Bio-Based Formulations for Sustainable Applications in Agri-Food-Pharma
McClements, David Julian
Raghavendra, Vinay B.
Gupta, Vijai Kumar
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Currently, there is a strong enduring interest towards obtaining high-value, sustainable bio-based bioactive compounds from natural resources, as there is great demand for these compounds in various market sectors such as agriculture, food, pharma, cosmeceuticals, and others. This demand has encouraged researchers to isolate, identify and characterize novel natural bioactive compounds with potential therapeutic and commercial values with industrial importance . These bioactive compounds are generally secondary metabolites (synthesized via plant biosynthetic pathways) and include polyphenols, carotenoids, flavonoids, sterols, dietary fiber, essential vitamins, coenzyme Q, phytosterols, glucosinolates and others with potential beneficial roles as nutraceuticals, surfactants and bio-stimulants. Understanding the molecular characteristics, physicochemical properties, biological activity, and stability of these bioactives under different conditions is vital for their commercial exploitation. The efficacy of these bioactives can often be improved by encapsulating them in nanobased-formulations designed for application in the agriculture, food, pharmaceutical industries. These delivery systems can be designed to increase the dispersibility, stability, bioavailability, and bioactivity imparted by the bioactives. Moreover, they may be useful for minimizing undesirable side-effects, facilitating targeted delivery to certain cells, and enhancing the shelf life of food products. The bioactive molecules are partly or wholly derived from resources of biological origin mainly those of plants, animal and microbial resources (e.g., biomass/feed stock from agri-food sector, food wastes and by-products, algae, marine organisms, etc.). These molecules have recently emerged on the global market as a highly reliable environmentally friendly alternative to chemically synthesized compounds. The natural bioactive compounds provide additional benefits to health and overall wellbeing beyond basic nutrition. For instance, bioactive compounds have been well established for their antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiviral, anticancer, anti-hypertensive and other biological activities under in vitro and in vivo conditions. The isolation, purification and safety efficacy of these compounds obtained from natural resources is a vital criterion that needs to be considered.