Articles publicats (Agrotecnio Center)

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Agrotecnio aims to become a reference in Europe addressing all the key elements of the food production chain in an integrated way focusing on target crops and animals of commercial importance, rather than model systems. This later aspect sets our centre apart from other centers which focus on fundamental science and/or model plant and animal systems. As a result we should be able to address fundamental and important questions in the crop/animal of interest and results from our research will be directly and immediately applicable to our target organism. [Més informació]

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    Open Access
    Tailoring the techno-functional properties of fava bean protein isolate: A comparative evaluation of ultrasonication and pulsed electric field treatments
    (MDPI, 2024) Gulzar, Saqib; Martín Belloso, Olga; Soliva-Fortuny, Robert
    The fava bean protein isolate (FBPI) holds promise as a sustainable plant-based protein ingredient. However, native FBPIs exhibit limited functionality, including unsuitable emulsifying activities and a low solubility at a neutral pH, restricting their applications. This study is focused on the effect of ultrasonication (US) and pulsed electric fields (PEF) on modulating the techno-functional properties of FBPIs. Native FBPIs were treated with US at amplitudes of 60–90% for 30 min in 0.5 s on-and-off cycles and with PEF at an electric field intensity of 1.5 kV/cm with 1000–4000 pulses of 20 μs pulse widths. US caused a reduction in the size and charge of the FBPIs more prominently than the PEF. Protein characterization by means of SDS-PAGE illustrated that US and PEF caused severe-to-moderate changes in the molecular weight of the FBPIs. In addition, a spectroscopic analysis using Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) and circular dichroism (CD) revealed that US and the PEF induced conformational changes through partial unfolding and secondary structure remodeling from an α-helix to a β-sheet. Crystallographic and calorimetric determinations indicated decreased crystallinity and lowered thermal transition temperatures of the US- and PEF-modified FBPIs. Overall, non-thermal processing provided an effective strategy for upgrading FBPIs’ functionality, with implications for developing competitive plant-based protein alternatives.
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    Open Access
    Sustainable ultrasound-assisted extraction and encapsulation of phenolic compounds from sacha inchi shell for future application
    (MDPI, 2024) Kumari Mehta, Shilka; Jafari, Saeid; Ahmad Shiekh, Khursheed; Gulzar, Saqib; Assatarakul, Kitipong
    Sacha inchi shell (SIS), an underutilized by-product of sacha inchi oil processing, is a rich source of phenolic compounds. In this study, ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE) was optimized by response surface methodology (RSM) with a Box–Behnken design to investigate the effects of time (15–25 min), temperature (25–45 °C), and ethanol concentration (40–80%) on the total phenolic content (TPC), total flavonoid content (TFC) and antioxidant activity by DPPH assay of the obtained extracts. The maximum TPC was at 15 min, 45 °C and 60%, TFC at 25 min, 45 °C and 60% and DPPH at 15 min, 35 °C and 80%. The optimized condition selected for encapsulation purposes was at 25 min, 35 °C and 80% ethanol concentration. RSM analysis showed that all models analyzed for all three assays were significant at 95% confidence. The SIS extract had a greater inhibitory zone against Escherichia coli measuring 15.34 mm at a concentration of 30 µg/mL than Staphylococcus aureus among the samples. The spray-dried microcapsules using different combinations of gum arabic and maltodextrin (GMM 1 and GMM2) resulted in a proper encapsulation layer and a smoother surface and shape obtained at 1000× magnification. Also, GMM 1 and GMM2 had particle sizes ranging from 2.95 ± 0.02 to 27.73 ± 0.38 and from 5.20 ± 0.01 to 29.30 ± 0.42 µm, respectively. The microcapsules were in the acceptable ranges for moisture content (<5%) and water activity (<0.6). It has been concluded that SIS extract showed high antioxidant and antimicrobial properties and its encapsulation could be further used in food and nutraceutical formulations.
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    Embargo
    Packaging films based on biopolymers from seafoodprocessing wastes: Preparation, properties, and theirapplications for shelf-life extension of seafoods—Acomprehensive review
    (Wiley, 2023) Gulzar, Saqib; Tagrida, Mohamed; Prodpran, Thummanoon; Li, Li; Benjakul, Soottawat
    Biopolymers derived from seafood processing byproducts are used to prepareactive and biodegradable films as the packaging of food products. These filmspossess bioactivities to enhance the shelf life of packed foods by proactivelyreleasing antimicrobial/antioxidative agents into the foods and providing suffi-cient barrier properties. Seafood processing byproducts are an eminent sourceof valuable compounds, including biopolymers and bioactive compounds. Thesebiopolymers, including collagen, gelatin, chitosan, and muscle proteins, couldbe used to prepare robust and sustainable food packaging with some antimicro-bial agents or antioxidants, for example, plant extracts rich in polyphenols oressential oils. These active packaging are not only biodegradable but also preventthe deterioration of packed foods caused by spoilage microorganisms as well aschemical deterioration. Seafood discards have a promising benefit for the devel-opment of environmentally friendly food packaging systems via the appropriatepreparationmethodsortechniques.Therefore,thegreenpackagingfromseafoodleftover can be better exploited and replace the synthetic counterpart.
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    Open Access
    Cover crops terminated with roller-crimper to manage Cynodon dactylon and other weeds in vineyards
    (John Wiley and Sons Ltd, 2023) Cabrera Pérez, Carlos; Royo-Esnal, Aritz; Català, Bruna; Baraibar Padró, Bàrbara; Recasens i Guinjuan, Jordi
    Using cover crops in organic vineyards can provide many advantages, including weed suppression. However, their effectiveness may depend on the weed community, the cover crop species and the termination method. The most common practice for cover crop termination is shredding, but rapid residue decomposition can allow noxious species like Cynodon dactylon to proliferate during summer and compete with the vines. The use of roller-crimpers as an alternative method can be effective in some cropping systems, but no studies have focused on their use in the inter-row of vineyards. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of seven cover crops (spontaneous, Avena strigosa, Hordeum vulgare, Lolium multiflorum, Phacelia tanacetifolia, Sinapis alba and X Triticosecale) and two termination methods (shredding or roller-crimper) in managing C. dactylon during summer. RESULTS: In 2020, rolled A. strigosa, P. tanacetifolia and the spontaneous flora limited the coverage of C. dactylon more than shredding (increases of 3% and 18% in C. dactylon cover from July to September in rolled and shredded cover crops, respectively), while in 2021, rolling was better than shredding for all cover crop species in September (5% and 18% increases, respectively). CONCLUSION: Roller-crimping cover crops was an effective method to control C. dactylon in vineyard inter-rows but it did not consistently work for all cover crops in both years. Our study is one of the first to test the efficacy of roller-crimpers to manage summer weeds in vineyards. © 2023 The Authors. Pest Management Science published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry.
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    Open Access
    Quantifying pre- and post-anthesis heat waves on grain number and grain weight of contrasting wheat cultivars
    (Elsevier, 2024) Kim, Jinwook; Savin, Roxana; Slafer, Gustavo A.
    Context or problem: Further increasing wheat productivity is more challenging due to consistently rising temperatures. Heat stress negatively affects both grain number per m2 (GN) and average grain weight (AGW). It is not clear whether the sensitivity of these components differ, nor whether it would be related to the relevance of the component for determining unstressed yield in the particular cultivar. Objective or research question: The aim of this study was to elucidate the plasticity of GN and AGW in response to heat waves at pre-anthesis; and post-anthesis under different source-sink ratios. Methods: The field experiments were carried out in two different locations of Catalonia (NE Spain). We selected two contrasting genotypes (Pistolo and Sublim) for the relevance of GN and AGW and analysed in detail (i) the causes for their differences in AGW and (ii) their GN and AGW responses to heat wave stress (HT). The HT treatments were imposed in the field using portable tents with transparent polyethylene films at either at booting (pre-AN HT) or 15 days after anthesis (post-AN HT) for 7 days, with a delta in maximum temperature of c. 5ºC. In addition, we increased source-sink ratios in the control and post-AN HT treatments by removing all spikelets on one side of the spike (de-graining) 14 days after anthesis. Results: Pistolo had always less but heavier grains than Sublim. The differences in AGW were constitutive, rather reflecting a trade-off with GN, as there was no scarcity of resources to satisfy the demands of the growing grains in any of the two cultivars. Exposing the crops to heat stress at pre- and post-anthesis resulted in yield penalties, but yield was more sensitive to pre-AN HT than to post-AN HT, consistently across both locations and genotypes. The reduction of GN per spike was mainly mediated through grain abortion rather than through mortality of floret primordia. The reduction of AGW caused by post-AN HT was not related to source strength changes, but due to a direct effect reducing potential grain weight (PGW) per se. There seemed to be a trend for the cultivar constitutively producing more grains having less sensitivity of GN to pre-AN HT, and for the cultivar constitutively having heavier grains having less sensitivity of AGW to post-AN HT. Conclusions: The reduction of AGW caused by post-AN HT was not related to source strength changes, but due to a direct effect reducing potential grain weight. The plasticity of a yield component in response to heat stress was inversely related to the relevance of that component for yield determination in unheated conditions. Implications or significance: Our result would open an opportunity for breeders to select for improved sink-strength through either higher GN or higher PGW depending on the timing and frequency of the most damaging heat waves.