Food-derived bioactive peptides have gained significant interest as functional agents for developing food products with health benefits. The peptide structure is highly susceptible to chemical modifications, which can subsequently influence their physiological behavior and bioactivities. This presentation highlights the peptide structure modifications occurring with major food components during processing and associated changes in peptide properties and biofunctions.
Major interactions of peptides with food components include reactions with carbohydrates, lipids and phenolic compounds, and formation of complexes with divalent metals. Amino acid residues of peptides determine their susceptibility to modification when interacting with food components. Notably, food processing can facilitate these reactions and further influence the biostability and bioactivity of the peptides. Food component-peptide interactions as well as the correlation between the structural modification and bioactivity of peptides are largely uncharacterized. Targeted and untargeted omics approaches present a tremendous opportunity in addressing this knowledge gap, especially in characterizing peptide derivatives and complexation products, and monitoring their structural dynamics, in food products and biological samples.
Given the modification propensity of peptides, it is imperative to characterize the nature, biofunctions, gut activity, bioavailability and safety of modified peptides towards achieving pragmatic food applications of bioactive peptides.