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The Mastic Tree (Pistacia lentiscus L.) Leaves as Source of BACs: Effect of Growing Location, Phenological Stage and Extraction Solvent on Phenolic Content

Sanja Dragović1*orcid tiny, Verica Dragović-Uzelac2orcid tiny, Sandra Pedisić2orcid tiny, Zrinka Čošić2orcid tiny, Maja Friščić3orcid tiny, Ivona Elez Garofulić2orcid tiny and Zoran Zorić2orcid tiny

1IREKS AROMA Ltd., Trešnjevka 24, 10450 Jastrebarsko, Croatia

2Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, University of Zagreb, Pierottijeva 6, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

3Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Zagreb, Schrottova 39, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

Article history:

Received: 11 February 2020

Accepted: 15 July 2020

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Key words:

mastic tree leaves, growing location, phenological stage, phenolic concentration, extraction solvent


Research backgroundMastic tree (Pistacia lentiscus L.) of the Anacardiaceae family is an evergreen shrub from Mediterranean countries where it is used in traditional medicine. Analysis of P. lentiscus leaf, stem, fruit and root extracts showed high concentrations of principal groups of secondary metabolites (flavonoids, phenolic acids and tannins), suggesting the plant possesses great biological potential. Therefore, the aim of this research is to evaluate the impact of environmental parameters and the extraction solvent type on the concentration of phenols in mastic tree leaf extracts grown at four different locations along the Adriatic coast (Barbariga, Lun, Hvar and Vela Luka) during three phenological stages (early flowering, early fruiting and late fruiting).

Experimental approachSince mastic tree plant has phenolic compounds with different structures and chemical properties, ethanolic and methanolic leaf extracts were analysed using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) coupled with UV/Vis PDA detector. Phenolic compounds were identified by comparing the retention times and spectral data with those of standards at 280 and 340 nm.

Results and conclusionsIn all samples, phenolic acids and flavonol glycosides were quantified, while catechin was quantified only in methanolic extracts. The 5-O-galloylquinic acid was determined as a predominant phenolic compound in all samples followed by monogalloyl glucose, 3,5-di-O-galloylquinic acid, 3,4,5-tri-O-galloylquinic acid and gallic acid, respectively. Myricetin-3-O-rhamnoside was found to be the predominant flavonol glycoside followed by myricetin-3-O-glucoside, myricetin-3-O-glucuronide, quercetin-3-O-rhamnoside and derivative of flavonol glycoside. The mass concentration of these compounds significantly varied during different phenological stages, at different growing locations and used extraction solvents. The highest phenolic mass concentration was determined in the samples harvested at Hvar growing location and extracted in 80 % methanol. The highest total phenolic acid mass concentration was obtained in the samples harvested during the flowering phenological stage and the highest total flavonoid mass concentration in the samples harvested during the early fruiting stage.

Novelty and scientific contributionThe obtained data provide a better understanding of the P. lentiscus species phenolic concentration, which can lead to further investigations regarding the valorisation of mastic tree leaves as pharmaceutical products or as food products with added value.

*Corresponding author: +38516438605

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Evaluation of the Antidepressant Effect of the Functional Beverage Containing Active Peptides, Menthol and Eleutheroside, and Investigation of Its Mechanism of Action in Mice

Yuanjin Qi1orcid tiny, Huizhen Zhang1orcid tiny, Sha Liang1orcid tiny, Jiajia Chen2orcid tiny, Xiaoni Yan1orcid tiny, Zhouyu Duan1orcid tiny, Deyang Zhou1orcid tiny and Zhicheng Li1*orcid tiny

1College of Food Science and Engineering, Northwest A&F University, 22 Xinong Road, 712100 Yangling, PR China

2Department of Food Science, University of Tennessee, 2510 River Dr, TN 37996 Knoxville, USA

Article history:

Received: 11 November 2019

Accepted: 2 September 2020

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Key words:

functional beverage, eleutheroside, behavioral testing, antidepressant mechanism, monoamine, antioxidation


Research background. Depression has become a global threat to human health. In order to solve it, researchers have conducted multi-faceted studies including diet. Many food-derived bioactive substances have shown antidepressant effects. However, there are few studies on the design of industrialized food with antidepressant effect. This study aims to evaluate the antidepressant effect of afunctional beverage made from several ingredients with potential antidepressant function and investigate its antidepressant mechanisms.

Experimental approachThe beverage consists of peppermint oil, active peptides derived from bovine milk casein and Acanthopanax senticosus extract (ASE) whose active ingredient is eleutheroside. Different amounts of ASE were evaluated to determine the optimal concentration of eleutheroside in this functional beverage to deliver the best antidepressant effect through extensive behavioral testing, including preliminary acute stress experiments and further chronic unpredictable mild stress test.

Results and conclusions. The results demonstrated that the beverage with 15 mg/kg of eleutheroside could significantly reduce the mice’s immobility time of tail suspension test and forced swimming test, recover mice’s sucrose preference and behavior changes in the open field test, improve the contents of dopamine, norepinephrine, 5-hydroxytryptamine and the activity of superoxide dismutase and reduce the content of malondialdehyde in mice’s brains, which indicated that the improvement of monoamine neurotransmitter systems and antioxidation was one potential mechanism of antidepressant action.

Novelty and scientific contribution. This study provides a design of antidepressant functional beverage and an efficient way for the prevention and treatment of depression.

*Corresponding author: +862987092486 

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Polyphasic Characterisation of Non-Starter Lactic Acid Bacteria from Algerian Raw Camel’s Milk and Their Technological Aptitudes

Yasmine Saidiorcid tiny, Beatriz del Rioorcid tiny, Djamel Eddine Senouci1orcid tiny, Begoña Redruello2orcid tiny, Beatriz Martinez2orcid tiny, Victor Ladero2*orcid tiny, Mebrouk Kihal1orcid tiny and Miguel A. Alvarez2orcid tiny

1Applied Microbiology Laboratory, Department of Biology, Faculty ofNature and Life Sciences, University of Oran, 31000 Oran, Algeria

2Dairy Research Institute (IPLACSIC), Paseo Rio Linares s/n, 33300 Villaviciosa, Spain

Article history:

Received: 10 December 2019

Accepted: 31 July 2020

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Key words:

camel’s milk, lactic acid bacteria, molecular identification, acidifying capacity, proteolytic activity, biogenic amines


Research backgroundConsumption of spontaneously fermented camel’s milk is common in Algeria, making it a feasible source of diverse lactic acid bacteria (LAB) with the potential to be used as adjunct cultures to improve quality and safety of fermented dairy products.

Experimental approachTwelve raw camel´s milk samples were used as a source of indigenous LAB, which were further characterised by examining 39 phenotypic traits with technological relevance.

Results and conclusionsThirty-five non-starter LAB (NSLAB) were isolated from 12 Algerian raw camel's milk samples and they were microbiologically, biochemically and genetically characterised. Some isolates showed proteolytic activity, acidifying capacity, the ability to use citrate, and to produce dextran and acetoin. Ethanol, acetaldehyde, methyl acetate, acetoin and acetic acid were the major volatile compounds detected. Cluster analysis performed using the unweighted group with arithmetic average (UPGMA) method, and based on the thirty-nine phenotypic characteristics investigated, reflected the microbial diversity that can be found in raw camel´s milk.

Novelty and scientific contributionThe isolated strains, from a non-typical source, showed interesting technological traits to be considered as potential adjunct cultures. Cluster analysis based on the examined phenotypic characteristics proved to be a useful tool for the typification of isolates when no genetic information is available. These findings may be of use towards an industrialised production of camel's milk dairy products.

*Corresponding author:


§These authors contributed equally to this work

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Evaluation of Nanostructured Lipid Carriers Produced with Interesterified Buriti Oil

Lívia Viana de Castro Reis1*orcid tiny, Karina Magna Leão1orcid tiny, Paula Speranza1orcid tiny, Ana Paula Badan Ribeiro2orcid tiny, Gabriela Alves Macedo1orcid tiny and Juliana Alves Macedo1*orcid tiny

1Faculty of Food Engineering, Department of Food and Nutrition, State University of Campinas, Monteiro Lobato St. 80, Campinas, SP 13083-970, Brazil

2Faculty of Food Engineering, Department of Food Technology, State University of Campinas, Monteiro Lobato St. 80, Campinas, SP 13083-970, Brazil

Article history:

Received: 4 January 2019

Accepted: 27 August 2020

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Key words:

buriti oil, enzymatic interesterification, structured lipids, nanocarrier, droplet size, antioxidant activity


Research backgroundExtracted from the pulp of an Amazonian fruit, buriti oil is rich in micronutrients with antioxidant properties and high biological value. The few studies available indicate that this oil could be used in a wide range of applications; however, there are no studies that work on the improvement of the characteristics of this oil for commercial application. The enzymatic interesterification is one of the tools available to improve the properties of oils and fats and our recent studies have demonstrated that the lipase could specifically act on buriti oil to produce structured lipids rich in oleic acid, while preserving most of the minor compounds present in this oil. Still looking for ways to expand the applicability of this raw oil, in this work, we are interested in studying the behaviour of this structured oil in nanostructured lipid carriers (NLCs).

Experimental approachThe NLCs were produced with interesterified buriti oil and the stability, droplet size, electrical charge, microstructure, polymorphism and antioxidant activity of the samples were evaluated by oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) methods.

Results and conclusionsThe results showed that the interesterification formed more unsaturated triacylglycerols (TAGs), and NLCs prepared with interesterified buriti oil had smaller droplets than NLCs with crude buriti oil. Particles remained stable throughout the storage period and NLCs exhibited complex polymorphism with the presence of three crystalline forms. The ORAC value was approx. 23 % higher in nanolipid carries with structured lipids than in the nanolipid carriers with crude buriti oil, and the FRAP value 16 % higher, demonstrating the influence of interesterification on the antioxidant activity of nanocarriers. Thus, NLCs prepared with interesterified buriti oil had small droplets, high stability and antioxidant capacity, and have a potential for nutritional and biological applications.

Novelty and scientific contributionThis research showed that interesterification positively influenced the physicochemical properties of NLCs, producing the oil rich in oleic acid, high stability and antioxidant capacity. Therefore, it may be interesting to use these nanocarriers to obtain efficient carrier systems for future applications.

*Corresponding author: +551935214068 

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Properties of Dried Apricots Pretreated by Ultrasound-Assisted Osmotic Dehydration and Application of Active Coatings

Roghieh Sakooei-Vayghan1orcid tiny, Seyed Hadi Peighambardoust1orcid tiny, Javad Hesari1orcid tiny, Maral Soltanzadeh1orcid tiny and Donatella Peressini2orcid tiny

1Department of Food Science, College of Agriculture, University of Tabriz, 29th Bahman Blvd., 5166616471 Tabriz, Iran

2Department of Agricultural, Food, Environmental and Animal Sciences, University of Udine, via Sondrio 2/A, 33100 Udine, Italy

Article history:

Received: 4 August 2019

Accepted: 31 July 2020

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Key words:

apricot, hot air drying, osmotic dehydration, ultrasound-assisted osmotic dehydration, active coating, physical properties


Research backgroundThe worldwide demand for healthy and sulphur-free dried vegetables and fruits has grown. Combined ultrasound-assisted osmotic dehydration (UOD) and application of active coatings incorporating natural preservatives represents an attractive alternative to sulphuring to preserve the sensorial and nutritional quality of dried fruits. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of osmotic dehydration (OD) and UOD, and the use of pectin coatings (alone or with citric acid or ascorbic acid) on physical, textural and microstructural properties of hot air-dried apricots.

Experimental approachFresh apricot cubes (1 cm3) were pretreated with either OD at 55 °C for 30 and 45 min or UOD at two ultrasonic frequencies of 25 and 35 kHz for 30 and 45 min followed by application of active coatings with pectin alone, pectin with citric acid or pectin with ascorbic acid for 10 min. All pretreated coated samples were then hot air-dried at 60 °C until a final moisture content of 20 % (wet basis) was reached. Physical (shrinkage, apparent and bulk densities), chemical (browning value and water activity) and textural properties (firmness and shrinkage), microstructure and microbial load of dried apricots were studied.

Results and conclusions. Application of OD and UOD improved physical and textural properties of the dried apricots. Moreover, apparent and bulk densities, rehydration capacity of OD and UOD pretreated samples increased, while shrinkage, water activity and microbial load decreased. Firmness of UOD pretreated samples was significantly (p<0.05) lower than that of OD ones. Likewise, increasing ultrasound frequency from 25 to 35 kHz led to a significant decrease in Fmax values of dried apricots. Furthermore, coating of the processed samples with pectin and citric acid increased Fmax value and decreased rehydration capacity of dried apricots. Scanning electron microscopy of both OD and UOD samples illustrated improvement of textural properties. The utilization of both OD pretreatment and edible pectin coatings resulted in a decrease in browning values. However, UOD increased browning values of the dried apricots. Coating of UOD samples with pectin and ascorbic acid resulted in substantial discolouration in hot air-dried apricots.

Novelty and scientific contributionThis study advances the knowledge in the field of fruit drying by combined application of OD or UOD pretreatments with active edible coatings on different properties of hot air-dried apricots.

*Corresponding author: +984133392052

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