Plant-Based Foodstuff: Recent Advances and Innovations in Food Technology

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 January 2022) | Viewed by 52631

Special Issue Editors

Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, University of Zagreb, Pierottijeva 6, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Interests: plant bioactive molecules; natural product chemistry; antioxidants; advanced extraction techniques; essential oil; fruit quality; fruit, vegetables and herbs processing; functional food; engineering; high-performance liquid chromatography
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Food Engineering, Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, University of Zagreb, Pierottijeva 6, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Interests: fruit; vegetables and herbs composition and processing; fresh-cut processing; plant bioactive compounds (polyphenols, pigments, sterols, fatty acids); conventional and advanced extraction techniques; antioxidant capacity; high-performance liquid chromatography; gas-chromatography; volatiles; essential oils
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As a response to growing consumer demands, modern food science has focused on the application of advanced and innovative food processing technologies and methods aimed at ensuring and improving product quality, process efficiency, safety, sensory and functional properties, and health-promoting effects of food. Improvements in existing processes and numerous innovations exist in all segments of plant food processing, from conventional technologies (biotechnological processes, non-fermentative and fermentative processes, enzyme-assisted processes, etc.) to advanced technologies such as ultrasound, microwaves, high hydrostatic pressure, cold plasma, pulsed electric field, supercritical fluids, etc. Novel plant species also hold great potential for the development of a wide range of products in food and other industries. The ongoing development of plant-based foods also involves the use of encapsulation and, more recently, nanotechnology to modify and convert natural components into a more stable, active and bioavailable form. In addition, consumer interest is increasingly directed towards personalized nutrition, which is accompanied by the development of new approaches in food processing and food platforms to determine the real benefits and recommendations.

This Special Issue welcomes review articles and original research papers that address advanced and innovative solutions for the production of plant-based foods aimed at improving their nutritional, functional and sensory properties.

Prof. Dr. Verica Dragović-Uzelac
Dr. Maja Repajić
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Plant-derived food products
  • Food processing
  • Conventional technologies
  • Advanced technologies
  • Nutritional composition
  • Functional food
  • Sensory properties
  • Phytochemicals
  • Health-promoting food

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

16 pages, 2738 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Pumpkin Seed Oil Adulteration Supported by Multivariate Analysis: Comparison of GC-MS, Colourimetry and NIR Spectroscopy Data
Foods 2022, 11(6), 835; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11060835 - 14 Mar 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3431
Abstract
Because of its high market value, pumpkin seed oil is occasionally adulterated by cheaper refined oils, usually sunflower oil. The standard method for detecting its authenticity is based on expensive and laborious determination of the sterol composition. Therefore, the objective of this study [...] Read more.
Because of its high market value, pumpkin seed oil is occasionally adulterated by cheaper refined oils, usually sunflower oil. The standard method for detecting its authenticity is based on expensive and laborious determination of the sterol composition. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the sterol content and authenticity of retail oils labelled as pumpkin seed oil and also to investigate the potential of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR) and colourimetry in detecting adulteration. The results show that due to the significant decrease in Δ7-sterols and increase in Δ5-sterols, 48% of the analysed oils can be declared as adulterated blends of pumpkin seed and sunflower oil. Significant differences in NIR spectroscopy data, in the range of 904–922 nm and 1675–1699 nm, and colourimetric data were found between the control pumpkin seed oil and sunflower oil, but only the NIR method had the potential to detect the authenticity of pumpkin seed oil, which was confirmed by principal component analysis. Orthogonal projection on latent structures (OPLS) discriminant analysis, resulted in working classification models that were able to discriminate pure and adulterated oil. OPLS models based on NIR spectra were also able to successfully predict the content of β-sitosterol and Δ7,22-stigmastadienol in the analysed oils. Full article
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18 pages, 2965 KiB  
Article
The Potential of Olive Leaf Extract as a Functional Ingredient in Yoghurt Production: The Effects on Fermentation, Rheology, Sensory, and Antioxidant Properties of Cow Milk Yoghurt
Foods 2022, 11(5), 701; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11050701 - 26 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2415
Abstract
Background: Yoghurt has been traditionally consumed for its high nutritional value and health-promoting benefits. The addition of plant extracts as a source of phenolic compounds and bio-flavonoids has attracted much attention recently since milk and dairy products are deficient in these health-protecting components. [...] Read more.
Background: Yoghurt has been traditionally consumed for its high nutritional value and health-promoting benefits. The addition of plant extracts as a source of phenolic compounds and bio-flavonoids has attracted much attention recently since milk and dairy products are deficient in these health-protecting components. Accordingly, olive leaf extract (OLE) has been considered due to the presence of bioactive compounds, primarily polyphenols. Thus, the aim of this research was to investigate the possibility of adding OLE into cow milk yoghurt as a potential functional ingredient. Methods: Yoghurts enriched with OLE (1.5, 3, and 5% v/v) were produced and compared with yoghurt without OLE. In all samples acidity, viscosity, colour, syneresis, water holding capacity (WHC), microbiological parameters, sensory properties, total phenols, and antioxidant activity (DPPH and FRAP methods) were determined. Results: The addition of OLE resulted in shorter fermentation and lower pH, but it had no adverse effect on the viability of yoghurt starter bacteria. OLE-enriched yoghurts showed increased syneresis, higher total phenols content, and antioxidant activity, while WHC and viscosity decreased. Sensory properties were slightly poorer for yoghurts containing higher OLE concentrations. Considering all of the obtained results, the addition of 1.5% OLE appeared to be optimal. Full article
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15 pages, 449 KiB  
Article
The Effect of High Voltage Electrical Discharge on the Physicochemical Properties and the Microbiological Safety of Rose Hip Nectars
Foods 2022, 11(5), 651; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11050651 - 23 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1445
Abstract
Although neglected as an industrial raw material, rose hip has been important for both nutritional and medical purposes for centuries. The main goal of this study was to propose a rapid and inexpensive non-thermal technique such as high voltage electrical discharge (HVED) to [...] Read more.
Although neglected as an industrial raw material, rose hip has been important for both nutritional and medical purposes for centuries. The main goal of this study was to propose a rapid and inexpensive non-thermal technique such as high voltage electrical discharge (HVED) to preserve valuable rose hip bioactive compounds, towards the development of high-quality products, including low-calorie products. The objective of this work was to evaluate the effects of HVED on the physicochemical properties and the microbiological safety of rose hip nectar formulations and, for comparison, on a pasteurised sample. Physicochemical analysis proved that rose hip pulp and the prepared nectars were valuable sources of polyphenols and ascorbic acid with high antioxidant activity. The HVED technique had minimal effects on the quality characteristics of the nectars under the different process conditions (50, 100 Hz; 10, 15, 20 min). In addition, the pasteurised nectar showed the greatest loss of ascorbic acid (54%) and phenolic compounds (40%). The microbiological quality of nectars was examined immediately after preparation/treatment and after 6 and 12 days of storage at 4 °C. In addition to the pasteurised sample, HVED-treated rose hip nectar prepared from microwave-blanched puree with extended shelf life had satisfactory microbiological safety after storage. Full article
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14 pages, 823 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Drying Methods and Their Effect on the Stability of Graševina Grape Pomace Biologically Active Compounds
Foods 2022, 11(1), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11010112 - 01 Jan 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2944
Abstract
Valorisation of grape pomace, a by-product of the winery industry, has been pushed into the spotlight in recent years since it can enable lower environmental impact, but it can also bring an added value to the wine production process by recovering several grape [...] Read more.
Valorisation of grape pomace, a by-product of the winery industry, has been pushed into the spotlight in recent years since it can enable lower environmental impact, but it can also bring an added value to the wine production process by recovering several grape pomace biologically active compounds. The first step that allows for grape pomace reuse is its drying, which should be carefully performed in order to preserve the biologically active compounds’ stability. In this study, the effects of different drying methods on the stability of polyphenols, tannins and tartaric acid in grape pomace (Vitis vinifera) cv. Graševina were investigated. In particular, vacuum drying (at different temperatures: 35, 50 and 70 °C), conventional drying at 70 °C and open sun drying were performed and the drying kinetics was described using Peleg’s model. Considering the processing time and thermodynamics, vacuum drying at 70 °C was the most convenient processing method. Polyphenols were highly stable during drying, and slight degradation occurred during vacuum drying at 35 and 50 °C. Tannins and tartaric acid were more prone to degradation depending on the drying method applied and showed the greatest stability during vacuum drying at 70 °C. Full article
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16 pages, 681 KiB  
Article
Composition and Antioxidant Properties of Pigments of Mediterranean Herbs and Spices as Affected by Different Extraction Methods
Foods 2021, 10(10), 2477; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10102477 - 16 Oct 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2176
Abstract
This study examined the composition and properties of chlorophyll and carotenoid extracted from the leaves of several Mediterranean evergreen shrubs and subshrubs (Myrtus communis L., Pistacia lentiscus L., Thymus vulgaris L., Salvia officinalis L. and Laurus nobilis L.) commonly used as herbs [...] Read more.
This study examined the composition and properties of chlorophyll and carotenoid extracted from the leaves of several Mediterranean evergreen shrubs and subshrubs (Myrtus communis L., Pistacia lentiscus L., Thymus vulgaris L., Salvia officinalis L. and Laurus nobilis L.) commonly used as herbs and spices. In order to fully assess their composition over a wide polarity range, pigments were extracted by successive solvent extraction with hexane, 80% acetone and 96% ethanol. Agitation-assisted extraction (AAE), ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE) and pressurized liquid extraction (PLE) were employed and compared regarding their effect on the pigments’ yield and composition. Individual chlorophylls and carotenoids were analyzed by HPLC-DAD, while the content of total pigments and the extracts’ antioxidant capacity were determined spectrophotometrically. Throughout the experiments, pheophytin a, b and b’ were dominant chlorophyll molecules, while lutein and β-carotene were dominant carotenoids. Overall, the extracted pigments were determined as being in the range of 73.84–127.60 mg 100 g−1 and were the lowest in T. vulgaris, with no significant differences between other species. M. communis and P. lentiscus had the highest antioxidant capacities, showing a moderate positive correlation with carotenoid and chlorophyll levels. Significant differences were found in the levels of individual pigments with most of them showing a medium level of polarity due to the dissolution in acetone as a medium polar solvent. AAE and PLE demonstrated similar efficacy in the extraction of both carotenoids and chlorophylls; however, preference can be given to PLE, being a novel method with numerous advantages, e.g., shorter extraction time and lower solvent consumption. The examined plant species certainly expressed great diversity and showed the potential for application in the production of various functional products. Full article
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19 pages, 28467 KiB  
Article
Development and Characterization of Extrudates Based on Rapeseed and Pea Protein Blends Using High-Moisture Extrusion Cooking
Foods 2021, 10(10), 2397; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10102397 - 09 Oct 2021
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 4972
Abstract
Rapeseed protein is not currently utilized for food applications, although it has excellent physicochemical, functional, and nutritional properties similar to soy protein. Thus, the goal of this study was to create new plant-based extrudates for application as high-moisture meat analogs from a 50:50 [...] Read more.
Rapeseed protein is not currently utilized for food applications, although it has excellent physicochemical, functional, and nutritional properties similar to soy protein. Thus, the goal of this study was to create new plant-based extrudates for application as high-moisture meat analogs from a 50:50 blend of rapeseed protein concentrate (RPC) and yellow pea isolate (YPI) using high-moisture-extrusion (HME) cooking with a twin-screw extruder to gain a better understanding of the properties of the protein powders and resulting extrudates. The effects of extrusion processing parameters such as moisture content (60%, 63%, 65%, 70%), screw speed (500, 700, and 900 rpm), and a barrel temperature profile of 40–80–130–150 °C on the extrudates’ characteristics were studied. When compared to the effect of varying screw speeds, targeted moisture content had a larger impact on textural characteristics. The extrudates had a greater hardness at the same moisture content when the screw speed was reduced. The specific mechanical energy (SME) increased as the screw speed increased, while increased moisture content resulted in a small reduction in SME. The lightness (L*) of most samples was found to increase as the target moisture content increased from 60% to 70%. The RPC:YPI blend was equivalent to proteins produced from other sources and comparable to the FAO/WHO standard requirements. Full article
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15 pages, 924 KiB  
Article
Effect of UV-C Irradiation, Storage and Subsequent Cooking on Chemical Constituents of Fresh-Cut Potatoes
Foods 2021, 10(8), 1698; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10081698 - 22 Jul 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1487
Abstract
UV-C irradiation successfully reduces the growth of microorganisms, but it can also affect the content of phenolics and sugars of fresh-cut potatoes (FCP). This could consequently alter antioxidant capacity of FCP or its potential for acrylamide formation. Therefore, this paper investigates the influence [...] Read more.
UV-C irradiation successfully reduces the growth of microorganisms, but it can also affect the content of phenolics and sugars of fresh-cut potatoes (FCP). This could consequently alter antioxidant capacity of FCP or its potential for acrylamide formation. Therefore, this paper investigates the influence of UV-C irradiation on the content of phenolics [chlorogenic acid (CA)] and individual sugars during storage of FCP as well as after cooking. Acrylamide was also monitored in FCP after frying. Potato slices pre-treated with sodium ascorbate solution and vacuum-packaged were UV-C irradiated for 0, 3, 5, and 10 min in order to obtain irradiation doses of 0, 1.62, 2.70, and 5.40 kJ m−2, respectively, stored for 23 days (+6 °C), and subsequently boiled and fried. As the applied dose and storage duration increased, the CA content in raw FCP decreased (it retained for 75.53–88.34%), while the content of sugars as well as acrylamide in fried FCP increased. Although the increase was the most noticeable at the applied dose of 2.70 kJ m−2, the acrylamide content was always below proposed limit. Boiling and frying reduced the content of CA and sugars. In spite of certain alterations, applied doses of irradiation can ensure acceptable product in regard to phenolics and sugars, and acrylamide content particularly. Full article
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Review

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16 pages, 1005 KiB  
Review
Quality of Pepper Seed By-Products: A Review
Foods 2022, 11(5), 748; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11050748 - 03 Mar 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3973
Abstract
Peppers are grown all around the world, usually for fresh consumption, as well as for the industrial production of different products. Pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) seeds are mostly considered a by-product. Recent investigations have shown that pepper seeds have the potential to [...] Read more.
Peppers are grown all around the world, usually for fresh consumption, as well as for the industrial production of different products. Pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) seeds are mostly considered a by-product. Recent investigations have shown that pepper seeds have the potential to be a valuable source of edible oil and fiber-rich flour and protein after processing. Pepper seed oil is a high-quality edible oil according to quality analysis (nutritional, chemical, sensory and antioxidant characteristics) and is suitable as an ingredient for use in the food and nonfood industries (pharmaceutical, chemical, cosmetic industries). The literature review presented in this paper revealed the high quality of two pepper seed by-products (pepper seed oil and pepper seed flour (Capsicum annuum L.)), which could guide the food industry toward new product development based on the circular bioeconomy. Full article
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23 pages, 828 KiB  
Review
Functional Performance of Plant Proteins
Foods 2022, 11(4), 594; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11040594 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 78 | Viewed by 13021
Abstract
Increasingly, consumers are moving towards a more plant-based diet. However, some consumers are avoiding common plant proteins such as soy and gluten due to their potential allergenicity. Therefore, alternative protein sources are being explored as functional ingredients in foods, including pea, chickpea, and [...] Read more.
Increasingly, consumers are moving towards a more plant-based diet. However, some consumers are avoiding common plant proteins such as soy and gluten due to their potential allergenicity. Therefore, alternative protein sources are being explored as functional ingredients in foods, including pea, chickpea, and other legume proteins. The factors affecting the functional performance of plant proteins are outlined, including cultivars, genotypes, extraction and drying methods, protein level, and preparation methods (commercial versus laboratory). Current methods to characterize protein functionality are highlighted, including water and oil holding capacity, protein solubility, emulsifying, foaming, and gelling properties. We propose a series of analytical tests to better predict plant protein performance in foods. Representative applications are discussed to demonstrate how the functional attributes of plant proteins affect the physicochemical properties of plant-based foods. Increasing the protein content of plant protein ingredients enhances their water and oil holding capacity and foaming stability. Industrially produced plant proteins often have lower solubility and worse functionality than laboratory-produced ones due to protein denaturation and aggregation during commercial isolation processes. To better predict the functional performance of plant proteins, it would be useful to use computer modeling approaches, such as quantitative structural activity relationships (QSAR). Full article
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23 pages, 1457 KiB  
Review
Isolation of Laurus nobilis Leaf Polyphenols: A Review on Current Techniques and Future Perspectives
Foods 2022, 11(2), 235; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11020235 - 16 Jan 2022
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 3470
Abstract
In recent years, the market demand for products enhanced with ingredients derived from natural products, such as polyphenols, is rapidly increasing. Laurus nobilis L., known as bay, sweet bay, bay laurel, Roman laurel or daphne is an evergreen Mediterranean shrub whose leaves have [...] Read more.
In recent years, the market demand for products enhanced with ingredients derived from natural products, such as polyphenols, is rapidly increasing. Laurus nobilis L., known as bay, sweet bay, bay laurel, Roman laurel or daphne is an evergreen Mediterranean shrub whose leaves have traditionally been used in cuisines and folk medicine due to their beneficial health effects, which can nowadays be scientifically explained by various biological activities of the leaf extracts. Many of these activities can be attributed to phenolic compounds present in L. nobilis leaves which include flavonoids, phenolic acids, tannins (proanthocyanidins) and lignans. In order to enable efficient industrial utilization of these valuable compounds, it is crucial to establish optimal extraction procedures resulting in the highest yields and quality of the extracts. This paper offers the first systematic review of current literature on the influence of conventional and advanced extraction techniques, including microwave-assisted, ultrasound-assisted, enzyme-assisted, supercritical-CO2 and mechanochemical-assisted extraction on the phenolic content of L. nobilis leaf extracts, allowing more efficient planning of further research and simplifying the steps towards industrial utilization of this plant. Full article
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16 pages, 2649 KiB  
Review
Meat Analogues in the Perspective of Recent Scientific Research: A Review
Foods 2022, 11(1), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11010105 - 31 Dec 2021
Cited by 42 | Viewed by 10880
Abstract
There are many reasons why consumers and food producers are looking for alternatives to meat and meat products, which includes the following: health, environmental or ethical aspects. This study reviews recent scientific reports on meat analogues. The scope of the review includes the [...] Read more.
There are many reasons why consumers and food producers are looking for alternatives to meat and meat products, which includes the following: health, environmental or ethical aspects. This study reviews recent scientific reports on meat analogues. The scope of the review includes the following: formulation and nutritional value; health safety and legal regulations; manufacturing and processing technologies including the latest developments in this area; product availability on the food market; and consumer attitudes towards meat analogues. The analysis of the literature data identified technological challenges, particularly in improving consumer acceptability of meat analogues. Among the risks and limitations associated with the production of meat analogues, the following were identified: contamination from raw materials and the risk of harmful by-products due to intensive processing; legal issues of product nomenclature; and consumer attitudes towards substituting meat with plant-based alternatives. The need for further research in this area, particularly on the nutritional value and food safety of meat analogues, was demonstrated. Full article
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