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Abstract

In this study the efficiency of horseradish Amorica rusticana leaf, and Levisticum officinale lovage leaf and stem extracts for the stabilisation of rapeseed oil during storage was evaluated. Plant extracts were added to unrefined rapeseed oil in a concentration of 1% by weight, which was chosen based on the results of previous experiments studying the possibilities of the addition of different concentrations of plant extracts for extending the shelf life of the oil. As a control a rapeseed oil sample without extracts was analysed, and for comparison butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) in the maximum allowed concentration was added to the oil. The efficiency of the extracts in oil was tested in the dark and in the light/dark cycles (day/night regime). For all samples the peroxide value, acid value and DPPH scavenging activity were determined. The oil samples with the added plant extracts stored in the dark oxidised significantly (p < 0.05) slower than the control sample and the sample with BHT. After 24 weeks of storage, the lowest peroxide value was in the sample with the lovage stem extract. The extracts contain compounds that could absorb light (for example chlorophyll) and in the light/dark conditions accelerate oxidation in oil. Among the analysed extracts the lovage stem extract was the most effective oil oxidation inhibitor, but horseradish leaf extract was the most effective DPPH radical scavenger.

Abstract

The study was carried out to investigate the influence of sous vide treatment (80 °C/15 min) and high pressure processing (700 MPa/10 min/20 °C) on nutritional characteristics of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp. cv. Fradel) and maple pea (Pisum sativum var. arvense L. cv. Bruno) spreads after processing and 62-day storage at 5 ± 1 °C temperature, to evaluate overall acceptance of processed pulse spreads after 22-day storage and to analyse nutrient coverage of pulse spreads compared to reference intake for adolescents and adults. Pulse spreads were made of cooked pulse seeds to which salt, citric acid, oil, and seasoning was added. Pulse spreads were hermetically sealed under vacuum in PA/PE and PET/ALU/PA/PP pouches. Nutritional composition was determined according to standard methods; overall acceptance was determined using a 5-point hedonic scale. Nutrient coverage by one serving of pulse spreads for adolescents and adults was compared to nutrient recommendations given by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Latvia. The results suggest that processing technologies and packaging materials did not influence nutritional value of pulse spreads (p > 0.1). Hedonic evaluation by consumers (n = 90) showed that processing technologies did not influence the overall acceptance of cowpea and maple pea spreads (p > 0.1).

Abstract

In the absence of a mandatory salt iodisation programme, two nationwide cross-sectional cluster surveys revealed persisting iodine deficiency among Latvian schoolchildren during the spring season and a noteworthy iodine deficiency in pregnant women in Latvia; these deficiencies warrant intervention. The consequences of mild-to-moderate iodine deficiency during pregnancy and lactation can adversely affect foetal brain development. Data from a Latvian population survey revealed the consumption of approximately 100 μg of iodine per day through foods and iodised salt. Therefore, strategies to increase the consumption of iodine-containing products should be implemented, particularly for children. In addition, to meet the increased iodine requirement during pregnancy, pregnant women should take daily supplements containing 150 μg iodine from the earliest time possible. All women of childbearing age should be advised to increase their dietary iodine intake by using iodised table salt and iodine-rich products: seafood, milk and milk products. For women with pre-existing thyroid pathologies, the medical decision should be considered on a case-by-case basis. Urinary iodine concentration monitoring among schoolchildren and pregnant women and neonatal thyrotropin registry analysis every five years would be an appropriate strategy for maintaining iodine intake within the interval that prevents iodine deficiency disorders.

Abstract

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) states that it is essential for people to understand what constitutes a healthy diet and to know how to use their resources in the most effective way. Iodine is an essential nutrient for mammals, required as a mandatory structural and functional element of thyroid hormones. Previous studies in Latvia highlighted a tendency of reduced level of iodine for newborns, school-age children and pregnant women. No studies in the general adult population had been conducted yet. The aim of the study was to evaluate the level of knowledge regarding the role of iodine in nutrition in the adult population of Latvia. In total 199 adults participated in the survey. Data on the knowledge about the occurrence of iodine in nature and foodstuffs, the role of iodine in nutrition, and its deficiency were obtained. Results of the survey showed that only 4.5% of respondents used iodised salt daily in the diet. One-fourth knew that iodine is widely found in the environment and more than one-third knew all of the main functions of iodine in the human body. Salt and sea food were mentioned as the most common iodine sources. While iodised salt is used rarely, public awareness about the role of iodine is good and potential iodine deficiency in Latvia is likely due to unbalanced diet rather than lack of knowledge.

Abstract

The positive benefits of dietary fibre (DF) include regulation of the intestinal transit, prevention of risk or treatment of diabetes, and prevention of cardiovascular diseases, colon cancer, and obesity. The aim of this study was to collect information on knowledge about dietary fibre of citizens of Latvia. The questionnaire consisted of 22 questions. Its aim was to evaluate knowledge in three distinct areas: six concerning knowledge about food fibres; six — about the relation between fibres and various foods, and ten about the relation between fibres and diseases. The methodological study was conducted involving 231 participants, of which 83.5% were female and 16.5% male, aged between 18 and 80 years. The respondents were selected by convenience, and they differed in age, literacy, gender, geographical area of residence, and included people from different cities and smaller villages. 67% of the respondents considered that consumption of sufficient amounts of fibres can prevent or treat different diseases. 85% of respondents noted that legumes (peas, beans) are a source of fibres, but that it was more possible to take up the fibre with a combination of vegetables and animal products. The questionnaire revealed that respondents are aware of the benefits of fibre consumption for promoting health and treating some diseases.

Abstract

Meat consumption during the first year of life is especially important to provide necessary iron requirements. The aim of the study was to assess meat and meat product consumption of Latvian infants during their first year of life, in relation to different factors. Data were collected by interview method using two types of questionnaires: food frequency questionnaires and food diary. The study included a representative sample of infants and toddlers from all regions of Latvia with a target sample of 560 participants. The study included 266 infants: 127 girls, 139 boys, aged from 0 to 12 month. Data were summarised using the Excel software and analysed using the SPSS software. For data analysis two age groups were created: 0–5.9 months and 6–12 months. Consumption was analysed by two parameters: frequency and amount per feeding. Meat products were defined as offal products, sausages, and meat in baby food. Meat was mainly consumed after 6 months of age and by 73% of infants (n = 107). Meat from baby food was consumed only after 6 months and by 23% (n = 34). Sausages and offal products were consumed after 6 months of age. Sausages were consumed by 18% (n = 28) and offal products by 11% (n = 16) of infants. Meat consumption for the majority of infants was introduced after 6 months and was in accordance with recommendations.

Abstract

Grape surface is an unstable habitat that changes greatly according to the stage of grape ripening. Different bacteria and yeasts can colonise the surface of grape berry and the diversity of microorganisms depends on the stage of ripening, pesticide application and health condition. The aim of this study was to study the microflora of the surface of grape berries. Altogether, 19 grape samples from Slovakia were collected. The spread plate method was applied and a 100 μL inoculum of each dilution (10−2, 10−3) was plated on TSA, MEA, and MRS agar for isolation of microorganisms from grapes. Proteins were extracted from cells by ethanol/formic acid extraction procedure. MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometry was used for identification of microorganisms. In total, 11 genera of Gram-negative bacteria, 11 of Gram-positive bacteria and nine of yeasts were identified. Among 200 isolates, Gram-negative, Gram-positive bacteria and yeasts represented 11%, 27% and 62% of the total number of isolates studied. The most common genera of isolated yeasts were Hanseniaspora (37%), Metschnikowia (31%), and Rhodotorula (10%). The most frequently isolated among Gram-negative bacteria were Acinetobacter (22%), Pseudomonas (22%) and Sphingomonas (13%). The most common genera of Gram-positive bacteria were Bacillus (20%), Lactobacillus (19%), Leuconostoc and Staphylococcus (11%), respectively.

Abstract

Milk and dairy products are studied as alternative iodine sources, because salt iodisation is controversial due to high salt consumption leading to cardiovascular diseases. However, the iodine concentration in milk markedly varies. This study evaluated the iodine concentration in cow’s milk available in the Latvian market. Iodine and fat concentration was analysed with a spectrophotometer “Varian Cary 50” based ISO 2446:2008 in 20 milk samples. Data from the Central Statistical Bureau and survey among pregnant women were used to analyse milk product consumption and its impact on iodine status. Average iodine concentration in milk samples was 457.6 (179.6) μg/L, winter samples had a higher concentration of iodine than summer samples: 563.4 (329.6) μg/L and 469.2 (162.0) μg/L, but this is not statistically significant p < 0.05. Iodine concentration in skimmed milk was 490 μg/L, milk with the reduced fat content 501.7 (174.8) μg/L, and whole milk — 422.6 (192.1)1 μg/L. Milk consumption decreased from 2002 to 2014, while yogurt and cheese consumption increased. Higher consumption of milk and milk products was related to higher urinary iodine concentration ρ = 0.115; p = 0.003. Milk and milk products are an important iodine source in Latvia and their consumption should be promoted.

Abstract

Triticale (× Triticosecale Wittm.) is mainly used for animal feed, but recent studies have shown its possible beneficial effect for human health. The objective of this study was to investigate the nutritional quality of triticale grown under different cropping systems in Latvia. Two winter triticale varieties, ‘Inarta’ and ‘Ruja’, were cultivated in 2014 and 2015 under conventional and organic cropping systems. Protein, starch, and total dietary fibre were determined using standard methods. Ultrasound assisted extraction was used for isolation of phenolic compounds. Total phenol content (TPC) and radical scavenging activity in extracts were determined spectrophotometrically. Overall, the highest content of protein, TPC and ABTS cation scavenging activity occurred in triticale harvested in 2014, due to favourable weather conditions (warm weather and more precipitation in June–July) for accumulation of these compounds during grain filling. Higher starch content in all studied samples harvested in 2015, as compared to 2014, was explained by higher precipitation in July 2015. The type of cropping system had no significant effect (p > 0.05) on protein and starch content, while TPC, DPPH, and ABTS·+ scavenging activity was influenced by cropping system, depending on variety.

Abstract

The resources for optimal growth are biologically valuable substances that ensure life, and their consumption needs to be balanced and moderate with an adequate eating plan. Survey showed that 84% of respondents chose food products with low nutritional value and high energy value. The general aim of the research was to evaluate the eating habits of primary school pupils and to compare the tendencies in city and regional schools. Catering services are very different schools of Latvia in terms of both mealtimes and prices. Basic criteria were elaborated for estimation of catering quality for children in schools. It was found that 36% of school children in out-of-school conditions regularly consumed snacks with simple carbohydrates on a daily basis. For better utilisation of food, fresh unprocessed fruits and berries with high mineral and vitamin content have great significance. Pectin found in black currants is used as a natural gelling agent. Structured fruit puree was found to have the most important physical-chemical and sensory parameters. Recommendations to improve healthy eating habits of school children were developed.