Submitted to: Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/31/2006
Publication Date: 10/1/2006
Citation: Luthria, D.L. 2006. Significance of sample preparation in developing analytical methodologies for accurate estimation of bioactive compounds in functional foods. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 86:266-2272. Interpretive Summary: This article provides an opinion on significance of sample preparation in developing accurate analytical methodologies for functional foods. It describes the influence of sample preparation on precise quantitation of bioactive micronutrients. In addition, it describes an approach to optimize extraction procedures. Accurate estimation will enable researchers to correctly evaluate the role of phytochemicals as it relates to health and provide precise dietary and safety guidelines on consumption of these phytochemicals. In addition, accurate quantitation of the bioactive phytonutrients will allow manufacturers, consumers and marketing professionals to differentiate quality value-added products from conventional products.
Technical Abstract: Functional foods are defined as foods or food components that provide health benefits beyond basic nutrition (for the intended population). Increased interest in bioactive food components and phytochemicals arose from numerous epidemiological studies that suggested that certain phytochemicals can reduce risk of chronic diseases. Sales of functional foods containing high concentrations of bioactive components have increased dramatically during the past two decades. This paper illustrates with examples the significance of sample preparation in developing analytical methodologies for accurate estimation of bioactive compounds present in functional foods using phenolic phytochemicals as model substrates. The primary three steps in any analysis are sampling, sample preservation, and sample preparation. These three initial steps are often overlooked and considered “as a means to an end” and are often not well documented in the published manuscript. Accurate documentation of all steps is essential for reproducing results published in peer-reviewed literature. In addition, this paper outlines a systematic protocol for optimizing extraction of phytochemicals from different plant matrices. Accurate analysis of bioactive compounds is critical for precise quantification of bioactive compounds present in different foods, establishing appropriate dietary intake and safety guidelines, and understanding their role as it relates to health and nutrition.