F. Shahidi


Nutraceuticals, functional food ingredients and dietary supplements are important for health promotion and disease risk reduction. Although a myriad of bioactives are known to render the expected beneficial effects, the mechanisms involved are varied and may work individually or collectively in providing the effects. For example, phenolic compounds are known to act as antioxidants or by mechanisms that are independent of their antioxidant activity. In addition, conjugation of bioactives with other active or inactive components may affect the activity of the resultant products. Therefore, conjugation of phytosterols with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) was found to lower cholesterol in a mouse model and esters of epigallocatechin gallate with docosahexaenoic acid were able to arrest colon cancer in mice. Processing of bioactives may also alter their bioactives and could therefore influence their efficacy in in-vitro and possibly in vivo models. In addition, processing by-products from plant sources are particularly rich in a number of bioactives at much higher concentration than those present in the main products and these can be used as value-added ingredients for application in food or as supplements for alleviating certain health problems. Examples will be provided to illustrate the concepts and approaches used and expected benefits.