Papers in this issue of JFS cover a wide variety of food-based subjects, including how to process under-utilized foods like chickpeas and acorns, plant based extractives and their uses, and, Glory Be, a treatise on whether Guinness tastes better in Ireland than in other places. The paper describing how major firms do research should be read thoroughly. There are many good topics, representing a fine body of work.
Phenolics May Find Use as Antimicrobials
Blueberries and muscadines have many uses: their phenolic extracts have been identified as possible antimicrobials. Researcher from the Univ. of Georgia studied the influence of blueberry and muscadine grape on Salmonella Enteritidis and Listeria monocytogenes. Their results were published in the paper titled “Antibacterial Activities of Blueberry and Muscadine Phenolic Extracts.” Phenolics are one category of phyto-antimicrobials that refer to the antimicrobial substances extracted from plant sources; in the broad sense, they are phytochemicals and are often found in foods that are rich in those compounds. Salmonella was relatively more susceptible than Listeria to the phenolic extracts used in the study, and was significantly inhibited in all samples at all sampling points except for the sample that was supplemented with muscadine water extract and drawn at the 24-h sampling point. Blueberry phenolics were more effective against Salmonella than were the muscadine extracts.
According to the paper, “phenolic acids and flavonoids in blueberry include quercetin and kaempferol with a small amount of gallic acid, caffeic acid, and catechin. Muscadine has ellagic acid as one of the major phenolic compounds. Both blueberry and muscadine contain anthocyanin, but the predominant anthocyanins are monoglycoside in blueberry and 3, 5-diglucoside in muscadine. Blueberry has been shown to have greater anthocyanidin contents than muscadine.”M101-105
Chickpea Protein for Snacks and Innovative Foods
Chickpeas are a major crop widely grown on the Indian peninsula as well in other warm areas, offering proteins and carbohydrate nutrition. Researchers from India studied various ways to affect the protein functionality in chickpea, and reported their results in “Role of Steaming and Toasting on the Odor, Protein Characteristics of Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) Flour, and Product Quality.” The flour was used to make Boondi, which is a popular Indian snack food made from a deep-fried chickpea flour dispersion.
One of the important attributes of the snack is its odor when fried. The researchers used the E-nose to identify the differences between the profiles of differently-processed chickpea flour. The device showed subtle- to significant differences. The treated flour samples were used to prepare the boondi. Evaluation of fried product indicated that use of steamed flour or the flour from steamed dhal (splits) resulted in loss of spherical shape of the product boondi. (Boondi are supposed to be spherical—if they aren’t, they are rejected by consumers.) The studies indicate that the chickpea proteins play a vital role in governing the product texture and quality. S148-155
Flour Doesn't Necessarily Mean Standard Grain Products
Learning about the function and thermal properties of predominately starch flours is valuable, and can expand the use of alternate sources. A duo of scientists from Portugal, where oak forests produce lots of acorns, determined to study the function and structure of the starchy materials from these fruits in order to optimize their use. In the paper “Effect of Drying Temperatures on Starch-Related Functional and Thermal Properties of Acorn Flours”, the result of characterization studies found that drying temperatures affected apparent amylose content and viscoamylographic properties, but transition temperatures and enthalpy were less affected. Drying temperatures changed pasting temperature and swelling characteristics.
Acorn flour has been used in times of food shortages, and, according to the authors, recipes for the use of the material still exists, although little information appears to be available about the characteristics of the material. Acorns are used to feed pigs, but the expectation that they could be used effectively as a human food appears well founded. Both apparent amylose and resistant starch appears higher than standard grains, offering some suggestion about possible utilization. E196-202
Concise Review Looks at Long Duration Space Missions and Feeding Systems
Fifty years ago, the concept of spending a few days in space conjured up the image of small bites of food coated with a coating that was fat-based, washed down with an ersatz juice beverage. But the needs of low-orbit space crews are almost easy to meet compared to the 3 to 5 years in space required of travel to Mars and beyond. That's a long time for food to maintain its organoleptic and nutritional integrity. In “Developing the NASA Food System for Long-Duration Missions”, three distinguished scientists looked at the needs for long duration missions and the problems that will have to be solved, including how to expand the current 18 month shelf-life of “space foods” to a possible 5 years, and whether foods must be positioned on planets like Mars before the crew reaches them. Some essentials: (1) nutrient-dense, shelf stable foods that meet overall sensory acceptability metrics; (2) shelf stable menu items with at least a 5-y shelf life; (3) partial gravity cooking processes with minimization of microbial risk; (4) sustained vitamin delivery in shelf stable foods; (5) a packaging material that meets high-barrier, low-mass, and process-compatibility constraints.
The review provides current NASA thinking as well as state of the art information and a historical review of the Space Project and what it has taught scientists about the priorities of the participants. As a look to the future, it is valuable reading. R40-48
A Most Enjoyable Paper
Scientific endeavors ought to cover the broad range of inquiry. The paper titled “Does Guinness Travel Well?”, hatched, as it seems to have been, after-hours at a scientific conference at an undisclosed site, indicates that those who would publish in JFS possess a sharp sense of the appropriateness of scientific study of all sorts of subjects, and an unquenchable search for knowledge. It's a great read, and the scientific testing techniques should be better understood. Or simply appreciated!S121-125
Ten Years of Open Innovation—More or Less—Makes Further Inroads
According to the authors of “Reinventing R&D in an Open Innovation Ecosystem”, “to survive, and thrive, in today's world of global innovation, alliances based on compatible differences must be sought. Innovation Partnerships and the Sharing-is-Winning model represent a paradigm shift toward accelerating co-development of sustainable innovation, with alignment of the entire value chain with consumer-centric innovations being one of its main pillars. It includes 3 levels of typical joint development: universities, research institutes, and centers; start-ups and individual inventors; a select number of key strategic suppliers. Reinventing R&D in an open innovation ecosystem and increasing success rates in an increasingly competitive marketplace require implementing significant steps—both perceived and tangible.” These authors should know something about the subject: one is with Nestle, one with the Univ. of Jerusalem, and a third is a well-known consultant on all things innovative. They make some recommendations for adopting 10 major identified topics: leadership, strategy, the consumer, the value chain, internal experts and championship, metrics, IP, culture, academia, and passion. They also point to an overexploitation of the concept, and note that “open” innovation may not be so open, and really isn't always so new. The paper outlines the transformation at Nestle that began roughly in 2006. It notes that the firm didn't always find it easy. They also note that many companies find it difficult to adapt to—and afford—the large collaborative nature of this form of R&D. This paper may provide some insight about how to go about opening up innovation without breaking the bank. R62-68
Rutin Treats Fatty Liver
Lipid accumulation that occurs in the liver, in the absence of alcohol consumption, is suspected of causing obesity and other disease conditions. Consumption of various fats has increased in recent years, and appears to cause this fatty acid accumulation. Researchers report their study in “Rutin Inhibits Oleic Acid Induced Lipid Accumulation Via Reducing Lipogenesis and Oxidative Stress in Hepatocarcinoma Cells”, and found that rutin, a common dietary flavonoid that is consumed in fruits, vegetables, and plant-derived beverages, has various biological functions, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer effects. However, a hypolipidemic effect of rutin on fatty liver disease has not been reported. In this study, the authors examined the effect of rutin on reducing lipid accumulation in hepatic cells. Hepatocytes were treated with oleic acid (OA) containing with or without rutin to observe the lipid accumulation by Nile red stain. The result showed rutin suppressed OA-induced lipid accumulation and increased AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activity in hepatocytes. The expression of critical molecules involved in lipid synthesis, sterol regulatory element binding proteins-1 (SREBP-1), was attenuated in rutin-treated cell. The research team states that they have shown rutin not only can reduce lipid accumulation but also had good antioxidant capacity. “Rutin suppresses fat accumulation of the liver and could be developed as a potential therapeutic treatment to reduce the formation of a fatty liver.”T65-72