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Wheat is the major staple food in most temperate countries, including Europe and North America. In addition to providing energy and protein it is a significant source of a number of essential or beneficial components, including B vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibre. Cereal fibre has established benefits in reducing the risk of several chronic diseases but the consumption of fibre is below the recommended daily intake in the typical “Western diet”. Improving the content and composition of wheat fibre is therefore an attractive strategy to improve the health of large populations at low cost. The major dietary fibre components of wheat grain are arabinoxylan and β-glucan. Both vary in their amount, composition, and properties in different grain fractions, with white flour being lower in total fibre than bran but having a higher proportion of soluble fibre. There is significant variation in the amounts and structures of arabinoxylan and β-glucan in bread wheat genotypes, including commercial cultivars from different regions of the world, old landraces and exotic lines. This variation is also highly heritable, which should allow plant breeders to develop improved cultivars. Gradients in fibre composition and content within the grain may also allow millers to produce specialist high fibre flours.

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Apple is one of the most important fruit grown and consumed in the temperate climate region. About 2% of the European population suffers from several allergenic reactions after consumption. Presence of 7 members of Mal d 1 gene family occurring in some apples was examined by PCR. The Mal d 1.01 and 1.02 genes could be detected from 91% and 79% of apple cultivars, respectively, due to the high degree of conservative regions. The Mal d 1.04 gene has 4 functional varieties and 2 pseudo-alleles, so it is highly variable. The PCR amplifi cation with Mal d 1.06 primers gave one or two fragments with different sizes. The electrophoretic pattern is a suitable means to select apple cultivars according to their low, medium, or high Mal d 1 allergen content. Florina apple showed the single 154 bp allele, which is responsible for the small Mal d 1 allergen content in homozygote form..

Several samples gave weak signal or did not give any fragment-band on the gel, so Mal d 1.07 and 1.08 genes might have more varieties. Regarding the Mal d 1.09 gene we have found that it has conservative sequences in different apple cultivars and does not have too many varieties.

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Ground roots of licorice with 3 particle sizes (fine particles <0.35 mm, medium: 0.35-8.0 mm, and coarse particles ?8.0 mm diameter) were exposed to 5, 10, 15 and 20 kGy of gamma radiation from a 60Co source. Microbial population of ground roots and the characteristics of their extracts (concentrations of glycyrrhizinic acid, total and inorganic dissolved solids), mineral ions (Ca++ and K+), pH and EC values were evaluated after irradiation. The results showed thatmicrobial count of fine particles of ground licorice roots were 106 g-1, that of coarse ones 105 g-1. The extract produced from coarse particles of ground roots had lower total and inorganic dissolved solids, mineral ions (Ca++ and K+), pH and EC values compared with those produced from fine particular ones. All sizes of licorice roots treated with gamma irradiation had significantly (P<0.05) lower microorganism counts than untreated (control) ones. The dose needed to reduce the microbial load to less than 10 bacteria per gram was 15 kGy for the fine particle and 10 kGy for the coarse ground root. Gamma irradiation decreased glycyrrhizinic acid concentrations in the extracts produced from coarse particle licorice roots.

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The present study was to evaluate the survival rate of free and encapsulated Bifidobacterium bifidum BB28 under simulated gastrointestinal conditions and its stability during storage. Results showed that non-microencapsulated Bifidobacterium bifidum BB28 was more susceptible to simulated gastrointestinal conditions than microencapsulated bacteria. Microencapsulated Bifidobacterium BB28 exhibited a lower population reduction than free cells during exposure to simulated gastrointestinal conditions, the viable count of monolayer microcapsules, double layer microcapsules, and triple layer microcapsules decreased by nine magnitudes, four magnitudes, and one magnitude after 2 h, respectively. The enteric test showed that the microorganism cells were released from the monolayer, double layer, and triple layer microcapsules completely in 40 min. Moreover, the optimum storage times of free Bifidobacterium BB28, monolayer microcapsules, double layer microcapsules, and triple layer microcapsules were 21 days, 21 days, 28 days, and more than 35 days in orange juice, pure milk, and nutrition Express (a commercially available milk based drink), and the viable counts were maintained at 1×106 CFU g−1 or more, which means that the double layer and triple layer of microcapsules of B. bifidum BB28 have great potential in food application.

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Acta Alimentaria
Authors: Á. Vajda, Cs. Mohácsi-Farkas, L. Ózsvári, and Gy. Kasza

Salmonellosis is a widely known infectious disease in Hungary that played dominant role between 1960 and 1996 and remained one of the top food-borne illnesses to these days with an estimated total number of 96 048 cases (2019). Beside direct costs of treatment, indirect costs are also significant on the level of population. Among indirect costs, consumer well-being losses are difficult to be estimated. For this purpose, the willingness to pay (WTP) method is used most frequently that measures the cost an individual would undertake to avoid a certain harm. For the well-being loss estimation, the data of National Food Chain Safety Authority's annual consumer survey was used, in which 323 respondents gave evaluable answer to the open-ended WTP question. Results indicate that an average respondent would pay 18.6 EUR to avoid salmonellosis. Main factors affecting WTP were size of family and number of children. The numbers indicate that the consumer well-being loss could be about 1 786 060 EUR annually, resulting from the multiplication of the estimated number of annual salmonellosis cases and the average WTP value. It can be concluded that consumer well-being losses alone would call for further interventions in Salmonella eradication, not to mention other – more direct – cost elements.

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Lactic acid bacteria isolated from commercially produced alfalfa sprouts were screened for activity against Listeria monocytogenes F4258. Most active isolates were identified as Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis. The isolates fell into two categories, strains that inhibited by acid production only, and strains that appeared to have additional inhibitory activity. An acid-only isolate, SP26, was used to evaluate the effect of initial pH (5, 6, 7, 8) and temperature (10, 20, and 30 °C) on the interaction between the lactic acid bacterium and L. monocytogenes using “sprout juice” as a model system. The model system was inoculated with an initial level of approx. 103 CFU ml-1 L. monocytogenes in both mono-culture controls and the co-cultures and the co-cultures with L. lactis (103-104 CFU ml-1). The primary inhibitory effect attributable to L. lactis was a 2 to 3 log cycle decrease in the maximum population density obtained by L. monocytogenes. The extent of the inhibition was decreased at 10 °C, but was only slightly affected by pH in the range of 6.0 to 8.0. L. monocytogenes did not grow in the sprout broth at pH 5.0 at any of the incubation temperatures.

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Nutrition in Europe is characterised by a positive energy balance, excessive fat and sugar intakes, while consumption of complex carbohydrate sources like bread and potatoes as well as of fruit and vegetables is too low. Together with insufficient physical activity, unhealthy nutrition is considered as the major determinant for the high prevalence of overweight, obesity and related diseases. In addition, current nutrition is often deficient in certain essential micronutrients like folic acid, for instance. Food fortification may help improve the supply, although a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, whole grain cereal and with a moderate fat content is the better option. Fortunately, health awareness of consumers is increasing and this is also mirrored in the popularity of functional food, having beneficial effects on health and wellbeing. While these may contribute to a healthy nutrition, they can only be part of a broad food choice. The requirements of vulnerable population groups are another matter of concern. This is particularly true for the increasing number of elderly that are prone to malnutrition but difficult to reach by new nutrition trends. In conclusion, healthy food choices should be encouraged and special attention be paid to particular risk groups like pregnant women and elderly.

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The medical nutritional therapy has high importance in the management of diabetes mellitus. The aim of this study was to collect information on how the diabetic elderly follow medical advices regarding nutrition. A population of 291 persons were selected consecutively from primary care patients in Hungary. Ninety-five type 2 diabetes patients were compared to 196 non-diabetics, focusing on nutritional habits, life style elements and anthropological parameters.  The diabetics were mainly overweight or obese and educated at lower levels. People with higher BMI (Body Mass Index) have eaten less frequently than people in the normal BMI range. The daily food frequency of diabetics was higher only on weekends and holidays. There were only minimal differences concerning food choices as well. The differences in the diet proved smaller than expected and recommended. The time spent with physical activity was low in general, especially among diabetics. The self-judgement showed that only 49% of diabetics kept their eating habit as healthy, vs. 63% of non-diabetics. The food choices were also modified by the economic situations of patients. It was observed that the majority of elderly diabetics did not pay enough attention to correct diabetic diet, therefore, they should be controlled more effectively by primary care staff.

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Nutrition plays an important role in the health and development of children. Therefore, it is necessary to make the correct recommendations as well as knowing the real state of nutrition of the children involved. In the scope of prospective longitudinal monitoring of 200 children, randomly selected at birth from 2 regions of the Czech Republic, an examination of their dietary intake and food composition in the year 2000/2001 during their 14-25 months of age (mean 19.2±2.7 months) was performed. A standardised food frequency questionnaire was administered to the whole sample (response rate through mothers was 98%). Moreover, every second mother who has not yet breastfed the child was asked for a 24-h dietary weight record of her child (response rate 79%). Twelve percent of the children were long term breastfed. The “Food pyramid”of sample was created by the following daily portions: milk and dairy (3.5), other protein-rich food (1.0), fruits and vegetables (4.2) and cereals (2.5). The energy intake of non-breastfed children, comprising of 15% protein (41.7±17.4 g), 35% fat and 50% carbohydrates, was 4.9±1.6 MJ. The results of micronutrient dietary intake in comparison to the European “Population Reference Intake”were satisfying with the exception of iodine. The analysis of the nutrition of Czech children aged 14-25 months did not show any serious problem without a low representation of long-term breastfed children and probably lower intake of iodine, when compared with European recommendations.

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Selenium intake of the human population is very distinct and depends on the Se-content of consumed food. The higher intake of selenium can decrease the risk of many health problems in human and animal organisms. The main task of this work was to obtain new comparable data on Se content of Agaricus bisporus mushroom. The selenium content of different, common varieties of Agaricus bisporus and of its three cultivation's flushes was determined. The Se content of varieties varies between 0.46 mg kg-1 d.m. and 5.63 mg kg-1 d.m., and the average content is 2.82 (± 1.48) mg kg-1 d.m. The caps of fruit bodies have always higher selenium content than the stipe. The average cap/stipe selenium ratio is 1.29. The changes of Se concentration during the cultivation (in cultivation's flushes) are not significant. The most important cultivated mushroom species of the world (Agaricus bisporus) has, in addition to other more valuable properties, a remarkable Se-content. Consumption of fruit bodies can improve the Se supply of human organism, i.e. some health risks can be decreased.

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