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Summary

The study assessed adoption of rice post-harvest technologies among smallholder farmers in Osun State, Nigeria. Data were collected from 120 respondents through a structured interview schedule using a multistage sampling procedure. Percentages, means, Chi-square and correlation were used to analyse the data and draw inferences. The results show that about 52.5% of the respondents had favourable perception, while 47.5% had unfavourable perception towards adoption of the rice post-harvest technologies. Rice milling (mean=4.54) and harvesting matured panicles at the right time (mean=4.47) ranked highest among the adopted post-harvest technologies, while majority (65%) of the respondents adopted the rice post-harvest technologies at moderate level and 35% had high level of adoption. Inadequate capital (mean=1.75) and poor extension contacts (mean=1.67) were the major constraints associated with the adoption. Also, there was significant association between sex (χ2= 38.174), marital status (χ2=32.85) and adoption of the rice post-harvest technologies, while age (r=-0.531), household size (r=0.414) and the quantity of rice produced (r=0.345) had significant relationship with adoption of the post-harvest rice technologies. There was moderate level of adoption among the farmers. Financial institutions, governments and non-governmental organisations should provide functional credit facilities and government should employ more extension agents to promote adoption of high-quality enhancing post-harvest technologies for sustainable rice production in Nigeria.

Summary

The beneficial effects of walnuts and walnut products on human health, due primarily to their rich polyphenolic content, have been appreciated as an empirical fact for centuries. The purpose of this study is to determine the polyphenolic contents of liqueurs made from the walnut selections ‘Rasna’ and ‘Sava’ and the walnut cultivar ‘Šampion’ (all harvested at three different times), as well as the polyphenolic contents of their green husks. The walnut liqueurs were prepared according to two traditional recipes using young walnut fruits. The highest antioxidant capacity was recorded in the liqueur made from the ‘Rasna’ walnut selection (89.94%), whereas the highest contents of phenols (83.28 mg GAE/g FW), flavonoids (0.83 mg QE/g FW) and proanthocyanidins were found in the liqueur made from the ‘Šampion’ cultivar (14.75 mg CE/g FW). The youngest ‘Rasna’ walnuts, harvested at the first experimental time point, exhibited the highest phenolic and tannin contents, whereas the highest flavonoid content was observed in the ‘Šampion’ cultivar. The biochemical results obtained indicate a decrease in the polyphenolic content of walnut fruits with their growth and development. Moreover, the polyphenolic profiles of the walnut liqueurs considered were found to be greatly affected by the method of preparation and the cultivar/selection of walnuts.

Summary

Organic agriculture has the potential to reduce the negative impacts of conventional agricultural practices and enhance rural economic development. Since research on Sri Lankan farmers’ attitude towards organic agriculture has been rare, this research aims to explore the farmers’ viewpoint on organic agriculture. Two main rural districts were purposely selected for this investigation since these districts have a high potential for organic agriculture. Two Divisional Secretariat (DS) divisions from each district and 75 farmers from the farming community of each DS division were randomly selected to form a sample of 300 farmers. Data were collected from July 2017 to April 2018 and analyzed using descriptive statistics and binary logistic regression. The results revealed that a majority of the farmers (74%) were well-aware of organic agriculture and agricultural extension programs, while training was the primary information source in both districts. As per the mean analysis, the farmers had a positive attitude towards health-related and environmental protection aspects. However, they had a negative attitude towards the complexity of organic agriculture and unavailability of a suitable market for organic products. Results of the binary logistic regression revealed that the education level of the farmers significantly affect their attitude towards organic agriculture. The availability of traditional knowledge and technology relevant to organic agriculture, favorable climatic condition, and some government support were the main potentials, while labor intensiveness was the main challenge. Thus, creating better marketing facilities for organic products, providing the required amenities for producing organic food, processing, and value addition will promote organic agriculture among more farmers, supporting sustainable development.

Summary

Sugar beet leaf spot, caused by the air-borne fungus Cercospora beticola Sacc., leads to a decrease in sugar beet leaf mass and the consequent regrowth of leaves based on exploiting the sugar reserves stored in the plant’s roots, thus ultimately resulting in lower yields and sugar contents of sugar beets. Azoxystrobin belongs to the group of QoI fungicides, which inhibit mitochondrial respiration by blocking cytochrome c reductase. The QoI fungicides are characterized by a very high risk of resistance interfering with their biological activity. For the purpose of testing the azoxystrobin sensitivity of the Cercospora beticola population found at the site of Rimski Šančevi, a collection of 84 isolates was assembled and tested for sensitivity to azoxystrobin by measuring the mycelial growth on fungicide-amended media with the addition of SHAM. The results obtained indicate that none of the isolates tested exhibited complete sensitivity to azoxystrobin, 4% were found to have reduced sensitivity, 26% were moderately resistant and 70% were highly resistant. A higher proportion of resistant isolates recorded is associated with the loss of azoxystrobin biological efficacy at the experimental site.

Summary

The aim of our study was evaluation of potential antioxidant effects of marigold (Calendula officinalis) extract and assessment of its in vitro impact on the selected quality parameters of bovine spermatozoa. Marigold is medicinal herb from the family Asteraceae native to southern Europe, and it commonly used in pharmacology and medicine. Its well-known positive properties include antioxidant, antibacterial, antiflammatory, antiviral, antifungal, antihelmintic and wound-healing activities. In this study, the flower extracts were subjected to high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), which identified especially phenolic acids (rosmarinic and chlorogenic acids) and polyphenols (rutin, kaempferol, resveratrol, quercetin and apigenin). These substances are known for their antioxidant activity and protective effects against oxidative stress. For our experiments, 10 samples of semen from sexually mature Holstein bulls were collected on a single day by using an artificial vagina, diluted in physiological saline solution and exposed to solutions with different concentration of marigold flower extract (75, 150 and 300 µg/mL). Selected quality parameters (motility, mitochondrial activity, production of reactive oxygen species – ROS, protein oxidation and lipid peroxidation – LPO) were analyzed after 0, 2 and 24 hours of in vitro culture. The motility evaluation was performed by using the computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) method. This method revealed that 75 and 150 µg/mL extract had positive effects and increased the motility (P<0.01) and mitochondrial activity (P<0.0001) of bovine spermatozoa compared to the control group following 2 and 24 hours. This phenomenon was observed also in case of ROS production, protein oxidation and LPO. Marigold extract concentrations of 75 and 150 µg/mL decreased the levels of ROS, protein oxidation and damage to the membranes caused by LPO compared to the control group (P<0.05; P<0.01) at time 2 and 24 hours. At the same time, 300 µg/mL extract exhibited positive, although less significant, effects compared to 75 and 150 µg/mL extracts. The data acquired from our study confirm that 75 and 150 µg/mL of marigold flower extract have positive effects on the motility and mitochondrial activity of bovine spermatozoa, and decrease ROS generation, LPO and protein oxidation in spermatozoa. Based on our results, the flower extract from marigold could be used for protection against oxidative stress in in vitro cultures of male gametes.

Abstract

Earlier we determined the colostrum and milk composition of cows after single- and twin-calving as well as the changes in the composition as a function of postpartum time. It was established that the dry matter, protein, whey protein, and immunoglobulin-G (IgG) content of the first-milked colostrum immediately after calving was significantly higher with twin-calving cows than with single-calving animals. As regards the other components, there were no significant differences among the animals. During the last years, we managed to collect the first-milked colostrum from five cattle after triplet-calving. The composition of these samples were determined by the methods we used earlier at twin-calving animals, and the results were compared to the colostrum composition of single- and twin-calving animals. It was found that although as an effect of triplet-calving the protein and IgG content of colostrum increased, the difference was not significant between twin- and triplet-calving animals. We are aware that others have not reported data from the point of view of the colostrum composition of twin-calving, and in the case of tripletcalving our results are unique in the world. In our publication, we report on the results of our investigations.

Summary

The common pheasant (Phasianus colchicus L. 1758) is an allochtonous game species of great importance to the hunting sector in Serbia. Growing concerns over a decline in its population raise issues about the proper management and hunting of common pheasants. As this research tends to identify the importance of common pheasants to Serbian hunters, the present study is based on a mixed research model combining traditional analyses with social studies on Serbian hunters. The data utilized have been collected from the annual management plans of 272 hunting grounds across Serbia and the interviews with 377 hunters. The results obtained suggest that there are significant differences between the analyzed variables in the management plans examined, which indicates that the pheasant hunting management in Serbia is not harmonized. However, the social studies conducted identify the common pheasant as the most hunted and popular game species with Serbian hunters. Accordingly, the common pheasant hunting and management in Serbia has to be improved in order to meet the hunters’ expectations and ensure their satisfaction.

Summary

The apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) possesses a number of health-promoting properties. The main beneficial effects of apple fruits on human health are associated with the antioxidant properties of components synthesising in apple fruits during their growth and development. Phenolic compounds and flavonoids are such components that contribute significantly to the antioxidant capacity of fruits, thus enhancing their health properties. The purpose of this study is to compare the antioxidant properties (namely antioxidant capacity, ascorbic acid, total phenolic and flavonoid contents) of the ‘Idared’ and ‘Braeburn’ apple cultivars, grown under optimal growing conditions in the Goražde area. Ascorbic acid contents were estimated using the 2.6-dichlorophenolindophenol titration method, whereas total phenolics were determined using the Folin-Ciocalteu method. Furthermore, total flavonoids were determined using the aluminium chloride colorimetric assay, whereas the ferric reducing/antioxidant power assay was used to determine the total antioxidant capacity of the apple fruits examined. The average values of the ascorbic acid, the total phenolic and flavonoids contents, and the total antioxidant capacity of the ‘Idared’ apples under consideration were 8.09 mg 100 g−1, 34.56 mg gallic acid equivalents 100 g−1, 12.62 mg catechin equivalents 100 g−1 and 323.28 μmol Fe2+ 100 g−1of fresh weight, respectively. The average values of the total phenolic and flavonoids contents, as well as the antioxidant capacity of the ‘Braeburn’ apples examined were as follows: 8.89 mg 100 g−1, 33.4 mg gallic acid equivalents 100 g−1, 13.56 mg catechin equivalents 100 g−1 and 367.01 μmol Fe2+ 100 g−1 of fresh weight, respectively. The analyses performed indicate that the differences recorded in the parameter values between the apple cultivars ‘Idared’ and ‘Braeburn’ were statistically non-significant. A correlation data analysis confirmed that phenolic compounds are the carriers of the antioxidant activity of apples.