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  • Author or Editor: M. Mézes x
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Insects are alternative protein sources as nutritious novel food. However, there are some risks associated with the consumption of insects, even if rearing in controlled systems. Except for a recent EFSA opinion on the safety of insects as food, the European law is not conclusive regarding using insects as food products. Insects may be associated with microorganisms, but the prevalence of pathogens is usually lower than in case of other animal proteins. Insect proteins can induce allergic reactions, but only few studies are available on allergic reactions due to insect ingestion, and direct hypersensitivity to insect protein has not been proven. Some insect species are considered toxic, because some toxic substances are accumulated from toxic plants or are synthesized by the insects. However, there are few reports available about adverse reactions caused by insect consumption. Insects and insect derived food products may contain hazardous chemicals such as heavy metals, dioxins, mycotoxins, plant toxins, biocides, and veterinary drugs. However, data on hazardous chemicals in reared insects and accumulation of chemical contaminants from the substrates are limited. This review is not demonstrating the safety of insects as a food category, but the possibility of insects for human consumption with no more hazards than other animal products.

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This study was conducted to compare three different methods for calculating scrotal circumference (ASC1, ASC2, ASC3) adjusted to 365 days of age in Charolais, Limousin and Hungarian Fleckvieh young bulls at the end of the self-performance test. Young breeding bulls from three Charolais, Limousin and Hungarian Fleckvieh breeding farms (farm A: n = 40; farm B: n = 9; farm C: n = 11) were used. The young bulls were kept in loose housing system, in small groups, and fed a diet based on maize silage and concentrate. The scrotal circumference of young bulls was measured at the widest part of the scrotum at the beginning and at the end of the test. Significant growth was observed (+13.6 cm; +8.9 cm; +10.5 cm, P < 0.001) in scrotal circumference (SC) for all breeds except the Hungarian Fleckvieh (ASC2-ASC3: 37.5 vs. 37.6 cm). All differences among the means of the measured and adjusted SCs were statistically confirmed at the P < 0.05 level of significance. A moderate to close positive correlation (r = 0.49-0.99) was calculated among the measured SC and the three types of ASC. The results suggest that method I (ASC1) and method II (ASC2) should be used by the breeders for adjusting scrotal circumferences in the practice.

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In nine mammalian species (mouse — cattle: 21.5 g–503 kg) lung total phospholipids (PL), alveolar surfactant phosphatidylcholine (PC) and sphingomyelin (SM) fatty acyl (FA) chain composition was tested relating to body mass (BM) and resting respiratory rate (RRR) associated adaptations. In PL, PC and SM oleic acid (C18:1 n9) provided negative correlations with RRR. Palmitic acid (C16:0) was strongly, positively correlated with RRR in the pulmonary PLs, and myristic (C14:0) acid correlated positively with RRR in the surfactant PCs. In pulmonary PLs negative allometry was found for myristic, palmitic, palmitoleic (C16:1 n7) and docosahexaenoic (C22:6 n3) acids and total saturation, while oleic (C18:1 n9), alpha-linolenic (C18:3 n3) and gondoic (C20:1 n9) acids, total n9 FA s and monounsaturation increased allometrically. In surfactant PC FA s palmitic acid provided negative, while oleic acid and monounsaturation positive allometry; the average FA chain length (ACL) was identical in all species. Surfactant SM FA composition was fully species independent for palmitic and arachidonic acids, total saturation, monounsaturation and ACL. The in vivo lipid peroxidation rate was species independent. The variability of lung PLs was consonant with the “membrane pacemakers theory”, while surfactant PC composition was mostly related to RRR.

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Glutathione peroxidase enzyme superfamily plays significant role in the elimination of reactive oxygen free radicals in the animals. Many characteristics of these proteins have been revealed already, but their regulation is still not known. Several data suggest that some environmental factors have certain regulatory effect, while others propose strict genetic regulation.In this report we present four different environmental induction models in which New Zealand white rabbits were used as experimental animals. In three models, free radical load of different origin, lipidperoxide load, application of a glutathione depletor or a prooxidant agent, was introduced. Beside these negative models a positive model was also constructed in which additive selenium was supplied.Glutathione peroxidase activity was measured in blood serum, erythrocyte haemolysate and liver. Reduced glutathione, and malondialdehyde concentration in the liver were also determined.According to the results, the established models are capable for analysing the enzyme activity´environmental interactions.

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Forage plants may become contaminated by mycotoxins already on the cropland as a result of mould infection, the degree of which can be diminished by the use of appropriate agrotechnical methods or resistant plant cultivars. During storage, the main goal is to prevent further mould infection and mycotoxin contamination. In that period, the moisture content of feedstuffs and the mould contamination of storage spaces, which can be minimised by the use of fungicidal products, are the most critical factors. Feed manufacturing processes do not substantially decrease the mycotoxin content of feedstuffs, and the efficiency of the recommended chemical and/or heat treatment procedures is also questionable as they are expensive and may reduce the nutrient content. To minimise the adverse effects of mycotoxins on animals, the use of products capable of binding and biologically transforming mycotoxins is also recommended; however, such products have varying efficacy.

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This study was designed to investigate the effects of excess (24.5 mg Se/kg feed) inorganic and organic dietary selenium supplementation on 3-week-old broilers. The experiments lasted 4 days. Intensity of lipid peroxidation processes (malondialdehyde, MDA) and the amount (reduced glutathione, GSH) and activity (glutathione peroxidase activity, GSHPx) of gluathione redox system were measured in blood plasma, red blood cell hemolysate and liver: Voluntary feed intake in the selenium-treated groups reduced remarkably. Elevated GSH concentration and GSHPx activity were measured in plasma and liver of both selenium-treated groups compared to the untreated control and the ‘pair-fed’ controls. The lipid peroxidation processes in the liver showed higher intensity than the control due to both selenium treatment. The applied dose of selenite and selenomethionine does not inhibit, but even improves the activity of glutathione redox system in the liver during the early period of selenium exposure.

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Selenium, as part of selenocysteine, is the active centre of selenoenzymes. Excess amount of selenium generates oxygen free radicals and reacts with thiol compounds such as reduced glutathione, composing seleno-diglutathione. These reactions impair the amount and/or activity of the biological antioxidant defence system. In the present experiment the effects of two inorganic selenium sources (Na2SeO3, Na2SeO4) on lipid peroxidation and on the content and activity of some components of the antioxidant defence mechanism were studied in Ross 308 hybrid cockerels. In the tissues examined, the glutathione redox system was altered in different ways as an effect of excess selenium. The amount of glutathione and, consequently, glutathione peroxidase activity declined in the blood plasma and in the red blood cell haemolysate, while in the liver malondialdehyde concentration increased only at the end of the experimental period as a result of the boosted enzyme activity. The authors suppose that the cause of increased lipid peroxidation was the potential toxic effect of selenium accumulation above the actual demand.

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In a recent study (Comp. Biochem. Physiol. B. (2010)155: 301–308) we reported that the fatty acids (FA) of the avian (7 species) total lung phospholipids (PL) (i.e. lung parenchyma and surfactant together) provide allometric properties. To test whether this allometric scaling also occurs in either of the above components, in six gallinaceous species, in a body weight range from 150 g (Japanese quail, Coturnix coturnix japonica) to 19 kg (turkey, Meleagris gallopavo) the PL FA composition (mol%) was determined in the pulmonary surfactant, in native and in thoroughly lavaged lungs (referred to as lung parenchyma). In all three components docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) showed significant and negative allometric scaling (B = −0.056, −0.17 and −0.1, respectively). Surfactant PLs provided further negative allometry for palmitic acid and the opposite was found for palmitoleate and arachidonate. In the lung parenchymal PLs increasing body weight was matched with shorter chain FAs (average FA chain length) and competing n6 and n3 end-product fatty acids (positive allometry for arachidonic acid and negative for DHA). Negative allometric scaling was found for the tissue malondialdehyde concentration in the native and lavaged lungs (B = −0.1582 and −0.1594, respectively). In these tissues strong correlation was found between the MDA concentration and DHA proportion (r = 0.439 and 0.679, respectively), denoting the role of DHA in shaping the allometric properties and influencing the extent of in vivo lipid peroxidation of membrane lipids in fowl lungs.

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Lipids are used to provide the energy to cover the metabolic needs and to provide essential fatty acids, which are important for membrane function [12]. Fats may contain high level of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are prone to peroxidation [8] and will interact with the antioxidant defense system [1]. There is contradiction in the literature about whether the intake of fish oil enhance [7] or deplete [4] tissue antioxidant defenses and the glutathione redox system in different organisms. The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of different dietary oils on parameters of the lipid peroxide state and the glutathione redox system in C. gariepinus fingerlings.

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