Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 14

Biological, Biomolecular, Agricultural, Food and Biotechnological Engineering

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  • 14
    Phytoremediation Potential of Tomato for Cd and Cr Removal from Polluted Soils

    Cadmium and chromium are toxic to most organisms and different mechanisms have been developed for overcoming with the toxic effects of these heavy metals. We studied the uptake and distribution of cadmium and chromium in different organs of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.) plants in nine heavy metal polluted soils in western Hormozgan province, Iran. The accumulation of chromium was in increasing pattern of fruit peel

    Dicotyledon Weed Quantification Algorithm for Selective Herbicide Application in Maize Crops: Statistical Evaluation of the Potential Herbicide Savings
    This work contributes a statistical model and simulation framework yielding the best estimate possible for the potential herbicide reduction when using the MoDiCoVi algorithm all the while requiring a efficacy comparable to conventional spraying. In June 2013 a maize field located in Denmark were seeded. The field was divided into parcels which was assigned to one of two main groups: 1) Control, consisting of subgroups of no spray and full dose spraty; 2) MoDiCoVi algorithm subdivided into five different leaf cover thresholds for spray activation. In addition approximately 25% of the parcels were seeded with additional weeds perpendicular to the maize rows. In total 299 parcels were randomly assigned with the 28 different treatment combinations. In the statistical analysis, bootstrapping was used for balancing the number of replicates. The achieved potential herbicide savings was found to be 70% to 95% depending on the initial weed coverage. However additional field trials covering more seasons and locations are needed to verify the generalisation of these results. There is a potential for further herbicide savings as the time interval between the first and second spraying session was not long enough for the weeds to turn yellow, instead they only stagnated in growth.
    Screening of Antagonistic/Synergistic Effect between Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) and Yeast Strains Isolated from Kefir

    Kefir is a traditional fermented refreshing beverage which is known for its valuable and beneficial properties for human health. Mainly yeast species, lactic acid bacteria (LAB) strains and fewer acetic acid bacteria strains live together in a natural matrix named “kefir grain”, which is formed from various proteins and polysaccharides. Different microbial species live together in slimy kefir grain and it has been thought that synergetic effect could take place between microorganisms, which belong to different genera and species. In this research, yeast and LAB were isolated from kefir samples obtained from Uludag University Food Engineering Department. The cell morphology of isolates was screened by microscopic examination. Gram reactions of bacteria isolates were determined by Gram staining method, and as well catalase activity was examined. After observing the microscopic/morphological and physical, enzymatic properties of all isolates, they were divided into the groups as LAB and/or yeast according to their physicochemical responses to the applied examinations. As part of this research, the antagonistic/synergistic efficacy of the identified five LAB and five yeast strains to each other were determined individually by disk diffusion method. The antagonistic or synergistic effect is one of the most important properties in a co-culture system that different microorganisms are living together. The synergistic effect should be promoted, whereas the antagonistic effect is prevented to provide effective culture for fermentation of kefir. The aim of this study was to determine microbial interactions between identified yeast and LAB strains, and whether their effect is antagonistic or synergistic. Thus, if there is a strain which inhibits or retards the growth of other strains found in Kefir microflora, this circumstance shows the presence of antagonistic effect in the medium. Such negative influence should be prevented, whereas the microorganisms which have synergistic effect on each other should be promoted by combining them in kefir grain. Standardisation is the most desired property for industrial production. Each microorganism found in the microbial flora of a kefir grain should be identified individually. The members of the microbial community found in the glue-like kefir grain may be redesigned as a starter culture regarding efficacy of each microorganism to another in kefir processing. The main aim of this research was to shed light on more effective production of kefir grain and to contribute a standardisation of kefir processing in the food industry.

    Green Synthesized Iron Oxide Nanoparticles: A Nano-Nutrient for the Growth and Enhancement of Flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) Plant

    Iron oxide nanoparticles (Fe2O3NPs) are widely used in different applications due to its ecofriendly nature and biocompatibility. Hence, in this investigation, biosynthesized Fe2O3NPs influence on flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) plant was examined. The biosynthesized nanoparticles were found to be cubic phase which is confirmed by XRD analysis. FTIR analysis confirmed the presence of functional groups corresponding to the iron oxide nanoparticle. The elemental analysis also confirmed that the obtained nanoparticle is iron oxide nanoparticle. The scanning electron microscopy and the transmission electron microscopy confirm that the average particle size was around 56 nm. The effect of Fe2O3NPs on seed germination followed by biochemical analysis was carried out using standard methods. The results obtained after four days and 11 days of seed vigor studies showed that the seedling length (cm), average number of seedling with leaves, increase in root length (cm) was found to be enhanced on treatment with iron oxide nanoparticles when compared to control. A positive correlation was noticed with the dose of the nanoparticle and plant growth, which may be due to changes in metabolic activity. Hence, to evaluate the change in metabolic activity, peroxidase and catalase activities were estimated. It was clear from the observation that higher concentration of iron oxide nanoparticles (Fe2O3NPs 1000 mg/L) has enhanced peroxidase and catalase activities and in turn plant growth. Thus, this study clearly showed that biosynthesized iron oxide nanoparticles will be an effective nano-nutrient for agriculture applications.

    Effect of Urea Deep Placement Technology Adoption on the Production Frontier: Evidence from Irrigation Rice Farmers in the Northern Region of Ghana
    Rice is an important staple crop, with current demand higher than the domestic supply in Ghana. This has led to a high and unfavourable import bill. Therefore, recent policies and interventions in the agricultural sub-sector aim at promoting various improved agricultural technologies in order to improve domestic production and reduce the importation of rice. In this study, we examined the effect of the adoption of Urea Deep Placement (UDP) technology by rice farmers on the position of the production frontier. This involved 200 farmers selected through a multi stage sampling technique in the Northern region of Ghana. A Cobb-Douglas stochastic frontier model was fitted. The result showed that the adoption of UDP technology shifts the output frontier outward and also move the farmers closer to the frontier. Farmers were also operating under diminishing returns to scale which calls for redress. Other factors that significantly influenced rice production were farm size, labour, use of certified seeds and NPK fertilizer. Although there was an opportunity for improvement, the farmers were highly efficient (92%), compared to previous studies. Farmers’ efficiency was improved through increased education, household size, experience, access to credit, and lack of extension service provision by MoFA. The study recommends the revision of Ghana’s agricultural policy to include the UDP technology. Agricultural Extension officers of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) should be trained on the UDP technology to support IFDC’s drive to improve adoption by rice farmers. Rice farmers are also encouraged to expand their farm lands, improve plant population, and also increase the usage of fertilizer to improve yields. Mechanisms through which credit can be made easily accessible and effectively utilised should be identified and promoted.
    Molecular Characterization of Echinococcus granulosus through Amplification of 12S rRNA Gene and Cox1 Gene Fragments from Cattle in Chittagong, Bangladesh

    The dog tapeworms Echinococcus granulosus develop hydatid cysts in various organs in human and domestic animals worldwide including Bangladesh. The aim of this study was to identify and characterize the genotype of E. granulosus isolated from cattle using 12S rRNA and Cytochrome oxidase 1 (COX 1) genes. A total of 43 hydatid cyst samples were collected from 390 examined cattle samples derived from slaughterhouses. Among them, three cysts were fertile. Genomic DNA was extracted from germinal membrane and/or protoscoleces followed by PCR amplification of mitochondrial 12S rRNA and Cytochrome oxidase 1 gene fragments. The sequence data revealed existence of G1 (64.28%) and possible G3 (21.43%) genotypes for the first time in Bangladesh. The study indicates that common sheep strain G1 is the dominant subtype of E. granulosus in Chittagong region of Bangladesh. This will increase our understanding of the epidemiology of hydatidosis in the southern part of the country and will be useful to plan suitable control measures in the long run.

    Comparison of Methods for the Detection of Biofilm Formation in Yeast and Lactic Acid Bacteria Species Isolated from Dairy Products

    Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and some yeast species are common microorganisms found in dairy products and most of them are responsible for the fermentation of foods. Such cultures are isolated and used as a starter culture in the food industry because of providing standardisation of the final product during the food processing. Choice of starter culture is the most important step for the production of fermented food. Isolated LAB and yeast cultures which have the ability to create a biofilm layer can be preferred as a starter in the food industry. The biofilm formation could be beneficial to extend the period of usage time of microorganisms as a starter. On the other hand, it is an undesirable property in pathogens, since biofilm structure allows a microorganism become more resistant to stress conditions such as antibiotic presence. It is thought that the resistance mechanism could be turned into an advantage by promoting the effective microorganisms which are used in the food industry as starter culture and also which have potential to stimulate the gastrointestinal system. Development of the biofilm layer is observed in some LAB and yeast strains. The resistance could make LAB and yeast strains dominant microflora in the human gastrointestinal system; thus, competition against pathogen microorganisms can be provided more easily. Based on this circumstance, in the study, 10 LAB and 10 yeast strains were isolated from various dairy products, such as cheese, yoghurt, kefir, and cream. Samples were obtained from farmer markets and bazaars in Bursa, Turkey. As a part of this research, all isolated strains were identified and their ability of biofilm formation was detected with two different methods and compared with each other. The first goal of this research was to determine whether isolates have the potential for biofilm production, and the second was to compare the validity of two different methods, which are known as “Tube method” and “96-well plate-based method”. This study may offer an insight into developing a point of view about biofilm formation and its beneficial properties in LAB and yeast cultures used as a starter in the food industry.

    Natural Preservatives: An Alternative for Chemical Preservative Used in Foods

    Microbial degradation of foods is defined as a decrease of food safety due to microorganism activity. Organic acids, sulfur dioxide, sulfide, nitrate, nitrite, dimethyl dicarbonate and several preservative gases have been used as chemical preservatives in foods as well as natural preservatives which are indigenous in foods. It is determined that usage of herbal preservatives such as blueberry, dried grape, prune, garlic, mustard, spices inhibited several microorganisms. Moreover, it is determined that animal origin preservatives such as whey, honey, lysosomes of duck egg and chicken egg, chitosan have antimicrobial effect. Other than indigenous antimicrobials in foods, antimicrobial agents produced by microorganisms could be used as natural preservatives. The antimicrobial feature of preservatives depends on the antimicrobial spectrum, chemical and physical features of material, concentration, mode of action, components of food, process conditions, and pH and storage temperature. In this review, studies about antimicrobial components which are indigenous in food (such as herbal and animal origin antimicrobial agents), antimicrobial materials synthesized by microorganisms, and their usage as an antimicrobial agent to preserve foods are discussed.

    RoboWeedSupport-Sub Millimeter Weed Image Acquisition in Cereal Crops with Speeds up till 50 Km/H
    For the past three years, the Danish project, RoboWeedSupport, has sought to bridge the gap between the potential herbicide savings using a decision support system and the required weed inspections. In order to automate the weed inspections it is desired to generate a map of the weed species present within the field, to generate the map images must be captured with samples covering the field. This paper investigates the economical cost of performing this data collection based on a camera system mounted on a all-terain vehicle (ATV) able to drive and collect data at up to 50 km/h while still maintaining a image quality sufficient for identifying newly emerged grass weeds. The economical estimates are based on approximately 100 hectares recorded at three different locations in Denmark. With an average image density of 99 images per hectare the ATV had an capacity of 28 ha per hour, which is estimated to cost 6.6 EUR/ha. Alternatively relying on a boom solution for an existing tracktor it was estimated that a cost of 2.4 EUR/ha is obtainable under equal conditions.
    Adjustment and Scale-Up Strategy of Pilot Liquid Fermentation Process of Azotobacter sp.

    The genus Azotobacter has been widely used as bio-fertilizer due to its significant effects on the stimulation and promotion of plant growth in various agricultural species of commercial interest. In order to obtain significantly viable cellular concentration, a scale-up strategy for a liquid fermentation process (SmF) with two strains of A. chroococcum (named Ac1 and Ac10) was validated and adjusted at laboratory and pilot scale. A batch fermentation process under previously defined conditions was carried out on a biorreactor Infors®, model Minifors of 3.5 L, which served as a baseline for this research. For the purpose of increasing process efficiency, the effect of the reduction of stirring speed was evaluated in combination with a fed-batch-type fermentation laboratory scale. To reproduce the efficiency parameters obtained, a scale-up strategy with geometric and fluid dynamic behavior similarities was evaluated. According to the analysis of variance, this scale-up strategy did not have significant effect on cellular concentration and in laboratory and pilot fermentations (Tukey, p > 0.05). Regarding air consumption, fermentation process at pilot scale showed a reduction of 23% versus the baseline. The percentage of reduction related to energy consumption reduction under laboratory and pilot scale conditions was 96.9% compared with baseline.

    Microbiological Quality and Safety of Meatball Sold in Payakumbuh City, West Sumatra, Indonesia

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the microbiological quality and safety of meatball obtained from five different manufacturers around Payakumbuh City, West Sumatra, Indonesia. Microbiological analysis of meatball sample resulted in aerobic plate count range from 7 log CFU/gr to 8.623 log CFU/gr, respectively. Total coliform ranges from 1.041 log Most Probable Number (MPN)/gr to 3.380 log MPN/gr, respectively. Chemical analysis of meatball sample consisted of borax and formalin content. The result of qualitative detection of borax and formalin content on all meatball samples were not detected. Thus, it remains essential to include the significance of effective hygiene practices as an important safety measure in consumer education programmes.

    Encapsulation of Satureja khuzestanica Essential Oil in Chitosan Nanoparticles with Enhanced Antifungal Activity

    During the recent years the six-fold growth of cancer in Iran has led the production of healthy products to become a challenge in the food industry. Due to the young population in the country, the consumption of fast foods is growing. The chemical cancer-causing preservatives are used to produce these products more than the standard; so using an appropriate alternative seems to be important. On the one hand, the plant essential oils show the high antimicrobial potential against pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms and on the other hand they are highly volatile and decomposed under the processing conditions. The study aims to produce the loaded chitosan nanoparticles with different concentrations of savory essential oil to improve the anti-microbial property and increase the resistance of essential oil to oxygen and heat. The encapsulation efficiency was obtained in the range of 32.07% to 39.93% and the particle size distribution of the samples was observed in the range of 159 to 210 nm. The range of Zeta potential was obtained between -11.9 to -23.1 mV. The essential oil loaded in chitosan showed stronger antifungal activity against Rhizopus stolonifer. The results showed that the antioxidant property is directly related to the concentration of loaded essential oil so that the antioxidant property increases by increasing the concentration of essential oil. In general, it seems that the savory essential oil loaded in chitosan particles can be used as a food processor.

    Structuring and Visualizing Healthcare Claims Data Using Systems Architecture Methodology
    Healthcare delivery systems around the world are in crisis. The need to improve health outcomes while decreasing healthcare costs have led to an imminent call to action to transform the healthcare delivery system. While Bioinformatics and Biomedical Engineering have primarily focused on biological level data and biomedical technology, there is clear evidence of the importance of the delivery of care on patient outcomes. Classic singular decomposition approaches from reductionist science are not capable of explaining complex systems. Approaches and methods from systems science and systems engineering are utilized to structure healthcare delivery system data. Specifically, systems architecture is used to develop a multi-scale and multi-dimensional characterization of the healthcare delivery system, defined here as the Healthcare Delivery System Knowledge Base. This paper is the first to contribute a new method of structuring and visualizing a multi-dimensional and multi-scale healthcare delivery system using systems architecture in order to better understand healthcare delivery.
    Growth Performance and Economy of Production of Pullets Fed on Different Energy Based Sources

    This experiment was conducted for 8 weeks to evaluate the growth performance and economics of pullets fed on different dietary energy sources. A total of 300 Harco black was used for this experiment. The birds were completely randomized and divided into four diet treatment groups. Each treatment group had three replicates of twenty-five birds per replicate. Four diets containing maize, spaghetti, noodles, and biscuit was formulated to represent diet 1, 2, 3 and 4 respectively. Diet 1 containing maize is the control, while diet 2, 3, and 4 contains spaghetti, noodles, and biscuit waste meal at 100% replacement for maize on weight for weight basis. Performance indices on Feed intake, body weight, weight gain, feed conversion ratio (FCR) and economy of production were measured. Blood samples were also collected for heamatology and serum biochemistry assessment. The result of the experiment indicated that different dietary energy source fed to birds significantly (P < 0.05) affect feed intake, body weight, weight gain, and feed conversion ratio (FCR). The best cost of feed per kilogram of body weight gain was obtained in Spaghetti based diet (₦559.30). However, the best performance were obtained from diet 1(maize), it can be concluded that spaghetti as a replacement for maize in diet of pullet is most economical and profitable for production without any deleterious effects attached. Blood parameters of birds were not significantly (p > 0.05) influenced by the use of the dietary energy sources used in this experiment.