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The effectiveness of five commercial disinfectants used in the food industry was evaluated against different strains isolated from foodborne outbreaks (E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella spp. and L. monocytogenes) and a collection strain (S. aureus) in an aqueous suspension medium. The disinfectants evaluated included quaternary ammonium compounds, aldehydes, hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid, clorhexidine and a tertiary alkylamine.  In the absence of organic matter, all the disinfectants tested were effective with an exposure time of 10 min at the lowest concentration recommended by the manufacturer. However, in the presence of organic matter their effectiveness decreased. The most effective disinfectant against pathogenic bacteria tested was a quaternary ammonium compound based disinfectant combined with non-ionic surfactants, polyphosphates and alkaline salts. The least effective ones were disinfectants containing tertiary alkylamine, peracetic acid and hydrogen peroxide.

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Bacillus subtilis natto is a potential source of fructooligosaccharides (FOS), which can be obtained by fermentation and may stimulate the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the colon representing a strategy to manipulate the intestinal microbiota acting as a prebiotic compound. The present study focuses on the ability of Lactobacillus ssp. strains to utilize FOS as a sole energy source. The results showed that FOS was equally good as glucose to provide energy source. The highest prebiotic activity score was obtained with Lactobacillus plantarum ATCC 14917 grown on FOS (0.526), followed by Lactobacillus casei (LC-1) (0.222). The lowest score was for Lactobacillus paracasei ATCC 27092 (−0.051). The results suggests that specific combinations of probiotic (L. plantarum ATCC 14917 and L. casei (LC-1)) and prebiotic (FOS) could be used as synbiotics in dairy and other foods.

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Community Ecology
Authors:
A.F.S. Garcia
,
A.M. Garcia
,
S.R. Vollrath
,
F. Schneck
,
C.F.M. Silva
,
Í.J. Marchetti
, and
J.P. Vieira

Food partitioning among coexisting species in different habitats remains an important research topic in trophic ecology. In this work, we combined carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios and stomach content analyses to investigate differences in diet and niche overlap of two congeneric juvenile mullet species (Mugil curema and Mugil liza) coexisting in a marine surf-zone and an estuarine zone in southern Brazil (29oS). These habitats have contrasting levels of food availability, especially in terms of prey diversity, with higher microalgae diversity in the estuary than in the marine surf-zone. In these contrasting conditions, we predicted that both mullet species will have (a) higher niche overlap and smaller niche breadth at the marine surf-zone due to the common exploration of highly abundant surf-zone diatoms and (b) lower niche overlap and higher niche breadth inside the estuary due to selective feeding on more diverse food resources. Isotope niche areas (measured as standard ellipse areas) were higher in the estuary (6.10 and 6.18) than in the marine surf-zone (3.68 and 3.37) for both M. curema and M. liza, respectively. We observed an overlap of 52% in isotopic niches of both species in the marine surf-zone and none in the estuary. We also found contrasting patterns in the diet composition between species according to the habitat. At the marine surfzone, diatoms of the classes Bacillariophyceae and Coscinodiscophyceae dominated (> 99%) the food content of both mullet species. In contrast, green algae, cyanobacteria, dinoflagellates and flagellates comprised the diet of both species in the estuary. These results could be explained by spatial differences in food availability (especially regarding diversity of microalgae) between both habitats. At the marine site, both species explored the most abundant microalgae available (mostly the surf-zone diatom Asterionellopsis cf. guyunusae and fragments of Coscinodiscus), whereas in the estuary both species shifted their diets to explore the greater diversity of microalgae resources. Overall, our findings revealed that niche partitioning theory could not fully predict changes in breadth and overlap of food niches of estuarine dependent fish species with complex life cycles encompassing marine to estuarine systems with contrasting food availabilities.

Open access

A set of ten durum wheat genotypes was grown in experiments conducted under four contrasting Mediterranean conditions during three years to assess the effect of latitude and water regime on grain growth and grain yield formation. The relationship between grain weight and accumulated growing degree-days (GDD) from anthesis was described by a logistic equation and final grain weight ( W ) and maximum rate ( R ) and duration ( D ) of grain filling were calculated from the fitted curves. Thousand kernel weight (TKW) was positively related to grain yield at both latitudes and water regimes, although the contribution of the number of grains per m 2 to final yield was only significant in the south, where environmental constraints likely limited the achievement of a large grain set. Differences in final grain weight between latitudes could be mostly explained by differences in the grain filling rate, while changes on W between water regimes were due to altered grain filling durations. Under northern conditions grain yield was positively associated to grain filling duration but negatively related to the maximum rate of grain filling, while in the south the coefficients of the grain filling curves had little or no effect on final yield. Reductions in grain yield under rainfed conditions were due to the fall in the number of grains per m 2 since TKW was not significantly affected by drought.

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Acta Alimentaria
Authors:
C. Cano-Molina
,
A. López-Fernández
,
N. Díaz-González
,
R. González-Barrio
,
N. Baenas
,
M.J. Periago
, and
F.J. García-Alonso

Abstract

Tomato is rich in different bioactive compounds, especially the carotenoid lycopene, which intake is associated with various health benefits. Post-harvest use of ultraviolet light (UV) and light-emitting diode (LED) has been shown to increase the concentration of tomato bioactive compounds. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of ultraviolet (A and C) and red-blue LED light on the concentration of carotenoids during a 7-days storage trial of mature green tomatoes. Exposure to combined UV and LED light nearly doubled the total carotenoid concentration and had no negative impact on sensory attributes.

Open access
European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors:
C. Alvarado-Esquivel
,
S. J. Pacheco-Vega
,
M. Salcedo-Jaquez
,
L. F. Sánchez-Anguiano
,
J. Hernández-Tinoco
,
E. Rábago-Sánchez
,
M. M. Centeno-Tinoco
,
I. D. Flores-Garcia
,
A. Ramos-Nevarez
,
S. M. Cerrillo-Soto
,
C. A. Guido-Arreola
,
I. Beristain-García
,
O. Liesenfeld
,
L. O. Berumen-Segovia
,
L. Saenz-Soto
, and
A. Sifuentes-Álvarez

Through a cross-sectional study design, 150 women attending public health centers with a history of stillbirths were examined for anti-Toxoplasma gondii IgG and IgM antibodies in Durango City, Mexico. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were used to assess the association of T. gondii seropositivity with the characteristics of the women with stillbirth history.

Of the 150 women (mean age: 32.09 ± 9.16 years) studied, 14 (9.3%) had anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies and six (42.9%) of them were also positive for anti-T. gondii IgM antibodies. Multivariate analysis showed that T. gondii seropositivity was associated with high frequency (4–7 days a week) of eating meat (OR = 5.52; 95% CI: 1.48–20.59; P = 0.01), history of lymphadenopathy (OR = 4.52; 95% CI: 1.14–17.82; P = 0.03), and history of surgery (OR = 8.68; 95% CI: 1.04–72.15; P = 0.04).

This is the first study on the seroepidemiology of T. gondii infection in women with a history of stillbirths in Mexico. The association of T. gondii exposure with a history of surgery warrants for further research. Risk factors for T. gondii infection found in the present survey may help to design optimal educational programs to avoid T. gondii infection.

Open access