Metabolomics approach to identify the health promoting bioactive compounds from fruits and vegetables
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Volatile compounds are known for number of biological activities, including antimicrobial and anti-fungal activity, enhancement of skin health, anti-inflammatory activity, analgesic and properties of inhibition of cancer cells proliferation (18-21). The volatiles are clinically used for pulmonary obstruction and acute bronchitis (22) . Number of volatile oils is explored for health benefits using in vivo and in vitro models, however very few are clinically studied. Some of the volatile oils clinically tested for their health benefits include, 1,8- cineole, standardized myrtol (mixture of 1,8- cineole, α-pinene and limonene), thyme oil and peppermint oil (23). Another major therapeutic area which utilizes monoterpene rich volatile oil is 'aromatherapy'. It is most actively growing system of alternative medicine, which combines massage, counseling and use of plant aromas to treat various ailments (24). Some of the clinical investigations conducted on aromatherapy includes, use of lavender oil in peritoneal repair after child birth (25), lavender foot massage in intensive care unit (26), use of ylang and other oil in epileptic patients (27). These studies suggest that volatile compounds are capable of providing a wide range of health benefits. Volatile compounds are lipophilic and easily absorbed by the body and can cross the blood brain barrier efficiently (28). Therefore, the common effect of volatile oils are central nervous system mediated, sedation and stimulation (24). Therefore, exploring nature's biodiversity using naturally-derived compounds has a tremendous potential. In the present proposal, we will understand certain unexplored fruits and vegetables for their aroma chemical profiles by GC-MS. The volatiles will be isolated by hydro-distillation or solid phase micro-extraction for the quantification of specific aroma compounds. Further, the selected volatile oils will be used for certain bioassays to understand the health beneficial properties. This research will be accomplished using interdisciplinary team includes, horticulturist and food chemist.