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Bioactive composition and promising health benefits of natural food flavors and colorants: potential beyond their basic functions

Komalpreet Kaur (Department of Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry, McGill University, Montreal, Canada)
Rajan Sharma (Dr SSB University Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India)
Sukhwant Singh (Dr SSB University Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India)

Pigment & Resin Technology

ISSN: 0369-9420

Article publication date: 18 September 2019

Issue publication date: 27 February 2020

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this review is to address the consumer’s preferences that have varied greatly in the past decade appraising the use of flavor and aroma compounds in the development of functional foods rather than consuming artificial additives. A growing interest in natural flavoring agents and preservatives have made the researchers to explore the other bio-functional properties of natural flavors beyond their ability to give a remarkable flavor to the food.

Design/methodology/approach

In this review, five major flavoring agents used significantly in food industries have been discussed for their bioactive profile and promising health benefits. Vanilla, coffee, cardamom, saffron and cinnamon, despite being appreciated as natural flavors, have got impressive health benefits due to functional ingredients, which are being used for the development of nutraceuticals.

Findings

Flavoring and coloring compounds of these products have shown positive results in the prevention of several diseases including carcinoma and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Such effects are attributed to the presence of phenolic compounds, which possesses free radical scavenging, anti-inflammatory antiviral and antimicrobial properties. These properties not only show a preventive mechanism against diseases but also makes the food product shelf-stable by imparting antimicrobial effects.

Originality/value

This paper highlights the opportunities to increase the use of such natural flavoring agents over synthetic aroma compounds to develop novel functional foods. Phenols, carotenoids and flavonoids are the major health-promoting components of these highly valued aroma ingredients.

Keywords

Citation

Kaur, K., Sharma, R. and Singh, S. (2020), "Bioactive composition and promising health benefits of natural food flavors and colorants: potential beyond their basic functions", Pigment & Resin Technology, Vol. 49 No. 2, pp. 110-118. https://doi.org/10.1108/PRT-02-2019-0009

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited