Friday 29 January 2021

Main Applications of Cyclodextrins in the Food Industry as the Compounds of Choice to Form Host–Guest Complexes

 Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(3), 1339

Cyclodextrins (CDs) are cyclic oligomers broadly used in food manufacturing as food additives for different purposes, e.g., to improve sensorial qualities, shelf life, and sequestration of components. In this review, the latest advancements of their applications along with the characteristics of the uses of the different CDs (α, β, γ and their derivatives) were reviewed. Their beneficial effects can be achieved by mixing small amounts of CDs with the target material to be stabilized. Essentially, they have the capacity to form stable inclusion complexes with sensitive lipophilic nutrients and constituents of flavor and taste. Their toxicity has been also studied, showing that CDs are innocuous in oral administration. A review of the current legislation was also carried out, showing a general trend towards a wider acceptance of CDs as food additives. Suitable and cost-effective procedures for the manufacture of CDs have progressed, and nowadays it is possible to obtain realistic prices and used them in foods. Therefore, CDs have a promising future due to consumer demand for healthy and functional products. 

Thursday 14 January 2021

Enhancing the saccharification of pretreated chestnut burrs to produce bacteriocins

 Journal of Biotechnology, 329, 13-20

The present study aims to valorize chestnut burrs, an important lignocellulosic waste, through a biorefinery concept. A solid residue rich in glucan (41.36 ± 0.59 %) and lignin (39.06 ± 0.01 %) obtained from a previous process of pre-hydrolysis was subjected to four treatments with water or NaOH to enhance enzymatic hydrolysis. Saccharification was performed using different ratios of commercial cellulases and β-glucosidases and at controlled pH 4.8 or 6.0 (with citrate buffer) or uncontrolled pH. Carbohydrate-rich solutions with or without nutrients were used to produce bacteriocins by Lactobacillus plantarum CECT 211. The use of NaOH at high temperatures (120 and 130 °C) was the most suitable treatment to improve saccharification. Regarding the production of bacteriocins, the best result was obtained using the enzymatic solution obtained at controlled pH 6.0, supplemented with MRS broth nutrients (except glucose). Thus, the concentrations of bacteriocins obtained in this culture medium (9.21 BU/mL) was 1.22 and 1.98 times higher than those obtained in the nutrient supplemented medium buffered at pH 4.8 (7.56 BU/mL) and in the commercial MRS broth (4.65 BU/mL), respectively. These results highlight the feasibility of the technology developed in this work.

Friday 1 January 2021

Essential Oils as Antimicrobials in Crop Protection

 Antibiotics 2021, 10(1), 34

At present, organic crops have reached an important boom in a society increasingly interested in the conservation of the environment and sustainability. It is evident that a part of the population in the Western world focuses their concern on how to obtain our food and on doing it in a way that is as respectful as possible with the environment. In this review, we present a compilation of the work carried out with the use of essential oils as an alternative in the fight against different bacteria and fungi that attack crops and related products. Given the collected works, the efficacy of essential oils for their use as pesticides for agricultural use is evident.