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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Adding Chinese Yam (Dioscorea opposita Thunb.) Flour on Dough Rheology, Gluten Structure, Baking Performance, and Antioxidant Properties of Bread
Foods 2020, 9(3), 256; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9030256 (registering DOI) - 28 Feb 2020
Abstract
Impacts of wheat flour substituted with various levels of Chinese yam (Dioscorea opposita Thunb.) flour (from 0% to 25%) on the dough rheological characteristics, gluten structure, baking performance, and antioxidant properties of bread were investigated. The water absorption increased significantly (p [...] Read more.
Impacts of wheat flour substituted with various levels of Chinese yam (Dioscorea opposita Thunb.) flour (from 0% to 25%) on the dough rheological characteristics, gluten structure, baking performance, and antioxidant properties of bread were investigated. The water absorption increased significantly (p < 0.05), while development time and stability decreased remarkably (p < 0.05) as the proportion of yam flour increased. SEM results indicated that the addition of yam flour destroyed the gluten network structure in the dough. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) spectra showed that addition of yam flour decreased the content of α-helix and β-sheet in gluten. With the increase in the proportion of yam flour, the specific volume and overall acceptability decreased (p < 0.05) whereas the total phenolics content (TPC), polysaccharides content, total flavonoids content (TFC), allantoin content, The 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging capability, fractal dimension, and hardness increased (p < 0.05). Overall, breads made of wheat flour replacement with no more than 15% Guihuai number 2 yam flour were of a high quality and had more antioxidant properties. These showed that Guihuai number 2 had broad application prospects in baked products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Grain)
Open AccessArticle
External Validation of the ‘PHYT in Dementia’, a Theoretical Model Promoting Physical Activity in People with Dementia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(5), 1544; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17051544 (registering DOI) - 28 Feb 2020
Abstract
Physical activity is beneficial for people with dementia. We previously developed a theoretical model to explain behaviour change in physical activity in dementia (PHYT-in-dementia). This study aimed to externally validate the model. Validation occurred through the process evaluation of a programme promoting activity [...] Read more.
Physical activity is beneficial for people with dementia. We previously developed a theoretical model to explain behaviour change in physical activity in dementia (PHYT-in-dementia). This study aimed to externally validate the model. Validation occurred through the process evaluation of a programme promoting activity in people with dementia (PrAISED 2). Twenty participants with dementia and their carers were interviewed to investigate their experience of the programme. The data were analysed through content analysis. The original constructs of the model were used as initial codes and new codes were generated, if elicited from the data. The constructs were also ranked, based on their frequency in the interviews. All of the original model constructs were validated and two novel constructs created: ‘personal history’ and ‘information/knowledge’. Certain constructs (e.g., support) were more frequently mentioned than others (e.g., personal beliefs). We suggested modifications and integrated them into a revised model. The PHYT-in-dementia recognised that dementia has an impact on motivation to initiate and maintain behaviour change over time. The model advocates that interventions adopt a more holistic approach than traditional behaviour change strategies. The suggested revisions require further validation to accurately predict behaviour change in physical activity in people with dementia. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Aging and Public Health)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
A New Simple Screening Tool—4QT: Can It Identify Those with Swallowing Problems? A Pilot Study
Geriatrics 2020, 5(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics5010011 (registering DOI) - 27 Feb 2020
Abstract
As people and the population age, the prevalence of swallowing problems (dysphagia) increases. The screening for dysphagia is considered good practice in stroke care, yet is not routinely undertaken in the management of frail older adults. A short swallow screen, the 4QT, was [...] Read more.
As people and the population age, the prevalence of swallowing problems (dysphagia) increases. The screening for dysphagia is considered good practice in stroke care, yet is not routinely undertaken in the management of frail older adults. A short swallow screen, the 4QT, was developed following a review of the literature. The screen has four questions relating to swallowing that can be asked by a member of the health care team. A convenience sample of 48 older frail patients on an acute frailty ward was recruited into a Quality Improvement project. Their swallow was screened using the EAT-10 and 4QT. A speech and language therapist assessed for the presence of dysphagia using a standardised assessment for dysphagia. The 4QT was as effective as the EAT-10 in identifying older frail adults with potential swallowing problems (Κ = 0.73). The 4QT has 100% sensitivity, 80.4% specificity and positive predictive value (PPV) 50%, negative predictive value (NPV) 100%. The 4QT is a highly sensitive but not specific swallow screen, only 50% of people reporting swallowing problems were confirmed to have a degree of dysphagia by the SLT. The 4QT is a simple screening tool that could be used by all staff, but requires further research/evaluation before it is widely accepted into clinical practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Rehabilitation and Management of Dysphagia)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
An Environmental and Economic Analysis of Flocculation Technology Applied to a Corn-Based Ethanol Plant
Processes 2020, 8(3), 271; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8030271 - 27 Feb 2020
Abstract
The stimulation of renewable fuel production is related to the environmental issues resulting from the extraction and utilization of fossil fuels. Although corn-based ethanol is one of the leading renewable fuels and promises to mitigate these environmental impacts, it generates large volumes of [...] Read more.
The stimulation of renewable fuel production is related to the environmental issues resulting from the extraction and utilization of fossil fuels. Although corn-based ethanol is one of the leading renewable fuels and promises to mitigate these environmental impacts, it generates large volumes of wastewater with high concentrations of organic material (CODcr > 30,000 mg/L) and low pH (3.5–4.5), which leads to serious environmental concerns. A common method of treatment of distillery wastewater is the Dry Distilled Grain Soluble (DDGS) process, which separates liquid and solid fractions; however, a disadvantage of this process is its high energy consumption. Other commonly implemented methods are often costly and not environmentally safe. To minimize these problems, a flocculation process can be applied as a potential lower energy consumption process utilizing bioflocculants, which have been proven harmless to the environment. Therefore, the main goal of this study was to analyze the economic and environmental impacts of using bioflocculants instead of evaporation process in a corn-based ethanol plant. The procedures were evaluated by analyzing the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Techno-Economic Analysis (TEA). From the results, it can be seen that the flocculation system can be an alternative process for effectively minimizing energy consumption during the production of DDGS, Distilled Wet Grains with Solubles (DWGS), and corn oil. The flocculation process achieved a significantly (28%) lower utility cost when compared to the conventional system. However, the overall fixed costs and annual operating costs for the flocculation system were higher than those of the conventional system. Additionally, both processes resulted in negative profit and a sensitivity analysis showed that the feedstocks cost substantially impacted the DDGS, DWGS, and corn oil production costs. Related to environmental aspects, the LCA results showed that the flocculation process achieved the lowest Global Warming Potential (GWP) of the several electricity supply technologies analyzed and presented a significant reduction in CO2 equivalent emissions when compared to a conventional system. The flocculation process resulted in approximately 57% lower greenhouse gas emissions. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Nutritional Characteristics of Prepacked Feta PDO Cheese Products in Greece: Assessment of Dietary Intakes and Nutritional Profiles
Foods 2020, 9(3), 253; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9030253 (registering DOI) - 27 Feb 2020
Abstract
Feta cheese, a protected designation of origin (PDO) food, is one of the most important Mediterranean food products. Although it is the cheese with the highest consumption in Greece, the nutritional characteristics of products available in the market, as well as their contribution [...] Read more.
Feta cheese, a protected designation of origin (PDO) food, is one of the most important Mediterranean food products. Although it is the cheese with the highest consumption in Greece, the nutritional characteristics of products available in the market, as well as their contribution to the Greek diet, have not been evaluated in detail. In the present study, the basic nutritional content of 81 prepacked feta cheese products available in the Greek market were recorded based on their labels. This was combined with consumption data to provide an overall picture of feta cheese’s contribution to the Greek diet. The nutrient contents per 100 g ranged as follows. Energy: 221–343 kcal, total fat: 20–29 g, saturated fat: 12.8–20.3 g, carbohydrates: 0–3.1 g, sugars: 0–3 g, proteins: 13.1–21.0 g and salt: 1.2–5.1 g. The median feta daily individual consumption was found to be 39 g, ranging from 20 g to 100 g (fifth and 95th percentiles, respectively). The nutritional intake analysis as a percentage of dietary reference intake (DRI) showed that saturated fat and salt are ranked on the top of the list, with intakes reaching 101.5% and 85% respectively. The products were also evaluated against five nutrient profile models and their potential use under statutory requirements and policy development are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Nutrition)
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Open AccessFeature PaperEditorial
Outbreak of Novel Coronavirus (SARS-Cov-2): First Evidences From International Scientific Literature and Pending Questions
Healthcare 2020, 8(1), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8010051 (registering DOI) - 27 Feb 2020
Abstract
On 31 December, 2019, a cluster of 27 pneumonia cases of unknown etiology was reported by Chinese health authorities in Wuhan City (China) [...] Full article
Open AccessEditorial
Special Issue: Localization in Wireless Sensor Networks
J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2020, 9(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan9010014 - 27 Feb 2020
Abstract
Recent and continuous development of mobile computing and user-centric applications has led to a requirement for accurate and low-cost localization and tracking systems.[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Localization in Wireless Sensor Networks)
Open AccessArticle
Optimized Node Clustering in VANETs by Using Meta-Heuristic Algorithms
Electronics 2020, 9(3), 394; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9030394 (registering DOI) - 27 Feb 2020
Abstract
In a vehicular ad-hoc network (VANET), the vehicles are the nodes, and these nodes communicate with each other. On the road, vehicles are continuously in motion, and it causes a dynamic change in the network topology. It is more challenging when there is [...] Read more.
In a vehicular ad-hoc network (VANET), the vehicles are the nodes, and these nodes communicate with each other. On the road, vehicles are continuously in motion, and it causes a dynamic change in the network topology. It is more challenging when there is a higher node density. These conditions create many difficulties for network scalability and optimal route-finding in VANETs. Clustering protocols are being used frequently to solve such type of problems. In this paper, we proposed the grasshoppers’ optimization-based node clustering algorithm for VANETs (GOA) for optimal cluster head selection. The proposed algorithm reduced network overhead in unpredictable node density scenarios. To do so, different experiments were performed for comparative analysis of GOA with other state-of-the-art techniques like dragonfly algorithm, grey wolf optimizer (GWO), and ant colony optimization (ACO). Plentiful parameters, such as the number of clusters, network area, node density, and transmission range, were used in various experiments. The outcome of these results indicated that GOA outperformed existing methodologies. Lastly, the application of GOA in the flying ad-hoc network (FANET) domain was also proposed for next-generation networks. Full article
Open AccessArticle
A Low Cross-Polarization Configuration Method for Phased Array Radar Antenna
Electronics 2020, 9(3), 396; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9030396 (registering DOI) - 27 Feb 2020
Abstract
The cross-polarization isolation (CPI) is a key parameter to assess the dual-polarization antenna because the cross-polarization closely affects the antenna application. A polarization state configuration (PSC) approach is proposed to configure the polarization state of the polarimetric phased array radar antenna. Unlike the [...] Read more.
The cross-polarization isolation (CPI) is a key parameter to assess the dual-polarization antenna because the cross-polarization closely affects the antenna application. A polarization state configuration (PSC) approach is proposed to configure the polarization state of the polarimetric phased array radar antenna. Unlike the traditional fixed polarization states such as the linear polarization (LP) and the circular polarization (CP), the PSC method modulates the polarization state of the radiated wave continuously. In addition, the optimal excitation magnitude and phase of the dual-polarization element is calculated, thereby maximizing the CPI. Most of the configured polarization state is the elliptical polarization (EP), and a lower cross-polarization level and higher CPI could be obtained. This method could expand the acceptable angle range when compared with the LP and CP waves. Numerical simulations and comparisons are conducted to manifest the validity of the proposed method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Array Antenna and Array Signal Processing)
Open AccessEditorial
Water Contamination Risks at the Dental Clinic
Biology 2020, 9(3), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9030043 (registering DOI) - 27 Feb 2020
Abstract
Dental clinics, furnished with an array of specialized equipment, are commonplace, particularly in industrialized countries. Minimizing the risk of infection at the dental practice requires the formulation and implementation of strict protocols. These protocols must address the real risk posed by water contamination, [...] Read more.
Dental clinics, furnished with an array of specialized equipment, are commonplace, particularly in industrialized countries. Minimizing the risk of infection at the dental practice requires the formulation and implementation of strict protocols. These protocols must address the real risk posed by water contamination, particularly given that water is both integral to the function of some dental equipment, and is typically administered directly to the patient. The water in the dental clinic may be of local origin or from a water main, this can be problematic since the clinician often has little assurance regarding the quality of water reaching the dental chair. Though most modern dental equipment includes self-sterilization protocols, care must be taken that water does not stagnate anywhere in the dental equipment or clinic. The management of water quality at the dental clinic is an important part of respecting the protocols needed to manage the risk of patient infections. Full article
Open AccessReview
Phylogenetic Distribution, Ultrastructure, and Function of Bacterial Flagellar Sheaths
Biomolecules 2020, 10(3), 363; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom10030363 (registering DOI) - 27 Feb 2020
Abstract
A number of Gram-negative bacteria have a membrane surrounding their flagella, referred to as the flagellar sheath, which is continuous with the outer membrane. The flagellar sheath was initially described in Vibrio metschnikovii in the early 1950s as an extension of the outer [...] Read more.
A number of Gram-negative bacteria have a membrane surrounding their flagella, referred to as the flagellar sheath, which is continuous with the outer membrane. The flagellar sheath was initially described in Vibrio metschnikovii in the early 1950s as an extension of the outer cell wall layer that completely surrounded the flagellar filament. Subsequent studies identified other bacteria that possess flagellar sheaths, most of which are restricted to a few genera of the phylum Proteobacteria. Biochemical analysis of the flagellar sheaths from a few bacterial species revealed the presence of lipopolysaccharide, phospholipids, and outer membrane proteins in the sheath. Some proteins localize preferentially to the flagellar sheath, indicating mechanisms exist for protein partitioning to the sheath. Recent cryo-electron tomography studies have yielded high resolution images of the flagellar sheath and other structures closely associated with the sheath, which has generated insights and new hypotheses for how the flagellar sheath is synthesized. Various functions have been proposed for the flagellar sheath, including preventing disassociation of the flagellin subunits in the presence of gastric acid, avoiding activation of the host innate immune response by flagellin, activating the host immune response, adherence to host cells, and protecting the bacterium from bacteriophages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Perspectives on Bacterial Flagellar Motor)
Open AccessArticle
Reactively Sputtered Sb-GaN Films and its Hetero-Junction Diode: The Exploration of the n-to-p Transition
Coatings 2020, 10(3), 210; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings10030210 (registering DOI) - 27 Feb 2020
Abstract
Sb anion-substituted gallium nitride films were fabricated by radio frequency reactive sputtering with single Sb-containing cermet targets with different Sb contents under Ar/N2 atmosphere. n-type GaN films with electron concentration of (1.40 ± 0.1) × 1017 cm−3 inverted to p-type [...] Read more.
Sb anion-substituted gallium nitride films were fabricated by radio frequency reactive sputtering with single Sb-containing cermet targets with different Sb contents under Ar/N2 atmosphere. n-type GaN films with electron concentration of (1.40 ± 0.1) × 1017 cm−3 inverted to p-type Sb-GaN with hole concentration of (5.50 ± 0.3) × 1017 cm−3. The bandgap energy of Sb anion-added Sb-GaN films decreased from 3.20 to 2.72 eV with increasing Sb concentration. The formation of p-type Sb-GaN is attributed to the formation of Ga vacancy at higher Sb concentration. The coexistence of Sb at the Ga cation site and N anion site is an interesting and important result, as GaNSb had been well developed for highly mismatched alloys. The hetero-junction with p-type Sb-GaN/n-Si diodes was all formed by radio frequency (RF) reactive sputtering technology. The electrical characteristics of Sb-GaN diode devices were investigated from −20 to 20 V at room temperature (RT). Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Thermionic Vacuum Arc—A Versatile Technology for Thin Film Deposition and Its Applications
Coatings 2020, 10(3), 211; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings10030211 (registering DOI) - 27 Feb 2020
Abstract
This review summarizes the more-than-25-years of development of the so-called thermionic vacuum arc (TVA). TVA is an anodic arc discharge in vapors of the material to be deposited; the energy for its melting is delivered by means of a focused electron beam. The [...] Read more.
This review summarizes the more-than-25-years of development of the so-called thermionic vacuum arc (TVA). TVA is an anodic arc discharge in vapors of the material to be deposited; the energy for its melting is delivered by means of a focused electron beam. The resulting material ions fall at the substrate where they form a well-adhesive layer; the ion energy is controllable. The deposited layers are, as a rule, free from droplets typical for cathodic arc deposition systems and the thermal stress of the substrates being coated is low. TVA is especially suitable for processing refractory metals, e.g., carbon or tungsten, however, in the course of time, various useful applications of this system originated. They include layers for fusion application, hard coatings, low-friction coatings, biomedical-applicable films, materials for optoelectronics, and for solid-state batteries. Apart from the diagnostic of the film properties, also the diagnostic of the TVA discharge itself as well as of the by TVA generated plasma was performed. The research and application of the TVA proceeds in broad international collaboration. At present, the TVA technology has found its firm place among the different procedures for thin film deposition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Film Coatings for Multifunctional Applications)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Electrical Defect State Distribution in Single Crystal ZnO Schottky Barrier Diodes
Coatings 2020, 10(3), 206; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings10030206 - 27 Feb 2020
Abstract
The characterization of defect states in a hydrothermally grown single crystal of ZnO was performed using deep-level transient spectroscopy in the temperature range of 77–340 K. The native intrinsic defect energy level within the ZnO band gap occurred in the depletion region of [...] Read more.
The characterization of defect states in a hydrothermally grown single crystal of ZnO was performed using deep-level transient spectroscopy in the temperature range of 77–340 K. The native intrinsic defect energy level within the ZnO band gap occurred in the depletion region of ZnO Schottky barrier diodes. A major defect level was observed, with a thermal activation energy of 0.27 eV (E3) within the defect state distribution from 0.1 to 0.57 eV below the conduction band minimum. We confirmed the maximum defect concentration to be 3.66 × 1016 cm−3 at 0.27 eV (E3). As a result, we clearly confirmed the distribution of density of defect states in the ZnO band gap. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Proinflammatory Effect of Carbon-Based Nanomaterials: In Vitro Study on Stimulation of Inflammasome NLRP3 via Destabilisation of Lysosomes
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(3), 418; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10030418 (registering DOI) - 27 Feb 2020
Abstract
Carbon-based nanomaterials (C-BNM) have recently attracted an increased attention as the materials with potential applications in industry and medicine. Bioresistance and proinflammatory potential of C-BNM is the main obstacle for their medicinal application which was documented in vivo and in vitro. However, there [...] Read more.
Carbon-based nanomaterials (C-BNM) have recently attracted an increased attention as the materials with potential applications in industry and medicine. Bioresistance and proinflammatory potential of C-BNM is the main obstacle for their medicinal application which was documented in vivo and in vitro. However, there are still limited data especially on graphene derivatives such as graphene platelets (GP). In this work, we compared multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) and two different types of pristine GP in their potential to activate inflammasome NLRP3 (The nod-like receptor family pyrin domain containing 3) in vitro. Our study is focused on exposure of THP-1/THP1-null cells and peripheral blood monocytes to C-BNM as representative models of canonical and alternative pathways, respectively. Although all nanomaterials were extensively accumulated in the cytoplasm, increasing doses of all C-BNM did not lead to cell death. We observed direct activation of NLRP3 via destabilization of lysosomes and release of cathepsin B into cytoplasm only in the case of MWCNTs. Direct activation of NLRP3 by both GP was statistically insignificant but could be induced by synergic action with muramyl dipeptide (MDP), as a representative molecule of the family of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). This study demonstrates a possible proinflammatory potential of GP and MWCNT acting through NLRP3 activation. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Oxidative Damage to Various Root and Shoot Tissues of Durum and Soft Wheat Seedlings during Salinity
Agriculture 2020, 10(3), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10030055 (registering DOI) - 27 Feb 2020
Abstract
The toxicity of high concentrations of sodium chloride creates significant difficulties in realizing the productivity potential of wheat. The development of effective test systems for the identification and selection of resistant genotypes is an urgent task given the global increase in soil salinity [...] Read more.
The toxicity of high concentrations of sodium chloride creates significant difficulties in realizing the productivity potential of wheat. The development of effective test systems for the identification and selection of resistant genotypes is an urgent task given the global increase in soil salinity in agricultural land. To identify the characteristics of the plant’s reaction to the toxic effect of sodium chloride, wheat genotypes with different resistance to ionic toxicity (the Orenburgskaya 10 and Orenburgskaya 22 varieties) were used. In model experiments, we used fluorescence, light-optical and electron microscopy to characterize the structural and functional features of the cells of the roots of wheat seedlings, and cytological markers suitable for creating a test system for the early diagnosis of the sensitivity of wheat genotypes to sodium chloride were established. The response of the plants to the effects of sodium chloride was assessed by changes in biometric data, respiration rate, peculiarities in the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and mitochondrial staining, and the quantitative assessment of coleoptile cell viability as putative sensitivity markers. In the sodium chloride-sensitive genotype (Orenburgskaya 10), toxic effects resulted in oxidative damage in the root cells, while in the resistant genotype (Orenburgskaya 22), oxidative damage to the cells was minimal. A high level of expression of mitochondrial superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) was found in the roots of the Orenburgskaya 22 variety. The identification and functional analysis of cytological and molecular markers provide the basis for further studies of the resistance of wheat to sodium chloride stress. Full article

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