Value-Added Lipids from Plant Foods and Respective Applications Chapter uri icon


  • FCT, Portugal for financial support through national funds FCT/MCTES to the CIMO (UIDB/00690/2020), and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Regional Operational Program North 2020, within the scope of the projects Project GreenHealth (Norte-01-0145-FEDER-000042) and ValorNatural® (Norte-01-0247-FEDER-024479), whom the author F.S. Reis thanks for her contract. L. Barros thanks the national funding by FCT, P.I., through the institutional scientific employment program-contract for her contract, and M. Carocho (CEECIND/00831/2018), and S.A. Heleno (CEECIND/03040/2017) to the national funding by FCT, P.I., through the individual scientific employment program-contracts.
  • Since ancient times, man has used plants as a food source, associating their consumption with nutritional and health benefits. Among the nutrients obtained from plants, which the consumer associates more with beneficial health effects than those obtained from the animal diet, we can highlight the lipids. Lipids play a vital role in plant or animal biology, as they are a source of energy and can also act as hormones or signaling molecules. In plants, the lipid content varies according to the species, but this fraction is mainly constituted by polar and nonpolar lipids and acyl glycerides. The main classes of lipids found in plants include glycerols, phospholipids, glycolipids, sterols, free fatty acids, vitamins, waxes, carotenes, terpenes, hydrocarbons, phenolics, tocols, chlorophyll pigments, and their derivatives. Given the importance of these nutrients and their effects on human health, obtaining and using them as value-added molecules with a potential industrial application at different levels can and should be analyzed. Nowadays, several sectors (e.g. food, cosmetic, or pharmaceutical) invest in the search and characterization of different molecules to be used, such as functional and/or nutraceutical ingredients. Hence, promoting the concept of circular 92economy and sustainability of processes and products, byproducts have been identified as an excellent source of interest compounds. With these aspects in mind, this chapter presents the main vegetable sources of lipids, emphasizing food byproducts, the beneficial effects of these molecules on human health, ways of obtaining and extraction methodologies, and the potential for application in different sectors.

publication date

  • 2024