Phytochemicals

What are Phytochemicals? Analysis , Advantages and Disadvantages. 

Introduction :-                                



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Phytochemicals



Medicinal plants to be an important therapeutic aid for alleviating the aliment of human kind, Natural products are known to play an important role in broth drug discovery and chemical biology. Although some therapeutic benefit can be traced to specific plant compounds, may contain active constituents that combine to give the plant it’s therapeutic value. 


Phytochemicals are the biologically active compounds founds in plants, the name phytochemical comes from the Greek word Phyton which means plant, phytochemicals are the non-nutritive plant chemicals that have protective or disease preventive properties, phytochemicals are non-essential nutrients means they are not required by the human body for sustaining life, the plants produces phytochemicals tp protect themselves, there are more than thousands of phytochemicals which are known, phytochemicals under research can be classified into major categories, such as carotenoids, polyphenol, polyphenol which include phenolic acids, flavonoids and Stilbenes/lignans, flavonoids can be further divided into group based on their similar chemical structure such as Anthocyanins, Flavones, Flavanones and Isoflavones and Flavanols, flavanols further classified as Catechins, Epicatechins, proanthocyanidins, the bioactive non-nutrient plant compounds in fruit, vegetables,  grains, and other plant foods have been linked to reduction in the risk of major chronic diseases, the phytochemicals are used to cure and prevent the various diseases. Phytochemicals also used to prevent the cancer, Evidence suggested that dietary Antioxidants can reduce Cancer risk, Phytochemical also use to prevent the cardiovascular diseases, numerous investigation have been undertaken that suggest a strong link between dietary intake of phytochemicals and reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases. 





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Secondary metabolites

Secondary Metabolites :-

The chemical compounds produced by plants are collectively referred to as Phytochemicals . Biotechnologists have special interest in plant tissue culture for the large scale production of commercially important compounds. These include pharmaceutical, flavours, cosmetics, food additives, feed stocks and Antimicrobials. 

Most of these products are secondary metabolites – chemical compounds that do not participate in metabolism of plants. Thus, secondary metabolites are not directly needed by plants as they do not perform any physiological function. although the native plants are capable for producing the secondary metabolites of commercial interest, tissue culture system are preferred. 

Major Advantages :

1. Compounds can be produced under controlled condition as per market demands . 

2. Cell growth can be controlled to facilitate improved product formation. 

3. The quality of the product will be consistent as it is produced by a specific cell line. 

4. Recovery of the product will be easy. 

5. Plant culture are particularly useful in case of plants which are difficult or expensive to be grown in the fields. 

6. The production control is not at the mercy of political interference. 

7. The production time is less and labour cost are minimal. 

8. Biotransformation reactions can be carried out with certain cultured cells.


Disadvantages :-

1. In general, in vitro production of secondary metabolites is lower when compared to intact plants. 

2. Many a times, secondary metabolites are formed in differentiated tissue/organs. In such case, culture cells which are not-differentiated can produce little. 

3. Culture cells are genetically unstable and may undergo mutation. The production of secondary metabolites may be drastically reduced, as the culture ages. 

4. Vigorous stirring is necessary to prevent aggregation of cultured cells. This may often damage the cells. 

5. Strict aseptic condition have to be maintained during culture techniques : any infection to the culture adversely affects product formation.



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