Publications by authors named "Mingcong Fan"

20 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Comparison of Different Soluble Dietary Fibers during the Fermentation Process.

J Agric Food Chem 2021 May 5. Epub 2021 May 5.

School of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, China.

Soluble dietary fibers being fermented by gut microbiota constitute a pivotal prerequisite for soluble dietary fibers exhibiting physiological functions. However, the relationship between fiber type and gut microbiota metabolism remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to investigate and compare the effect of fiber types on short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) biosynthesis in a simulated colon. Results showed that different soluble dietary fibers caused distinct metabolic profiles both in SCFAs and organic acids. Further analysis revealed that the SCFA biosynthesis pathway was related to the chain structure of fiber polysaccharides. Moreover, the microbial community structure showed substantial difference among experimental groups. was substantially elevated in the resistant starch group, while was the predominant genus in other groups. Correlation analysis further revealed that SCFA biosynthesis was correlated with microbial taxa at different taxonomic levels. Totally, the present study provided an insight into targeted intervention of gut microorganisms for dictating SCFA and organic acid production.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.1c00237DOI Listing
May 2021

Wheat bran, as the resource of dietary fiber: a review.

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2021 May 3:1-28. Epub 2021 May 3.

State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, School of Food Science and Technology, National Engineering Research Center for Functional Food, Jiangnan University, Wuxi, China.

Wheat bran is a major by-product of white flour milling and had been produced in large quantities around the world; it is rich in dietary fiber and had already been used in many products such as whole grain baking or high dietary fiber addition. It has been confirmed that a sufficient intake of dietary fiber in wheat bran with appropriate physiological functions is beneficial to human health. Wheat bran had been considered as the addition with a large potential for improving the nutritional condition of the human body based on the dietary fiber supplement. The present review summarized the available information on wheat bran related to its dietary fiber functions, which may be helpful for further development of wheat bran as dietary fiber resource.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2021.1913399DOI Listing
May 2021

Vaccinium bracteatum Thunb. as a promising resource of bioactive compounds with health benefits: An updated review.

Food Chem 2021 Mar 31;356:129738. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

School of Food Science and Technology, State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, 1800 Lihu Avenue, Wuxi 214122, China; National Engineering Research Center for Functional Food, Jiangnan University, 1800 Lihu Avenue, Wuxi 214122, China. Electronic address:

Vaccinium bracteatum Thunb.(VBT) is well-known for many physiological and bioactivities in some ancient Chinese pharmacopeias and modern researches. The health benefits are related to the presence of various nutritional and bioactive compounds. This review aims to demonstrate an updated overview of VBT in respect of botanical characters, nutritional and bioactive composition, main biological activities, and current applications. Various studies have emphasized at promising health benefits of VBT against hyperglycemia, oxidative stress, inflammation, depressive disorder, and retinal damage. However, the applications of VBT are limited to some native traditional foods and Chinese medicine. The novel beneficial efficacy and applications are still needed to be investigated. In conclusion, more research is necessary to overcome these gaps between the in-depth insights of health benefits and potential industrial applications. This review will contribute in future research for developing the functional foods derived from VBT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2021.129738DOI Listing
March 2021

Effects of low-carbohydrate diet and ketogenic diet on glucose and lipid metabolism in type 2 diabetic mice.

Nutrition 2021 Mar 4;89:111230. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, School of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, Wuxi, China. Electronic address:

Objective: With the prevalence of diabetes worldwide, it is urgent to find a suitable treatment. Recently, the ketogenic diet has shown beneficial effects in reducing blood glucose, but some concerns have been raised about its probable side effects, such as hyperlipidemia and hepatic steatosis. Because a low-carbohydrate diet replaces part of the fat with carbohydrates on the basis of the ketogenic diet, we would like to know whether it does better in treating type 2 diabetes. The aim of this study was to explore the possibility of a low-carbohydrate diet as a substitute for a ketogenic diet intervention in mice with type 2 diabetes.

Methods: C57 BL/6 J mice with type 2 diabetes, constructed by a high-fat diet combined with streptozotocin, were fed a standard diet, a high-fat diet, a low-carbohydrate diet, or a ketogenic diet for 14 wk, respectively. Then glucose and insulin tolerance tests were conducted. At the end of the study, blood and liver samples were collected and analyzed for serum biochemical indicators, histopathologic evaluation, hepatic lipid and glycogen content, and expression levels of mRNA and protein.

Results: Reduced blood glucose could be observed in both low-carbohydrate and ketogenic diets, as well as improvement in glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. However, the ketogenic diet decreased liver glycogen content and promoted gluconeogenesis. Mechanistically, this effect was due to inhibition of phosphorylated AMP-activated protein kinase, which could be improved by a low-carbohydrate diet. Regarding lipid metabolism, the ketogenic diet increased lipid oxidation and reduced de novo lipogenesis, but the hepatic lipid content still inevitably increased. On the contrary, the low-carbohydrate diet reduced triacylglycerols and markers of liver damage.

Conclusions: Collectively, these findings suggest that both diets are effective in lowering blood glucose, improving glucose tolerance, and raising insulin sensitivity. Moreover, the low-carbohydrate diet plays a role in inhibiting hepatic gluconeogenesis and improving lipid metabolism. The results suggest that the two diets have different effects on glucose and lipid metabolism, and that the low-carbohydrate diet might have more benefits in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2021.111230DOI Listing
March 2021

Molecular structure, morphological, and physicochemical properties of highlands barley starch as affected by natural fermentation.

Food Chem 2021 Mar 23;356:129665. Epub 2021 Mar 23.

School of Food Science and Technology, State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, 1800 Lihu Avenue, Wuxi 214122, China; National Engineering Research Center for Functional Food, Jiangnan University, 1800 Lihu Avenue, Wuxi 214122, China. Electronic address:

The influence of natural fermentation on the highlands barley starch chemical structure, morphological, physicochemical, and thermal properties was studied. The findings showed that fermentation had no impact on starch fine structure but it decreased the molecular-weight from 2.26 to 1.04 × 10 g/mol in native highlands barley and after 72 h fermentation (FHB72) respectively. Also, it decreased amylopectin long-chains (B1 and B2) while increased short-chains. The intensity ratio of FT-IR at 995/1022 and 1047/1022 bands were found to be higher as the time of fermentation progressed, and the highest absorption-intensity at 3000-3600 cm and higher swelling capacity were noticed in the starch of FHB72. During fermentation, pasting peak, final and setback viscosities were decreased. Microscopically, granules with more pores, damaged, cracked, and no growth rings were found in starches isolated after 48 h and 72 h of fermentation. This study indicated that fermentation up to 72 h is an effective method to modify highlands barley starch.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2021.129665DOI Listing
March 2021

l-Arabinose Attenuates Gliadin-Induced Food Allergy via Regulation of Th1/Th2 Balance and Upregulation of Regulatory T Cells in Mice.

J Agric Food Chem 2021 Mar 18;69(12):3638-3646. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, School of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, China.

Gliadins are the main cause of wheat allergies, and the prevalence of gliadin allergy has increased in many countries. l-Arabinose, a kind of plant-specific five-carbon aldose, possesses beneficial effects on food allergy to gliadins. This study investigated the antiallergic activities and underlying mechanisms of l-arabinose in a wheat gliadin-sensitized mouse model. BALB/c mice were sensitized to gliadin by intraperitoneal injections with gliadin followed by being given a gliadin challenge. l-arabinose-treated mice exhibited a marked reduction in the productions of total immunoglobulin E (IgE), gliadin-specific IgE, gliadin-specific IgG1, and histamine, with an increase in IgG2a level as compared with gliadin-sensitized mice. Beside that, a significant decrease in Th2-related cytokine level, IL-4, and an increase in Th1-related cytokine level, IFN-γ, in the serum and splenocytes were observed after treatment with l-arabinose. l-Arabinose treatment also improved the imbalance of Th1/Th2 immune response on the basis of the expression levels of related cytokines and key transcription factors in the small intestine and spleen of sensitized mice. In addition, gliadin-induced intestinal barrier impairment was blocked by l-arabinose treatment via regulation of TJ proteins and suppression of p38 MAPK and p65 NF-κB inflammation signaling pathways. Notably, the results confirmed that l-arabinose treatment increased CD4 Foxp3 T cell populations and Treg-related factors associated with increased expression of IL-2 and activation of STAT5 in gliadin-sensitized mice. In conclusion, l-arabinose attenuated the gliadin-induced allergic symptoms via maintenance of Th1/Th2 immune balance and regulation of Treg cells in a gliadin-induced mouse model, suggesting l-arabinose could be used as a promising agent to alleviate gliadin allergy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.0c07167DOI Listing
March 2021

Systematic assessment of oat β-glucan catabolism during in vitro digestion and fermentation.

Food Chem 2021 Jun 16;348:129116. Epub 2021 Jan 16.

State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, School of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, China. Electronic address:

β-Glucan as a component of grain cell walls is consumed daily. However, little is known about whether β-glucan is influenced by the gastrointestinal environment. In this study, we aim to investigate the integrated metabolic process of cereal β-glucan. In vitro simulated digestion and fermentation combined with microbiome and metabolome analysis were used to profile the metabolism of β-glucan. Intriguingly, we found that β-glucan was not hydrolyzed by digestive enzymes but partially degraded by gastric acid environment during in vitro digestion. Moreover, β-glucan was utilized by gut microbiota to produce acetate, propionate and butyrate, concurrently, the relative abundance of Lactobacillus significantly increased and Escherichia-Shigella significantly decreased. The correlation analysis between metabolomics datasets and microorganisms revealed that β-glucan catabolism was also accompanied by amino acid catabolism and linoleic acid biosynthesis. Our study offered a forceful basis for the further exploration of the role of β-glucan and gut microbiota in host health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2021.129116DOI Listing
June 2021

L-Arabinose suppresses gluconeogenesis through modulating AMP-activated protein kinase in metabolic disorder mice.

Food Funct 2021 Mar;12(4):1745-1756

State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, School of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, China.

l-Arabinose is a kind of plant-specific five-carbon aldose with benefits in type 2 diabetes mellitus. It has been shown to have good properties in improving glucose homeostasis, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are still not clear. Hepatic gluconeogenesis is critical for regulating glucose homeostasis. Here, this study aimed to investigate whether l-arabinose could improve glucose metabolism via suppressing hepatic gluconeogenesis. High-fat-high-sucrose diet (HFHSD) or high-sucrose diet (HSD)-fed mice were supplemented with or without l-arabinose for 12 weeks. Fasting blood glucose levels were measured and glucose tolerance test and the histological analysis were performed after l-arabinose administration. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α (PGC1α), Forkhead box O1 (FoxO1), phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) and glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase) expression levels were determined by RT-PCR and western blotting. As expected, l-arabinose apparently decreased body weight and attenuated hyperglycemia and glucose intolerance caused by HFHSD or HSD. l-Arabinose also had beneficial effects on glycogen synthesis by inactivating GSK3β. The expression levels of gluconeogenic genes were all decreased by l-arabinose administration in vivo and in vitro. In addition, our work revealed that AMPK is required for the inhibitory effects of l-arabinose on hepatic gluconeogenesis. l-Arabinose significantly up-regulated the phosphorylated levels of AMPK and its downstream protein ACC. Furthermore, blocking AMPK signaling through an inhibitor (compound C) or siAMPK significantly attenuated the inhibition of hepatic gluconeogenesis and the promotion of glycogen synthesis with l-arabinose, indicating that the inhibitory effect of l-arabinose on hepatic gluconeogenesis was AMPK dependent. Our work revealed that l-arabinose is a promising natural product for the regulation of hyperglycemia through inhibition of hepatic gluconeogenesis by activating AMPK.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0fo02163fDOI Listing
March 2021

Circulating miR-27a-3p as a candidate for a biomarker of whole grain diets for lipid metabolism.

Food Funct 2020 Oct;11(10):8852-8865

School of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, 1800 Lihu Avenue, Wuxi 214122, China. and State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, 1800 Lihu Avenue, Wuxi 214122, China.

As a worldwide epidemic, overweight and obesity have long been an issue of great interest in a wide range of health areas, and the whole grain diet has been proven to be an effective and healthy manner to prevent them. Recent developments in the field of microRNAs (miRNAs) have led to a renewed interest in lipid metabolism, however, whether a whole grain diet regulates lipid metabolism through miRNAs is still unknown. Hence, our current study was carried out to explore the changes of miRNAs in mice with the treatment of whole grain diets (the brown rice group, BR and whole wheat group, WW) and to screen out miRNAs that can serve as a biomarker to evaluate and regulate lipid metabolism. After whole grain diet treatment for 8 weeks, the lipids both in serum and liver were reduced, as well as the body weight. Moreover, there were 136 miRNAs with significant differences among our three dietary patterns (the CS diet, BR diet and WW diet) analyzed by serum miRNAs sequencing, and only 16 miRNAs showed simultaneous differences in the BR or WW groups compared to the CS group, showing a consistent trend of change. The serum miRNA sequencing and qRT-PCR analysis revealed that miR-27a-3p was decreased in serum and WAT, while it was elevated both in the liver and ileum. We propose that circulating miR-27a-3p could be a novel candidate for a biomarker of whole grain diets for lipid metabolism through the assessment of the KEGG pathway, GO enrichment and the conservative analysis of miRNAs. The potential mechanisms of action could be through binding the 3'UTR of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGCR) and fatty acid synthase (FASN), which were key enzymes for lipid synthesis, achieving regulation of lipid metabolism. A luciferase assay was also performed to verify the above mechanism, which shows that miR-27a-3p mimics transfection, repressing the luciferase activity of the two reporters carrying miR-27a-3p regulatory elements found in the 3'-UTR of HMGCR and FASN, respectively. Our study has provided new molecular mechanisms of whole grain diets for lipid metabolism, as well as a new therapeutic target for the treatment of obesity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0fo00830cDOI Listing
October 2020

Characterization of promising natural blue pigment from Vaccinium bracteatum thunb. leaves: Insights of the stability and the inhibition of α-amylase.

Food Chem 2020 Oct 4;326:126962. Epub 2020 May 4.

School of Food Science and Technology, State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, 1800 Lihu Avenue, Wuxi 214122, China; National Engineering Research Center for Functional Food, Jiangnan University, 1800 Lihu Avenue, Wuxi 214122, China. Electronic address:

A concise method of natural blue pigment from Vaccinium bracteatum thunb. leaves (VBTL) was proposed firstly in this research. The potential properties of new pigment source needed to be assessed for further application. During the shelf life and thermal-accelerated storage, the blue pigment was prone to stable in the mildly acidic system, which was observed retention of 35.85% for storage of 12 weeks in pH 4.0. The 65% of blue pigment retained after the in vitro simulated digestion. The blue pigment exhibited inhibition effect on the pancreatic α-amylase (IC = 2.915 mg/mL). The analysis of inhibition kinetics indicated the blue pigment was an uncompetitive inhibitor. Through fluorescence quenching and circular dichroism study, the blue pigment inhibited α-amylase activity via the structural unfolding of α-amylase molecule and changing the secondary structure. These findings provided the new evidence of the digestion resistibility of VBTL pigment and the functional food - "Wu mi".
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2020.126962DOI Listing
October 2020

Geniposide reduces cholesterol accumulation and increases its excretion by regulating the FXR-mediated liver-gut crosstalk of bile acids.

Pharmacol Res 2020 02 3;152:104631. Epub 2020 Jan 3.

State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, School of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, 1800 Lihu Avenue, Wuxi 214122, China. Electronic address:

Hypercholesterolemia is the main risk factor to threaten human health and geniposide has been found to have hypolipidemic functions. However, its underlying mechanism is not clear. In this study, we firstly confirmed the hypolipidemic functions of geniposide in C57BL/6 and ApoE mice (i.p, 50 mg/kg/d). Then hepatic or arterial lipid accumulation was analyzed through histomorphology. Moreover, the effects of geniposide on the bile acid metabolism were analyzed by the hepatic RNA-seq and biological molecular analysis. Mechanistically, GW4064, an FXR agonist, was carried out to verify the mechanisms of geniposide in human HepG2 and Caco2 cells. As expected, geniposide decreased the lipid accumulations both in plasma and liver. Morever, the atherosclerotic plaque shrank in HCD-fed ApoE mice with geniposide treatment. The molecular analysis revealed that geniposide accelerated the hepatic synthesis of bile acids through inactivating the negative feedback regulation of bile acids mediated by FXR, led to the enhancive reverse cholesterol transport and cholesterol catabolism. What's more, geniposide reduced ileal FXR-mediated reabsorption of bile acids, resulting in the increasing excretion of bile acids. Our study pointed out the regulatory functions of geniposide on FXR-mediated liver-gut crosstalk of bile acids and geniposide might be a novel strategy for maintaining cholesterol homeostasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phrs.2020.104631DOI Listing
February 2020

Stability assessment of crocetin and crocetin derivatives in Gardenia yellow pigment and Gardenia fruit pomace in presence of different cooking methods.

Food Chem 2020 May 16;312:126031. Epub 2019 Dec 16.

State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, 1800 Lihu Avenue, Wuxi 214122, China; School of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, 1800 Lihu Avenue, Wuxi 214122, China; National Engineering Research Center for Functional Food, Jiangnan University, 1800 Lihu Avenue, Wuxi 214122, China. Electronic address:

Gardenia fruit pomace (GFP) is a byproduct during the Gardenia oil production and rich in Gardenia yellow pigment (GY) in which the major functional components are crocetin and crocetin derivatives (CDs). The application of GFP was still limited. In this research, the stabilities of CDs during thermal and lighting treatment were studied, food systems with GY or GFP were simulated to evaluate the effects of cooking methods on CDs. Seven CDs were identified and determined in GY and GFP by UPLC-QToF-MS and HPLC. The stability results showed that CDs were sensitive to heat and light, the great loss of total CDs and detachment of aglycon were observed during thermal treatment. Light-driven degradation reactions of CDs fitted the first-order model. Different cooking methods (boiling, baking, steaming) had distinct impacts on the CDs contents in the simulated food system with GY and GFP, steaming should be an appropriate method for cooking.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2019.126031DOI Listing
May 2020

Correction to l-Arabinose Inhibits Colitis by Modulating Gut Microbiota in Mice.

J Agric Food Chem 2020 01 18;68(1):439. Epub 2019 Dec 18.

Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Advanced Food Manufacturing Equipment & Technology, State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, School of Food Science and Technology , Jiangnan University , Wuxi 214122 , Jiangsu , China.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.9b07730DOI Listing
January 2020

l-Arabinose Inhibits Colitis by Modulating Gut Microbiota in Mice.

J Agric Food Chem 2019 Dec 14;67(48):13299-13306. Epub 2019 Nov 14.

Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Advanced Food Manufacturing Equipment & Technology, State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, School of Food Science and Technology , Jiangnan University , Nanjing 210037 , Jiangsu , China.

l-Arabinose is a monosaccharide extracted from plants or fibers, which is known to have a variety of functional properties. In this study, we aim to investigate whether l-arabinose could inhibit colitis by modulating gut microbiota. l-Arabinose was administered in mice daily in a dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced colitis model. The histological analysis, disease index, and the expression of inflammatory genes were measured. 16S-rRNA sequence analysis was performed to investigate gut microbiota. Intriguingly, we found that l-arabinose could repress DSS-induced colitis and inhibit p38-/p65-dependent inflammation activation. Besides that, our data revealed that l-arabinose-modulated DSS-induced gut microbiota were disturbed. Additionally, the perturbed gut microbiota was responsible for the suppressive effects of l-arabinose on DSS-induced colitis treated with antibiotics. Lastly, Caco-2 cells were used to confirm the protective effects of l-arabinose in colitis or inflammatory bowel disease. As expected, the protein expression levels in Caco-2 cells of pro-inflammatory genes, which were treated with l-arabinose and incubated with or without tumor necrosis factor alpha. Our work suggested that l-arabinose exerts anti-inflammation effects in DSS-induced colitis. These beneficial effects have correlations with the composition, diversity, and abundance of the gut microbiota regulated by l-arabinose. l-Arabinose could be a remarkable candidate as a functional food or novel therapeutic strategy for intestinal health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.9b05829DOI Listing
December 2019

Phosphorylation and Enzymatic Hydrolysis with Alcalase and Papain Effectively Reduce Allergic Reactions to Gliadins in Normal Mice.

J Agric Food Chem 2019 Jun 22;67(22):6313-6323. Epub 2019 May 22.

State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, School of Food Science and Technology , Jiangnan University , Wuxi 214122 , People's Republic of China.

Gliadins are major allergens responsible for wheat allergies. Food processing is an effective strategy to reduce the allergenicity of gluten. In the present study, we determined the secondary and tertiary structures of gluten and gliadins treated by chemical, physical, and enzymatic means through FTIR, surface hydrophobicity, intrinsic fluorescence spectra, and UV absorption spectra. The results showed that the three treatments of phosphorylation and alcalase and papain hydrolyses significantly changed the conformational structures of gliadins, especially the secondary structure. Then, the potential allergenicity of the phosphorylated and alcalase and papain hydrolyzed gliadins were further characterized, and we observed a significant decrease in the allergenicity through the results of the index of spleen, serum total IgE, gliadin-specific IgE, histamine, and serum cytokine concentrations. An elevation of Th17 cells, the absence of Treg cells, and an imbalance in Treg/Th17 are associated with allergy. On the basis of the expression levels of related cytokines and key transcription factors, we also confirmed that phosphorylation and alcalase and papain hydrolysis could effectively reduce the allergenicity of gliadins by improving the imbalance of both Th1/Th2 and Treg/Th17 in the spleens of sensitized mice. This study suggested that the changes in conformational structure contribute to gliadin hyposensitization and that phosphorylation and alcalase and papain hydrolysis may be promising strategies for the production of wheat products with low allergenicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.9b00569DOI Listing
June 2019

Comparative investigation on metabolite changes in 'wu mi' production by Vaccinium bracteatum Thunb. leaves based on multivariate data analysis using UPLC-QToF-MS.

Food Chem 2019 Jul 31;286:146-153. Epub 2019 Jan 31.

State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, 1800 Lihu Avenue, Wuxi 214122, China; School of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, 1800 Lihu Avenue, Wuxi 214122, China; National Engineering Research Center for Functional Food, Jiangnan University, 1800 Lihu Avenue, Wuxi 214122, China. Electronic address:

Vaccinium bracteatum Thunb. leaves (VBTL) are used to juicing and dye rice to produce 'Wu mi', which displays a deep blue color. However, little information is known about the formation mechanism of the pigments. In this research, non-targeted metabolic profiling of VBTL and VBTL juice samples at different growth stages was studied for searching the pigment precursors through UPLC-QToF-MS and multivariate data analysis. The results showed the L and b values of 'Wu mi' produced by spring leaves (stages of 2WAB, 4WAB and 6WAB) were significantly lower than other growth stages. Principal component analysis (PCA) and partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) of the VBTL and VBTL juice samples showed distinct classifications. Further variable importance in projection (VIP) plot in PLS-DA model demonstrated the discriminatory potential biomarkers between VBTL and VBTL juice samples. Some of the identified biomarkers were tentatively identified as the precursor compounds of the iridoid-derived pigments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2019.01.144DOI Listing
July 2019

Effect of phosphates on gelling characteristics and water mobility of myofibrillar protein from grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus).

Food Chem 2019 Jan 9;272:84-92. Epub 2018 Aug 9.

College of Food Science and Technology, and MOE Key Laboratory of Environment Correlative Dietology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China; The Sub Center (Wuhan) of National Technology and R&D of Staple Freshwater Fish Processing, Wuhan 430070, China. Electronic address:

Effect of phosphates on the heat-induced gel characteristics of myofibrillar protein (MP) from grass carp was investigated. Both heating and phosphates exerted significant influences. Heating induced more elastic, water-holding and less flowing gel. But phosphates had diverse effects at different temperatures. At 4 °C and 40 °C, phosphate as a dominant factor reduced the gel elasticity and resistance and increased flowability with increasing levels of phosphates. Furthermore, 280 mg/kg sodium pyrophosphate (SPP) or 440 mg/kg sodium triphosphates (STP) transformed MP from weak gel into concentrated solution. It clarified phosphates disentangled MP macromolecules and inhibited their aggregation and pre-gelation at low temperature. At 80 °C, heating accompanied with phosphates governed MP gelation. The appropriate level of phosphates (SPP superior to STP) endowed MP-phosphate gels with the lowest flowability and greatest elasticity, textural properties as well as finest microstructures. Besides, phosphates entrapped a portion of weak immobile water more tightly into smaller-sized pores of protein network.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2018.08.028DOI Listing
January 2019

Tentative characterization of precursor compounds and co-factors of pigment formation in production of 'wu mi' from Vaccinium bracteatum Thunb. Leaves.

Food Chem 2018 Oct 24;262:199-205. Epub 2018 Apr 24.

School of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, 1800 Lihu Avenue, Wuxi 214122, China; State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, 1800 Lihu Avenue, Wuxi 214122, China; National Engineering Research Center for Functional Food, Jiangnan University, 1800 Lihu Avenue, Wuxi 214122, China.

Vaccinium bracteatum leaves (VBTL) are traditionally used in China to dye rice grains, which assume a deep blue color, named 'Wu mi'. Information on the mechanism of pigment formation is limited. In this study, CIELAB color space parameters were used to represent the color of 'Wu mi'. Precursor compounds of pigments formed during the dyeing process were identified by UPLC Q-TOF MS analysis. The changes in co-factors for pigment formation in VBTL were measured at different growth stages. The L and b values of dyed rice increased as the leaves aged, whereas a values showed irregular changes. Six compounds were tentatively identified as pigment precursors by UPLC Q-TOF MS analysis. The pH and β-glucosidase activity at different growth stages of VBTL were indicated to be crucial co-factors for pigment formation. A tentative hypothesis is presented that iridoid glycosides are hydrolyzed by acids and β-glucosidases to form a dialdehyde structure that binds covalently with amino residues of lysine side chains in rice protein molecules.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2018.04.101DOI Listing
October 2018

Effect of Vaccinium bracteatum Thunb. leaf pigment on the thermal, pasting, and textural properties and microstructure characterization of rice starch.

Food Chem 2017 Aug 11;228:435-440. Epub 2017 Feb 11.

State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, School of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, China.

In this study, the thermal, pasting and gel textural properties of japonica rice starch (JRS) and glutinous rice starch (GRS) fortified with Vaccinium bracteatum Thunb. leaf pigment (VBTLP) were investigated. The results showed that VBTLP facilitated the gelatinization of JRS and GRS with earlier onsets of onset temperature (T), peak temperature (T), conclusion temperature (T), and lower values of gelatinization enthalpy (ΔH), and retrogradation enthalpy (ΔH), as the VBTLP level increased. For JRS, VBTLP increased the peak viscosity and breakdown, reduced the final viscosity and setback, but for GRS it increased the peak viscosity, final viscosity, breakdown and setback. VBTLP also reduced the hardness and adhesiveness of the JRS gel. The values of lightness (L) for JRS and GRS with VBTLP decreased by 47.60 and 49.56%, respectively. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed that VBTLP caused looser matrices in dried JRS and GRS gels which had lower crystallinities compared with the control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2017.02.041DOI Listing
August 2017

Gel characteristics and microstructure of fish myofibrillar protein/cassava starch composites.

Food Chem 2017 Mar 12;218:221-230. Epub 2016 Sep 12.

College of Food Science and Technology, and MOE Key Laboratory of Environment Correlative Dietology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China; The Sub Center (Wuhan) of National Technology and R&D of Staple Freshwater Fish Processing, Wuhan 430070, China. Electronic address:

The changes in fish myofibrillar protein/cassava starch composites in the starch fraction range from 0 to 1, with their total content maintained at 60mg/mL, were investigated in terms of textural properties, rheological behaviours, morphology, spatial distribution and protein molecular structure. The results revealed that the starch fraction of 0.5 was a critical point for the conversion of the protein matrix to starch matrix and conversion of the gel from elastic to weak. Moreover, the protein-starch synergistic effect on the storage modulus was strongest at fractions of 0.5 and 0.6, due to the formation of a semi-interpenetrating network, with more amylose from the melted starch granules interpenetrated with the protein molecules, and the absorption of water by the starch granules to concentrate the protein matrix. Additionally, no covalent interaction between the protein and starch occurred with increasing starch fraction, thus having no significant influence on the protein secondary structure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2016.09.068DOI Listing
March 2017