural xanthophyll carotenoid and the main macular pigment that protects the macula from light-initiated oxidative damage, but it has poor stability and low bioavailability. Absorption of this active ingredient into starch granules as a carrier can be used to improve [...] Read more.
Zeaxanthin is a natural xanthophyll carotenoid and the main macular pigment that protects the macula from light-initiated oxidative damage, but it has poor stability and low bioavailability. Absorption of this active ingredient into starch granules as a carrier can be used to improve both zeaxanthin stability and controlled release. Optimization using three variables judged important for optimizing the system (reaction temperature of 65 °C, starch concentration of 6%, and reaction time of 2 h) was conducted for incorporation of zeaxanthin into corn starch granules, aiming for high zeaxanthin content (2.47 mg/g) and high encapsulation efficiency (74%). Polarized-light microscopy, X-ray diffraction, differential scanning calorimetry, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy showed that the process partially gelatinized corn starch; additionally, it showed the presence of corn starch/zeaxanthin composites, with the zeaxanthin successfully trapped in corn starch granules. The half-life time of zeaxanthin in corn starch/zeaxanthin composites increased to 43 days as compared with that of zeaxanthin alone (13 days). The composites show a rapid increase in zeaxanthin release with in vitro intestinal digestion, which is favorable for possible use in living systems. These findings could have application in designing effective starch-based carriers of this bioactive ingredient with enhanced storage stability and improved intestines-targeted controlled-release delivery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nutraceuticals, Functional Foods, and Novel Foods)
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21 pages, 640 KiB  
Review
Addressing Clean Label Trends in Commercial Meat Processing: Strategies, Challenges and Insights from Consumer Perspectives
by Elena S. Inguglia, Zuo Song, Joseph P. Kerry, Maurice G. O’Sullivan and Ruth M. Hamill
Foods 2023, 12(10), 2062; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12102062 - 20 May 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3096
Abstract
Background: The concept of a clean label is difficult to define, even in common language, as the interpretation of what a “clean” food is differs from one person to another and from one organisation to another. The lack of a unique definition and [...] Read more.
Background: The concept of a clean label is difficult to define, even in common language, as the interpretation of what a “clean” food is differs from one person to another and from one organisation to another. The lack of a unique definition and regulations of what the term “clean” means, along with the growing consumer demand for more “natural” and healthier foods, is posing new challenges for manufacturers and ingredient producers. The meat industry, in particular, has been affected by this new movement owing to negative attitudes and feelings consumers associate with consuming processed meat products. Scope and approach: The review scope is to describe attributes and associations around the “clean” label term by analysing the most recent ingredients, additives and processing methods currently available for meat manufacturers. Their application in meat, plant-based alternatives and hybrid meat/plant products, current limitations and challenges presented in consumer perception, safety and potential impacts on product quality are also presented. Key findings and conclusions: The availability of a growing number of “clean” label ingredients provides a new suite of approaches that are available for application by meat processors to help overcome some of the negative connotations associated with processed meat products and also support plant-based meat alternatives and hybrids. Full article
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17 pages, 745 KiB  
Article
What Is the Value of a “Mountain Product” Claim? A Ranking Conjoint Experiment on Goat’s Milk Yoghurt
by Raffaele Zanchini, Giuseppe Di Vita, Luca Panzone and Filippo Brun
Foods 2023, 12(10), 2059; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12102059 - 19 May 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1150
Abstract
Rural development is complex in marginal and disadvantaged areas, such as mountains, which impose high labour costs and restrict farmers in their choices of crop and livestock. To recognise this problem, the European Union regulates the use of the optional quality term “ [...] Read more.
Rural development is complex in marginal and disadvantaged areas, such as mountains, which impose high labour costs and restrict farmers in their choices of crop and livestock. To recognise this problem, the European Union regulates the use of the optional quality term “Mountain product” on the label. Consumers may recognise this label and be more willing to pay for it, resulting in higher revenues for producers using it. This study estimates the willingness to pay (WTP) for a mountain quality label. This WTP is then compared to that of functional and nutrition claims. For this purpose, we used a ranking conjoint experiment, using goat’s milk yoghurt—a typical mountain product—as a case study. Using a rank-ordered logit, we show that mountain quality labels generate a significant WTP, higher than that of functional claims. WTP differs by the demographic profile of the consumer. The study provided useful insights about the combination of the mountain quality label with different attributes. However, future studies are needed to adequately understand the potential of mountain certification as a supporting tool for farmers in marginal areas and for rural development. Full article
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19 pages, 788 KiB  
Article
Exploring Factors and Impact of Blockchain Technology in the Food Supply Chains: An Exploratory Study
by Abubakar Mohammed, Vidyasagar Potdar and Mohammed Quaddus
Foods 2023, 12(10), 2052; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12102052 - 19 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3864
Abstract
Blockchain technology (BCT) has been proven to have the potential to transform food supply chains (FSCs) based on its potential benefits. BCT promises to improve food supply chain processes. Despite its several benefits, little is known about the factors that drive blockchain adoption [...] Read more.
Blockchain technology (BCT) has been proven to have the potential to transform food supply chains (FSCs) based on its potential benefits. BCT promises to improve food supply chain processes. Despite its several benefits, little is known about the factors that drive blockchain adoption within the food supply chain and the impact of blockchain technology on the food supply chain, as empirical evidence is scarce. This study, therefore, explores factors, impacts and challenges of blockchain adoption in the FSC. The study adopts an exploratory qualitative interview approach. The data consist of Twenty-one interviews which were analyzed using thematic analysis techniques in NVivo (v12), resulting in identifying nine factors classified under three broad categories (Technology—complexity, compatibility, cost; Organization—organization size, knowledge; Environment—government support, competitive pressure, standardization, and compliance) as the most significant factors driving blockchain adoption in the FSC. In addition, five impacts were identified (visibility, performance, efficiency, trust, and value creation) to blockchain technology adoption. This study also identifies significant challenges of blockchain technology (interoperability, privacy, infrastructure conditions, and lack of knowledge). Based on the findings, the study developed a conceptual framework for blockchain adoption in food supply chains. The study adds to the corpus of knowledge by illuminating the adoption of blockchain technology and its effects on food supply chains and by giving the industry evidence-based guidance for developing its blockchain plans. The study provides full insights and awareness of blockchain adoption challenges among executives, supply chain organizations, and governmental agencies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Systems)
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25 pages, 695 KiB  
Review
Pressurized Liquid Extraction: A Powerful Tool to Implement Extraction and Purification of Food Contaminants
by Laura Barp, Ana Miklavčič Višnjevec and Sabrina Moret
Foods 2023, 12(10), 2017; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12102017 - 16 May 2023
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 4523
Abstract
Pressurized liquid extraction (PLE) is considered an advanced extraction technique developed in the mid-1990s with the aim of saving time and reducing solvent with respect to traditional extraction processes. It is commonly used with solid and semi-solid samples and employs solvent extraction at [...] Read more.
Pressurized liquid extraction (PLE) is considered an advanced extraction technique developed in the mid-1990s with the aim of saving time and reducing solvent with respect to traditional extraction processes. It is commonly used with solid and semi-solid samples and employs solvent extraction at elevated temperatures and pressures, always below the respective critical points, to maintain the solvent in a liquid state throughout the extraction procedure. The use of these particular pressure and temperature conditions changes the physicochemical properties of the extraction solvent, allowing easier and deeper penetration into the matrix to be extracted. Furthermore, the possibility to combine the extraction and clean-up steps by including a layer of an adsorbent retaining interfering compounds directly in the PLE extraction cells makes this technique extremely versatile and selective. After providing a background on the PLE technique and parameters to be optimized, the present review focuses on recent applications (published in the past 10 years) in the field of food contaminants. In particular, applications related to the extraction of environmental and processing contaminants, pesticides, residues of veterinary drugs, mycotoxins, parabens, ethyl carbamate, and fatty acid esters of 3-monochloro-1,2-propanediol and 2-monochloro-1,3-propanediol from different food matrices were considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Quality and Safety)
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16 pages, 20735 KiB  
Article
Three-Dimensional Appearance and Physicochemical Properties of Pleurotus eryngii under Different Drying Methods
by Jun-Wen Bai, Yu-Chi Wang, Jian-Rong Cai, Lu Zhang, Yi Dai, Xiao-Yu Tian and Hong-Wei Xiao
Foods 2023, 12(10), 1999; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12101999 - 15 May 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1132
Abstract
This study investigated the effects of different drying methods on the drying characteristics, three-dimensional (3D) appearance, color, total polysaccharide content (TPC), antioxidant activity, and microstructure of Pleurotus eryngii slices. The drying methods included hot air drying (HAD), infrared drying (ID), and microwave drying [...] Read more.
This study investigated the effects of different drying methods on the drying characteristics, three-dimensional (3D) appearance, color, total polysaccharide content (TPC), antioxidant activity, and microstructure of Pleurotus eryngii slices. The drying methods included hot air drying (HAD), infrared drying (ID), and microwave drying (MD). The results showed that the drying method and conditions significantly influenced the drying time, with MD having a significant advantage in reducing the drying time. The 3D appearance of P. eryngii slices was evaluated based on shrinkage and roughness as quantitative indexes, and the best appearance was obtained by hot air drying at 55 and 65 °C. HAD and ID at lower drying temperatures obtained better color, TPC, and antioxidant activity, but MD significantly damaged the color and nutritional quality of P. eryngii. The microstructure of dried P. eryngii slices was observed using scanning electron microscopy, and the results showed that drying methods and conditions had an obvious effect on the microstructure of P. eryngii slices. Scattered mycelia were clearly observed in P. eryngii samples dried by HAD and ID at lower drying temperatures, while high drying temperatures led to the cross-linking and aggregation of mycelia. This study offers scientific and technical support for choosing appropriate drying methods to achieve a desirable appearance and quality of dried P. eryngii. Full article
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30 pages, 1776 KiB  
Review
Encapsulation of Bioactive Peptides by Spray-Drying and Electrospraying
by Carmen Berraquero-García, Raúl Pérez-Gálvez, F. Javier Espejo-Carpio, Antonio Guadix, Emilia M. Guadix and Pedro J. García-Moreno
Foods 2023, 12(10), 2005; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12102005 - 15 May 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2571
Abstract
Bioactive peptides derived from enzymatic hydrolysis are gaining attention for the production of supplements, pharmaceutical compounds, and functional foods. However, their inclusion in oral delivery systems is constrained by their high susceptibility to degradation during human gastrointestinal digestion. Encapsulating techniques can be used [...] Read more.
Bioactive peptides derived from enzymatic hydrolysis are gaining attention for the production of supplements, pharmaceutical compounds, and functional foods. However, their inclusion in oral delivery systems is constrained by their high susceptibility to degradation during human gastrointestinal digestion. Encapsulating techniques can be used to stabilize functional ingredients, helping to maintain their activity after processing, storage, and digestion, thus improving their bioaccessibility. Monoaxial spray-drying and electrospraying are common and economical techniques used for the encapsulation of nutrients and bioactive compounds in both the pharmaceutical and food industries. Although less studied, the coaxial configuration of both techniques could potentially improve the stabilization of protein-based bioactives via the formation of shell–core structures. This article reviews the application of these techniques, both monoaxial and coaxial configurations, for the encapsulation of bioactive peptides and protein hydrolysates, focusing on the factors affecting the properties of the encapsulates, such as the formulation of the feed solution, selection of carrier and solvent, as well as the processing conditions used. Furthermore, this review covers the release, retention of bioactivity, and stability of peptide-loaded encapsulates after processing and digestion. Full article
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