Caffeine is an active ingredient of coffee (Nescafe) as one of the major sources of dietary antioxidant compounds which counteract the action of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which are the main contributors to oxidative stress. This research is carried out to investigate the role of caffeine in modulating superoxide dismutase and caffeine’s contribution to aging. Forty five sexually matured albino rats with weights ranging from 120-200g were purchased from the animal house of the Department of Anatomy, University of Port Harcourt. These animals were divided into five groups according to their weights and were housed in fifteen well ventilated cages containing sawdust which serves as beddings for the comfort of the animals and for easy removal of their feaces. They were fed daily with animal feed, water ad libitum and allowed to acclimatize for a period of one week, after which their weights were taken and caffeine administration commenced.The results obtained showed a significant (p<0.05) increase in the body weight of the animals on days 14 and 21 following the administration of 20mg/kg of the extract when compared with day 0 and a significant (p<0.05) increase in serum superoxide dismutase activity for 100mg/kg on day 14 when compared to the control. The findings of this study suggests that caffeine (NESCAFE) may have little or no significant effect on the activity of superoxide dismutase.
Maize is the most important crop in Mexico, being central to the diets of consumers, particularly smallholders, and an undetermined amount is allocated as straw, green fodder, and, to a lesser extent, as silage for animal feed. Nitrogen fertilizer is considered one of the most important factors affecting growth, grain yield, and maize biomass production. In this context, the main objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of different levels of nitrogen fertilizer on maize production. A randomized complete block experimental design consisted of three treatments of nitrogen (180, 160, and 80 kg/ha) with three replications and morphological (plant height, stem thickness, and rate of growth), yield, and yield components (cob weight, length, thickness, number of rows per cob, and plant biomass) variables were used. The results suggest that the increase in nitrogen levels increases all the parameters of maize production. However, at 160 kg/ha, the greatest production of fodder was recorded with 5.99 tons/ha, superior to the one reported at 180 kg/ha, which was 5.47 tons/ha. We conclude that the maize fodder production can be optimized with the use of 160 kg/ha in the conditions of the altiplano of San Luis Potosí (Mexico).
Nowadays, the development of new enantioselective processes is highly relevant in chemistry due to the relevance of chiral compounds in biomedicine (mainly drugs) and in other fields, such as agrochemistry, animal feed, and flavorings. Among them, organocatalytic methods have become an efficient and sustainable alternative since List and MacMillan pioneering contributions were published in 2000. These works established the term asymmetric organocatalysis to label this area of research, which has grown exponentially over the last two decades. Since then, the scientific community has attended to the discovery of a plethora of organic reactions and transformations carried out with excellent results in terms of both reactivity and enantioselectivity. Looking back to earlier times, we can find in the literature a few examples where small organic molecules and some natural products could act as effective catalysts. However, with the birth of this type of catalysis, new chemical architectures based on amines, thioureas, squaramides, cinchona alkaloids, quaternary ammonium salts, carbenes, guanidines and phosphoric acids, among many others, have been developed. These organocatalysts have provided a broad range of activation modes that allow privileged interactions between catalysts and substrates for the preparation of compounds with high added value in an enantioselective way. Here, we briefly cover the history of this chemistry, from our point of view, including our beginnings, how the field has evolved during these years of research, and the road ahead.
Microalgae contain high-value biochemical compounds including fatty acids (FA), protein and carotenoids, and are promising bioresources to enhance nutrition of food and animal feed. Important requirements for commercial strains are rapid growth and high productivities of desirable compounds. As these traits are believed to be found in aquatic environments with fluctuating conditions, we collected microalgae from marine and freshwater environments that are subjected to eutrophication and/or tidal fluctuations. Using this directed approach, 40 monoalgal cultures were isolated and 25 identified through 18S rDNA sequencing and morphological characterization. Based on their high growth rates (0.28–0.60 day−1) and biomass productivities (0.25–0.44 g L−1day−1) in commercial fertilizer under standardized conditions, six new strains were selected. Scenedesmus sp. GW63 produced quality FA-rich biomass with high omega-3 polyunsaturated FA (28.5% of total FA (TFA)) contents, especially α-linolenic acid (ALA; 20.0% of TFA) with a very low n-6/n-3 ratio (0.4), and high FA productivity (32.6 mg L−1 day−1). A high protein productivity (34.5 mg L−1 day−1) made Desmodesmus sp. UQL1_26 (33.4% of dry weight (DW)) attractive as potential protein-rich feed and nutrition supplement. Monoraphidium convolutum GW5 displayed valuable carotenoid production (0.8% DW) with high carotenoid accumulation capability (0.8 mg L−1 day−1). This research provides a pathway for fast-tracking the selection of high-performing local microalgae from different environments for nutraceuticals, functional foods and animal feed applications.
Carotenoids are characterized by a wide range of health-promoting properties. For example, they support the immune system and wound healing process and protect against UV radiation’s harmful effects. Therefore, they are used in the food industry and cosmetics, animal feed, and pharmaceuticals. The main sources of carotenoids are the edible and non-edible parts of fruit and vegetables. Therefore, the extraction of bioactive substances from the by-products of vegetable and fruit processing can greatly reduce food waste. This article describes the latest methods for the extraction of carotenoids from fruit and vegetable byproducts, such as solvent-free extraction—which avoids the costs and risks associated with the use of petrochemical solvents, reduces the impact on the external environment, and additionally increases the purity of the extract—or green extraction using ultrasound and microwaves, which enables a significant improvement in process efficiency and reduction in extraction time. Another method is supercritical extraction with CO2, an ideal supercritical fluid that is non-toxic, inexpensive, readily available, and easily removable from the product, with a high penetration capacity.
Smallholder dairy production in Senegal is important to both livelihoods and food and nutrition security. Here we examine the economic performance of smallholder dairy cattle enterprises in Senegal, using data from longitudinal monitoring of 113 households. The mean (and standard deviation) of the net returns (NR) per cow per annum (pcpa) was 21.7 (202.9) USD, whilst the NR per household herd per annum (phpa) was 106.1 (1740.3) USD. Only about half (52.2 %) of the dairy cattle enterprise had a positive NR. The most significant income components were milk sale followed by animal sale, whilst the most significant cost components were animal feed followed by animal purchase. When households were grouped by ranking on NRpcpa an interesting trend was observed: whilst the mean NRpcpa showed a fairly linear increase from the lowest to highest NR groups, income and cost did not. Income and costs were both higher for the lowest and highest NR groups, in comparison to the intermediate NR groups. The mean NRs of households grouped by the main breed-type they kept were not significantly different from each other, due to large variances within the breed groups. However, the mean total income and costs were significantly higher for households mainly keeping improved dairy breeds (Bos taurus or Zebu x Bos taurus crosses) in comparison to those keeping indigenous Zebu or Zebu by Guzerat crosses. This study highlights the highly variable (and often low) profitability of smallholder dairy cattle enterprise in Senegal. Further actions to address this are strongly recommended.
Francisella tularensis, a Gram-negative coccobacillus, is a highly virulent pathogen responsible for several zoonotic outbreaks in Europe in the last few decades. The authors report the case of a 46-year-old male who developed fever, myalgias and headache a week after having contact with animal feed contaminated by rodents. Serological tests were positive for Francisella tularensis. This first case of autochthonous tularemia in Portugal led to an intensive investigation involving several healthcare services and national governmental authorities. The authors address the possible underdiagnosis of this infection in the country.
Bacteriophage therapy is being considered as a promising tool to control Salmonella in poultry. Nevertheless, changes in gastrointestinal tract environmental conditions throughout the production cycle could compromise the efficacy of phages administered orally. The main objectives of this study were to assess the optimal timing of the phage administration over a 42-day production cycle and to compare microencapsulated and non-encapsulated phages and the spatial and temporal dynamics of the phage delivery along the gastrointestinal tract. Phage FGS011 was encapsulated in the pH-responsive polymer Eudragit® L100 using the process of spray drying. At different weeks of the chicken rearing period, 15 broilers were divided into three groups. Over a period of 24 h, group 1 received non-encapsulated phages (delivered through drinking water), group 2 received microencapsulated phages (incorporated in animal feed), and group 3 did not receive any phages. Microencapsulation was shown to enable efficient delivery of the bacteriophages to the animal gut and cecum throughout the animal rearing period. During the six weeks of application, the crop displayed the highest phage concentration for both phage delivery methods. The L100 based encapsulation offered significant protection to the phages from the harsh environmental conditions in the PV-Gizzard (not seen with phages administered in drinking water) which may help in the delivery of high phage doses to the cecum. Future Salmonella challenge studies are necessary to demonstrate the benefits of microencapsulation of phages using L100 formulation on phage therapy in field studies during the rearing period.
Cyanobacteria, also called blue-green algae, are a group of prokaryotic microorganisms largely distributed in both terrestrial and aquatic environments. They produce a wide range of bioactive compounds that are mostly used in cosmetics, animal feed and human food, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries, and the production of biofuels. Nowadays, the research concerning the use of cyanobacteria in agriculture has pointed out their potential as biofertilizers and as a source of bioactive compounds, such as phycobiliproteins, for plant pathogen control and as inducers of plant systemic resistance. The use of alternative products in place of synthetic ones for plant disease control is also encouraged by European Directive 2009/128/EC. The present up-to-date review gives an overall view of the recent results on the use of cyanobacteria for both their bioprotective effect against fungal and oomycete phytopathogens and their plant biostimulant properties. We highlight the need for considering several factors for a proper and sustainable management of agricultural crops, ranging from the mechanisms by which cyanobacteria reduce plant diseases and modulate plant resistance to the enhancement of plant growth.