Agro-Food Chain By-Products and Plant Origin Food to Obtain High-Value-Added Foods

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Foods".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 29 February 2024 | Viewed by 13196

Special Issue Editors

Department of Agricultural Sciences, Food, Natural Resources and Engineering, University of Foggia, 71121 Foggia, Italy
Interests: agricultural economics; innovation; food technologies; food science
Department of Agricultural Sciences, Food, Natural Resources and Engineering, University of Foggia, 71121 Foggia, Italy
Interests: economics of obesity; functional food and health-related claims; consumer behavior; consumers’ acceptance of food innovation; sustainable food consumption; food waste
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Agricultural Sciences, Food, Natural Resources and Engineering, University of Foggia, 71121 Foggia, Italy
Interests: agri-food marketing; supply chain management; health economics; empircal economics and applied econometrics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Health and environmental issues have prompted producer interest in developing and marketing new plant-origin foods as well as using food chain by-products as ingredients in new products. Indeed, plant-origin inputs and agro-food chain by-products can be valuable sources of health-promoting ingredients (e.g., polyphenols, carotenoids, betalains, glucosinolates, vitamins, minerals, and fiber) that can be used to develop new products that satisfy the consumer demand for food with health-enhancing features. Additionally, consumers’ concern for the environment has promoted the popularity of plant-based products, including those obtained from agro-food chain by-products, further fostering companies’ investment in developing new formulations.

Thus, this Special Issue aims to collect original research articles and reviews investigating strategies for developing new products of plant origin as well as products including vegetable by-products as an ingredient. Sensory studies, and studies on consumers' attitudes, acceptance, and preferences for innovative plant-based products and/or products including vegetable by-products, are welcome.

Prof. Dr. Gianluca Nardone
Dr. Rosaria Viscecchia
Dr. Francesco Bimbo
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • sensory and consumer science
  • by-products as product ingredient
  • circular economy and business model
  • new product development
  • sustainable business models
  • consumer acceptance and preferences

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

22 pages, 2672 KiB  
Article
Optimization of Bioactive Compound Extraction from Saffron Petals Using Ultrasound-Assisted Acidified Ethanol Solvent: Adding Value to Food Waste
Foods 2024, 13(4), 542; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13040542 - 09 Feb 2024
Viewed by 411
Abstract
The saffron industry produces large by-products, including petals with potential bioactive compounds, which are cheap and abundant, making them an attractive alternative to expensive stigmas for extracting bioactive components. This study aimed to optimize the extraction conditions of bioactive compounds from vacuum-dried saffron [...] Read more.
The saffron industry produces large by-products, including petals with potential bioactive compounds, which are cheap and abundant, making them an attractive alternative to expensive stigmas for extracting bioactive components. This study aimed to optimize the extraction conditions of bioactive compounds from vacuum-dried saffron petals using an ultrasound-assisted acidified ethanol solvent. Three factors were considered: ethanol concentration (0–96%), citric acid concentration in the final solvent (0–1%), and ultrasound power (0–400 watt). This study examined the effects of these factors on parameters like maximum antioxidant activity, total anthocyanin content, total phenolic content, and the total flavonoid content of the extraction. This study found that saffron petal extract’s antioxidant activity increases with higher ethanol concentration, citric acid dose, and ultrasound power, but that an increased water content leads to non-antioxidant compounds. Increasing the dosage of citric acid improved the extraction of cyanidin-3-glucoside at different ultrasound power levels. The highest extraction was achieved with 400 watts of ultrasound power and 1% citric acid. Ethanol concentration did not affect anthocyanin extraction. Higher ethanol concentration and greater citric acid concentration doses resulted in the maximum extraction of total phenolic content, with a noticeable drop in extraction at higher purity levels. This study found that increasing the proportion of citric acid in the final solvent did not affect flavonoid extraction at high ethanol concentration levels, and the highest efficiency was observed at 200 watts of ultrasound power. The optimum values of the independent parameters for extracting bioactive compounds from saffron petals included 96% ethanol concentration, 0.67% citric acid concentration, and 216 watts of ultrasound power, resulting in a desirability value of 0.82. This ultrasound-assisted acidified ethanolic extract can be used in the food industry as a natural antioxidant and pigment source. Full article
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23 pages, 4710 KiB  
Article
Towards Sustainable Protein Sources: The Thermal and Rheological Properties of Alternative Proteins
Foods 2024, 13(3), 448; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13030448 - 31 Jan 2024
Viewed by 691
Abstract
Reducing meat consumption reduces carbon emissions and other environmental harms. Unfortunately, commercial plant-based meat substitutes have not seen widespread adoption. In order to enable more flexible processing methods, this paper analyzes the characteristics of commercially available spirulina, soy, pea, and brown rice protein [...] Read more.
Reducing meat consumption reduces carbon emissions and other environmental harms. Unfortunately, commercial plant-based meat substitutes have not seen widespread adoption. In order to enable more flexible processing methods, this paper analyzes the characteristics of commercially available spirulina, soy, pea, and brown rice protein isolates to provide data for nonmeat protein processing that can lead to cost reductions. The thermal and rheological properties, as well as viscosity, density, and particle size distribution, were analyzed for further study into alternative protein-based food processing. The differential scanning calorimetry analysis produced dry amorphous-shaped curves and paste curves with a more distinct endothermic peak. The extracted linear temperature ranges for processing within food production were 70–90 °C for spirulina, 87–116 °C for soy protein, 67–77 °C for pea protein, and 87–97 °C for brown rice protein. The viscosity analysis determined that each protein material was shear-thinning and that viscosity increased with decreased water concentration, with rice being an exception to the latter trend. The obtained viscosity range for spirulina was 15,100–78,000 cP, 3200–80,000 cP for soy protein, 1400–32,700 cP for pea protein, and 600–3500 cP for brown rice protein. The results indicate that extrusion is a viable method for the further processing of protein isolates, as this technique has a large temperature operating range and variable screw speed. The data provided here can be used to make single or multi-component protein substitutes. Full article
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16 pages, 5388 KiB  
Article
Quality Characteristics of Raspberry Fruits from Dormancy Plants and Their Feasibility as Food Ingredients
Foods 2023, 12(24), 4443; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12244443 - 11 Dec 2023
Viewed by 723
Abstract
The raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) is a soft red fruit consumed worldwide due to its bitter-sweet taste and phenolics-associated health benefits. During plant dormancy, raspberry fruits are discarded. However, this work hypothesised that these fruits have the chemical quality to be valorised, [...] Read more.
The raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) is a soft red fruit consumed worldwide due to its bitter-sweet taste and phenolics-associated health benefits. During plant dormancy, raspberry fruits are discarded. However, this work hypothesised that these fruits have the chemical quality to be valorised, which would mitigate their waste if adequately stabilised. This can be achieved by drying. The Pacific Deluxe and Versailles varieties were dried by freeze- and convective-drying (30 °C and 40 °C). The freeze-dried fruits preserved their colour, drupelets structure, and phenolic content. Convective-drying promoted a significant fruit darkening, which was more evident at 30 °C due to the longer drying process, and a loss of drupelets structure. Both temperatures promoted a similar decrease in phenolic content, as determined by HPLC, although the ABTS●+ antioxidant activity at 40 °C was lower (IC50 = 9 compared to 13 μg AAE/mg dry weight). To incorporate dried raspberries into muffin formulations, while keeping their red colour, it was necessary to change the raising agent from sodium bicarbonate to baker’s yeast. Sensory analysis by a non-trained panel revealed good acceptance, showing that fresh or dried raspberry fruits from dormancy had suitable characteristics for use as food ingredients. Full article
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22 pages, 3513 KiB  
Article
Effects of Enriched-in-Oleuropein Olive Leaf Extract Dietary Supplementation on Egg Quality and Antioxidant Parameters in Laying Hens
Foods 2023, 12(22), 4119; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12224119 - 13 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1297
Abstract
The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effects of an olive leaf extract obtained with an up-to-date laboratory method, when supplemented at different levels in laying hens’ diets, on egg quality, egg yolk antioxidant parameters, fatty acid content, and liver [...] Read more.
The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effects of an olive leaf extract obtained with an up-to-date laboratory method, when supplemented at different levels in laying hens’ diets, on egg quality, egg yolk antioxidant parameters, fatty acid content, and liver pathology characteristics. Thus, 96 laying hens of the ISA-Brown breed were allocated to 48 experimental cages with two hens in each cage, resulting in 12 replicates per treatment. Treatments were: T1 (Control: basal diet); T2 (1% olive leaf extract); T3 (2.5% olive leaf extract); T4 (Positive control: 0.1% encapsulated oregano oil). Eggshell weight and thickness were improved in all treatments compared to the control, with T2 being significantly higher till the end of the experiment (p < 0.001). Egg yolk MDA content was lower for the T2 and T4 groups, while total phenol content and Haugh units were greater in the T2. The most improved fatty acid profile was the one of T3 yolks. The α-tocopherol yolk content was higher in all groups compared to T1. No effect was observed on cholesterol content at any treatment. Based on the findings, it can be inferred that the inclusion of olive leaf extract at a concentration of 1% in the diet leads to enhancements in specific egg quality attributes, accompanied by an augmentation of the antioxidant capacity. Full article
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26 pages, 2554 KiB  
Article
Strategies to Formulate Value-Added Pastry Products from Composite Flours Based on Spelt Flour and Grape Pomace Powder
Foods 2023, 12(17), 3239; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12173239 - 28 Aug 2023
Viewed by 984
Abstract
In recent years, sustainability has promoted new research to develop reformulation strategies for value-added food products by exploiting grape pomace. Grape pomace powder (GP) was used to substitute spelt flour (SF) at 0, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25% to obtain three types [...] Read more.
In recent years, sustainability has promoted new research to develop reformulation strategies for value-added food products by exploiting grape pomace. Grape pomace powder (GP) was used to substitute spelt flour (SF) at 0, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25% to obtain three types of fortified pastry products: biscuits and cakes involving a chemical leavening agent, and rolls leavened by yeast. Proximate composition, total phenolic content (TPC), total flavonoids content (TFC), 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity and ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) along with physical characteristics and sensory analysis of the enriched products were considered. The retention rate of the functional attributes of formulations in response to baking was also evaluated. Significant improvements in TPC, TFC and both antioxidant tests were achieved in the fortified products by the incremental incorporation of GP. With a substitution of 25% SF by GP, the following increases were recorded in biscuits, cakes and rolls over the control samples: 7.198-, 7.733- and 8.117-fold for TPC; 8.414-, 7.000- and 8.661-fold for TFC; 16.334-, 17.915- and 18.659-fold for FRAP and 16.384-, 17.908- and 18.775-fold for DPPH. The retention rates of TPC, TFC, FRAP and DPPH relative to the corresponding dough were 41–63%, 37–65%, 48–70% and 45–70%. The formulas leavened by yeast revealed higher functionality than those produced with a chemical raising agent. With the increase in GP, the elasticity and porosity gradually decreased for cakes and rolls, while the spread ratio of biscuits increased. Regarding sensory evaluation, all formulations with incorporated GP up to 10% were rated at an extremely pleasant acceptability level. The solutions derived from this study have great practical applicability for the development of new pastry formulations with improved functionality from GP valorisation. Full article
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12 pages, 931 KiB  
Article
Determination of Coenzyme Q10 Content in Food By-Products and Waste by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography Coupled with Diode Array Detection
Foods 2023, 12(12), 2296; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12122296 - 07 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1796
Abstract
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a vitamin-like compound found naturally in plant- and animal-derived materials. This study aimed to determine the level of CoQ10 in some food by-products (oil press cakes) and waste (fish meat and chicken hearts) to recover this compound for further [...] Read more.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a vitamin-like compound found naturally in plant- and animal-derived materials. This study aimed to determine the level of CoQ10 in some food by-products (oil press cakes) and waste (fish meat and chicken hearts) to recover this compound for further use as a dietary supplement. The analytical method involved ultrasonic extraction using 2-propanol, followed by high-performance liquid chromatography with diode array detection (HPLC-DAD). The HPLC-DAD method was validated in terms of linearity and measuring range, limits of detection (LOD) and quantification (LOQ), trueness, and precision. As a result, the calibration curve of CoQ10 was linear over the concentration range of 1–200 µg/mL, with an LOD of 22 µg/mL and an LOQ of 0.65 µg/mL. The CoQ10 content varied from not detected in the hempseed press cake and the fish meat to 84.80 µg/g in the pumpkin press cake and 383.25 µg/g in the lyophilized chicken hearts; very good recovery rates and relative standard deviations (RSDs) were obtained for the pumpkin press cake (100.9–116.0% with RSDs between 0.05–0.2%) and the chicken hearts (99.3–106.9% CH with RSDs between 0.5–0.7%), showing the analytical method’s trueness and precision and thus its accuracy. In conclusion, a simple and reliable method for determining CoQ10 levels has been developed here. Full article
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16 pages, 3148 KiB  
Article
An Empirical Model for Predicting the Fresh Food Quality Changes during Storage
Foods 2023, 12(11), 2113; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12112113 - 24 May 2023
Viewed by 873
Abstract
It is widely recognized that the quality of fruits and vegetables can be altered during transportation and storage. Firmness and loss of weight are the crucial attributes used to evaluate the quality of various fruits, as many other quality attributes are related to [...] Read more.
It is widely recognized that the quality of fruits and vegetables can be altered during transportation and storage. Firmness and loss of weight are the crucial attributes used to evaluate the quality of various fruits, as many other quality attributes are related to these two attributes. These properties are influenced by the surrounding environment and preservation conditions. Limited research has been conducted to accurately predict the quality attributes during transport and storage as a function of storage conditions. In this research, extensive experimental investigations have been conducted on the changes in quality attributes of four fresh apple cultivars (Granny Smith, Royal Gala, Pink Lady, and Red Delicious) during transportation and storage. The study evaluated the weight loss and change in firmness of these apples varieties at different cooling temperatures ranging from 2 °C to 8 °C to assess the impact of storing at these temperatures on the quality attributes. The results indicate that the firmness of each cultivar continuously decreased over time, with the R2 values ranging from 0.9489–0.8691 for red delicious, 0.9871–0.9129 for royal gala, 0.9972–0.9647 for pink lady, and 0.9964–0.9484 for granny smith. The rate of weight loss followed an increasing trend with time, and the high R2 values indicate a strong correlation. The degradation of quality was evident in all four cultivars, with temperature having a significant impact on firmness. The decline in firmness was found to be minimal at 2 °C, but increased as the storage temperature increased. The loss of firmness also varied among the four cultivars. For instance, when stored at 2 °C, the firmness of pink lady decreased from an initial value of 8.69 kg·cm2 to 7.89 kg·cm2 in 48 h, while the firmness of the same cultivar decreased from 7.86 kg·cm2 to 6.81 kg·cm2 after the same duration of storage. Based on the experimental results, a multiple regression quality prediction model was developed as a function of temperature and time. The proposed models were validated using a new set of experimental data. The correlation between the predicted and experimental values was found to be excellent. The linear regression equation yielded an R2 value of 0.9544, indicating a high degree of accuracy. The model can assist stakeholders in the fruit and fresh produce industry in anticipating quality changes at different storage stages based on the storage conditions. Full article
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16 pages, 1301 KiB  
Article
Supercritical Fluid Extraction of Oils from Cactus Opuntia ficus-indica L. and Opuntia dillenii Seeds
Foods 2023, 12(3), 618; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12030618 - 01 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2331
Abstract
This study aimed to assess the capability of supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) as an alternative and green technique compared to Soxhlet extraction for the production of oils from Opuntia ficus-indica (OFI) seeds originating from Yemen and Italy and Opuntia dillenii (OD) seeds from [...] Read more.
This study aimed to assess the capability of supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) as an alternative and green technique compared to Soxhlet extraction for the production of oils from Opuntia ficus-indica (OFI) seeds originating from Yemen and Italy and Opuntia dillenii (OD) seeds from Yemen. The following parameters were used for SFE extraction: a pressure of 300 bar, a CO2 flow rate of 1 L/h, and temperatures of 40 and 60 °C. The chemical composition, including the fatty acids and tocopherols (vitamin E) of the oils, was determined using chromatographic methods. The highest yield was achieved with Soxhlet extraction. The oils obtained with the different extraction procedures were all characterized by a high level of unsaturated fatty acids. Linoleic acid (≤62% in all samples) was the most abundant one, followed by oleic and vaccenic acid. Thirty triacylglycerols (TAGs) were identified in both OFI and OD seed oils, with trilinolein being the most abundant (29–35%). Vanillin, 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde, vanillic acid, and hydroxytyrosol were phenols detected in both OFI and OD oils. The highest γ-tocopherol content (177 ± 0.23 mg/100 g) was obtained through the SFE of OFI seeds from Yemen. Overall, the results highlighted the potential of SFE as green technology to obtain oils suitable for functional food and nutraceutical products. Full article
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Review

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13 pages, 951 KiB  
Review
Regenerative Food Innovation: The Role of Agro-Food Chain By-Products and Plant Origin Food to Obtain High-Value-Added Foods
Foods 2024, 13(3), 427; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13030427 - 28 Jan 2024
Viewed by 912
Abstract
Food losses in the agri-food sector have been estimated as representing between 30 and 80% of overall yield. The agro-food sector has a responsibility to work towards achieving FAO sustainable goals and global initiatives on responding to many issues, including climate pressures from [...] Read more.
Food losses in the agri-food sector have been estimated as representing between 30 and 80% of overall yield. The agro-food sector has a responsibility to work towards achieving FAO sustainable goals and global initiatives on responding to many issues, including climate pressures from changes we are experiencing globally. Regenerative agriculture has been discussed for many years in terms of improving our land and water. What we now need is a focus on the ability to transform innovation within the food production and process systems to address the needs of society in the fundamental arenas of food, health and wellbeing in a sustainable world. Thus, regenerative food innovation presents an opportunity to evaluate by-products from the agriculture and food industries to utilise these waste streams to minimise the global effects of food waste. The mini-review article aims to illustrate advancements in the valorisation of foods from some of the most recent publications published by peer-reviewed journals during the last 4–5 years. The focus will be applied to plant-based valorised food products and how these can be utilised to improve food nutritional components, texture, sensory and consumer perception to develop the foods for the future. Full article
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42 pages, 20036 KiB  
Review
A Conceptual Model Relationship between Industry 4.0—Food-Agriculture Nexus and Agroecosystem: A Literature Review and Knowledge Gaps
Foods 2024, 13(1), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13010150 - 01 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1901
Abstract
With the expected colonization of human daily life by artificial intelligence, including in industry productivity, the deployment of Industry 4.0 (I4) in the food agriculture industry (FAI) is expected to revolutionize and galvanize food production to increase the efficiency of the industry’s production [...] Read more.
With the expected colonization of human daily life by artificial intelligence, including in industry productivity, the deployment of Industry 4.0 (I4) in the food agriculture industry (FAI) is expected to revolutionize and galvanize food production to increase the efficiency of the industry’s production and to match, in tandem, a country’s gross domestic productivity. Based on a literature review, there have been almost no direct relationships between the I4—Food-Agriculture (I4FA) Nexus and the agroecosystem. This study aimed to evaluate the state-of-the-art relationships between the I4FA Nexus and the agroecosystem and to discuss the challenges in the sustainable FAI that can be assisted by the I4 technologies. This objective was fulfilled by (a) reviewing all the relevant publications and (b) drawing a conceptual relationship between the I4FA Nexus and the agroecosystem, in which the I4FA Nexus is categorized into socio-economic and environmental (SEE) perspectives. Four points are highlighted in the present review. First, I4 technology is projected to grow in the agricultural and food sectors today and in the future. Second, food agriculture output may benefit from I4 by considering the SEE benefits. Third, implementing I4 is a challenging journey for the sustainable FAI, especially for the small to medium enterprises (SMEs). Fourth, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles can help to manage I4’s implementation in agriculture and food. The advantages of I4 deployment include (a) social benefits like increased occupational safety, workers’ health, and food quality, security, and safety; (b) economic benefits, like using sensors to reduce agricultural food production costs, and the food supply chain; and (c) environmental benefits like reducing chemical leaching and fertilizer use. However, more studies are needed to address social adaptability, trust, privacy, and economic income uncertainty, especially in SMEs or in businesses or nations with lower resources; this will require time for adaptation to make the transition away from human ecology. For agriculture to be ESG-sustainable, the deployment of I4FA could be an answer with the support of an open-minded dialogue platform with ESG-minded leaders to complement sustainable agroecosystems on a global scale. Full article
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