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CHEMICAL CHARACTERIZATION OF BIOACTIVE COMPOUNDS OF NON-CONVENTIONAL FOOD PLANTS (NCFP) FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF PRODUCTS WITH FUNCTIONAL APPEAL

Grant number: 20/08761-4
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: February 01, 2021 - January 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Food Science and Technology - Food Science
Cooperation agreement: FAPEAM
Principal researcher:Glaucia Maria Pastore
Grantee:Glaucia Maria Pastore
Home Institution: Faculdade de Engenharia de Alimentos (FEA). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers: Edgar Aparecido Sanches ; Henrique Silvano Arruda ; Iramaia Angélica Neri Numa ; Jaqueline de Araújo Bezerra ; Lúcia Schuch Boeira ; Pedro Henrique Campelo Felix

Abstract

Feed is one of the most basic and primordial needs of the human being, since food not only ensures organic satiety for the physiological maintenance of the body, but also plays an important role in sociocultural constructions as well as the forms of organization of agriculture itself all around the world. In addition, the incidence of chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs; metabolic syndromes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases) resulting from increased consumption of processed energy rich in foods with a low content of bioactive micronutrients and sedentary and stressful lifestyles, significantly impact not only the food system on health but also the economy, equity and the environment.In parallel, epidemiological studies demonstrate that nutritional interventions with foods rich in polyphenols (eg.: flavonoids) can mitigate several comorbidities. Such evidence corroborates the central role of these compounds in redox status, inflammation and lipid profile, making them eligible for the maintenance of metabolic syndromes, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disorders.Consequently, public authorities have been associated with the food industry, seeking to find meaningful and lasting solutions, without giving up contemporary facilities. Aligned with this concept, the food industries have been working to develop alternatives that meet the new demands for healthiness, aiming at the use of differentiated and quality ingredients with guaranteed origin, in addition to issues related to sustainability, social, ethical aspects and transparency in information.In view of this, the use of Brazilian biodiversity as well as the recovery of traditional knowledge associated with the consumption of vegetables, fruits, flowers or herbs that grow spontaneously in nature emerge as more sustainable and nutritionally adequate concepts to increase food sovereignty and nutritional security of the collective and consumption point of view. Despite the promise of metabolic health, additional mechanistic, experimental and clinical studies of bioactives and their metabolites are still needed to further elucidate their typology, bioavailability, metabolism and health effects.In this sense, unconventional food plants (NCFP) represent an important alternative for a more balanced, healthier and more sustainable diet, in addition to providing candidate bioactive compounds for the prevention and treatment of various diseases. Therefore, this project will keep the focus on valuing the biodiversity of Brazilian NCFPs where first, the intersection of the physical-chemical and functional chemical dimensions of the mapati (Pourouma cecropiifolia Mart) and the buxixus (Clidemia hirta and C. japurensis DC.) Will be contemplated. Then, our research efforts will be based on the technological potential of these species. Thus, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages based on these NCFPs will be developed and evaluated as to their functional potential, to meet the demand for new flavors and better quality of life added to the inherent advantages of the product.The proposed project will be a close research between researchers from UNICAMP, (FAPESP arm) and researchers from the Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Amazonas, Campus-Manaus Zona Leste and Manaus-Centro and, the Federal University of Amazonas (arm FAPEAM), using mutual knowledge and research infrastructures. For all these purposes, the project will include six work packages, according to the research focus mentioned above.With this, it is expected that this partnership will unlock the functional potential of NCFP and provide the basis for a future industrial application of their bioactive compounds, in addition to generating scientific knowledge and high-impact technological development. (AU)