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Front. Nutr., 09 December 2022
Sec. Food Chemistry
This article is part of the Research Topic Food Bioactives: Cutting-edge Methodologies for Extraction and Characterization. View all 6 articles

Editorial: Food bioactives: Cutting-edge methodologies for extraction and characterization

  • 1CQM—Centro de Química da Madeira, Universidade da Madeira, Funchal, Portugal
  • 2Departamento de Tecnologia Química y Ambiental, Universidade da Madeira, Funchal, Portugal
  • 3Departamento de Química, Faculdade de Ciências Exatas e da Engenharia, Universidade da Madeira, Funchal, Portugal

The knowledge about food composition, particularly concerning the different bioactive compounds it may contain, is very important at different levels of the food chain. It is necessary to help consumers make wiser and healthier dietary decisions and it is relevant to the farmers so they can select the most productive plants and manufacturing conditions as well as identify new or unexplored plants and food products. It is also crucial to the different food traders so they can offer the most appropriate solution for the target client and commercial environments, reflecting the costs of production, transformation, transport, storage, and marketing. Such knowledge, however, is not always readily accessible to the respective players. This may be due to several reasons, including the complexity of many food matrices, incomplete knowledge about the bioactivity of different food components or the cost of analysis, amongst others. In this context, the improvement of the analytical layouts necessary to characterize dietary bioactive compounds is very relevant.

This Research Topic aims to contribute to filling the gap in the knowledge about dietary bioactive compounds by presenting current and novel methodologies being used to obtain information about their presence, concentration, availability, and activity in different food products.

In this context, five papers were published in this Research Topic, two of which reviews devoted to microextraction in food analysis and assessment of anthocyanins in foods. The remaining contributions include original research about the bioactive composition of different foods. In the review, Pereira et al. unveiled the potential of microextraction techniques for the analysis of bioactive compounds in food. This focused review will give the reader an overview of the different microextractions approaches that researchers have already available to extract bioactive compounds from different foodstuffs, allowing a smooth migration from the traditional methodologies to innovative microextractions procedures. In the second review of this Research Topic, Manzoor et al. proposed a narrative review of the recent advances in the rapid assessment of anthocyanins in agricultural and food products. Due to their potential health benefits, anthocyanins are a very relevant group of bioactive compounds widespread in foods of vegetal origin. For this reason, their rapid assessment in foodstuffs is very important and so we believe the review proposed will be of interest to many readers. Regarding the original research, Xu et al. reported an integrated metabolomics approach to study a very popular tea among Chinese consumers which is obtained by a very peculiar process of fermenting Granpu tea inside a citrus fruit (Cachi). This cofermentation will favor the transfer of compounds from the citrus peel to the tea that was poorly characterized so far. Using an integrated metabolic approach involving UHPLC-QE Orbitrap MS-based qualitative and quantitative method combined with multivariate analysis, the authors were able to show a significative change in the chemical composition of pu-erh tea which includes the transfer of the bioactive hesperidin from the citrus peel to the tea. Also related to citrus fruits, Fan et al. proposed an optimized pulsed electric field-assisted extraction to enhance the yield and the physicochemical properties of soluble dietary fiber from orange peel. The study presented is of high relevance for the valorization of orange peels, given this is a waste produced in large amounts worldwide and their deposition in landfills has a high negative impact on the environment. Finally, Kalogiouri et al. proposed headspace solid-phase microextraction followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to discriminate truffle species according to their volatile composition. Using this powerful analytical tool, the authors provided the first assessment of the volatile metabolome of the truffles Tuber Aestivum and Tuber Borchii originating from Greece. Truffles are fungi that grow below ground level, being highly appreciated for their nutritional value, health benefits, and unique organoleptic properties. For this reason, they are very expensive and so the fast and non-destructive sample extraction and analysis methodology proposed to discriminate truffles according to their origin has a high economic impact.

Author contributions

All authors listed have made a substantial, direct, and intellectual contribution to the work and approved it for publication.


This work was supported by FCT-Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia through the CQM Base Fund—UIDB/00674/2020, and Programmatic Fund—UIDP/00674/2020, and by ARDITI-Agência Regional para o Desenvolvimento da Investigação Tecnologia e Inovação, through the project M1420-01-0145-FEDER-000005 - Centro de Química da Madeira - CQM+ (Madeira 14–20 Program) and Post-Doctoral fellowship given to JP (Project M1420 - 09-5369-FSE-000001).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

Publisher's note

All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article, or claim that may be made by its manufacturer, is not guaranteed or endorsed by the publisher.

Keywords: food composition analysis, dietary bioactive compounds, food samples extraction, microextraction, food analysis and composition

Citation: Pereira JAM, Casado N and Câmara JS (2022) Editorial: Food bioactives: Cutting-edge methodologies for extraction and characterization. Front. Nutr. 9:1081974. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2022.1081974

Received: 27 October 2022; Accepted: 21 November 2022;
Published: 09 December 2022.

Edited and reviewed by: Michael Rychlik, Technical University of Munich, Germany

Copyright © 2022 Pereira, Casado and Câmara. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

*Correspondence: Jorge A. M. Pereira,

Disclaimer: All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article or claim that may be made by its manufacturer is not guaranteed or endorsed by the publisher.