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The application of ultrasound during extraction of oil from apricot kernels using hexane was evaluated and compared with conventional methods (mechanical extraction and Soxhlet extraction). Results show that ultrasound assisted extraction (UAE) yields more oil with less solvent consumption. The oil yield from UAE, SE, and ME were 44.72%, 44.33%, and 35.06%, respectively. It is noteworthy that it took 44 min to extract oil by UAE method, while alike yield was obtained from SE in 6 hours. Oil extracted by UAE exhibited significantly higher peroxide and ester values. The functional groups of apricot kernel oil were analysed using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Untreated and treated kernel powders were studied by scanning electron microscopy, and the development of microstructures and disruption of cell walls were evaluated. Our study suggests that ultrasound assisted extraction may be an effective method to extract edible oils by achieving higher efficiency in shorter extraction time.

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Awareness of the environmental aspects of the quality of crop production has increased in recent decades, leading to renewed interest in organics such as crop residues, green manures and organic manures. The effect of organics on urea transformation was investigated by conducting a laboratory incubation experiment in alluvial clay loam soil (Typic Ustifluvents) at 33±1°C with two moisture levels (1:1 soil:water ratio and field capacity). The rate of urea hydrolysis decreased as the time of incubation increased and the disappearance of urea N was associated with a corresponding increase in the (NH 4 + + NO 3 )-N content in soils treated with crop residues (rice straw and wheat straw), organic manures (poultry manure and farmyard manure) and green manures (cowpea and sesbania). In untreated soil, the time taken for the complete hydrolysis of the applied urea (200 μg urea N g −1 soil) was more than 96 h at both the moisture levels, whereas in amended soils it was completed in 48 h. The rate of urea hydrolysis was more rapid at field capacity than at the 1:1 soil:water ratio. Urea hydrolysis was higher in sesbaniatreated soils, followed by cowpea, poultry manure, farmyard manure, rice straw and wheat straw at both the moisture levels. At field capacity, 85.5% urea was hydrolysed in sesbania-treated soil as compared to 32% in untreated soil after 24 hours of incubation, while at the 1:1 soil:water ratio the corresponding values were 81.5 and 27.5%. Urea hydrolysis followed first order reaction kinetics at both the moisture levels.

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Floral anatomy of Actinomeris squarrosaand Bidens biternatahave been described. The presence of pappus is an important structural feature of the Asteraceae. It has been considered by some as phyllome and by others a trichome structure. The presence of vascular supply to the pappus scales shows that it is a phyllome structure. Once the pappus is considered as a phyllome structure, two major lines of specialization can be established in this family from a primitive type of five vascular scales. In ome line of evolution there has been increase in the number of pappus from five to twenty and finally indefinite in number and the vascular supply is totally suppressed. In another line of evolution there has been a reduction in the number of pappus scales from five to two and finally total reduction of the scales. The disc-florets of Bidens biternataare pentamerous but occasionally tetramerous florets are also observed. In Actinomeris squarrosa disc-florets are tetramerous florets are derived from pentamerous floret by complete fusion of the two anterior alternipetalous strands is discussed. In the Asteraceae, the pistillate ray florets are derived from disc florets by formation of a deep sinus in the corolla on the posterior side, followed by gradual suppression of the androecium. The neutral ray-florets are derived from ray-florets by complete reduction of an ovule, loculus and style along with its vascular supply is also discussed.

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Ascochyta blight (Ascochyta rabiei) is one of the most devastating diseases of chickpea. The biocontrol potential of fungal antagonists, Chaetomium globosum, Trichoderma viride, Acremonium implicatum were explored under in vitro and in vivo. A. implicatum isolate-1 overgrew the host mycelium and caused lysis, while A. implicatum isolate-2 produced inhibition zone. C. globosum profusely overgrew the mycelium of A. rabiei and T. viride showed overgrowth and profuse sporulation. Bioassay with culture filtrates of all the antagonists resulted in significant inhibition of pycnidiospore germination and reduction in colony development of A. rabiei. Syringe filtered culture filtrate when amended in liquid broth medium also significantly reduced the mycelial growth. Bioassay of culture filtrates under glass house conditions, although brought reduction in disease development in both pre- and post-inoculation sprays, but C. globosum was the most effective antagonist causing 73.12% reduction in disease index when used as post inoculation spray. Under in vitro conditions C. globosum caused 48.59% reduction in colony diameter and 70.86% reduction in pycnidiospore germination.

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Abstract

Brown rice was germinated for different times (12, 24, 36, and 48 h) at different temperatures (25, 30, and 35 °C) with the aim to improve the in vitro digestibility and antioxidant potential of the flour made from it. Results showed that increase in germination time and temperature increased in vitro digestibility of starch and protein during germination of brown rice owing to depolymerisation of starch and protein molecules by enzymatic activity. After germination under varying conditions, antioxidant activity increased from 50.19 to 95.58%, total phenolic and flavonoid contents from 0.88 to 2.02 mg GAE/g and 34.06–62.94 mg QE/100g, respectively. Germination at elevated temperature (35 °C) for prolonged time (48 h) also increased the reducing power by 60.49% and metal chelating activity by 114.50% as a result of structural breakdown of bound phenolics. Increased activity of hydrolytic enzymes with progress in the germination time and temperature also results in continuous reduction in the pasting properties and lightness values (L), while increasing a* and b* values of the flour of germinated brown rice. Tailored germination, therefore, can be offered as a tool to increase nutrient digestibility and bioactive potential of brown rice as compared to non-germinated brown rice, thus, producing naturally modified flour with enhanced functionality.

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