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The Trend of Polyphenols

By: , Posted on: October 30, 2017

In the past 10 years, the growing interest of consumers has arised to a number of “superfoods”, which has been motivated by their high content of “polyphenols”. These compounds constitute a heterogeneous group of molecules which differentiate according to their chemical structure.

Polyphenols is a collective term for several sub-groups of compounds, but the use of this term has been somewhat confusing and its implied chemical structures are often vague even to researchers. Even today the scientific community is not consistent with a universal use of the term denoting plant polyphenols, since some call them plant phenols while some others use the term polyphenols.

The first definition of plant polyphenols in the scientific literature pertains to this initial utilization of polyphenolic plant extracts. As these compounds were highly required in the leather industry, considerable efforts were devoted from the beginning of the 20th century onwards to the study of the chemistry of tanning plant extracts in an attempt to tackle the structural characterization of their polyphenolic constituents.

Research on plant polyphenols shifted gears after 1945, as the discovery of paper chromatography and more and more other advanced analytical techniques made it possible to separate in numerous individual constituents.

In 1957 an industrial chemist Theodore White, pointed out that the term “tannin” should strictly refer to plant polyphenolic materials having molecular masses between 500 and 3000 Da and a sufficiently large number of phenolic groups to be capable of forming hydrogen-bonded cross-linked structures with collagen molecules (the act of tanning).

Today, the main reason for the interest of scientists and consumers for polyphenols is the recognition of their antioxidant properties, their great abundance in our diet, and their probable role in the prevention of various diseases associated with oxidative stress, such as cancer and cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. Due to the considerable diversity of their structures, polyphenols are considered even more efficient than other antioxidants.

Driven by the beneficial biological activities, researchers all over the world have provided a vast of scientific evidences by publicing up to 40 000 research papers from 1990 about the contents, mechanisms of action and in vitro and in vivo biological activities of polyphenols (Science Citation Index – WoS).

The application of polyphenols in the food industry, as antimicrobials, antioxidants and enhancers of the organoleptic parameters, provides an interesting opportunity for the development of natural foods with extended shelf-life, as alternative to the use of synthetic preservatives or as colorants. For instance, anthocyanins are water-soluble plant flavonoid pigments responsible for the blue, purple, and red color of many plant tissues.

The current demands of new ingredients and products, which also contributes to improved health and wellbeing, has enhanced their use in the markets and also as polyphenol-based supplements for specific population groups. However, the activities of polyphenols depend on their structure and, in particular, on the sites and number of the hydroxyl groups as well as on substitutions in the aromatic rings. Therefore, systematic studies are still required to underline the mechanisms of action of polyphenols-enriched products on human health and wellbeing.

Besides, polyphenol-enriched extracts can be effective for the prevention and therapy of premature skin aging mainly due to oxidative stress, also presenting protective action against UV damages, anti-inflammatory activity, and inhibition of dermal proteinases, anti-microbial activity and anti-carcinogenic action. Since 1983 the number of patents regarding polyphenols application in cosmetics presented an enormous increase, demonstrating the interest of cosmetic industry for these active ingredients.

Polyphenols Properties, Recovery and Applications

Polyphenols: Properties, Recovery and Applications polyphenols properties and health effects and reflects the new trends in recovery procedures and applications.waste recovery processing and industrial techniques, describing tools for the implementation of innovations in the food industry, exploring the effect of emerging and non-thermal technologies on nutraceuticals and functional foods development, as well as highlighting the sustainable solutions for the management of specific food processing by-products from the olive, grape and coffee industry.

Beginning with coverage of the metabolism and health effects of polyphenols, the book also addresses recovery, analysis and processing issues in order to reveal the industrial applications of polyphenols that are discussed in detail.

This book connects properties and health effect of polyphenols with recovery, processing and encapsulation issues and explores industrial applications that are affected by these aspects. This reference supports the current industrial applications of polyphenols as well as those that are under development.

Key Features

  • Covers the properties and health effects of polyphenols and reflects the new trends in recovery procedures and applications
  • Addresses recovery, analysis and processing issues
  • Concludes with coverage of industrial applications of polyphenols

Over the last years, Food Waste Recovery Group has organized a series of workshops (e.g. the 2nd one comes on 2nd of July in Stuttgart), teaching activities (webinars, e-course etc) and books targeting food waste recovery processing and industrial techniques, describing tools for the implementation of innovations in the food industry, exploring the effect of emerging and non-thermal technologies on nutraceuticals and functional foods development, as well as highlighting the sustainable solutions for the management of specific food processing by-products from the olive, grape and coffee industry.

charis galanakisCharis M. Galanakis is an interdisciplinary scientist with a fast-expanding work that balances between food and environment, industry, and academia. His research targets mainly the separation and recovery of functional macro- and micromolecules from different food by-products, as well as their implementation as additives in food and other products. He is the coordinator of Food Waste Recovery Group of ISEKI Food Association (Vienna, Austria) and R&I director of Galanakis Laboratories (Chania, Greece).

He serves as an editorial board member and subject editor of Food and Bioproducts Processing and Food Research International, and he has edited 9 books with Elsevier.Follow Dr. Galanakis via Twitter – @CharisGalanakisLinkedIn or ResearchGate.
Join the Food Waste Recovery Group on LinkedIn or the Food Waste Recovery Page on Facebook.

Need a copy? Visit elsevier.com and use discount code STC317 at checkout to save up to 30% on your very own copy!

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Food Science & Nutrition

The field of food science is highly interdisciplinary, spanning areas of chemistry, engineering, biology, and many more. Researchers in these areas achieve fundamental advances in our understanding of agriculture, nutrition, and food-borne illness, and develop new technologies, like food processing methods and packaging material. Against a backdrop of global issues of food supply and regulation, this important work is supported by Elsevier’s catalog of books, eBooks, and journals in food science, considered essential resources for students, instructors, and health professionals worldwide. Learn more about our Food Science and Nutrition books here.

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