Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Food preservation


Red beet plants are rich in betalains that can be used as food natural colorants. Betalains were extracted from red beet and encapsulated with different carrier agents and freeze or spray dried. Effect of different encapsulating agents as maltodextrin, guar gum, gum Arabic, pectin and xanthan gum with different concentration (as encapsulating agents) were studied on the betalain stability. Encapsulated betalains with xanthan gum with maltodextrin showed about 65 % more recovery than the control. Encapsulation showed a higher recovery of betalains during freeze drying by 1.3 times than during spray drying. Spray dried samples has L* (lightness) higher than the freeze dried samples. The variations of maltodextrin with xanthan and guar gum freeze dried have highest chroma value of 21. The stabilization of pure betalain pigments may boost the use of these colouring molecules in the food industry and promote their application.

Concepts: Betalain, Instant coffee, Beet, Guar gum, Gums, Food preservation, Freeze drying, E number


Sperm preservation is an important technique for maintaining valuable genetic resources in biomedical research and wildlife. In the mouse, the sperm cryopreservation method has been established and adopted by large-scale sperm preservation projects in cryobanks. Recently, a new sperm preservation method using freeze-drying has been studied in various mammals. Freeze-drying is the ultimate method by which sperm can be preserved long term in a refrigerator (4 °C). And it is possible to realize easy and safe transportation of sperm at an ambient temperature that requires neither liquid nitrogen nor dry ice. Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that the fertilizing ability of sperm cryopreserved or freeze-dried by the methods described in this chapter is well maintained during long-term preservation. This chapter introduces the latest protocols for cryopreservation and freeze-drying of mouse sperm, and the anticipated results of the fertilizing ability of these sperm preserved long-term.

Concepts: Cryogenics, Cryonics, Nitrogen, Cryopreservation, Term, Sublimation, Food preservation, Liquid nitrogen


Food product reformulation is seen as one among several tools to promote healthier eating. Reformulating the recipe for a processed food, e.g. reducing the fat, sugar or salt content of the foods, or increasing the content of whole-grains, can help the consumers to pursue a healthier life style. In this study, we evaluate the effects on calorie sales of a ‘silent’ reformulation strategy, where a retail chain’s private-label brands are reformulated to a lower energy density without making specific claims on the product.

Concepts: Food preservation, Flavor, Sugar, Supermarket, Retailing, Carbohydrate, Nutrition, Food


Platonin possesses potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidative capacities. Because systemic inflammation and oxidative stress are crucial in mediating sepsis-induced blood-brain barrier (BBB) integrity loss, this study elucidated the effects of platonin on preserving BBB integrity in septic rats.

Concepts: Anti-inflammatory, Food preservation, Antioxidant, Oxidative phosphorylation, Oxidative stress, Sepsis, Inflammation


Nisin is a natural preservative for many food products. This bacteriocin is mainly used in dairy and meat products. Nisin inhibits pathogenic food borne bacteria such as Listeria monocytogenes and many other Gram-positive food spoilage microorganisms. Nisin can be used alone or in combination with other preservatives or also with several physical treatments. This article reviews physicochemical and biological properties of nisin, the main factors affecting its antimicrobial effectiveness, and its food applications as an additive directly incorporated into food matrices.

Concepts: Organism, Natural selection, Food additive, Listeria, Listeria monocytogenes, Food preservation, Bacteria, Microbiology


The production of long shelf-life highly concentrated dried probiotic/starter cultures is of paramount importance for the food industry. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the protective effect of glucose, lactose, trehalose, and skim milk applied alone or combined upon the survival of potentially probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus CTC1679, Lactobacillus casei/paracasei CTC1677 and L. casei/paracasei CTC1678 during freeze-drying and after 39 weeks of storage at 4 and 22 °C. Immediately after freeze-drying, the percentage of survivors was very high (≥94%) and only slight differences were observed among strains and cryoprotectants. In contrast, during storage, survival in the dried state depended on the cryoprotectant, temperature and strain. For all the protectants assayed, the stability of the cultures was remarkably higher when stored under refrigeration (4 °C). Under these conditions, skim milk alone or supplemented with trehalose or lactose showed the best performance (reductions ≤0.9 log units after 39 weeks of storage). The lowest survival was observed during non-refrigerated storage and with glucose and glucose plus milk; no viable cells left at the end of the storage period. Thus, freeze-drying in the presence of appropriate cryoprotectants allows the production of long shelf-life highly concentrated dried cultures ready for incorporation in high numbers into food products as starter/potential probiotic cultures.

Concepts: Food, Freeze drying, Milk, Cryoprotectant, Food preservation, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Trehalose, Probiotic


The use of co-solvent systems has been demonstrated to shorten lengthy freeze drying processes and improve the solubility and stability of certain active pharmaceutical ingredients. The goal of the present study was to evaluate the suitability of two thermal characterization techniques, differential scanning calorimetry and freeze dry microscopy, to identify an optimal co-solvent system. Binary mixtures of a co-solvent (tert-butanol, dimethyl sulfoxide, 1,4-dioxane, acetone or ethanol) and water were investigated. Ternary mixtures of frequently used excipients (50 mg/g mannitol, sucrose, glycine or polyvinylpyrrolidone) and a solvent-water system were then analyzed for their thermal properties. PVP presented a particularly high glass transition temperature (Tg') in 70% TBA at -17.9°C. Large needle-shaped crystals that have been shown to be associated with improved processability were observed with mannitol and PVP in 40% 1,4-dioxane. A heterogeneous sublimation rate of the solvent and water whose impact on product stability remained unclear was observed with PVP in 40% 1,4-dioxane. FDM analysis demonstrated a possible extension of the process time for PVP in 99% DMSO due to a slowly moving sublimation front. Conceivable negative consequences and the need for special treatment for low melting co-solvents, such as ethanol and acetone, were predicted and discussed.

Concepts: Food preservation, Materials science, Melting point, Sublimation, Glass transition, Solvent, Freeze drying, Differential scanning calorimetry


Field studies of wild vertebrates are frequently associated with extensive collections of banked fecal samples-unique resources for understanding ecological, behavioral, and phylogenetic effects on the gut microbiome. However, we do not understand whether sample storage methods confound the ability to investigate interindividual variation in gut microbiome profiles. Here, we extend previous work on storage methods for gut microbiome samples by comparing immediate freezing, the gold standard of preservation, to three methods commonly used in vertebrate field studies: lyophilization, storage in ethanol, and storage in RNAlater. We found that the signature of individual identity consistently outweighed storage effects: alpha diversity and beta diversity measures were significantly correlated across methods, and while samples often clustered by donor, they never clustered by storage method. Provided that all analyzed samples are stored the same way, banked fecal samples therefore appear highly suitable for investigating variation in gut microbiota. Our results open the door to a much-expanded perspective on variation in the gut microbiome across species and ecological contexts.

Concepts: Vertebrate, Measurement of biodiversity, Alpha diversity, Evolution, Food preservation, Species, Biodiversity, Gut flora


Notwithstanding a growth in popularity and consumption of gluten-free (GF) food products, there is a lack of substantiated analysis of the nutritional quality compared with their gluten-containing counterparts. To put GF foods into proper perspective both for those who need it (patients with celiac disease) and for those who do not, we provide contemporary data about cost and nutritional quality of GF food products. The objective of this study is to develop a food composition database for seven discretionary food categories of packaged GF products. Nutrient composition, nutritional information and cost of foods from 63 GF and 126 gluten-containing counterparts were systematically obtained from 12 different Austrian supermarkets. The nutrition composition (macro and micronutrients) was analyzed by using two nutrient composition databases in a stepwise approximation process. A total of 63 packaged GF foods were included in the analysis representing a broad spectrum of different GF categories (flour/bake mix, bread and bakery products, pasta and cereal-based food, cereals, cookies and cakes, snacks and convenience food). Our results show that the protein content of GF products is >2 fold lower across 57% of all food categories. In 65% of all GF foods, low sodium content was observed (defined as <120 mg/100 g). Across all GF products, 19% can be classified as source high in fiber (defined as >6g/100 g). On average, GF foods were substantially higher in cost, ranging from +205% (cereals) to +267% (bread and bakery products) compared to similar gluten-containing products. In conclusion, our results indicate that for GF foods no predominant health benefits are indicated; in fact, some critical nutrients must be considered when being on a GF diet. For individuals with celiac disease, the GF database provides a helpful tool to identify the food composition of their medical diet. For healthy consumers, replacing gluten-containing products with GF foods is aligned with substantial cost differences but GF foods do not provide additional health benefits from a nutritional perspective.

Concepts: Food preservation, Bread, Carbohydrate, Nutrient, Malnutrition, Food, Gluten-free diet, Nutrition


The relationship between the global food system and the worldwide rapid increase of obesity and related diseases is not yet well understood. A reason is that the full impact of industrialized food processing on dietary patterns, including the environments of eating and drinking, remains overlooked and underestimated. Many forms of food processing are beneficial. But what is identified and defined here as ultra-processing, a type of process that has become increasingly dominant, at first in high-income countries, and now in middle-income countries, creates attractive, hyper-palatable, cheap, ready-to-consume food products that are characteristically energy-dense, fatty, sugary or salty and generally obesogenic. In this study, the scale of change in purchase and sales of ultra-processed products is examined and the context and implications are discussed. Data come from 79 high- and middle-income countries, with special attention to Canada and Brazil. Results show that ultra-processed products dominate the food supplies of high-income countries, and that their consumption is now rapidly increasing in middle-income countries. It is proposed here that the main driving force now shaping the global food system is transnational food manufacturing, retailing and fast food service corporations whose businesses are based on very profitable, heavily promoted ultra-processed products, many in snack form.

Concepts: Eating, Food preservation, Sugar, Restaurant, Food industry, Food processing, Food, Nutrition