About this Research Topic
"Bioactive compounds" are compounds that occur in nature, as part of the food chain, that have the ability to interact with one or more components of the living tissue by showing an effect on human health. Nutritional, pharmacological or toxicological effects as well as the nature, the bioaccessibility and dose-activity relationship should be considered. The diversity of bioactive compounds derives from the infinite combinations of fundamental functional groups. The potential of each food matrix come from the combined and concerted action of nutrient components and biologically active compounds, i.e. polyphenols, carotenoids, lignans, glucosinolates, terpenoids, limonoids, phytosterols, etc., that can lead into a wide spectra of biological and physiological functions. Dietary components have beneficial roles beyond basic nutrition, leading to the advancement of the concept and perception of food as functional and nutraceutical. New potentials/features of nutrients should be considered, both qualitatively and quantitatively. Delineation and discussion of boundaries between nutrients and bioactive compounds should be given by including the description of the key determinants.
It is well known that the content of nutrient and bioactive components could be significantly affected by numerous factors, i.e. the variety, season, location, ripening, growing conditions, technological and domestic processes; the wide range of factors is continuously increasing and enlarging in line with the new connotations of food chain.
At the same time, an understanding of activities and benefits of nutrients and bioactive compounds in humans is essential. In this regard, bioavailability could also be affected by factors related to the food matrix and food preparations, in addition to: the nature of the meal in which it is consumed, the interactions with other components, and the age and physiological state of the subjects consuming the food.
Another focal point will be the exploitation of bioactive components in the wide spectrum of applications, sectors and fields.
The papers for this Research Topic should answer the question of how environmental and technological factors could change the content, the bioavailability and the activities of nutrients and bioactive components; and the impact on new formulations and applications, in particular nutraceutical ones.
- Description and examination of nutrients and bioactive components in foods and derived products, and the monitoring of the behavior of compound classes along the different phases of the food chain should both be considered. Particular attention should be paid to the categorization of the effects of different processes, storage methods, technologies, packaging systems, etc. - both conventional and innovative methods should be given. In this regard, multi-aspects and factors should be taken into consideration.
- Current studies describing nutritional and/or nutraceutical values of foods/meal/diet are welcome.
- Evidence of the risks/benefits of nutrients and bioactive compounds should be included, taking into account the challenge of, and need for, new biomarkers and innovative assessment methodologies. The new role of nutrition based on a multi-factors approach should be also considered.
- Updated studies of factors influencing bioavailability, including the potential healthy properties, are welcome; also include definition of main trends.
- New evidences of regulatory and public policy: a current overview is welcome.
- Innovative and emerging applications of bioactive compounds in a technological scenario and nutritional needs, i.e. omics technologies, chemometrics, nanotechnologies, imaging techniques, mobile-based technologies should be reported and discussed.
-Research gaps and needs in bioactive research and applications: a current overview should be given.
Keywords: Bioactive compounds, food chains, bioavailability, innovation, applications, nutraceuticals
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.