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  • Open access
  • 24 Reads
The use of thermal and chromatographic methods in the assessment of fat isolated from micellar casein.

The aim of the study was to analyze the fat extracted from natural and flavored casein. Casein is the main protein in milk. It is made of structures called micelles. Pure casein is obtained through technological processes and contains a small amount of fat that has not been characterized yet.

Fat extraction was performed by the Folch method. The extracted fat was examined by gas chromatography and differential scanning calorimetry. The fatty acid profile of the separated fats was determined using gas chromatography. 20 fatty acids were found and their content was compared with the literature data of milk fat. The analysis showed that the tested fat was dominated by saturated fatty acids, of which palmitic acid had the highest content - 31.93%. The obtained results for all three tested caseins were comparable to each other, no significant differences were noticed when comparing them to milk fat. The melting profiles of fat were analyzed by DSC technique and it was found that an endothermic transition had occurred. Differences in the number of endothermic peaks were noticed comparing the tested fat to milk fat. The fat from the casein contained two endothermic peaks for the medium-melting and high-melting fractions, while there was also an endothermic peak in the milk fat for the low-melting fraction.

  • Open access
  • 40 Reads
Role of the gut microbiota in long-term dietary patterns rich in torularhodin via OSA colon-targeted delivery
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Torularhodin is a carotenoid with various activities, and carotenoids can be used by the intestinal microbiome. Hence, a mechanism to pass through an effective delivery system is crucial to the bioavailability and healthy functioning of torularhodin. However, the effect of torularhodin on the gut microbiota is not yet clear. In this study, the octenyl succinic anhydride (OSA) colon-targeted delivery system, and an in vitro gut digestive system were used to explore the role of the gut microbiota in long-term dietary patterns rich in torularhodin. Results suggested that the gut microbiota was affected in the diet rich in torularhodin, mainly including Frisingicoccus, Butyricicoccus, Eubacterium, Bacteroides, Dialister, Lachnoclostridium, Streptococcus, and Ruminococcus torques. Torularhodin inhibited the growth of pathogenic bacteria belonging to Enterobacteriaceae and transformed beneficial bacteria Bifidobacterium and Bacteroides into dominant bacteria under long-term dietary patterns. The functional analysis of gut microbiota showed that differential genes were mainly enriched in glycolysis/gluconeogenesis and pentose phosphate pathways. The metabolome results also demonstrated that torularhodin mainly regulated fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase in the above mentioned pathway. Finally, the interaction network revealed that gut microbiota (Bacteroides, Lachnospiraceae, and Megasphaera), metabolites (D-glucose, citric acid, tartaric acid, and propionic acid), and metabolic functions (pyruvate metabolism, glycolysis/gluconeogenesis, and pentose phosphate pathway) might be the key factors regulating the effect of torularhodin on the gut microbiota-metabolite-metabolism. Therefore, this study explored the mechanism of "torularhodin–gut microbiota–metabolite-metabolism" cross-feeding based on the bioinformatics methods, providing a theoretical basis for optimizing the gut microecology of a torularhodin-rich diet.

  • Open access
  • 54 Reads
Green-extraction methodologies for recovering bioactive compounds from endemic fruits: Corcolen (Azara dentata)

There is a great demand for the recovery of bioactive compounds from by-products and side streams in the food and cosmetic industries. More sustainable extraction methodologies are being chosen like pulsed electric field (PEF) assisted extraction, supercritical fluid extraction (SFE), pressurized liquid extraction (PLE), and ultrasound-assisted extraction. Endemic fruits represent a great and little-explored source of biomolecules that can become potential candidates for the study of new drugs and support the use of native species in functional foods or nutraceuticals. Some phenolics from Chilean fruits proved to be potential in the prevention of non-communicable- or chronic- diseases. The study aimed to produce polyphenolic-rich extracts from corcolen (Azara dentata Ruiz & Pav) by non-thermal methodologies. Two extracts were obtained by mean of SFE using CO2 and ethanol as co-solvent, and PLE using water as solvent. The total antioxidant capacity, total phenolic content, carbohydrates, and proteins of both extracts were analyzed. The resulting phenolic content of the extracts obtained by SFE and PLE was 5.37 ± 0.38 and 21.17 ± 0.57 mg GAE/g sample, respectively. The total antioxidant capacity was 3.22 ± 0.47 and 18.05 ± 1.25 mg Trolox/g sample for the SFE and PLE extracts, respectively. Moreover, corcolen composition was characterized by LC-TTOF chromatography, being Chrysoeriol 7-O-glucoside, Isorhamnetin 7-O-rhamnoside, Isorhoifolin, Rhoifolin, Kaempferol 3-O-feruloyl-sophoroside 7-O-glucoside, Kaempferol 3-O-feruloyl-sophorotrioside, Spinacetin 3-O-(2-p-coumaroylglucosyl)(1->6)-apiosyl(1->2)-glucoside, Cyanidin 3-O-(-xylosyl--(6-caffeoyl-glucosyl)-galactoside), the eight more predominant flavonoids. The different extraction methodologies allowed to obtain extracts with an interesting antioxidant capacity and rich in polyphenols, that could potentially find several applications as dietary supplements, ingredients for cosmetic formulations, or additives in food.

  • Open access
  • 58 Reads
Essential oils from oregano and thyme plants organically cultured in Lemnos island (Greece) present strong antimicrobial action against some important foodborne bacterial pathogens

The growing negative perception of consumers towards synthetic chemicals has shifted the search for new antimicrobials to those derived from natural sources (e.g., plants). Oregano and thyme are both well-known aromatic plants that belong to the Lamiaceae family. Their essential oils (EOs) have been extensively studied for their bioactivity which is attributed their rich content in secondary metabolites, especially terpenoids such as carvacrol and thymol. In this study, EOs from oregano (Origanum vulgare subsp. hirtum) and thyme (Thymus capitatus) plants organically cultured in Lemnos island (north-eastern Greece) were investigated for their antimicrobial actions against three foodborne pathogenic bacterial species (i.e. Salmonella enterica ser. Typhimurium, Listeria monocytogenes and Yersinia enterocolitica). For this, the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) and minimum biofilm inhibitory concentrations (MBICs) of each EO against the planktonic and biofilm growth, respectively, of each pathogen were determined. To calculate the MICs, the broth microdilution method was used, while before the calculation of MBICs, the optimal conditions for biofilm formation by each target microorganism were determined using 96-well polystyrene microplates as the growth substrata. Results revealed that the MICs ranged from 0.031% to 0.125% (v/v) depending on the EO and the target pathogen, with the thyme EO to be always more potent than that of oregano. The MBIC values of oregano and thyme EOs were the same for S. Typhimurium at 0.125% (v/v), as well as for L. monocytogenes at 0.031% (v/v). On the other hand, to inhibit the biofilm growth of Y. enterocolitica oregano EO need to be applied at 0.063% (v/v), whereas thyme EO at 0.031% (v/v). The results demonstrated that the EOs of two endemic organic plants of a Greek island both present strong antibacterial action and could be further exploited as natural antimicrobials for food and health applications.

  • Open access
  • 40 Reads
Characterization of Codium tomentosum phytosomes and their neuroprotective potential

Due to the increase in life expectancy, promoting active aging is a crucial challenge for the XXI century. Therefore, searching for new neuroprotective drugs is urgent, and marine macroalgae are considered excellent sources of structurally diverse bioactive molecules with recognized pharmaceutical and biomedical potential. Aiming to contribute to finding new neuroprotective drugs, a multi-step subcritical water extraction (SWE) process was applied to the green macroalga Codium tomentosum using a gradient of temperatures (from room temperature to 250 C). Four fractions were obtained and F4 (obtained in the range of 190-250 C), rich in phenolic compounds and Maillard reaction products, was the most active against oxidative stress and enzymes linked to neurodegeneration and major depression. Phytosomes were prepared with F4 as an encapsulation strategy to entrap this bioactive fraction for future applications. A Box-behnken design with three independent variables [A – time (1- 4 h), B – temperature (25- 60 C), and C – ratio F4:phosphatidylcholine (1:1-1:4)] was applied. The optimal condition retrieved from the model to obtain the highest % of encapsulation (61%) was: A – 1h, B – 59 C, and C – 1:1. These phytosomes were further modified with DSPE-PEG(20000)-maleimide and ApoE and characterized by dynamic light scattering (DLS), UV spectrophotometry, octanol-water partition coefficient (Kow), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Results of the FTIR and DSC studies confirmed the phyto-phospholipid complex formation, and DLS analysis revealed that phytosomes had a mean particle size of 245.76±49.00 nm and a polydispersity of 0.26±0.06. Moreover, phytosomes had a ʎmax at 280 nm and a Kow = 0.382.

Future work will include the development of a neuroprotective functional food product suitable for elderly, incorporating F4 or F4-based phytosomes.


This work was supported by projects REQUIMTE/LAQV—UIDB/50006/2020 and UIDP/50006/2020, financed by FCT/MCTES, through national funds, and by project POCI-01-0145-FEDER-030240—PTDC/OCE-ETA/30240/2017—SilverBrain-From sea to brain: Green neuroprotective extracts for nanoencapsulation and functional food production, financed by FEDER and FCT.

  • Open access
  • 21 Reads
The functional potential of the Saharan wild olive related to their bioactive compound contents and biological activities

The Saharan wild olive is a plant used for food and medicinal purposes in the Mediterranean region. In this study, the leaves of Olea europaea subsp. laperrinei were investigated for their functional phytochemical profile, in vitro antioxidant properties, and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitory activity. Phenolic compounds were distinctively profiled in the different extracts using TLC and standard phenolics. Maceration in methanol allowed recovering the highest cumulative phenolic, flavonoid, flavonol, and hydrolyzable and condensed tannin contents (390.14; 478.16; 23.22; 64.19 and 3.81 mg/g, respectively). The ethyl acetate and methanol extracts showed high in vitro antioxidant activities using different assays (total antioxidant capacity, DPPH, ABTS, DMPD, and superoxide radicals, beta-carotene, metal chelating, FRAP, and CUPRAC), whereas ethyl acetate extract showed the highest inhibition against AChE (510.33 µg/mL). The phytochemical analysis showed the presence of caffeic acid, kaempferol, naringin, quercetin, isoquercitrin, hyperoside, rutin and chrysophanol in extracts. These findings showed that the methanol extract is a rich source of bioactive compounds. A promising nutraceutical potential could be highlighted in our understudied Saharan wild olive.

  • Open access
  • 25 Reads
Livelihood diversification for achieving sustainable food security in peri-urban areas of Iran

According to their location and characteristics, peri-urban areas are increasingly exposed to extensive changes because of the expansion of cities in various dimensions. In these areas, due to the reduction of rural agricultural lands, land-use change, fragmentation of agricultural lands, and increasing urban population, one of the issues that need more attention in these areas is food security as the agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Accordingly, this article has identified the factors affecting livelihood diversification regarding sustainable food security in peri-urban areas of Iran. After accurately identifying these factors, it also examines the effectiveness of livelihood diversification to sustainable food security in environmental-ecological, socio-economic, political-cultural, and infrastructural dimensions. This research has been done by the descriptive-analytical method in the peri-urban of Tehran. Inferential statistics, correlation relationships, stepwise linear regression, and a multiple-choice logit model were used to analyze the data. Findings showed that the influential factors in livelihood diversity in peri-urban areas of Tehran are training and awareness, knowledge and skills, institutionalism, access to resources, partnership for investment, and marketing of products. Diversification within agricultural sector activities such as agriculture, horticulture, livestock, and aquaculture significantly impact sustainable food security. Diversification within non-agricultural activities such as support services and agricultural production has the most negligible impact on the dimensions of sustainable food security. Among the variables included in the regression equation, the rest remain in the equation except for the variables of diversification in non-agricultural activities such as conversion and complementary industries and handicrafts and workshops in the village. Thus, diversification of activities has a positive effect on improving sustainable food security.

  • Open access
  • 23 Reads
Validation of a HPLC method for the determination of epigallocatechin gallate, caffeine and chlorogenic acid in coffee leaf tea

An existing method HPLC method (ISO 14502) was applied and validated for the matrix of coffee leaf tea (genus Coffea). This method is usually used to measure conventional Camellia sinensis teas with high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). For the purposes of method validation, robustness, applicability, measurement precision and linearity were investigated. The focus was kept on the ingredients epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), caffeine and chlorogenic acid.

It was possible to determine a high level of robustness, applicability, and measurement precision of this method by the measurement of caffeine and chlorogenic acid in authentic sample matrices. The repeatability standard deviation of caffeine was lower than ±0.09 g/100 g and that of chlorogenic acid was lower than ±0.08 g/100g. The repeatability coefficient of variation (CV) of caffeine ranged between ±0.93% and ±4.52% and that of chlorogenic acid was between ±1.20% and ± 21.10%. The reproducibility standard deviation of caffeine was lower than ±0,03g/100g and that of chlorogenic acid is lower than 0.03 g/100 g. The reproducibility CV of caffeine was between ±0.68% and ±2.92% and that of chlorogenic acid is between ±0,91% and ±5,36%. These results show a high level of robustness, and measurement precision in each case. However, the used samples were unsuitable for determining the robustness, applicability, and measurement precision of EGCG because its amount in coffee leaves was too low or even undetectable. A detection limit (LOD) for EGCG in coffee leaf of 0.02 g/100g and a quantification limit (LOQ) of 0.04 g/100g were determined.

All in all, this method was judged as being suitable for the analysis of coffee leaf tea. Specifically, the ingredients EGCG, caffeine and chlorogenic acid can be reliably determined.

  • Open access
  • 181 Reads
Bioactive properties of blueberry extracts obtained by different drying methods against Helicobacter pylori.

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is widely recognised as one of the most prevalent human pathogens, which infects more than 50% of the population worldwide. Chronic inflammation of the gastric mucosa is one of the main consequences of this infection and is related to gastric cancer risk. Currently, due to the high association between H. pylori infection and the progression of gastric cancer, most therapeutic treatments aim to eradicate the bacteria using different antibiotics in combination with a proton pump inhibitor in a triple or quadruple therapy. However, resistant strains have increased significantly, requiring new therapeutic tools. Blueberries are rich in different bioactive compounds with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that could contribute to reduce the problems associated with H. pylori infection. The aim of this research was to analyse the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of different blueberry extracts obtained by different drying methods against H. pylori infection. Results showed that all blueberry extracts exhibited antibacterial effect against H. pylori, some of these extracts being bactericidal, while the rest reduced bacterial growth by more than 5 log CFU/mL. Bluecrop extracts were the most active, because all extracts obtained by the different drying methods resulted bactericidal. Extracts obtained by vacuum drying (VD) at 50ºC was the most effective since the extracts of the three varieties were bactericidal. Regarding anti-inflammatory activity, all blueberry extracts reduced IL-8 secretion in H. pylori-infected gastric cells. Bluecrop extracts obtained by VD at 70ºC and 90ºC reduced IL-8 production by 30% and 32%, respectively. These results suggest that blueberry extracts used in the present work and obtained by different drying methods could be a useful alternative to control H. pylori growth and in the modulation of the gastric inflammatory process induced in H. pylori infection.

  • Open access
  • 33 Reads
Pathogens-in-Foods database: a web application for assessing the occurrence data of microbiological hazards in foods marketed in Europe

Pathogens-in-Foods (PIF) is a dynamic database of systematically organized occurrence data (both prevalence and enumeration) of important pathogenic bacteria, parasites and virus in foods randomly surveyed across Europe, extracted from published peer-reviewed articles and reports.

The database is constructed upon systematic literature searches on several bibliographic engines for the most relevant pathogens, specifically Bacillus cereus, Campylobacter spp., Clostridium perfringens, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella spp., Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Yersinia enterocolitica, Cryptosporidium spp., Giardia spp., Toxoplasma gondii, Hepatitis A virus, Hepatitis E virus and Norovirus, in foods surveyed from European farms, processing facilities, retail establishments and restauration.

After the filtered primary studies are screened for relevance and their methodological quality are assessed for inclusion, the data are extracted into the PIF database following a systematic categorization comprised of primary study characteristics, pathogen information, microbiological methods, food and food chain characteristics, and prevalence and/or enumeration results.

The database is accessible through a web application ( that facilitates data access and retrieval according to microbiological hazard, country, food class, or other relevant variables, producing dynamic charts and summary statistics of incidence, and it is highly intuitive and easy to use.

The Pathogens-ln-Foods database presently includes 1172 primary studies and close to 5200 bacteria, virus, and parasite entries, spanning data published from 2000 onwards to the present day, and new data are continuously added. It presents solid scientific and computational basis for growth and is intended to be used by researchers and food authorities after meta-analysis, in microbiological risk assessment for establishing future food safety guidelines.