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Gamma-aminobutyric acid as a bioactive compound in foods: a review

Diana, Marina, Quílez, Joan, Rafecas, Magdalena
Journal of functional foods 2014 v.10 pp. 407-420
antihypertensive effect, bioactive compounds, biosynthesis, fermented foods, functional foods, gamma-aminobutyric acid, humans, lactic acid bacteria, metabolic diseases, sensory properties, value added
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a non-protein amino acid, considered a potent bioactive compound. GABA has been widely studied because of its numerous physiological functions and positive effects on many metabolic disorders. One the most important of these is the hypotensive effect that has been demonstrated in animals and in human intervention trials. The biosynthesis of GABA and its optimization, without affecting sensory characteristics, are the key in obtaining GABA-enriched food products that have health benefits. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are the main GABA-producers and therefore there are a wide range of GABA-enriched fermented food products, in which GABA is natural, safe and eco-friendly. Increasing knowledge of bioactive components in food has opened avenues for the development of new, naturally occurring functional food with added value for health.