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Abstract

The main objectives of the present study were to investigate the physical attributes and chemical characteristics of dried apple cubes. The apple cubes were dried in vacuum and infrared dryers at 40 °C and freeze dryer individually and in combination. The physical properties – texture and rehydration – of vacuum drying-assisted freeze-dried apple dices were close to the freeze-dried products. The hardness of vacuum drying-assisted freeze-dried apples was better, by at least 15.8%, than those dried by infrared-freeze, but rehydration capacities were similar. The freeze-dried control samples achieved a lower water activity (0.145) in comparison with infrared, vacuum, and combined dried ones. The infrared-freeze-dried samples retained 3.6 and 11.6% more polyphenols and antioxidant capacity than samples prepared by the other methods. The ascorbic acid content of the freeze-dried samples was significantly higher by about 59% than that of the hybrid dried samples.

Open access

Abstract

The popularity of sweet potatoes in Central Europe has been increasing recently, mainly the high-quality, perfect, fresh tubers are in demand. However, out of class grade tubers could be marketed in dried, grounded form as sweet potato flour.

The aim of this study was to characterise some important nutritional properties of flours of three sweet potato genotypes with different tuber colours (white, purple, and orange) and to investigate how this raw material affects the rheological properties of sweet potato-wheat flour blends.

Dietary fibres are present in sweet potatoes in a significant proportion, orange coloured flour showed the highest values. The main free sugars were sucrose, glucose, and fructose, but sucrose was the dominant one. Antioxidant capacity and total phenolic content also varied considerably, the purple flour had the highest values. Mineral composition showed significant variability, the purple flour contained the highest level of minerals. It was confirmed that adding sweet potato flour to wheat flour affected its rheological properties, however in a varied manner. For the orange flour these properties have lightly decreased, though it had no significant effect on dough quality, while the white and purple flours with a dosage of 5, 10 and 15% could improve the dough behaviour. Thus, sweet potato in this form is a valuable raw material.

Open access

Abstract

The aim of our research was to study the water and ethanol extractable polyphenols of stinging nettle (Urtica dioica L.) harvested in different seasons and to determine their antimicrobial activity against certain human pathogenic and food spoiling bacteria and yeasts.

Our results indicate that the spring leaf extracts had higher polyphenol contents than the root one; however, close to the end of the vegetation period these values decreased considerably in both leaves and roots. Detection and quantification of the most abundant phenolic compounds in the spring extracts by HPLC revealed the occurrence of 12 different phenol carboxylic acids and flavonoids. Flavonoid compounds were more abundant than phenol carboxylic acids in the leaves; however, their proportion was equal in the case of the roots. Nettle leaf extracts had remarkable antimicrobial activity, the spring extracts were more efficient than the autumn ones. Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus were sensitive to every leaf extract, while Listeria monocytogenes and Pseudomonas aeruginosa had reduced but remarkable sensitivity patterns. Among the yeasts, Candida glabrata was strongly inhibited by the aqueous leaf extracts. Most of the strains were insensitive to the root extracts, although Enterococcus faecalis was inhibited by the root and not the leaf extracts.

Open access

Abstract

As a principal pigment in plants, chlorophyll a (Chl a) is widely used to evaluate quality changes and senescence process during storage of leafy vegetables. The determination of Chl a in plant extracts by spectrophotometric methods using various empirical equations is often unreliable. Considering the sensitivity of fluorescence detection, we report here a simple, inexpensive spectrofluorimetric method that can detect and quantify Chl a in plant extracts. The fluorescence standard used for the quantitative determination of Chl a was isolated in our laboratory from the extract of Anthrospira platensis (Spirulina). The method proved to be reliable, fast, and low cost in a study of the influence of the most commonly used domestic storage conditions on Chl a degradation in fresh-cut arugula.

Restricted access
European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors:
Kirsten Alexandra Eberhardt
,
Luzia Veletzky
,
Felix Weinreich
,
Richard Odame Phillips
,
Fred Stephen Sarfo
,
Torsten Feldt
,
Albert Dompreh
,
Shadrack Osei Asibey
,
Richard Boateng
, and
Hagen Frickmann

Abstract

Background

Mansonellosis is a widely neglected helminth disease which is predominantly observed in tropical regions. This study was conducted to assess potential associations of the prevalence of circulating Mansonella perstans-specific cell-free DNA in human serum and HIV infection in Ghanaian individuals.

Methods

For this purpose, serum samples obtained from Ghanaian HIV-patients (n = 989) and non-HIV-infected Ghanaian control individuals (n = 91) were subjected to real-time PCR targeting the ITS-(internal transcribed spacer-)2 sequence of M. perstans and Mansonella sp. Deux.

Results

Mansonella-specific cell-free DNA was detected in serum samples of only 2 HIV-positive and 0 HIV-negative individuals, making any reliable conclusions on potential associations between HIV and mansonellosis in tropical Ghana unfeasible.

Conclusions

Future epidemiological studies on hypothetical associations between mansonellosis and HIV infections should focus more specifically on high-endemicity settings for both Mansonella spp.-infections and HIV-infections, include higher case numbers and be based on real-time PCR from whole blood rather than from serum, in which only circulating parasite DNA but no more cell-bound parasite DNA can be detected. However, the study did not show associations of HIV infections in Ghanaian individuals with Mansonella worm loads high enough to detect cell-free Mansonella DNA in serum by PCR.

Open access
European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors:
Bianca Kelly Neves Izidro da Silva
,
Ana Cláudia Alves Cortez
,
Luciana Aires Oliveira
,
Juan Diego Ribeiro de Almeida
,
Érica Simplício de Souza
,
Katia Santana Cruz
,
Ani Beatriz Jackisch Matsuura
,
Mauricio Morishi Ogusku
,
Karolina Jeaneth Solórzano Chavarría
,
Djane Baía-da-Silva
,
Quique Bassat
,
Marcus Vinícius Guimarães Lacerda
,
Hagen Frickmann
, and
João Vicente Braga de Souza

Abstract

Background

This study aimed at improving a real-time polymerase-chain-reaction (qPCR) assay for the detection of Histoplasma capsulatum, a fungal pathogen that can cause severe respiratory infections in humans, in clinical and soil samples.

Methods

Primer and probes were in-silico designed, in-silico and in-vitro evaluated including clinical biopsy materials and finally subjected to a real-world application with collected soil samples.

Results

Applying the qPCR assay with liver and lung biopsies from 71 patients each, including 59 patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), as well as with Sabouraud (SAB) agar culture as the diagnostic reference standard, diagnostic accuracy of the qPCR assay of 100% (5/5) sensitivity and 96% (63/66) specificity for liver samples and 100% (4/4) sensitivity and 94% (63/67) specificity for the lung samples was recorded. When applying the assay with soil samples from caves near of Presidente Figueiredo city, Amazonas, Brazil, one sample from the Maroaga cave was confirmed as positive.

Conclusions

The improved qPCR assessed in this study was successful in detecting H. capsulatum with high efficiency and accuracy in in-vitro evaluation, including the identification of the target pathogen in both clinical and environmental samples.

Open access

Abstract

In our study, using a combination of eye-tracking parameter analysis and the van Westendorp method, we investigate whether participants pay more attention to products that they perceive as more expensive or to those that they prefer in the ranking process. The experiment involved 50 participants, a questionnaire with ranking and pricing tasks, and an eye-tracking measurement. Three wine varieties (Irsai Olivér, Rosé and Merlot-Shiraz) and three different label alternatives were tested. When comparing the results of the ranking and the pricing tasks, the product that is considered more expensive is not always the one that is most appealing to the participants. If we compare the results from the analysis of the eye-tracking parameters and the pricing, we can say that in all cases the labels that received the most visual attention were those that were priced more expensively by the participants.

Open access
Acta Alimentaria
Authors:
Sz. Luzics
,
Á. Tóth
,
T. Barna
,
E. Szabó
,
I. Nagy
,
B. Horváth
,
I. Nagy
,
Z. Varecza
,
I. Bata-Vidács
, and
J. Kukolya

Abstract

Thermobifida alba is the mesophilic member of the Thermobifida genus, the genome and enzyme sets of which have not been described and published yet. Thermobifida strains are thermotolerant actinomycete, which possess wide sets of cellulose and hemicellulose hydrolysing enzymes. Previously, three endomannanases (Man5ATh, Man5ATc, and Man5AThf) of thermobifidas were cloned and investigated, and hereby the endomannanase of T. alba DSM 43795 is described. All four endomannanases belong to the glycoside hydrolase family 5, their sizes are around 50–55 kDa. Their structure consists of a catalytic domain and a carbohydrate binding module, while there is an interdomain linker region in-between consisting repetitive tetrapeptide motifs (eg.: PPTEPTD-Ta, PTDP-Tc, TEEP-Tf, DPGT-Th). The pH optima of Man5A enzymes from T. alba, Thermobifida halotolerans, Thermobifida cellulosilytica, and Thermobifida fusca are slightly different (6.5, 7.0, 7.5, and 8.0, respectively), however, the temperature optima of the enzymes were detected within a wider range of 65–75 °C. In this research, Man5ATa exhibited the lowest Michaelis-Menten constant (KM) (0.13 mM) on LBG-mannan substrate, while others shared similar kinetic parameters: 0.9–1.7 mM of KM. Despite the high sequence similarity of the investigated mannanases, they exhibit different temperature stability parameters. These different functional characteristics can be advantageous for industrial applications producing biologically active, oligomannan prebiotics under different conditions.

Open access

Abstract

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (CNS) characterized by inflammation and neurodegeneration. Current research suggests that diet may influence disease course, severity of symptoms, and quality of life in MS patients. The ketogenic diet (KD) has been used for more than a century as a therapeutic approach for various medical conditions. It was originally developed in the 1920s as a treatment option for epilepsy, and especially in the last 30 years, has gained popularity for its potential benefits in a variety of neurological conditions other than epilepsy. This prompted us to perform a literature survey regarding the effect of KD on the onset and progression of MS. The here reviewed 15 original research articles including in vitro, preclinical, and clinical studies provide evidence for the safety and feasibility of the KD in MS, showing potential neuroprotective effects and positive impacts on cellular metabolism and disease outcome. Since the literature is limited and most studies were conducted with low numbers of MS patients and rather exploratory in nature, further studies with larger cohorts are needed to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms by which the improvements of the MS disease course are achieved.

Open access

Abstract

The prevalence of Campylobacter jejuni infections is increasing worldwide and responsible for significant morbidities and socioeconomic expenses. The rise in antimicrobial resistance of C. jejuni underscores the urge for evaluating antibiotics-independent compounds as therapeutic and preventive treatment options of human campylobacteriosis. Given its well-known anti-microbial and immune-modulatory properties we here surveyed the disease-modifying effects of trans-cinnamaldehyde pretreatment in experimental campylobacteriosis. Therefore, secondary abiotic IL-10−/− mice were orally challenged with trans-cinnamaldehyde starting 7 days prior C. jejuni infection. Whereas gastrointestinal colonization properties of the enteropathogens remained unaffected, trans-cinnamaldehyde pretreatment did not only improve clinical signs in infected mice, but also alleviated colonic epithelial cell apoptosis on day 6 post-infection. Furthermore, trans-cinnamaldehyde application resulted in less pronounced T cell responses in the colon that were accompanied by dampened proinflammatory mediator secretion in distinct intestinal compartments. Notably, the immune-modulatory effects of trans-cinnamaldehyde were not restricted to the intestinal tract but could also be observed in extra-intestinal organs such as the liver and kidneys. In conclusion, our preclinical placebo-controlled intervention study provides first evidence that due to its immune-modulatory effects, trans-cinnamaldehyde constitutes a promising prophylactic option to alleviate campylobacteriosis.

Open access