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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: PHYTOESTROGENIC EFFECTS OF FUNGALLY INDUCED ISOFLAVONOIDS IN LEGUMES

Location: Food and Feed Safety Research

Title: Phytoalexin-Enriched Functional Foods

Authors
item Boue, Stephen
item Cleveland, Thomas
item Carter-Wientjes, Carol
item Shih, Betty
item Bhatnagar, Deepak
item Mclachlan, John -
item Burow, Matthew -

Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: February 9, 2009
Publication Date: March 3, 2009
Citation: Boue, S.M., Cleveland, T.E., Carter Wientjes, C.H., Shih, B.Y., Bhatnagar, D., Mclachlan, J.M., Burow, M. 2009. Phytoalexin-Enriched Functional Foods. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 57(7):2614-2622.

Interpretive Summary: Functional foods have been a developing area of food science research for the last decade. Many foods are derived from plants that naturally contain compounds beneficial to human health and can often prevent certain diseases. Plant containing chemicals with potent anticancer and antioxidant activities have spurred development of many new functional foods. This has led to the creation of functional foods to target health problems, such as obesity and inflammation. More recent research into the use of plant phytoalexins as nutritional components has opened up a new area of food science. These underutilized plant compounds may possess key beneficial properties including antioxidant activity, anti-inflammation activity, cholesterol lowering ability, and even anticancer activity. For these reasons, phytoalexin-enriched foods would be classified as functional foods. These phytoalexin-enriched functional foods would benefit the consumer by providing “health enhanced” food choices and would also benefit many underutilized crops that may produce phytoalexins that may not have been considered beneficial health-promoting foods.

Technical Abstract: Functional foods have been a developing area of food science research for the last decade. Many foods are derived from plants that naturally contain compounds beneficial to human health and can often prevent certain diseases. Plant containing phytochemicals with potent anticancer and antioxidant activities have spurred development of many new functional foods. This has led to the creation of functional foods to target health problems, such as obesity and inflammation. More recent research into the use of plant phytoalexins as nutritional components has opened up a new area of food science. Phytoalexins are produced by plants in response to stress, fungal attack, or elicitor treatment and are often antifungal or antibacterial compounds. While phytoalexins have been investigated for their possible role in plant defense until recently they have gone unexplored as nutritional components in human foods. These underutilized plant compounds may possess key beneficial properties including antioxidant activity, anti-inflammation activity, cholesterol lowering ability, and even anticancer activity. For these reasons, phytoalexin-enriched foods would be classified as functional foods. These phytoalexin-enriched functional foods would benefit the consumer by providing “health enhanced” food choices and would also benefit many underutilized crops that may produce phytoalexins that may not have been considered beneficial health-promoting foods.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014
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