Research Progress in Molecular Characteristics and Structure of Food

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Physics and (Bio)Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 September 2023) | Viewed by 4657

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Food Chemistry and Technology Department, Teagasc Food Research Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy, P61 C996 Cork, Ireland
Interests: water sorption; glass transition; DSC; DMA; microscopy

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Food Chemistry and Technology, Teagasc Food Research Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy, P61 C996 Cork, Ireland
Interests: physio-chemical properties of biomaterials; dehydration and granulation; dairy technology; foods structural and textual designs; powder technology; state transition and phase transition in foods; encapsulation of functional food ingredients; functional delivery; stabilization of probiotic and dairy ingredients; plant-based ingredients
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Food Chemistry and Technology Department, Teagasc Food Research Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy, P61 C996 Co. Cork, Ireland
Interests: food colloids; surface chemistry; rheology; ingredient interactions; food structure and protein and lipid chemistry

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A deep understanding of the molecular characteristics and structure of food products is a key element for predicting and optimizing the quality and properties of the final product. The interaction between food components such as proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates at the molecular level, as well as the structure and de-structure of food matrices such as amorphous substances, crystals, hydrocolloids, nanoparticles, emulsions, and gels, significantly affect the processing and functionality of food products. It has been recognized that modern analytical techniques and methods, such as hybrid microscopy, nano- and microvideo microscopy, and advanced light scattering, allow visualization and quantification of the macroscopic processes at the micro- and nanolevels and provide faster and cheaper results compared with classical methods. However, these methods are still not common in the classical approaches of food science. Thus, a systematic and comprehensive analysis of the interactions between food components and the structure of food materials using modern methods will be of great help and will promote food and dairy products, as well as their producers and end users.

Dr. Valentyn Maidannyk
Prof. Dr. Song Miao
Dr. Sean A. Hogan
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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

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

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 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

  • molecular interactions
  • new techniques and approaches
  • microstructure
  • food structure
  • analytical methods

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

16 pages, 6323 KiB  
Article
Water Effective Diffusion Coefficient in Dairy Powder Calculated by Digital Image Processing and through Machine Learning Algorithms of CLSM Micrographs
by Valentyn A. Maidannyk, Yuriy Simonov, Noel A. McCarthy and Quang Tri Ho
Foods 2024, 13(1), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13010094 - 27 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1035
Abstract
Rehydration of dairy powders is a complex and essential process. A relatively new quantitative mechanism for monitoring powders’ rehydration process uses the effective diffusion coefficient. This research focused on modifying a previously used labor-intensive method that will be able to automatically measure the [...] Read more.
Rehydration of dairy powders is a complex and essential process. A relatively new quantitative mechanism for monitoring powders’ rehydration process uses the effective diffusion coefficient. This research focused on modifying a previously used labor-intensive method that will be able to automatically measure the real-time water diffusion coefficient in dairy powders based on confocal microscopy techniques. Furthermore, morphological characteristics and local hydration of individual particles were identified using an imaging analysis procedure written in Matlab©—R2023b and image analysis through machine learning algorithms written in Python™-3.11. The first model includes segmentation into binary images and labeling particles during water diffusion. The second model includes the expansion of data set selection, neural network training and particle markup. For both models, the effective diffusion follows Fick’s second law for spherical geometry. The effective diffusion coefficient on each particle was computed from the dye intensity during the rehydration process. The results showed that effective diffusion coefficients for water increased linearly with increasing powder particle size and are in agreement with previously used methods. In summary, the models provide two independent machine measurements of effective diffusion coefficient based on the same set of micrographs and may be useful in a wide variety of high-protein powders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research Progress in Molecular Characteristics and Structure of Food)
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16 pages, 2624 KiB  
Article
The Protein Composition and In Vitro Digestive Characteristics of Animal- versus Plant-Based Infant Nutritional Products
by Margaret E. Byrne, Elena Arranz, Francesca Bot, Laura G. Gómez-Mascaraque, John T. Tobin, James A. O’Mahony and Tom F. O’Callaghan
Foods 2023, 12(7), 1469; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12071469 - 30 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1501
Abstract
The protein composition and digestive characteristics of four commercially available infant formulae (IF) manufactured using bovine (B-IF), caprine (C-IF), soy (S-IF), and rice (R-IF) as a protein source were examined in this study. Plant-based formulae had significantly higher crude protein and non-protein nitrogen [...] Read more.
The protein composition and digestive characteristics of four commercially available infant formulae (IF) manufactured using bovine (B-IF), caprine (C-IF), soy (S-IF), and rice (R-IF) as a protein source were examined in this study. Plant-based formulae had significantly higher crude protein and non-protein nitrogen (NPN) concentrations. Static in vitro gastrointestinal digestion of these formulae, and subsequent analysis of their digestates, revealed significantly higher proteolysis of B-IF at the end of gastrointestinal digestion compared to the other formulae, as indicated by the significantly higher concentration of free amine groups. Furthermore, differences in structure formation during the gastric phase of digestion were observed, with formation of a more continuous, firmer coagulum by C-IF, while R-IF demonstrated no curd formation likely due to the extensive hydrolysis of these proteins during manufacture. Differences in digestive characteristics between formulae manufactured from these different protein sources may influence the bio-accessibility and bioavailability of nutrients, warranting additional study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research Progress in Molecular Characteristics and Structure of Food)
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18 pages, 4304 KiB  
Article
Effects of Packaging Materials on Structural and Simulated Digestive Characteristics of Walnut Protein during Accelerated Storage
by Miaomiao Han, Jinjin Zhao, Qingzhi Wu, Xiaoying Mao and Jian Zhang
Foods 2023, 12(3), 620; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12030620 - 01 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1484
Abstract
Walnuts are rich in fat and proteins that become oxidized during the processing and storage conditions of their kernels. In this study, the effect of three packaging materials (e.g., polyethylene sealed packaging, polyamide/polyethylene vacuum packaging, and polyethylene terephthalate/aluminum foil/polyethylene vacuum packaging) were investigated [...] Read more.
Walnuts are rich in fat and proteins that become oxidized during the processing and storage conditions of their kernels. In this study, the effect of three packaging materials (e.g., polyethylene sealed packaging, polyamide/polyethylene vacuum packaging, and polyethylene terephthalate/aluminum foil/polyethylene vacuum packaging) were investigated on the oxidation, structural and digestive properties of walnut kernel proteins. Results showed that the amino acid content gradually decreased and carbonyl derivatives and dityrosine were formed during storage. The protein molecule structure became disordered as the α-helix decreased and the random coil increased. The endogenous fluorescence intensity decreased and the maximum fluorescence value was blue-shifted. After 15 days of storage, surface hydrophobicity decreased, while SDS-PAGE and HPLC indicated the formation of large protein aggregates, leading to a reduction in solubility. By simulating gastrointestinal digestion, we found that oxidation adversely affected the digestive properties of walnut protein isolate and protein digestibility was best for polyethylene terephthalate/aluminum foil/polyethylene vacuum packaging. The degree of protein oxidation in walnuts increased during storage, which showed that except for fat oxidation, the effect of protein oxidation on quality should be considered. The results of the study provided new ideas and methods for walnut quality control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research Progress in Molecular Characteristics and Structure of Food)
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