Alternative Use of Biological Resources

A special issue of Resources (ISSN 2079-9276).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2024 | Viewed by 9019

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural Business and Economics, Institute of Agricultural and Food Economics, Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Budapest, Hungary
Interests: agricultural economics; food science; bioeconomics; econometrics; AI in decision making; system dynamics modelling
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Guest Editor
Institute of Agricultural and Food Economics, Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Budapest, Hungary
Interests: legal aspects of the circular economy; green economy and its law; green finance; public administration law; public procurement law; property law; environmental law; legal aspects of sustainability

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Non-food and energy use of biological resources offers considerable resources for achievement of the practical realisation of Sustainable Development Goals, but our knowledge and experiences in this field are rather limited, because in the last century the false myth of general and exclusive superiority of “industrial” technologies and synthetic materials for a long time de-motivated the search for these solutions. The aim of this Special Issue is to fill the gap between the need to tackle the challenges before humanity (e.g., eradication of poverty, sustainable cities, carbon neutrality) and the potential utilisation of traditional, bio-based materials (e.g., in the cosmetic, pharmaceutical, textile, furniture and construction industry) as well as innovative utilisation of bio-based materials for new tasks (e.g., noise insulators from wool, substitution of plastics by natural materials). In recent decades, there has been intense research and development activity in this direction, and some successful business models have emerged as well. At the same time, the intensity of communication is rather low between the specialists working in this field. One explanation for this situation is the relative separateness of different disciplines (e.g., chemistry, material science, dermatology, marketing, just to name a few), which is why the approach of this Special Issue will be multi-and interdisciplinary, encouraging the publication of research teams, and analysing the alternative usage of biological resources from different points of view in an integrative manner. The Special Issue will serve as a platform to offer a possibility to demonstrate the relevant results of basic and applied research, results of surveys on socio-economic aspects of the alternative utilisation of biological resources, and analysis of consumer responses to the introduction of novel materials, taking into consideration the ethical aspects of the question, e.g., analysis of industrial raw material or the food dilemma. The Special Issue will be an important point of reference for BSc and MSc programs, focussing on non-food and energy use of biological materials. These programs are just starting at different higher educational institutes around the world, but in numerous cases, especially in third-world countries, where there is an abundance of raw materials, there is a need for relevant knowledge transfer.

Prof. Dr. Zoltán Lakner
Prof. Dr. Anita Boros
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Resources is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • natural resources
  • scientific interdisciplinarity
  • sustainability
  • economic transition
  • resource management
  • bioeconomics
  • decarbonization
  • socio-economic consciousness

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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16 pages, 2466 KiB  
Article
Surimi Production from Tropical Mackerel: A Simple Washing Strategy for Better Utilization of Dark-Fleshed Fish Resources
by Worawan Panpipat, Porntip Thongkam, Suppanyoo Boonmalee, Hasene Keskin Çavdar and Manat Chaijan
Resources 2023, 12(10), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources12100126 - 23 Oct 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2708
Abstract
Mackerel (Auxis thazard), a tropical dark-fleshed fish, is currently a viable resource for the manufacture of surimi, but the optimal washing procedure for more efficient use of this particular species is required right away. Washing is the most critical stage in [...] Read more.
Mackerel (Auxis thazard), a tropical dark-fleshed fish, is currently a viable resource for the manufacture of surimi, but the optimal washing procedure for more efficient use of this particular species is required right away. Washing is the most critical stage in surimi production to ensure optimal gelation with odorless and colorless surimi. The goal of this study was to set a simple washing medium to the test for making mackerel surimi. Washing was performed three times with different media. T1 was washed with three cycles of cold carbonated water (CW). T2, T3, and T4 were washed once with cold CW containing 0.3%, 0.6%, or 0.9% NaCl, followed by two cycles of cold water. T5, T6, and T7 were produced for three cycles with CW containing 0.3%, 0.6%, or 0.9% NaCl. For comparison, unwashed mince (U) and conventional surimi washed three times in cold tap water (C) were employed. The maximum yield (62.27%) was obtained by washing with T1. When varying quantities of NaCl were mixed into the first washing medium (T2–T4), the yield decreased with increasing NaCl content (27.24–54.77%). When washing with NaCl for three cycles (T5–T7), the yield was greatly decreased (16.69–35.23%). Conventional surimi washing (C) produced a yield of roughly 40%, which was comparable to T3. Based on the results, treatments that produced lower yields than C were eliminated in order to maximize the use of fish resources and for commercial reasons. The maximum NaCl content in CW can be set at 0.6% only during the first washing cycle (T3). Because of the onset of optimal unfolding as reported by specific biochemical characteristics such as Ca2+-ATPase activity (0.2 μmol inorganic phosphate/mg protein/min), reactive sulfhydryl group (3.61 mol/108 g protein), and hydrophobicity (64.02 µg of bromophenol blue bound), T3 washing resulted in surimi with the greatest gel strength (965 g.mm) and water holding capacity (~65%), with fine network structure visualized by scanning electron microscope. It also efficiently removed lipid (~80% reduction), myoglobin (~65% reduction), non-heme iron (~94% reduction), and trichloroacetic acid-soluble peptide (~52% reduction) contents, which improves whiteness (~45% improvement), reduces lipid oxidation (TBARS value < 0.5 mg malondialdehyde equivalent/kg), and decreases the intensity of the gel’s fishy odor (~30% reduction). As a result, washing mackerel surimi (A. thazard) with CW containing 0.6% (w/v) NaCl in the first cycle, followed by two cycles of cold water washing (T3), can be a simple method for increasing gel-forming capability and oxidative stability. The mackerel surimi produced using this washing approach has a higher quality than that produced with regular washing. This straightforward method will enable the sustainable use of dark-fleshed fish for the production of surimi. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Use of Biological Resources)
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16 pages, 5335 KiB  
Article
The Emerging Role of Plant-Based Building Materials in the Construction Industry—A Bibliometric Analysis
by Anita Boros and Dávid Tőzsér
Resources 2023, 12(10), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources12100124 - 19 Oct 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2821
Abstract
The emergence of plant-based building materials is supported by several factors, such as shortages, adverse effects, and quality deficits of conventional resources, strict legislative frameworks targeting the realization of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and growing environmental awareness on the individual and stakeholder levels. [...] Read more.
The emergence of plant-based building materials is supported by several factors, such as shortages, adverse effects, and quality deficits of conventional resources, strict legislative frameworks targeting the realization of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and growing environmental awareness on the individual and stakeholder levels. To support these findings, this paper aimed to assess the relevance of these green materials in the construction industry and highlight the most widespread and thoroughly studied plant-based compounds in the literature, using bibliometric analysis. By evaluating 977 publications from 453 sources, the results show that the total number of relevant papers has increased yearly, while most belonged to the engineering discipline. Most articles were dedicated to one or more of the SDGs, which was confirmed by the more comprehensive representation and elaboration of “green”, “environmental”, and “sustainability” aspects regarding the topics of “materials” and “building” as the most frequent terms. Additionally, a wide range of plant-based building materials are thoroughly evaluated in the literature; these are primarily used to improve conventional materials’ mechanical properties, while many are also tested as substitutes for conventional ones. In conclusion, the green transition in the construction industry is aided by the scientific community by proposing plant-based supplements and alternatives to well-known materials and practices; however, further in-depth studies are needed to verify the applicability of such novelties to gain uniform acceptance and foster the expansion of sustainability initiatives in the sector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Use of Biological Resources)
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17 pages, 763 KiB  
Article
In Vitro Efficacy of Hungarian Propolis against Bacteria, Yeast, and Trichomonas gallinae Isolated from Pigeons—A Possible Antibiotic Alternative?
by Ádám Kerek, Péter Csanády, Barbara Tuska-Szalay, László Kovács and Ákos Jerzsele
Resources 2023, 12(9), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources12090101 - 29 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1506
Abstract
The spread of antimicrobial resistance is one of the most serious human and animal health problems of our time. Propolis is a natural substance with antibacterial, antifungal, and antiparasitic activity, the most active components of which are polyphenols and terpenoids. In the present [...] Read more.
The spread of antimicrobial resistance is one of the most serious human and animal health problems of our time. Propolis is a natural substance with antibacterial, antifungal, and antiparasitic activity, the most active components of which are polyphenols and terpenoids. In the present study, the authors investigated the efficacy of propolis against Staphylococcus spp., Enterococcus spp., Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica, Candida albicans fungi, and Trichomonas gallinae isolated from pigeons. For each pathogen, the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum eradication concentration (MEC) of eight isolates were determined for 96%, 90%, 80%, 70%, and 60% ethanolic extracts of propolis from the region of Észak-Alföld. Propolis was shown to be effective in inhibiting the growth of Gram-positive bacteria, Candida albicans, and Trichomonas gallinae strains. Propolis showed a much better efficacy against Gram-positive bacteria (1.56–400 µg/mL) than against Gram-negative bacteria (>13,000 µg/mL). For Staphylococcus spp., MIC values ranged within 1.56–400 µg/mL and MEC values within 12.5–3260 µg/mL, while for Enterococcus spp. MIC values ranged within 1.56–400 µg/mL and MEC values within 12.5–800 µg/mL. MIC values > 13,000 µg/mL were found for Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica species. For Candida albicans, MIC values ranging from 1.56 to 400 µg/mL and MEC values ranging from 3.125 to 800 µg/mL were effective. MEC values between 2.5 and 5 mg/mL were observed for three Trichomonas gallinae strains. The effectiveness against Gram-positive bacteria has, in some cases, approached that of antibiotics, making propolis a potential alternative in the treatment of wound infections. Its outstanding efficacy against Trichomonas gallinae holds promise as a potential alternative for treating this widespread infection in pigeons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Use of Biological Resources)
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Review

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24 pages, 5415 KiB  
Review
Plant-Based Extracts as Reducing, Capping, and Stabilizing Agents for the Green Synthesis of Inorganic Nanoparticles
by Zuamí Villagrán, Luis Miguel Anaya-Esparza, Carlos Arnulfo Velázquez-Carriles, Jorge Manuel Silva-Jara, José Martín Ruvalcaba-Gómez, Edward F. Aurora-Vigo, Ernesto Rodríguez-Lafitte, Noé Rodríguez-Barajas, Iván Balderas-León and Fernando Martínez-Esquivias
Resources 2024, 13(6), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources13060070 - 26 May 2024
Viewed by 918
Abstract
The synthesis of inorganic nanoparticles for diverse applications is an active research area that involves physical and chemical methods, which typically are expensive, involve hazardous chemical reagents, use complex equipment and synthesis conditions, and consume large amounts of time and energy. Thus, green [...] Read more.
The synthesis of inorganic nanoparticles for diverse applications is an active research area that involves physical and chemical methods, which typically are expensive, involve hazardous chemical reagents, use complex equipment and synthesis conditions, and consume large amounts of time and energy. Thus, green synthesis methods have emerged as eco-friendly and easy alternatives for inorganic nanoparticle synthesis, particularly the use of plant-based extracts from fruit juice, leaves, seeds, peel, stem, barks, and roots, which act as reducing, capping, and stabilizing agents, contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals and circular economy principles. Therefore, diverse inorganic nanoparticles have been synthesized using plant-based extracts, including gold, silver, titanium dioxide, zinc, copper, platinum, zirconium, iron, selenium, magnesium, nickel, sulfur, cobalt, palladium, and indium nanoparticles, which exhibit different biological activities such as antioxidant, antimicrobial, dye degradation, cytotoxic, analgesic, sedative, wound-healing, skin protection, sensor development, and plant-growth-promoting effects. Therefore, this review summarizes the advantages and limitations of plant-based extracts as reducing, capping, and stabilizing agents for inorganic nanoparticle green synthesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Use of Biological Resources)
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