About this Research Topic
Foods are complex systems in which many components coexist and interact with each other. These interactions among components determine the structural and functional characteristics of most foods. Structure affects function and stability, which is a commonality in food, pharmaceutical and medical applications, amongst others. Currently, the chemical structure and main physiological activities of the major food components have been elucidated. However, the interplay of macro- and micro- components in foods and their effects on digestibility, nutrition, organoleptic characteristics, and stability is an on-going subject of study.
Plant-based foods are increasingly becoming popular. Similarly, plant-based food ingredients, covering both macro and micro-nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and pigments from fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes, are highly sought raw materials in food processing. Studying the physicochemical properties, and nutritional characteristics of isolated food components does not suffice to rationally design and develop novel plant based foods and ingredients that meet the needs of the modern consumer. To effectively improve the quality, nutrition, and acceptability of novel plant-based foods, additional efforts should be geared to fully identify the role of component interactions in structural and functional characteristics. Additionally, changes in interactions between plant-based macro-macro, micro-micro and macro-micro-components during processing and storage should be elucidated to enhance and maintain stability, quality and functionality. Understanding the synergistic, antagonistic or neutral effects arisen from the interactions among food components will facilitate modulating the formation of multi-scale microstructural features in novel plant-based foods and optimize the functionality and stability of nutrients, colors, flavors, and bioactive compounds.
It has become an international quest to systematically understand the relationships between plant-based component interaction, multi-scale structural features, food system quality and nutritional characteristics. Hence, this special issue will focus on the role of macro and micronutrients of plant-based origin in formulation upgrading, processing technology and product development.
Authors are welcome to contribute original research articles or comprehensive review papers for consideration and publication in this Research Topic. The main themes include:
1. Molecular interaction mechanisms in plant-based food systems;
2. Role of interactions among components on the physical, chemical and nutritional characteristics of plant-based foods;
3. Application and prospects of molecular dynamics simulation in the study of molecular interactions;
4. Application of new detection and analytical methods to study interaction mechanisms among plant-based food components;
5. Influence of food processing on the interaction of plant-based food components;
6. Development and applications of delivery systems based on the molecular interaction of plant-based food components.
We would also like to acknowledge that Dr. Hui Zou (Food Science and Engineering College, Shandong Agricultural University, Taian, ShanDong, China) acted as a Topic Coordinator and has contributed to the preparation of the proposal of this Research Topic.
Keywords: Plant-Based Ingredients, Food Components, Interactions, Regulation, Nutritional Properties, Physicochemical Properties, Structural Characteristics
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.