Bio-based compounds, such as “green” surfactants and phytochemicals, are regarded as future sustainable resources for a vast range of applications in a modern society increasingly demanding economical, social, and environmental awareness. Natural compounds from plants (phytochemicals) are very sought by the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food industries. On the other hand, the growing interest in “green” surfactants (e.g., carbohydrate-based) is due to, inter alia, their preparation from renewable raw materials, ready biodegradability, and biocompatibility, among other reasons of fundamental, practical, economical, and environmental orders. Despite the wide range of potential applications of these bio-based compounds, their practical use is still limited due to many reasons such as poor aqueous solubility, volatility, reactivity, etc. Generally, when complexed with cyclodextrins, these bio-based compounds enhance considerably their performance and potential applications. Thus, this chapter aims at recalling some general fundamental aspects of phytochemicals and “green” surfactants, such as structure, function, and applications. In addition, their interactions with cyclodextrins are discussed from a physicochemical point of view with special focus on the techniques, mathematic modeling, and thermodynamic parameters (e.g., interactions, stoichiometries, association constants, etc.).
Part of the book: Cyclodextrin
Ficus carica L. is a native plant to Southwest Asia and widely spread from ancient times in the Mediterranean region. Its fruits (figs) and leaves present important nutritional components (vitamins, minerals, sugars, amino acids, etc.) and health-related effects due to their phytochemical composition. Numerous bioactive compounds, such as phenolic compounds (phenolic acids), flavonoids (flavonols, flavones, and anthocyanins), coumarins, sterols, and volatiles (monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, norisoprenoids, ketones, alcohols, esters, etc.), among others, have been isolated from fruits and leaves of F. carica that are the main ingredients used in the production of different alcoholic beverages such as wine, liqueur, and spirit. This chapter aims to review the different chemical and biological characteristics found both in raw materials (fruits and leaves) and in the final product (wine, liqueur, and spirit) that have been consumed and known throughout human history.
Part of the book: Modern Fruit Industry