Sunday 14 June 2015

A critical review about human exposure to Polychlorinated Dibenzo-p-Dioxins (PCDDs), Polychlorinated Dibenzofurans (PCDFs) and Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) through foods

Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 55 (11), 2015, 1590-1617

Dioxins include polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), and part of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Only the compounds that are chlorinated at the 2,3,7, and 8 positions have characteristic dioxin toxicity. PCDDs, PCDFs and PCBs accumulate in the food chain due to their high lipophilicity, high stability, and low vapor pressure. They are not metabolized easily; however their hydroxylated metabolites are detected in feces. They cause a wide range of endocrine disrupting effects in experimental animals, wildlife, and humans. Endocrine related effects of PCDDs, PCDFs and PCBs on thyroid hormones, neurodevelopment and reproductive development were referenced. In addition, some studies of contamination of foods, bioaccumulation, dietary exposure assessment, as well as challenges of scientific research in these compounds were reviewed.

Saturday 13 June 2015

A critical review about the health risk assessment of PAHs and their metabolites in foods

Critical Reviews in food science and nutrition, 55 (10), 2015, 1383-1405

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a family of toxicants that are ubiquitous in the environment. These contaminants generate considerable interest, because some of them are highly carcinogenic in laboratory animals and have been implicated in breast, lung, and colon cancers in humans. Dietary intake of PAHs constitutes a major source of exposure in humans. Factors affecting the accumulation of PAHs in the diet, their absorption following ingestion, and strategies to assess risk from exposure to these hydrocarbons following ingestion have received very little attention. This review, therefore, focuses on concentrations of PAHs in widely consumed dietary ingredients along with gastrointestinal absorption rates in humans. Metabolism and bioavailability of PAHs in animal models and the processes, which influence the disposition of these chemicals, are discussed. Finally, based on intake, disposition, and tumorigenesis data, the exposure risk to PAHs from diet is presented. This information is expected to provide a framework for refinements in risk assessment of PAHs.

Friday 12 June 2015

Toxicity evaluation of new agricultural fungicides in primary cultured cortical neurons

Environmental Research, 140, 2015, 37-44

Fungicides are crucial for food protection as well as for the production of crops of suitable quality and quantity to provide a viable economic return. Like other pesticides, fungicides are widely sprayed on agricultural land, especially in wine-growing areas, from where they can move-off after application. Furthermore, residues of these agrochemicals can remain on crops after harvest and even after some food processing operations, being a major exposure pathway. Although a relatively low toxicity has been claimed for this kind of compounds, information about their neurotoxicity is still scarce.

In the present study, nine fungicides recently approved for agricultural uses in the EU ― ametoctradin, boscalid, cyazofamid, dimethomorph, fenhexamid, kresoxim-methyl, mepanipyrim, metrafenone and pyraclostrobin ― have been evaluated for their toxicity in primary cultured mouse cortical neurons. Exposure to 0.1–100 µM for 7 days in vitro resulted in a dose-dependent toxicity in the MTT cell viability assay. Strobilurin fungicides kresoxim-methyl (KR) and pyraclostrobin (PY) were the most neurotoxic compounds (lethal concentration 50 were in the low micromolar and nanomolar levels, respectively) causing a rapid raise in intracellular calcium [Ca2+]i and strong depolarization of mitochondrial membrane potential. KR- and PY-induced cell death was reversed by the calcium channels blockers MK-801 and verapamil, suggesting that calcium entry through NMDA receptors and voltage-operated calcium channels are involved in KR- and PY-induced neurotoxicity. These results highlight the need for further evaluation of their neurotoxic effects in vivo.

Tuesday 9 June 2015

Effects of sugar concentration processes in grapes and wine aging on aroma compounds of sweet wines—a review

Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 55(8), 2015, 1053-1073

Dessert sweet wines from Europe and North America are described in this review from two points of view: both their aroma profile and also their sensorial description. There are growing literature data about the chemical composition and sensory properties of these wines. Wines were grouped according to the production method (concentration of sugars in grapes) and to the aging process of wine (oxidative, biological, or a combination of both and aging in the bottle). It was found that wines natively sweets and wines fortified with liquors differ in their volatile compounds. Sensory properties of these wines include those of dried fruit (raisins), red berries, honey, chocolate and vanilla, which is contributing to their growing sales. However, there is still a need for scientific research on the understanding of the mechanisms for wine flavor enhancement.

Friday 5 June 2015

Blending Local olive oils with Arbequina or Picual oils produces high quality, distinctive EVOOs

European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology. 2015

Arbequina and Picual are the most common olive fruit varieties cultivated in Galicia (NW Spain). However, in recent years, the interest of oil producers in autochthonous Local olive fruits has increased substantially since its oil has differentiated and peculiar characteristics, especially with respect to the aromatic and phenolic composition. The blending of Local oil (in low percentages) with Arbequina or Picual oils is assessed in this study. Quality-related indices, fatty acid composition, as well as minor compounds, such as volatiles and phenolics, were determined for both monovarietal and blending oils. Results obtained showed that the blending has the advantage of producing high quality virgin olive oil with predictable phenolic and aromatic profiles.

Thursday 4 June 2015

Competitive adsorption/desorption of tetracycline, oxytetracycline and chlortetracycline on two acid soils: Stirred flow chamber experiments

Chemosphere, 134 (2015) 361-366

The objective of this work was to study the competitive adsorption/desorption of tetracycline (TC), oxytetracycline (OTC) and chlortetracycline (CTC) on two acid soils. We used the stirred flow chamber technique to obtain experimental data on rapid kinetic processes affecting the retention/release of the antibiotics. Both adsorption and desorption were higher on soil 1 (which showed the highest carbon, clay and Al and Fe oxides content) than on soil 2. Moreover, hysteresis affected the adsorption/desorption processes. Experimental data were fitted to a pseudo-first order equation, resulting qamax (adsorption maximum) values that were higher for soil 1 than for soil 2, and indicating that CTC competed with TC more intensely than OTC in soil 1. Regarding soil 2, the values corresponding to the adsorption kinetics constants (ka) and desorption kinetics constants for fast sites (kd1), followed a trend inverse to qamax and qdmax respectively. In conclusion, competition affected adsorption/desorption kinetics for the three antibiotics assayed, and thus retention/release and subsequent transport processes in soil and water environments.

Wednesday 3 June 2015

Cr(VI) sorption/desorption on untreated and mussel-shell-treated soil materials: fractionation and effects of pH and chromium concentration

Solid Earth, 6, 373–382, 2015

We used batch-type experiments to study Cr(VI) sorption/desorption on granitic material, forest soil, pyritic material, mussel shell, and on forest soil and granitic material amended with 12 t ha−1 (1.2 kg m−2) shell, considering the effects of varying Cr(VI) concentration and pH. Sequential extractions were carried out to fractionate adsorbed Cr(VI) and to determine the stability of Cr(VI) retention. The pyritic material had the highest Cr(VI) retention capacity, whereas the granitic material showed the lowest retention potential. When high Cr concentrations were added, some saturation of the adsorbent surfaces became apparent, but Cr release remained low. The highest Cr retention was achieved at a very acid pH value, with release progressively increasing as a function of increasing pH. The amendment with 12 t ha−1 mussel shell did not cause marked changes in Cr(VI) re- tention. Sorption data were satisfactory adjusted to the Fre- undlich model. Regarding Cr(VI) fractionation, the soluble fraction (weakly bound) was dominant in mussel shell and in the unamended and amended granitic material, whereas more stable fractions dominated in the pyritic material (resid- ual fraction) and in the forest soil (oxidizable fraction). In conclusion, the pyritic material presented the highest Cr(VI) retention capacity, while the retention was low and weak on the granitic material; mussel shell was not characterized by a marked Cr(VI) retention potential, and it did not cause re- markable increase in Cr(VI) retention when used to amend the granitic material or the forest soil.

Tuesday 2 June 2015

A model to forecast the risk periods of Plantago pollen allergy by using the ANN methodology

Aerobiologia (2015) 31:201–211

Some biological particles present in the atmosphere, such as pollen grains, give rise to human health problems, allergies, and infections. In view of the recognized special allergenic ability of Plantago pollen grains, a model based on an artificial neural network (ANN) was developed in this work in order to forecast the Plantago airborne pollen concentration. The proposed model uses data from Plantago pollen and the main meteorological variables recorded during 16 years (1993–2008) in the city of Ourense (north- west Spain). Its accuracy was tested during the years 2009 and 2010 with a prediction horizon of 2 days in advance. The model was applied in the atmosphere of the city of Ourense (Spain). Obtained results show that ANN model provides good results against other classical mathematical methodologies, which do not convergence so well. The forecasted pollen concen- trations here are applied to allergology because they allow taking into account preventive measures in risk pollinosis suffers population.