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Breeding Better Potatoes Takes a Step Forward

  1. Top of page
  2. Breeding Better Potatoes Takes a Step Forward
  3. Temperature Increases Some Flavors in Probiotic-Containing Cheddar Cheese
  4. Whole Grains and Kid's Acceptance
  5. Amaranth Yields Important Heart-Healthy Bioactive Peptides
  6. How Much Do We Really Like Açaí Berry (And How Does One Pronounce It?)

In “A Method for Intercultivar Comparison of Potato Tuber Nutrient Content Using Specific Tissue Weight Proportions,” researchers from McGill Univ. showed that not only is the nutrient contribution of various tissues in potatoes different, but the contribution of each tissue varies in many potato varieties. The paper describes a method of estimating the weight percentage of different tissues within potato tubers, and found that, in 20 different tuber varieties, the various structures provided different nutrient distribution. This information could prove valuable in developing different varieties, in order to provide maximum nutrition. By being able to catalog the nutritional differences, potato breeders can select for nutrition, processing characteristics, and sensory qualities. S177-181

Temperature Increases Some Flavors in Probiotic-Containing Cheddar Cheese

  1. Top of page
  2. Breeding Better Potatoes Takes a Step Forward
  3. Temperature Increases Some Flavors in Probiotic-Containing Cheddar Cheese
  4. Whole Grains and Kid's Acceptance
  5. Amaranth Yields Important Heart-Healthy Bioactive Peptides
  6. How Much Do We Really Like Açaí Berry (And How Does One Pronounce It?)

The complex interaction between certain probiotic strains of bacteria and temperature during ripening were studied and reported in a paper titled “Probiotic Cheddar Cheese: Influence of Ripening Temperatures on Proteolysis and Sensory Characteristics of Cheddar Cheeses.” Bacteria that are common to the production of yogurt were used in Cheddar cheeses, which were then ripened at different temperatures. According to the authors, “Effects of ripening temperatures and probiotic adjuncts on proteolysis and sensory evaluation of the cheeses were examined. Higher ripening temperature increased the level of proteolysis in the cheeses.” Product of proteolysis and organic acids released during ripening were shown to be important for the flavor of Cheddar cheeses. There were positive and significant correlations between the levels of soluble nitrogen, lactic, acetic, and butyric acids, and percentage hydrolysis of αs1-CN and β-CN to the scores of cheddary flavor (P < 0.05). While there was no attempt to study the effect of increased sour and vinegary flavors produced by the change in bacterial content or the effect of temperature, the differences were well described in the paper. S182-191

Whole Grains and Kid's Acceptance

  1. Top of page
  2. Breeding Better Potatoes Takes a Step Forward
  3. Temperature Increases Some Flavors in Probiotic-Containing Cheddar Cheese
  4. Whole Grains and Kid's Acceptance
  5. Amaranth Yields Important Heart-Healthy Bioactive Peptides
  6. How Much Do We Really Like Açaí Berry (And How Does One Pronounce It?)

USDA has decreed that foods for school lunch should reflect good dietary practices. In “Children's Acceptance, Nutritional, and Instrumental Evaluations of Whole Grain and Soluble Fiber Enriched Foods,” a number of researchers interested in getting kids to accept whole grain foods using methods short of child abuse were studied. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 report recommends 3 or more daily ounce-equivalents of whole grains (WG), and FDA suggests consumption of 25 g of total dietary fiber (TDF) and 6 g of soluble fiber (SF) for a 2000-calorie diet. Efforts to increase the consumption of WG and SF among elementary school-aged children are needed. The objectives of this study were to examine the consumption of WG- and SF-enriched burritos and cookies among elementary school-aged children and to perform quality evaluation of all products. The upshot of the study was that kids accepted products that contained fiber and whole grains, especially if the product was chocolate-chip cookies. While this conclusion seems obvious—kids like cookies—the children consumed burritos made with high fiber and whole grains equally when compared to conventionally defined burritos. The kids liked the burritos, and didn't demand chocolate chips as an ingredient!H139-146

Amaranth Yields Important Heart-Healthy Bioactive Peptides

  1. Top of page
  2. Breeding Better Potatoes Takes a Step Forward
  3. Temperature Increases Some Flavors in Probiotic-Containing Cheddar Cheese
  4. Whole Grains and Kid's Acceptance
  5. Amaranth Yields Important Heart-Healthy Bioactive Peptides
  6. How Much Do We Really Like Açaí Berry (And How Does One Pronounce It?)

Amaranth seeds have a number of useful things going for them: they yield complete proteins from the seeds, and the form of flour can be used in a wide variety of food uses. They are also a prolific crop with modest demands agriculturally. Medical lore suggests other uses which had not been well studied. Researchers decided to look into the hydrolysates of the proteins and reported their results in “Characterization and ACE-Inhibitory Activity of Amaranth Proteins.” The study characterized and evaluated the activity of the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor of the amaranth protein concentrate and of hydrolysates produced with Alcalase. The protein concentrate, after simulated gastrointestinal digestion, showed lower angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitory activity than the hydrolysates produced with Alcalase, before and after simulated gastrointestinal digestion. The simulated gastrointestinal digestion (pepsin–pancreatin) did not significantly alter the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibiting activity of the Alcalase hydrolysates, suggesting that the peptides of the hydrolysates were resistant to gastrointestinal hydrolysis. These results highlight the angiotensin-converting enzyme-inhibitory potential of amaranth proteins, which is an indication of their health-promoting potential.

The digestion products of amaranth proteins showed ACE-inhibitory potency, but the activity was more than doubled when the protein was hydrolyzed with Alcalase prior to digestion with the gastrointestinal enzymes, suggesting that in vivo, the intake of proteins previously hydrolyzed with Alcalase may result in a higher hypotensive effect than the intact amaranth proteins. This enzymatic process can generate protein hydrolysates with interesting ACE-inhibitory activity and might be of functional interest in improving state of health and/or reduction of hypertension risk. H121-126

How Much Do We Really Like Açaí Berry (And How Does One Pronounce It?)

  1. Top of page
  2. Breeding Better Potatoes Takes a Step Forward
  3. Temperature Increases Some Flavors in Probiotic-Containing Cheddar Cheese
  4. Whole Grains and Kid's Acceptance
  5. Amaranth Yields Important Heart-Healthy Bioactive Peptides
  6. How Much Do We Really Like Açaí Berry (And How Does One Pronounce It?)

Don't even try to leave the grocery store or browse the internet without meeting the açaí berry, either as a juice component or in some other form. It's this year's exotic nutraceutical find with an overpowering flavor that gets blended with other antioxidant fruits. Do consumers really like it, and will they drink it if they don't like today's concoction? Researchers studied the product and reported their results in a paper titled “Consumer Liking of Fruit Juices with Different Açaí (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) Concentrations.” The study was done with Belgian consumers, who have probably been as exposed as Americans to the new wonderfruit. The researchers studied products made with 40% and lower açaí concentrations. Lower concentrations of açaí were generally preferred, as the results showed a negative relationship between the juices' overall liking and their increasing açaí concentrations. Although the vast rmajority of consumers preferred the juices having a low açaí content (4% to 5% açaí), a small consumer segment liked the juice with 40% açaí. Flavor or taste experience superseded consumers' perceived health benefits as the primary determinant of the fruit juices' overall liking. The impact of perceived health benefits on the overall liking of the açaí juices decreased with higher taste dissatisfaction. We still can't pronounce it, but we did learn that it comes from a multistemmed palm tree widely spread in the Brazilian Amazon estuaries and floodplains, and the fruit grow in small, black-purple bunches with big seeds. S171-176