Phytonutrients in Food: From Traditional to Rational Usage

A topical collection in Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This collection belongs to the section "Plant Foods".

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Collection Editor
College of Food Science and Nutritional Engineering, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China
Interests: plant foods; polysaccharides; functional properties and stability; structural characterization; physicochemical properties; comprehensive utilization

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plant-based foods contain a variety of nutrients that can meet almost all our nutritional needs (carbohydrates, proteins, lipids etc.). In addition, there are rich biologically active ingredients in plant-based foods which have many benefits to human health; these include polyphenols, terpenoids, flavonoids, carotenoids, limonoids, phytosterols and anthocyanins, among others. These active ingredients have special activities affecting human health, such as anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy, anti-aging, hypolipidemic and anti-diabetes. In recent years, several technologies related to the extraction, separation, identification, quantification and comprehensive utilization of phytonutrients in food have emerged.

We are interested in edible biologically active ingredients from plants—their source, extraction method, content, structure, molecular weight, the confirmation of a site of biological activity etc. All of these can influence compounds’ biological activities. We are also interested in exploring how these impact microbial ecology through the oral route by which the plant nutrients arrive in the human gut, the stability of the active ingredients in the gut as well as the mechanisms of absorption and metabolism.

This collection welcomes contributions focusing on biologically active ingredients from plants in foods. We hope this collection will advance the research on phytonutrients.

Prof. Dr. Quanhong Li
Collection Editor

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  • plant food
  • plant-origin biologically active ingredients
  • biological properties
  • comprehensive utilization
  • food nutrition

Published Papers (1 paper)


22 pages, 1364 KiB  
The Darker the Better: Identification of Chemotype Profile in Soroses of Local and Introduced Mulberry Varieties with Respect to the Colour Type
by Andreja Urbanek Krajnc, Jan Senekovič, Silvia Cappellozza and Maja Mikulic-Petkovsek
Foods 2023, 12(21), 3985; - 31 Oct 2023
Viewed by 2119
Mulberries are the “essence of the past”, the so-called Proust effect, for the inhabitants of the sericultural regions who enthusiastically remember feeding silkworms with mulberry leaves and picking the different coloured fruits that were their favourite sweets in childhood. To determine the chemistry [...] Read more.
Mulberries are the “essence of the past”, the so-called Proust effect, for the inhabitants of the sericultural regions who enthusiastically remember feeding silkworms with mulberry leaves and picking the different coloured fruits that were their favourite sweets in childhood. To determine the chemistry behind the colour and taste of mulberry soroses, the main metabolites of the local and introduced varieties were studied. The soroses were classified into five different colour types and the size parameters were determined. The main sugars identified were glucose and fructose, while the predominant organic acids were citric and malic acids, which were highest in the darker varieties, and fumaric and tartaric acids, which were highest in the lighter varieties. A total of 42 phenolic compounds were identified. The predominant phenolic acid was chlorogenic acid, followed by other caffeoylquinic acids and coumaroylquinic acids. The predominant anthocyanins were cyanidin-3-glucoside and cyanidin-3-rutinoside. According to PCA analysis, the colour types showed a clear chemotype character. The sweet taste of the yellowish-white soroses was defined by 49% fructose, followed by 45% glucose and 6% organic acids. The sour character of the black genotypes was characterised by a lower sugar and higher (11%) organic acid content. The colour- and species-dependent effect was observed in the proportion of caffeoylquinic acids and quercetin glycosides, which decreased with increasing colour intensity from 60% of the total to 7%, and from 17% to 1%, respectively. An upward trend was observed for flavanols (5% to 29%) and anthocyanins, which accounted for 62% of the total phenolics in black varieties. This article gives an insight into the metabolite composition of mulberry soroses as the sweets of choice between light and sweet and dark and sour. Full article
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