In recent times, food consumption has advanced beyond simply meeting growth and development needs to include the supply of ingredients that can protect against diseases. Among such non-nutritive ingredients are phenolic compounds. These are benzene-ringed secondary metabolites produced in plants upon exposure to environmental stress. Previous studies have linked phenolic compounds to bioactive benefits (e.g., antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer) with these bioactivities dependent on their biochemical structure and concentrations of individual phenolic compounds present in the food system. However, majority of plant foods are thermally processed into ready-to-eat forms, with these processing methods potentially altering the structure and subsequent bioactivities of endogenous phenolic compounds. Thus, the aim of this chapter is to highlight on emerging non-thermal novel technologies (such as pulsed electric field, radiation, ultrasonication, high hydrostatic pressure processing and high pressure carbon dioxide processing) that can be exploited by the food industry to preserve/enhance bioactivities of phenolic compounds during processing.
Part of the book: Phenolic Compounds