Carotenoids are antioxidants with pharmaceutical potential. The major carotenoids important to humans are α-carotene, β-carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and β-cryptoxanthin. Some of the biological functions and actions of these individual carotenoids are quite similar to each other, whereas others are specific. Besides genotype and location, other environmental effects such as temperature, light, mineral uptake, and pH have been found affect carotenoid development in plant tissues and organs. Therefore, this research investigated the effects of the season and storage periods during postharvest handling on the accumulation of carotenoid in pumpkin. This study shows that long-term storage of pumpkins resulted in the accumulation of lutein and β-carotene with a slight decrease in zeaxanthin. The amounts of β-carotene ranged from 174.583±2.105 mg/100g to 692.871±22.019 mg/100g, lutein from 19.841±9.693 mg/100g to 59.481±1.645 mg/100g, and zeaxanthin from not detected to 2.709±0.118 mg/100g. The pumpkins were collected three times in a year; they differed in that zeaxanthin was present only in the first season, while the amounts of β-carotene and lutein were the highest in the second and third seasons, respectively. By identifying the key factors among the postharvest handling conditions that control specific carotenoid accumulations, a greater understanding of how to enhance the nutritional values of pumpkin and other crops will be gained. Postharvest storage conditions can markedly enhance and influence the levels of zeaxanthin, lutein, and β-carotene in pumpkin. This study describes how the magnitudes of these effects depend on the storage period and season.
Anaerobic treatment processes to remove organic matter from palm oil mill effluent (POME) have been used widely in Malaysia. Still the amounts of total organic and total mineral released from POME that may cause degradation of the receiving environment need to be verified. This paper proposes the use of the hydrodynamic equations to estimate performance of the cascaded anaerobic ponds (CAP) and to calculate amounts of total organic matter and total mineral released from POME. The CAP efficiencies to remove biochemical oxygen demands, chemical oxygen demands, total solids and volatile solids (VS) as high as 94.5, 93.6, 96.3 and 98.2 %, respectively, are estimated. The amounts of total organic matter and total mineral as high as 538 kg VS/day and 895 kg FS/day, respectively, released from POME to the receiving water are calculated. The implication of the proposed hydrodynamic equations contributes to more versatile environmental assessment techniques, sometimes replacing laboratory analysis.
The aim of the present study was to assess whether dietary magnesium deficiency can alter distribution of macroelements and trace elements in different organs and tissues. Experiments were carried out on 12 adult female Wistar rats, which were fed either a diet with low Mg content (≤20mgkg(-1) of diet) (LMgD) or a diet with daily recommended Mg content (≈500mgkg(-1)) as control group (CG) for 70 days. On the 70th day of the experiment heart, aorta, femoral skeletal muscle, forebrain, cerebellum, pituitary gland, thyroid gland, ovaries, uterus, liver, kidneys, and spleen were taken for analysis of mineral content. Concentrations of Fe and Ca were measured by inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry, and levels of Na, K, Mg, Co, Cu, Zn, Ni, Se, I were determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. On the 70th day, LMgD led to significant reduction of Mg level in red blood cells, plasma, aorta, uterus and thyroid gland compared to CG as well as resulted in significant decrease of Mg/Ca ratio in kidneys, spleen and ovaries. Contrary to this, an increase of Mg/Ca ratio was found in cerebellum of LMgD group. Significant decrease of K concentration was shown in aorta of LMgD animals compared to CG whereas myocardial K concentration was increased in LMgD group. Na level was two-fold higher in skeletal muscles of rats that received LMgD in comparison to CG (p=0.006). Increased concentrations of Fe in ovaries and uterus were found in LMgD. Mg restriction did not affect Zn concentration in any of tasted tissues. Se level was higher in spleen and lower in uterus of LMgD animals compared to CG. MgD was accompanied by increased level of Co in skeletal muscles and decreased its level in kidneys and uterus. LMgD feeding was associated with decreased concentrations of Ni in heart, thyroid gland, spleen, uterus and Co in heart, aorta, liver, kidneys, spleen and ovaries. The changes of Mg, K, Co content were accompanied by dramatic (10-fold) decrease of I concentration in aorta of LMgD animals. LMgD causes decrease of I content in ovaries and increase of I level in uterus vs CG. Thus, distribution of macroelements (Ca, Na, K) was weakly affected by Mg restriction that led to the most evident alterations of Co and Ni tissue levels. Moreover, mineral balance of uterus seems to be the most susceptible to low Mg intake. Hypomagnesaemia resulted in significant changes of 5 studied trace elements (Fe, Se, Cu, Ni and Co).
Microbial granular sludge that is capable to treat textile wastewater in a single reactor under intermittent anaerobic and aerobic conditions was developed in this study. The granules were cultivated using mixed sewage and textile mill sludge in combination with anaerobic granules collected from an anaerobic sludge blanket reactor as seed. The granules were developed in a single sequential batch reactor (SBR) system under alternating anaerobic and aerobic condition fed with synthetic textile wastewater. The characteristics of the microbial granular sludge were monitored throughout the study period. During this period, the average size of the granules increased from 0.02 +/- 0.01 mm to 2.3 +/- 1.0 mm and the average settling velocity increased from 9.9 +/- 0.7 m h(-1) to 80 +/- 8 m h(-1). This resulted in an increased biomass concentration (from 2.9 +/- 0.8 g L(-1) to 7.3 +/- 0.9 g L(-1)) and mean cell residence time (from 1.4 days to 8.3 days). The strength of the granules, expressed as the integrity coefficient also improved. The sequential batch reactor system demonstrated good removal of COD and ammonia of 94% and 95%, respectively, at the end of the study. However, only 62% of color removal was observed. The findings of this study show that granular sludge could be developed in a single reactor with an intermittent anaerobic-aerobic reaction phase and is capable in treating the textile wastewater.
Glutamate-mediated excitotoxicity involving N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors has been recognized as a final common outcome in pathological conditions involving death of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Overstimulation of NMDA receptors results in influx of calcium (Ca) and sodium (Na) ions and efflux of potassium (K). NMDA receptors are blocked by magnesium (Mg). Such changes due to NMDA overstimulation are also associated with not only the altered levels of minerals but also that of trace elements and redox status. Both the decreased and elevated levels of trace elements such as iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu) affect NMDA receptor excitability and redox status. Manganese (Mn), and selenium (Se) are also part of antioxidant defense mechanisms in retina. Additionally endogenous substances such as taurine also affect NMDA receptor activity and retinal redox status. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of Mg acetyltaurate (MgAT) on the retinal mineral and trace element concentration, oxidative stress, retinal morphology and retinal cell apoptosis in rats after-NMDA exposure. One group of Sprague Dawley rats received intravitreal injection of vehicle while 4 other groups similarly received NMDA (160nmolL(-1)). Among the NMDA injected groups, 3 groups also received MgAT (320nmolL(-1)) as pre-treatment, co-treatment or post-treatment. Seven days after intravitreal injection, rats were sacrificed, eyes were enucleated and retinae were isolated for estimation of mineral (Ca, Na, K, Mg) and trace element (Mn, Cu, Fe, Se, Zn) concentration using Inductively Coupled Plasma (DRC ICP-MS) techniques (NexION 300D), retinal oxidative stress using Elisa, retinal morphology using H&E staining and retinal cell apoptosis using terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL). Intravitreal NMDA injection resulted in increased concentration of Ca (4.6 times, p<0.0001), Mg (1.5 times, p<0.01), Na (3 times, p<0.0001) and K (2.3 times, p<0.0001) compared to vehicle injected group. This was accompanied with significant increase of Ca/Mg and Na/K ratios, 3 and 1.27 times respectively, compared to control group. The trace elements such as Cu, Fe and Zn also showed a significant increase amounting to 3.3 (p<0.001), 2.3 (p<0.0001) and 3 (p<0.0001) times respectively compared to control group. Se was increased by 60% (p<0.005). Pre-treatment with MgAT abolished effect of NMDA on minerals and trace elements more effectively than co- and post-treatment. Similar observations were made for retinal oxidative stress, retinal morphology and retinal cell apoptosis. In conclusion, current study demonstrated the protective effect of MgAT against NMDA-induced oxidative stress and retinal cell apoptosis. This effect of MgAT was associated with restoration of retinal concentrations of minerals and trace elements. Further studies are warranted to explore the precise molecular targets of MgAT. Nevertheless, MgAT seems a potential candidate in the management of diseases involving NMDA-induced excitotoxicity.