Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Food additive


The incidence of autoimmune diseases is increasing along with the expansion of industrial food processing and food additive consumption. The intestinal epithelial barrier, with its intercellular tight junction, controls the equilibrium between tolerance and immunity to non-self-antigens. As a result, particular attention is being placed on the role of tight junction dysfunction in the pathogenesis of AD. Tight junction leakage is enhanced by many luminal components, commonly used industrial food additives being some of them. Glucose, salt, emulsifiers, organic solvents, gluten, microbial transglutaminase, and nanoparticles are extensively and increasingly used by the food industry , claim the manufacturers, to improve the qualities of food. However, all of the aforementioned additives increase intestinal permeability by breaching the integrity of tight junction paracellular transfer. In fact, tight junction dysfunction is common in multiple autoimmune diseases and the central part played by the tight junction in autoimmune diseases pathogenesis is extensively described. It is hypothesized that commonly used industrial food additives abrogate human epithelial barrier function, thus, increasing intestinal permeability through the opened tight junction, resulting in entry of foreign immunogenic antigens and activation of the autoimmune cascade. Future research on food additives exposure-intestinal permeability-autoimmunity interplay will enhance our knowledge of the common mechanisms associated with autoimmune progression.

Concepts: Immune system, Food processing, Vinegar, Food additive


Non-caloric artificial sweeteners (NAS) are among the most widely used food additives worldwide, regularly consumed by lean and obese individuals alike. NAS consumption is considered safe and beneficial owing to their low caloric content, yet supporting scientific data remain sparse and controversial. Here we demonstrate that consumption of commonly used NAS formulations drives the development of glucose intolerance through induction of compositional and functional alterations to the intestinal microbiota. These NAS-mediated deleterious metabolic effects are abrogated by antibiotic treatment, and are fully transferrable to germ-free mice upon faecal transplantation of microbiota configurations from NAS-consuming mice, or of microbiota anaerobically incubated in the presence of NAS. We identify NAS-altered microbial metabolic pathways that are linked to host susceptibility to metabolic disease, and demonstrate similar NAS-induced dysbiosis and glucose intolerance in healthy human subjects. Collectively, our results link NAS consumption, dysbiosis and metabolic abnormalities, thereby calling for a reassessment of massive NAS usage.

Concepts: Bacteria, Gut flora, Metabolism, Nutrition, Organism, Feces, Food additive, Sugar substitute


This paper provides guidance on the conduct of new in vivo and in vitro studies on high molecular weight food additives, with carrageenan, the widely used food additive, as a case study. It is important to understand the physical/chemical properties and to verify the identity/purity, molecular weight and homogeneity/stability of the additive in the vehicle for oral delivery. The strong binding of CGN to protein in rodent chow or infant formula results in no gastrointestinal tract exposure to free CGN. It is recommended that doses of high Mw non-caloric, non-nutritive additives not exceed 5% by weight of total solid diet to avoid potential nutritional effects. Addition of some high Mw additives at high concentrations to liquid nutritional supplements increases viscosity and may affect palatability, caloric intake and body weight gain. In in vitro studies, the use of well-characterized, relevant cell types and the appropriate composition of the culture media are necessary for proper conduct and interpretation. CGN is bound to media protein and not freely accessible to cells in vitro. Interpretation of new studies on food additives should consider the interaction of food additives with the vehicle components and the appropriateness of the animal or cell model and dose-response.

Concepts: Protein, Nutrition, In vitro, Flavor, Food processing, Food additive, Food additives, Codex Alimentarius


Pear-derived Weissella sp. TN610 produced extracellular glycosyltransferase activity responsible for the synthesis of soluble exopolysaccharide from sucrose. Acid and dextranase-catalyzed hydrolysis revealed that the synthesized polymer was a glucan. According to (1)H and (13)C NMR analysis, the glucan produced by TN610 was a linear dextran made of 96% α-(1→6) and 4% α-(1→3) linkages. Zymogram analysis confirmed the presence of a unique glucansucrase of approximately 180kDa in the cell-free supernatant from TN610. The crude enzyme, optimally active at 37°C and pH 5, has promising potential for application as a food additive since it catalyzes dextran synthesis in sucrose-supplemented milk, allowing its solidification. A 4257-bp product corresponding to the mature glucansucrase gene was amplified by PCR from TN610. It encoded a polypeptide of 1418 residues having a calculated molecular mass of 156.089kDa and exhibiting 96% and 95% identity with glucansucrases from Lactobacillus fermentum Kg3 and Weissella cibaria CMU, respectively.

Concepts: Protein, Molecular biology, Enzyme, Antioxidant, Vinegar, Food additive, Food additives, Lactobacillus fermentum


Withanolide is one of the most extensively exploited steroidal lactones, which are biosynthesized in Withania somnifera. Its production from cell suspension culture was analyzed to defeat limitations coupled with its regular supply from the plant organs. In order to optimize the different factors for sustainable production of withanolides and biomass accumulations, different concentrations of auxins or cytokinins and their combinations, carbon sources, agitation speed, organic additives and seaweed extracts was studied in cell suspension culture. Maximum biomass accumulation (16.72 g fresh weight [FW] and 4.18 g dry weight [DW]) and withanolides production (withanolide A 7.21 mg/g DW, withanolide B 4.23 mg/g DW, withaferin A 3.88 mg/g DW and withanone 6.72 mg/g DW) were achieved in the treatment of Gracilaria edulis extract at 40 % level. Organic additive L-glutamine at 200 mg/l in combination with picloram (1 mg/l) and KN (0.5 mg/l) promoted growth characteristics (11.87 g FW and 2.96 g DW) and withanolides synthesis (withanolide A 5.04 mg/g DW, withanolide B 2.59 mg/g DW, withaferin A 2.36 mg/g DW and withanone 4.32 mg/g DW). Sucrose at 5 % level revolved out to be a superior carbon source yielded highest withanolides production (withanolide A 2.88 mg/g DW, withanolide B 1.48 mg/g DW, withaferin A 1.35 mg/g DW and withanone 2.47 mg/g DW), whereas biomass (7.28 g FW and 1.82 g DW) was gratefully increased at 2 % level of sucrose in cell suspension culture. This optimized protocol can be utilized for large scale cultivation of W. somnifera cells in industrial bioreactors for mass synthesis of major withanolides.

Concepts: Glucose, Cell culture, Carbon, Food additive, Extract, Withania somnifera, Capital accumulation, Withania


In vitro genotoxic effects of antioxidant additives, such as citric acid (CA) and phosphoric acid (PA) and their combination, as well as antimicrobial additives, such as benzoic acid (BA) and calcium propionate (CP), on human lymphocytes were determined using alkaline single-cell gel electrophoresis. There was a significant increase in the DNA damage in human lymphocytes after 1 h of in vitro exposure to CA, PA, BA and CP (200, 25-200, 50-500, 50-1000 μg/mL, respectively). The combination of CA and PA significantly increased the mean tail intensity at all the concentrations used (25-200 μg/mL) and significantly increased the mean tail length mainly after higher concentrations (100 and 200 μg/mL). Data in this study showed that the concentrations of food additives used induce DNA damage and PA was the most genotoxic and CA was less genotoxic additives among them.

Concepts: Protein, Acid, Carboxylic acid, Citric acid, E number, Vinegar, Food additive, Preservative


: The cultivation of hairy roots for the production of secondary metabolites offers numerous advantages; hairy roots have a fast growth rate, are genetically stable, and are relatively simple to maintain in phytohormone free media. Hairy roots provide a continuous source of secondary metabolites, and are useful for the production of chemicals for pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and food additives. In order for hairy roots to be utilized on a commercial scale, it is necessary to scale-up their production. Over the last several decades, significant research has been conducted on the cultivation of hairy roots in various types of bioreactor systems. In this review, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of various bioreactor systems, the major factors related to large-scale bioreactor cultures, process intensification technologies and overview the mathematical models and computer-aided methods that have been utilized for bioreactor design and development.

Concepts: Mathematics, Culture, Root, Major, Food additive, Mathematical model, Bioreactor, Biochemical engineering


Oil-soluble rosemary extract (OR) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) were added individually and in mixture (MIX) to raw turkey meatballs. After cooking and chilling, samples were air- and vacuum-packaged and frozen stored for 90 days. The synthetic antioxidant, the natural antioxidant and their mixture significantly decreased TBA values. Lipid oxidation was most effectively inhibited by a mixture of BHT and OR during storage in the air, and by BHT in vacuum-packaged samples. A lower rate of the hydrolytic process was observed in BHT samples. All additives stabilized the red colour of turkey meatballs, but samples with a mixture of natural and synthetic antioxidants showed higher a(∗) values than OR samples. Vacuum-packaged turkey meatballs were darker in colour, and the contribution of redness in these samples continued to increase until day 80. OR added alone or in combination with BHT maintained the quality of turkey meatballs during frozen storage, but samples with the synthetic antioxidant were characterized by a non-typical flavour after a longer time of storage.

Concepts: Nutrition, Antioxidant, Mixture, Vitamin C, Red, Food additive, Cooking, Butylated hydroxytoluene


Nisin is a natural preservative for many food products. This bacteriocin is mainly used in dairy and meat products. Nisin inhibits pathogenic food borne bacteria such as Listeria monocytogenes and many other Gram-positive food spoilage microorganisms. Nisin can be used alone or in combination with other preservatives or also with several physical treatments. This article reviews physicochemical and biological properties of nisin, the main factors affecting its antimicrobial effectiveness, and its food applications as an additive directly incorporated into food matrices.

Concepts: Natural selection, Bacteria, Organism, Microbiology, Listeria monocytogenes, Listeria, Food preservation, Food additive


β-Caryophyllene (BCP) is natural bicyclic sesquiterpene abundantly found in essential oils from various spices, fruits and medicinal as well as ornamental plants. It is approved by United States Food and Drug Administration and European agencies as food additive, taste enhancer and flavoring agent and termed as a phytocannabinoid.

Concepts: Medicine, United States, Food, Taste, Pharmaceutical drug, Flavor, Food additive, Essential oil