In this chapter, we discuss the influence of the processing methods on the content of phenolic compounds in fruits and vegetables. The intake of fruits and vegetables based‐foods are associated with delayed aging and a decreased risk of chronic disease development. Fruits and vegetables can be consumed in natura, but the highest amounts are ingested after some processing methods, such as cooking procedures or sanitizing methods. These methods are directly methods are directly related to alteration on the phenolic content. In addition, the postharvest conditions may modify several phytochemical substances. Phenolic compounds are referred to as phytochemicals found in a large number of foods and beverages. The relative high diversity of these molecules produced by plants must be taken into account when methods of preparation are employed to obtain industrial or homemade products. Phenolic compounds comprise one (phenolic acids) or more (polyphenols) aromatic rings with attached hydroxyl groups in their structures. Their antioxidant capacities are related to these hydroxyl groups and phenolic rings. Despite the antioxidant activity, they have many other beneficial effects on human health. However, before attributing health benefits to these compounds, absorption, distribution, and metabolism of each phenolic compound in the body are important points that should be considered.
Part of the book: Phenolic Compounds
Agronomic practices and climatic factors affect the content and profile of phytochemicals. The effects of the environment, such as salinity, climate, and other abiotic factors, promote biochemical responses, inducing changes in the quantity and quality of polyphenol compounds, carotenoids, vitamins, glucosinolates, and polyamines, which are bioactive compounds. In plants, among the various functions, some phytochemicals can protect against biotic factors. Brassica vegetables are a source of several primary and secondary metabolism compounds, and they might be responsible for disease prevention. In addition, the increase of bioactive compounds in plant-based foods is important to the diet and consequently for the improvement of public health. In this chapter, we will point out the abiotic factors that affect the productive performance, quality, and chemical composition of different Brassica species and cultivars. We will also discuss its implications on plant protection and human health.
Part of the book: Brassica Germplasm
Vegetarian and vegan consumers have increased in the last years. However, the food industry is facing problems responding to this growing market, since the food safety of several plant-based products is not well established. Fruits, vegetables and fermented products, such as nut and grains milks and cheeses, may be rich sources of biogenic amines; whereas, the levels of these compounds should be considered before the inclusion on a daily diet. Biogenic amines are a class of compounds with wide physiological activities as antioxidant properties, inductors of cell division and allergic processes, and sleep, sexual and behavioral disorders. In addition to the levels of biogenic amines, the levels of some of its precursors as tryptophan, 5-hydroxytryptophan and tryptamine will be presented. The foods eaten by vegans are consumed raw, cooked, fried, fermented and mainly through homemade processing methods, which have influence on the levels of bioactive compounds from the food matrix. Exposure to processing conditions such as handling, sanitary conditions, high temperatures, preparing methods (cooking in water or oil) influencing the levels of amines, will be discussed in this chapter to enrich the knowledge on food safety associated to vegan diets.
Part of the book: Veganism