chapter  13
34 Pages

The Packaging of Nutraceuticals Derived from Plants

Bioactive compounds in plants exist in relatively small quantities and are known to exhibit nutritional and healing characteristics. These compounds exist as a wide variety of chemical structures, and the functions they accomplish in the human body vary according to the health effect they induce. These include improved performance of targeted organs and/or bodily functions. Examples of these chemicals include phenolic and organosulfur compounds. Examples of phenolic compounds include flavonoids, phytoestrogens, hydroxytyrosols, resveratrol, and lycopene. These compounds can be found in a variety of plant products such as cereal grains, fruits, vegetables, tea, nuts, legumes, herbs, spices, red wine, and edible oils such as olive, flax, and soy (Kris-Etherton et al. 2002). The plant structures from which these compounds are found vary from roots, stems (including tubers), leaves, flowers, barks, bulbs, fruits, seeds, buds, stalks, and clusters. In some plants, the bioactive compounds can be found in secretions such as resin, latex, and sap.