Plant-derived peptides have shown a variety of activities ranging from antibacterial, anticancer, anti-cholesterol, and beneficial to heart health (ACE-I and renin inhibition) and human studies have identified the effects of plant based collagen peptides on cancer, cell proliferation, and their use as prophylactic control agents for diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. However, larger-scale technologies are needed to ensure that the production costs of these bioactive substances remain viable, and studies on toxicity, bioavailability and absorption are needed to ensure their efficacy in vivo.
Exogenous bioactive peptides are amino acid sequences ranging in length from 2 to 30 that are not active in parent protein sources but are released by proteolytic enzymes during fermentation, hydrolysis and food processing. These exogenous bioactive peptides have health benefits beyond basic human nutrition and exert "hormone-like beneficial activity" in consumers if ingested in relevant quantities and if they survive the breakdown of proteolytic enzymes present in the gastrointestinal tract.
In plants, endogenous biological activity or bioactive peptides have been shown to inhibit insect feeding and act as part of defense responses as well as cell division control and reproductive mechanisms. Large quantities of these two peptides are known today, and they are isolated from plants including grains and legumes. Their biological activity and potential beneficial health effects have been listed in databases such as BIOPEP and are known to range from angiotensin-I converting enzymes (ACE-I; EC 184.108.40.206) inhibits wound healing and antimicrobial/anticancer activity. These peptides are known to be selective, effective, safe and well tolerated once consumed, and have potential for use in functional foods, pharmaceuticals and drugs.