Current Nutrition & Food Science (v.11, #2)

Meet Our Editorial Board Member: by Eugenio Aprea (85-85).

A (3)2-factorial design was employed to optimize extraction of high ester pectin using two independent variables (extraction time and temperature) from mango fruit waste i.e. its peels. Citric acid solution (0.5 molar) was used to acidify water at pH 2. Using a new methodology waste management was done by extracting pectin from peels obtained from local juice shops. It was then characterized as pharmaceutical excipient. Combined effects of independent variables on degree of esterification (DE) were investigated and % deviation from predicted response was calculated. The model built for DE shows that both variables have significant effect on response and temperature of extraction medium which has a negative effect on DE. 3-D surface response showed relationship of independent variables on DE. Results showed that batch F4 deviated 10.83% from predicted response and had maximum D.E. (68.97%), followed by F7 which had value of 63.64% with relatively less deviation (0.99%).

Effect of L-arginine and Selenium on Metabolic Features, Insulin Resistance and Hepatic Function Tests in Obese Women by Bahram Pourghassem Gargari, Mohammad Alizadeh, Abdolrasoul Safaeiyan, Rassoul Zarrin (93-98).
To investigate the beneficial effect of L-arginine and selenium along with hypocaloric diet on metabolic features, insulin resistance and hepatic function tests this study were conducted on women with central obesity. The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was undertaken among 68 premenopausal women with central obesity. After 2 weeks of run-in period of an isocaloric diet, participants were randomly assigned into four groups of hypocaloric control diet (HCD), Larginine (5 g / d) + HCD, selenium (200 µg / d) + HCD, or L-arginine + selenium + HCD for 6 weeks. The following variables were assessed at baseline (start of intervention) and 3 and 6 weeks after intervention: Waist circumference (WC), systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), fasting serum concentrations of triglyceride (TG), High-density lipoprotein-cholestrol (HDL-C), fasting blood sugar (FBS), insulin, homeostasis model of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartat aminotransferase (AST). When t-test was used for data analysis, HCD reduced SBP (P = 0.009) and TG (P = 0.05); HCD + L-arginine reduced WC more than HCD (P = 0.008); HCD + Selenium reduced fasting serum concentration of ALT (P = 0.007); and selenium reduced fasting serum concentrations of insulin (P = 0.05) and HOMA - IR (P = 0.04), after 6 weeks of interventions. The study showed beneficial effects of L-arginine on central obesity, selenium on insulin resistance and hepatic function and HCD on blood pressure and serum lipid profile.

Antioxidant and Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitory Potential of Thai Medicinal Plants by Boonsong Kasempitakpong, Winthana Kusirisin, Churdsak Jaikang, Nipon Sermpanich (99-104).
Inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and prevention of acetylcholine degradation are of the most accepted therapies for Alzheimer's disease. Aqueous extracts of seventeen Thai medicinal plants were used in traditional Thai medicine for preventing chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. They were tested for cholinesterase inhibitory properties using the Ellman's colorimetric method. The extracts were screened for their free radical scavenging properties using 1, 1 diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) and metal chelating method. Total phenolic, total flavonoid, total tannin and total alkaloids contented in the extracts were determined. The results found that Cassia siamea (CS) was the most potent inhibitor of AChE activity with IC50 value 0.85±0.06 mg/ ml. Lagerstroemia speciasa (LS) had the highest potency to scavenge DPPH radical with 50% scavenging concentration (SC50) value 0.27A±0.01 mg/ ml. CS and LS were high in reducing Fe3+ to Fe2+ with values 1.22± 0.06 and 1.49±0.02 mM of Fe2+ equivalent, respectively. 1 mg/ml of CS was the highest potency to inhibit AChE activity with 58.83±2.24%. Results showed AChE inhibition ability depended on the amount of total phenolic content. This study highlights CS extract which showed highly potent inhibition of AChE and scavenging of free radicals. Clinical trials and active compounds in CS should be studied for AD therapy in the other models.

Role of Vitamins in Human Health and Nutrition: Sources and Morbidity by Umesh C. Gupta, Subhas C. Gupta (105-115).
Most vitamins were discovered accidentally when researchers were attacking specific diseases and not studying foods or medicine. For example, the disease 'Beriberi' was prevented by eating unpolished rice (Oryza sativa). This was concluded to be due to the presence of thiamin also known as thiamine in the rice husk, which was later named as vitamin B1. If the diet is devoid of vitamin C, a deficiency disease called scurvy develops. If it is in the early stages, by eating foods; which contain Vitamin C, the person will be cured from the disease. Vitamins are organic substances, required in small amounts for body functioning and good health, which are found in the food we eat. Vitamins fall in two categories: water soluble and fat soluble. The water-soluble vitamins include 8 members of the vitamin B complex and Vitamin C; and vitamins A, D, E and K are fat soluble. If a particular vitamin is missing from the diet, the person will suffer from a deficiency disease. The human body can manufacture only a few vitamins. Some foods, e.g., bread and milk, are enriched, which means that vitamins are added. They are needed to help the body to use the energy nutrients, maintain normal body tissue, and act as a regulator. The best way for a healthy person to obtain needed vitamins is to eat a balanced diet. A daily diet of varied foods can provide needed essential vitamins for maintaining a healthy body. As an insurance to provide sufficient amount, vitamins in pill, liquid or capsule form can be taken as a supplement. Since water soluble vitamins are not stored in our body, they are excreted in urine; the supply of these vitamins should therefore be replenished daily to have sufficient amounts for human needs.

Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) is a well known medicinal plant, commonly used for its heart tonic properties. When it comes to herbal treatment of the heart ailments, Hawthorn is always at the peak of the herbalists' crop. Scientific researches have repeatedly verified this heart-friendly herb's reliability and non-toxicity. The cardiac tonic properties of Hawthorn are attributed to its phenolic and flavonoid contents distributed throughout the plant parts and its by-products.
This paper goes over antioxidant properties and medicinal uses of some Crataegus spp. including C. meyeri and C. pontica having relatively high antioxidant and antiradical activities. The advantages of using natural remedies over their synthetic equivalents are discussed, emphasizing on the necessity of thorough investigations on many Crataegus species not yet studied.

Determinants of 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentrations in Infants and Toddlers by Hilary Michel, Flora Olabopo, Li Wang, Anita Nucci, Susan L Greenspan, Kumaravel Rajakumar (124-130).
Background: Resurgence of rickets and recognition of excessive prevalence of hypovitaminosis D among all age groups in the western hemisphere have refocused attention on vitamin D nutrition.
Objective: To examine the prevalence of hypovitaminosis D [25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] < 30ng/mL] and characterize the determinants of 25(OH)D concentrations in 8- to 24-month-old healthy infants and toddlers living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Methods: Serum 25(OH)D concentrations were measured and dietary intake of vitamin D, mode of feeding, summertime sun exposure characteristics, and skin color (sun-reactive skin type and melanin index) were assessed.
Results: A total of 111 healthy 8 to 24-month-old children (mean age [A±SD] 14.4 [A±3.5] months; male, 51%; black, 67%) were studied. Serum 25(OH)D concentration was <30 ng/mL in 16% (n=18) of the children. Median (interquartile) 25(OH)D concentration was lower in children who were ≥13 months vs. <13 months of age [35 (31, 40.5) vs. 40 (35.8, 44.3) ng/mL, p=0.013]; with sun-reactive skin type IV and V vs. I, II, and III [36 (31, 41) vs. 44 (36.5, 48.5) ng/mL, p=0.001]; and examined during fall/winter vs. spring/summer [35.5 (32.5, 38.5) vs. 39 (32.5, 44) ng/mL, p=0.05]. Age and skin type were significant independent predictors of 25(OH)D.
Conclusions: Concentrations of 25(OH)D tend to be lower in infants and toddlers during fall/winter, and in children who are older (≥13 months vs. <13 months of age) and have darker skin tone. Benefits of enhancement of 25(OH)D concentrations during fall/winter and in children with higher sun-reactive skin type need further exploration.

Determination of the Sodium Concentration in Brazilian Light and Non- Light Powdered Instant Soups by Flame Photometry by Barbara S. Martinez, Adriana P. de Oliveira, Francisca G. G. Pedro, Jose Carlos de Oliveira, Ricardo Dalla Villa (131-135).
This work aimed to develop a method for sodium determination in Brazilian light and nonlight powdered instant soups by flame photometry using the dry decomposition sample preparation. The analytical curve presented linear correlation coefficient (r) higher than 0.99. The limits of detection and quantification were 0.16 and 0.49 mg L-1 Na, respectively. The instrumental precision (n=10) was 3.0%. Recoveries of 97% were obtained in the addition and recovery tests, with relative standard deviations (RSD %) lower than 16%. The Na concentrations determined in the samples by the proposed method did not show significant differences (p ≤ 0.01) when compared with the results obtained by flame atomic absorption spectrometry. The simplicity, low cost, accuracy and precision suggest that the proposed method is an alternative for sodium determination in powdered instant soups. The results of this study also indicate that excess consumption of instant soup should be avoided, especially by individuals with hypertension because it can be a significant source of Na in the diet.

Impact of Bread Made from Mix Cereals and Pulses on the Glycemic Profile in Type 2 Diabetic Patients - A Randomized Controlled Trial by Md. Mominul Islam, M. Kamruzzaman, Md. Shofikul Islam, Md. Toufiq Elahi, Shaikh Shahinur Rahman, Dipak Kumar Paul, Md. A.Z. Chaudhury, Sk. Abdur Rouf, Md. Abdus Samad (136-144).
Varieties of non-wheat cereal crops grow in Bangladesh, studies on the formulation and uses of composite flour are inconsistent and uncommon. Even though the effect of several other functional foods on glycemic profile has been studied, little is known about the effect of composite flour on glycemic profile in type-2 diabetic patients. A total of 30 type-2 diabetic patients were recruited and randomized into control (13 patients) and intervention group (17 patients). Before randomization, in 28 days run in period, base line anthropometric data and their habitual energy requirements were measured. After randomization, conventional wheat bread and bread from composite flour was fed to control and intervention group respectively for another 28 days. After each 7 days both fasted and after 2 hours postprandial blood glucose level were measured and statistically compared (p ≤ 0.05) with the respective group's blood glucose level measured at the beginning of the intervention. A total of 6 patients were dropped out from the study. After each 7 days, in intervention group, postprandial blood glucose level was found significantly lowered (p ≤ 0.001), whereas fasted blood glucose level was only decreased significantly (p ≤ 0.005) after 28 days. There were no significant effects (p > 0.05) on fasted and postprandial glucose level in control group. The present study suggests that Bread made from composite flour with high fiber could be a novel and potentially effective method for glycemic control in type-2 diabetic patients compared with low fiber containing normal wheat bread.

Chemistry and Health Effects of Bioactive Compounds in Selected Culinary Aromatic Herbs by Raquel P. F. Guine, Fernando J. Goncalves (145-164).
Culinary herbs are the fresh or dried leaves of herbaceous plants that are used as a food flavouring. Many of these plants are further recognized for their beneficial health effects because, besides their nutritional value, they are rich in many phytochemical components with bioactive effects. The aim of the present work was to make a general overview of some of these herbs, including their gastronomic usage, chemical composition in bioactive components and reported health effects. It was possible to verify that researchers are continuously exploring the chemical composition and the possible therapeutic uses of many herbs commonly used for culinary purposes. The most frequently reported health effects include antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antiviral effects. These properties have been confirmed through in vitro assays, sometimes also through in vivo experiments, and some others even with clinical trials, thus confirming their effects on humans.