Flavonoids are a large and diverse group of polyphenolic compounds with antioxidant effects, and onion (Allium cepa L.) is one of the richest sources of dietary flavonoids. Flavonoid content is affected by endogenous factors—genotype and agro-environmental conditions. Considerable research has been directed toward understanding the nature of polyphenols in different products and the factors influencing their accumulation. This review examines the impacts of pre- and postharvest factors on onions’ flavonoid content, highlighting how this knowledge may be used to modulate their composition and the potential use of onion by-products.
Part of the book: Flavonoids
Adverse reactions to food such as allergies and celiac disease are increasingly recognized as a growing public health burden. There is currently no cure for these diseases so that there is an unmet need to evaluate different nutritional approaches aiming at improving the quality of life of affected patients and their families. In this context, healthy promising nature-derived compounds, most of which contained in fruits and vegetables, have been studied as an alternative to attenuate the epidemic. Indeed, phenolic compounds have become an emerging field of interest in nutrition in the last decades. A growing build of research suggests that phenolic compounds inhibit pro-inflammatory transcription factors by interacting with proteins involved in gene expression and cell signaling, leading to protective effects against many inflammation-mediated chronic diseases. However, the use of phenolic compounds as attenuating agents of immune reactions to food has to be aligned to the organoleptic characteristics of food, since many compounds present unpleasant taste properties, namely bitter taste and astringency. In this framework, tasty but healthy phenolic compounds arise as attractive ingredients in the design and formulation of functional foods. This book chapter is focused on revisiting the organoleptic properties of phenolic compounds while evaluating the role of these compounds in health promoting actions, namely the management of immune reactions to food such as Food Allergies and Celiac Disease.
Part of the book: Functional Foods