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Natural Miracles:
What Functional Foods Can Do for You?

(Released October 2007)

 
  by Leila Kiani  

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  1. Antioxidant activity and free radical-scavenging capacity of extracts from guava (Psidium guajava L.) leaves

    H. Y. Chen and G. C. Yen.

    Food Chemistry, Vol. 101, No. 2, 2007, pp. 686-694.

    The objectives of this study were to study the antioxidant activity and free radical-scavenging effects of extracts from guava leaves and dried fruit. The results indicated that 94.4-96.2% of linoleic acid oxidation was inhibited by the addition of guava leaf and guava tea extracts at a concentration of 100 ?g/ml. The guava dried fruit extracts exhibited weaker antioxidant effects than did the leaf extracts. The results also demonstrated that the scavenging effects of guava leaf extracts on ABTS+ radicals and superoxide anion increased with increasing concentrations. The guava leaf extracts displayed a significant scavenging ability on the peroxyl radicals. However, the scavenging effects were decreased when the extract concentration was greater than 10 ?g/ml. The extracts from leaves of various guava cultivars exhibited more scavenging effects on free radicals than did commercial guava tea extracts and dried fruit extracts. The chromatogram data indicated that guava extracts contained phenolic acids, such as ferulic acid, which appeared to be responsible for their antioxidant activity. Correlation analysis indicated that there was a linear relationship between antioxidant potency, free radical-scavenging ability and the content of phenolic compounds of guava leaf extracts.

  2. Antioxidant assessment of an anthocyanin-enriched blackberry extract

    I. Elisia, C. Hu, D. G. Popovich and D. D. Kitts.

    Food Chemistry, Vol. 101, No. 3, 2007, pp. 1052-1058.

    Gel filtration of black berry (Rubus fruticosus sp) ethanolic extracts was employed to obtain an anthocyanin-enriched extract. The anthocyanin profile identified cyanidin-3-glucoside as the primary (e.g., 90% of total) anthocyanin present in blackberry. Gel filtration of crude extracts resulted in a 20-fold increase in total anthocyanin content, with no change in the proportion of cyanidin-3-glucoside. Antioxidant activities of both the crude and anthocyanin-enriched blackberry extracts were determined using cell-free (ORAC) and cell-based (INT-407 intracellular) antioxidant assays. Antioxidant activity, assessed by the ORAC assay, indicated a 7-fold increase in activity for the anthocyanin-enriched fraction. Similar results were obtained for the anthocyanin-enriched extract using the intracellular antioxidant assay with INT-407 cells. Our results indicate that the anthocyanin content, and more specifically the presence of cyanidin-3-glucoside, in blackberry, contributes a major part of the antioxidant ability to suppress both peroxyl radical-induced chemical and intracellular oxidation.

  3. Cranberry and Its Phytochemicals: A Review of In Vitro Anticancer Studies

    Catherine C. Neto.

    Journal of nutrition, Vol. 137, No. 1S, Jan 2007, pp. 186S-193S.

    This article reviews the existing research on the anticancer properties of cranberry fruit and key phytochemicals that are likely contributors to chemoprevention. Results from in vitro studies using a variety of tumor models show that polyphenolic extracts from Vaccinium macrocarpon inhibit the growth and proliferation of breast, colon, prostate, lung, and other tumors, as do flavonols, proanthocyanidin oligomers, and triterpenoids isolated from the fruit. The unique combination of phytochemicals found in cranberry fruit may produce synergistic health benefits. Possible chemopreventive mechanisms of action by cranberry phytochemicals include induction of apoptosis in tumor cells, reduced ornithine decarboxylase activity, decreased expression of matrix metalloproteinases associated with prostate tumor metastasis, and antiinflammatory activities including inhibition of cyclooxygenases. These findings suggest a potential role for cranberry as a dietary chemopreventive and provide direction for future research.

  4. Determination of flavonoids in a Citrus fruit extract by LC-DAD and LC-MS

    M. de L. Mata Bilbao, C. Andres-Lacueva, O. Jauregui and R. M. Lamuela-Raventos.

    Food Chemistry, Vol. 101, No. 4, 2007, pp. 1742-1747.

    Flavonoids are a group of polyphenolic compounds with health-related properties. Citrus fruits are rich in flavonoids and their extracts are being used as functional ingredients for several industrial products. A new high performance liquid chromatography technique with an UV photodiode-array detector was used to analyze flavonoids of an extract of Citrus species. To our knowledge this is the first study that reports isoquercitrin presence at a level of 77.3 mg/100 g in a sample made of Citrus fruits; four other flavonoids were quantified as rutin (326.59 mg/100 g), naringin (338.36 mg/100 g), quercetin (96.35 mg/100 g) and naringenin (2.35 mg/100 g). Identification was confirmed by a liquid chromatography mass spectrometer system. Method validation was achieved, providing an analytical technique that can be used to detect trace amounts of these compounds in Citrus extracts with an extremely rapid sample preparation.

  5. Development of sea buckthorn mixed fruit jelly

    Meenakshisundaram Selvamuthukumaran, Farhath Khanum and Amarinda Singh Bawa.

    International Journal of Food Science & Technology, Vol. 42, No. 4, Apr 2007, pp. 403-410.

    Sea buckthorn mixed fruit jelly was prepared by blending sea buckthorn juice with papaya, watermelon or grapes in varying proportions maintaining a constant level of total soluble solids (TSS) and acidity in the final product. Among the above blends, the sea buckthorn-grape jelly exhibited good organoleptic characteristics with high sensory score. The shelf stability of the jelly samples was evaluated at ambient temperature as well as at 37 °C for a period of 6 months. The physicochemical properties of the sea buckthorn-grape jelly, such as TSS, reducing sugar, acidity and browning significantly increased during storage at 37 °C temperature conditions. Total sugars, vitamin C, vitamin E, total phenols, total carotenoids and total anthocyanins decreased significantly during storage at 37 °C. The sea buckthorn-grape jelly remained acceptable up to 6 months of storage under ambient temperature conditions when stored in PET bottles. The microbial load of stored jelly under above conditions was found to be within the acceptable limits.

  6. Effect of nutritional and environmental conditions on the production of exo- polysaccharide of Agaricus brasiliensis by submerged fermentation and its antitumor activity

    Leifa Fan, Andrea Thomaz Soccol, Ashok Pandey and Carlos Ricardo Soccol.

    Food Science and Technology/Lebensmittel-Wissenschaft und Technologie, Vol. 40, No. 1, Jan 2007, pp. 30-35.

    Mushrooms have become attractive as a functional food and as a source for the development of drugs and nutraceuticals. A. brasiliensis is considered as the best among them. There are several published works on the fruiting bodies of this mushroom, showing high antitumor activity. The mycelium polysaccharide and exo-polysaccharide (EPS) of this mushroom also demonstrated a strong antitumor action. However, there is little information available in the literature about the optimization of physical and chemical conditions for production of EPS by submerged fermentation (SmF). After initial screening from the five strains available in the LPB Culture Collection, A. brasiliensis LPB 03 was selected for EPS production in SmF. Studies on supplementation of a carbon source to the medium revealed that sucrose was most effective for EPS production. Yeast extract was the best for EPS among the inorganic and organic nitrogen sources tested. The factorial experiment demonstrated that a temperature of 30 degree C and a pH of 6.1 were the best for the EPS production. Glucose 10 g/l, yeast extract 3 g/l, K sub(2)HPO sub(4) 0.6 g/l and MgSO sub(4) 0.3 g/l were most suitable for the EPS production. Maximum EPS production was obtained in the static condition with manual agitation two times per day after a 1-week culture (382 mg/l), increasing by 78.62% more than that before optimization. In the bioreactor with aeration and agitation, the maximum EPS was produced at 321.2 mg/l. The EPS of A. brasiliensis produced in SmF showed strong inhibition against Sarcoma 180 in mice, reaching 72.19% inhibition compared with the control group. Furthermore, 50% of mice in the test group demonstrated total tumor regression.

  7. The effects of concentrated barley beta-glucan on blood lipids in a population of hypercholesterolaemic men and women

    Joseph M. Keenan, Melanie Goulson, Tatyana Shamliyan, Nathan Knutson, Lore Kolberg and Leslie Curry.

    The British journal of nutrition, Vol. 97, No. 6, Jun 2007, pp. 1162-1168.

    Barley, like oats, is a rich source of the soluble fibre beta-glucan, which has been shown to significantly lower LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C). However, barley foods have been less widely studied. Therefore, we evaluated the LDL-C-lowering effect of a concentrated barley beta-glucan (BBG) extract as a vehicle to deliver this potential health benefit of barley. In a 10-week blinded controlled study, subjects were randomized to one of four treatment groups or control. Treatment groups included either high molecular weight (HMW) or low molecular weight (LMW) BBG at both 3 and 5 g doses. Treatment was delivered twice per day with meals in the form of two functional food products: a ready-to-eat cereal and a reduced-calorie fruit juice beverage. Levels of total cholesterol, LDL-C, HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C), and TAG were determined at baseline and after 6 weeks of treatment. The study group comprised 155 subjects. All treatments were well tolerated and after 6 weeks of treatment the mean LDL-C levels fell by 15 % in the 5 g HMW group, 13 % in the 5 g LMW group and 9 % in both the 3 g/d groups, versus baseline. Similar results were observed for total cholesterol. HDL-C levels were unchanged by treatment. Concentrated BBG significantly improves LDL-C and total cholesterol among moderately dyslipidaemic subjects. Food products containing concentrated BBG should be considered an effective option for improving blood lipids.

  8. Effects of different drying treatments on the stability of carotenoids in Taiwanese mango (Mangifera indica L.)

    J. P. Chen, C. Y. Tai and B. H. Chen.

    Food Chemistry, Vol. 100, No. 3, 2007, pp. 1005-1010.

    The stability of carotenoids in Taiwanese mango as affected by different drying treatments was studied. Mangoes were soaked in 1% sodium hydrogen sulfite solution or 1% ascorbic acid solution, prior to hot-air drying and freeze-drying. Results showed that in most cases, the highest yield of the epoxy-containing carotenoids was achieved by freeze-drying plus soaking in 1% sodium hydrogen sulfite solution. However, freeze-drying plus soaking in 1% ascorbic acid solution resulted in the highest retention of all-trans-?-carotene and its cis isomers, all-trans-zeaxanthin and its cis isomers, as well as cis-lutein. Nevertheless, for hot-air drying, with or without soaking, a mango product of deep orange colour was produced. On freeze-drying, mango could generate yellow colour, while a lighter color was observed when soaked in antioxidants.

  9. Evaluation of antioxidant property and quality of breads containing Auricularia auricula polysaccharide flour

    L. Fan, S. Zhang, L. Yu and L. Ma.

    Food Chemistry, Vol. 101, No. 3, 2007, pp. 1158-1163.

    The polysaccharide in the fruit bodies of Auricularia auricula (commonly called black woody ear or tree ear) was extracted, lyophilized and ground. Auricularia auricula polysaccharide (AAP) flour blended bread was developed. Physical qualities and antioxidant activities of breads with different levels of substitution of AAP flour for wheat flour were analyzed.The results showed that up to 9% of AAP flour could be included in bread formulation without altering the sensory acceptance of the blended bread. The incorporation of AAP in bread markedly increased the antioxidant property of the bread as tested by DPPH free radical-scavenging method. Breads containing AAP flour can broaden the utilization of the fruit bodies of Auricularia auricula and may be regarded as possible health-promoting functional foods.

  10. Fruit and vegetable consumption, intake of micronutrients, and benign prostatic hyperplasia in US men

    Sabine Rohrmann, Edward Giovannucci, Walter C. Willett and Elizabeth A. Platz.

    American journal of clinical nutrition, Vol. 85, No. 2, Feb 2007, pp. 523-529.

    BACKGROUND:Nutrients with antioxidant properties or that influence cell growth and differentiation might reduce the risk of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). OBJECTIVE:The objective was to evaluate the association of fruit, vegetable, and micronutrient intakes with BPH. DESIGN:The participants were members of the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study and were aged 46-81 y in 1992. In 1992 and biennially thereafter, the men reported having surgery for an enlarged prostate, and in 1992 and on 3 subsequent questionnaires they completed the American Urological Association symptom index (AUASI). BPH cases were men who reported having surgery or who had an AUASI score of 15-35 (n = 6092). Control subjects were men who had not had surgery and never had an AUASI score >7 (n = 18 373). Men with a score of 8-14 were excluded (n = 7800). Intakes of fruit, vegetables, and antioxidants were assessed with a food-frequency questionnaire in 1986. We calculated odds ratios (ORs) of BPH and 95% CIs using logistic regression. RESULTS:Vegetable consumption was inversely associated with BPH (fifth compared with first quintile--OR: 0.89; 95% CI: 0.80, 0.99; P for trend = 0.03), whereas fruit intake was not. Consumption of fruit and vegetables rich in ?-carotene (P for trend = 0.004), lutein (P for trend = 0.0004), or vitamin C (P for trend = 0.05) was inversely related to BPH. With increasing vitamin C intake from foods, men were less likely to have BPH (P for trend = 0.0009). Neither ?- nor ?-tocopherol intake from foods was associated with BPH (P for trend = 0.05 and 0.84, respectively). CONCLUSION:Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that a diet rich in vegetables may reduce the occurrence of BPH.

  11. Functional food oil coloured by pigments extracted from microalgae with supercritical CO2

    L. Gouveia, B. P. Nobre, F. M. Marcelo, et al.

    Food Chemistry, Vol. 101, No. 2, 2007, pp. 717-723.

    A functional food oil, rich in fatty acids and antioxidants, coloured with pigments (carotenoids) extracted with supercritical CO2 from the microalga Chlorella vulgaris, was produced, having in view its use in food industry (namely for derived seafood). The supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) was carried out in order to study the effect of several modifiers (oil mixed with the microalga and ethanol with the supercritical CO2), the degree of crushing of the microalga and the supercritical fluid flow rate, at a pressure of 300 bar and temperature of 40 °C. Moreover, the microalga pigments were also extracted with acetone and with vegetable oil at room and high temperature. The recovery of carotenoids was 100% with oil at room temperature for 17 h, 70% with oil at 100 °C for 30 min, 69% with supercritical CO2 at 40 °C and 300 bar. In SFE the degree of crushing strongly influenced the extraction recovery and higher pigment recoveries were obtained with well crushed biomass. The stability of soybean oil containing the extracted pigments was also evaluated (light protected) over six weeks, in terms of total carotenoid content and peroxide value. Carotenoids exhibited good preservation over the time, practically without loss. Peroxide values were stable for all extraction systems, showing only a slight increase over time.

  12. Functionality of fruit powders in extruded corn breakfast cereals

    M. E. Camire, M. P. Dougherty and J. L. Briggs.

    Food Chemistry, Vol. 101, No. 2, 2007, pp. 765-770.

    Consumer interest in naturally colored foods such as breakfast cereals is growing. Degermed white cornmeal, sucrose, citric acid and dehydrated fruit powder (blueberry, cranberry, Concord grape and raspberry) were mixed in 84.3%:14.3%:0.4%:1.0% proportions, then extruded in a laboratory-scale twin-screw extruder. Feed rate was 255 g/min; water was pumped at a rate of 12.5 g/min; screw speed was 175 rpm. Cooking temperature during extrusion was generally <130 °C. Samples were cut into small spheres and dried to 5% moisture. Cereals were stored at room temperature in opaque bags. The control samples were lighter and less red than the fruit cereals. Soluble phenolics and anthocyanins were higher in the fruit cereals. At three and six weeks of storage, fruit cereals had smaller levels of hexanal, as measured by gas chromatography of headspace of ground cereals. Although anthocyanins from fruit powders survive extrusion and retain some antioxidant activity, the levels used in this study may have been too low. Higher levels of fruit will increase production costs, but the expense may be offset by the more attractive and functional cereals that result.

  13. HPLC quantification of major active components from 11 different saffron (Crocus sativus L.) sources

    H. Caballero-Ortega, R. Pereda-Miranda and F. I. Abdullaev.

    Food Chemistry, Vol. 100, No. 3, 2007, pp. 1126-1131.

    Eleven certified saffron samples (Crocus sativus L.), one each from Azerbaijan, China, Greece, France, India, Iran, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, Turkey and the Sigma Chemical Company, were analyzed by using an HPLC photodiode array detection method. This analysis quantified the 10 major saffron compounds in each sample and their concentration was analyzed at three different wavelengths. Results indicated that the Greek, Indian, New Zealand, and Spanish saffron extracts possessed the highest concentrations of water-soluble glycosidic carotenoids (>or=8.0%) suggesting that they could be a good source of this type of metabolites for further biological evaluation.

  14. In vitro binding of bile acids by blueberries (Vaccinium spp.), plums (Prunus spp.), prunes (Prunus spp.), strawberries (Fragaria X ananassa), cherries (Malpighia punicifolia), cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon) and apples (Malus sylvestris)

    T. S. Kahlon and G. E. Smith.

    Food Chemistry, Vol. 100, No. 3, 2007, pp. 1182-1187.

    The in vitro binding of bile acids by blueberries (Vaccinium spp.), plums (Prunus spp.), prunes (Prunus spp.), strawberries (Fragaria X ananassa), cherries (Malpighia punicifolia) cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon) and apples (Malus sylvestris) was determined using a mixture of bile acids secreted in human bile at a duodenal physiological pH of 6.3. Six treatments and two blank incubations were conducted to testing various fresh raw fruits on an equal dry matter basis. Considering cholestyramine (bile acid binding, cholesterol lowering drug) as 100% bound, the relative in vitro bile acid binding on dry matter (DM), total dietary fiber (TDF) and total polysaccharides (PCH) basis was for blueberries 7%, 47% and 25%; plums 6%, 53% and 50%; prunes 5%, 50% and 14%; strawberries 5%, 23% and 15%; cherries 5%, 37% and 5%; cranberries 4%, 12% and 7%; and apple 1%, 7% and 5%, respectively. Bile acid binding on DM basis for blueberries was significantly (P plums = prunes = strawberries = cherries = cranberries > apples as indicated by their bile acid binding on DM basis. The variability in bile acid binding between the fruits tested maybe related to their phytonutrients (antioxidants, polyphenols, hydroxycinnamic acids, flavonoids, anthocyanins, flavonols, proanthocyanidins, catechins), structure, hydrophobicity of undigested fractions, anionic or cationic nature of the metabolites produced during digestion or their interaction with active binding sites. Inclusion of blueberries, plums, prunes, strawberries, cherries and cranberries in our daily diet as health promoting fruits should be encouraged. Animal studies are planned to validate in vitro bile acid binding of fruits observed herein to their potential of atherosclerosis amelioration (lipid and lipoprotein lowering) and cancer prevention (excretion of toxic metabolites).

  15. In vitro binding of bile acids by spinach, kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, mustard greens, green bell pepper, cabbage and collards

    T. S. Kahlon, M. H. Chapman and G. E. Smith.

    Food Chemistry, Vol. 100, No. 4, 2007, pp. 1531-1536.

    The in vitro binding of bile acids by spinach (Spinacia oleracea), kale (Brassica oleracea acephala), Brussels sprouts (Brassica oleracea gemmifera), broccoli (Brassica oleracea italica), mustard greens (Brassica juncea), green bell peppers (Capsicum annuum), cabbage (Brassica oleracea capitala) and collards (Brassica oleracea acephala) was determined using a mixture of bile acids secreted in human bile at a duodenal physiological pH of 6.3. Six treatments and two blank incubations were conducted testing various fresh raw green vegetables on an equal dry matter basis. Considering cholestyramine (bile acid binding, cholesterol lowering drug) as 100% bound, the relative in vitro bile acid binding of various vegetables tested on equal dry matter and total dietary fibre basis was 2-9% and 6-32%, respectively. Bile acid binding for spinach, kale and brussels sprouts was significantly higher than for broccoli and mustard greens. For broccoli and mustard greens binding values were significantly higher those for cabbage, bell pepper and collards. These results point to the health promoting potential of spinach = kale = brussels sprouts > broccoli = mustard greens > cabbage = green bell peppers = collards, as indicated by their bile acid binding on dry matter basis.

  16. Phytosterols: Applications and recovery methods

    P. Fernandes and J. M. S. Cabral.

    Bioresource technology, Vol. 98, No. 12, 2007, pp. 2335-2350.

    Phytosterols, or plant sterols, are compounds that occur naturally and bear close structural resemblance to cholesterol, but have different side-chain configurations. Phytosterols are relevant in pharmaceuticals (production of therapeutic steroids), nutrition (anti-cholesterol additives in functional foods, anti-cancer properties), and cosmetics (creams, lipstick). Phytosterols can be obtained from vegetable oils or from industrial wastes, which gives an added value to the latter. Considerable efforts have been recently dedicated to the development of efficient processes for phytosterol isolation from natural sources. The present work aims to summarize information on the applications of phytosterols and to review recent approaches, mainly from the industry, for the large-scale recovery of phytosterols. (copyright) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Polyphenol content and antioxidative activity in some species of freshly consumed salads

    Daniela Heimler, Laura Isolani, Pamela Vignolini, Sara Tombelli and Annalisa Romani.

    Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Vol. 55, No. 5, Mar 7 2007, pp. 1724-1729.

    Ten genotypes belonging to Lactuca sativa, Cicorium intybus, Plantago coronopus, Eruca sativa, and Diplotaxis tenuifolia and used in fresh mixed salads were investigated for their polyphenol contents. Flavonoids and hydroxycinnamic acids were characterized by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)/diode array detection/mass spectrometry. Quercetin, kaempferol, luteolin, apigenin, and crysoeriol derivatives were identified; hydroxycinnamic acids were all caffeoyl derivatives. The total polyphenol content was obtained through the Folin-Ciocalteu test and from the HPLC data. The amounts ranged between 0.9 and 4.7 mg/g fresh weight. The antiradical activity was determined by the reaction with the stable DPPH* radical. The Fe2+ chelating activity was determined with a spectrophotometric test. From the complex of data, a quite complete picture of the characteristics of the vegetables emerges. A cultivated C. intybus cultivar exhibited the highest polyphenol content, while a wild C. intybus genotype exhibited the highest antiradical activity. In every case, the characteristics of the different salads as functional foods have been pointed out.

  18. Production of L-lactic acid and oligomeric compounds from apple pomace by simultaneous saccharification and fermentation: a response surface methodology assessment

    Beatriz Gullón, Gil Garrote, José Luis Alonso and J. C. Parajó.

    Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, Vol. 55, No. 14, Jul 11 2007, pp. 5580-5587.

    The potential of apple pomace for lactic acid production by simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) was evaluated. The effects of the cellulase to solid ratio (CSR), the liquor to solid ratio (LSR), and the beta-glucosidase to cellulase ratio (BCR) on the kinetics of lactic acid generation were assessed, and a set of mathematical models was developed to reproduce and predict the lactic acid concentration of fermentation broths. Operating at low cellulase and cellobiase charges (1 FPU/g and 0.25 IU/FPU, respectively) and short reaction times (10 h), SSF media containing 27.8 g of lactic acid/L were obtained with a volumetric productivity of 2.78 g/Lh. Material balances showed that the SSF processing of 100 kg of dry apple pomace results in the production of 36.6 kg of lactic acid, 18.3 kg of oligomeric carbohydrates (which can be used as ingredients for functional foods), 8.4 kg of microbial biomass, and 8 kg uronic acids.

  19. Studies on the extracting technical conditions of inulin from Jerusalem artichoke tubers

    L. Wei, J. Wang, X. Zheng, et al.

    Journal of Food Engineering, Vol. 79, No. 3, Apr 2007, pp. 1087-1093.

    Inulin is widely used in functional foods throughout the world for its health-promoting and technological properties. Jerusalem artichoke is cultivated widely in the northern part of China for environment protection. Jerusalem artichoke tubers with 14-19% inulin can be a valuable source of inulin. To optimize conventional extraction of inulin, various combinations of pH, time, temperature, and solvent:solid ratio were used. Experiment design employed fractional factorial design (FFD), path of steepest ascent, central composite design (CCD) and response surface methodology (RSM). The empirical model developed by RSM was adequate to describe the relationships between the studied factors and the response of inulin extraction yield. Based on canonical analysis, the optimal conditions for maximizing inulin extraction yield (83.6%) were at natural pH for 20 min at 76.65 °C and solvent:solid ratios of 10.56:1 (v/w). Moreover, comparison of conventional extraction, direct sonication extraction, indirect sonication extraction showed the indirect sonication extraction is a suitable method for inulin extraction.

  20. Vitamin C, vitamin A, phenolic compounds and total antioxidant capacity of new fruit juice and skim milk mixture beverages marketed in Spain

    A. Zulueta, M. J. Esteve, I. Frasquet and A. Frigola.

    Food Chemistry, Vol. 103, No. 4, 2007, pp. 1365-1374.

    The growing interest in new functional foods with special characteristics and health properties has led to the development of new beverages based on fruit juice-skim milk mixtures. The proliferation of ready-to-drink beverages has caused the market to focus its interest on these products. Commercial conventionally pasteurized or sterilized beverages based on a mixture of fruit juice and skim milk were evaluated nutritionally for their concentrations of vitamin C, vitamin A and phenolic compounds and their total antioxidant capacity, taking the influence of physicochemical parameters into account. The main contribution to the total antioxidant capacity (TEAC, trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity) was provided by vitamin C, followed by phenolic compounds, in accordance with a mathematical equation obtained from the data: TEAC = -0.184 + 0.009 * [vitamin A] + 0.011 * [phenolic compounds] + 0.058 * [vitamin C]. The R-squared value was 86.88%. Citrus fruits, such as lemons or oranges, were the fruits associated with the greatest antioxidant capacity in the samples analysed.

  21. Watercress supplementation in diet reduces lymphocyte DNA damage and alters blood antioxidant status in healthy adults

    Chris I. R. Gill, Sumanto Haldar, Lindsay A. Boyd, et al.

    American journal of clinical nutrition, Vol. 85, No. 2, Feb 2007, pp. 504-510.

    BACKGROUND: Cruciferous vegetable (CV) consumption is associated with a reduced risk of several cancers in epidemiologic studies. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine the effects of watercress (a CV) supplementation on biomarkers related to cancer risk in healthy adults. DESIGN: A single-blind, randomized, crossover study was conducted in 30 men and 30 women (30 smokers and 30 nonsmokers) with a mean age of 33 y (range: 19-55 y). The subjects were fed 85 g raw watercress daily for 8 wk in addition to their habitual diet. The effect of supplementation was measured on a range of endpoints, including DNA damage in lymphocytes (with the comet assay), activity of detoxifying enzymes (glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase) in erythrocytes, plasma antioxidants (retinol, ascorbic acid, ?-tocopherol, lutein, and ?-carotene), plasma total antioxidant status with the use of the ferric reducing ability of plasma assay, and plasma lipid profile. RESULTS: Watercress supplementation (active compared with control phase) was associated with reductions in basal DNA damage (by 17%; P = 0.03), in basal plus oxidative purine DNA damage (by 23.9%; P = 0.002), and in basal DNA damage in response to ex vivo hydrogen peroxide challenge (by 9.4%; P = 0.07). Beneficial changes seen after watercress intervention were greater and more significant in smokers than in nonsmokers. Plasma lutein and ?-carotene increased significantly by 100% and 33% (P < 0.001), respectively, after watercress supplementation. CONCLUSION: The results support the theory that consumption of watercress can be linked to a reduced risk of cancer via decreased damage to DNA and possible modulation of antioxidant status by increasing carotenoid concentrations.

  22. Importance of functional foods in the Mediterranean diet

    R. M. Ortega.

    Public health nutrition, Vol. 9, No. 8A, Dec 2006, pp. 1136-1140.

    OBJECTIVE: Analyse the importance of components of Mediterranean diet in functional feeding. DESIGN: We have based the study in a bibliographic review. RESULTS: Many of the characteristic components of the traditional Mediterranean diet (MD) are known to have positive effects on health, capacity and well-being, and can be used to design functional foods. Vegetables, fruits and nuts are all rich in phenols, flavonoids, isoflavonoids, phytosterols and phytic acid--essential bioactive compounds providing health benefits. The polyunsaturated fatty acids found in fish effectively regulate haemostatic factors, protect against cardiac arrhythmias, cancer and hypertension, and play a vital role in the maintenance of neural functions and the prevention of certain psychiatric disorders. Accumulating evidence suggests that olive oil, an integral component of the MD, may have health benefits, including the reduction of the risk of coronary heart disease, the prevention of several types of cancer and the modification of the immune and inflammatory responses. Olive oil is known for its high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids and is a good source of phytochemicals, such as polyphenolic compounds, squalene and alpha-tocopherol. In the context of the MD, the benefits associated with the consumption of several functional components may be intensified by certain forms of food preparation. In addition, the practice of more physical activity (once common among Mediterranean populations) and the following of other healthy lifestyle habits may have additive effects. CONCLUSIONS: The identification of the active constituents of the MD is crucial in the formulation of appropriate dietary guidelines. Research into the pharmacological properties of the minor components of this diet (vitamins, sterols, polyphenols, etc.) is very active and could lead to the formulation of functional foods and nutraceuticals.

  23. Sources of antioxidant activity in Australian native fruits. Identification and quantification of anthocyanins

    Michael Netzel, Gabriele Netzel, Qingguo Tian, Steven Schwartz and Izabela Konczak.

    Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Vol. 54, No. 26, Dec 27 2006, pp. 9820-9826.

    Selected native Australian fruits, muntries (Kunzea pomifera F. Muell., Myrtaceae), Tasmanian pepper berry (Tasmanian lanceolata R. Br., Winteraceae), Illawarra plum (Podocarpus elatus R. Br. ex Endl., Podocarpaceae), Burdekin plum (Pleiogynium timorense DC. Leenh, Anacardiaceae), Cedar Bay cherry (Eugenia carissoides F. Muell., Myrtaceae), Davidson's plum (Davidsonia pruriens F. Muell. var. pruriens, Davidsoniaceae), and Molucca raspberry (Rubus moluccanus var. austropacificus van Royen, Rosaceae), were evaluated as sources of antioxidants by 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl and ferric reducing antioxidant power assays and compared with blueberry (Vaccinum spp. cv. Biloxi). The total reducing capacity of five fruits was 3.5-5.4-fold higher than that of blueberry, and the radical scavenging activities of muntries and Burdekin plum were 1.5- and 2.6-fold higher, respectively. The total phenolic level by Folin-Ciocalteu assay highly correlated with the antioxidant activity. Therefore, systematic research was undertaken to identify and characterize phenolic complexes. In the present study we report on the levels and composition of anthocyanins. The HPLC-DAD and HPLC/ESI-MS-MS (ESI = electrospray ionization) analyses revealed simple anthocyanin profiles of one to four individual pigments, with cyanidin as the dominating type. This is the first evaluation of selected native Australian fruits aiming at their utilization for the development of novel functional food products.