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Difructose Dianhydrides (DFAs) and DFA-Enriched Products as Functional Foods

AuthorsOrtiz-Mellet, Carmen; García-Fernández, José Manuel
Difructose dianhydrides
Functional foods
Issue Date23-Mar-2010
CitationTopics in Current Chemistry 294: 49-77 (2010)
AbstractThis review provides an overview of the current status of the chemistry and biology of di-d-fructose dianhydrides (DFAs) with a focus on their potential as functional foods. The history of this family of cyclic ketodisaccharides has expanded for almost 100 years and offers a paradigmatic example of artificial synthetic molecules that were identified as natural products later on and finally encountered in our own table. Issued from fundamental investigations on the reactivity of carbohydrates in strongly acidic media, DFAs remained laboratory curiosities for decades. Early reports on their isolation from plants raised doubts, until the formation of some DFA representatives by the action of microorganisms on fructans was reported in the middle 1980s. Since then, research on DFAs has run in parallel in the areas of microbiology and carbohydrate chemistry. Evidence of the potential of these compounds as functional food was accumulated from both sides, with the development of biotechnological processes for mass production of selected candidates and of chemical methodologies to prepare DFA-enriched products from sucrose or inulin. In 1994 a decisive discovery in the field took place in the laboratory of Jacques Defaye in Grenoble, France: the presence of DFAs in a commercial sucrose caramel was evidenced in a quite significant 18% mass proportion! The development of an efficient analytical protocol for DFAs and the stereoselective synthesis of individual standards allowed one to demonstrate that DFAs and their glycosylated derivatives (glycosyl-DFAs) are universally formed during caramelization reactions. They are not potential food products; they have actually always been in our daily food. Most important, they seem to exert beneficial effects: they are acariogenic, low-caloric, and promote the growth of beneficial microflora in the gut. Most recent evidence indicates that DFAs can even protect the intestinal tract against agressive agents favor the assimilation of antioxidants, and act as a drug-like food for the treatment of colon ailments such as inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn disease). The development of efficient methodologies for the preparation of DFA-enriched caramels, compatible with the food and agricultural industry regulations, may lead to new natural functional foods and nutraceuticals based on DFAs in the near future.
Description29 páginas, 8 figuras, 16 esquemas.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/128_2010_50
Appears in Collections:(IIQ) Artículos
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