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- A salute to, new to me, Nutrafoods readers
- Antibiotic resistance
- The beneficial role of lutein and zeaxanthin in cataracts
- Joint health: What degree of evidence is necessary to support health claims for food supplements, taking glucosamine as an example?
- Evaluation of the antioxidant activity of foods in human cells
- Encapsulation of colour from peels of eggplant in calcium alginate matrix
- Probiotication of mango and sapota juices using
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The beneficial role of lutein and zeaxanthin in cataracts
Samanta Maci, Rafaela Santos
Cataracts remain the leading cause of visual loss and blindness worldwide. Cataract surgery is the most common surgical procedure in several countries and its occurrence is expected to increase substantially due to the ageing of the population and the reduced visual acuity threshold required for considering it. Cataracts are characterised by lens opacity and are caused by the precipitation of proteins induced by oxidative damage. The fact that oxidation of the lens is a contributing cause for cataracts suggests that antioxidants may play a positive role in cataract prevention. Lutein and zeaxanthin, two dietary xanthophylls exclusively deposited in the macula lutea and known for their beneficial role in age-related macular degeneration, are the only carotenoids deposited in the lens and may have an important role in reducing the ROSinduced damage of the lens contributing to cataract development. This paper will review the current science derived from epidemiological and intervention studies addressing the association between lutein and zeaxanthin intake, their serum level, and the possible benefits for primary prevention of age-related cataract. Additional insights into the potential health cost savings from the increased intake of these dietary ingredients originating from a U.S. study are also provided.
Joint health: What degree of evidence is necessary to support health claims for food supplements, taking glucosamine as an example?
Jürgen Bernhardt, Christof Jaenicke, Peter Prock, Ulrich Schneider
Arthropathies present a major challenge for the public health system, both in terms of epidemiology and health economics, particularly against the background of demographic changes in the Western world. Much attention must be paid to prevention, because of the limited options and high technical and financial expenditure with respect to treatment. Among other factors, nutrition plays an important role. However, many and various unsolved questions must be answered before health claims for food constituents in the field of joint health can be established for use as consumer information, as will be described taking glucosamine as an example. These questions will be discussed and possible alternatives to conventional practice considered.
Evaluation of the antioxidant activity of foods in human cells
Integrated study of biologically active antioxidants from Camellia sinensis
Cecilia Bender, Sara Graziano
Antioxidant testing of natural products has attracted increasing interest in recent years, mainly due to the fact that antioxidants can neutralise harmful free radicals in vitro, thus suggesting that
an antioxidant-rich diet might provide health benefits. Several methods have been developed to examine the antioxidant potential of foods, including the ferric ion reducing antioxidant power (FRAP), peroxyl radical scavenging capacity (PSC), Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) and oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) measurements, among others. However, these chemical assays do not take into consideration key biological parameters that are needed to estimate the potential in vivo effect. In an attempt to better characterize the antioxidant action of natural products, we investigate the effect on intracellular reducing power of aqueous extracts from commercial Camellia sinensis leaves (green, black and white teas), available from an Italian market. The flavonoid contents were determined spectroscopically and the antioxidant activities were assessed using ORAC and PSC assays as well as the cellular antioxidant activity (CAA) method. Our results suggest that although some extracts have a relatively high antioxidant capacity, this rank is dependent on the chemical method used. Moreover, the merely chemical result is sometimes weakly correlated with the cellular defence against oxidative attack. The tested C. sinensis extracts are successfully absorbed at different rates into human cells and among these, green tea had the highest CAA value, followed by white and black teas. Testing the benefits of dietary antioxidants with a cellular model is a great improvement over test tube assays, since it evaluates the antioxidants in a physiological environment and takes into account the complexity of a biological system, thus better reflecting the in vivo situation.
Encapsulation of colour from peels of eggplant in calcium alginate matrix
Characterisation and food application
Dipan Chatterjee, Paramita Bhattacharjee
Microencapsulation of a natural food colourant (enriched in anthocyanins) extracted from peels of eggplants (Solanum melongena L.) was carried out in a calcium alginate matrix to improve its shelf life and portability. Encapsulation parameters were optimised using response surface methodology. Stable beads with a maximum encapsulation efficiency of 73.56% and the best combination of phytochemical properties were obtained using 43.50 g/l sodium alginate, 20.0 g/l calcium chloride and 12.50 g/l colour concentration. The morphology of the encapsulated beads was determined from scanning electron microscopy photographs, while their physicochemical properties such as antioxidant activity, total anthocyanin content and total phenolic content were determined by biochemical assays. A storage study established that encapsulation of colour extract enhanced its shelf-life 16-fold, compared to the un-encapsulated colour extract. The release profiles of the colour from encapsulated beads were found to follow first-order anomalous transport kinetics. Food application in jelly crystals was also designed wherein these encapsulated beads were successfully used as a natural colourant.
Probiotication of mango and sapota juices using
Lactobacillus plantarum NCDC LP 20
Bathal Vijaya Kumar, Mannepula Sreedharamurthy, Obulam Vijaya Sarathi Reddy
The objective of this study was to find out the suitability of different fruit juices for probiotication using proven probiotic bacteria. Lactobacillus plantarum NCDC LP 20 was observed to be able not
only to survive but also to utilise fruit juices for their cell synthesis, as indicated by a decrease in fruit sugars and pH and increase in acidity. Further analysis by the DPPH method indicated superior antioxidant activity in both mango and sapota fruit juices. Probiotication of fruit juices with Lb. plantarum decreased the pH (4.3 to 3.2) and increased titratable acidity (0.49 to 0.66) within 72 h. Physico-chemical properties were also determined at different time intervals (24, 48 and 72 h) during probiotication. After probiotication, higher total phenolic content was observed in sapota juice (145 mg/ml) than mango juice (60.24 mg/ml) at 72 h. The study affirms the ability of fruit juices, especially mango and sapota juices, to undergo the process of probiotication with Lb. plantarum and exhibit better overall health quotients compared to raw juices. The agar-well-diffusion method showed that probioticated mango juice and sapota juice were able to inhibit the growth of most of the selected bacterial test cultures; especially, they showed significant antibacterial activity against three test microorganisms. Sensory evaluation studies showed that probioticated mango juice was preferred to sapota juice. Based on the results, it can be concluded that these probiotic juices could be used as functional healthy beverages, especially for people allergic to dairy products, lactose intolerant or diabetic.