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Foods, Volume 13, Issue 10 (May-2 2024) – 165 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Implementing pre- and postharvest strategies for Pleurotus ostreatus (Jacq.) P. Kumm (oyster mushroom) within a circular economy framework involves optimizing resource use, minimizing waste, and creating a sustainable and environmentally friendly production system. This review aimed to analyze the development and innovation of the different themes and trends by bibliometric analysis with a critical literature review. Furthermore, this review outlines the cultivation techniques for Pleurotus ostreatus, encompassing preharvest steps such as spawn production, substrate preparation, and the entire mushroom growth process, which includes substrate colonization, fruiting, harvesting, and, finally, the postharvest process. View this paper
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25 pages, 11633 KiB  
Article
Exploring Chitosan Lactate as a Multifunctional Additive: Enhancing Quality and Extending Shelf Life of Whole Wheat Bread
by Pratik Singh, Vikas Yadav, Deblu Sahu, Krishan Kumar, Doman Kim, Deng Yang, Sivaraman Jayaraman, Maciej Jarzębski, Marek Wieruszewski and Kunal Pal
Foods 2024, 13(10), 1590; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods13101590 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 708
Abstract
The shelf life of whole wheat bread (WWB) significantly impacts its freshness and overall quality. This research investigated the impact of chitosan lactate (CL) on various characteristics influencing the shelf life of WWB, including its physical, chemical, textural, antimicrobial, and sensory attributes. These [...] Read more.
The shelf life of whole wheat bread (WWB) significantly impacts its freshness and overall quality. This research investigated the impact of chitosan lactate (CL) on various characteristics influencing the shelf life of WWB, including its physical, chemical, textural, antimicrobial, and sensory attributes. These characteristics were evaluated by conducting various experiments such as physical inspection, moisture, impedance, swelling, color, texture, FTIR, microbiological, and sensory analysis. CL with different concentrations was incorporated into WWB formulations: P0.0 (0.0% w/w CL, control), P0.5 (0.5% w/w CL), P1.0 (1.0% w/w CL), P2.0 (2.0% w/w CL), and P3.0 (3.0% w/w CL). The inclusion of CL promoted the Maillard reaction (MR) compared to P0.0. The promotion of MR resulted in the formation of a shinier crust, which increased as the CL content was increased. P0.5 comprised large-sized pores and exhibited increased loaf height. CL-containing WWB formulations showed an increased moisture content and decreased impedance values compared to the control. FTIR analysis of P0.5 demonstrated the enhanced interaction and bonding of water molecules. P0.5 demonstrated optimal textural, colorimetric, and antimicrobial properties compared to other formulations. The sensory attributes of WWBs remain unchanged despite CL addition. In conclusion, P0.5 exhibited optimal characteristics associated with better quality and prolonged shelf life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Grain)
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4 pages, 188 KiB  
Editorial
Green Extraction and Valorization of By-Products from Food Processing
by Selin Şahin and Ebru Kurtulbaş
Foods 2024, 13(10), 1589; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods13101589 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 545
Abstract
Agro-industrial valorization has been a hot topic recently since it leads to resource conservation and is economically and environmentally valuable [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Extraction and Valorization of By-Products from Food Processing)
13 pages, 1304 KiB  
Article
Effect of Overripening on the Physico-Chemical and Sensory Characteristics of Boneless, Salt-Reduced Iberian Dry-Cured Ham
by Noelia Hernández Correas, Adela Abellán, José María Cayuela, Cindy Bande-De León and Luis Tejada
Foods 2024, 13(10), 1588; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods13101588 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 532
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of extended maturation and temperature increase on the physico-chemical, biochemical, instrumental color and texture, sensory, and acceptability parameters of cured and boneless Iberian hams. Given the limited knowledge in this area, our objective [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of extended maturation and temperature increase on the physico-chemical, biochemical, instrumental color and texture, sensory, and acceptability parameters of cured and boneless Iberian hams. Given the limited knowledge in this area, our objective was to develop a ham with enhanced proteolysis, potentially leading to increased bioactive peptide generation and superior sensory characteristics compared to salt-reduced counterparts. To achieve this, a batch of hams cured up to 38% loss at 30 °C and two batches cured up to 42% loss at 30 °C and 36 °C were evaluated. Results showed that the increase in processing time and temperature significantly enhanced (p < 0.05) ham proteolysis and amino acid content without adversely affecting its texture. No significant differences were observed in instrumental texture parameters or sensory attributes as evaluated by consumers. These processing conditions also increased the content of free amino acids, improving the product quality. Overall, these processing modifications resulted in hams with excellent sensory acceptability and enhanced bioactive potential despite the salt reduction. Full article
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24 pages, 1364 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of the Microbial Quality of Hermetia illucens Larvae for Animal Feed and Human Consumption: Study of Different Type of Rearing Substrates
by Lenaïg Brulé, Boris Misery, Guillaume Baudouin, Xin Yan, Côme Guidou, Christophe Trespeuch, Camille Foltyn, Valérie Anthoine, Nicolas Moriceau, Michel Federighi and Géraldine Boué
Foods 2024, 13(10), 1587; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods13101587 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 640
Abstract
In the context of climate change and depletion of natural resources, meeting the growing demand for animal feed and human food through sufficient, nutritious, safe, and affordable sources of protein is becoming a priority. The use of Hermetia illucens, the black soldier [...] Read more.
In the context of climate change and depletion of natural resources, meeting the growing demand for animal feed and human food through sufficient, nutritious, safe, and affordable sources of protein is becoming a priority. The use of Hermetia illucens, the black soldier fly (BSF), has emerged as a strategy to enhance the circularity of the agri-food chain, but its microbiological safety remains a concern. The aim of the present study was to systematically review available data on the microbiological quality of BSF and to investigate the impact of using four different rearing substrates including classic options allowed by the EU regulation (cereals, fruits, vegetables) and options not allowed by EU regulations regarding vegetable agri-food (co-products, food at shelf life, and meat). A total of 13 studies were collected and synthesized, including 910 sample results, while 102 new sample results were collected from the present experiments in three farms. Both datasets combined revealed a high level of contamination of larvae, potentially transmitted through the substrate. The main pathogenic bacteria identified were Bacillus cereus, Clostridium perfringens, Cronobacter spp., Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp., and Staphylococcus aureus coagulase-positive, while Campylobacter spp. and Listeria monocytogenes were not detected. Any of these four substrates were excluded for their use in insect rearing; however, safety concerns were confirmed and must be managed by the operators of the sector using microbial inactivation treatment after the harvest of the larvae in order to propose safe products for the market. The results obtained will guide the definition of the control criteria and optimize the following manufacturing steps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Foodborne Pathogenic Bacteria: Prevalence and Control—Volume II)
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20 pages, 3843 KiB  
Article
Quality Evaluation of Polygonatum cyrtonema Hua Based on UPLC-Q-Exactive Orbitrap MS and Electronic Sensory Techniques with Different Numbers of Steaming Cycles
by Mengjin Wang, Jiayi Hu, Xiaoya Hai, Tianzhuo Cao, An Zhou, Rongchun Han, Lihua Xing and Nianjun Yu
Foods 2024, 13(10), 1586; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods13101586 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 490
Abstract
In this study, electronic sensory techniques were employed to comprehensively evaluate the organoleptic quality, chemical composition and content change rules for Polygonatum cyrtonema Hua (PCH) during the steaming process. The results were subjected to hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA), principal component analysis (PCA) and [...] Read more.
In this study, electronic sensory techniques were employed to comprehensively evaluate the organoleptic quality, chemical composition and content change rules for Polygonatum cyrtonema Hua (PCH) during the steaming process. The results were subjected to hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA), principal component analysis (PCA) and orthogonal partial least squares discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA). These analyses revealed, from a sensory product perspective, overall differences in colour, odour and taste among the samples of PCH with different numbers of steaming cycles. Using the UPLC-Q-Exactive Orbitrap MS technique, 64 chemical components, including polysaccharides, organic acids, saponins and amino acids were detected in PCH before and after steaming. The sensory traits were then correlated with the chemical composition. From the perspectives of sensory traits, chemical composition, and multi-component index content, it was preliminarily deduced that carrying out five cycles of steaming and sun-drying was optimal, providing evidence for the quality evaluation of PCH during the steaming process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Engineering and Technology)
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15 pages, 3117 KiB  
Article
Enhancing Fresh-Cut Apple Preservation: Impact of Slightly Acidic Electrolyzed Water and Chitosan–Apple Essence Microencapsulation Coating on Browning and Flavor
by Zhenyu Luo, Guijing Li, Yanlin Du, Junjie Yi, Xiaosong Hu and Yongli Jiang
Foods 2024, 13(10), 1585; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods13101585 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 660
Abstract
Fresh-cut apple preservation is a critical concern in the food industry due to the rapid deterioration of texture, color, and flavor. While our previous study introduced apple essence microencapsulation (AEM) to enhance flavor during storage, its impact on overall storage quality was minimal. [...] Read more.
Fresh-cut apple preservation is a critical concern in the food industry due to the rapid deterioration of texture, color, and flavor. While our previous study introduced apple essence microencapsulation (AEM) to enhance flavor during storage, its impact on overall storage quality was minimal. Thus, this study explores the application of two preservation techniques, namely, slightly acidic electrolyzed water (SAEW) and chitosan–apple essence microencapsulation (CH–AEM) coating, to enhance the quality of fresh-cut apples. Our findings reveal that SAEW treatment significantly reduces the browning index (from 65.38 to 57.36) and respiratory rate (from 5.10% to 4.30% of CO2), and maintains a desirable aroma profile compared to uncoated treatment during 10 days of storage. Additionally, the CH–AEM coating acts as a protective barrier, further preserving the sensory characteristics of fresh-cut apples. Notably, the SAEW–CH–AEM group exhibits superior performance in firmness (8.14 N), respiratory rate (3.37% of CO2), ion leakage (34.86%), and juice yield (47.52%) after 10 days. Our research highlights the synergistic effect of combining these preservation strategies, providing a promising approach for extending the shelf life of fresh-cut apples while maintaining their visual appeal and aromatic quality. These results offer valuable insights for the fresh-cut produce industry, contributing to improved apple product preservation and consumer satisfaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Packaging and Preservation)
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12 pages, 2142 KiB  
Article
Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Analysis of the Phytic Acid Content in Fuzzy Cottonseed Based on Machine Learning Algorithms
by Hong Yin, Wenlong Mo, Luqiao Li, Yiting Ma, Jinhong Chen, Shuijin Zhu and Tianlun Zhao
Foods 2024, 13(10), 1584; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods13101584 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 503
Abstract
Cottonseed is rich in oil and protein. However, its antinutritional factor content, of phytic acid (PA), has limited its utilization. Near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy, combined with chemometrics, is an efficient and eco-friendly analytical technique for crop quality analysis. Despite its potential, there are currently [...] Read more.
Cottonseed is rich in oil and protein. However, its antinutritional factor content, of phytic acid (PA), has limited its utilization. Near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy, combined with chemometrics, is an efficient and eco-friendly analytical technique for crop quality analysis. Despite its potential, there are currently no established NIR models for measuring the PA content in fuzzy cottonseeds. In this research, a total of 456 samples of fuzzy cottonseed were used as the experimental materials. Spectral pre-treatments, including first derivative (1D) and standard normal variable transformation (SNV), were applied, and the linear partial least squares (PLS), nonlinear support vector machine (SVM), and random forest (RF) methods were utilized to develop accurate calibration models for predicting the content of PA in fuzzy cottonseed. The results showed that the spectral pre-treatment significantly improved the prediction performance of the models, with the RF model exhibiting the best prediction performance. The RF model had a coefficient of determination in prediction (R2p) of 0.9114, and its residual predictive deviation (RPD) was 3.9828, which indicates its high accuracy in measuring the PA content in fuzzy cottonseed. Additionally, this method avoids the costly and time-consuming delinting and crushing of cottonseeds, making it an economical and environmentally friendly alternative. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Better Design for Formulation Optimization of Grain Foods)
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17 pages, 11323 KiB  
Article
Improvement in the Sustained-Release Performance of Electrospun Zein Nanofibers via Crosslinking Using Glutaraldehyde Vapors
by Shumin Wang, Jingyu Li, Pengjie Wang, Ming Zhang, Siyuan Liu, Ran Wang, Yixuan Li, Fazheng Ren and Bing Fang
Foods 2024, 13(10), 1583; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods13101583 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 516
Abstract
Volatile active ingredients in biopolymer nanofibers are prone to burst and uncontrolled release. In this study, we used electrospinning and crosslinking to design a new sustained-release active packaging containing zein and eugenol (EU). Vapor-phase glutaraldehyde (GTA) was used as the crosslinker. Characterization of [...] Read more.
Volatile active ingredients in biopolymer nanofibers are prone to burst and uncontrolled release. In this study, we used electrospinning and crosslinking to design a new sustained-release active packaging containing zein and eugenol (EU). Vapor-phase glutaraldehyde (GTA) was used as the crosslinker. Characterization of the crosslinked zein nanofibers was conducted via scanning electron microscopy (SEM), mechanical properties, water resistance, and Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy. It was observed that crosslinked zein nanofibers did not lose their fiber shape, but the diameter of the fibers increased. By increasing the crosslink time, the mechanical properties and water resistance of the crosslinked zein nanofibers were greatly improved. The FT-IR results demonstrated the formation of chemical bonds between free amino groups in zein molecules and aldehyde groups in GTA molecules. EU was added to the zein nanofibers, and the corresponding release behavior in PBS was investigated using the dialysis membrane method. With an increase in crosslink time, the release rate of EU from crosslinked zein nanofibers decreased. This study demonstrates the potential of crosslinking by GTA vapors on the controlled release of the zein encapsulation structure containing EU. Such sustainable-release nanofibers have promising potential for the design of fortified foods or as active and smart food packaging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Physics and (Bio)Chemistry)
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24 pages, 3594 KiB  
Article
Unconventional Yeasts Isolated from Chilean Honey: A Probiotic and Phenotypic Characterization
by Adrian Rodríguez Machado, Camila Mella Caro, John J. Hurtado-Murillo, Cristian J. Gomes Lobo, Rommy N. Zúñiga and Wendy Franco
Foods 2024, 13(10), 1582; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods13101582 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 637
Abstract
This study explores the potential probiotic properties of yeasts isolated from various Chilean honeys, focusing on Ulmo, Quillay, and Mountain honeys. Six yeast strains were identified, including Zygosaccharomyces rouxii, Candida sp., Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Rhodosporidiobolus ruineniae, Clavispora lusitaniae, and Metschnikowia [...] Read more.
This study explores the potential probiotic properties of yeasts isolated from various Chilean honeys, focusing on Ulmo, Quillay, and Mountain honeys. Six yeast strains were identified, including Zygosaccharomyces rouxii, Candida sp., Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Rhodosporidiobolus ruineniae, Clavispora lusitaniae, and Metschnikowia chrysoperlae. Phenotypic characterization involved assessing their fermentative performance, ethanol and hops resistance, and cross-resistance. Ethanol concentration emerged as a limiting factor in their fermentative performance. The probiotic potential of these yeasts was evaluated based on resistance to high temperatures, low pH, auto-aggregation capacity, survival in simulated in vitro digestion (INFOGEST method), and antimicrobial activity against pathogens like Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Salmonella enteritidis. Three yeasts, Zygosaccharomyces rouxii, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, and Metschnikowia chrysoperlae, exhibited potential probiotic characteristics by maintaining cell concentrations exceeding 106 CFU/mL after in vitro digestion. They demonstrated fermentative abilities and resistance to ethanol and hops, suggesting their potential as starter cultures in beer production. Despite revealing promising probiotic and technological aspects, further research is necessary to ascertain their viability in producing fermented foods. This study underscores the innovative potential of honey as a source for new probiotic microorganisms and highlights the need for comprehensive investigations into their practical applications in the food industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Microbiology)
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16 pages, 327 KiB  
Article
Contribution to Characterizing the Meat Quality of Protected Designation of Origin Serrana and Preta de Montesinho Kids Using the Near-Infrared Reflectance Methodology
by Lia Vasconcelos, Luís G. Dias, Ana Leite, Etelvina Pereira, Severiano Silva, Iasmin Ferreira, Javier Mateo, Sandra Rodrigues and Alfredo Teixeira
Foods 2024, 13(10), 1581; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods13101581 - 19 May 2024
Viewed by 1022
Abstract
The aims of this study were to describe and compare the meat quality characteristics of male and female kids from the “Serrana” and “Preta de Montesinho” breeds certified as “Cabrito Transmontano” and reinforce the performance of near-infrared reflectance (NIR) spectra in predicting these [...] Read more.
The aims of this study were to describe and compare the meat quality characteristics of male and female kids from the “Serrana” and “Preta de Montesinho” breeds certified as “Cabrito Transmontano” and reinforce the performance of near-infrared reflectance (NIR) spectra in predicting these quality characteristics and discriminating among breeds. Samples of Longissimus thoracis (n = 32; sixteen per breed; eight males and eight females) were used. Breed significantly affected meat quality characteristics, with only color and fatty acid (FA) (C12:0) being influenced by sex. The meat of the “Serrana” breed proved to be more tender than that of the “Preta de Montesinho”. However, the meat from the “Preta de Montesinho” breed showed higher intramuscular fat content and was lighter than that from the “Serrana” breed, which favors its quality of color and juiciness. The use of NIR with the linear support vector machine regression (SVMR) classification model demonstrated its capability to quantify meat quality characteristics such as pH, CIELab color, protein, moisture, ash, fat, texture, water-holding capacity, and lipid profile. Discriminant analysis was performed by dividing the sample spectra into calibration sets (75 percent) and prediction sets (25 percent) and applying the Kennard–Stone algorithm to the spectra. This resulted in 100% correct classifications with the training data and 96.7% accuracy with the test data. The test data showed acceptable estimation models with R2 > 0.99. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Meat)
22 pages, 4659 KiB  
Article
Dynamic Succession of Natural Microbes during the Ecolly Grape Growth under Extremely Simplified Eco-Cultivation
by Yinting Ding, Lin Wang, Hua Wang and Hua Li
Foods 2024, 13(10), 1580; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods13101580 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 553
Abstract
The composition and continuous succession of natural microbial communities during grape growth play important roles in grape health and flavor quality as well as in characterizing the regional wine terroir. This study explored the diversity and dynamics of fruit epidermal microbes at each [...] Read more.
The composition and continuous succession of natural microbial communities during grape growth play important roles in grape health and flavor quality as well as in characterizing the regional wine terroir. This study explored the diversity and dynamics of fruit epidermal microbes at each growth and developmental stage of Ecolly grapes under an extremely simplified eco-cultivation model, analyzed microbial interactions and associations of weather parameters to specific communities, and emphasized metabolic functional characteristics of microecology. The results indicated that the natural microbial community changed significantly during the grape growth phase. The dominant fungal genera mainly included Gibberella, Alternaria, Filobasidium, Naganishia, Ascochyta, Apiotrichum, Comoclathris, and Aureobasidium, and the dominant bacterial genera mainly contained Sediminibacterium, Ralstonia, Pantoea, Bradyrhizobium, Brevundimonas, Mesorhizobium, Planococcus, and Planomicrobium. In summary, filamentous fungi gradually shifted to basidiomycetous yeasts along with fruit ripening, with a decline in the number of Gram-negative bacteria and a relative increase in Gram-positive bacteria. The community assembly process reflects the fact that microbial ecology may be influenced by a variety of factors, but the fungal community was more stable, and the bacterial community fluctuated more from year to year, which may reflect their response to weather conditions over the years. Overall, our study helps to comprehensively profile the ecological characteristics of the grape microbial system, highlights the natural ecological viticulture concept, and promotes the sustainable development of the grape and wine industry. Full article
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25 pages, 667 KiB  
Review
Food Insecurity in Greece and across the Globe: A Narrative Literature Review
by Emmanouil Alexandros Fotakis, Ioanna Kontele, Milia Tzoutzou, Maria G. Grammatikopoulou, Eirini Arvanitaki, Theodoros N. Sergentanis, Konstantinos Kotrokois, Eleni Kornarou and Tonia Vassilakou
Foods 2024, 13(10), 1579; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods13101579 - 18 May 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 965
Abstract
Food insecurity comprises a major global public health threat, as its effects are detrimental to the mental, physical, and social aspects of the health and well-being of those experiencing it. We performed a narrative literature review on the magnitude of global food insecurity [...] Read more.
Food insecurity comprises a major global public health threat, as its effects are detrimental to the mental, physical, and social aspects of the health and well-being of those experiencing it. We performed a narrative literature review on the magnitude of global food insecurity with a special emphasis on Greece and analyzed the major factors driving food insecurity, taking into consideration also the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. An electronic search of international literature was conducted in three databases. More than 900 million people worldwide experience severe food insecurity, with future projections showing increasing trends. Within Europe, Eastern and Southern European countries display the highest food insecurity prevalence rates, with Greece reporting a prevalence of moderate or severe food insecurity ranging between 6.6% and 8% for the period 2019–2022. Climate change, war, armed conflicts and economic crises are major underlying drivers of food insecurity. Amidst these drivers, the COVID-19 pandemic had a profound impact on food insecurity levels around the globe, through halting economic growth, disrupting food supply chains and increasing unemployment and poverty. Tackling food insecurity through addressing its key drivers is essential to any progress towards succeeding the Sustainable Development Goal of “Zero Hunger”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Security and Sustainability)
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16 pages, 3916 KiB  
Article
Mechanistic and Functional Studies on the Microbial Induction of Wolfiporia cocos Liquid Fermentation Products
by Zhikang Yang, Congbao Su, Zhoujie Xu, Yiting Liu, Jianhui Chen and Xiaoping Wu
Foods 2024, 13(10), 1578; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods13101578 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 505
Abstract
Liquid fermentation is an efficient culture for obtaining polysaccharides from edible mushrooms. In this study, the polysaccharide content and biomass were examined by introducing microorganisms into the Wolfiporia cocos fermentation system. Three edible mushroom co-fermentation systems were established, among which the Wolfiporia cocos-Ganoderma [...] Read more.
Liquid fermentation is an efficient culture for obtaining polysaccharides from edible mushrooms. In this study, the polysaccharide content and biomass were examined by introducing microorganisms into the Wolfiporia cocos fermentation system. Three edible mushroom co-fermentation systems were established, among which the Wolfiporia cocos-Ganoderma lucidum co-fermentation system significantly increased the mycelial biomass of the system by 57.71% compared to Wolfiporia cocos alone and 91.22% compared to Ganoderma lucidum alone, and the intracellular polysaccharide content was significantly increased. Physiological activities of polysaccharides showed that mycelial polysaccharides in the Wolfiporia cocos-Ganoderma lucidum system had stronger anti-tumor cell value-adding and anti-tumor cell migration activities compared with Wolfiporia cocos and Ganoderma lucidum fermentation alone. The transcriptomic study of Wolfiporia cocos mycelium induced by exogenous substances suggested that the exogenous substances could enhance the intracellular polysaccharide content of Wolfiporia cocos through the upregulation of the expression of α-glycosyltransferase encoded by ALG10 and the downregulation of α-glycosidases encoded by MAN1B in the glycolytic metabolism of Wolfiporia cocos. This study provides a new direction for the transformation of polysaccharides from Wolfiporia cocos and Ganoderma lucidum into functional foods and new product development, and provides an experimental basis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Microbiology)
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13 pages, 1707 KiB  
Article
Tuna Dark Muscle Feeding Improved the Meat Quality of Holland Mini-Piglets and Modulated the Gut Microbiota
by Chenyang Lu, Yuanming Zhang, Yang Qin, Jun Zhou, Yanbo Wang, Xiurong Su and Jiaojiao Han
Foods 2024, 13(10), 1577; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods13101577 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 526
Abstract
Pork is one of the most widely produced and consumed meats in the world, and it is also an important source of animal protein. The continuous rise in feed prices has forced the pig industry to consider adding cost-effective alternative feed to pig [...] Read more.
Pork is one of the most widely produced and consumed meats in the world, and it is also an important source of animal protein. The continuous rise in feed prices has forced the pig industry to consider adding cost-effective alternative feed to pig diets. In this study, we aimed to explore the beneficial effects of tuna dark muscle as a nutritional supplement on the growth performance, serum lipids and antioxidant levels of Holland mini-piglets, as well as on the odor and volatile substances of pork and the gut microbiota. Two-month-old male mini-piglets (n = 24) were fed a control diet or supplemented with either 2% (LD) or 4% (HD) tuna dark muscle for 8 weeks. The use of tuna dark muscle at low and high dosages significantly increased the average daily weight gain, but it showed no significant effect on organ indices or blood lipids. In addition, dark muscle treatment significantly increased the antioxidant capacity, characterized by increased SOD and GSH-Px activities, and it decreased the content of MDA in serum. Moreover, tuna dark muscle feeding shifted the odor of rib muscle and tendon meat away from that of the control group, while similar odor patterns were observed in the longissimus dorsi muscle. Among these volatile substances, hexanal, nonanal, and heptanal increased in response to dietary tuna dark muscle and were regarded as indispensable contributors to the feeding. Furthermore, dietary tuna dark muscle modulated the gut microbiota of the piglets, increasing the abundance of beneficial bacteria such as butyric acid-producing bacteria, and reduced the abundance of harmful bacteria. The feeding strategy reported in this study not only reduces the production costs of pork but also utilizes tuna processing by-products in an environmentally friendly way. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Manipulating Meat Quality by Nutrition, Processing, and Preservation)
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16 pages, 2743 KiB  
Article
The Application of Protein Concentrate Obtained from Green Leaf Biomass in Structuring Nanofibers for Delivery of Vitamin B12
by Bojana Balanč, Ana Salević-Jelić, Verica Đorđević, Branko Bugarski, Viktor Nedović, Predrag Petrović and Zorica Knežević-Jugović
Foods 2024, 13(10), 1576; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods13101576 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 606
Abstract
Nanofibers made of natural proteins have caught the increasing attention of food scientists because of their edibility, renewability, and possibility for various applications. The objective of this study was to prepare nanofibers based on pumpkin leaf protein concentrate (LPC) as a by-product from [...] Read more.
Nanofibers made of natural proteins have caught the increasing attention of food scientists because of their edibility, renewability, and possibility for various applications. The objective of this study was to prepare nanofibers based on pumpkin leaf protein concentrate (LPC) as a by-product from some crops and gelatin as carriers for vitamin B12 using the electrospinning technique. The starting mixtures were analyzed in terms of viscosity, density, surface tension, and electrical conductivity. Scanning electron micrographs of the obtained nanofibers showed a slight increase in fiber average diameter with the addition of LPC and vitamin B12 (~81 nm to 109 nm). Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy verified the physical blending of gelatin and LPC without phase separation. Thermal analysis showed the fibers had good thermal stability up to 220 °C, highlighting their potential for food applications, regardless of the thermal processing. Additionally, the newly developed fibers have good storage stability, as detected by low water activity values ranging from 0.336 to 0.376. Finally, the release study illustrates the promising sustained release of vitamin B12 from gelatin-LPC nanofibers, mainly governed by the Fickian diffusion mechanism. The obtained results implied the potential of these nanofibers in the development of functional food products with improved nutritional profiles. Full article
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15 pages, 2296 KiB  
Article
Seasonal and Morphology Effects on Bioactive Compounds, Antioxidant Capacity, and Sugars Profile of Black Carrot (Daucus carota ssp. sativus var. atrorubens Alef.)
by José Luis Ordóñez-Díaz, Isabel Velasco-Ruiz, Cristina Velasco-Tejero, Gema Pereira-Caro and José Manuel Moreno-Rojas
Foods 2024, 13(10), 1575; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods13101575 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 497
Abstract
Black carrot (Daucus carota ssp. sativus var. atrorubens Alef.) is widely recognized for its bioactive compounds and antioxidant properties. The black carrot of Cuevas Bajas (Málaga) is a local variety characterized by a black/purple core, which differs from other black carrot varieties. [...] Read more.
Black carrot (Daucus carota ssp. sativus var. atrorubens Alef.) is widely recognized for its bioactive compounds and antioxidant properties. The black carrot of Cuevas Bajas (Málaga) is a local variety characterized by a black/purple core, which differs from other black carrot varieties. Therefore, this autochthonous variety was characterized according to the root size and the harvesting season by means of a study of its antioxidant capacity analyzed by three methods, its total carotenoids content, and its sugars and phenolic compounds profile by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS). A total of 20 polyphenolic compounds were quantified in 144 samples analyzed. The anthocyanidins group was observed to be the most abundant, followed by the hydroxycinnamic acids group. Moreover, pelargonidin 3-sambubioside was observed in black carrot for the first time. The medium-sized carrots presented the highest content of phenolic compounds, largely due to their significantly higher anthocyanidins content. Comparatively, the small carrots showed a higher content of simple sugars than the large ones. Regarding the influence of season, significantly higher quantities of glucose and fructose were observed in the late-season carrots, while sucrose was the main sugar in early-season samples. No significant differences were observed in the total carotenoid content of black carrot. Full article
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17 pages, 2591 KiB  
Article
Decoding the Effects of High Hydrostatic Pressure and High-Temperature Short-Time Sterilization on the Volatile Aroma Profile of Red Raspberry Juice
by Wentao Zhang, Xuejie Li, Xuzeng Wang, He Li, Xiaojun Liao, Fei Lao, Jihong Wu and Jian Li
Foods 2024, 13(10), 1574; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods13101574 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 478
Abstract
The loss of distinctive aromas due to sterilization significantly hinders efforts to enhance the sensory quality of fruit and vegetable juices. This study aimed to elucidate the impacts of high-hydrostatic pressure (HHP) and high-temperature short-time (HTST) sterilization methods on the loss of C6 [...] Read more.
The loss of distinctive aromas due to sterilization significantly hinders efforts to enhance the sensory quality of fruit and vegetable juices. This study aimed to elucidate the impacts of high-hydrostatic pressure (HHP) and high-temperature short-time (HTST) sterilization methods on the loss of C6 aldehyde aroma-active compounds in red raspberry juice. External standard quantification and quantitative descriptive analysis (QDA) revealed a notable decline in the levels of hexanal and (Z)-3-hexenal following the HHP and HTST treatments (p < 0.05), resulting in a marked attenuation of the grassy aroma characteristic of red raspberry juice. Furthermore, a comprehensive examination of the precursors, pivotal enzymes, intermediates, and downstream aromas within the fatty acid metabolism pathway in different raspberry juice samples indicated that the C6 aldehydes loss induced by HHP and HTST sterilizations was primarily ascribed to the competitive inhibition of β-oxidation and the hindered enzymatic oxidation of fatty acids. These insights suggest that modifying sterilization protocols and enhancing enzymatic stability may help preserve the aroma integrity of raspberry juice. Our findings offer practical guidance for optimizing juice processing techniques to maintain flavor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Drinks and Liquid Nutrition)
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18 pages, 1962 KiB  
Article
Revealing the Hypoglycemic Effect of Red Yeast Rice: Perspectives from the Inhibition of α-Glucosidase and the Anti-Glycation Capability by Ankaflavin and Monascin
by Shufen Wu, Changyan Dong, Meihui Zhang, Yi Cheng, Xiaobo Cao, Benxu Yang, Chao Li and Xin Peng
Foods 2024, 13(10), 1573; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods13101573 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 693
Abstract
Red yeast rice dietary supplements have been proven to ameliorate hyperglycemia, but the mechanism was unclear. In this work, ankaflavin (AK) and monascin (MS), as typical pigments derived from red yeast rice, were found to exert noteworthy inhibitory ability against α-glucosidase, with an [...] Read more.
Red yeast rice dietary supplements have been proven to ameliorate hyperglycemia, but the mechanism was unclear. In this work, ankaflavin (AK) and monascin (MS), as typical pigments derived from red yeast rice, were found to exert noteworthy inhibitory ability against α-glucosidase, with an IC50 of 126.5 ± 2.5 and 302.6 ± 2.5 μM, respectively, compared with acarbose (IC50 = 341.3 ± 13.6 μM). They also exhibited mixed-type inhibition of α-glucosidase in vitro and caused fluorescence quenching through the static-quenching process. Molecular-docking studies indicated that AK and MS bind to amino acid residues outside the catalytic center, which induces structural changes in the enzyme, thus influencing its catalytic activity. The anti-glycation ability of Monascus-fermented products was evaluated, and they exhibited a high inhibition rate of 87.1% in fluorescent advanced glycation end-product formation at a concentration of 0.2 mg mL−1, while aminoguanidine showed a rate of 75.7% at the same concentration. These results will be significant in broadening the application scope of Monascus pigments, especially AK and MS, in treating type 2 diabetes. Full article
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3 pages, 167 KiB  
Editorial
Studies on Food Physical Characterization
by Lubomír Lapčík
Foods 2024, 13(10), 1572; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods13101572 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 454
Abstract
With the growing focus on sustainable food production, there has been a surge in research aimed at developing innovative and eco-friendly food alternatives [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Studies on Food Physical Characterization)
18 pages, 1035 KiB  
Article
Evaluation and Discrimination of Lipid Components and Iron and Zinc Levels in Chicken and Quail Eggs Available on the Polish Market
by Małgorzata Czerwonka, Agnieszka Białek, Dorota Skrajnowska and Barbara Bobrowska-Korczak
Foods 2024, 13(10), 1571; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods13101571 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 1074
Abstract
All over the world, birds’ eggs are an important and valuable component of the human diet. This study aimed to compare the content of lipid components and their nutritional value as well as iron and zinc levels in chicken and quail eggs commonly [...] Read more.
All over the world, birds’ eggs are an important and valuable component of the human diet. This study aimed to compare the content of lipid components and their nutritional value as well as iron and zinc levels in chicken and quail eggs commonly available on the market. In egg lipids, unsaturated fatty acids were dominant, especially oleic acid, the content of which was about 40% of the total fatty acids (TFAs). Linoleic acid was the major polyunsaturated fatty acid. Compared to other products of animal origin, eggs were characterized by favorable values of lipid quality indices, especially the index of atherogenicity, thrombogenicity, and the hypocholesterolemic-to-hypercholesterolemic ratio. In the present study, no differences were found in the content of tested nutrients between eggs from different production methods (organic, free-range, barn, cages). Based on linear discriminant analysis, inter-breed differences were noticed. Cluster analysis showed that eggs enriched in n3 PUFAs (according to the producers’ declarations) differed from other groups of chicken eggs. However, in eggs from one producer only, the amount of EPA and DHA exceeds 80 mg per 100 g, entitling the use of the nutrition claim on the package. Quail eggs differed from chicken eggs in FA profile and cholesterol and iron levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Processing and Nutritional Evaluation of Animal Products)
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13 pages, 1891 KiB  
Article
Discrimination of New and Aged Seeds Based on On-Line Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Technology Combined with Machine Learning
by Yanqiu Zhu, Shuxiang Fan, Min Zuo, Baohua Zhang, Qingzhen Zhu and Jianlei Kong
Foods 2024, 13(10), 1570; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods13101570 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 484
Abstract
The harvest year of maize seeds has a significant impact on seed vitality and maize yield. Therefore, it is vital to identify new seeds. In this study, an on-line near-infrared (NIR) spectra collection device (899–1715 nm) was designed and employed for distinguishing maize [...] Read more.
The harvest year of maize seeds has a significant impact on seed vitality and maize yield. Therefore, it is vital to identify new seeds. In this study, an on-line near-infrared (NIR) spectra collection device (899–1715 nm) was designed and employed for distinguishing maize seeds harvested in different years. Compared with least squares support vector machine (LS-SVM), k-nearest neighbor (KNN), and extreme learning machine (ELM), the partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) model has the optimal recognition performance for maize seed harvest years. Six different preprocessing methods, including Savitzky–Golay smoothing (SGS), standard normal variate transformation (SNV), multiplicative scatter correction (MSC), Savitzky–Golay 1 derivative (SG-D1), Savitzky–Golay 2 derivative (SG-D2), and normalization (Norm), were used to improve the quality of the spectra. The Monte Carlo cross-validation uninformative variable elimination (MC-UVE), competitive adaptive reweighted sampling (CARS), bootstrapping soft shrinkage (BOSS), successive projections algorithm (SPA), and their combinations were used to obtain effective wavelengths and decrease spectral dimensionality. The MC-UVE-BOSS-PLS-DA model achieved the classification with an accuracy of 88.75% using 93 features based on Norm preprocessed spectral data. This study showed that the self-designed NIR collection system could be used to identify the harvested years of maize seed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Artificial Intelligence in Food Industry)
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13 pages, 1433 KiB  
Article
Ultrasound-Assisted Nanoemulsion Loaded with Optimized Antibacterial Essential Oil Blend: A New Approach against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Salmonella Enteritidis in Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) Fillets
by Luiz Torres Neto, Maria Lucia Guerra Monteiro, Bruno Dutra da Silva, Maxsueli Aparecida Moura Machado, Yhan da Silva Mutz and Carlos Adam Conte-Junior
Foods 2024, 13(10), 1569; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods13101569 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 480
Abstract
This study aimed to obtain and characterize an oil-in-water nanoemulsion (NE) loaded with an in vitro optimized bactericidal essential oil blend of 50% oregano, 40% thyme, and 10% lemongrass and to evaluate its potential at three different concentrations (0.5%, 1%, and 2%) in [...] Read more.
This study aimed to obtain and characterize an oil-in-water nanoemulsion (NE) loaded with an in vitro optimized bactericidal essential oil blend of 50% oregano, 40% thyme, and 10% lemongrass and to evaluate its potential at three different concentrations (0.5%, 1%, and 2%) in the inactivation of Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis inoculated in rainbow trout fillets stored at 4 °C for 9 days. Regarding the NE, the nanometric size (<100 nm) with low polydispersion (0.17 ± 0.02) was successfully obtained through ultrasound at 2.09 W/cm2. Considering the three concentrations used, S. Enteritidis was the most susceptible. On the other hand, comparing the concentrations used, the NE at 2% showed better activity, reducing S. Enteritidis, E. coli, and S. aureus by 0.33, 0.20, and 0.73 log CFU/g, respectively, in the trout fillets. Thus, this data indicates that this is a promising eco-friendly alternative to produce safe fish for consumption and reduce public health risks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Quality and Safety)
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14 pages, 496 KiB  
Article
The Healthy Fatty Index Allows for Deeper Insights into the Lipid Composition of Foods of Animal Origin When Compared with the Atherogenic and Thrombogenicity Indexes
by Alessandro Dal Bosco, Massimiliano Cavallo, Laura Menchetti, Elisa Angelucci, Alice Cartoni Mancinelli, Gaetano Vaudo, Stefania Marconi, Emanuela Camilli, Francesco Galli, Cesare Castellini and Simona Mattioli
Foods 2024, 13(10), 1568; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods13101568 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 513
Abstract
The aim of this research was to validate the effectiveness of the Healthy Fatty Index (HFI) regarding some foods of animal origin (meat, processed, fish, milk products, and eggs) typical of the Western diet and to compare these results with two consolidated indices [...] Read more.
The aim of this research was to validate the effectiveness of the Healthy Fatty Index (HFI) regarding some foods of animal origin (meat, processed, fish, milk products, and eggs) typical of the Western diet and to compare these results with two consolidated indices (atherogenic—AI, and thrombogenic—TI) in the characterization of the nutritional features of their lipids. The fatty acids profile (% of total fatty acids and mg/100 g) of 60 foods, grouped in six subclasses, was used. The AI, TI, and HFI indexes were calculated, and the intraclass correlation coefficients and the degree of agreement were evaluated using different statistical approaches. The results demonstrated that HFI, with respect to AI and TI, seems better able to consider the complexity of the fatty acid profile and the different fat contents. HFI and AI are the two most diverse indices, and they can provide different food classifications. AI and IT exhibit only a fair agreement in regards to food classification, confirming that such indexes are always to be considered indissolubly and never separately, in contrast to the HFI, which can stand alone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Nutrition)
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14 pages, 1733 KiB  
Article
A Comparative Study of Composition and Soluble Polysaccharide Content between Brewer’s Spent Yeast and Cultured Yeast Cells
by Hyun Ji Lee, Bo-Ram Park and Legesse Shiferaw Chewaka
Foods 2024, 13(10), 1567; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods13101567 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 1146
Abstract
Yeast, crucial in beer production, holds great potential owing to its ability to transform into a valuable by-product resource, known as brewer’s spent yeast (BSY), with potentially beneficial physiological effects. This study aimed to compare the composition and soluble polysaccharide content of Brewer’s [...] Read more.
Yeast, crucial in beer production, holds great potential owing to its ability to transform into a valuable by-product resource, known as brewer’s spent yeast (BSY), with potentially beneficial physiological effects. This study aimed to compare the composition and soluble polysaccharide content of Brewer’s spent yeast with those of cultured yeast strains, namely Saccharomyces cerevisiae (SC) and S. boulardii (SB), to facilitate the utilization of BSY as an alternative source of functional polysaccharides. BSY exhibited significantly higher carbohydrate content and lower crude protein content than SC and SB cells. The residues recovered through autolysis were 53.11%, 43.83%, and 44.99% for BSY, SC, and SB, respectively. Notably, the polysaccharide content of the BSY residue (641.90 μg/mg) was higher than that of SC (553.52 μg/mg) and SB (591.56 μg/mg). The yields of alkali-extracted water-soluble polysaccharides were 33.62%, 40.76%, and 42.97% for BSY, SC, and SB, respectively, with BSY comprising a comparable proportion of water-soluble saccharides made with SC and SB, including 49.31% mannan and 20.18% β-glucan. Furthermore, BSY demonstrated antioxidant activities, including superoxide dismutase (SOD), ABTS, and DPPH scavenging potential, suggesting its ability to mitigate oxidative stress. BSY also exhibited a significantly higher total phenolic compound content, indicating its potential to act as an effective functional food material. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Biotechnology)
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14 pages, 1076 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Assisted Freezing with Different Ultrasound Power Rates on the Quality and Flavor of Braised Beef
by Junguang Li, Chenhao Sun, Wuchao Ma, Kexin Wen, Yu Wang, Xiaonan Yue, Yuntao Wang and Yanhong Bai
Foods 2024, 13(10), 1566; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods13101566 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 611
Abstract
This study investigated the effects of ultrasound–assisted immersion freezing (UIF) at different power rates (0, 200, 400, and 600 W) on the changes in beef quality and flavor after braising. The results demonstrated that UIF treatment at 400 W significantly reduced the juice [...] Read more.
This study investigated the effects of ultrasound–assisted immersion freezing (UIF) at different power rates (0, 200, 400, and 600 W) on the changes in beef quality and flavor after braising. The results demonstrated that UIF treatment at 400 W significantly reduced the juice loss (cooking loss decreased from 49.04% to 39.74%) and fat oxidation (TBARS value decreased from 0.32 mg/kg to 0.20 mg/kg) of braised beef. In addition, the tenderness (hardness value decreased from 5601.50 g to 2849.46 g) and color stability of braised beef were improved after UIF treatment. The flavor characteristics of braised beef were characterized using an electronic nose and an electronic tongue. The PCA analysis data showed that the cumulative contribution rates of the first and second principal components were 85% and 93.2%, respectively, with the first principal component accounting for a higher proportion. The UIF–400 W group had the highest concentration for the first principal component, and the differentiation was not significant compared to the control group. The total amino acid values of different power UIF treatment groups were improved compared to the AF treatment group, indicating that UIF can effectively reduce the losses caused by freezing. The results demonstrate that ultrasound–assisted freezing treatment is beneficial in enhancing the tenderness and flavor attributes of beef after braising, providing new insights into the processing of meat products with desirable quality characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Meat)
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13 pages, 1030 KiB  
Article
Physicochemical and Nutritional Properties of Vegetable Oils from Brazil Diversity and Their Applications in the Food Industry
by Kamila Leal Correa, Fernanda Brito de Carvalho-Guimarães, Erika Silva Mourão, Hellen Caroline Oliveira Santos, Suellen Christtine da Costa Sanches, Maria Louze Nobre Lamarão, Rayanne Rocha Pereira, Wagner Luiz Ramos Barbosa, Roseane Maria Ribeiro-Costa, Attilio Converti and José Otávio Carréra Silva-Júnior
Foods 2024, 13(10), 1565; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods13101565 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 702
Abstract
In this study, the oils of açaí, passion fruit, pequi, and guava were submitted to physicochemical analysis to investigate their potential application in the food industry. Gas chromatography associated with mass spectroscopy showed that oleic and linoleic acids are mainly responsible for the [...] Read more.
In this study, the oils of açaí, passion fruit, pequi, and guava were submitted to physicochemical analysis to investigate their potential application in the food industry. Gas chromatography associated with mass spectroscopy showed that oleic and linoleic acids are mainly responsible for the nutritional quality of açaí, passion fruit, pequi, and guava oils, which exhibited 46.71%, 38.11%, 43.78%, and 35.69% of the former fatty acid, and 18.93%, 47.64%, 20.90%, and 44.72% of the latter, respectively. The atherogenicity index of the oils varied from 0.11 to 0.65, while the thrombogenicity index was 0.93 for açaí, 0.35 for guava, and 0.3 for passion fruit oils, but 1.39 for pequi oil, suggesting that the use of the first three oils may lead to a low incidence of coronary heart disease. Thermogravimetry showed that all tested oils were thermally stable above 180 °C; therefore, they can be considered resistant to cooking and frying temperatures. In general, the results of this study highlight possible applications of these oils in the food industry, either in natura or in typical food production processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Nutrition)
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14 pages, 6448 KiB  
Article
Microplastic Release from Single-Use Plastic Beverage Cups
by Selen Akbulut, Perihan Kubra Akman, Fatih Tornuk and Hasan Yetim
Foods 2024, 13(10), 1564; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods13101564 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 706
Abstract
Microplastics (MPs) have attracted considerable attention as one of the most remarkable food and drink pollutants in recent years. Disposable cups, which are widely used as single-use containers, have been suspected as the primary sources of MPs found in cold and hot beverages. [...] Read more.
Microplastics (MPs) have attracted considerable attention as one of the most remarkable food and drink pollutants in recent years. Disposable cups, which are widely used as single-use containers, have been suspected as the primary sources of MPs found in cold and hot beverages. In this study, the effect of different exposure times (0, 5, 10 and 20 min) and temperatures (4 °C, 50 °C and 80 °C) on MP release from the single-use cups made of four different materials [polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS), polyethylene (PE) coated paper cups and expanded polystyrene (EPS)] into the water was investigated. The number of MPs ranged from 126 p/L to 1420 p/L, while the highest and lowest counts were observed in the PP (50 °C for 20 min) and PE-coated paper cups (4 °C 0 min), respectively. Washing the cups with ultrapure water prior to use reduced the MP release by 52–65%. SEM images demonstrated the abrasion on the surface of the disposable cups as a result of hot water exposure. Intensities of FTIR absorbance levels at some wavelengths were decreased by the water treatment, which could be evidence of surface abrasion. The annual MP exposure of consumers was calculated as 18,720–73,840 by the consumption of hot and cold beverages in disposable cups. In conclusion, as the level and potential toxicity of MP exposure in humans are not yet fully known, this study sheds light on the number of MPs transferred to cold and hot beverages from single-use disposable cups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Security and Sustainability)
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13 pages, 3006 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Fruit Texture and Storage Quality of Four Apple Varieties
by Xiaoyi Ding, Yajin Zheng, Rongjian Jia, Xiangyu Li, Bin Wang and Zhengyang Zhao
Foods 2024, 13(10), 1563; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods13101563 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 535
Abstract
Fruit texture and storage properties of various apple varieties exhibit significant variation. The rate of fruit softening post-harvest plays a crucial role in determining fruit quality and shelf life. This research utilized four apple varieties as test subjects to investigate the internal factors [...] Read more.
Fruit texture and storage properties of various apple varieties exhibit significant variation. The rate of fruit softening post-harvest plays a crucial role in determining fruit quality and shelf life. This research utilized four apple varieties as test subjects to investigate the internal factors influencing fruit texture changes among different varieties. By monitoring changes in relevant physiological indicators during the post-harvest texture softening process, the study examined fruit quality, cell wall material content, hydrolase activity, and gene transcription levels during storage of ‘Orin’, ‘RX’, ‘RXH’, and ‘Envy’ apples. Initial fruit softening was primarily linked to heightened post-harvest fruit respiration intensity, ethylene production, and rapid amylase activity. Subsequent softening was associated with increased activity of water-soluble pectin (WSP), cellulose (CEL), and other hydrolases. With the extension of the storage period, the fruit cells of the four varieties became more loosely arranged, resulting in larger intercellular gaps. Variations in WSP and cellulose content, CEL activity, and relative expression of Mdβ-gal were observed among the different apple varieties, potentially accounting for the disparities in fruit texture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Packaging and Preservation)
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14 pages, 2374 KiB  
Article
Improvement in Noodle Quality and Changes in Microstructure and Disulfide Bond Content through the Addition of Pepper Straw Ash Leachate
by Xinyang Li, Yongjun Wu, Cen Li, Shuoqiu Tong, Lincheng Zhang and Jin Jin
Foods 2024, 13(10), 1562; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods13101562 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 620
Abstract
Every year, a significant amount of pepper stalks are wasted due to low utilization. The ash produced from pepper stalks contains a significant amount of alkaline salts, which are food additives that can enhance the quality of noodles. Therefore, utilizing natural pepper straw [...] Read more.
Every year, a significant amount of pepper stalks are wasted due to low utilization. The ash produced from pepper stalks contains a significant amount of alkaline salts, which are food additives that can enhance the quality of noodles. Therefore, utilizing natural pepper straw ash to improve the quality of noodles shows promising development prospects. In this study, pepper straw ash leachate (PSAL) was extracted and added to noodles. The quality of the noodles gradually improved with the addition of PSAL, with the best effect observed at a concentration of 18% (PSAL mass/flour mass). This addition resulted in a 57.8% increase in noodle hardness, a 55.43% increase in chewiness, a 19.41% rise in water absorption rate, and a 13.28% increase in disulfide bond content. These alterations rendered the noodles more resilient during cooking, reducing their tendency to soften and thus enhancing chewiness and palatability. Incorporating PSAL also reduced cooking loss by 57.79%. Free sulfhydryl groups decreased by 5.1%, and scanning electron microscopy revealed a denser gluten network structure in the noodles, with more complete starch wrapping. This study significantly enhanced noodle quality and provided a new pathway for the application of pepper straw resources in the food industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Quality and Safety)
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18 pages, 4361 KiB  
Article
In Vitro Characterization of Polysaccharides from Fresh Tea Leaves in Simulated Gastrointestinal Digestion and Gut Microbiome Fermentation
by Qiaoyi Zhou, Jinjing Gao, Xueyan Sun, Yicheng Liang, Minqi Ye, Dongxia Liang, Caijin Ling and Binghu Fang
Foods 2024, 13(10), 1561; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods13101561 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 547
Abstract
Tea plants have a long cultivation history in the world, but there are few studies on polysaccharides from fresh tea leaves. In this study, tea polysaccharides (TPSs) were isolated from fresh tea leaves. Then, we investigated the characteristics of TPSs during in vitro [...] Read more.
Tea plants have a long cultivation history in the world, but there are few studies on polysaccharides from fresh tea leaves. In this study, tea polysaccharides (TPSs) were isolated from fresh tea leaves. Then, we investigated the characteristics of TPSs during in vitro simulated digestion and fermentation; moreover, the effects of TPSs on gut microbiota were explored. The results revealed that saliva did not significantly affect TPSs’ molecular weight, monosaccharide composition, and reducing sugar content, indicating that TPSs cannot be digested in the oral cavity. However, TPSs were partially decomposed in the gastrointestinal tract after gastric and intestinal digestion, resulting in the release of a small amount of free glucose monosaccharides. Our in vitro fermentation experiments demonstrated that TPSs are degraded by gut microbiota, leading to short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) production and pH reduction. Moreover, TPSs increased the abundance of Bacteroides, Lactobacillus, and Bifidobacterium but reduced that of Escherichia, Shigella, and Enterococcus, demonstrating that TPSs can regulate the gut microbiome. In conclusion, TPSs are partially decomposed by gut microbiota, resulting in the production of SCFAs and the regulation of gut microbiota composition and function. Therefore, TPSs may be used to develop a prebiotic supplement to regulate the gut microbiome and improve host health. Full article
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