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  • 25 Reads
Evaluation of oxidative stability of emulsifiers of acylglicerol origin

Most food emulsifiers E471 do not contain polyunsaturated fatty acids and are mono-, diacylglycerols of saturated fatty acids, which in industry are produced by glycerolysis of palm oil. Obtaining new harmless to human health and the environment emulsifiers of acylglycerol origin based on sunflower oil with essential unsaturated fatty acids is relevant. The authors of this study obtained such emulsifiers under mild conditions (35–40°C) by the transesterification reaction of triacylglycerols of sunflower oil. The process was carried out in a binary system of solvents with an alkaline catalyst by activating the reacting components by mechanical stirring. This ensured the preservation of the essential nutrients (59.7% w-6 polyunsaturated linoleic acid) in resulting emulsifiers. To assess the oxidative stability of new emulsifiers we studied the kinetics of accumulating oxidation products in them and in the sunflower oil from which they were obtained. Changes in the UV spectra of 0.02% solutions in isooctane were studied in the range from 200 to 285 nm, as well as at 232 nm, 268 nm depending on the storage duration (up to 100 days) and storage temperature (20°C, 50°C, 100°C) of emulsifiers and oils. The results showed that in the process of starage emulsifiers of acylglycerol origin showed higher resistance to oxidation compared to oil. The maximum content of peroxides in them after 100 days at (20±1)°C was 5.01 mmol 1/2O/kg, in oil – 6.56 mmol 1/2O/kg, at (50±1)°C – 5.12 mmol1/2O/kg and 6.98 mmol 1/2O/kg, respectively. The results of spectroscopic studies have shown the ability of acylglycerol emulsifiers obtained under mild conditions from sunflower oil to stabilize the oxidative degradation of lipids. They also confirmed the feasibility and prospects of their use as a perfectly compatible with lipids and a completely safe ingredient for stabilizing the quality of fats and products with them.

  • Open access
  • 24 Reads
Relation between feeding habits on children with three to five years old and the level of knowledge about nutrition of the tutors of them.

Introduction: The nutrition has a big influence in the health along the live, but, the first years of the children are vitals to forge good feeding habits, because the adoption of them at this stage will be long at the future, Every kid who learn to eat in a right way, will have on favor the prevention of non comunicable diseases.

One of the causes of a bad nutrition on children could be the ignorance of the parents or tutor about a right alimentation, as they are the principal person who supply their foods.

Objective: Relate the level of knowledge about nutrion who has the parents with the feeding habits of children with three to five years old of the city San Juan de los Lagos, Jalisco.

Material and method: Quantitative, coss-selectional, non-experimental study. 32 parents were studied, prior informed consent process. As instrument was the “Survye about feeding habits by Durán and Cols” and “Level of knowledge about nutrition by Leiba, f:& rosali, T”, modificated at convenience”.

Results: The analysis demonstrated there is no significant relationship between the level of knowledge on the parents and the feeding habits on the children, because 62.5% of the participants showed a high level at knowlege about nutrition, and only 40.6% of kids have good feeding habits.

Conclusions: Even most of the interviewed parents handle appropriate knowledge on nutrition, there is a non application chord the regular feeding habits that their kids have, this could be because they let them inflence by the feeding customs, economic factors, and others.

  • Open access
  • 13 Reads

The development of a simple co-culture system provides a more effective examination of the therapy impact on tumor cells in the presence of desired microorganisms. Laetiporus sulphureus is an edible mushroom, used worldwide with known medicinal potential. The effect of ethyl acetate (EA) extract of L. sulphureus was evaluated on the viability of cervical adenocarcinoma cells (HeLa) and migratory potential of S. boulardii in a co-culture system. Then, we examined the effect of Saccharomyces boulardii on the viability of these cells in a co-culture system. Co-culture system was formed in a test tube of 50 mL consisted of 40 mL of agar with yeast, and HeLa cells on the coverslips. Cells were seeded on the top side of the coverslips then coverslips were placed upside down towards the yeast agar. 10 mL of Dulbecco's modified Eagle's minimal essential medium (DMEM) (Control), or 10 mL of EA at a concentration of 10 µg/mL were added for control or treatment. Cell viability was determined with trypan blue staining after 12 and 24 h. Yeast migration was measured using the ImageJ program. Our results showed no cytotoxicity of EA extract on HeLa cells. However, under the influence of probiotic species S. boulardii, the viability of these cells was significantly reduced. Extract of L. sulphureus did not significantly reduce cell viability in comparison to untreated co-culture system. These results indicate a potential cytotoxic effect of probiotic species on cervical adenocarcinoma cells. This effect could result from the metabolic activity of S. boulardii cells which seems to be further enhanced following the physical contact between yeast and cancer cells, after migration of S. boulardii through agar toward cancer cells. Also, extract of L. sulphureus induced strong yeast migration in coculture after 12 h. Further studies should be conducted regarding this mushroom in a co-culture system with S. boulardii.

  • Open access
  • 19 Reads
Use of agricultural wastes to design natural products for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) or risk factors for CVD, such as diabetes, hypertension and hypercholesterolemia, are the leading cause of death worldwide. Therefore, the use of agricultural by-products as a source of functional ingredients, particularly those from crop plants, has received significant interest. For example, banana (Musa spp.) is a common food crop worldwide and is the primary production on Madeira island in Portugal. Still, its peel is usually rejected like other agricultural by-products [1]. However, the banana peel has been consumed as food and medicine in some regions of the world, so possibly it can be transformed into functional food. Furthermore, it has been reported that banana peel presents a broad range of bioactive chemical constituents and biological activities, which seems to support the proposed use of banana peel in several food industries [1].

In this work, banana peels and puree were incorporated into sweet food products as butter and sugar substitutes, enhancing the nutritional content. The results show that the final product's dietary fibre and phenolic content increased while lipidic and total sugar content decreased. The obtained results show that banana peels have a great potential to be developed into beneficial functional foods and nutraceuticals.

As future work, it is intended to perform further analyses of the chemical composition of the products, such as the content of minerals, and study their biological characterization to assess their potential value as a functional food. Despite the nutrients offered by banana peels, the assessment of anti-nutrient content such as tannins is also necessary.


[1] Zaini, H.M., Roslan, J., Saallah, S., Munsu, E., Sulaiman, N.S. and Pindi, W., 2022. Banana peels as a bioactive ingredient and its potential application in the food industry. Journal of Functional Foods, 92, p.105054.


The authors are grateful for the financial support from REQUIMTE/LAQV—UIDB/50006/2020, UIDP/50006/2020 and LA/P/0008/2020, financed by FCT/MCTES and the project SYSTEMIC, "An integrated approach to the challenge of sustainable food systems: adaptive and mitigatory strategies to address climate change and malnutrition". The Knowledge hub on Nutrition and Food Security received funding from national research funding parties in Belgium (FWO), France (INRA), Germany (BLE), Italy (MIPAAF), Latvia (IZM), Norway (RCN), Portugal (FCT), and Spain (AEI) in a joint action of JPI HDHL, JPI-OCEANS, and FACCE-JPI launched in 2019 under the ERA-NET ERA-HDHL (n° 696295).

  • Open access
  • 56 Reads
Effect of partial use of potato flour and enhancers on rheological, nutritional and cooking properties of dry noodles

The use of potato flour could be a strategy for the nutritional improvement and to reduce dependence on the use of wheat flour of dry noodles. Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is one of the four most widely grown crops in the world, from a nutritional point of view, it has mainly starch, which gives it important rheological properties, as well as low fat and protein content and provides vitamins, minerals, fibre and other functional compounds. Wheat flour was replaced with potato flour (PF) at 3 percentages of 10%, 20% and 30% (w/w), in combination with enhancers Xanthan Gum (XG) and Wheat Gluten (WG): WG4%+XG 0.2%, WG4%+XG0.4%, WG4%+XG0.6%, WG6%+XG0.2%, WG6%+XG0.4% y WG6%+XG0.6%; to make dry noodles. The treatment with the highest degree of substitution with a quality like the control was evaluated. The flour quality of raw materials, the rheological properties of the dough and cooking properties of the samples were analyzed. The results indicated that increasing the PF substitution decreases the strength (S); however, this is improved with the addition of the enhancers, the optimum cooked time (OCT) and water absorption slightly increased, but cooking lose decrease progressively with increasing PF content. The best treatment to elaborate dry noodles was 20% of PF and application of WG6%+XG0.4%, no significant difference (p≥ 0.05) with the control were found. The techno-functional properties and nutritional characteristics of PF can be an alternative to the wheat flour (replacement of gluten protein) and produce dry noodles of acceptable quality.

  • Open access
  • 28 Reads
Histopathological evaluation of mice’s liver and kidney after exposure to an elderberry extract

Elderberry (Sambucus nigra L.) is recognised for its use as a food source, food additive, in nutraceuticals, and in folk medicine. Its berries are highly concentrated in flavonoids, particularly anthocyanins, well-known for their colorant and antioxidant properties. The main goal of this study was to evaluate the influence of an anthocyanin-rich elderberry extract (EE) on mice for 29 days and to assess its safety when used as natural food colorant.

The anthocyanin profile was determined using HPLC-DAD-ESI/MS. The study was approved by the Portuguese Veterinary Authorities. Twenty-four FVB/n female mice (n=6/group) were randomized into four experimental groups: Control, 12 mg/mL EE (EE12), 24 mg/mL (EE24) and 48 mg/mL (EE48). EE was supplemented in drinking water. Animals were humanely sacrificed by intraperitoneal injection of xylazine and ketamine, followed by exsanguination by cardiac puncture. A complete necropsy was performed. For histopathological analysis, liver and kidney samples were collected and fixed in 10% buffered formalin, sectioned, and processed for paraffin embedding. Sections were stained with haematoxylin and eosin and observed under light microscope.

The predominant anthocyanins detected were cyanidin-3-O-sambubioside-5-O-glucoside and cyanidin-3-O-sambubioside. Histological analysis of the liver showed a significant difference (p = 0.036) between Control (80.0%) and EE12 (16.7%), with the Control groups' histology exhibiting overall hydropic changes. These changes presented a generalized distribution in Control mice, whereas the other groups exhibited hydropic changes at the centrilobular zone. Inflammation in the liver was also assessed, with at least one animal in each group exhibiting chronic focal hepatitis. Apart from one case of chronic interstitial nephritis in EE24, no histological changes were observed.

The results suggest that elderberry extract supplementation does not appear to cause toxicological effects in kidney or liver structure or function with pathological significance.

  • Open access
  • 26 Reads
Valorisation of agro-food by-products for the extraction of phenolic compounds

The agro-food industries are responsible for the creation of vast amounts of by-products. With sustainability in mind, the valorisation of these residues is of the utmost importance. One of the many ways these residues can be valorised is by extracting bioactive compounds, namely phenolic compounds1. These compounds are abundant in plants and have remarkable bioactivities, namely antioxidant activity. Hence, they are much sought after in several industries, such as the nutraceutical, cosmetic and biomedical industries2.

The aim of this work was to extract phenolic compounds from several types of by-products from different agro-food industries and quantify their antioxidant activity through TPC, DPPH•, and ABTS•+ scavenging activities, and FRAP assay. The highest extraction yields obtained were for the pineapple core (64.70%), oat concentrate (59.92%), and mango peel (55.65%). The post-distillation residue of Cistus ladanifer L. stems and leaves and spent coffee grounds were the samples presenting the highest TPC values (134.64 ± 14.73 - 201.16 ± 4.02 mg gallic acid/ g dry extract), as well as those displaying the strongest DPPH (569.64 ± 78.08 - 831.04 ± 92.51 mg TROLOX eq/ g dry extract) and ABTS+( 1060.99 ± 173.59 - 2998.99 ± 353.70 mg TROLOX eq/ g dry extract) scavenging activities. For the FRAP assay, the highest values obtained were for the spent coffee ground, frozen coffee silverskins, and dried Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni (22.32 ± 3.25 - 86.06 ± 5.74 μmol ascorbic acid eq/ g dry extract).

The results obtained offer valuable information that demonstrates the potential for valorisation of these by-products.


  1. Gil-Martín, E. et al. Influence of the extraction method on the recovery of bioactive phenolic compounds from food industry by-products. Food Chemistry 378, 131918 (2022).
  2. Alara, O. R., Abdurahman, N. H. & Ukaegbu, C. I. Extraction of phenolic compounds: A review. Current Research in Food Science 4, 200–214 (2021).
  • Open access
  • 30 Reads
Staphylococcus aureus inactivation in a non-ready-to-eat sausage formulated with Bixa orellana extract: A dynamic model

Annatto (Bixa orellana) and its extracts have been used as a colourant to provide orange/red hues to fat-rich products, and recently it has also demonstrated to possess inhibitory activity against some pathogens. Alheira is a non-ready-to-eat sausage from Northern Portugal, which has shown moderate occurrence and survivability of Staphylococcus aureus during processing. The aim of this study was to model the effect of annatto extract against S. aureus (SA) in alheira during maturation.
Alheira batter was prepared with 0.0%, 0.5%, 1.0% or 1.5% of annatto extract (w/w), and stuffed in pre-washed natural casings, following inoculation with a SA overnight culture to reach ~5 log CFU/g, and hung in a climatic-controlled chamber at 10 ºC for 13 days. Moisture, pH and SA counts were determined every 2-3 days. For every treatment, a dynamic model was adjusted: a log-decay function with tail in differential form as primary model (with parameter D-value), coupled to a secondary model Bigelow equation of D as a function of the varying pH (with parameters logD* at pH 7.0 and zpH).
The models adequately fitted to all survival curves with residuals and root mean square errors between 0.0008-0.0016 and 0.029-0.040, respectively, producing significant parameter estimates. The addition of extract produced logD* slightly higher (1.040 [SE=0.064], 1.040 [SE=0.294] and 1.079 [SE=0.303]) than the control (1.036 [SE=0.142]), whereas zpH tended to be lower with increasing extract doses (2.426 [SE=0.561], 2.144 [SE=0.230], 2.113 [SE=1.033] and 2.005 (SE=0.904)). Therefore, the addition of annatto extracts significantly decreased the time to achieve one log reduction, which in practical terms corresponded to up to 1.04 [SE=0.08] log CFU/g reduction by the end of maturation.
Through a novel dynamic predictive microbiology model, this work characterised S. aureus survival parameters in alheiras; and demonstrated that annatto extract has beneficial effects in controlling this pathogen during maturation.

  • Open access
  • 65 Reads
Molecular identification of lactic acid producing bacteria isolated from alheira, a traditional Portuguese fermented sausage

Numerous types of fermented meat products exist in Europe, and they are highly appreciated by consumers. In addition to the economic importance of this supply chain, these products constitute a valued cultural heritage strongly linked to the identity of a population or to their production areas. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) may vary across the different fermented products, resulting in a diversity of microorganisms that constitute the microbiome of the product, which are worth of characterization for improvement of quality control. LAB of fermented Portuguese Alheira sausages from different regions of Trás-os-Montes (Bragança, Mirandela, Vimioso, Mogadouro, Vinhais and Valpaços) were isolated (n=384) from 67 samples and identified by sanger sequencing of the 16S ribosomal gene (rRNA) region. Genomic DNA (gDNA) of the samples was extracted using GF-1 Bacterial DNA Extraction Kit (Frilabo, Portugal). The primers used for amplification of the 16S rRNA gene were 27f 5’- AGA GTT TGA TCC TGG CTC AG-3’ and 1492r 5’-CTA CGG CTA CCT TGT TAC GA-3’. Sequencing reactions used BigDyeTM Terminator v3.1 while purification of samples used SAM/BigDyeXTerminatorTM bead solution (ThermoFisher Scientific, Portugal). Capillary electrophoresis was run in SeqStudio Genetic Analyzer (Applied Biosystems, Portugal). Sequence results were aligned with sequences from the NCBI database using the BLAST algorithm. Finally, sequences with identity higher than 85% were accepted as the best match for the LAB isolate. Genetic analysis of 25 samples showed a diverse lactic acid producing microbioma. LABs from the family Lactobacillaceae and Leuconostocaceae were dominant, found in 64% of samples, while other organisms of the family Streptococcaceae and Enterococcaceae were found in 36% of samples. The total samples are currently being analysed, with the ultimate aim to classify the abundance of LABs at the level of each fermented sausage, and according to the different locations.

  • Open access
  • 25 Reads
Enzymatic Synthesis of Flavours and Fragrances, Antioxidants and Antimicrobials on the Example of Benzyl Alcohol and its Selected Derivatives

The "green" alternative to traditional chemical synthesis can be enzyme-based processes. Phenolic compounds are known to be biologically active substances but in many cases, their enzymatic modification by esterification or transesterification allows for obtaining esters with other, new features, like changed flavour properties, enhanced solubility in lipophilic media or enhanced antimicrobial activity. The aim of the work was the enzymatic synthesis of flavours and fragrances, antioxidants and antimicrobials with the use of benzyl alcohol, and its selected derivatives, namely 2-hydroxybenzyl, 4-hydroxybenzyl, 4-methoxybenzyl (anisyl), 4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzyl (vanillyl), 4-nitrobenzyl, and 3,4-(methylenedioxy)benzyl (piperonyl) alcohols via transesterification with vinyl acetate. For obtaining the esters, Candida antarctica lipase B (10% w/w by the mass of substrates) was used and the reactions were performed in isooctane and 2 mmoles of chosen alcohol and vinyl acetate. The conversion yields of esters were dependent on the structure of alcohols and their solubility in the solvent and ranged from about 17% in the case of 4-hydroxybenzyl acetate to approximately 90% of benzyl acetate. The performed reactions allowed the creation of esters with fruity-sweet-floral odours, like benzyl acetate, 4-methoxybenzyl acetate and piperonyl acetate. Furthermore, vanillyl acetate has proven to be the best antioxidant in the DPPH· (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) assay, with the IC50 value of 0.83 ± 0.04 mM. In the reference to antimicrobial activity, the disc diffusion method was applied and the following bacteria were used: Escherichia coli PCM 2057 and Staphylococcus aureus PCM 2054. The vast majority of synthesized esters were not effective against tested bacteria, but vanillyl acetate was able to moderately inhibit the growth of the microorganisms, and the largest inhibition zone diameters were obtained for 2-hydroxybenzyl acetate and the values obtained against E. coli were 19.0 ± 1.0 mm and 20.3 ± 0.6 in the case of S. aureus.