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Temperature uniformity and heating rate subjected to radio frequency (RF) heating have major impact on the quality of treated low moisture foods. The objective of this paper was to analyse the influence of electrode distance on the heating behaviour of RF on condition that the sample shape, size, and location between the electrodes were defined. Considering peanut butter (PB) and wheat flour (WF) as sample food, a 3D computer simulation model was developed using COMSOL, which was experimentally validated by a RF machine (27.12 MHz, 6 kW). Specifically, the electrode distances were selected as 84, 89, 93, 99 and 89, 93, 98, 103 (mm) for RF heating of PB and WF, respectively. Results showed that the simulated results and experimental data agreed well; the temperature-time histories of the RF heating of PB and WF were approximate straight lines; both the temperature uniformity index and the heating rate decreased with the increase of the electrode distance; the heating rate had a negative logarithmic linear relationship with the electrode distance, which was independent of the types, geometry shapes and sizes of low moisture foods.

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Optimization of extraction ratio (ER) of tree peony seed protein (TPSP) was investigated using response surface methodology (RSM). The second-degree equation for ER of TPSP had high coeffi cient (0.9625) of determination. The probability (P) value of regression model signifi cance was less than 0.001 by analysis of central composite rotatable design. Relationships of ER to pH, liquid/solid ratio, squares of all factors, and cross-product factors (x2x3, x2x4, x3x4) were signifi cant (P<0.05). Whereas, extraction time, temperature, and cross-product terms (x1x2, x1x3, x1x4) were not signifi cant factors (P>0.05). Optimum extraction conditions were 3.42 h, pH 9.50, 50.80 ºC, and 9.54 ml g–1 of liquid/solid ratio with the maximum ER (43.60%) . SDS-PAGE indicated TPSP had mainly four proteins (180, 100, 60, and 35 kDa) with four subunits of 60, 48, 38, and 23 kDa. TPSP had a good amino acid composition with abundant essential amino acids (39.76%) determined by amino acid analysis.

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The objective of this work was to research the antibacterial effects of orange pigment, which was separated from Monascus pigments, against Staphylococcus aureus. The increase of the diameter of inhibition zone treated with orange pigment indicated that orange pigment had remarkable antibacterial activities against S. aureus. Orange pigment (10 mg ml−1) had a strong destructive effect on the membrane and structure of S. aureus by the analysis of scanning electron microscopy as well as transmission electron microscopy. Sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) further demonstrated that the cell membrane was seriously damaged by orange pigment, which resulted in the leakage of protein from S. aureus cells. A significant decrease in the synthesis of DNA was also seen in S. aureus cells exposed to 10 mg ml−1 orange pigment. All in all, orange pigment showed excellent antibacterial effects against S. aureus.

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Acta Alimentaria
Authors: R.D. Wang, Y.J. Deng, L.J. Sun, Y.L. Wang, Z.J. Fang, D.F. Sun, Q. Deng, and R. Gooneratne

Growth and haemolytic activity of several pathogenic Vibrio species were compared in egg-fried-rice with different egg ratios. Egg-fried-rice preparations with rice-to-egg ratios of 4:1, 1:1, and 1:4 were inoculated with either Vibrio parahaemolyticus, V. cholerae, V. vulnificus, or V. alginolyticus and incubated for 24 h. Cell number, thermostable direct haemolysin (TDH) activity, and total haemolytic activity were determined. The cell number and total haemolytic activity increased in all Vibrio strains after 24 h, and these were most marked in egg-fried-rice with the highest egg content (1:4 (rice:egg) ratio; P&lt;0.05). V. alginolyticus exhibited the maximal growth and V. parahaemolyticus the highest haemolytic activity, but only V. parahaemolyticus ATCC 33847, V. alginolyticus CAMT 21162, and V. alginolyticus HY 91101 showed TDH activity. Results suggest that lowering egg content in egg-fried-rice could reduce growth and virulence of Vibrio pathogens.

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Shewanella putrefaciens supernatant was found to increase the virulence factors of Vibrio parahaemolyticus by efficiently degrading its acylhomoserine lactone (AHL). To further reveal the regulation mechanism and its key degrading enzyme, a potential AHL-degrading enzyme acylase (Aac) from S. putrefaciens was cloned, and the influences of temperature, pH, protein modifiers, and metals on Aac were tested. Aac was significantly influenced by temperature and pH, and exhibited the highest AHL-degrading activity at temperatures of 37 °C and pH of 8. Mg2+ and Fe2+ can further increase the AHL-degrading activity. 10 mM EDTA inhibited its activity possibly by chelating the co-factors (metals) required for Aac activity. Tryptophan and arginine were identified as key components for Aac activity that are critical to its AHL-degrading activity. This study provides useful information on Aac and for V. parahaemolyticus control.

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