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Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) is the most widely used thermal analytical technique in food research and it has a great utility in quality assurance of food. Proteins are the most studied food components by thermal analysis including studies on conformation changes of food proteins as affected by various environmental factors, thermal denaturation of tissue proteins, food enzymes and enzyme preparations for the food industry, as well as effects of various additives on their thermal properties. Freezing-induced denaturation of food proteins and the effect of cryoprotectants are also monitored by DSC. Polymer characterization based on DSC of polysaccharides, gelatinization behaviour of starches and interaction of starch with other food components can be determined, and phase transitions during baking processes can be studied by DSC. Studies on crystallization and melting behaviour of fats observed by DSC indicate changes in lipid composition or help characterizing products. Thermal oxidative decomposition of edible oils examined by DSC can be used for predicting oil stability. Using DSC in the freezing range has a great potential for measuring and modelling frozen food thermal properties, and to estimate the state of water in foods and food ingredients. Research in food microbiology utilizes DSC in better understanding thermoadaptive mechanisms or heat killing of food-borne microorganisms. Isothermic microcalorimetric techniques provide informative data regarding microbial growth and microbial metabolism.

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A device suitable for the continuous detection of carbon monoxide evolved during themal decomposition processes is described. The detector can be connected directly to thermoanalytical equipment of controlled gas atmosphere. Carbon monoxide collected by the carrier gas is passed through the device containing hopcalite catalyst. In the presence of oxygen carbon monoxide is converted to carbon dioxide in the cell and the temperature change caused by the heat of reaction is measured. According to experience, the change of temperature is linearly proportional to the amount of carbon monoxide released.

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Body size, physique, body composition and physiological performance of elite athletes's independent aspects, have aroused the interest of exercise scientists, but studies that combine these aspects in elite athletes are scarcely available. The aim of the present study was to describe the selected anthropometric and exercise physiological characteristics of some Hungarian top athletes. The investigated subjects were qualified Hungarian water polo players (n=25), paddlers (n=24) and modern pentathlonists (n=20), all of whom had been medalists at several continental and intercontinental competitions. The athletes' body composition was estimated by the Drinkwater–Ross (45) body mass fractionation technique. Peak physiological performance was estimated by graded exhausting spiroergometric treadmill exercise. Intergroup differences in mean height, body mass and body composition characteristics were significant at the 5% level of random error. By the results of spiroergometry, all the three groups compared could be qualified as physically excellently trained. The greatest oxygen uptake relative to body mass was found in the modern pentathlonists (73.22 ml´kg–1´min–1) and the lowest one (59.79) in the water polo players. The authors do not disregard the favourable effects of regular and adequate trainings in the development of the studied characteristics, but in their opinion the process of proper selection has been the most important factor that explains the observed significant intergroup differences.__

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Laboratory batches of fresh tomato juices were treated in several experimental trials by high hydrostatic pressure alone or in combination with various concentrations of oregano, thyme or dill seed oils. Lactic acid bacteria formed the dominating component of the spoilage microbiota during post-processing storage at 15 °C causing spoilage of the untreated samples within 4 days. One tenth of a percent oregano or thyme oils at least doubled the microbiological shelf life, while their respective concentrations of 0.5% alone, or 400 MPa 5-20 min high hydrostatic pressure treatment alone resulted in microbial stability for at least two weeks. Two hundred MPa for 10 min resulted only in an approx. 3 days delay of spoilage, whereas 0.1% thyme oil increased the efficiency of this moderate UHP-treatment, resulting in a microbiologically stable product for at least 3 weeks at the storage temperature applied.

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Acta Alimentaria
Authors: Y. Hassan, L. Mészáros, A. Simon, E. Tuboly, Cs. Mohácsi-Farkas, and J. Farkas

The total viable cell count of bacteria in vacuum-packaged chilled minced beef has been decreased equally, by approx. two log-cycles, as an effect of 1.5-2.0 kGy gamma radiation or 200-300 MPa high hydrostatic pressure (UHP) treatment for 20 min. Coliform bacteria could be eliminated to non-detectable levels by the same treatments. The shelf-life of both untreated and non-thermally pasteurised samples were limited mainly by growth of lactic acid bacteria. At about equal bactericidal effect, more drastic changes of texture and colour occurred in UHP-pasteurized minced beef samples than in the radiation-pasteurized ones. Whereas radiation pasteurisation caused minimal changes in appearance, texture and DSC-thermograms of minced beef, UHP-pasteurisation of the raw samples proved to be strongly discolouring by denaturing the muscle pigments and causing extensive denaturation of the myofibrillar proteins. The water holding capacity of irradiated samples decreased, while that of high pressure treated ones increased as compared to the untreated control. Near infrared spectrometry and electronic nose measurements gave promising results to make distinctions non-destructively on changes of various physical-chemical changes and quality parameters as a function of pasteurising treatments and/or storage.

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Abstract  

Thermal stability of vegetative cells of Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli and Lactobacillus plantarum was studied by counting viable fractions and determining DSC curves of their suspensions. DSC curves in the 5–99°C range showed a series of endothermic transitions between 50 and 60°C, where the heat destruction of cells occurred. Heat denaturation of DNA required a higher temperature than cell killing. Thermal death was strongly influenced by the pH, composition and NaCl content of the suspending buffer. A mathematical model developed by us enabled comparison of DSC peak temperatures and temperatures required for loss of viability.

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