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  • Author or Editor: A. Biczó x
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The non-invasive faecal sampling and RIA was used to measure faecal equivalents of testosterone (T), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), oestradiol-17β (E2) and progesterone (P4) in juvenile and adult great bustard males. Possible connections of diurnal and seasonal changes of sexual steroid levels and display activity were studied. Correlations were found between sexual steroid equivalent levels of faeces and display activity and agonistic behaviour in the different phases of annual cycle of adult males. In early display period increasing levels of androgens were measured, during main display period very high androgen dominance was observable against E2 and P4. During postnuptial moult strong T decrease and DHEA and P4 increase were detected. Elevation of E2 was measured during wintering. In juveniles level of DHEA was higher than level of T suggesting its importance in immature males. Decrease of T was detected between reproductive period and postnuptial moult and DHEA between reproduction and wintering, accompanying with E2 elevation. The inhibiting effect of inclement weather on gonad functions also was detected in our study. We suppose that the unexpected cold weather with strong wind depressed the levels of androgens both in juveniles and adults and the increase of faecal E2 was also detected.

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The EU Chocolate Directive 2000/36/EC allows the use of the vegetable fats CBEs and CBIs up to a maximum of 5% in chocolate. Manufacturers and users must know how this has an influence on the properties of chocolate. The objective of the work reported here was to find out by systematic investigations, which effect CBEs/CBIs have on the quality parameters, hardness and heat resistance of chocolate. The influence on the hardness was tested also under extreme practical storage conditions. The quality monitoring was performed up to one year. For the determination of the heat resistance the penetrometric method was used in the temperature range 25–32 °C measuring the maximum loading force, occurring during the penetration of a cylindrical probe of 2 mm diameter with 4 mm penetration. The correlation between the average maximum loading force, relevant to the hardness of chocolate, and the temperature can be described by a linear regression at 95% confidence level. Statistical analyses (correlation analysis, residual analysis, Durban-Watson statistic) showed that it is possible to define the heat resistance of solid chocolate in the temperature range of 25–32 °C by the slope and the ordinate intercept of the regression line of the loading force vs. temperature for given parameters (composition, storage, experimental layout, etc.). For the determination of the hardness of the chocolate also the penetrometric method was used to measure the maximum loading force occurring during the penetration of a needle probe with 2 mm deformation. The hardness of the chocolate samples determined with the penetrometric method and statistical analysis (One-Way, Two-Way Analysis of Variance, Dunnett’s comparisons) is significantly dependent on the composition and storage conditions, where the storage conditions are the dominant factor. The results show that the differences in hardness between the chocolate samples with CBE/CBI and those without CBE/CBI, both stored in the cellar (cold storage), are marginal. After one week of storage the sample with CBI has nearly the same hardness as the standard sample with CB, whereas the sample with CBE was slightly softer. The differences are slightly clearer for the northern storage room (moderate temperature) and for the southern room (warm temperature). After a definite storage time the hardness of all samples increased and was in the case of the southern storage room (warm temperature) up to twice as high. The quality monitoring up to one year showed that the reason for this increase in hardness is not a special storage time but the increasing temperatures with the beginning of the warm season and the cyclic change of the temperature during day and night. So an explanation for this unexpected increase in hardness can be a thermocyclic hardening of the chocolate samples under these storage conditions.

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Intestinal passage time of coloured fodder and testosterone turnover were examined by faecal steroid analysis in mallards in the reproductive and postrefractory period. In the latter, the discharge of coloured fodder began 36 minutes after ingestion in males, and 56 minutes in females. During reproduction the discharge began 93 minutes and 112 minutes after ingestion in males and females, respectively. Total passage time was similar in the reproductive and postrefractory period in both sexes. After intraperitoneal testosterone injection, faecal samples were collected for 8 hours and testosterone levels were measured using RIA. In the postrefractory period, 1-2 hours after testosterone loading a strong increase of faecal testosterone content developed in males, meanwhile a slighter testosterone peak appeared in females. During reproduction testosterone excretion began 1.5-2 hours after injection in both sexes but in females its increase was smaller. The duration of response to testosterone loading was 5 hours in both periods and both sexes. Intensive excretion after T loading appeared earlier in males than in females, but total passage time finished at the same time: 5 hours after loading. The character of testosterone excretion was corresponding to the passage of fodder-chimus-faeces in the reproductive and postrefractory period in both sexes.

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