Alkaloids in Diet

Alkaloids in Diet

Food is one of the three basic requirements of mankind, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals. Alkaloid-containing foods are an intrinsic part of the human diet, such as tea, coffee, and tomato. These food-oriented alkaloid constituents possess diverse effects on the human body. In general, they form an important part of the food supply and nutrition.

Foods rich in alkaloids

Many alkaloids are elements of human diet. The list below is far from exhaustive, but it covers the most common foods that contain alkaloids.

Alkaloids in Diet

  • Red Peppers

Red peppers are extensively used in food as pungent spice, particularly in tropical countries. Capsaicin (8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide) is the major pungent principle of red peppers, belonging to the genus Capsicum. Dihydrocapsaicin and nordihydrocapsaicin are the other two alkaloids in the order of relative abundance.

  • Black Pepper

Black pepper (Piper nigrum), the dried berries of the plant belonging to the family Piperaceae, is one of the most widely used among spices, valued for its distinct biting quality. In order to keep the fragrance and flavor intact, it is generally ground just before preparing dishes and added at the last minutes in the recipes. The aroma of black pepper is derived from the alkaloid compound piperine, which is present both in the outer fruit and in the seeds.

  • Coffee

Coffee is one of the popular drinks that not only regulates your mood, but also energizes you. These benefits all stem from the alkaloids contained in coffee, namely caffeine. Caffeine is synthesised from xanthosine derived from purine nucleotides. The major biosynthetic route is xanthosine → 7-methylxanthosine → 7-methylxanthine → theobromine → caffeine.

  • Tea

Tea is an aromatic beverage commonly prepared by pouring hot or boiling water over cured leaves of Camellia sinensis (the family Theaceae), an evergreen shrub (bush) native to East Asia. Just like coffee, tea leaves are a rich source of alkaloids. Tea leaves contain two types of alkaloids, caffeine and theophylline, as major components.

  • Tomatoes

Tomatoes are botanically classified as berries, which are commonly used as a vegetable ingredient or side dish. Tomatoes produce an alkaloid called tomatine, which is found mainly in the stems and other inedible portions of the plant.

  • Potatoes

Potato is a starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial nightshade Solanum tuberosum. Today potato is a staple food in many parts of the world. When potatoes are grown under normal conditions, they usually do not contain many alkaloids. But when developing potatoes are exposed to sunlight, they turn green and produce an alkaloid known as solanine.

  • Tonic Water

Tonic water is a carbonated beverage with a high concentration of quinine dissolved in it. Quinine is an alkaloid extracted from the bark of the cinchona tree. It is an important tool for preventing and treating malaria. For ages, people have ingested quinine in tonic water to help cure malaria infections.

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Alfa Chemistry has developed a range of alkaloids to meet the dietary needs of our customers. We will serve you with the most abundant experience and affordable price. If you have any problems, we will provide technical support and develop a unique solution for you. Please don't hesitate to contact us.

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