In recent years, researchers have discovered the potential of bioactive peptides. These compounds have antioxidant, antimicrobial, immunomodulatory, and antidiabetic properties. A variety of foods and beverages contain them. They are also used as food additives and nutraceuticals.
Animal protein sources are among the main sources of bioactive peptides. Milk proteins, egg proteins, and fish proteins are common examples. Meat proteins are also widely studied. Proteins from these foods are commonly used as functional foods.
Depending on the amino acid sequence and structure, bioactive peptides can exert a biological activity. Food peptides are produced during protein hydrolysis, by microbial fermentation, or by fermentation in vitro. During their production, they are separated from the parent proteins by purification.
Bioactive peptides are generally inactive in their native protein structure. However, they may exert a biological activity depending on their conformation and length. This ability to exert a biological activity in vivo is one of the main factors that distinguish bioactive peptides from ordinary proteins.
Currently, most research on bioactive peptides has been conducted in lab animals. However, more in vivo studies are necessary to validate their health benefits. It is critical to ensure that bioactive peptides are safe for human consumption.
Before the use of bioactive peptides in foods and other applications, it is important to perform testing to determine toxicity. Moreover, the cost-benefit balance must be considered when evaluating the costs and benefits of using these compounds.
Research on bioactive peptides is a rapidly evolving field. As a result, there are challenges to overcome.