Phenolic compounds are well known for their health benefits related to antioxidant activity. In addition, this kind of compounds can be extracted from natural sources, such as olives, grapes, fruits, vegetables, rice, spices, herbs, tea and algae, among others. In this way, these compounds have increased their popularity and, little by little, the consumers are more interested in these compounds due to the fact that they come from natural sources and because they have health biological activity. In fact, other important characteristics associated to phenolic compounds are the antimicrobial activity, because phenolics have the capacity of retarding the microbial invasion in some products and avoiding the putrefaction of others, mainly fruits and vegetables. These properties allow phenolic compounds to be suitable for numerous food preservation applications. Therefore, different kinds of products can be fortificated with phenolic compounds to extend the shelf life of some foods, to turn them in functional food or to incorporate them in food packaging. Active packing is an innovative strategy where phenolic compounds can play an important role for improving the global assessment and extend the shelf life of commercial products.
Part of the book: Phenolic Compounds
In last years, food by-products and waste valorization practices have gained importance because these processes are sustainable and can increase the profit for local economies. Many compound families of phytochemicals like carotenoids, tocopherols, glucosinolates and phenolic compounds can be obtained through plant by-products coming from agroindustries, such as citric peels, tomato wastes or wine pomace. A number of novel methods like pressured liquid, microwaves or supercritical CO2 are being used for the extraction of compounds, affecting them in different ways. Phytochemicals obtained can be used in cosmetics, medical uses and dietary supplements or reused in agrifood industries among others, as natural pigments, antioxidants or antimicrobials.
Part of the book: Descriptive Food Science