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Bovine whey hydrolysis with pancreatin produces a functional ingredient for developing antihypertensive beverages.
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As bovine whey is a continuous problem in worldwide pollution, emerging technologies have been proposed to take advantage of its organic composition and thus implement sustainable biorefining. A strategy for mitigating whey contamination and valorizing it is the development of protein-based beverages or healthier food products. Therefore, this work aimed to obtain a whey hydrolysate using pancreatin, which can be incorporated as a functional ingredient in antihypertensive formulations. Whey dispersions at 10 % (w/v) were prepared in Tris-HCl buffer (0.02 M, pH=8) and thermal treated at 90 °C for 10 min. Then, pancreatin hydrolysis was carried out for 7 h by enzyme addition in a mass ratio of 100:4 (soluble protein: enzyme) and sampling each hour. Free amino groups production was followed by the trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid method, and a Tukey’s contrast was performed to determine significant differences between sampling times and only test its ACE inhibitory capacity by hippuric acid determination in those that show significant differences. Afterward, a functional beverage was prepared according to the formulation proposed for a local ice cream bases factory, which contained water (77%), fructose (13%), hydrolyzed whey protein (7.7%), butyric fat (1%), flavoring (0.32%), stabilizing salts (0.17%), and emulsifier (0.1%), and its antihypertensive activity was measured by in vitro ACE inhibition. Pancreatin hydrolysis of bovine whey produced free amino groups with statistically significant differences at times 0, 4, and 7 h (p<0.05), having a concentration of 748.04±67.64, 727.39±7.69, and 1206.74±138.35 mg/L, respectively. The ACE inhibition for those sampling times was 32.41±0.63 (0 h), 16.67±1.57 (4 h), and 29.63±1.10 % (7 h). Due to Tukey’s contrast showed no differences between the sampling times 0 and 7 h, both were incorporated into the antihypertensive beverage formulation, and their ACE inhibition capacity was tested in the final product, founding an inhibition percentage of 74.84±1.39% and 78.76±1.39% with the 0 and 7 h hydrolysates, respectively. The increasing inhibition was associated with the pH buffering at 6.69, originating from the stabilizing salts and used for pancreatin hydrolysates generation incorporated in the beverages to make compatible manufacturer formulations with the previously designed enzymatic process. Nonetheless, the antihypertensive activity showed the same trend found once, with no significant differences (p<0.05) among the hydrolysates tested (0 and 7 h). Finally, despite the ACE inhibition power being the same for the times 0 and 7 h in the kinetic systems as in the final beverage formulation, a preliminary sensory analysis showed that the product based on the 7 h hydrolysate could have better acceptability because it exhibited less salty taste.

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Willingness To Adopt (WTA) e-commerce by Filipino farmers as a means for sales during the COVID-19 pandemic

With the advent of COVID-19, there was a worldwide shift in how people interacted with each other. Despite the quarantine restrictions in the Philippines that permitted food-related activities, the situation worsened concerning food security and led to a surge in food waste. The closure of businesses reduced demand for raw materials like vegetables and crops, leaving farmers with excess unsold produce. To address this issue, many turned to e-commerce to ensure safe and convenient access to essential goods. As the pandemic accelerated the growth of e-commerce, the agriculture sector also adapted by embracing this new method to connect with consumers.

This study aimed to analyze the current acceptance of Filipino farmers in Naic, Cavite using e-commerce to bridge the producer-consumer sales gap brought on by the restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using an extended version of the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), the farmers were surveyed and interviewed to measure their Perceived Innovativeness (PI), Perceived Usefulness (PU), Perceived Ease of Use (PEOU), Perceived Cost (PC), Information Awareness (IA), and Social Influence (SI). Using Spearman’s rho, results show that PI (p = 0.001), PU (p < 0.000), IA (p < 0.000), SI (p < 0.000), and even monthly internet data allocation (p = 0.001) were all correlated to the farmer’s Willingness to Adopt (WTA) e-commerce.

However, based on the farmers' realities, e-commerce is only one step in improving their sales. Cooperation and communication in the cooperative can reduce oversupply and improve sales prices. At the same time, the presence of direct buyers does not urge farmers to move online, which would require additional time, expenses, and gadgets, along with a wider social media network and tech literacy.

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Production And Acceptability of Jam Produced From kiwi fruit And Cucumber
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Fruits are an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, providing the body with necessary nutrients and helping to prevent illness. Recognizing the importance of fruits, our study aimed to create a unique and nutritious mixed fruit jam using the delightful combination of kiwi and cucumber.

We chose kiwi and cucumber for this experiment due to their exceptional nutritional value. Kiwi is rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, and dietary fiber, while cucumber is hydrating and contains vitamins A, C, and K. Combining these two fruits not only adds a refreshing flavor but also enhances the nutritional profile of the jam.

In our experiment, we tested different ratios of kiwi and cucumber, including 100% kiwi, 50% kiwi and 50% cucumber, 70% kiwi and 30% cucumber, and 30% kiwi and 70% cucumber. To improve the texture and preservation of the jam, we added commercial pectin, sodium benzoate, and citric acid.

Through comprehensive analysis, we found that the jam made with a 100% kiwi ratio (T1) stood out in terms of its physicochemical properties. It had higher levels of titratable acidity, total soluble solids, moisture, pH, and ascorbic acid, while having a lower proportion of total sugar. These attributes contribute to a well-rounded nutritional profile, making it an excellent choice for individuals seeking a healthy option.

To ensure the jam's sensory appeal, we conducted sensory assessments evaluating its taste, scent, texture, and overall acceptance. The T1 jam received the highest scores in all sensory categories, indicating that it was the most preferred option among the participants. Its vibrant green color, with L*, a*, and b* values of 32.41, -2.29, and 9.51 respectively, adds to the overall sensory experience and entices consumers to indulge in its goodness.

In conclusion, our study highlights the nutritional excellence and sensory delight of the kiwi-based jam, particularly the T1 variant. By combining the goodness of kiwi and cucumber, we have created a jam that not only satisfies taste buds but also nourishes the body. It's an excellent choice for individuals of all ages looking for a healthy and enjoyable spread. So go ahead, spread this fruity goodness on your toast and savor the benefits!

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Food safety and quality assurance in the Pakistan supply chain

The study was conducted in Pakistan to assess food safety and quality throughout the supply chain. We conducted surveys and reviewed a substantial number of literature sources, industry reports, and regulatory guidelines. The findings revealed several critical points. Firstly, inadequate hygiene practices and improper handling during transportation and storage were identified as significant contributors to foodborne illnesses. Our study surveyed 500 food establishments across different regions in Pakistan to gather data on their hygiene practices. Secondly, the study emphasized the need for standardized monitoring and testing protocols to detect and prevent contamination at various stages of the supply chain. We proposed the implementation of a comprehensive food safety management system that includes regular inspections and testing to ensure compliance. In addition to addressing known challenges, our study also identified some novel points. We discovered that the use of blockchain technology for traceability and transparency in the supply chain showed promising results in enhancing food safety. This novel approach can help track the origin and handling of food products, improving accountability and reducing the risk of contamination. Although some countries may already have control over these critical points, our study aimed to provide specific insights and recommendations tailored to the context of Pakistan. By addressing these challenges and incorporating novel approaches, we aim to enhance consumer health and trust in the food supply chain in our country. Overall, this study contributes valuable insights into the field of food safety and quality assurance in Pakistan's supply chain. The results, including the survey data and novel points, can serve as a foundation for policymakers, industry professionals, and researchers to develop effective measures and practices that safeguard consumer health and enhance trust in our local food system.

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Rosemary essential oil extraction and residue valorization by means of polyphenols recovery

Increasing demand for natural bioactive ingredients extracted from Aromatic and Medicinal Plants (AMPs) has produced disposal problems associated with residual solid waste. One of the main sectors interested in the exploitation of AMPs is the Essential Oils (EOs) industry. Nevertheless, EO is the main commodity and represents only a small part of the AMPs used, generally less than 5% (w/w). This results in the production of a noteworthy quantity of biomass that has no apparent commercial value and is therefore underestimated and underutilized by the EOs industry.

Among AMPs, Rosmarinus officinalis L., commonly known as rosemary and belonging to the Lamiaceae family, is an aromatic plant endemic to the coastal area of the Mediterranean region but spread all over the world. Rosemary can be cultivated or grow wild, as an ornamental evergreen shrub. Their leaves are usually used fresh or dried to flavor foods, mostly in traditional Mediterranean gastronomy. The antioxidant activity of the leaves is acknowledged and is ascribed to EOs and rosemary extracts. Moreover, rosemary extracts are food additives approved for use in Europe.

To the best of our knowledge, the optimization of polyphenols recovery from rosemary residues after EO extraction has not yet been investigated. Hence, in the present study, the EO extraction from rosemary leaves was performed by using the hydro-distillation method, and the antioxidant (EC50) and sun protection (SPF) activities were also evaluated. The polyphenolic fraction was extracted from rosemary residue acting on some experimental variables. In particular, in this research the extraction time (15 min, 30 min, and 60 min), the temperature (25°C, 40°C, 50°C, 60°C, and 70°C), and the ethanol concentration (50%, 60%, 70%, and 80%) were tuned. In this study, an EO yield of 1.57% was obtained with an EC50 value of 240.39 µL/mL and a SPF of 2.55. The maximum amount of polyphenols extracted from rosemary residue was 24.14 mg GAE/g DW, achieved by using an 80% ethanolic solution at 70°C for 60 min.

This study reveals how exploitation and consequential valorization of AMPs solid waste may represent new answers to circular economy strategies adopted by European countries.

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Unlocking the Secrets of Special Micronized Wholemeal Flours: A Comprehensive Characterization Study

This study aimed to characterize special micronized wholemeal flours with a fine granulation size of less than 160 µm, which were provided by Perner Svijany Mill, Ltd (Czech Republic). The flours under investigation included wheat, rye, spelt, barley, buckwheat, sorghum, and teff. Various parameters were investigated to characterize the flours, including moisture, energy value, fat, carbohydrates, sugars, total protein, ash, and total dietary fiber (TDF). The falling number of the flours was assessed using the Hagberg-Perten method. Furthermore, the pasting properties of tested flours were analyzed using an amylograph, and a Rapid Visco Analyser (RVA). The water absorption of the wholemeal flours was examined using a farinograph. Additionally, the technological quality of the tested material was assessed based on the water and sodium carbonate Solvent Retention Capacity (SRC) profile.

Among the analyzed micronized flours, special wheat flour was characterized by the highest nutritional value (the highest protein -14.7%, ash - 2.36% and TDF content - 18.7%), the highest water absorption (87.4%) and final gelatinization temperature (92.3oC) and the lowest energy value (334.8 kcal/100g), carbohydrate content (54.0%), water SRC (68.9%) and sodium carbonate SRC (82.9%). Wholemeal rye flour was characterized by the lowest nutrient content (protein - 11.0%, fat - 1.9% and ash- 1.54%) and the highest amylolytic activity, and water and sodium carbonate SRC (respectively 128.8% and 121.6%). The lowest water absorption were found in special teff flour (58.0%). The highest energy value (356.9 kcal/100g) which results from the highest carbohydrate content (68.0%), the lowest sugar (1.9%) and TDF content (4.4%), the lowest amylolytic activity, pasting temperature (74.3oC) were found in special buckwheat flour. Special spelt flour was characterized by the lowest maximum viscosity (353 AU).

These findings provide valuable insights into the nutritional composition, rheological properties, and technological characteristics of micronized wholemeal flours, aiding in their potential applications in the food industry and dietary planning.

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Exploring the Bioactive Potential of Gracilaria gracilis: An Extraction Optimization Study Using Response Surface Methodology

The extraction of bioactive compounds from the seaweed Gracilaria gracilis for food applications was optimized using a Response Surface Methodology (RSM) approach. Employing two experimental designs - a Central Composite Face-centered Design (CCFD) and a Box-Behnken Design (BBD), the effects of extraction time (1 to 5 h), temperature (25 to 75°C), and seaweed biomass: solvent ratio (1:25 to 1:75) on the yield of compounds were evaluated [1]. Using a solid-liquid extraction method, water was chosen as the solvent for the intended use of the extracts in food products, and the extraction yield was measured by the extracts' Total Phenolic Content (TPC) [2]. For the BBD model, the best fit was the Reduced Quadratic with an R2 = 0.9356. It predicted a TPC value of 3.336 mg GAE/L at 74°C for 1.4 hours with a 1:75 seaweed:solvent ratio. For the CCFD model, the best fit was the Reduced Cubic with an R2 = 0.9091. It predicted a TPC value 4.278 mg GAE/L at 46°C for 1.1 hours with the same 1:75 ratio. Actual TPC values at these conditions were 4.35 mg GAE/L for BBD and 4.25 mg GAE/L for CCFD. This work emphasizes the customization of extraction parameters considering the structural attributes of G. gracilis and the impact of the chosen conditions. The research also reveals the antioxidant properties of the extracted compounds, demonstrating the potential of this seaweed species in the food sector. The extraction process is cost-effective, scalable, and environmentally friendly, adhering to the principles of green chemistry. While this investigation has highlighted the potential of G. gracilis, further research is needed to fully understand its limits and broader applications as an untapped resource.


This work has been developed within the scope of "BLUE BIOECONOMY INNOVATION PACT" (Project Nº. C644915664-00000026) financed by NextGenerationEU, under the incentive line “Agendas for Business Innovation” of the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR). This work was supported by projects REQUIMTE/LAQV—UIDB/50006/2020, UIDP/50006/2020, and financed by FCT/Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Ensino Superior (MCTES) through national funds.


[1] Heckert, N., et al., Handbook 151: NIST/SEMATECH e-Handbook of Statistical Methods, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, 2002. (Accessed June 19, 2023)

[2] C. Soares, et al., Processes, 2021, 9, 893.

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Design of a microencapsulated propolis extract with controlled release by spray drying
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The aim of this work was to optimize the microencapsulation of a propolis extract (PE) with inulin by spray drying to obtain an ingredient (PE-IN) with properties of control release in gastrointestinal tract under in vitro simulated digestion conditions.

Materials and Methods:

A propolis sample was pretreated with hexane for dewaxing and then, the phenolic compounds were extracted by maceration with ethanol:water (70:30, v/v) in agitation during 24 hours at room temperature. The obtained propolis extract (PE) was comprehensively characterize by HPLC-ESI-QTOF-MS/MS. The encapsulation of PE/IN by spray drying was optimized by response surface using a central composite with star points experimental design where the independent variables were inlet air temperature (112.65 to 197.35°C) and PE/IN ratio (1:0.685 to 1: 4.315), while the response variables were yield (Y), Encapsulation Efficiency (EE%) and Recuperation (R%) of total phenolic compounds.


The profile of the phenolic compounds in PE had a total of 66 detected compounds, 58 of which were tentatively identified, belonging mainly to phenolic acid derivatives and flavonoids. The optimal conditions for PE/IN microencapsulation were an inlet air temperature of 112.65 °C and a PE/IN ratio of 1:4.315, showing a yield of 78.4%, in addition to 71.7% and 95.0% of EE% and R% of total phenolic compounds, respectively.


PE microparticles with inulin by spray drying is a good alternative to design microparticles with target delivery, achieving good yields, high EE% and R%, allowing its use in the development of functional and/or nutraceutical ingredients.

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Assessment of Nutritional Profile of Sargassum muticum alga from the Spanish Coastline

The use of macroalgae, or seaweed, in human diets has a long history, especially in Eastern nations. However, the present interest in these species is driven by their remarkable bioactive and nutritional qualities, but also their abundant availability and underutilization, make them especially alluring to people following alternative dietary patterns like vegetarianism and veganism. Sargassum muticum, also known as Japanese wireweed or Asian seaweed, is considered edible and has been consumed in some cultures, being popular as soup ingredient in Korea. It is a type of brown macroalgae found in marine environments, and it has been introduced to various regions outside its native range, including Europe and North America. Moreover, this species could be helpful to feed animals or as soil fertilizer.

In this study, the nutritional properties of this marine alga were investigated. Nutritional parameters such as protein, sugar and fiber content were analyzed using classical techniques. In addition to these components, the study determined the proximate composition in terms of moisture, fixed and volatile carbon and ash content by thermogravimetry, and the major minerals, including calcium, potassium, and magnesium, using the ICP-OS technique. The results showed a high mineral content (21% of ash), which consisted mainly of calcium (9g/kg dw potassium (77g/kg dw) and magnesium (12g/kg dw). In addition, the study determined the presence of iodine by ICP-MS and 106 mg/kg dw of this important element was quantified in these algae.

The results of this study highlighted the potential nutritional benefits that the tested marine algae. Their composition revealed significant concentrations of vital elements, making them extremely advantageous for human/ animal dietary requirements with possible health benefits.

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Production of Protein Hydrolysates from Spent Coffee Ground via Microwave, Enzymatic, Subcritical Water Extractions, and Their Combination

Spent coffee grounds (SCGs) are currently considered abandoned landfill waste, despite retaining valuable organic compounds, especially with a high protein content of 15.21±0.25 and oil content of 12.07±0.09 g/g dried SCG. As a result, SCGs could serve as a potential source of valuable ingredients. However, utilizing a single technical strategy of green extraction was insufficient for extracting the target compounds and hydrolyzing proteins. This work aimed to optimize the operating parameters of enzyme-assisted (EAE), microwave-assisted (MAE), and subcritical water (SWE) extractions using a response surface methodology. The parameters investigated were papain to substrate ratio of 0.1–0.5 and duration of 15–180 minutes for EAE, power of 100–600 watts and duration of 2–10 minutes for MAE, and temperature of 110–160°C and duration of 5–30 minutes for SWE. The effects of the combined techniques on three responses, including the degree of hydrolysis (%DH), water-soluble protein content (WSPC), and antioxidant properties, were investigated. The results showed that EAE, at a papain to substrate ratio of 0.5 and a duration of 15 minutes, generated the %DH of 100% and provided the WSPC in the range of 400 to 800 mg/mL. Besides, MAE provided the highest %DH of 12% at 600 watts and 10 min, while SWE produced the maximum %DH of 14% at 160°C at 20 min. Hence, the WSPC of MAE and SWE extracts were comparable at ~250 mg/mL. Furthermore, ultrafiltration fractionated the targeted protein hydrolysate to a molecular weight of less than 10 kDa and partially removed intense color pigments. This work demonstrated that the valorization of SCGs not only reduces the amount of waste but also yields functional cosmeceutical and nutraceutical ingredients with commercial benefits.