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Phytochemicals, Biological Properties, and Safety of Tropical and Subtropical Foods, Plants, or Herbals in the Western Pacific

Investigators
Yang, Jian
Institutions
University of Guam
Start date
2008
End date
2013
Objective

To address the issues and problems in food science, the research project will focus on the USDA/CSREES classified knowledge areas for research, education, and extension (USDA, 2005). The classified knowledge areas in this project include: New and Improved Food Processing Technologies (KA 501); New and Improved Food Products (KA 502); Quality Maintenance in Storing and Marketing Food Products (KA 503); Home and Commercial Food Service (KA 504), and Protect Food from Contamination by Pathogenic Microorganisms, Parasites, and Naturally Occurring Toxins (KA 712). The objectives of this research project are:

1.To develop or improve methods, techniques, or processes to maintain or improve quality or functionality of food products;

2.To identify or develop new knowledge to influence quality and functionality of foods; and

3.To determine pathogenic foodborne microorganisms in processed or inadequately processed and preserved foods in order to improve methods of food handling, processing, storage, and preparation for greater food security.

Expected Outcomes The expected outcomes and impact of this research project will be: (1) generate and publish scientific knowledge relevant to tropical foods, plants, and herbals in the areas of food science, technology and safety; (2) delivery the scientific-based information in the Western Pacific to enhance awareness, knowledge, and skills of people in food processing and preparation, improve the quality of tropical food products, and reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses in the community; and (3) develop and expand research projects at the Agriculture Experimental Station, University of Guam, to address issues and improve the quality of people's life locally, nationally, and internationally.

More information

NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY:
Food safety is an important and global public health issue with an increase of problems and consumers' concerns. Each year about 30% of population in industrialized countries suffers from foodborne illness. Every year about 150 cases associated with foodborne pathogens or illnesses are reported in Guam. Most of foodborne illness occurs in private homes and fast restaurants. Considering unreported cases, the estimated number of foodborne illness occurred on Guam are 13,000-152,000 each year. Consumer's lack of food safety knowledge and handling food improperly are attributed to the high frequency of foodborne illness. To reduce the risk of foodborne illness, it is essential to improve food processing or preparation methods and to identify antimicrobial agents from tropical or subtropical plants and herbals to kill and inhibit foodborne pathogens in foods.

APPROACH:
To achieve the objectives, research activities will include as the followings: 1.To determine phytochemicals and biological properties of tropical or subtropical foods, plants, and herbals: (1) determining phytochemicals and biological properties by identifying chemical compounds and measuring biomarkers, antioxidant capacity, and inhibition of cancer cell lines; (2) investigating chemical and biochemical changes after harvest or handling and storage of tropical and subtropical food products; and (3) studying natural colorants and preservatives from tropical and subtropical crops and plants. 2.To modify food processing to improve quality of tropical or subtropical value-added products or ingredients: (1) identifying processing and storage conditions that retain maximum bioavailability of biological components in tropical food products; (2) applying enzymes technology to process fruit juice to improve product quality and processing efficiency; and (3) investigating thermal and non-thermal pasteurization or preservation to preserve or extend the shelf life of tropical and subtropical foods. 3.To identify antimicrobial agents or chemical compounds in tropical or subtropical foods, plants, or herbals and to validate safety of ethnic foods to reduce the risk of foodborne illness in the community: (1) determining antimicrobial activity of essential oils from tropical and subtropical plants and herbals against foodborne pathogens in vitro and in foods and (2) identifying survivals of pathogens during processing or preparing and storing foods.

PROGRESS: 2012/01 TO 2012/12

OUTPUTS:
To achieve the objective of modifying food processing to improve quality of tropical or subtropical value-added products, we studied the recipe for stirred soursop (Annona muricata) fruit yogurt and determine the effect of soursop fruit pulp on the survival of probiotics in soursop yogurt. The pasteurized soursop fruit pulp was mixed with commercial whole milk and low fat yogurts at a ratio of 5/4 (yogurt/fruit) and sugar at 7% of the mixture. The commercial yogurts contained six probiotic bacteria (L. acidophilus, L. bigaricus, L. casei, L. rhamnosus, S. thermophiles, B. bifidum) at 109 cfu/mL of viable cells. The stirred soursop probiotic yogurts were stored at 4 C for 7 days for sampling. The samples of stirred soursop yogurt at 0, 3, 7 days were plated on MRS media and incubated at 30 C for 48 hours. After the incubation, the colonies of probiotics were counted and expressed as log cfu/mL. PARTICIPANTS: Yang, J., principle investigator, and Nguyen, C., research associate, Western Pacific Tropical Center, University of Guam. Elizaga, J.E., student in a high school on Guam. TARGET AUDIENCES: Target audiences were local residents and consumers. During this research, a high school student was advised and trained to collect and analyze data and presented results. With the research results, we conducted two workshops "Stirred soursop probiotic yogurt by fresh or pasteurized pulp" in the community of Guam. Residents and soursop consumers learned how to use soursop fruit to prepare stirred soursop probiotic yogurt for health benefits. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

PROGRESS: 2011/01/01 TO 2011/12/31

OUTPUTS:
To achieve the objective to develop new technology to improve the quality and functional properties of foods, we determined the effect of pH and added-sugar on the survival of probiotics in soursop (Annona muricata) nectar. PARTICIPANTS: Yang, J., principle investigator, Western Pacific Tropical Research Center, University of Guam. Gadi, R., research assistant, Western Pacific Tropical Research Center, University of Guam. Training or professional development TARGET AUDIENCES: Afaisen, S. (graduate student); Nguen, C. and Rivera, C. (undergraduate students), College of Natural and Applied Science, University of Guam. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

PROGRESS: 2010/01/01 TO 2010/12/31

OUTPUTS:
To achieve the objective to develop new technology to improve the quality and functional properties of foods, we developed a pasteurized and vacuum-packaged soursop (Annona muricata) puree with shelf-life of 3 months in refrigeration. We determined the optimum conditions of pasteurization and studied the quality of the soursop puree during storage under refrigeration. We also developed a soursop probiotic drink, studying the survival of probiotics in soursop nectar. PARTICIPANTS: Jian Yang, Ph.D., associate professor in food science, Western Pacific Tropical Research Center, College of Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Guam. Rama Gadi, M.S., research assistant, Western Pacific Tropical Research Center, College of Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Guam. Three undergraduate students, College of Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Guam. TARGET AUDIENCES: entrepreneurs, farmers, and residents on Guam PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Not relevant to this project.

PROGRESS: 2009/01/01 TO 2009/12/31

OUTPUTS:
To identify antimicrobial agents or chemical compounds in tropical plants, we determined antimicrobial activity of essential oils??volatile compounds??from tropical noni (Marinda citrifolia L.) fruits and also ananalyze the valotile compounds from the noni fruit essential oils. PARTICIPANTS:The principle investigator is Dr. Jian Yang, associate professor at the Western Pacific Tropical Research Center, College of Natural and Applied Science, University of Guam. A research assistant, Rama Gadi, worked on this project. A univeristy undergraduate student,Shayna Afaisen, received research training from this project. TARGET AUDIENCES: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
GUA0571
Accession number
217054
Categories
Natural Toxins
Bacterial Pathogens
Parasites
Commodities
Dairy