An accessory to modern developing economies includes a shift from traditional, laborious lifestyles and cuisine to more sedentary careers, recreation and convenience-based foodstuffs. Similar changes in the developed western world have led to harmful health consequences. Minimization of this effect in current transitional cultures could be met by placing value on the maintenance of heritage-rich food. Vitally important to this is the preservation and dissemination of knowledge of these traditional foods. Here, we investigate the history and functionality of a traditional rice snack cooked in Nepenthes pitchers, one of the most iconic and recognizable plants in the rapidly growing economic environment of Southeast Asia.
Vitamin E was determined by the high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method. All the plants tested showed differences in their alpha-tocopherol content and the differences were significant (p < 0.05). The highest alpha-tocopherol content was in Sauropus androgynus leaves (426.8 mg/kg edible portion), followed by Citrus hystrix leaves (398.3 mg/kg), Calamus scipronum (193.8 mg/kg), starfruit leaves Averrhoa belimbi (168.3 mg/kg), red pepper Capsicum annum (155.4 mg/kg), local celery Apium graveolens (136.4 mg/kg), sweet potato shoots Ipomoea batatas (130.1 mg/kg), Pandanus odorus (131.5 mg/kg), Oenanthe javanica (146.8 mg/kg), black tea Camelia chinensis (183.3 mg/kg),papaya Carica papaya shoots (111.3 mg/kg), wolfberry leaves Lycium chinense (94.4 mg/kg), bird chili Capsicum frutescens leaves (95.4 mg/kg), drumstick Moringa oleifera leaves (90.0 mg/kg), green chili Capsicum annum (87 mg/kg), Allium fistulosum leaves (74.6 mg/kg), and bell pepper Capsicum annum (71.0 mg/kg). alpha-Tocopherol was not detected in Brassica oleracea, Phaeomeria speciosa, Pachyrrhizus speciosa, Pleurotus sajor-caju, and Solanum melongena.
Anagallis arvensis (L.) is a wild edible food plant that has been used in folklore as a natural remedy for treating common ailments. This study aimed to explore the biochemical properties and toxicity of methanol (MeOH) and dichloromethane (DCM) extracts of A. arvensis (aerial and root parts). Bioactive contents were assessed spectrophotometrically, and the secondary metabolites were identified by UHPLC-MS analysis. DPPH, ABTS, FRAP, CUPRAC, phosphomolybdenum, and metal chelating assays were employed to assess antioxidant activity. Inhibitory potential against key enzymes (α-glucosidase, urease, lipoxygenase (LOX), acetylcholinesterase (AChE), and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE)) were also assessed. MTT assay was employed to test toxicity against SW-480, MDA-MB-231, CaSki, MCF-7, and DU-145 cancer cell lines. Methanolic extracts showed highest phenolic (aerial-MeOH: 27.5 mg GAE/g extract; root-MeOH: 21.17 mg GAE/g extract) and flavonoid (aerial-MeOH: 26.15 mg QE/g extract; root-MeOH: 19.07 mg QE/g extract) contents, and potent antioxidant activities. The aerial-MeOH extract was most potent for DPPH (IC50: 231 ug/mL), ABTS (131.12 mg TE/g extract), FRAP (82.97 mg TE/g extract), and CUPRAC (137.15 mg TE/g extract) antioxidant assays. All extracts were cytotoxic towards tested cancer cells with IC50 values ranging from 12.57 to 294.5 µg/mL and conferred a comparatively strong inhibition against α-glucosidase (aerial-DCM extract showed the highest inhibition against α-glucosidase with IC50 value of 20.97 µg /mL), while aerial extracts were also considerably active against BChE (aerial-MeOH IC50: 224.63 µg /mL), LOX (aerial-DCM IC50: 385.7 µg /mL). Likewise, aerial-MeOH extract was most active against urease enzyme (IC50: 129.72 µg /mL). UHPLC-MS investigation of methanolic extracts showed the existence of important phenolics, flavonoids, and saponins, including methyl gallte, quercetin, lanceoletin, and balanitesin, amongst others. Moreover, principal component analysis (PCA) highlighted the correlation amongst bioactive contents and observed biological activities. A. arvensis extracts could be regarded as a natural source of bioactive antioxidants, enzyme inhibitors and anticancer agents and can be further investigated as a lead source for food and pharmaceutical products. However, further studies to isolate, purify, and to characterize its bioactive phytochemicals are needed.
Studies were conducted on the flavonoids (myricetin, quercetin, kaempferol, luteolin, and apigenin) contents of 62 edible tropical plants. The highest total flavonoids content was in onion leaves (1497.5 mg/kg quercetin, 391.0 mg/kg luteolin, and 832.0 mg/kg kaempferol), followed by Semambu leaves (2041.0 mg/kg), bird chili (1663.0 mg/kg), black tea (1491.0 mg/kg), papaya shoots (1264.0 mg/kg), and guava (1128.5 mg/kg). The major flavonoid in these plant extracts is quercetin, followed by myricetin and kaempferol. Luteolin could be detected only in broccoli (74.5 mg/kg dry weight), green chili (33.0 mg/kg), bird chili (1035.0 mg/kg), onion leaves (391.0 mg/kg), belimbi fruit (202.0 mg/kg), belimbi leaves (464.5 mg/kg), French bean (11.0 mg/kg), carrot (37.5 mg/kg), white radish (9.0 mg/kg), local celery (80.5 mg/kg), limau purut leaves (30.5 mg/kg), and dried asam gelugur (107.5 mg/kg). Apigenin was found only in Chinese cabbage (187.0 mg/kg), bell pepper (272.0 mg/kg), garlic (217.0 mg/kg), belimbi fruit (458.0 mg/kg), French peas (176.0 mg/kg), snake gourd (42.4 mg/kg), guava (579.0 mg/kg), wolfberry leaves (547.0 mg/kg), local celery (338.5 mg/kg), daun turi (39.5 mg/kg), and kadok (34.5 mg/kg). In vegetables, quercetin glycosides predominate, but glycosides of kaempferol, luteolin, and apigenin are also present. Fruits contain almost exclusively quercetin glycosides, whereas kaempferol and myricetin glycosides are found only in trace quantities.
The oil palm mesocarp contains an endogenous lipase which is strongly activated at low temperature. Lipase activity is thus very conveniently assayed by prior exposure of the fruits to low temperature. More than 100 oil palm samples from the germplasm collection of the Palm Oil Research Institute of Malaysia (now known as the Malaysian Palm Oil Board) were screened for non-esterified fatty acid activity using both the low-temperature activation assay and a radioactivity assay. The results showed good correlation between assay procedures. The different samples had a very wide range of lipase activity. Elaeis oleifera samples had significantly lower lipase activity compared with E. guineensis (var. tenera) samples. Even within E. guineensis (var. tenera), there was a wide range of activity. The results confirmed that lipase activity is genotype-dependent. Selection for lipase genotypes is thus possible and this will have obvious commercial value.
In vitro direct regeneration of Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. was successfully achieved from immature explants (yellow plumule) cultured on a solid MS media supplemented with combinations of 0.5 mg/L BAP and 1.5 mg/L NAA which resulted in 16.00 ± 0.30 number of shoots per explant and exhibited a new characteristic of layered multiple shoots, while normal roots formed on the solid MS basal media. The double-layered media gave the highest number of shoots per explant with a ratio of 2 : 1 (liquid to solid) with a mean number of 16.67 ± 0.23 shoots per explant with the formation of primary and secondary roots from immature explants. In the study involving light distance, the tallest shoot (16.67 ± 0.23 mm) obtained from the immature explants was at a light distance of 200 mm from the source of inflorescent light (1000 lux). The plantlets were successfully acclimatized in clay loam soil after 8 months being maintained under in vitro conditions.
Oil palm is an important economic crop for Malaysia. Genetic engineering could be applied to produce transgenic oil palms with high value-added fatty acids and novel products to ensure the sustainability of the palm oil industry. Establishment of a reliable transformation and regeneration system is essential for genetic engineering. Biolistic was initially chosen as the method for oil palm transformation as it has been the most successful method for monocotyledons to date. Optimization of physical and biological parameters, including testing of promoters and selective agents, was carried out as a prerequisite for stable transformation. This has resulted in the successful transfer of reporter genes into oil palm and the regeneration of transgenic oil palm, thus making it possible to improve the oil palm through genetic engineering. Besides application of the Biolistics method, studies on transformation mediated by Agrobacterium and utilization of the green fluorescent protein gene as a selectable marker gene have been initiated. Upon the development of a reliable transformation system, a number of useful targets are being projected for oil palm improvement. Among these targets are high-oleate and high-stearate oils, and the production of industrial feedstock such as biodegradable plastics. The efforts in oil palm genetic engineering are thus not targeted as commodity palm oil. Due to the long life cycle of the palm and the time taken to regenerate plants in tissue culture, it is envisaged that commercial planting of transgenic palms will not occur any earlier than the year 2020.
Plant recovery rates after herbivory are thought to be a key factor driving recursion by herbivores to sites and plants to optimise resource-use but have not been investigated as an explanation for recursion in large herbivores. We investigated the relationship between plant recovery and recursion by elephants (Elephas maximus borneensis) in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, Sabah. We identified 182 recently eaten food plants, from 30 species, along 14 × 50 m transects and measured their recovery growth each month over nine months or until they were re-browsed by elephants. The monthly growth in leaf and branch or shoot length for each plant was used to calculate the time required (months) for each species to recover to its pre-eaten length. Elephant returned to all but two transects with 10 eaten plants, a further 26 plants died leaving 146 plants that could be re-eaten. Recursion occurred to 58% of all plants and 12 of the 30 species. Seventy-seven percent of the re-eaten plants were grasses. Recovery times to all plants varied from two to twenty months depending on the species. Recursion to all grasses coincided with plant recovery whereas recursion to most browsed plants occurred four to twelve months before they had recovered to their previous length. The small sample size of many browsed plants that received recursion and uneven plant species distribution across transects limits our ability to generalise for most browsed species but a prominent pattern in plant-scale recursion did emerge. Plant recovery time was a good predictor of time to recursion but varied as a function of growth form (grass, ginger, palm, liana and woody) and differences between sites. Time to plant recursion coincided with plant recovery time for the elephant's preferred food, grasses, and perhaps also gingers, but not the other browsed species. Elephants are bulk feeders so it is likely that they time their returns to bulk feed on these grass species when quantities have recovered sufficiently to meet their intake requirements. The implications for habitat and elephant management are discussed.
Rice is a carbohydrate, one of the plant-based foods that can accumulate heavy metal from soil and the irrigation water. Since total heavy metal always overestimates the amount of heavy metal available in rice, bioavailability of heavy metal is always preferred. Many studies have been done and found that in vitro methods offer an appealing alternative to human and animal studies. They can be simple, rapid, low in cost and may provide insights which not achievable in the in vivo studies. In vitro digestion model for rice may differ from other in vitro digestion models applied in soil or other type of foods studies. This review aims to provide an overview of in vitro digestion model used to determine bioavailability of heavy metal in rice, summarize health risk assessment application of heavy metal in rice studies and highlight the importance of health risk assessment to be included in the studies. Future exploration of in vitro digestion model and health risk assessment application on the bioavailability of heavy metal in rice was also suggested.
Calligonum polygonoides L. also known as famine food plant, is normally consumed in times of food scarcity in India and Pakistan and also used traditionally in the management of common diseases. The present design aims to provide an insight into the medicinal potential of four solvent extracts of C. polygonoides via an assessment of its phytochemical profile, antioxidant and enzyme inhibitory potential. Phytochemical composition was estimated by deducing total bioactive constituents, UHPLC-MS secondary metabolites profile, and HPLC phenolic quantification. Antioxidant potential was determined via six methods (radical scavenging (DPPH and ABTS), reducing power (FRAP and CUPRAC), phosphomolybdenum total antioxidant capacity and metal chelation activity). Enzyme inhibitory potential was assessed against clinical enzymes (acetylcholinesterase -AChE, butyrylcholinesterase -BChE, tyrosinase, and α-amylase). The highest amounts of phenolic contents were found in chloroform extract (76.59 mg GAE/g extract) which may be attributed to its higher radical scavenging, reducing power and tyrosinase inhibition potential. The n-butanol extract containing the maximum amount of flavonoids (55.84 mg RE/g extract) exhibited highest metal chelating capacity. Similarly, the n-hexane extract was found to be most active against AChE (4.65 mg GALAE/g extract), BChE (6.59 mg GALAE/g extract), and α-amylase (0.70 mmol ACAE/g extract) enzymes. Secondary metabolite assessment of the crude methanol extract as determined by UHPLC-MS analysis revealed the presence of 24 (negative ionization mode) and 15 (positive ionization mode) secondary metabolites, with most of them belonging to phenolic, flavonoids, terpene, and alkaloid groups. Moreover, gallic acid and naringenin were the main phenolics quantified by HPLC-PDA analysis in all the tested extracts (except n-butanol extract). PCA statistical analysis was also conducted to establish any possible relationship amongst bioactive contents and biological activities. Overall, the C. polygonoides extracts could be further considered to isolate bioactive enzyme inhibitory and antioxidant natural phytocompounds.
Purslane (Portulaca oleracea L.) is an important plant naturally found as a weed in field crops and lawns. Purslane is widely distributed around the globe and is popular as a potherb in many areas of Europe, Asia, and the Mediterranean region. This plant possesses mucilaginous substances which are of medicinal importance. It is a rich source of potassium (494 mg/100 g) followed by magnesium (68 mg/100 g) and calcium (65 mg/100 g) and possesses the potential to be used as vegetable source of omega-3 fatty acid. It is very good source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and gamma-linolenic acid (LNA, 18 : 3 w3) (4 mg/g fresh weight) of any green leafy vegetable. It contained the highest amount (22.2 mg and 130 mg per 100 g of fresh and dry weight, resp.) of alpha-tocopherol and ascorbic acid (26.6 mg and 506 mg per 100 g of fresh and dry weight, resp.). The oxalate content of purslane leaves was reported as 671-869 mg/100 g fresh weight. The antioxidant content and nutritional value of purslane are important for human consumption. It revealed tremendous nutritional potential and has indicated the potential use of this herb for the future.
During the production of palm sugar, the palm sap (Arenga pinnata) is heated up to 150 degrees C. Besides the hydrolysis of carbohydrate to generate reducing sugars and degradation of amino acid, many physicochemical changes produced at all these temperatures, having a significant impact on the overall quality of palm sugar. In this study, changes in physico-chemical properties of the palm sap due to heat processing were investigated. Analysis of colour, soluble solid, pH, temperature, sugar and amino acid concentration was determinant. The results showed clearly that the heating process at these high temperatures was necessary to create an environment which was rich in essential precursors for subsequent reactions such as Maillard reaction. Chemical compounds that showed drastic changes in concentration were polar side chain amino acids especially glutamine, asparagine and arginine as well as sucrose and pH value. Other quality characteristics of palm sugar based on colour and soluble solids (Brix) shared an increase in concentration as a function of time.
In a reconnaisance soil geochemical and plant survey undertaken to study the heavy metal uptake by major food crops in Malaysia, 241 soils were analysed for cation exchange capacity (CEC), organic carbon (C), pH, electrical conductivity (EC) and available phosphorus (P) using appropriate procedures. These soils were also analysed for arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), cobalt (Co), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), mercury (Hg), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) using aqua regia digestion, together with 180 plant samples using nitric acid digestion. Regression analysis between the edible plant part and aqua regia soluble soil As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb and Zn concentrations sampled throughout Peninsular Malaysia, indicated a positive relationship for Pb in all the plants sampled in the survey (R2 = 0.195, p < 0.001), for Ni in corn (R2 = 0.649, p < 0.005), for Cu in chili (R2 = 0.344, p < 0.010) and for Zn in chili (R2 = 0.501, p < 0.001). Principal component analysis of the soil data suggested that concentrations of Co, Ni, Pb and Zn were strongly correlated with concentrations of Al and Fe, which is suggestive of evidence of background variations due to changes in soil mineralogy. Thus the evidence for widespread contamination of soils by these elements through agricultural activities is not strong. Chromium was correlated with soil pH and EC, Na, S, and Ca while Hg was not correlated with any of these components, suggesting diffuse pollution by aerial deposition. However As, Cd, Cu were strongly associated with organic matter and available and aqua regia soluble soil P, which we attribute to inputs in agricultural fertilisers and soil organic amendments (e.g. manures, composts).
Melicope pteleifolia has long been consumed as a popular vegetable and tea in Southeast Asian countries, including Malaysia and southern mainland China, and is effective in the treatment of colds and inflammation. In the search for active metabolites that can explain its traditional use as an antipyretic, six new phloroacetophenone derivatives (3-8) along with seven known compounds (1, 2, and 9-13) were isolated from the leaves of M. pteleifolia. Their chemical structures were confirmed by extensive spectroscopic analysis including NMR, IR, ECD, and HRMS. All compounds isolated from the leaves of M. pteleifolia (1-13) have a phloroacetophenone skeleton. Notably, the new compound 8 contains an additional cyclobutane moiety in its structure. The bioactivities of the isolated compounds were evaluated, and compounds 1, 6, and 7 inhibited tumor necrosis factor-α-induced prostaglandin E2. Moreover, the major constituent, 3,5-di-C-β-d-glucopyranosyl phloroacetophenone (1), was found to be responsible for the antipyretic activity of M. pteleifolia based on in vivo experiments.
Wound healing is a natural intricate cascade process involving cellular, biochemical and molecular mechanism to restore the injured or wounded tissue. Malaysia's multi-ethnic social fabric is reflected in its different traditional folk cuisines with different nutritional important ingredients. Despite these differences, there are some commonly used pantry ingredients among Malaysians and these ingredients may possess some healing power for acute and chronic wounds. These essential nutritional ingredients are included Amla (Ribes uva-crispa), Cinnamon (Cinnamomun venum), Curry Leaves (Murraya koenigii), Coriander (Coriandrum sativum), Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum), Garlic (Allium indica), Onion (Allium cepa) and Tamarind (Tamarindus indica). This article provides a review of the remedies with confirmed wound healing activities from previous experiments conducted by various researchers. Most of the researchers have focused only on the preliminary studies through appropriate model; hence detailed investigations which including pharmacological and pre-clinical studies are needed to discover its molecular mechanisms. In this review article, we have discussed about the wound healing potential of few commonly used edible plants and their known mechanism.
ABSTRACT: Environmental hygiene monitoring in the food processing environment has become important in current food safety programs to ensure safe food production. However, conventional monitoring of surface hygiene based on visual inspection and microbial counts is slow, tedious, and thus unable to support the current risk-based management system. Therefore, this study was conducted to assess the performance of a real-time total adenylate assay that detected ATP+ADP+AMP (A3) for food contact surface hygiene in 13 food processing plants and two commercial kitchens in Malaysia. The A3 value was compared with the microbial count (aerobic plate count [APC]) on food contact surfaces. Receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was performed to assess the reliability of the data and to determine the optimal threshold value for hygiene indication of food contact surfaces. Overall, the A3 value demonstrated a weak positive relationship with APC. However, the A3 value significantly correlated with APC for food processing environments associated with raw meat and raw food ingredients such as fruit that harbor a high microbial load. ROC analysis suggested an optimal threshold for the A3 value of 500 relative light units to balance the sensitivity and specificity at 0.728 and 0.719, respectively. The A3 assay as a hygiene indicator for food contact surfaces had an efficiency of 72.1%, indicating its reliability as a general hygiene indicator.