Monday, 22 February 2016

A widely used spectrophotometric assay to quantify olive oil biophenols according to the health claim (EU Reg. 432/2012)

European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology
DOI: 10.1002/ejlt.201500313


The purpose of this work was to find a simple, cheap, and suitable method, among the most widely employed, able to guarantee a proper determination and quantification of the phenolic content of extra virgin olive oils (EVOOs), in order to satisfy the requirements of the specific health claim (EU Reg. 432/2012). Total phenolic content by Folin–Ciocalteu (FC) was used and compared versus phenolic profile by HPLC-UV, considering this latter as the most sensitive and specific method for evaluating the phenolic content. Both protocols were performed before and after an acid hydrolysis of the polar phenolic fraction that involves a break of the bound forms of hydroxytyrosol (HTyr) and tyrosol (Tyr), with a simplification of the phenolic profile, and quantification of their total free forms. Results of the phenolic compounds of twelve EVOOs, determined by the different analytical approaches, were statistically compared by means of two-tailed paired t-tests: data obtained by the FC assay (expressed as HTyr) before and/or after acid hydrolysis were statistically comparable with results obtained by acid hydrolysis-HPLC (as sum of HTyr and Tyr).

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Dissipation of fungicides residues along winemaking, and their effects on fermentation and the volatile composition of wines

Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry


The effects of four fungicides commonly used for the control of fungal diseases in vines and grapes in the course of winemaking was tested. The concentration of fungicide residues was monitored throughout the process in order to establish their kinetics of dissipation. In all cases the percentages of dissipation were higher than 68% which shows the detoxificant effect of the winemaking process. On the other hand, the effect of the fungicide residues on the aroma composition of Tempranillo red wines was tested.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Cu retention in an acid soil amended with perlite winery waste

Environmental Science and Pollution Research (2016), 23, 3789–3798
DOI: 10.1007/s11356-015-5639-4


The effect of perlite waste from a winery on general soil characteristics and Cu adsorption was assessed. The studied soil was amended with different perlite waste concentrations corresponding to 10, 20, 40 and 80 Mg ha−1. General soil characteristics and Cu adsorption and desorption curves were determined after different incubation times (from 1 day to 8 months). The addition of perlite waste to the soil increased the amounts of organic matter as well as soil nutrients such as phosphorus and potassium, and these increments were stable with time. An increase in Cu adsorption capacity was also detected in the perlite waste-amended soils. The effect of perlite waste addition to the soil had special relevance on its Cu adsorption capacity at low coverage concentrations and on the energy of the soil-Cu bonds.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Xylitol production in immobilized cultures: a recent review

Critical Reviews in Biotechnology 36 (2016)


Xylitol is a pentahydroxy sugar alcohol coming from xylose with many applications in the food and pharmaceutical industries as a low caloric sweetener suitable for diabetics and as an active ingredient in several biomedical applications. The microbial bioproduction of xylitol from natural xylose coming from lignocellulosic materials appears a sustainable and a promising alternative to chemical synthesis, which works at stronger reaction conditions and generates undesirable co-products which must be removed. There are several reviews that study the metabolic pathways in wild and transformed xylitol producing yeasts and the culture conditions that enhance xylitol accumulation, which are mainly related to the need of microaerobiose for the best producing wild yeasts. Nevertheless, there are relatively few studies focusing on the engineering aspects related to scalable systems and bioreactors that could result in a final industrial stage. This review explores recent advances on xylitol production using immobilized systems, which have been proposed to facilitate the reuse of the biocatalyst for extended periods and the main types of bioreactors available assayed for this purpose.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Oxidation of edible animal fats. Comparison of the performance of different quantification methods and of a proposed new semi-objective colour scale-based method

Food Chemistry, 217 (2017) 743–749


The agreement among the results determined for the main parameters used in the evaluation of the fat auto-oxidation was investigated in animal fats (butter fat, subcutaneous pig back-fat and subcutaneous ham fat). Also, graduated colour scales representing the colour change during storage/ripening were developed for the three types of fat, and the values read in these scales were correlated with the values observed for the different parameters indicating fat oxidation.

In general good correlation among the values of the different parameters was observed (e.g. TBA value correlated with the peroxide value: r = 0.466 for butter and r = 0.898 for back-fat). A reasonable correlation was observed between the values read in the developed colour scales and the values for the other parameters determined (e.g. values of r = 0.320 and r = 0.793 with peroxide value for butter and back-fat, respectively, and of r = 0.767 and r = 0.498 with TBA value for back-fat and ham fat, respectively).

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Phenolics production from alkaline hydrolysis of autohydrolysis liquors

CyTA - Journal of Food, 14 (2016) 255-265


The objective of this work was to study the release, identification and characterization of phenolic compounds by saponification of non-isothermal autohydrolysis liquors of corn (Zea mays) cobs and Eucalyptus globulus. Corn cobs and E. globulus are lignocellulosic materials with high contents in cellulose and hemicelluloses. Efficient use of these materials can be achieved using autohydrolysis as the first stage of a biorefinery, resulting in a solid phase rich in cellulose and lignin, and a liquid phase containing essentially hemicelluloses-derived compounds and phenolic compounds from the partial solubilization of lignin. This work studied the combination of alkaline hydrolysis and extraction with organic solvents to maximize the amounts of released phenolic compounds since these compounds are interesting for their properties and food applications.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Airborne pollen trends in the Iberian Peninsula

Science of the Total Environment
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.01.069


Airborne pollen monitoring is an effective tool for studying the reproductive phenology of anemophilous plants, an important bioindicator of plant behavior. Recent decades have revealed a trend towards rising airborne pollen concentrations in Europe, attributing these trends to an increase in anthropogenic CO2 emissions and temperature. However, the lack of water availability in southern Europe may prompt a trend towards lower flowering intensity, especially in herbaceous plants. Here we show variations in flowering intensity by analyzing the Annual Pollen Index (API) of 12 anemophilous taxa across 12 locations in the Iberian Peninsula, over the last two decades, and detecting the influence of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). Results revealed differences in the distribution and flowering intensity of anemophilous species. A negative correlation was observed between airborne pollen concentrations and winter averages of the NAO index. This study confirms that changes in rainfall in the Mediterranean region, attributed to climate change, have an important impact on the phenology of plants.

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