Agriculture and Food Systems - Research Publications

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    LC-MS/MS-QTOF screening and identification of phenolic compounds from Australian grown herbs and their antioxidant potential
    Ali, A ; Bashmil, YM ; Cottrell, JJ ; Suleria, HAR ; Dunshea, FR (MDPI AG, 2021-11-01)
    Culinary spices and herbs have been used to impart a characteristic flavour and aroma in food due to their appealing fragrance. Recently, bioactive compounds from herbs, especially phenolics, have gained much attention due to their potential health outcomes. The aim of this study was to characterize and quantify the phenolic compounds from 10 widely used Australian-grown herbs (oregano, rosemary, bay, basil, sage, fenugreek, dill, parsley, mint and thyme). For this purpose, liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) was used for the complete profiling of polyphenolic compounds and quantification of abundant phenolic compounds was completed with high-performance liquid chromatography—photodiode array detection (HPLC-PDA). Polyphenols from Australian-grown herbs were estimated through total phenolic content (TP), total flavonoids (TF) and total tannins (TT) along with their in-vitro antioxidant activities. Oregano and mint were estimated with the highest value of TP (140.59 ± 9.52 and 103.28 ± 8.08 mg GAE/g, milligram gallic acid equivalent/gram) while rosemary and mint had the highest TF (8.19 ± 0.74 and 7.05 ± 0.43 mg QE (quercetin equivalent)/g). In this study, eighty-four (84) phenolic compounds were screened and confirmed through LC-MS/MS by comparing their masses and fragmentation pattern with published libraries. The results of this study validate the use of these herbs as bioactives and their positive impact on human health.
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    Cinnamon: A Natural Feed Additive for Poultry Health and Production-A Review
    Ali, A ; Ponnampalam, EN ; Pushpakumara, G ; Cottrell, JJ ; Suleria, HAR ; Dunshea, FR (MDPI, 2021-07-01)
    The increased bacterial resistance to synthetic antibiotics and consumer awareness about the health and food safety concerns have triggered the ban on the use of antibiotic growth promotors (AGPs) in the poultry industry. This situation encouraged the poultry sector and industry to explore safe alternatives to AGPs and focus on developing more sustainable feed management strategies to improve the intestinal health and growth performance of poultry. Consequently, phytogenic feed additives (PFAs) have emerged as natural alternatives to AGPs and have great potential in the poultry industry. In recent years, cinnamon (one of the most widely used spices) has attracted attention from researchers as a natural product with numerous health benefits for poultry. The essential oils in cinnamon, in particular, are of interest because of their antioxidant, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and hypocholesterolaemic effects, in addition to their ability to stimulate digestive enzymes in the gut. This review mainly emphasizes the potential impact of cinnamon as a natural feed additive on overall gut health, nutrient digestibility, blood biochemical profile, gene expression, gut microbiota and immune response.
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    LC-ESI/QTOF-MS Profiling of Chicory and Lucerne Polyphenols and Their Antioxidant Activities
    Iqbal, Y ; Ponnampalam, EN ; Suleria, HAR ; Cottrell, JJ ; Dunshea, FR (MDPI, 2021-06-01)
    Chicory and lucerne are used as specialised forages in sheep or dairy production systems in some parts of the world. Recently, these plants are gaining attention as raw materials in the search for natural antioxidants for use in animal feeds, human foods and nutraceutical formulations. The antioxidant potential of these plants is credited to polyphenols, a subgroup of phytochemicals. Therefore, phenolic characterisation is an essential step before their use as ingredients in animal feeds, human food or nutraceutical preparations. In this study, we performed qualitative and quantitative analysis of polyphenols in chicory and lucerne. Profiling of polyphenols from chicory and lucerne was performed by LC-ESI/QTOF-MS with a total of 80 phenolic compounds identified in chicory and lucerne. The quantification of polyphenols was achieved by high performance liquid chromatography, coupled with a photo diode array (HPLC-PDA). Chicoric acid was the major phenolic acid found in chicory, with the highest concentration (1692.33 ± 0.04 µg/g DW) among all the polyphenols quantified in this study. 2-hydroxybenzoic acid was the major phenolic acid found in lucerne, with the highest concentration of 1440.64 ± 0.04 µg/g DW. Total phenolic, flavonoids and total tannin contents were measured, and the antioxidant potential was determined by 2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl, Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Power, 2,2-Azino-bis-3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic Acid, Hydroxyl (OH-) Radical Scavenging Activity, Chelating Ability of Ferrous Ion (Fe2+) and Reducing Power (RPA) assays. Both chicory (8.04 ± 0.33 mg AAE/g DW) and lucerne (11.29 ± 0.25 mg AAE/g DW) showed high values for Hydroxyl (OH-) Radical Scavenging Activity. The current study allowed us to draw a profile of polyphenols from chicory and lucerne. They provided a molecular fingerprint useful for the application of these plant materials in human foods, animal feeds and pharmaceutical formulations.
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    Recent advances in the use of phytochemicals to manage gastrointestinal oxidative stress in poultry and pigs
    Cottrell, JJ ; Le, HH ; Artaiz, O ; Iqbal, Y ; Suleria, HA ; Ali, A ; Celi, P ; Dunshea, FR (CSIRO Publishing, 2021)
    Plants are integral components of pig and poultry feed, and aside from their raw nutritive value, some phytochemicals contain bioactive compounds. The aim of the present paper is to review recent advances in the use of some phytochemicals in pig and poultry feed, focusing on the examples of isoquinoline alkaloids, polyphenol rich sugarcane extracts and superoxide dismutase-rich melon pulp extracts. As gut health is critical for efficient production, the review will focus on recent results modulating oxidative stress within the gastrointestinal tract and the potential mechanisms of action.
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    Comprehensive Profiling of Most Widely Used Spices for Their Phenolic Compounds through LC-ESI-QTOF-MS2 and Their Antioxidant Potential
    Ali, A ; Wu, H ; Ponnampalam, EN ; Cottrell, JJ ; Dunshea, FR ; Suleria, HAR (MDPI AG, 2021-05-04)
    Spices have long been used to improve food flavor, due to their appealing fragrance and sensory attributes. Nowadays, spices-based bioactives, particularly phenolic compounds, have gained attention due to their wide range of significant effects in biological systems. The present study was conducted to characterize the 12 widely used spices (allspice, black cardamom, black cumin, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, cumin, fennel, nutmeg, star-anise, and turmeric) for their phenolics with the liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-QTOF-MS2), polyphenols estimation, and their antioxidant potential. Total phenolics, total flavonoids, and total tannin content and their antioxidant activities were estimated in all spices. Clove and allspice had the highest value of total polyphenol content (215.14 and 40.49 mg gallic acid equivalent (GAE) per g of sample), while clove and turmeric had the highest total flavonoids (5.59 mg quercetin equivalent (QE) per g of sample) and total tannin contents (23.58 mg catechin equivalent (CE) per g of sample), respectively. On the other hand, black cumin and black pepper had the highest phosphomolybdate activity (15.61 and 15.43 mg ascorbic acid equivalent (AAE) per g of sample), while clove was almost identified with highest free radical scavenging capacity. A positive correlation was observed among phenolic compounds and antioxidant activities. In this quest, a total of 79 phenolic compounds were tentatively characterized by using LC-ESI-QTOF-MS2 including 26 phenolic acids, 33 flavonoids, 16 other polyphenols, and 4 lignans. The high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with photodiode array detector (HPLC-PDA) quantification of phenolic compounds exhibited higher phenolic acids. These results provided us some valuable information that spices have powerful antioxidant potential that can be further used in human food and animal feed as a supplement for different health promoting applications.
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    A Dietary Sugarcane-Derived Polyphenol Mix Reduces the Negative Effects of Cyclic Heat Exposure on Growth Performance, Blood Gas Status, and Meat Quality in Broiler Chickens
    Shakeri, M ; Cottrell, JJ ; Wilkinson, S ; Le, HH ; Suleria, HAR ; Warner, RD ; Dunshea, FR (MDPI, 2020-07-01)
    Heat stress (HS) compromises growth performance and meat quality of broiler chickens by interrupting lipid and protein metabolism, resulting in increased oxidative damages. The experiment attempted to investigate whether dietary polyphenols (Polygain (POL)) could ameliorate the aforementioned adverse effects of HS on performance and meat quality. One hundred and twenty one day-old-male chicks were allocated to two temperature conditions, thermoneutral (TN) or HS, and fed with either a control diet (CON) or the CON plus four different doses of POL (2, 4, 6 and 10 g/kg). Heat stress caused respiratory alkalosis as evidenced by increased rectal temperature (p < 0.001) and respiration rate (p < 0.001) due to increased blood pH (p < 0.001). Heat stress decreased final body weight (p = 0.061) and breast muscle water content (p = 0.013) while POL improved both (p = 0.002 and p = 0.003, respectively). Heat stress amplified muscle damages, indicated by increased thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (p < 0.001) and reduced myofibril fragmentation index (p = 0.006) whereas POL improved both (p = 0.037 and p = 0.092, respectively). Heat stress impaired meat tenderness (p < 0.001) while POL improved it (p = 0.003). In conclusion, HS impaired growth performance and meat quality whereas POL ameliorated these responses in a dose-dependent manner, and effects of POL were evident under both temperature conditions.
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    Dietary Betaine Reduces the Negative Effects of Cyclic Heat Exposure on Growth Performance, Blood Gas Status and Meat Quality in Broiler Chickens
    Shakeri, M ; Cottrell, JJ ; Wilkinson, S ; Le, HH ; Suleria, HAR ; Warner, RD ; Dunshea, FR (MDPI, 2020-05-01)
    Heat stress (HS) impairs growth performance and has a severe impact on lipid and protein metabolism, leading to serious adverse effects on meat quality. Forty-eight day-old-male Ross-308 chicks were assigned to two temperature conditions, thermoneutral or cyclical HS, and fed with either a control diet (CON) or the CON plus betaine (BET). Heat stress increased rectal temperature (p < 0.001), respiration rate (p < 0.001) and increased blood pH (p = 0.017), indicating that HS caused respiratory alkalosis. Heat stress reduced body weight during the final stage of growing period (p = 0.005), while BET improved it (p = 0.023). Heat stress tended to reduce breast muscle water content and drip loss (p = 0.089 and p = 0.082), while both were improved with BET (p = 0.008 and p = 0.001). Heat stress tended to reduce the myofibril fragmentation index (p = 0.081) whereas it increased with BET (p = 0.017). Heat stress increased thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (p = 0.017), while BET improved it (p = 0.008). Meat tenderness was not affected by HS, but was improved with BET (p < 0.001). In conclusion, BET improved growth performance over the latter stages of the growing period, and improved product quality of broiler chickens when chickens exposed to HS.
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    Betaine and Isoquinoline Alkaloids Protect against Heat Stress and Colonic Permeability in Growing Pigs
    Le, HH ; Shakeri, M ; Suleria, HAR ; Zhao, W ; McQuade, RM ; Phillips, DJ ; Vidacs, E ; Furness, JB ; Dunshea, FR ; Artuso-Ponte, V ; Cottrell, JJ (MDPI, 2020-10-01)
    Heat stress (HS) compromises productivity of pork production, in part as a result of increased oxidative stress and inflammatory responses, particularly within the gastrointestinal tract. This study aimed to investigate whether plant-derived betaine and isoquinoline alkaloids could ameliorate HS in pigs. Fifty female Large White × Landrace grower pigs, which were acclimated to control (CON), control plus betaine (BET), or control plus isoquinoline alkaloids (IQA) diets for 14 days were then exposed to heat stress or thermoneutral condition. Both BET and IQA partially ameliorated increases in respiration rate (p = 0.013) and rectal temperature (p = 0.001) associated with HS conditions. Heat stress increased salivary cortisol concentrations and reduced plasma creatinine, lactate, and thyroid hormone concentrations. Heat stress increased colon FD4 permeability, which was reduced by IQA (p = 0.030). Heat stress increased inflammation in the jejunum and ileum, as indicated by elevated interleukin-1β (p = 0.022) in the jejunum and interleukin-1β (p = 0.004) and interleukin-8 (p = 0.001) in the ileum. No differences in plasma total antioxidant capacity (TAC) were observed with HS, but betaine increased plasma TAC compared to IQA. Dietary BET increased betaine concentrations in the jejunum, ileum (p < 0.001 for both), plasma, liver, kidney (p < 0.010 for all), urine (p = 0.002) and tended to be higher in muscle (p = 0.084). Betaine concentration was not influenced by HS, but it tended to be higher in plasma and accumulated in the liver. These data suggest that betaine and isoquinoline alkaloids supplementation ameliorated consequences of heat stress in grower pigs and protected against HS induced increases in colonic permeability.
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    Gut Microbiota-Polyphenol Interactions in Chicken: A Review
    Iqbal, Y ; Cottrell, JJ ; Suleria, HAR ; Dunshea, FR (MDPI, 2020-08-01)
    The gastrointestinal tract of the chicken harbors very complex and diverse microbial communities including both beneficial and harmful bacteria. However, a dynamic balance is generally maintained in such a way that beneficial bacteria predominate over harmful ones. Environmental factors can negatively affect this balance, resulting in harmful effects on the gut, declining health, and productivity. This means modulating changes in the chicken gut microbiota is an effective strategy to improve gut health and productivity. One strategy is using modified diets to favor the growth of beneficial bacteria and a key candidate are polyphenols, which have strong antioxidant potential and established health benefits. The gut microbiota-polyphenol interactions are of vital importance in their effects on the gut microbiota modulation because it affects not only the composition of gut bacteria but also improves bioavailability of polyphenols through generation of more bioactive metabolites enhancing their health effects on morphology and composition of the gut microbiota. The object of this review is to improve the understanding of polyphenol interactions with the gut microbiota and highlights their potential role in modulation of the gut microbiota of chicken.
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    Growth Performance and Characterization of Meat Quality of Broiler Chickens Supplemented with Betaine and Antioxidants under Cyclic Heat Stress
    Shakeri, M ; Cottrell, JJ ; Wilkinson, S ; Le, HH ; Suleria, HAR ; Warner, RD ; Dunshea, FR (MDPI, 2019-09-01)
    Heat stress (HS) causes oxidative stress, which compromises broiler performance and meat quality. The aim of this study was to determine whether dietary antioxidants could be used as an amelioration strategy. Seventy-two day-old-male Ross-308 chicks were exposed to either thermoneutral or cyclical heat stress conditions. Diets were either control commercial diet (CON), CON plus betaine (BET), or with a combination of betaine, selenized yeast, and vitamin E (BET + AOX). Heat stress increased the rectal temperature (p < 0.001), respiration rate (p < 0.001), decreased blood pCO2 (p = 0.002), and increased blood pH (p = 0.02), which indicated the HS broilers had respiratory alkalosis. Final body weight was decreased by HS (p < 0.001), whereas it was improved with BET (p = 0.05). Heat stress reduced cooking loss (p = 0.007) and no effect on drip loss, while BET decreased the drip loss (p = 0.01). Heat stress reduced the myofibril fragmentation index (p < 0.001) and increased thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (p < 0.001), while these were improved with the combination of BET + AOX (p = 0.003). In conclusion, BET overall improved growth rates and product quality in this small university study, whereas some additional benefits were provided by AOX on product quality in both TN and HS broilers.