Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Cheese whey: A cost-effective alternative for hyaluronic acid production by Streptococcus zooepidemicus

Food Chemistry, 198, (2016) 54–61

This study focuses on the optimisation of cheese whey formulated media for the production of hyaluronic acid (HA) by Streptococcus zooepidemicus. Culture media containing whey (W; 2.1 g/L) or whey hydrolysate (WH; 2.4 g/L) gave the highest HA productions. Both W and WH produced high yields on protein consumed, suggesting cheese whey is a good nitrogen source for S. zooepidemicus production of HA. Polysaccharide concentrations of 4.0 g/L and 3.2 g/L were produced in W and WH in a further scale-up to 5 L bioreactors, confirming the suitability of the low-cost nitrogen source. Cheese whey culture media provided high molecular weight (>3000 kDa) HA products. This study revealed replacing the commercial peptone by the low-cost alternative could reduce HA production costs by up to a 70% compared to synthetic media.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Structural and thermo-rheological analysis of solutions and gels of a β-lactoglobulin fraction isolated from bovine whey

Food Chemistry, 198 (2016) 45–53

A β-Lactoglobulin fraction (r-βLg) was isolated from milk whey hydrolysates produced with cardosins from Cynara cardunculus. The impact of the technological process on the r-βLg structure and how in turn this determined its heat-induced gelation was investigated. Results were analysed taking pure β-Lg (p-βLg) as control sample. The process induced changes in the r-βLg native conformation causing exposure of hydrophobic groups, lower thermal stability and also, shorter thermal treatments needed to give rise to non-native and aggregated species.

At pH 3.2, r-βLg and p-βLg solutions exhibited two gelation steps, with the advantage that r-βLg protein may form stable gels at lower temperature than p-βLg. At pH 7.2, a specific thermo-viscoelastic stability to 73 °C was found, which corresponded to the gel point in both protein solutions. The difference was that while for p-βLg solution in sol state δ < 45° (solid-like), however for r-βLg solution δ > 45° (fluid-like).

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Build-up of carbon fractions in technosol-biochar amended partially reclaimed mine soil grown with Brassica juncea

Journal of Soils and Sediments
May 2016, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp 1529–1537
DOI: 10.1007/s11368-016-1358-9

Soil organic carbon (SOC) and its labile fractions are strong determinants of physical, chemical and biological properties. The objective of the present work was to evaluate the effects of organic amendments (technosol made of wastes and biochar) and Brassica juncea L. on the soil C fractions in a reclaimed mine soil.

The studied soil was from a former copper mine that was subsequently partially reclaimed with vegetation and wastes. A greenhouse experiment was carried out to amend the mine soil with different proportions of technosol and biochar mixture and planting B. juncea. B. juncea plants can tolerate high levels of metals and can produce a large amount of biomass in relatively short periods of time.

The results showed that with the addition of biochar and wastes, soil pH increased from 2.7 to 6.18, SOC from undetectable to 105 g kg−1 and soil total nitrogen (TN) from undetectable to 11.4 g kg−1. Amending with wastes and biochar also increased dissolved organic carbon (DOC) from undetectable to 5.82 g kg−1, carbon in the free organic matter (FOM) from undetectable to 30.42 g kg−1, FAP (carbon in fulvic acids removed with phosphoric acid) from undetectable to 24.14 g kg−1 and also increased the humification ratio, the humification index, the polymerisation rate and the organic carbon in the humified fractions (humic acids, fulvic acids and humin). Soils amended and vegetated with B. juncea showed lower FOM values and higher humification index values than the soils amended only with biochar and wastes.

This study concludes that the combined addition of wastes and biochar has a greater potential for both increasing and improving organic carbon fractions in mine soils. The authors recommend the application of biochar and technosol made of wastes as a soil amendment combined with B. juncea on soils that are deficient in organic matter, since they increased all of the SOC fractions in the studied copper mine soil.