Antiviral Properties of Egg Components
Eggs contain high-quality proteins and lipids as well as valuable minerals, carbohydrates and vitamins. Avian eggs contain the basic elements for life, and for new life, and therefore many egg compounds have biological activity. After the recent unlocking of eggs' secrets, eggs are considered one of the most attractive sources of bioactive and functional foods for health promotion beyond traditional nutritional foods. This chapter particularly focuses on the antiviral properties of specific egg components. The antiviral properties of egg protein and its derived peptides or oligosaccharides in egg white and yolk are highlighted. Numerous egg-derived bioactive components, such as ovomucin, ovotransferrin, lysozyme, cystatin, IgY and sialic acid derivatives, are summarized for their effective antiviral activity, particularly against gastroenteric and influenza viruses. Following recent advances in omics technology along with the development of novel quantitative structure–biological activity models, the hen egg remains one of the most explored sources of bioactive proteins or peptides, with a particular focus on the mechanisms underlying their health-promoting effects.