Agro-Food Waste as Source of Nutraceuticals

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Nutraceuticals, Functional Foods, and Novel Foods".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 January 2023) | Viewed by 21631

Special Issue Editors

Department of Biological, Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technologies (STEBICEF Dept), University of Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, Italy Scienze, 90128 Palermo, Italy
Interests: bioactivity of phytochemicals and involved mechanisms: radical-scavenging, antioxidative, antiinflammatory, and antiproliferative activities; cancer cell biology: cell stress responses, cell cycle regulation; oncogenic signaling pathways
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleague,

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, over 30% of produced food is wasted and, as a consequence of the growing world population, this amount will double over the next few years. The disposal and inappropriate management of waste is a severe environmental issue considering these materials are prone to microbial spoilage. Although strategies to reduce food waste production are strongly recommended, waste valorization through the recovery of useful components proves to be economically attractive and positive for the environment.

In particular, agro-food waste and by-products must be considered a renewable source of added-value components with potential health benefits to be used in the industrial food sector or even for pharmaceutical and cosmetic applications.  

In this Special Issue, the aspects concerning bioactive compounds recovery from agro-food waste and by-products, as well as their applications in health sectors will be addressed.

Both original papers and reviews are warmly welcome.

Dr. Carla Gentile
Dr. Giuseppe Mannino
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • phytochemicals
  • antioxidants
  • polyphenols
  • carotenoids
  • circular economy
  • waste valorization
  • plant secondary metabolites
  • bioactivity
  • food processing industry

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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13 pages, 315 KiB  
Article
Genotoxicity Assessment of Nutraceuticals Extracted from Thinned Nectarine (Prunus persica L.) and Grape Seed (Vitis vinifera L.) Waste Biomass
Foods 2023, 12(6), 1171; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12061171 - 10 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1223
Abstract
Agri-food by-products represent a considerable portion of the waste produced in the world and especially when incorrectly disposed of, contribute to air, soil, and water pollution. Recently, recycling of food waste has proven to be an attractive area of research for pharmaceutical companies, [...] Read more.
Agri-food by-products represent a considerable portion of the waste produced in the world and especially when incorrectly disposed of, contribute to air, soil, and water pollution. Recently, recycling of food waste has proven to be an attractive area of research for pharmaceutical companies, that use agri-food by-products (leaves, bark, roots, seeds, second-best vegetables) as alternative raw material for the extraction of bioactive compounds. Developers and producers are however, advised to assess the safety of nutraceuticals obtained from biowaste that, in virtue of its chemical complexity, could undermine the overall safety of the final products. Here, in compliance with EFSA regulations, we use the Ames test (OECD 471) and the micronucleus test (OECD 487) to assess the mutagenicity of two nutraceuticals obtained from food waste. The first consists of grape seeds (Vitis vinifera L.) that have undergone a process of food-grade depolymerization of proanthocyanidins to release more bioavailable flavan-3-ols. The second nutraceutical product consists of thinned nectarines (Prunus persica L. var nucipersica) containing abscisic acid and polyphenols. The results presented here show that these products are, before as well as after metabolization, non-mutagenic, up to the doses of 5 mg and 100 μg per plate for the Ames and micronucleus test, respectively, and can be thus considered genotoxically safe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agro-Food Waste as Source of Nutraceuticals)
14 pages, 1057 KiB  
Article
Phytochemical Profile and Antioxidant, Antiproliferative, and Antimicrobial Properties of Rubus idaeus Seed Powder
Foods 2022, 11(17), 2605; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11172605 - 27 Aug 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1644
Abstract
In the context of the contemporary research on sustainable development and circular economy, the quest for effective strategies aimed at revaluation of waste and by-products generated in industrial and agricultural production becomes important. In this work, an ethanolic extract from red raspberry ( [...] Read more.
In the context of the contemporary research on sustainable development and circular economy, the quest for effective strategies aimed at revaluation of waste and by-products generated in industrial and agricultural production becomes important. In this work, an ethanolic extract from red raspberry (Rubus idaeus) seed waste (WRSP) was evaluated for its phytochemical composition and functional properties in term of antioxidative, antiproliferative, and antimicrobial activities. Chemical composition of the extract was determined by both HPLC-ESI-MS/MS and spectrophotometric methods. Phytochemical analysis revealed that flavan-3-ols and flavonols were the major phenolic compounds contained in WRSP. The extract demonstrated very high radical-scavenging (4.86 ± 0.06 µmol TE/DW) and antioxidant activity in a cell-based model (0.178 ± 0.03 mg DW/mL cell medium). The WRSP extract also exhibited antiproliferative activity against three different epithelial cancer cell lines (MCF-7, HepG2, and HeLa cells) in a dose-dependent manner. Finally, microbiological assays showed the absence of colonies of bacteria and microscopic fungi (yeasts and molds) and revealed that the WRSP extract has a large inhibition spectrum against spoilage and pathogenic bacteria, without inhibitory activity against pro-technological bacteria. In conclusion, the obtained results show that WRSP is a rich source of phytochemical compounds exerting interesting biological activities. For these reasons WRSP could find applications in the nutritional, nutraceutical, and pharmacological fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agro-Food Waste as Source of Nutraceuticals)
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11 pages, 1109 KiB  
Article
Pasteurization Modifies the Sensorial Attributes and Nutritional Profile of Orange Pulp By-Product
Foods 2022, 11(13), 1973; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11131973 - 02 Jul 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1984
Abstract
After orange processing, different by-products are generated, i.e., peels, seeds and pulps. The pulp is highly perishable, being an unstable food matrix that needs a preservation process to be stored and used again in the food production chain. Pasteurization is the technique of [...] Read more.
After orange processing, different by-products are generated, i.e., peels, seeds and pulps. The pulp is highly perishable, being an unstable food matrix that needs a preservation process to be stored and used again in the food production chain. Pasteurization is the technique of choice before aseptically packaging and storing under refrigerated conditions. In this study, the effect of pasteurization has been evaluated on the chemical, functional and sensorial profiles. Ash content decreased (p < 0.05) after the thermal treatment. Indeed, magnesium, calcium and zinc diminished, although copper was found to be higher (p < 0.05) in the pasteurized product. Total dietary fiber decreased (p < 0.05), but soluble dietary fiber raised (p < 0.05) due to hydrolysis caused by pasteurization. SDF:IDF ratio, hydration properties, and fat binding capacity were improved. Total soluble phenolic compounds remained similar but FRAP and DPPH scavenging activity decreased (p < 0.05) in the pasteurized by-product. Regarding the sensorial profile, pasteurization produced darkening, appearance of a cooked smell and an increase in bitterness. Therefore, pasteurization deteriorates the sensorial profile being able to change the attributes of an added-pasteurized-pulp juice; however, it is a good choice to preserve the orange pulp by-product to formulate food products different from juices or other beverages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agro-Food Waste as Source of Nutraceuticals)
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11 pages, 1462 KiB  
Article
Roasted Wheat Germ: A Natural Plant Product in Development of Nutritious Milk Pudding; Physicochemical and Nutritional Properties
Foods 2022, 11(12), 1815; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11121815 - 20 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2278
Abstract
Wheat germ has been recognized as an economical source of high-quality plant proteins and bioactive compounds for food fortification. Thus, it can be used for valorization of food products as a feasible strategy to enhance the nutritional quality and reduce wheat milling waste. [...] Read more.
Wheat germ has been recognized as an economical source of high-quality plant proteins and bioactive compounds for food fortification. Thus, it can be used for valorization of food products as a feasible strategy to enhance the nutritional quality and reduce wheat milling waste. In this research roasted wheat germ (RG) was added in formulation of egg-free milk pudding to enhance its nutritional value and the effects of RG particle size (125, 210 and 354 μm) and quantity (0.0, 2.5, 5.0, 7.5 and 10%) on the quality, nutritional and sensory properties of the resulting pudding were investigated. Reducing the particle size of RG significantly altered its chemical composition but had no significant effect on its antioxidant activity. Increasing the level of RG in the pudding, reduced pH and syneresis while increased dry matter content, hardness, cohesiveness and gumminess of the product. The quantity of RG had more effects on physicochemical properties of the puddings than changing the particle size. Based on the sensory evaluation results, the most acceptable sample was obtained by addition of 7.5% RG with a particle size of 125 μm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agro-Food Waste as Source of Nutraceuticals)
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20 pages, 2484 KiB  
Article
Research on the Potential Use of Grape Seed Flour in the Bakery Industry
Foods 2022, 11(11), 1589; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11111589 - 28 May 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2673
Abstract
Grape seeds are one of the most accessible by-products of the wine industry in large quantities (about 2.4 million t/year). Numerous researchers have shown that grape seeds have a high potential for use as a functional ingredient in the food industry due to [...] Read more.
Grape seeds are one of the most accessible by-products of the wine industry in large quantities (about 2.4 million t/year). Numerous researchers have shown that grape seeds have a high potential for use as a functional ingredient in the food industry due to their high content of protein, fiber, minerals, and polyphenols. The aim of the paper is to evaluate the possibilities of using grape seed flour (GSF) in the bakery industry from both chemical and rheological points of view. Research shows that grape seed flour contains about 42 times more fiber than wheat flour and approximately 9 times more calcium, 8 times more magnesium, and 2 times more potassium. To assess this potential, four samples of bread from flour mixtures with 3%, 5%, 7%, and 9% (w/w) degree of replacement with GSF were prepared, analyzed, and compared with a control sample from 100% wheat flour. From a rheological point of view, the baking qualities deteriorate: the water absorption capacity (CH) decreases from 58.2% to 55.8%, the dough stability increases from 8.50 min to 9.83 min, the α slope varies from −0.066 Nm/min to −0.104 Nm/min, the β slope increases from 0.576 Nm/min to 0.630 Nm/min, and the γ slope varies from −0.100 Nm/min to −0.198 Nm/min. The sensory analyses performed by the panel of evaluators enclosed the sensorial characteristics of the samples with 3% and 5% GSF between the two control samples made from flour types 480 and 1250. The conclusions show that the sample containing 7% and 9% are unsatisfactory from rheological and sensorial points of view and the samples with 3% and 5% can be considered a fiber source and a Cu source, respectively, and are rich in Zn. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agro-Food Waste as Source of Nutraceuticals)
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19 pages, 7299 KiB  
Article
Phytochemical Analysis, α-Glucosidase and α-Amylase Inhibitory Activities and Acute Toxicity Studies of Extracts from Pomegranate (Punica granatum) Bark, a Valuable Agro-Industrial By-Product
Foods 2022, 11(9), 1353; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11091353 - 06 May 2022
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2466
Abstract
Punica granatum is a tree of the Punicaceae family which is widespread all over the world with several types of varieties. Its fruit juice is highly prized, whereas the bark, rich in in phytochemicals such as flavonoids, hydrolysable tannins, phenolic acids, and fatty [...] Read more.
Punica granatum is a tree of the Punicaceae family which is widespread all over the world with several types of varieties. Its fruit juice is highly prized, whereas the bark, rich in in phytochemicals such as flavonoids, hydrolysable tannins, phenolic acids, and fatty acids, is regarded an agro-industrial waste. It is utilized in traditional medicine for its medicinal properties in the treatment and prevention of a variety of ailments. This study aims to extract and to separate the phytochemical compounds from the bark of P. granatum, to identify them and to study the inhibitory effect of its extracts against antidiabetic activity. First, we carried out successive hot extractions with solvents (chloroform, acetone, methanol, and water) of increasing polarity by the Soxhlet. Then, using both qualitative and quantitative phytochemical investigation, we were able to identify groups of chemicals that were present in all extracts. We identified the majority of the molecular structures of chemicals found in each extract using HPLC-DAD analysis. The inhibition against both intestinal α-glucosidase and pancreatic α-amylase enzymes by P. granatum extracts was used to evaluate their potential antidiabetic effect in vitro. Our results demonstrated the great potential of the acetone extract. Ellagic acid, (−)-catechin, vanillin and vanillic acid were proposed as the most active compounds by the correlation analysis, and their actions were confirmed through the calculation of their IC50 and the determination of their inhibition mechanisms by molecular modelling. To summarize, these results showed that P. granatum bark, a natural agro-industrial by-product, may constitute a promising option for antidiabetic therapeutic therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agro-Food Waste as Source of Nutraceuticals)
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Review

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23 pages, 4913 KiB  
Review
Pearls before Swine: Plant-Derived Wastes to Produce Low-Cholesterol Meat from Farmed Pigs—A Bibliometric Analysis Combined to Meta-Analytic Studies
Foods 2023, 12(3), 571; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12030571 - 28 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1984
Abstract
Due to environmental and human factors, there is a growing amount of agri-food waste worldwide. The European Commission is incentivizing a zero-waste policy by 2025, pushing to find a “second life” for at least the avoidable ones. In this review, after summarizing the [...] Read more.
Due to environmental and human factors, there is a growing amount of agri-food waste worldwide. The European Commission is incentivizing a zero-waste policy by 2025, pushing to find a “second life” for at least the avoidable ones. In this review, after summarizing the nutritional values of pork and the importance of its inclusion in human diet, a phylogenetic analysis was conducted to investigate potential differences in the structure and activity of HMGCR, which is a key enzyme in cholesterol metabolism. In addition, a bibliometric analysis combined with visual and meta-analytical studies on 1047 scientific articles was conducted to understand whether the inclusion of agro-food waste could affect the growth performance of pigs and reduce cholesterol levels in pork. Although some critical issues were highlighted, the overall data suggest a modern and positive interest in the reuse of agri-food waste as swine feed. However, although interesting and promising results have been reported in several experimental trials, further investigation is needed, since animal health and meat quality are often given marginal consideration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agro-Food Waste as Source of Nutraceuticals)
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22 pages, 651 KiB  
Review
Agro-Industrial Fruit Byproducts as Health-Promoting Ingredients Used to Supplement Baked Food Products
Foods 2022, 11(20), 3181; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11203181 - 12 Oct 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3675
Abstract
One of the biggest problems faced by food industries is the generation of large amounts of agro-industrial byproducts, such as those derived from fruit processing, as well as the negative effects of their inadequate management. Approximately 1/3 of the food produced worldwide is [...] Read more.
One of the biggest problems faced by food industries is the generation of large amounts of agro-industrial byproducts, such as those derived from fruit processing, as well as the negative effects of their inadequate management. Approximately 1/3 of the food produced worldwide is unused or is otherwise wasted along the chain, which represents a burden on the environment and an inefficiency of the system. Thus, there is growing interest in reintroducing agro-industrial byproducts (both from fruits and other sources) into the processing chain, either by adding them as such or utilizing them as sources of health-promoting bioactive compounds. The present work discusses recent scientific studies on the nutritional and bioactive composition of some agro-industrial byproducts derived from fruit processing, their applications as ingredients to supplement baked foods, and their main biological activities on the consumer’s health. Research shows that agro-industrial fruit byproducts can be incorporated into various baked foods, increasing their fiber content, bioactive profile, and antioxidant capacity, in addition to other positive effects such as reducing their glycemic impact and inducing satiety, all while maintaining good sensory acceptance. Using agro-industrial fruit byproducts as food ingredients avoids discarding them; it can promote some bioactivities and maintain or even improve sensory acceptance. This contributes to incorporating edible material back into the processing chain as part of a circular bioeconomy, which can significantly benefit primary producers, processing industries (particularly smaller ones), and the final consumer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agro-Food Waste as Source of Nutraceuticals)
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17 pages, 3914 KiB  
Review
Can Agri-Food Waste Be a Sustainable Alternative in Aquaculture? A Bibliometric and Meta-Analytic Study on Growth Performance, Innate Immune System, and Antioxidant Defenses
Foods 2022, 11(13), 1861; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11131861 - 24 Jun 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2284
Abstract
The agri-food industry generates a large amount of waste every year, which is both an environmental and economic problem, especially for the countries in charge of its disposal. Over the years, there has been a growing interest especially in plant waste, since they [...] Read more.
The agri-food industry generates a large amount of waste every year, which is both an environmental and economic problem, especially for the countries in charge of its disposal. Over the years, there has been a growing interest especially in plant waste, since they are rich in compounds with high nutritional and nutraceutical value. As a result, several scientific disciplines are investigating their alternative use in the formulation of dietary supplements for human or animal use, or as biostimulants for agricultural purposes. In this review, using a meta-analytical approach, we summarize the main and most recent findings related to the use of plant waste as potential ingredients in dietary supplementation for fish grown under controlled experimental conditions. In particular, in this review, it has been highlighted that plant waste may have not only positive effects on growth performance, but also beneficial effects on modulation of the innate immune system and antioxidant defenses. Finally, the bibliometric study and a mapping provide an overview of the recent publications, showing the research strength across the country, the number of potential collaborations among institutions, and the main research focus, demonstrating how this topic is growing in interest, especially in Europe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agro-Food Waste as Source of Nutraceuticals)
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