Agriculture and Food Systems - Research Publications
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Volatile Profile of Dry and Wet Aged Beef Loin and Its Relationship with Consumer Flavour Liking.
(MDPI AG, 2021-12-15)
This study investigated the effect of ageing method and ageing time on the volatile profiles of grilled beef striploins (Longissimus thoracis et lumborum) and their relationship with consumer flavour liking. Volatiles were measured in grilled steaks subjected to 35 days of dry ageing, 35 days of wet ageing, 56 days of dry ageing or 56 days of wet ageing, using headspace-solid-phase microextraction followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Gas chromatography-olfactometry-mass spectrometry was also conducted on 35-day wet and dry aged samples to identify volatiles with high odour impact. The concentration of many odour impact volatiles, e.g., 3-hydroxy-2-butanone, 2-acetyl-2-thiazoline, and various alkyl-pyrazines, was significantly higher in dry aged beef compared to wet aged beef (p < 0.05). Several odour impact volatiles, e.g., 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline, and alkyl-pyrazines, decreased significantly with ageing time (p < 0.05), while volatile products of lipid oxidation and microbial metabolism increased with ageing time. Partial least-squares regression analysis showed that the higher consumer flavour liking for 35-day dry aged beef was associated with higher concentrations of desirable odour-active volatiles.
Determination and Characterization of Phenolic Compounds from Australia-Grown Sweet Cherries (Prunus avium L.) and Their Potential Antioxidant Properties
(American Chemical Society (ACS), 2021)
Sweet cherries (Prunus avium L.) are popular fruits around the world with a high nutritional value and abundant phenolic compounds. Phenolic compounds of cherries contribute to positive health benefits. This study aimed at determining the phenolic content and antioxidant activities in four Australian-grown sweet cherry cultivars, including Bing, Ron’s, Merchant, and Lapins, as well as the identification of individual phenolic compounds with liquid chromatography–electrospray ionization–quantum time-of-flight–mass spectrometry (LC–ESI–QTOF–MS2). Lapins exhibits the highest total phenolic content (TPC) value (1.73 ± 0.90 mg gallic acid equivalents (GAE)/g) while Ron’s exhibits the highest total flavonoid content (TFC) value (0.51 ± 0.02 mg QE/g). In 2,2′-azinobis-(3-ethylbenzo-thiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS), reducing power assay (RPA), and total antioxidant content (TAC) assays, Merchant exhibited the highest values (0.51 ± 0.07, 1.74 ± 0.04, and 2.79 ± 0.09 mg AAE/g, respectively) and almost showed the highest antioxidant activity. Ron’s presented the highest value (1.21 ± 0.09 mg EDTA/g) in ferrous ion-chelating activity (FICA) assay and exhibits the strongest metal chelating ability. The correlation between phenolic contents and antioxidant assays was observed. In the LC–ESI–QTOF–MS2 analysis, a total of 43 phenolic compounds has been detected in four sweet cherry cultivars, including 11 phenolic acids, 25 flavonoids, 5 other phenolic compounds, 1 lignan, and 1 stilbene. Venn graph showed that Lapins has the greatest number of unique compounds. Our study shows the presence of phenolic acids and provides information to be utilized as an ingredient in food, pharmaceutical, and nutraceutical industries.
Frequency of Interruptions to Sitting Time: Benefits for Postprandial Metabolism in Type 2 Diabetes
(AMER DIABETES ASSOC, 2021-06-01)
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether interrupting sitting with brief bouts of simple resistance activities (SRAs) at different frequencies improves postprandial glucose, insulin, and triglycerides in adults with medication-controlled type 2 diabetes (T2D). RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Participants (n = 23, 10 of whom were female, with mean ± SD age 62 ± 8 years and BMI 32.7 ± 3.5 kg · m-2) completed a three-armed randomized crossover trial (6- to 14-day washout): sitting uninterrupted for 7 h (SIT), sitting with 3-min SRAs (half squats, calf raises, gluteal contractions, and knee raises) every 30 min (SRA3), and sitting with 6-min SRAs every 60 min (SRA6). Net incremental areas under the curve (iAUCnet) for glucose, insulin, and triglycerides were compared between conditions. RESULTS: Glucose and insulin 7-h iAUCnet were attenuated significantly during SRA6 (glucose 17.0 mmol · h · L-1, 95% CI 12.5, 21.4; insulin 1,229 pmol · h · L-1, 95% CI 982, 1,538) in comparison with SIT (glucose 21.4 mmol · h · L-1, 95% CI 16.9, 25.8; insulin 1,411 pmol · h · L-1, 95% CI 1,128, 1,767; P < 0.05) and in comparison with SRA3 (for glucose only) (22.1 mmol · h · L-1, 95% CI 17.7, 26.6; P = 0.01) No significant differences in glucose or insulin iAUCnet were observed in comparison of SRA3 and SIT. There was no statistically significant effect of condition on triglyceride iAUCnet. CONCLUSIONS: In adults with medication-controlled T2D, interrupting prolonged sitting with 6-min SRAs every 60 min reduced postprandial glucose and insulin responses. Other frequencies of interruptions and potential longer-term benefits require examination to clarify clinical relevance.
Mechanistic role of astaxanthin derived from shrimp against certain metabolic disorders
Oxidative stress caused by the imbalance between production of oxidants and antioxidants in the body leads to the development of different ailments. The bioactive compounds derived from marine sources are considered to be safe and appropriate to use. Astaxanthin possesses antioxidant activity about 100–500 times higher than other antioxidants such as α-tocopherol and β-carotene. It has numerous health benefits and vital pharmacological properties for the treatment of diseases like diabetes, hypertension, cancer, heart disease, ischemia, neurological disorders, and potential role in liver enzyme gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase which has significance in medicine as a diagnostic marker. The primary source of astaxanthin among crustaceans is shrimps and the presence of astaxanthin protects shrimps from oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids and cholesterol. Conclusively, astaxanthin derived from shrimps is very effective against oxidative stress which can lead to certain ailments.
Opportunities for training for nutritional professionals in nutritional genomics: What is out there?
AIM: To identify and profile training courses available to dietitians and nutritionists in the area of nutritional genomics. Genetic technology is progressing quickly, leading to increased public interest and requests from the public for personalised nutrition advice based on genetic background. Tertiary courses often lack specific curriculum in nutritional genomics, preventing graduates from discussing confidently with their clients the relationships between genetics, nutrition and health. This has increased the demand for professional development in this field. METHODS: The search strategy was intended to replicate real-life practice. Google and snowball searches were conducted using terms related to education and nutritional genomics. Results included online or face-to-face courses in any country providing content on nutritional genomics. One-off courses and those courses no longer accessible were excluded. A descriptive analysis of characteristics of courses was undertaken, reporting on mode of delivery, cost, duration, content, qualification awarded, target audience and affiliations. RESULTS: In total, 37 courses varying in duration, content and cost were identified: 4 postgraduate university degrees, 5 university course units, 4 recurring face-to-face workshops, 15 online short courses, 8 pre-recorded presentations and 1 service offering regular live webinars. Affiliations with food and pharmaceutical industry (e.g. genetic testing companies), professional organisations and research/education institutes were observed. CONCLUSIONS: Training courses identified were predominantly delivered online, enabling nutrition professionals worldwide to upskill in nutritional genomics and personalised nutrition. Additional courses exist. Those seeking training should scrutinise and compare cost, duration, mode, content and affiliations of course providers to ensure learning needs are met.
Distinct microbial communities in the active and permafrost layers on the Tibetan Plateau
Permafrost represents an important understudied genetic resource. Soil microorganisms play important roles in regulating biogeochemical cycles and maintaining ecosystem function. However, our knowledge of patterns and drivers of permafrost microbial communities is limited over broad geographic scales. Using high-throughput Illumina sequencing, this study compared soil bacterial, archaeal and fungal communities between the active and permafrost layers on the Tibetan Plateau. Our results indicated that microbial alpha diversity was significantly higher in the active layer than in the permafrost layer with the exception of fungal Shannon-Wiener index and Simpson's diversity index, and microbial community structures were significantly different between the two layers. Our results also revealed that environmental factors such as soil fertility (soil organic carbon, dissolved organic carbon and total nitrogen contents) were the primary drivers of the beta diversity of bacterial, archaeal and fungal communities in the active layer. In contrast, environmental variables such as the mean annual precipitation and total phosphorus played dominant roles in driving the microbial beta diversity in the permafrost layer. Spatial distance was important for predicting the bacterial and archaeal beta diversity in both the active and permafrost layers, but not for fungal communities. Collectively, these results demonstrated different driving factors of microbial beta diversity between the active layer and permafrost layer, implying that the drivers of the microbial beta diversity observed in the active layer cannot be used to predict the biogeographic patterns of the microbial beta diversity in the permafrost layer.
Alteration in the relationship between tanycytes and gonadotrophin-releasing hormone neurosecretory terminals following long-term metabolic manipulation in the sheep
The activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary gonadal axis is influenced by energy reserves, such that an increase or a decrease in adiposity may perturb the secretion and action of gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH). This is considered to be a result of the signalling of hormones such as leptin, which act upon neuronal systems controlling GnRH secretion. Other work shows plasticity in the relationship between tanycytes and GnRH neurosecretory terminals in the median eminence across the oestrous cycle and we hypothesised that a similar plasticity may occur with altered metabolic status. We studied Lean, Normal and Fat ovariectomised ewes, which displayed differences in gonadotrophin status, and investigated the relationship between tanycytes and GnRH neuroterminals. Under both Lean and Fat conditions, an altered anatomical arrangement between these two elements was observed in the vicinity of the blood vessels of the primary plexus of the hypophysial portal blood system. These data suggest that such plasticity is an important determinant of the rate of secretion of GnRH in animals of differing metabolic status and that this also contributes to the relative hypogonadotrophic condition prevailing with metabolic extremes.
Simulated gastrointestinal digestion and invitro colonic fermentation of date (Phoenix dactylifera L.) seed polyphenols
Date seeds are a by‐product of date fruit industry and a rich source of polyphenols. In this study, in vitro bioaccessibility and colonic fermentation of major polyphenols from date seed powder (DSP) and DSP‐fortified yoghurt (DSPY) were investigated using HPLC. Catechin, epicatechin and procyanidin A2, B1 and B2 were stable during simulated gastric and sequential intestinal digestion. Bioaccessibility was significantly (P < 0.05) higher for all compounds from DSPY compared with DSP. After in vitro colonic fermentation of insoluble digestion materials, most of the target compounds were metabolised by faecal bacteria to ferulic acid, 3‐hydroxyphenylacetic acid, 3‐phenylpropionic acid and 3‐(4‐hydroxyphenyl) propionic acid. DSPY contained significantly (P < 0.05) higher level of free polyphenols as indicated by higher bioaccessibility; however, the stability of the polyphenols and their fermentation products from DSPY were similar to that of DSP alone. These data would be useful in product developments incorporating DSP as a source of polyphenols in food products.
Nitrifier-induced denitrification is an important source of soil nitrous oxide and can be inhibited by a nitrification inhibitor 3,4-dimethylpyrazole phosphate
Soil ecosystem represents the largest contributor to global nitrous oxide (N2 O) production, which is regulated by a wide variety of microbial communities in multiple biological pathways. A mechanistic understanding of these N2 O production biological pathways in complex soil environment is essential for improving model performance and developing innovative mitigation strategies. Here, combined approaches of the 15 N-18 O labelling technique, transcriptome analysis, and Illumina MiSeq sequencing were used to identify the relative contributions of four N2 O pathways including nitrification, nitrifier-induced denitrification (nitrifier denitrification and nitrification-coupled denitrification) and heterotrophic denitrification in six soils (alkaline vs. acid soils). In alkaline soils, nitrification and nitrifier-induced denitrification were the dominant pathways of N2 O production, and application of the nitrification inhibitor 3,4-dimethylpyrazole phosphate (DMPP) significantly reduced the N2 O production from these pathways; this is probably due to the observed reduction in the expression of the amoA gene in ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) in the DMPP-amended treatments. In acid soils, however, heterotrophic denitrification was the main source for N2 O production, and was not impacted by the application of DMPP. Our results provide robust evidence that the nitrification inhibitor DMPP can inhibit the N2 O production from nitrifier-induced denitrification, a potential significant source of N2 O production in agricultural soils.