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Foods, Volume 6, Issue 1 (January 2017) – 9 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): At the same time that demand to produce more food with less resources is high, an estimated 1.3 billion tons of foods (about one third of total production) is lost or wasted globally every year. Storage losses are considered most critical, especially for smallholder farmers in developing countries. Engineering innovations are crucial to the progress of postharvest loss prevention. The storage losses using the traditional methods could be as high as 60%, whereas, the storage losses are below 1% in developed countries using scientific storage methods. Use of better agricultural practices and adequate storage technologies can significantly reduce the losses, help in strengthening food security, and increasing returns of smallholder farmers. View this paper
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Open AccessArticle
Health-Promoting Compounds in Pigmented Thai and Wild Rice
Foods 2017, 6(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods6010009 - 20 Jan 2017
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2821
Abstract
Organic pigmented Thai rice and wild rice are commonly available in specialized Italian markets and food shops, and they are gaining popularity among consumers demanding healthy foods. Indeed, the typical colour of kernels, which is the unique characteristic of pigmented cereals, is due [...] Read more.
Organic pigmented Thai rice and wild rice are commonly available in specialized Italian markets and food shops, and they are gaining popularity among consumers demanding healthy foods. Indeed, the typical colour of kernels, which is the unique characteristic of pigmented cereals, is due to the accumulation of pigments that are also responsible for a number of healthy effects. The aim of this study was to provide a portrait of two organic pigmented Thai rice varieties from Thailand and one wild rice variety from Canada, imported into Italy and at Italian consumers’ disposal. To this end, the proximate composition and the content of health-promoting compounds, such as carotenoids, anthocyanins and phenolic compounds, were determined in Thai and wild rice. Moreover, the effect of cooking on phytochemicals was assessed, in order to provide reliable data on the dietary intake of bioactive compounds by samples under investigation. Results show that studied samples have a content of phytochemicals higher than white rice and comparable to other cereals. The cooking process determined a decrease of bioactive compounds in all varieties under investigation. However, some samples were found more resistant to cooking stress, and some phytochemicals were little affected by this process. Therefore, pigmented Thai and wild rice may represent a valuable source of healthy compounds and an alternative to other wholesome foods required by consumers. Full article
Open AccessReview
Reducing Postharvest Losses during Storage of Grain Crops to Strengthen Food Security in Developing Countries
Foods 2017, 6(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods6010008 - 15 Jan 2017
Cited by 110 | Viewed by 11495
Abstract
While fulfilling the food demand of an increasing population remains a major global concern, more than one-third of food is lost or wasted in postharvest operations. Reducing the postharvest losses, especially in developing countries, could be a sustainable solution to increase food availability, [...] Read more.
While fulfilling the food demand of an increasing population remains a major global concern, more than one-third of food is lost or wasted in postharvest operations. Reducing the postharvest losses, especially in developing countries, could be a sustainable solution to increase food availability, reduce pressure on natural resources, eliminate hunger and improve farmers’ livelihoods. Cereal grains are the basis of staple food in most of the developing nations, and account for the maximum postharvest losses on a calorific basis among all agricultural commodities. As much as 50%–60% cereal grains can be lost during the storage stage due only to the lack of technical inefficiency. Use of scientific storage methods can reduce these losses to as low as 1%–2%. This paper provides a comprehensive literature review of the grain postharvest losses in developing countries, the status and causes of storage losses and discusses the technological interventions to reduce these losses. The basics of hermetic storage, various technology options, and their effectiveness on several crops in different localities are discussed in detail. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Theoretical Analysis for Assessing the Variability of Secondary Model Thermal Inactivation Kinetic Parameters
Foods 2017, 6(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods6010007 - 12 Jan 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2821
Abstract
Traditionally, for the determination of the kinetic parameters of thermal inactivation of a heat labile substance, an appropriate index is selected and its change is measured over time at a series of constant temperatures. The rate of this change is described through an [...] Read more.
Traditionally, for the determination of the kinetic parameters of thermal inactivation of a heat labile substance, an appropriate index is selected and its change is measured over time at a series of constant temperatures. The rate of this change is described through an appropriate primary model and a secondary model is applied to assess the impact of temperature. By this approach, the confidence intervals of the estimates of the rate constants are not taken into account. Consequently, the calculated variability of the secondary model parameters can be significantly lower than the actual variability. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the influence of the variability of the primary model parameters in establishing the confidence intervals of the secondary model parameters. Using a Monte Carlo technique and assuming normally distributed DT values (parameter associated with a primary inactivation model), the error propagating on the DTref and z-values (secondary model parameters) was assessed. When DT confidence intervals were broad, the secondary model’s parameter variability was appreciably high and could not be adequately estimated through the traditional deterministic approach that does not take into account the variation on the DT values. In such cases, the proposed methodology was essential for realistic estimations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Modelling)
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Open AccessArticle
Extraction, Identification and Photo-Physical Characterization of Persimmon (Diospyros kaki L.) Carotenoids
Foods 2017, 6(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods6010004 - 12 Jan 2017
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3354
Abstract
Carotenoid pigments were extracted and purified from persimmon fruits using accelerated solvent extraction (ASE). Eleven pigments were isolated and five of them were clearly identified as all-trans-violaxanthine, all-trans-lutein, all-trans-zeaxanthin all-trans-cryptoxanthin and all-trans-β-carotene. Absorption [...] Read more.
Carotenoid pigments were extracted and purified from persimmon fruits using accelerated solvent extraction (ASE). Eleven pigments were isolated and five of them were clearly identified as all-trans-violaxanthine, all-trans-lutein, all-trans-zeaxanthin all-trans-cryptoxanthin and all-trans-β-carotene. Absorption and fluorescence spectra were recorded. To evaluate the potential of 1O2 quenching of the purified carotenoids, we used a monocarboxylic porphyrin (P1COOH) as the photosensitizer to produce 1O2. The rate constants of singlet oxygen quenching (Kq) were determined by monitoring the near-infrared (1270 nm) luminescence of 1O2 produced by photosensitizer excitation. The lifetime of singlet oxygen was measured in the presence of increasing concentrations of carotenoids in hexane. Recorded Kq values show that all-trans-β-cryptoxanthin, all-trans-β-carotene, all-trans-lycopene and all-trans-zeaxanthin quench singlet oxygen in hexane efficiently (associated Kq values of 1.6 × 109, 1.3 × 109, 1.1 × 109 and 1.1 × 109 M−1·s−1, respectively). The efficiency of singlet oxygen quenching of β-cryptoxanthin can thus change the consideration that β-carotene and lycopene are the most efficient singlet oxygen quenchers acting as catalysts for deactivation of the harmful 1O2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Pressure Technologies in Food Processing)
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Foods in 2016
Foods 2017, 6(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods6010006 - 11 Jan 2017
Viewed by 2171
Abstract
The editors of Foods would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2016.[...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of the Availability and Antioxidant Capacity of Maillard Compounds Present in Bread Crust: Studies in Caco-2 Cells
Foods 2017, 6(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods6010005 - 11 Jan 2017
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2422
Abstract
Bread crust is one of the major contributors to the intake of Maillard reaction products (MRP). MRP improve the organoleptic properties of foods and can provide biological actions such as antioxidant properties. The transport and availability of Amadori compounds (measured as furosine) and [...] Read more.
Bread crust is one of the major contributors to the intake of Maillard reaction products (MRP). MRP improve the organoleptic properties of foods and can provide biological actions such as antioxidant properties. The transport and availability of Amadori compounds (measured as furosine) and hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF)—early and intermediary MRP—from enzymatically digested bread crust (BC) and from its soluble low-molecular weight (LMW) and high-molecular weight (HMW) fractions were investigated in the Caco-2 cell line. The absorption of the early and final MRP pool was tested by measuring the absorbance recovery (280 and 420 nm). The ability of soluble BC or its fractions to lessen the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was examined. Amadori compounds (furosine) were transported across Caco-2 cell monolayers from the soluble BC in percentages ranging between 40% and 56%; the lower amount of the compound supplied, the higher transport rate. However, HMF transport rate (35%) was unaffected by the initial amount of the compound. Amadori compounds and HMF contained in the LMW fraction were more efficiently transported than those present in the HMW fraction, suggesting improved absorption when supplied as free forms or linked to LMW compounds. Absorbance recovery at 280 nm was higher from the LMW fraction, whereas higher recovery was detected for the HMW fraction at 420 nm. The digested BC—but not its isolated fractions—was able to significantly reduce ROS production at basal conditions and after subjecting cells to an oxidant. A clear positive action of BC on the antioxidant defence is manifested, seemingly attributable to the combined presence of soluble LMW and HMW products. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Rheometric Non-Isothermal Gelatinization Kinetics of Chickpea Flour-Based Gluten-Free Muffin Batters with Added Biopolymers
Foods 2017, 6(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods6010003 - 02 Jan 2017
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2986
Abstract
An attempt was made to analyze the elastic modulus (G0) of chickpea flour (CF)-based muffin batters made with CF alone and with added biopolymers (whey protein (WP), xanthan gum (XG), inulin (INL), and their blends) in order to evaluate their suitability to be [...] Read more.
An attempt was made to analyze the elastic modulus (G0) of chickpea flour (CF)-based muffin batters made with CF alone and with added biopolymers (whey protein (WP), xanthan gum (XG), inulin (INL), and their blends) in order to evaluate their suitability to be a wheat flour (WF) substitute in muffins, and to model the heat-induced gelatinization of batters under non-isothermal heating condition from 25 ◦C to 90 ◦C. A rheological approach is proposed to determine the kinetic parameters (reaction order (n), frequency factor (k0), and activation energy (Ea)) using linearly-increasing temperature. Zero-order reaction kinetics adequately described batter gelatinization process, therefore assuming a constant rate independent of the initial G0 value. The change of the derivative of G0 with respect to time (dG0/dt) versus temperature is described by one exponential function with activation energies ranging from 118 to 180 kJ·mol−1. Control wheat gluten batter, with higher and lower starch and protein contents, respectively, than CF-based batters, exhibited the highest Ea value. Formulation of CF-based gluten-free batters with starch and protein contents closer to the levels of WF-based batter could be a strategy to decrease differences in kinetic parameters of muffin batters and, therefore, in technological characteristics of baked muffins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Modelling)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Oxalate Content of Taro Leaves Grown in Central Vietnam
Foods 2017, 6(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods6010002 - 01 Jan 2017
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2859
Abstract
Leaves were harvested from four different cultivars of Colocasia esculenta and three cultivars of Alocasia odora that were growing on nine different farms in central Vietnam. The total, soluble and insoluble oxalate contents of the leaves were extracted and measured using HPLC chromatography. [...] Read more.
Leaves were harvested from four different cultivars of Colocasia esculenta and three cultivars of Alocasia odora that were growing on nine different farms in central Vietnam. The total, soluble and insoluble oxalate contents of the leaves were extracted and measured using HPLC chromatography. Total calcium determinations were also carried out on the same samples. The total oxalate content of the leaves ranged from 433.8 to 856.1 mg/100 g wet matter (WM) while the soluble oxalate ranged from 147.8 to 339.7 mg/100 g WM. The proportion of soluble oxalate ranged from 28% to 41% (overall mean 35%) of the total oxalate content of the leaves. The equivalent insoluble oxalate proportion ranged from 59% to 72% of the total (overall mean 65%). There was little difference between the Colocasia esculenta and Alocasia odora taro cultivars, although the total oxalate content was significantly higher in Alocasia odora cultivars. The overall mean total calcium content was 279.5 mg/100 WM and the percentage of insoluble calcium bound as calcium oxalate ranged from 31.7% to 57.3% of the total calcium content (overall mean 47.1%). The oxalate content in taro leaves is a major factor to consider when different cultivars of taro are recommended for human or animal consumption. Full article
Open AccessBrief Report
Improving Bread Quality with the Application of a Newly Purified Thermostable α-Amylase from Rhizopus oryzae FSIS4
Foods 2017, 6(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods6010001 - 01 Jan 2017
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3019
Abstract
A new thermostable α-amylase from Rhizopus oryzae FSIS4 was purified for first time and recovered in a single step using a three-phase partitioning (TPP) system. The fungal α-amylase, at a concentration of 1.936 U per kg of flour, was used in bread-making and [...] Read more.
A new thermostable α-amylase from Rhizopus oryzae FSIS4 was purified for first time and recovered in a single step using a three-phase partitioning (TPP) system. The fungal α-amylase, at a concentration of 1.936 U per kg of flour, was used in bread-making and compared to the commercial enzyme. The results showed a significant effect of the recovered α-amylase in the prepared bread and allowed us to improve the quality of the bread. The study indicated clearly that the recovered α-amylase is a potential candidate for future applications in the bread-making industry and in other food biotechnology applications. Full article
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