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Food proteins and peptides are increasingly used for formulating food products, nutraceuticals and functional foods. Food proteins are also becoming popular as sustainable sources of novel functional biomaterials, such as food packaging materials, colloidal delivery systems and meat/dairy alternatives. The fundamental basis of the functional, nutritional and health benefits of proteins is attracting the interest of scientists, industry, regulatory agencies and consumers. Food proteins and peptides are generally considered safe for human consumption and there is a rapidly accumulating body of literature on their beneficial physiological effects.

This book, Food Proteins and Peptides: Emerging Biofunctions, Food and Biomaterial Applications, is divided into two parts comprising 19 chapters on the chemistry of food proteins and protein-derived bioactive peptides in relation to their biological functions, food and biotechnological and health applications. Specifically, the book discusses the fundamental chemistry and mechanisms underpinning the structure–function relationships of food proteins and peptides and advances in their nutritional and health applications. The book also highlights novel applications of food proteins in the development of edible biomaterials such as hydrogels, delivery systems for nutraceuticals and packing materials. Lastly, the book discusses advances in the use of bioinformatics, proteomics and peptidomics for food proteins and peptide analysis, an emerging area of ‘foodomics’ research, and policies and regulations on food proteins.

This book brings together experts from five continents in the fields of food science, nutritional science, proteomics and peptidomics, biotechnology, chemistry and life sciences to provide a comprehensive discussion of various aspects of food proteins and peptides. Each chapter covers the current literature and knowledge gaps in addition to expert opinion on future directions in the specific topic areas. This book serves as an up-to-date source of information on food proteins and peptides for researchers, instructors, postgraduate and undergraduate students, the food industry, food and nutrition policy makers and lay readers.

I would like to thank the staff at the Royal Society of Chemistry, Liv Towers, Katie Morey and Nicki Dennis, and the production team for their support during different stages of development of this book. I could not have completed this project without the collaboration of the contributing authors and support from my family.

Chibuike C. Udenigwe

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