Wednesday 27 December 2023

Job Offer



Name of the research Project: Sustainability Optimization for Secure Food Systems 

Principal researcher: Jesús Simal Gándara

Research area: Sustainability Optimization for Secure Food Systems

Reference: SOSFood

Department: C07 Analytical and food chemistry


Contract type: Contracts for the realisation of projects and for the execution of plans (Art. 32bis Science Act). Indefinite duration

Number of positions: 1

Work to be performed:  European Project Manager.

Functions to be performed:

  • 1. Monitoring of project activities and the work plan, administrative and technical support for its development, communication management, technical and administrative justification of the project. 
  • 2. Technical support in the preparation of reports, organization of events and communication of project activities.
  • 3. Support in the preparation and writing of new European project proposals."

Gross Monthly salary: 2.666,66 € (including the apportionments of extra payments)

Expected start date: Subject to the final approval of the funding by the financing institution (Secondadditional provision of the UVIGO research staff recruitment regulations).

Workday: Full Time (37.5 hours per week)

Employment status: Research specialized technician - Type B

Duration of the contract: indefinite



REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS Master’s degree, Bachelor’s degree, engineering or equivalent in scientific-technical or legal-social areas.


  • Item nº1 Academic training, related to scientific-technical or legal-social areas. (15)
  • Item nº2 Minimum C1 level of English with official certificate and Spanish. (15)
  • Item nº3 Specific, creditable training in the field of management of activities with international financing (25)
  • Item nº4 Creditable work experience in the field of management of activities with international financing, management of industrial and intellectual property, management of ethical aspects, open data and open science , dissemination of R&D results, justification of international activities (30)
  • Item nº5 Personal interview. The interview will be conducted only with the 3 persons with the highest scores (15)
The deadline for applications is 23:59 hours on January 2, 2023 (link)

Thursday 14 September 2023

Crecemento económico e contaminación, unha aproximación dende a aprendizaxe automática

El Grupo de Investigaciones Agroambientales y Alimentarias (AA1) dispone desde hace breves semanas de un nuevo proyecto de investigación bajo la convocatoria de Ayudas a Grupos de Investigación del Campus de Ourense, INOU-CAMPUS AUGA 2023.

Estas ayudas tienen como finalidad "la financiación de proyectos de interés para la Universidad de Vigo y la Diputación de Ourense, apoyando las investigaciones que contribuyan al desarrollo social y económico de la provincia de Ourense y al conocimiento de su realidad, así como la especialización del Campus de Ourense-Campus Agua".

En este sentido se ha conseguido financiación para le proyecto "Crecimiento económico y contaminación, una aproximación desde el aprendizaje automático" cuyos IPs son los doctores Gonzalo Astray y Luis Velasco.

Thursday 11 May 2023

Exploration of Indian Traditional recipe “Tarvaani” from the drained rice gruel for nutritional and probiotic potential

 Int. J. Gastron. Food Sci. 31, 100670, 2023

Study background
Traditional fermented foods are the source of probiotic bacteria which can be envisaged as formulation ingredients in various food and beverages.

Scope and approach
The present research aimed to explore one of the Indian traditional recipes, “Tarvaani,” for nutritional and probiotic potential as a part of its healthy perspectives.

Main findings and conclusion
The traditional recipe was found to contain the lactic acid bacteria and isolated. The isolated product showed prominent curdling activity after 48 h, and bacterial growth was seen in all the pH (pH 3–7) tested. The antibiotic susceptibility test found that streptomycin, vancomycin, and kanamycin were resistant to the bacterial culture, and imipenem, gentamycin, rifampicin, and tetracycline were found to be resistant susceptible to the bacterial culture according to zone diameter interpretative criteria given in ICMR SOP 2015. A clear halo zone around the tested colony was obtained in the amylase test, which indicated that starch was degraded and α-amylase was produced. The culture also showed prominent antimicrobial action and inhibited the growth of the pathogenic strains tested by a well-diffusion assay. Moreover, the isolates only showed no haemolysis activity after incubation at 30 °C for 24 h under anaerobic conditions. Overall, the present research findings showcase the nutritional and probiotic potential of Lactobacillus sp. of “Tarvaani” as a viable option as a formulation ingredient in traditional-based functional foods.

Friday 28 April 2023

Emerging Technologies to Extract Fucoxanthin from Undaria pinnatifida: Microwave vs. Ultrasound Assisted Extractions

Mar. Drugs 2023, 21(5), 282

Macroalgae are an extensive resource for the obtention of bioactive compounds, mainly phenolic compounds, phlorotannins, and pigments. Fucoxanthin (Fx) is the most abundant pigment present in brown algae and has shown several useful bioactivities that can be used to fortify products in the food and cosmetic industries. Nevertheless, to date, there is still insufficient literature reporting on the extraction yield of Fx from U. pinnatifida species from green technologies. In this regard, the present study aims to optimize the extraction conditions to obtain the highest Fx yield from U. pinnatifida through emerging techniques, namely microwave-assisted extraction (MAE) and ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE). These methods will be compared with the conventional methodologies of heat-assisted extraction (HAE) and Soxhlet-assisted extraction (SAE). According to our results, even though the extraction yield could be slightly higher when using MAE than UAE, the Fx concentration obtained from the alga was double when using UAE. Thus, the Fx ratio in the final extract reached values of 124.39 mg Fx/g E. However, the optimal conditions should also be considered since UAE needed 30 min to perform the extraction, whereas MAE was able to obtain 58.83 mg Fx/g E in only 3 min and 2 bar, meaning less energy expenditure and minimum cost function. To our knowledge, this study obtains the highest concentrations of Fx ever reported (58.83 mg Fx/g E for MAE and 124.39 mg Fx/g E for UAE), with low energy consumption and short times (3.00 min for MAE and 35.16 min for UAE). Any of these results could be selected for further experiments and proposed for industrial scaling-up.

Saturday 22 April 2023

Method development and validation for acrylamide in potato cutlet by UHPLC-MS/MS

 Food Control, 109817 (2023)

Surge in consumption of healthy and safe foods has challenged researcher to develop sensitive, precise, robust detection and quantification of food contaminants like acrylamide even if they are present in trace. Keeping this in view, a robust and sensitive analytical method was developed and validated for acrylamide quantification in a potato-based food product (potato cutlet), using LC-MSMS with positive electrospray ionization (+ESI). The method consists of adding acrylamide-d3 (deuterium labelled acrylamide) as an internal standard, extraction by modified QuEChERS method with d-SPE clean-up. Extracts were run on a reverse phase C-18 column for analysis by liquid chromatography. The limit of detection (LOD) and limit of quantification (LOQ) were determined as 0.7 and 2.0 μg kg−1, respectively, demonstrating the sensitivity of the method for trace detection. The developed method showed excellent results in terms of recoveries (91.0–109.16%), repeatability (RSD 1.8–10.60%), reproducibility (RSD 2.3–11.24%) and robustness (RSD 1.74–4.54%). The repeatability, reproducibility and robustness respectively, show the consistency, accuracy and stability of the developed method. The deviations in ion ratio and retention time were 17.25% and −0.01 min, respectively. Compared to previous findings, the current study has achieved lower LOD and LOQ levels that reveal the higher sensitivity of this method for acrylamide quantification in potato cutlet.

Thursday 20 April 2023

Jesús Simal incorpórase ao comité internacional mixto FAO/OMS que avalía a seguridade dos aditivos alimentarios


A Organización Mundial da Saúde (OMS) e a Organización das Nacións Unidas para a Alimentación e a Agricultura (FAO) crearon en 1956 o Comité Mixto de Expertos e Aditivos Alimentarios (JECFA). Inicialmente encargado da avaliar a inocuidade dos aditivos alimentarios, na actualidade o JECFA ocúpase tamén da valoración de riscos e inocuidade de coadyuvantes de elaboración, aromatizantes, residuos de medicamentos veterinarios en produtos animais, contaminantes e toxinas naturais, avaliando durante estas décadas máis de 2500 aditivos alimentarios, uns 40 contaminantes e toxinas naturais e residuos duns 90 medicamentos veterinarios. Actividades ás que a partir de agora sumará a súa experiencia e coñecementos o catedrático da UVigo Jesús Simal, trala súa recente incorporación ao JECFA, que unicamente conta con Simal e a docente da Universidad Miguel Hernández, María Fernández, como representantes españois.

“Para min, que ademais traballo en equipo nun ambiente internacional, supón poder contribuír á seguridade e inocuidade dos alimentos, minimizando os riscos químicos na cadea alimentaria e axudarame a estar ao día nestes temas, ademais de abrirme a porta a colaboracións internacionais na materia e impulsar colaboracións con outros, ao ter a oportunidade de incidir nas políticas públicas”, explica o docente e investigador do Departamento de Química Analítica e Alimentaria da UVigo sobre a súa inclusión no Comité Mixto FAO/OMS de Expertos en Aditivos Alimentarios. A súa pertenza ao Comité Científico de Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutrición da Agencia Española de Consumo, Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutrición (Aecosan) e os coñecementos como catedrático na área de nutrición e bromatoloxía, considera Simal que son as achegas que pode realizar ao JECFA, no que “podo contribuír a axudar no desenvolvemento integral de expertos, uso de ferramentas dixitais ou promoción de competencias brandas, como motivación pola aprendizaxe continua, compromiso e transparencia, flexibilidade e versatilidade, xestión do tempo, superación, etc.”.

Simal e os e as expertas que integran o comité ofrecerán asesoramento científico para o establecemento das normas mundiais de inocuidade dos alimentos do Codex Alimentarius, entre outras. “Todos os países necesitan ter acceso a avaliacións fiables de riscos das substancias químicas utilizadas nos alimentos, pero relativamente poucos contan cos coñecementos e fondos necesarios para facer avaliacións individuais e JECFA cumpre unha función vital ao proporcionar unha fonte axeitada de asesoramento de expertos, que algúns países utilizan para elaborar os seus propios programas de regulamentación”, explica o catedrático da UVigo.

Para aditivos alimentarios, contaminantes e substancias tóxicas naturalmente presentes nos alimentos, o comité establece principios para avaliar a súa inocuidade, realiza valoracións toxicolóxicas e determina inxestións diarias admisibles (IDA) ou tolerables. No caso dos residuos de medicamentos veterinarios nos alimentos, JECFA elabora principios para avaliar a súa inocuidade e establece as inxestións diarias e recomenda límites máximos de residuos. “No caso dos aditivos alimentarios, o comité establece normalmente as IDA sobre a base da información toxicolóxica e demais información pertinente dispoñible, ademais de elaborar especificacións de identidade e pureza para os aditivos, que contribúen a garantir que o produto que entre no comercio sexa da calidade apropiada, poida ser fabricado normalmente e sexa equivalente ao material sometido ao ensaio toxicolóxico”, detalla Jesús Simal.

Para os medicamentos veterinarios, o comité avalía os datos sobre boas prácticas e recomendan os correspondentes límites máximos de residuos nos tecidos dos animais, o leite e/os ovos, coa finalidade de asegurar que cando o medicamento se utilizar axeitadamente, a inxestión de residuos do medicamento presente nos alimentos probablemente non superará a IDA correspondente

Fonte: DUVI

Wednesday 19 April 2023

Enhancing the biorefinery of chestnut burrs. Part I. Study of the pretreatment with choline chloride urea diluted deep eutectic solvent

 Biomass & Bioenergy, 173, 106786, 2023

Chestnut burrs (CB) are agro-industrial wastes produced in large amounts during chestnut processing. Despite their high value composition, this type of biomass has been scarcely studied, becoming an important material to be valorized. In this work, a green technology based on the use of diluted choline chloride urea (ChCl:U) deep eutectic solvent (DES) was postulated to deconstruct the lignocellulosic structure. The pretreatment was evaluated using untreated CB and CB previously processed (washed CB or the solid residue obtained after prehydrolysis). Following a biorefinery concept, the samples obtained in this work will be further enzymatically hydrolyzed in Part II to reach fermentable sugars-containing solutions. Several operational parameters such as time (4, 8 and 16 h), temperature (60, 80, 100 and 120 °C), and liquid-solid ratio (LSR) (10:1, 15:1 and 20:1) were studied to improve CB deconstruction. Physicochemical transformations were investigated by ATR-FTIR and SEM analysis. The best delignification rate (∼40%) was achieved applying the DES pretreatment in untreated CB at 100 °C for 16 h and 20:1 (w/w) LSR, being corroborated by physicochemical changes observed by FTIR and SEM.

Tuesday 11 April 2023

A UVigo participa nunha investigación europea para desentrañar o potencial do microbioma do trigo e desenvolver alimentos e pensos máis sans e sostibles

Xunto á UVigo, a Universitat de València e as empresas Contactica, Isanatur Spain e Editorial Agrícola Española conforman a representación española no proxecto que ten como obxectivo principal comprender de que modo a microbiota impacta, dunha banda, o cultivo do trigo e a calidade nutricional de forma xeral e específica, respecto ás proteínas causantes la enfermidade celíaca; a produción de novos alimentos para humanos e animais usando microbiota autóctona con carácter probiótico, así como outros microorganismos con coñecida capacidade probiótica; a percepción de sabor a través do estudo da interacción composición alimento-microbiota, alimento-microbiota humana, e o impacto na saúde a través dos estudo da interacción composición alimento microbiota, alimento-microbiota humana.

“Contamos con expertos das áreas de edafoloxía e química agrícola, ciencia e tecnoloxía dos alimentos e nutrición, alimentación animal e ciencias veterinarias, bioloxía molecular e celular e nutrixenómica e estudos clínicos”, detalla a coordinadora de Wheatbiome, que engade que este traballo será complementado con expertos en transferencia de coñecemento (formación ao sector primario), a industria alimentaria (encargada dos prototipos de alimentos a testar en humanos) e un equipo de bioinformáticos, para desenvolver unha ferramenta de toma de decisións nunha perspectiva transnacional para modelizar os datos obtidos para predicir comportamentos futuros. 

En canto ao papel que a UVigo desenvolve no proxecto Wheatbiome, o catedrático Jesús Simal sinala que “se centra en investigar os efectos dos novos produtos derivados do trigo, fermentados ou non, na súa calidade hixiénico-sanitaria e nutricional e a riqueza en compostos bioactivos, realizando estudos de proteómica e metabolómica, así como estudos de interacción entre proteínas e compostos bioactivos, determinando a súa bioaccesibilidade  e a bioctividade de propiedades antioxidante, prebiótica e antiinflamatoria en ensaios in vitro, para entender os potenciais efectos dietéticos do seu consumo animal e humano”, detalla o docente e investigador o Departamento de Química analítica e alimentaria. Estes traballos serán realizados na área de Nutrición e Bromatoloxía, da calidade hixiénico-sanitaria e nutricional e a riqueza en compostos bioactivos encargarase o grupo de investigación AA1, liderado polo catedrático Jesús Simal e os estudos de interacción molecular, bioaccesibilidade  e a bioctividades serán desenvolvidos no CF1, baixo a dirección de Rosa Pérez.

Con 5 millóns de euros de orzamento, a investigación prolongarase ata decembro de 2026

Fonte: DUVI

Tuesday 4 April 2023

Anti-diabetic potential of apigenin, luteolin, and baicalein via partially activating PI3K/Akt/Glut-4 signaling pathways in insulin-resistant HepG2 cells

 Food Science and Human Wellness, 12 (6), 1991-2000 (2023)

Dietary flavonoids are abundant in natural plants and possess multiple pharmacological and nutritional activities. In this study, apigenin, luteolin, and baicalein were chosen to evaluate their anti-diabetic effect in high-glucose and dexamethasone induced insulin-resistant (IR) HepG2 cells. All flavonoids improves the glucose consumption and glycogen synthesis abilities in IR-HepG2 cells via activating glucose transporter protein 4 (GLUT4) and phosphor-glycogen synthase kinase (GSK-3β). These flavonoids significantly inhibited the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and advanced glycation end-products (AGEs), which were closely related to the suppression of the phosphorylation form of NF-κB and P65. The expression levels of insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1), insulin receptor substrate-2 (IRS-2) and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (Akt) pathway in IR-HepG2 cells were all partially activated by the flavonoids, with variable effects. Furthermore, the intracellular metabolic conditions of the flavonoids were also evaluated.

Monday 27 March 2023

Most Recent Research Progress in Moringa oleifera: Bioactive Phytochemicals and Their Correlated Health Promoting Effects

 Food Reviews International, 2023

Moringa oleifera Lam. (M. oleifera) is a fast-growing and esculent plant with high nutritional and medicinal values. Traditionally, M. oleifera has been applied to treat anaemia, asthma, pain in joints, headaches, diarrhoea and so forth. Phytochemical studies have manifested that more than 300 components, including flavonoids, phenolic acids, organic acids, alkaloids, lignans, glucosinolates, carotenoids, proteins, fats, minerals, and so on, are present in different parts of M. oleifera. Simultaneously, M. oleifera has exhibited extensive notable pharmacological activities, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-cancer, hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic, hypotensive, hepatoprotective, etc. Consequently, on the one hand, this work aims to comprehensively and holistically review the nutritional components, chemical constituents and pharmacological activities on various parts of M. oleifera, as well as its applications in functional food products and medicines. On the other hand, this work also looks forward to the new prospects and the future developments in the research of M. oleifera, and thus provides valuable insights for the follow-up and in-depth studies of this multifunctional tree.

Friday 24 March 2023

Potential of essential oils for protection of Couscous against Aspergillus flavus and aflatoxin B1 contamination

 Food Control, 145, 109474, 2023

Our study was aimed to evaluate antifungal, antiaflatoxin, and antioxidant potential of Mentha pulegium, Myrtus communis, and Mentha piperita essential oils (EOs). The EOs showed efficacy as a couscous preservative. A total of 387 fungal species were isolated from Couscous samples, with Aspergillus flavus BN (20) which is identified as the highest aflatoxin producer. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of M. pulegium and M. communis EOs against the toxigenic strain of A. flavus BN (20) determined to be 4.00 μL/mL, whereas the MIC of M. piperita was 3.50 μL/mL. The EOs inhibited the aflatoxin B1 production at lower concentrations. The EOs showed fungitoxicity against wide-ranging of fungi and high antioxidant activity. The IC50 value of the oils ranged between 3.27 and 4.31 μL/mL. EOs may be able to contribute preservation of food commodities against quantitative and qualitative losses. During fumigation assays in Algerian traditional food system (Couscous), the three EOs showed protection of Couscous from A. flavus contamination indicating their efficacy as sustainable fumigant in food systems.

Thursday 23 March 2023

Statistics of our website


We present the statistics corresponding to the origin of the visitors to our website. We take this opportunity to thank all those readers who have used it throughout this time.

Possible role of nutrition in the prevention of inflammatory bowel disease–related colorectal cancer: A focus on human studies

 Nutrition, 110, 111980 (2023)

Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are at substantially high risk for colorectal cancer (CRC). IBD-associated CRC accounts for roughly 10% to 15% of the annual mortality in patients with IBD. IBD-related CRC also affects younger patients compared with sporadic CRC, with a 5-y survival rate of 50%. Regardless of medical therapies, the persistent inflammatory state characterizing IBD raises the risk for precancerous changes and CRC, with additional input from several elements, including genetic and environmental risk factors, IBD-associated comorbidities, intestinal barrier dysfunction, and gut microbiota modifications. It is well known that nutritional habits and dietary bioactive compounds can influence IBD-associated inflammation, microbiome abundance and composition, oxidative stress balance, and gut permeability.

Additionally, in recent years, results from broad epidemiologic and experimental studies have associated certain foods or nutritional patterns with the risk for colorectal neoplasia. The present study aimed to review the possible role of nutrition in preventing IBD-related CRC, focusing specifically on human studies. It emerges that nutritional interventions based on healthy, nutrient-dense dietary patterns characterized by a high intake of fiber, vegetables, fruit, ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, and a low amount of animal proteins, processed foods, and alcohol, combined with probiotic supplementation have the potential of reducing IBD-activity and preventing the risk of IBD-related CRC through different mechanisms, suggesting that targeted nutritional interventions may represent a novel promising approach for the prevention and management of IBD-associated CRC.

Wednesday 22 March 2023

Fumonisin B1 Biosynthesis Is Associated with Oxidative Stress and Plays an Important Role in Fusarium proliferatum Infection on Banana Fruit

 J. Agric. Food Chem. 2023

Fungal response to oxidative stress during infection on postharvest fruit is largely unknown. Here, we found that hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) treatment inhibited the growth of Fusarium proliferatum causing crown rot of banana fruit, confirmed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) observation. H2O2 exposure increased endogenous reactive oxygen species (ROS) and fumonisin B1 (FB1) production in F. proliferatum, possibly by modulating FUM or ROS-related gene expression. Importantly, H2O2 treatment inhibited F. proliferatum growth in vivo but induced FB1 accumulation in banana peel. Finally, we constructed the FpFUM21 deletion mutant (ΔFpfum21) of F. proliferatum that was attenuated in FB1 biosynthesis and less tolerant to oxidative stress. Moreover, the ΔFpfum21 strain was less virulent compared to the wild type (WT) due to the inability to induce FB1 production in the banana host. These results suggested that FB1 biosynthesis is associated with oxidative stress in F. proliferatum and contributes to fungal infection on banana fruit.

Friday 17 March 2023

Challenges for future food systems: From the Green Revolution to food supply chains with a special focus on sustainability

Food Frontiers, 4(1), 9-20, 2023

Finding a food system to feed the growing worldwide population remains a challenge, especially in the current era, where natural resources are being dramatically depleted. From a historical point of view, the Green Revolution, together with biofortification and sustainable intensification, was established as a possible solution to counter hunger and malnutrition during the second half of the 20th century. As a solution, to overcome the limitations attributed to the Green Revolution, food supply chains were developed. The current food system, based on the long food supply chain (LFSC), is characterized by globalization, promoting several advantages for both producers and consumers. However, LFSC has been demonstrated to be unable to feed the global population and, furthermore, it generates negative ecological, environmental, logistical, and nutritional pressures. Thus, novel efficient food systems are required to respond to current environmental and consumers’ demands, as is the case of short food supply chain (SFSC). As a recently emerging food system, the evaluation of SFSC sustainability in terms of environmental, economic, and social assessment is yet to be determined. This review is focused on the evolution of food supply systems, starting from the Green Revolution to food supply chains, providing a significant perspective on sustainability.

Oxidation of Aldehydes Used as Food Additives by Peroxynitrite

 Antioxidants 2023, 12(3), 743

Benzaldehyde and its derivatives are used as food supplements. These substances can be used mainly as flavorings or as antioxidants. Besides, peroxynitrite, an oxidizing agent, could be formed in canned food. Both species could react between them. The present article has focused on the kinetic study of the oxidation of aldehydes by peroxynitrite. A reaction mechanism that justifies all the experimental results is proposed. This mechanism, in acidic media, passes through three competitive pathways: (a) a radical attack that produces benzoic acid. (b) peracid oxidation, and (c) a nucleophilic attack of peroxynitrous acid over aldehyde to form an intermediate, X, that produces benzoic acid, or, through a Cannizzaro-type reaction, benzoic acid and benzyl alcohol. All rate constants involved in the third pathway (c) have been calculated. These results have never been described in the literature in acid media. A pH effect was analyzed.

Thursday 16 March 2023

Machine Learning to Predict the Adsorption Capacity of Microplastics

 Nanomaterials 2023, 13(6), 1061

Nowadays, there is an extensive production and use of plastic materials for different industrial activities. These plastics, either from their primary production sources or through their own degradation processes, can contaminate ecosystems with micro- and nanoplastics. Once in the aquatic environment, these microplastics can be the basis for the adsorption of chemical pollutants, favoring that these chemical pollutants disperse more quickly in the environment and can affect living beings. Due to the lack of information on adsorption, three machine learning models (random forest, support vector machine, and artificial neural network) were developed to predict different microplastic/water partition coefficients (log Kd) using two different approximations (based on the number of input variables). The best-selected machine learning models present, in general, correlation coefficients above 0.92 in the query phase, which indicates that these types of models could be used for the rapid estimation of the absorption of organic contaminants on microplastics.

Wednesday 15 March 2023

Seed mucilage-based advanced carrier systems for food and nutraceuticals: fabrication, formulation efficiency, recent advancement, challenges, and perspectives

 Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 2023

Seed mucilages are potential sources of natural polysaccharides. They are biodegradable, biocompatible, sustainable, renewable, and safe for human consumption. Due to the desirable physicochemical and functional properties (e.g. gelling, thickening, stabilizing, and emulsifying), seed mucilages have attracted extensive attention from researchers for utilization as a promising material for the development of advanced carrier systems. Seed mucilages have been utilized as natural polymers to improve the properties of various carrier systems (e.g. complex coacervates, beads, nanofibers, and gels) and for the delivery of diverse hydrophilic and lipophilic compounds (e.g. vitamins, essential oils, antioxidants, probiotics, and antimicrobial agents) to achieve enhanced stability, bioavailability, bioactivity of the encapsulated molecules, and improved quality attributes of food products. This review highlights the recent progress in seed mucilage-based carrier systems for food and nutraceutical applications. The main contents include (1) sources, extraction methods, and physicochemical and functional characteristics of seed mucilages, (2) application of seed mucilages for the development of advanced carrier systems, (3) major issues associated with carrier fabrication, and (4) mechanisms of carrier development, latest improvements in carrier formulation, carrier efficiency in the delivery of bioactive agents, and application in food and nutraceuticals. Furthermore, major challenges and future perspectives of seed mucilage-based carriers for a commercial application are discussed.

Monday 13 March 2023

Recent advances in Zizania latifolia: A comprehensive review on phytochemical, health benefits and applications that maximize its value

 Critical Review in Food Science and Nutrition (2023)

Zizania latifolia is an aquatic and medicinal plant with a long history of development in China and the East Asian region. The smut fungus “Ustilago esculenta” parasitizes Z. latifolia and induces culm expansion to form a vegetable named Jiaobai, which has a unique taste and nutritional attributes. However, the postharvest quality of water bamboo shoots is still a big challenge for farmers and merchants. This paper traced the origin, development process, and morphological characteristics of Z. latifolia. Subsequently, the compilation of the primary nutrients and bioactive substances are presented in context to their effects on ecology a postharvest storage and preservation methods. Furthermore, the industrial, environmental, and material science applications of Z. latifolia in the fields of industry were discussed. Finally, the primary objective of the review proposes future directions for research to support the development of Z. latifolia industry and aid in maximizing its value. To sum up, Z. latifolia, aside from its potential as material it can be utilized to make different productions and improve the existing applications. This paper provides an emerging strategy for researchers undertaking Z. latifolia.

Sunday 12 March 2023

Effect of carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) on some physico-chemical and mechanical properties of unrinsed surimi gels

 LWT, 2023 (114653)

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of the carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) on the physico-chemical and mechanical properties of unrinsed surimi gels during heat treatment. The results revealed that the addition of CMC could significantly (p < 0.05) improve the gel strength, texture properties of unrinsed surimi gels and imparted better color perception compared with the control group showing lower gel strength and poorer water-holding capacity. The addition of 0.5 and 1.5 g/100 g CMC also promoted the formation of a more uniform and compact gel network structure of the unrinsed surimi gels, locking more water in the gel network, significantly improved the water holding capacity of the gels and enhancing their viscoelastic properties (p < 0.05). In conclusion, an appropriate amount of CMC can be added to unrinsed surimi as a food additive, and 1.5 g/100 g was the optimal addition amount obtained in this study, which provides important information for improved the gel properties of unrinsed surimi.

Saturday 11 March 2023

AA1 group in two new CYTED networks


AA1 group participates in two new international cooperation networks with Latin America under the protection of CYTED.

The first of them with the acronym GENOPSYSEN deals with the development of genosensors for pharmacogenomic targets of the central nervous system. The second is Ibero-Circular. It is an Ibero-American innovation network for the sustainability of the food value chain. Both initiatives will be developed between 2023 and 2026.

Friday 10 March 2023

Classification, application, multifarious activities and production improvement of lipopeptides produced by Bacillus

 Crit. Rev. Food Sci. Nut. 2023

Lipopeptides, a class of compounds consisting of a peptide ring and a fatty acid chain, are secondary metabolites produced by Bacillus spp. As their hydrophilic and oleophilic properties, lipopeptides are widely used in food, medicine, environment and other industrial or agricultural fields. Compared with artificial synthetic surfactants, microbial lipopeptides have the advantages of low toxicity, high efficiency and versatility, resulting in urgent market demand and broad development prospect of lipopeptides. However, due to the complex metabolic network and precursor requirements of synthesis, the specific and strict synthesis pathway, and the coexistence of multiple homologous substances, the production of lipopeptides by microorganisms has the problems of high cost and low production efficiency, limiting the mass production of lipopeptides and large-scale application in industry. This review summarizes the types of Bacillus-produced lipopeptides and their biosynthetic pathways, introduces the versatility of lipopeptides, and describes the methods to improve the production of lipopeptides, including genetic engineering and optimization of fermentation conditions.

Thursday 9 March 2023

Quality improvement of tilapia fillets by light salting during repeated freezing-thawing: Contribution of structural rearrangement and molecular interactions

 Food Chemistry (2023) 406, 135097

The present study evaluated the effects and underlying mechanisms of light salting on quality properties of tilapia fillets during repeated freezing-thawing. Light salting was found to improve water-holding capacity and decelerated texture softening in tilapia fillets during repeated freezing-thawing. Instead of tissue distortion and heterogeneous aggregates in control groups, light salting promoted myofibril disassembly and formation of an ordered protein network with the solubilized myofibrillar proteins. The myofibrils presented an overall amorphous appearance with the loss of M-lines, removing the restraints to myofibril swelling and solubilization from A-binds in salted groups during repeated freezing-thawing. The structural rearrangement caused by light salting facilitated the enlargement of water-holding space, transformation of tissue water, and tissue recoverability, improving water-holding capacity and texture properties of tilapia fillets during freezing-thawing. The finding provided novel insight into the improvement of quality properties of tilapia fillets by light salting when subjected to drastic temperature fluctuations.

Wednesday 8 March 2023

Effects of blackberry polysaccharide on the quality improvement of boiled chicken breast

 Food Chemistry: X (2023) 18, 100623

Blackberry polysaccharide was isolated from blackberry powder with 70% ethanol. The crude polysaccharide was composed of 95.44% glucose, 2.01% arabinose, 1.81% galactose and 0.74% glucuronic acid. Chicken breast meat was only marinated with different concentrations of the isolated blackberry polysaccharide (1 g/kg, 3 g/kg) for 24 h at a ratio of material to liquid of 1:3, and boiled at 80℃ for 1 h. The differences in texture, water distribution and volatile flavor components among different groups (adding 0,1,3 g/kg blackberry polysaccharide) were investigated. The results showed that the addition of blackberry polysaccharide could significantly improve the hardness of chicken breast, the transformation of free water to bound water, the overall flavor characteristics of the control group and the addition of different concentrations of blackberry polysaccharide were significantly different, and the concentration of volatile flavor substances in boiled chicken breast was reduced.

2nd European Symposium on Phytochemicals in Medicine and Food

 June 27 – July 2, 2023, Vigo, Spain

On behalf of the Organizing Committee, we are delighted to invite you to attend the 2nd European Symposium on Phytochemicals in Medicine and Food, June 27 – July 2, 2023, Vigo, Spain (2-EuSPMF). 2-EuSPMF is organized by the International Association of Dietetic Nutrition and Safety (IADNS) and the University of Vigo. 2-EuSPMF aims to explore the recent advances in the area of phytochemicals in medicine and food. We hope to bring together scientists of all ages to provide an excellent platform for exchanging ideas, discussing challenges, sharing success stories and setting up new research collaborations. Your active participation will certainly make 2-EuSPMF symposium a great success. 

Vigo is an often forgotten coastal city in the north of Spain. Besides its walkable cultural centre, this city benefits from its proximity to the beach, such as Playa del Vao and Playa de Samil. Vigo is also the main getaway to the heavenly Illas Cíes, the remote islands you can only access by boat. The Old Town, also known as Casco Vello, is the city’s heart, packed with lively bars and restaurants serving delicious Galician dishes. Vigo is only 30km from Portugal, allowing you to enjoy day trips across both countries. 

 Welcome to beautiful Vigo!    

Call for papers

Registration informations

Tuesday 7 March 2023

Toxins 2022 Young Investigator Award

The scientist Paz Otero Fuertes, from the Agricultural and Food Research Group of the University of Vigo, has just been distinguished by Toxins magazine as the best young researcher of the year 2022. This award, the Toxins 2022 Young Investigator Award, is given each year to a scientist or junior scientist in recognition of her excellence in the field of toxinology, the branch of toxicology that studies biological toxins, that is, produced by animals, plants or microorganisms.

The jury values that the candidates have developed innovative research and made an important contribution to the advancement of toxinology and knowledge about all types of toxins and, in the case of Paz Otero, they emphasize that he has participated in multiple research projects and published 56 scientific articles, from which 20 are as first author or corresponding author; ten book chapters, four of them as main author; ten conference proceedings, as well as having a Hirsch index of 27.

This award is a recognition of his entire professional career, developed first at the University of Santiago de Compostela, then at the Limerick Institute of Technology and the Autonomous University of Madrid and, finally, at UVigo. His work focuses on the field of food safety, toxinology, pharmacology, marine bioactive compounds, microalgae, purification or phycotoxins, cyanotoxins and mycotoxins. Although this is the first distinction she has received since she arrived at the University of Vigo, she was previously the recipient, during her stay in Ireland, of an award from the Irish Research Council.

At UVigo since 2020

Paz Otero has been, since December 2020, a researcher in the Department of Analytical and Food Chemistry, specifically in the Agricultural and Food Research Group (AA1), where they are managing "a new laboratory to be able to continue growing as a research group and being able to develop new projects and lines of research", as the scientist reports.

Before his arrival at UVigo, Otero worked on two European projects of the Espazo Atlántico Program focused on discovering new marine compounds on the Atlantic coast (Pharmatlantic 2009-1/117 and Atlantox 2008-1/), both at the University of Santiago de Compostela. In addition, she was selected by the Irish Research Council (IRC) with the project Dettox: Production, extraction, and detection systems for new marine phycotoxins in Europe, of which she was the main researcher, focused on the detection of marine toxins.

He is currently working on the development of a sustainable and profitable production process for the recycling of by-products of olives, grapes and almonds into four natural and healthy ingredients for nutraceutical and cosmetic applications, in the context of the "ambitious" European project UP4Health. This initiative is driven by a consortium of ten European institutions, in which, in addition to UVigo, Isanatur (coordinator), Contactica, Laboratorios Amerex, Aurora Intelligent Nutrition and Indukern, from Spain, participate; Zade Vital, from Turkey; Biozoon, from Germany; the Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, from Portugal, and the Technological University Dublin, from Ireland. As the researcher explains, "the by-products generated as a result of the processing of these foods are a valuable source of bioactive compounds and have demonstrated interesting antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties". These four ingredients that researchers look for in these products are natural polyphenol-rich aqueous fruit extract, polyphenol-enriched dietary fiber, natural fruit oil extracts, and oligosaccharides.

Impact of climate change on food security

Paz Otero values the reception of this award as "something very positive to give visibility in society to the impact of natural toxins" and, in general, to put the focus "on the research that is carried out in the area of toxinology", since from his point of view in view "there is a lack of knowledge about mycotoxins, biotoxins and how they reach seafood and crops and their impact on health". In this sense, Otero points out that climate change is expected to "affect the safety of food and feed, including the appearance of new emerging natural toxins", so this is precisely "a 'trending topic' in the area of nutrition and technology of food”.

Receiving this award means for the UVigo researcher a cash prize of 2000 Swiss francs as well as the publication of a work in the journal Toxins after peer review before the end of December 2023 and an electronic certificate.

Apigenin alleviates diabetic endothelial dysfunction through activating AMPK/PI3K/Akt/eNOS and Nrf2/HO-1 signaling pathways

 Food Frontiers, 4(1) 420-431 (2023)

Apigenin (4′,5,7-trihydroxyflavone) is a natural flavone reported to present anti-diabetic and anti-oxidative bioactivities. The effect of apigenin to mitigate endothelial dysfunction in diabetes remains to be investigated. In the present study, the vaso-protective effect of apigenin as well as its underlying action mechanisms was investigated using in vitro- and in vivo-based assays. Aortas were detached from C57BL/6J mice for ex vivo treatment, and primary rat aortic endothelial cells (RAECs) were cultured and further stimulated using high glucose (HG) with or without apigenin. In-vivo diabetic model was established by feeding male C57BL/6J mice with a high-fat diet (60% kcal% fat) for a total of 14 weeks, whereas the treatment group was orally administered apigenin (25 mg/kg/day) during the last 4 weeks. Exposure to HG (30 mM, 48 h) impaired acetylcholine-induced endothelium-dependent relaxation (EDR) in mouse aortas and induced oxidative stress with the downregulation of adenosine 5'-monophosphate (AMP)-activated protein kinase (AMPK)/phosphatidyl inositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (Akt)/endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2)/heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1) signaling pathways in aortas and RAECs. These impairments were reversed by apigenin treatments. However, the vaso-protective effects of apigenin were abolished by Compound C (AMPK inhibitor) and wortmannin (PI3K inhibitor). Chronic oral administration with apigenin ameliorated EDR and reduced oxidative stress in the aortas of high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obese and diabetic mice. In conclusion, this study revealed that apigenin improved endothelial function and suppressed oxidative stress in the vasculature in diabetes through the activation of AMPK/PI3K/Akt/eNOS and Nrf2/HO-1 pathways, suggesting its therapeutic potential as a natural dietary flavonoid against vascular diseases associated with diabetes.

Monday 6 March 2023

Single-Cell Transcriptomics Reveals the Difference of Aortic Atherosclerosis Response to Phytosterols and Oxidation Products of Sterols

 Mol. Nut. Food Res. 2023, 2200811

Phytosterols (PS) and sterol oxidation products are key dietary factors influencing atherosclerosis besides cholesterol, although the mechanisms remain elusive. Recently, single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) has revealed the heterogeneity of multiple cell types associated with complex pathogenesis in atherosclerosis development.

Methods and results
Here, we performed scRNA-seq to investigate the alterations in the aortic cells from ApoE−/− mice induced by diet-derived PS or two sterol oxidation products, phytosterols oxidation products (POPs) and cholesterol oxidation products (COPs). We identified four fibroblast subpopulations with different functions, and immunofluorescence demonstrated their spatial heterogeneity, providing evidence that suggested the transformation of smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and fibroblasts in atherosclerosis. The composition and gene expression profiles of aortic cells changed broadly in response to PS/COPs/POPs exposure. Notably, PS exhibited an atheroprotective effect where different gene expressions were mainly found in B cells. Exposure to COPs accelerated atherosclerosis and resulted in marked alternations in myofibroblast subpopulations and T cells, while POPs only altered fibroblast subpopulations and B cells.

Our data elucidates the effects of dietary PS/COPs/POPs on aortic cells during atherosclerosis development, especially on the newly identified fibroblast subpopulations.

Sunday 5 March 2023

Pressurized Liquid Extraction for the Recovery of Bioactive Compounds from Seaweeds for Food Industry Application: A Review

Antioxidants 2023, 12(3), 612

Seaweeds are an underutilized food in the Western world, but they are widely consumed in Asia, with China being the world’s larger producer. Seaweeds have gained attention in the food industry in recent years because of their composition, which includes polysaccharides, lipids, proteins, dietary fiber, and various bioactive compounds such as vitamins, essential minerals, phenolic compounds, and pigments. Extraction techniques, ranging from more traditional techniques such as maceration to novel technologies, are required to obtain these components. Pressurized liquid extraction (PLE) is a green technique that uses high temperatures and pressure applied in conjunction with a solvent to extract components from a solid matrix. To improve the efficiency of this technique, different parameters such as the solvent, temperature, pressure, extraction time and number of cycles should be carefully optimized. It is important to note that PLE conditions allow for the extraction of target analytes in a short-time period while using less solvent and maintaining a high yield. Moreover, the combination of PLE with other techniques has been already applied to extract compounds from different matrices, including seaweeds. In this way, the combination of PLE-SFE-CO2 seems to be the best option considering both the higher yields obtained and the economic feasibility of a scaling-up approximation. In addition, the food industry is interested in incorporating the compounds extracted from edible seaweeds into food packaging (including edible coating, bioplastics and bio-nanocomposites incorporated into bioplastics), food products and animal feed to improve their nutritional profile and technological properties. This review attempts to compile and analyze the current data available regarding the application of PLE in seaweeds to determine the use of this extraction technique as a method to obtain active compounds of interest for food industry application.

Saturday 4 March 2023

Current trends in natural products for the treatment and management of dementia: Computational to clinical studies

 Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 147, 105106 (2023)

The number of preclinical and clinical studies evaluating natural products-based management of dementia has gradually increased, with an exponential rise in 2020 and 2021. Keeping this in mind, we examined current trends from 2016 to 2021 in order to assess the growth potential of natural products in the treatment of dementia. Publicly available literature was collected from various databases like PubMed and Google Scholar. Oxidative stress-related targets, NF-κB pathway, anti-tau aggregation, anti-AChE, and A-β aggregation were found to be common targets and pathways. A retrospective analysis of 33 antidementia natural compounds identified 125 sustainable resources distributed among 65 families, 39 orders, and 7 classes. We found that families such as Berberidaceae, Zingiberaceae, and Fabaceae, as well as orders such as Lamiales, Sapindales, and Myrtales, appear to be important and should be researched further for antidementia compounds. Moreover, some natural products, such as quercetin, curcumin, icariside II, berberine, and resveratrol, have a wide range of applications. Clinical studies and patents support the importance of dietary supplements and natural products, which we will also discuss. Finally, we conclude with the broad scope, future challenges, and opportunities for field researchers.

Friday 3 March 2023

Current trends in natural products for the treatment and management of dementia: Computational to clinical studies

 Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev. 147, 105106 (2023)

The number of preclinical and clinical studies evaluating natural products-based management of dementia has gradually increased, with an exponential rise in 2020 and 2021. Keeping this in mind, we examined current trends from 2016 to 2021 in order to assess the growth potential of natural products in the treatment of dementia. Publicly available literature was collected from various databases like PubMed and Google Scholar. Oxidative stress-related targets, NF-κB pathway, anti-tau aggregation, anti-AChE, and A-β aggregation were found to be common targets and pathways. A retrospective analysis of 33 antidementia natural compounds identified 125 sustainable resources distributed among 65 families, 39 orders, and 7 classes. We found that families such as Berberidaceae, Zingiberaceae, and Fabaceae, as well as orders such as Lamiales, Sapindales, and Myrtales, appear to be important and should be researched further for antidementia compounds. Moreover, some natural products, such as quercetin, curcumin, icariside II, berberine, and resveratrol, have a wide range of applications. Clinical studies and patents support the importance of dietary supplements and natural products, which we will also discuss. Finally, we conclude with the broad scope, future challenges, and opportunities for field researchers.

Thursday 2 March 2023

Ice cream supplemented with roasted and grilled corn powders: Physical properties, rheology, antioxidant activity, color, sensory evaluation, and production cost

 Int. J. Gastron. Food Sci. 32, 100696 (2023)


The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of replacing milk fat with roasted and grilled corn powders on ice cream characteristics. The results revealed that the use of roasted and grilled corn powders (2, 4, and 6%) resulted in significant changes in the physical and rheological properties of ice cream mixtures. The different levels of corn powders caused an increase in the total phenolic compounds and antioxidant activity, while a diverse manner was observed with the progress in storage period. Furthermore, the melting resistance of ice cream treatments significantly increased coinciding with the increase in roasted or grilled corn powders addition levels. In addition, roasted corn powder based-ice cream treatments recorded higher sensory evaluation scores compared to other treatments. The production cost and profit of the produced ice cream were also evaluated, and treatments supplemented with corn powders exhibited lower production cost as compared to the control sample.

Wednesday 1 March 2023

Bioactive compounds, health benefits, and industrial applications of Tartary buckwheat (Fagopyrum tataricum)

 Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 63(5), 657-673 (2023)

Tartary buckwheat belongs to the family Polygonaceae, which is a traditionally edible and medicinal plant. Due to its various bioactive compounds, the consumption of Tartary buckwheat is correlated to a wide range of health benefits, and increasing attention has been paid to its potential as a functional food. This review summarizes the main bioactive compounds and important bioactivities and health benefits of Tartary buckwheat, emphasizing its protective effects on metabolic diseases and relevant molecular mechanisms. Tartary buckwheat contains a wide range of bioactive compounds, such as flavonoids, phenolic acids, triterpenoids, phenylpropanoid glycosides, bioactive polysaccharides, and bioactive proteins and peptides, as well as D-chiro-inositol and its derivatives. Consumption of Tartary buckwheat and Tartary buckwheat-enriched products is linked to multiple health benefits, e.g., antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antihyperlipidemic, anticancer, antidiabetic, antiobesity, antihypertensive, and hepatoprotective activities. Especially, clinical studies indicate that Tartary buckwheat exhibits remarkable antidiabetic activities. Various tartary buckwheat -based foods presenting major health benefits as fat and blood glucose-lowering agents have been commercialized. Additionally, to address the safety concerns, i.e., allergic reactions, heavy metal and mycotoxin contaminations, the quality control standards for Tartary buckwheat and its products should be drafted and completed in the future.

Tuesday 28 February 2023

Chinese yam (Dioscorea): Nutritional value, beneficial effects, and food and pharmaceutical applications

Trends Food Sci. Technol. 134, 29-40 (2023)

Currently, balanced diet and healthy foods are attracting increasing attention due to their great health-beneficial effects. The tuber of Dioscorea (yam) is both edible and medicinal, as it contains various functional compounds with multiple pharmacological activities and disease targets. Moreover, yam tuber can serve as a vegetable or staple food due to its high starch content. Therefore, exploring the functional activities of yam tuber and its application in food and medicine industries is significant.

Scope and approach
This review comprehensively summarizes the characteristics and application of yam tuber, as well as the findings about its primary nutrients, distinct functional components, extraction technologies, detection methods and biological activities, and provides some new prospects for further investigation. Besides, the development and comprehensive utilization of yam tuber products are elucidated. Finally, some future research directions for better utilization of yam tubers are suggested.

Key findings and conclusions
The Dioscorea genus is distributed worldwide with a wide variety of species. Yam tuber is rich in nutrients and bioactive compounds, such as starch, protein, non-starch polysaccharides, steroid saponin, allantoin, and phenolic compounds. The most important health benefits include antioxidant activity, anti-inflammatory activity, gastrointestinal protection, gut microbiota regulation, cardiac diseases treatment, hypoglycemic activity, anti-tumor activity, and estrogen-like effect. We also summarize the applications of yam tuber in foods and medicine. Finally, the review indicates that better utilization of yam tuber is hindered by poor variety protection, limited research on its pharmacological activities, browning phenomenon, and some safety concerns.

Monday 27 February 2023

Green preparation of bract extract (Musa acuminate) doped magnesium oxide nanoparticles and their bioefficacy

App. Org. Chem. 37 (5), e7063 (2023)

Magnesium oxide nanoparticles (MgONPs) synthesized by efficient green approach have unique physiochemical properties. In this study, MgONPs are synthesized with bract extract of Musa acuminate, an agro waste. The surface plasmon resonance at 450 nm in UV spectrum and FTIR peaks at 601 and 890 cm−1 confirmed the presence of MgONPs. XRD pattern revealed high crystallinity of the nanoparticles with an intense orientation peak at 111, and the size was 13 nm. The particles were spherical with an average size of 24.85 nm. The elemental percentage of magnesium and oxygen were 68.55% and 31.45%. MgONPs had antibacterial activity against Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Vibrio harveyi, Vibrio parahemolyticus, and Staphylococcus aureus with MIC, 6 μg/mL. The IC50 value for MCF-7 cell was 113.56 μg/mL, and the normal cell line was 785.69 μg/mL. The NPs also exhibited hemolytic features in a dose-dependent manner. The MgONPs exhibited photocatalytic degradation of methyl violet, CBB G-250, and malachite green in 60 min duration. MgONPs had promising antibacterial, cytotoxic, hemolytic, photocatalytic, and seed germination activity. They have the potential to serve as an additive in a variety of biological applications.

Sunday 26 February 2023

Bioactive Compounds of Verbascum sinuatum L.: Health Benefits and Potential as New Ingredients for Industrial Applications

Biomolecules 2023, 13(3), 427

Verbascum sinuatum (V. sinuatum) is a plant belonging to the Scrophulariaceae family that has been used as an ingredient in traditional medicine infusions for the treatment of many diseases. The aerial part of this plant is a source of bioactive compounds, especially polyphenols and iridoids. Moreover, antioxidant activity studies have shown that V. sinuatum phenolic and flavonoid composition is higher than those in other plants of the same genus. V. sinuatum bioactive compound composition could vary according to the harvesting location, growing conditions of the plants, sample preparation methods, type and concentration of the extraction solvent, and the extraction methods. The obtention of these compounds can be achieved by different extraction techniques, most commonly, maceration, heat assisted extraction, and infusion. Nevertheless, since conventional extraction techniques have several drawbacks such as long times of extraction or use of large amounts of solvents, the use of green extraction techniques is suggested, without affecting the efficiency of the extraction. Moreover, V. sinuatum bioactive compounds have several biological activities, such as antioxidant, anticancer, cardiovascular, antimicrobial, antidiabetic, and neuroprotective activities, that may be increased by encapsulation. Since the bioactive compounds extracted from V. sinuatum present good potential as functional food ingredients and in the development of drugs or cosmetics, this review gives an approach of the possible incorporation of these compounds in the food and pharmacological industries.

Saturday 25 February 2023

A visual bi-layer sensor based on Agar/TiO2/butterfly bean flower anthocyanin/κ-carrageenan with photostability for monitoring Penaeus chinensis freshness

 Int. J. Biol. Macromol. 235, 123706 (2023)

Visual indicator bi-layer films were manufactured incorporating κ-carrageenan, butterfly pea flower anthocyanin, varying Nano‑titanium dioxide (TiO2) content and agar for Penaeus chinensis (Chinese white shrimp) freshness detection. The κ-carrageenan-anthocyanin (CA) layer served as indicator, while the TiO2-agar (TA) layer functioned as the protective layer to improve the photostability of film. The bi-layer structure was characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The TA2-CA film had the best tensile strength with a value of 17.8 MPa and the lowest water vapor permeability (WVP) value of bi-layer films was 2.98 × 10−7 g.m−1.h−−1. The bi-layer film protected anthocyanin against exudation when immersed in aqueous solution of varying pH. The TiO2 particles filled the pores of the protective layer, increasing the opacity from 1.61 up to 4.49 significantly improving the photostability with a consequent slight color change under illumination of UV/visible light. Under UV irradiation, the TA2-CA film had no significant color change with a ΔE value of 4.23. Finally, the TA2-CA films showed an obvious color change from blue to yellow green in the early stages of Penaeus chinensis putrefaction (≤48 h) then the color change and Penaeus chinensis freshness were well correlated (R2 = 0.8739).

Wednesday 22 February 2023

Plant Alkaloids: Production, Extraction, and Potential Therapeutic Properties

 Natural Secondary Metabolites. Springer, Cham. (2023)

Alkaloids are a type of secondary metabolites that can be found in different parts of plants. This group of compounds is diverse and can be divided into nine subgroups: pyridine, tropane, isoquinoline, phenanthrene, phenylethylamine, indole, purine, imidazole, and terpenoids. Most of these compounds are recognized for their anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral activities, among others. Although more than 27,000 alkaloids have been described up to date, the search for novel compounds with promising therapeutic properties is a hot topic among researchers worldwide. In this line, the production of the currently marketed plant alkaloids including extraction methods, isolation, and purification is reviewed in this chapter. In addition, a deep description of different groups of alkaloids in terms of their chemical structure, plant source, and uses is also presented. Recent advances in the therapeutic potential and biological activities of this vast group of phytochemicals are also included.