Nutrition & Food Science Research Works

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    Comparison of Metabolic Syndrome Indicators in Two Samples of Central and South Americans Living in the Washington, D.C. Area in 1993–1994 and 2008–2009: Secular Changes in Metabolic Syndrome in Hispanics
    (MDPI, 2017-08-05) Gill, Regina; Jackson, Robert T.; Duane, Marguerite; Miner, Allison; Khan, Saira A.
    The Central and South American populations are growing rapidly in the US; however, there is a paucity of information about their health status. Objectives: we estimated the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its individual components from two cohorts of Central and South Americans. Methods: This cross-sectional, medical record extraction survey sampled 1641 adults from a Washington, D.C clinic. A questionnaire was used to collect socio-demographic, medical history, anthropometric, biochemical, and clinical data. Results: among the 1993–1994 cohort, the MetS prevalence was 19.7%. The most prevalent MetS components were low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (40.4% men and 51.3% women), elevated triglycerides (40.9% men and 33.1% women), and high body mass index (BMI) ≥ 25 kg/m2 (27.6% men and 36.6% women). The overall prevalence of MetS in the 2008–2009 cohort was 28%. The most common abnormal metabolic indicator was an elevated BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2 (75.6%). 43.2% of men and 50.7% of women had HDL levels below normal, while the prevalence of hypertriglyceridemia was 46.5% and 32.5% for men and women, respectively. Conclusion: the prevalence of MetS was significantly greater in 2008–2009 compared with 1993–1994 (p ≤ 0.05). Dyslipidemia and high BMI have increased. Although similar components were identified in both the 1993–1994 and 2008–2009 study populations, the risks of MetS have increased over time.
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    Recent Developments in Food Packaging Based on Nanomaterials
    (MDPI, 2018-10-13) Huang, Yukun; Mei, Lei; Chen, Xianggui; Wang, Qin
    The increasing demand for high food quality and safety, and concerns of environment sustainable development have been encouraging researchers in the food industry to exploit the robust and green biodegradable nanocomposites, which provide new opportunities and challenges for the development of nanomaterials in the food industry. This review paper aims at summarizing the recent three years of research findings on the new development of nanomaterials for food packaging. Two categories of nanomaterials (i.e., inorganic and organic) are included. The synthetic methods, physical and chemical properties, biological activity, and applications in food systems and safety assessments of each nanomaterial are presented. This review also highlights the possible mechanisms of antimicrobial activity against bacteria of certain active nanomaterials and their health concerns. It concludes with an outlook of the nanomaterials functionalized in food packaging.
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    Antimicrobial Nanoparticles Incorporated in Edible Coatings and Films for the Preservation of Fruits and Vegetables
    (MDPI, 2019-04-30) Xing, Yage; Li, Wenxiu; Wang, Qin; Li, Xuanlin; Xu, Qinglian; Guo, Xunlian; Liu, Xiaocui; Shui, Yuru; Lin, Hongbin; Yang, Hua; Bi, Xiufang
    Edible coatings and films (ECF) are employed as matrixes for incorporating antimicrobial nanoparticles (NPs), and then they are applied on the fruits and vegetables to prolong shelf life and enhance storage quality. This paper provides a comprehensive review on the preparation, antimicrobial properties and mechanisms, surface and physical qualities of ECF containing antimicrobial NPs, and its efficient application to vegetables and fruits as well. Following an introduction on the properties of the main edible coating materials, the preparation technologies of ECF with NPs are summarized. The antimicrobial activity of ECF with NPs against the tested microorganism was observed by many researchers. This might be mainly due to the electrostatic interaction between the cationic polymer or free metal ions and the charged cell membrane, the photocatalytic reaction of NPs, the detachment of free metal ion, and partly due to the antimicrobial activity of edible materials. Moreover, their physical, mechanical and releasing properties are discussed in detail, which might be influenced by the concentration of NPs. The preservation potential on the quality of fruits and vegetables indicates that various ECF with NPs might be used as the ideal materials for food application. Following the introduction on these characteristics, an attempt is made to predict future trends in this field.
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    Food-Grade Nanoemulsions: Preparation, Stability and Application in Encapsulation of Bioactive Compounds
    (MDPI, 2019-11-21) Kiu, Qingqing; Huang, He; Chen, Honghong; Lin, Junfan; Wang, Qin
    Nanoemulsions have attracted significant attention in food fields and can increase the functionality of the bioactive compounds contained within them. In this paper, the preparation methods, including low-energy and high-energy methods, were first reviewed. Second, the physical and chemical destabilization mechanisms of nanoemulsions, such as gravitational separation (creaming or sedimentation), flocculation, coalescence, Ostwald ripening, lipid oxidation and so on, were reviewed. Then, the impact of different stabilizers, including emulsifiers, weighting agents, texture modifiers (thickening agents and gelling agents), ripening inhibitors, antioxidants and chelating agents, on the physicochemical stability of nanoemulsions were discussed. Finally, the applications of nanoemulsions for the delivery of functional ingredients, including bioactive lipids, essential oil, flavor compounds, vitamins, phenolic compounds and carotenoids, were summarized. This review can provide some reference for the selection of preparation methods and stabilizers that will improve performance in nanoemulsion-based products and expand their usage.
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    Urtica dioica Whole Vegetable as a Functional Food Targeting Fat Accumulation and Insulin Resistance-a Preliminary Study in a Mouse Pre-Diabetic Model
    (MDPI, 2020-04-10) Fan, Si; Raychaudhuri, Samnhita; Kraus, Olivia; Shahinozzaman, Md; Lofti, Leila; Obanda, Diana N.
    The shoot of Urtica dioica is used in several cultures as a vegetable or herb. However, not much has been studied about the potential of this plant when consumed as a whole food/vegetable rather than an extract for dietary supplements. In a 12-week dietary intervention study, we tested the effect of U. dioica vegetable on high fat diet induced obesity and insulin resistance in C57BL/6J mice. Mice were fed ad libitum with isocaloric diets containing 10% fat or 45% fat with or without U. dioica. The diet supplemented with U. dioica attenuated high fat diet induced weight gain (p < 0.005; n = 9), fat accumulation in adipose tissue (p < 0.005; n = 9), and whole-body insulin resistance (HOMA-IR index) (p < 0.001; n = 9). Analysis of gene expression in skeletal muscle showed no effect on the constituents of the insulin signaling pathway (AKT, IRS proteins, PI3K, GLUT4, and insulin receptor). Notable genes that impact lipid or glucose metabolism and whose expression was changed by U. dioica include fasting induced adipocyte factor (FIAF) in adipose and skeletal muscle, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α (Ppar-α) and forkhead box protein (FOXO1) in muscle and liver, and Carnitine palmitoyltransferase I (Cpt1) in liver (p < 0.01). We conclude that U. dioica vegetable protects against diet induced obesity through mechanisms involving lipid accumulation and glucose metabolism in skeletal muscle, liver, and adipose tissue.