Abstract: Optical oxygen sensors were used to ascertain the level of oxygen consumed by individual salad leaves for optimised packaging of ready-to-eat (RTE) Italian salad mixes during refrigerated storage. Seven commonly found leaves in Italian salad mixes were individually assessed for oxygen utilisation in packs. Each leaf showed varying levels of respiration throughout storage. Using the information obtained, an experimental salad mix was formulated (termed Mix 3) which consisted of the four slowest respiring salad leaves—Escarole, Frisee, Red Batavia, Lollo Rosso. Mix 3 was then compared against two commercially available Italian salads; Mix 1 (Escarole, Frisee, Radicchio, Lollo Rosso) and Mix 2 (Cos, Frisee, Radicchio, Lollo Rosso). Optical sensors were used to non-destructively monitor oxygen usage in all mixes throughout storage. In addition to oxygen consumption, all three salad mixes were quality assessed in terms of microbial load and sensorial acceptability. In conclusion, Mix 3 was found to consume the least amount of oxygen over time, had the lowest microbial load and was most sensorially preferred (p < 0.05) in terms of overall appearance and acceptability. This study clearly shows the potential that oxygen sensors possess in terms of assisting in the optimised development of commercial RTE salad products.
Abstract: The objectives of this study were to develop soy milk with improved food quality and to enhance the functional attributes by incorporating short-time germination into the processing. Changes in trypsin inhibitor activity (TIA), phytic acid content and total phenolic content (TPC) in soy milk produced from soybeans germinated within 72 h were investigated to determine the optimum germination condition. Results from the present research showed significant (p < 0.05) improvement of TPC in cooked germinated soybean milk, while both the TIA and phytic acid content were decreased significantly (p < 0.05). In the subsequent evaluation on the quality attributes under the optimum germination condition, soy milk made from 28 h-germinated soybeans presented enhanced nutritional value and comparable physicochemical properties to conventional soy milk. The current approach provides a feasible and convenient way for soy-based product innovation in both household and industrial settings.
Abstract: A survey on five kinds of cocoa beans from new cocoa planting countries was conducted to analyze each kind’s basic quality. The average bean weight and butter content of Hainan cocoa beans were the lowest, at less than 1.1 g, and 39.24% to 43.44%, respectively. Cocoa beans from Indonesia where shown to be about 8.0% and 9.0% higher in average bean weight and butter content, respectively, than that of Papua New Guinea and about 20.0% and 25.0% higher in average bean weight and butter content than Chinese dried beans, respectively. The average total polyphenolic content ranged from 81.22 mg/10 g to 301.01 mg/10 g. The Hainan 2011 sample had the highest total polyphenolic content, followed by the unfermented sample from Indonesia and the Papua New Guinea sample. The polyphenolic levels found in the Hainan 2010 sample were 123.61 mg/10 g and lower than the other three samples, but the Indonesian fermented sample had the lowest total polyphenolic content of 81.22 mg/10 g. The average total amino acid content ranged from 11.58 g/100 g to 18.17 g/100 g. The total amino acid content was the highest in the Indonesian unfermented sample, followed by the Hainan 2011 sample and the Papua New Guinea sample. The levels found in the Hainan 2010 sample were lower; the Indonesian fermented sample had the lowest total amino acid content.
Abstract: The effect of different concentrations of sugar solution (hypertonic) (30%, 45% and 60% w/v) and carboxyl methyl cellulose (CMC) (0%, 1% and 2% w/v) coating on freeze drying of apple slices was studied. In total, nine treatments with respect to concentrations of hypertonic solution and coating layer were prepared to analyze their influence on the physical and chemical properties of freeze dried apple slices. It was observed that increase in the sugar solution concentration, decreased the moisture content of the apple slices significantly impacting its water activity, texture and sugar gain. Application of different concentrations of CMC coating had no significant effect on the properties of dried apple slices. A significant change was observed for color of CMC coated freeze dried apple slices pretreated with 60% sugar solution. Drying kinetics of pretreated apple slices were fitted by using two drying models, Newton’s and Page’s. Page’s model showed higher R-square and lower root mean square error (RSME) compared to Newton’s model.
Abstract: Pumpkin products confer natural sweetness, desirable flavours and β-carotene, a vitamin A precursor when added as ingredients to extruded snacks. Therefore, a potential use for dried pumpkin flour is as an ingredient in ready-to-eat (RTE) snack foods. Growth in this market has driven food manufacturers to produce a variety of new high value snack foods incorporating diverse ingredients to enhance the appearance and nutritional properties of these foods. Ready-to-eat snacks were made by extruding corn grits with 5%, 10%, 15% and 20% of pumpkin flour. Snacks made from 100% corn grits were used as control products for this work. The effect of formulation and screw speeds of 250 rpm and 350 rpm on torque and specific mechanical energy (SME, kWh/kg), physical characteristics (expansion ratio, bulk density, true density and hardness) and the microstructure of the snacks were studied. Increasing the screw speed resulted in a decrease of torque for all formulations. When pumpkin flour was added the specific mechanical energy (SME) decreased by approximately 45%. Increasing the percentage of pumpkin flour at the higher screw speed resulted in a harder texture for the extruded products. X-ray tomography of pumpkin flour-corn grit snacks showed that increased levels of pumpkin flour decreased both the bubble area and bubble size. However, no significant differences (p > 0.05) in bubble wall thickness were measured. By understanding the conditions during extrusion, desirable nutritional characteristics can be incorporated while maximizing expansion to make a product with low bulk density, a fine bubble structure and acceptable organoleptic properties.
Abstract: Human breast milk is the best nutritional support that insures the right development and influences the immune status of the newborn infant. However, when it is not possible to breast feed, it may be necessary to use commercial infant formulas that mimic, where possible, the levels and types of nutrients present in human milk. Despite this, some formula-fed infant develops allergy and/or atopic disease compared to breast-fed infants. Cow’s milk allergy can be divided into immunoglobulin IgE mediated food allergy and non-IgE-mediated food allergy. Most infants with cow’s milk protein allergy (CMPA) develop symptoms before 1 month of age, often within 1 week after introduction of cow’s milk-based formula. Donkey milk may be considered a good substitute for cow’s milk in feeding children with CMPA since its composition is very similar to human milk. Donkey milk total protein content is low (1.5–1.8 g/100 g), very close to human milk. A thorough analysis of the donkey milk protein profile has been performed in this study; the interest was focused on the milk proteins considered safe for the prevention and treatment of various disorders in humans. The content of lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase and lysozyme, peptides with antimicrobial activity, able to stimulate the development of the neonatal intestine, was determined. Donkey milk is characterized by a low casein content, with values very close to human milk; the total whey protein content in donkey milk ranges between 0.49 and 0.80 g/100 g, very close to human milk (0.68–0.83 g/100 g). Among whey proteins, α-lactalbumin average concentration in donkey milk is 1.8 mg/mL. The results of this study confirmed the possibility of using donkey milk in feeding children with CMPA.