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  • Author: Raquel P.F. Guiné x
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Analysis of the physical-chemical and sensorial properties of Maria type cookies


Given the importance of the cookies of type Maria worldwide, and considering the absence of any scientific study setting out their main features, it becomes important to identify the differentiating characteristics of several commercialized brands, in particular related to the chemical, physical and sensory characteristics. In this way, the aim of this work was to study and compare eight different brands of cookies of type Maria. The elemental chemical analysis (moisture, ash, protein, fat, fibre and carbohydrates contents), determination of physical parameters (volume, density, texture and colour) and sensory evaluation of studied cookies were performed. Multivariate statistical methods (Pearson correlation, principal component analysis and cluster analysis) were applied to estimating relationships in analysed data. The results for the elemental analysis showed that the samples were very similar in terms of some components, like for example ashes, while quite different in terms of other components, such as moisture and fat contents. With respect to texture and colour the samples showed, in general, some important differences. In terms of sensory evaluation, the sample C was the one that in most sensory tests gathered the preference of the panellists. The cluster analysis showed that the sample A was much different from the other samples. The results of principal component analysis showed that the main component explains 32.6 % of the total variance, and is strongly related to variables associated to colour.

Open access
Latvian Citizens’ Knowledge about Dietary Fibre


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.

Open access
Perceptions towards healthy diet of the Portuguese according to area of work or studies



A healthy diet is crucial for the maintenance of health. Therefore, the aim of this work is to evaluate the perceptions towards a healthy diet among the participants with work or studies in areas related to diet and nutrition and those who did not.


Anonymous questionnaire data was collected in a cross-sectional study on a non-probabilistic sample of 902 participants living in Portugal.


The results showed that the participants’ perceptions were, in general, compliant with a healthy diet. However, significant differences were found between gender (p=0.004), between the different civil state groups (p=0.016), between the participants who were responsible for buying their own food and those who were not and also regarding the living environment. The variable area of work or studies also showed significant differences (p=0.001), so that people who had work or studies related to agriculture obtained a higher score. Regarding this variable, the mean values of nutrition and agriculture areas were not statistically different between them, but were statistically different from the mean values of psychology and health areas. The participants who had work or studies in areas showing diet and nutrition-related issues achieved a higher mean score (0.72±0.35) when compared to the participants who did not (0.58±0.30).


However, despite the results, it is important to continue developing campaigns that better communicate nutritional aspects, so that people can increase their knowledge on this subject.

Open access
Perception of Healthy Eating among Romanian Adults


Background: Totaling about 60% of all causes of death, chronic illnesses are the main cause of global mortality. Unhealthy behaviors, such as unbalanced eating or insufficient physical activity, can trigger metabolic changes, manifested by hypertension, high blood sugar, hyperlipidemia, obesity. These changes are grouped into the category of metabolic risk factors. Over time, these factors can cause cardiovascular diseases associated with a high mortality rate.

Aim of the study: To evaluate the perception of healthy eating in a Romanian population.

Material and methods: We applied a validated online questionnaire aimed to investigate people’s attitude towards diet and their motivation regarding food consumption in ten countries, based on an international project. For the present paper, we evaluated a Romanian sample of 821 adult respondents.

Results: Most of the subjects (82.82%) were from an urban area, and 68.94% were women. Regarding the prevalence of chronic diseases, 3.53% of participants had cardiovascular disease, 6.69% had high cholesterol levels, 7.18% were obese, and 6.57% were suffering from high blood pressure. Significant correlations have been identified between calorie count, excessive sugar and salt consumption, gender variables, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and high blood pressure. Also, tradition is very important in relation to eating behaviors, being highly correlated with obesity. The general direction of answers was correct, even if half of the questionnaire items were formulated in a ‘negative’ way, and disagreement is needed for a consistent response with a correct perception of healthy diets. The overall perception of healthy eating was consistent with scientific information in the field.

Conclusion: Women are generally better informed than men regarding healthy eating. Also, there is a possible conflict between traditional food-related cultural values and modern nutritional guidelines based on scientific information.

Open access
Consumer knowledge and attitudes toward healthy eating in Croatia: a cross-sectional study


Unlike fast and restaurant food, diet rich in fibre is known to contribute significantly to health. The aim of our study was to assess eating habits such as consumption of fibre-rich, fast, and restaurant food of the general population in Croatia. For this purpose we used a validated survey designed by the Polytechnic Institute Viseu in Portugal, which includes questions about demographics, good eating habits related to the consumption of the main sources of dietary fibre (fruit, vegetables, and whole grains), and unhealthy eating habits related to the consumption of fast food and restaurant meals. Between October 2014 and March 2015 we received answers from 2,536 respondents aged between 18-70 years, of whom 67.4 % were women and 32.6 % were men. Most respondents reported consuming one serving of vegetables and one piece of fruit a day, and whole grains every other day. Women and urban residents reported consuming larger amounts of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains than men (p<0.001). Men, in turn, reported eating out and eating fast food more often than women (p<0.001). Eating out highly correlated with eating fast food, which translates to lower consumption of dietary fibre (p<0.001). Higher education correlated positively with the consumption of fibre-rich food, but it also correlated positively with the consumption of fast and restaurant food (p<0.001). While eating fast food is not the predominant dietary practice in Croatia, over 50 % of respondents have reported eating fast food at least once a week. Our data also indicate that consumption of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains falls below the national and international dietary recommendations.

Open access