Abstract: The efficacy of “gaseous” ozone in reducing numbers and re-growth of food-borne pathogens, (Escherichia coli and Listeria spp.), on leafy salads was investigated using spinach. A preliminary in vivo study showed 1-log reduction in six strains of E. coli and two species of Listeria spp. on spinach exposed to 1 ppm ozone for 10 min. A range of ozone treatments were explored to deliver optimal bacterial inactivation while maintaining the visual appearance (color) of produce. Exposure to a higher ozone concentration for a shorter duration (10 ppm for 2 min) significantly reduced E. coli and Listeria spp. viable counts by 1-log and the pathogens did not re-grow following treatment (over a nine-day storage period). Impacts of 1 and 10 ppm ozone treatments were not significantly different. Approximately 10% of the pathogen population was resistant to ozone treatment. We hypothesized that cell age may be one of several factors responsible for variation in ozone resistance. E. coli cells from older colonies demonstrated higher ozone resistance in subsequent experiments. Overall, we speculate that gaseous ozone treatment constitutes the basis for an alternative customer-friendly method to reduce food pathogen contamination of leafy produce and is worth exploring on a pilot-scale in an industrial setting.
Abstract: Health professionals play an important role in educating the public about food safety risks. However, the ways this important group of educators remains up-to-date on these topics are not well defined. In this study, a national sample of dietitians employed in direct teaching of patients (n = 327) were recruited to complete a web-delivered survey designed to develop a model of factors that promote information processing and teaching in practice about food safety related to fresh vegetables. The resulting mental model demonstrates that dietitians teach fresh vegetable safety using systematic information processing to intellectually understand new information, but this is also associated with a gap in the dietitian’s knowledge of food safety. The juxtaposition of an information processing model with a behavioral model provides valuable new insights about how dietitians seek, acquire and translate/transfer important information to move patients toward a higher goal of food safety. The study also informs food safety educators as they formulate teaching strategies that are more effective than other approaches at promoting behavior change.
Abstract: This paper describes Nepal’s national livestock policies and considers how they can be improved to help meet the pressing national challenges of economic development, equity, poverty alleviation, gender mainstreaming, inclusion of marginalized and underprivileged communities, and climate vulnerability. Nepal is in the process of transforming its government from a unitary system to a federal democratic structure through the new constitution expected by 2015, offering the opportunity to bring a new set of priorities and stakeholders to policymaking. Nepal’s livestock subsector comes most directly within the purview of the National Agricultural Policy 2004, Agro-Business Policy, 2006 and Agricultural Sectoral Operating Policies of the Approach Paper to 13th Plan, 2012/13–2015/16 policy instruments. We systematically review these and other livestock-related national policies through analysis of their Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT). We conclude with the need to formulate a separate, integrated national livestock policy so that Nepal can sustainably increase livestock productivity and achieve diversification, commercialization and competitiveness of the livestock subsector within the changing national and international contexts.
Abstract: This review is a comprehensive introduction to pertinent aspects of the extraction methodology, chemistry, analysis and pharmacology of essential oils, whilst providing a background of general organic chemistry concepts to readers from non-chemistry oriented backgrounds. Furthermore, it describes the historical aspects of essential oil research whilst exploring contentious issues of terminology. This follows with an examination of essential oil producing plants in the Australian context with particular attention to Aboriginal custom use, historical successes and contemporary commercial prospects. Due to the harsh dry environment of the Australian landmass, particularly to the cyclical climatic variation attendant upon repeated glaciation/post-glaciation cycles, the arid regions have evolved a rich assortment of unique endemic essential oil yielding plants. Though some of these aromatic plants (particularly myrtaceous species) have given birth to commercially valuable industries, much remains to be discovered. Given the market potential, it is likely that recent discoveries in our laboratory and elsewhere will lead to new product development. This review concludes with an emphasis on the use of chemotaxonomy in selection of commercially viable cultivar chemotypes from the Australian continent. Finally, drawing largely from our own results we propose a list of Australian endemic species with novel commercial potential.
Abstract: Biochar has altered plant yields and soil nutrient availability in tropical soils, but less research exists involving biochar additions to temperate cropping systems. Of the existing research, results vary based on soil texture, crop grown, and biochar properties. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of pine (Pinus spp.) woodchip biochar at 0, 5, and 10 Mg·ha−1 rates combined with urea nitrogen (N) on soil chemical properties and corn (Zea mays L.) yield under field conditions in the first growing season after biochar addition in a silt-loam alluvial soil. Biochar combined with fertilizer numerically increased corn yields, while biochar alone numerically decreased corn yields, compared to a non-amended control. Corn nitrogen uptake efficiency (NUE) was greater with 10 Mg·ha−1 biochar compared to no biochar. There were limited biochar effects on soil nutrients, but biochar decreased nitrate, total dissolved N, and Mehlich-3 extractable sulfur and manganese concentrations in the top 10 cm. Pine woodchip biochar combined with N fertilizer has the potential to improve corn production when grown in silt-loam soil in the mid-southern U.S. by improving NUE and increasing yield. Further research will be important to determine impacts as biochar ages in the soil.
Abstract: The origin of agricultural products is gaining in appreciation while often hard to determine for various reasons. Geographical origin may be resolved using a combination of chemical and physical analytical technologies. In the present case of Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis) rhizomes, we investigated an exploratory set of material from The Netherlands, three other European (EU) countries and China. We show that the geographical origin is correlated to patterns of stable isotope ratios (isotope fingerprints) and volatile organic carbon (VOC) compounds (chemical fingerprints). These fingerprints allowed clear distinction using exploratory and supervised statistics. Isotope ratio mass spectrometry of 12C/13C, 14N/15N and 16O/18O isotopes separated materials from Europe and China successfully. The VOC patterns measured by Proton Transfer Reaction Mass Spectrometry (PTR-MS) allowed distinction of three groups: material from The Netherlands, the other EU countries and China. This knowledge is expected to help developing a systematic and efficient analytical tool for authenticating the origin of flower bulbs.