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Concept: Dishware


OBJECTIVES:Dishware size is thought to influence eating behaviors, but effects on children’s self-served portion sizes and intakes have not been studied. We aimed to evaluate whether larger dishware increased children’s self-served portion sizes and intake during meals.METHODS:A within-subjects experimental design was used to test the effects of dishware size (ie, plates and bowls) on children’s self-served portion sizes and intakes in a naturalistic setting. Subjects were predominantly African American elementary school-aged children (n = 42) observed on repeated occasions during school lunch. Children served themselves an entree and side dishes using either child- or adult-size dishware, which represented a 100% increase in the surface area of plates and volume of bowls across conditions. Condition order was randomly assigned and counterbalanced across 2 first-grade classrooms. Entrées of amorphous and unit form were evaluated on separate days. Fruit and vegetable side dishes were evaluated at each meal. Fixed portions of milk and bread were provided at each meal.RESULTS:Children served more energy (mean = 90.1 kcal, SE = 29.4 kcal) when using adult-size dishware. Adult-size dishware promoted energy intake indirectly, where every additional calorie served resulted in a 0.43-kcal increase in total energy intakes at lunch (t = 7.72, P = .001).CONCLUSIONS:Children served themselves more with larger plates and bowls and consumed nearly 50% of the calories that they served. This provides new evidence that children’s self-served portion sizes are influenced by size-related facets of their eating environments, which, in turn, may influence children’s energy intake.

Concepts: Energy, Heat, Food energy, Joule, Calorie, British thermal unit, Plate, Dishware


OBJECTIVE: To examine students' school food choice in relation to school food standards and entitlement to free school meals (FSM). DESIGN: Cross-sectional analysis of students' school food choices. SETTING: Two large secondary schools in Yorkshire, England. SUBJECTS: Students (n 2660) aged 11-18 years. RESULTS: Sandwiches and pizza were the most popular main food items: 40·4 % and 31·2 %, respectively, in School A; 48·3 % and 27·3 %, respectively, in School B. More nutritionally valuable ‘dishes of the day’ accounted for 8·7 % and 8·3 % of main foods for School A and School B, respectively. FSM students were more likely (P < 0·0 0 1) to choose main foods (School A: FSM 87·04 %, non-FSM 70·28 %; School B: FSM 75·43 %, non-FSM 56·13 %). Dishes of the day were chosen on a significantly greater (P < 0·0 0 1) percentage of days by FSM v. non-FSM students (School A: FSM 15·67 %, non-FSM 7·11 %; School B: FSM 19·42 %, non-FSM 5·17 %). CONCLUSIONS: Despite the availability of nutritionally valuable dishes of the day, the most popular food items were sandwiches, pizza and desserts. FSM students were more likely to choose the more nutritionally valuable dish of the day. School food standards should be reassessed in light of students' preferences.

Concepts: Nutrition, Education, Food, High school, College, Choice, Meal, Dishware


The use of smaller dishware as a way of reducing food consumption has intuitive appeal and is recommended to the general public. Recent experimental studies have failed to find an effect of plate size on food intake, although the methods used across studies have varied. The aim of the present study was to examine the effect that bowl size had on snack food consumption in a ‘typical’ snacking context (snacking while watching television).

Concepts: Eating, Food, Experiment, Snack food, Dishware


Previous research has suggested that manipulations of plate size can have a direct impact on perception of food intake, measured by estimated fullness and intake. The present study, involving 570 individuals across Canada, China, Korea, and New Zealand, is the first empirical study to investigate cultural influences on perception of food portion as a function of plate size. The respondents viewed photographs of ten culturally diverse dishes presented on large (27 cm) and small (23 cm) plates, and then rated their estimated usual intake and expected fullness after consuming the dish, using 100-point visual analog scales. The data were analysed with a mixed-model ANCOVA controlling for individual BMI, liking and familiarity of the presented food. The results showed clear cultural differences: (1) manipulations of the plate size had no effect on the expected fullness or the estimated intake of the Chinese and Korean respondents, as opposed to significant effects in Canadians and New Zealanders (p < 0.05); (2) Canadian (88.91 ± 0.42) and New Zealanders (90.37 ± 0.41) reported significantly higher estimated intake ratings than Chinese (80.80 ± 0.38) or Korean (81.69 ± 0.44; p < 0.05), notwithstanding the estimated fullness ratings from the Western respondents were comparable or even higher than those from the Asian respondents. Overall, these findings, from a cultural perspective, support the notion that estimation of fullness and intake are learned through dining experiences, and highlight the importance of considering eating environments and contexts when assessing individual behaviours relating to food intake.

Concepts: Nutrition, Eating, China, New Zealand, Cultural studies, Estimation, Individual, Dishware


Automatic food understanding from images is an interesting challenge with applications in different domains. In particular, food intake monitoring is becoming more and more important because of the key role that it plays in health and market economies. In this paper, we address the study of food image processing from the perspective of Computer Vision. As first contribution we present a survey of the studies in the context of food image processing from the early attempts to the current state-of-the-art methods. Since retrieval and classification engines able to work on food images are required to build automatic systems for diet monitoring (e.g., to be embedded in wearable cameras), we focus our attention on the aspect of the representation of the food images because it plays a fundamental role in the understanding engines. The food retrieval and classification is a challenging task since the food presents high variableness and an intrinsic deformability. To properly study the peculiarities of different image representations we propose the UNICT-FD1200 dataset. It was composed of 4754 food images of 1200 distinct dishes acquired during real meals. Each food plate is acquired multiple times and the overall dataset presents both geometric and photometric variabilities. The images of the dataset have been manually labeled considering 8 categories: Appetizer, Main Course, Second Course, Single Course, Side Dish, Dessert, Breakfast, Fruit. We have performed tests employing different representations of the state-of-the-art to assess the related performances on the UNICT-FD1200 dataset. Finally, we propose a new representation based on the perceptual concept of Anti-Textons which is able to encode spatial information between Textons outperforming other representations in the context of food retrieval and Classification.

Concepts: Food, Computer graphics, Meal, Dishware, Entrée


Liquid in a Petri dish spontaneously circulates in a radial pattern, even when the dish is at rest. These fluid flows have been observed and utilized for biological research, but their origins have not been well-studied. Here we used particle-tracking to measure velocities of radial fluid flows, which are shown to be linked to evaporation. Infrared thermal imaging was used to identify thermal gradients at the air-liquid interface and at the bottom of the dish. Two-color ratiometric fluorescence confocal imaging was used to measure thermal gradients in the vertical direction within the fluid. A finite-element model of the fluid, incorporating the measured temperature profiles, shows that buoyancy forces are sufficient to produce flows consistent with the measured particle velocity results. Such flows may arise in other dish or plate formats, and may impact biological research in positive or negative ways.

Concepts: Fluid dynamics, Temperature, Liquid, Black body, Thermography, Petri dish, Julius Richard Petri, Dishware


Experimental infection models for Ascaridia galli rely on the use of eggs isolated either directly from worm uteri or from host faeces. We investigated whether A. galli eggs isolated from the two sources differ in their embryonation ability. A. galli eggs originating from 12 worm infrapopulations were isolated both from faeces of the living host (faecal eggs) and directly from worm uteri after host necropsy (uterine eggs). The isolated eggs from each infrapopulation and source were incubated in Petri dishes (n=24) containing a potassium-dichromate (0.1%) medium for 28 days (d) at room temperature. Starting from the day of egg isolation (d0), in ovo larval development was evaluated every second day by examining morphological characteristics of 200 eggs/petri dish. A total of 72,000 eggs were classified into undeveloped, early development, vermiform or fully embryonated stages. Isolation procedures caused similar damage to uterine and faecal eggs (2.2% and 0.5%, respectively; P=0.180). The first sign of in ovo embryonic development in faecal eggs (7%) was observed during the 24-h period when faeces were collected. On d28, a higher percentage of uterine eggs remained undeveloped when compared with faecal eggs (58.6% vs 11.0%; P<0.001). Although a higher (P<0.001) percentage of faecal eggs entered both the early developmental and vermiform stages, which took place primarily within the first two weeks of incubation, there was no time-shift between the development of faecal and uterine eggs. Starting from day 10, higher (P<0.05) percentages of faecal eggs completed embryonation compared with uterine equivalents. Eggs from both sources reached a plateau of embryonation by the end of 2nd week of incubation, with faecal eggs having a greater than two-fold higher embryonation ability. Cumulative mortality was higher in uterine eggs (14.3%) than in faecal eggs (0.2%). We conclude that faecal eggs have a higher embryonation ability than uterine eggs possibly due to maturation differences.

Concepts: Embryo, Uterus, Developmental biology, Feces, Source, Petri dish, Dishware


Due to the size of the required equipment, automated laboratory systems are often unavailable or impractical for use in small- and mid-sized laboratories. However, recent developments in automation engineering provide endless possibilities for incorporating benchtop devices. Here, the authors describe the development of a platform technology to handle sealed culture dishes. The programming is based on the Petri net method and implemented via Codesys V3.5 pbF. The authors developed a system of three independent electrical driven axes capable of handling sealed culture dishes. The device performs two difference processes. First, it automatically obtains an image of every processed culture dish. Second, a server-based image analysis algorithm provides the user with several parameters of the cultivated sample on the culture dish. For demonstration purposes, the authors developed a continuous, systematic, nondestructive, and quantitative method for monitoring the growth of a hairy root culture. New results can be displayed with respect to the previous images. This system is highly accurate, and the results can be used to simulate the growth of biological cultures. The authors believe that the innovative features of this platform can be implemented, for example, in the food industry, clinical environments, and research laboratories.

Concepts: Scientific method, Sociology, Culture, Quantitative research, Automation, The Culture, Dishware, Dish Network


Biogels made of crosslinked polymers such as proteins or polysaccharides behave as porous soft solids and store large amounts of solvent. These gels undergo spontaneous aging, called syneresis, which consists of the shrinkage of the gel matrix and the progressive expulsion of solvent. As a result, a biogel originally casted in a container often loses contact with the container sidewalls, and the detachment time is difficult to anticipate a priori, since it may occur over variable time spans (from hours to days). Here we report on syneresis phenomena in agar plates, which consist of Petri dishes filled with a gel mainly composed of agar. Direct observations and speckle pattern correlation analysis allow us to rationalize the delayed detachment of the gel from the sidewall of the Petri dish. The detachment time t* is surprisingly not controlled by the mass loss as one would intuitively expect. Instead, t* is strongly correlated to the gel minimum thickness emin measured along the sidewall of the plate, and increases as a robust function of emin, independently of the prior mass-loss history. Time-resolved correlation spectroscopy atypically applied to such weakly diffusive media gives access to the local thinning rate of the gel. This technique also allows us to detect the gel micro-displacements that are triggered by water evaporation prior to the detachment, and even to anticipate the latter from a few hours. Our work provides observables to predict the detachment time of agar gels in dishes, and highlights the relevance of speckle pattern correlation analysis for the quantitative investigation of the syneresis dynamics in biopolymer gels.

Concepts: Protein, Gel electrophoresis, Agar, Agar plate, Petri dish, Julius Richard Petri, Dishware, Microbiology equipment


Hydrogel as three-dimensional (3D) substrate has been employed in miniaturized high throughput protein detection platforms to increase the number of effective antibodies and signal augmentation. However, the high water content of the hydrogel can dilute samples and create barrier to mass transfer, limiting hydrogel height to several microns in most platforms. Moreover, these platforms cannot achieve widespread use in common laboratories as they usually rely heavily on expensive robotic liquid handlers and custom-built components. Here we developed a ready-to-use, easy to store and handle, versatile and multiplex-able 3D scaffold-based immunoassay chip (3D immunoChip) possible for high throughput protein quantification using bench-top equipment in common laboratories. Sample dilution, mass transfer, signal scattering and storage problems can be avoided by using dry scaffolds that regain transparency upon rehydration. When combined with hydrophilic-hydrophobic patterned reagent loading slides, manual high throughput handling of samples can be achieved. As these micro-scaffolds are patterned without barriers in between, simultaneous and effortless washing of all the reaction zones is possible in a Petri dish. Such features aid the 3D immunoChip in saving up to 100 times reagent and about 6 times labour. The 3D immunoChip is able to detect albumin (ALB), as a model analyte, from 5 ng mL(-1) to 1000 ng mL(-1), making it comparable to the commercialized ELISA kit based on a 96-well plate (0.22-400 ng mL(-1)). This thus enables the 3D immunoChip to directly detect ALB secreted by HepaRG cells cultured in a 3D cell culture array chip for high throughput drug hepatotoxicity evaluation, which could potentially accelerate drug screening.

Concepts: Cell, ELISA, Employment, Barriers, Petri dish, Julius Richard Petri, Dishware