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Open access

Paolo Manfredi, Chiara Cassinari, Roberta Salvi, Raffaella Battaglia, Adriano Marocco and Marco Trevisan

Summary

Reconstitution is a pedotechnique to counter land degradation and desertification. The reconstitution, patented by the research laboratory m.c.m. Ecosistemi, applies chemical-mechanical actions to a mixture of degraded soil and matrices (such as waste sludge) in order to produce reconstituted soil, a very high fertility soil. This paper is about a pot study in a greenhouse to investigate how reconstituted soil affects emergence speed and seminal roots development of Zea mays L. seedlings, in comparison with a Technosol. 200 seedlings are monitored up to the 16th day after the seeding. The emergence percentage is 98% on reconstituted soil and 91% on Technosol. Average length and weight of fresh seminal roots are higher on reconstituted soil.

Open access

Lucia Palšová

Abstract

The protection of the qualitative aspects of agricultural land is in the interests of both Slovakia and the European Union. Several policy documents have emerged in the European Union over the last few years, however, they have not been legally binding, as the EU Member States refuse all binding legal acts in this area. Therefore, solving the problem of agricultural land protection is left to the exclusive competence of the EU Member States. On the other hand, problems related to agricultural land cross the borders of states and that is why the Department of Law, Faculty of European Studies and Regional Development, Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra submitted an international research project under the Erasmus + program, Key Action 3: Jean Monnet entitled “Central European Initiative on Agricultural Land Protection”. The aim is to strengthen the dialogue between key stakeholders in the protection of agricultural land in Central Europe what will have a positive impact on the achievement of the EU agri-environmental and food policy objectives.

Open access

Dragan Radojković, Radomir Savić, Mladen Popovac, Čedomir Radović and Marija Gogić

Summary

The share of variance components and correlations between the most important sow production traits (namely duration of fattening - DF, backfat thickness - BF and number of liveborn piglets - NBA) included in the pig breeding selection programme of the Republic of Serbia were estimated in this paper. The litter size at repeated farrowings (NBA1,..., NBA6) was treated as a separate trait (the multi-trait model), whereas the litter size at birth was treated as a trait repeated a number of times (the repeatability model)). The estimation of dispersion parameters was performed using the Restricted Maximum Likelihood (REML) method. The heritability of DF accounted for 23.5%, i.e. 23.3% depending on the model used, whereas BF accounted for 40.4% in both cases. The heritability of the litter size in consecutive farrowings (the multi-trait model) were in intervals ranging between 0.104 (NBA1) and 0.136 (NBA5). The heritability of NBA in the repeatability treatment accounted for 0.106, whereas the common litter environment and the permanent sow influence contributed to the total variability with 1.1% and 5.6%, respectively. Genetic correlations between the traits examined were not determined, with the exception of consecutive farrowings in the multi-trait treatment of the litter size. The genetic correlations recorded in this case proved positive and complete, with the exception of the correlation between the first and subsequent farrowings (farrowings 3 to 6) and the correlation between the second and the last farrowings (farrowings 5 and 6), which proved very strong.

Open access

R. Juhászné Tóth and J. Csapó

Abstract

The role of selenium has been changed over the last decade. The element that was previously considered to be toxic turned out to be present in the human body in amounts of 10–15 mg, and almost every cell of our body contains it. Selenium contributes to growth, supports healthy muscle activity, reproductive organs, reduces the toxicity of certain elements such as mercury, supports the immune system, and even delays the spread of certain viruses (influenza, Ebola, HIV). Selenium-deficient areas of Europe could be a risk for their populations. The recommended daily intake (RDA) of selenium is 55 µg/day, while WHO and FAO have set up the daily tolerable dose at 400 µg/day. We must count with the harmful effects of selenium overdose, but it is almost impossible to introduce this amount into our body solely with food. Our selenium sources can be refilled with food supplements or selenium-enriched functional foods. In the review article, we report about the role of selenium in the environment, selenium-enriched plants, selenium-enriched yeast, the role of selenium in animal feed and in the human body, the opportunities of selenium restoration, selenium-enriched animal products, and the selenium content of milk.

Open access

Monika Bumbalová

Abstract

Provision of services by public sector is a concept, which has been implemented for many decades in various forms of economic arrangement. Public sector policies and public services have significant impact on almost all spheres of life including agriculture. Throughout the history, there were times with smaller and bigger importance of public sector within the economy. The conditions of public sector always depend on the actual trend applied in the sphere of public administration and public management. After the period of New Public Management accompanied by leaning away from the “public” concept, a return to stronger statehood and more intensive public sector can be seen. There are several reasons for such development, which are also called megatrends. Urbanization, demography and social changes, climate changes and development of technology belong to the most intensive ones. The presented review paper deals with the description of the mentioned trends and provides a reflexion on their influence on the public sector and provision of public services in particular.

Open access

J. Csapó, Cs. Albert and D. Kiss

Abstract

We have developed methods for the production of protected methionine and protected lysine, making use of the reaction between citric acid and malic acid as well as methionine and lysine, on the one hand, and of the interaction between swollen bentonite and the two amino acids, on the other hand. Our in vivo and in vitro experiments have demonstrated that one part of the amino acids transformed during the reaction, while another part bound on the bentonite’s surface to a significant degree. Assisted by the reaction between hydroxycarboxylic acids and amino acids, we achieved a protection of about 75% for methionine and 60% for lysine, that is, 25% of the methionine and 40% of the lysine appeared in the free amino acid fraction. The swollen bentonite bound 75% of the added methionine and 60% of the added lysine. Our chemical analyses have demonstrated that through the time–temperature combinations applied by us the methionine and lysine do not undergo significant degradation and can be fully released from the protected form. Further, our in vitro experiments using rumen fluid from fistulated cattle showed that during the average retention time of the fodder in the rumen the protected amino acids will resist microbial enzymes and maintain their protected status during their presence in the rumen.

Open access

J. Csapó, D. Kiss and Cs. Albert

Abstract

Prebiotics are such indigestible food ingredients that enter the colon and serve as nutrient for bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. Since fibres and oligosaccharides are the typical prebiotics, we produced prebiotics in our experiments with the reaction of lactose and malic acid as well as citric acid, where these reactions made use of an appropriate concentration of these substances, had an adequate duration, and were carried out under optimal temperature conditions. We determined the optimal parameters of the reaction, measured the loss of the starting materials as well as the increase in concentration of the end-product, and analysed the total sugar content of the hydrolysed prebiotics after hydrolysis by hydrochloric acid. In vitro experiments were performed to demonstrate our end-product’s resistance to carbohydrate-degrading enzymes, which is a fundamental requirement for a prebiotic so that upon reaching the colon it can serve as nutrient for the probiotic bacteria found there.

Open access

J. Csapó and Cs. Albert

Abstract

The research subject is the elaboration of a method and procedure for processing feather from poultry slaughterhouses and using it as antioxidant as well as for satisfying the sulphurous amino acid needs of ruminants. We investigated the level of digestion of the meal feather obtained with our technology, its antioxidant effect and role in the rumen fermentation of the ruminants. Making use of the digested feather meal’s antioxidant effect and amino acid composition, we make a suggestion for the preparation to be used as antioxidant and for the satisfaction of the sulphurous amino acid needs of ruminants. By adopting this procedure, the valueless feather can be transformed into a useful feed supplement (natural antioxidant, sulphur source) that can bring about significant economic growth. Pre-trials have been performed successfully, and in what follows we’ll need to prove through field trials and pilot-scale experiments that feather meal can be produced and utilized economically as antioxidant in monogastric animals and as a sulphur source in the studying of ruminants.

Open access

J. Csapó and Cs. Albert

Abstract

We have developed a new procedure for reducing soy trypsin inhibitor activity by means of heat treatment combined with chemical methods, through which soy trypsin inhibitor activity decreases to the tenth or twentieth part of the original value. We determined the optimal concentration of the applied chemicals (hydrogen-peroxide, ammonium-hydroxide) as well as the optimal temperature and duration of the treatment. The chemical procedure combined with heat treatment results in lower energy consumption as compared to the original heat treatment methods.

Open access

Benjamin Oyelami, Jonathan Akinwale and Ademola Ladele

Summary

Over the years, provision of extension and advisory services has been the main thrust of both the public and private extension services in Nigeria. Meanwhile, the lead farmer extension approach has been deployed for cost effectiveness, broader reach and sustainability. The utility value of this approach needs to be empirically established. This study therefore examined the extent to which the approach has achieved the intended objectives among randomly sampled maize farmers in Iseyin and Saki-West Local Government Areas (LGAs). Interview schedule and focus group discussion among farmer groups were used for the study. Lead farmer extension approach was cost and time effective vis-a-vis the number of farmers reached and the achieved outcome. Almost 70% of the lead farmers encountered late arrivals and impatience from group members during step-down training activities while all of them complained of insufficient funds for refreshment. About 65% of the farmers engaged in selective adoption of the training items owing to various reasons. There was also a significant difference between the knowledge level of the lead farmers and their respective group members while the group members’ assessment of their respective lead farmers’ performance was high. The study concluded that this extension approach was effective and could serve to complement the efforts of extension workers in the state.