Clinically relevant materials & applications inspired by food technologies

Elsevier, eBioMedicine, Volume 75, January 2022
Cui X., Ng K.R., Chai K.F., Chen W.N.

Food science and technology have a fundamental and considerable overlap with medicine, and many clinically important applications were borne out of translational food science research. Globally, the food industry - through various food processing technologies - generates huge quantities of agro-waste and food processing byproducts that retain a significant biochemical potential for upcycling into important medical applications. This review explores some distinct clinical applications that are fabricable from food-based biopolymers and substances, often originating from food manufacturing side streams. These include antibacterial wound dressings and tissue scaffolding from the biopolymers cellulose and chitosan and antimicrobial food phytochemicals for combating antibiotic-resistant nosocomial infections. Furthermore, fermentation is discussed as the epitome of a translational food technology that unlocks further therapeutic value from recalcitrant food-based substrates and enables sustainable large-scale production of high-value pharmaceuticals, including novel fermented food-derived bioactive peptides (BPs).