Open Access Grey Literature

CWD in Norway – A State of Emergency for the Future of Cervids (Phase II)

Helge Hansen, Georg Kapperud, Atle Mysterud, Erling J. Solberg, Olav Strand, Michael Tranulis, Bjørnar Ytrehus, Maria Gulbrandsen Asmyhr, Danica Grahel-Ogden, Karl Eckner, Jørgen Lassen, Judith Narvhus, Truls Nesbakken, Lucy Robertson, Jan Thomas Rosnes, Olaug Taran Skjerdal, Eystein Skjerve, Line Vold, Yngvild Wastson

European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, Page 297-300
DOI: 10.9734/ejnfs/2019/v9i330069

The Norwegian Food Safety Authority (Mattilsynet, NFSA) and the Norwegian Environment Agency (Miljødirektoratet, NEA) requested the Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety (Vitenskapskomiteen for mattrygghet, VKM) for a scientific opinion on Chronic wasting disease (CWD) in cervids. The project was divided into two phases, and VKM published the scientific opinion from phase I “CWD in Norway” in June 2016. The current report is the result of phase II.

 VKM was asked to provide updated information on food safety, aspects important for transmission of CWD within and between populations and species, and the potential origin of the disease in Norway. Moreover, VKM was asked to highlight important risk factors with regard to disease transmission, and how these risk factors might affect choice of management strategy. Finally, VKM was asked to highlight relevant management strategies from North America or elsewhere.

 VKM appointed a working group consisting of one member of the Panel on Microbial Ecology, one member of the Panel on Biological Hazards, and five external experts, as well as VKM`s secretariat to answer the questions from NEA and NFSA. One member of the Panel on Alien Organisms and Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), one member of the Panel on Animal Health and Welfare, as well as one member of the Panel on Biological Hazards commented on the draft report. The Panel on Biological Hazards assessed and approved the final report.

 Background:

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a prion disease that affects deer, moose, reindeer, and related species (cervids). Prion diseases are chronic neurodegenerative diseases that occur naturally in humans and ruminants, and are invariably fatal. Some prion diseases, such as classical scrapie in sheep and goats and chronic wasting disease (CWD) in cervids, are contagious, spreading directly between animals or via environmental contamination. In contrast, prion diseases known to affect humans are not known to be contagious.

 Prions are extraordinary agents consisting of misfolded protein aggregates that are remarkably stable and can remain infectious for years in the environment. Prion proteins are present in most animals, but the misfolding makes them very hard to break down. Consequently, misfolded prion proteins accumulate in the brain and eventually in other tissues, causing damage to those tissues.

Until recently, CWD was only known from North America and South Korea. During a routine marking event in April 2016, a female reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) of the Nordfjella wild reindeer herd in Norway exhibited unusual behaviour, and died shortly afterwards. This unusual death was routinely investigated, and the animal was diagnosed with CWD. This was the first time CWD had been diagnosed outside North America and South Korea and the first case of natural CWD in reindeer.

In addition, two moose (Alces alces) in Selbu, Norway were diagnosed with CWD in May 2016. Selbu is located approximately 300 km northeast of the Nordfjella mountain range. Currently there is considerable uncertainty regarding the nature of the CWD diagnosed in the two moose. Some of the characteristics of these cases indicate consistency with atypical prion disease, as described in domestic animals, but a final conclusion depends on the results from ongoing investigations.

Following the diagnosis in reindeer, Norwegian authorities initiated a screening programme in which hunters were requested to collect tissue and the heads of dead cervids during the 2016 hunting season. Animals that had died from causes other than hunting were also tested for CWD. Since March 2016, 4629 samples of moose, 2550 samples of red deer, 627 samples of roe deer, 860 samples of reindeer, 2494 semi-domesticated reindeer, 163 farmed deer and 104 samples of unidentified species were tested for CWD.

Two additional cases of CWD were diagnosed in wild reindeer in the Nordfjella population. Together with a clinical, pathological and epidemiological picture consistent with contagious CWD, as described from North America, this indicated that there is an ongoing outbreak of CWD in the wild reindeer population of the northern part of Nordfjella wild reindeer range.

Results:

An increase in the distribution and prevalence of CWD will increase exposure of other species, including domestic animals and humans, to this infectious agent. There is currently no evidence indicating transmission of CWD to domestic animals or humans, either by direct contact with cervids, cervid meat, or other products from cervids, or through the environment. VKM continues to support the conclusion from phase I concerning food safety of meat from cervids, that the zoonotic risk of CWD (transmission to humans) is very low. Preliminary results from characterisation of the moose cases and the agent involved indicate that important features deviate significantly from those found in the reindeer and in North American cervids, raising uncertainty with regards to the zoonotic potential. Therefore, based on the data currently available, VKM is not able to reach an evidence-based conclusion regarding the food safety of meat from moose and other cervids infected with this potentially new variant of CWD.

Whereas direct transmission (animal-to-animal) seems most important in the early phases of a CWD epizootic, the role of indirect transmission (from the environment) increases as the prevalence increases. Once contagious CWD is established, it is very likely that the disease will increase in prevalence within the affected population and spread to contact populations. The rate of increase in prevalence, the resulting impact in a given population, and the efficacy of spread will depend on a range of environmental factors, and the characteristics of the species and population in question. For example, in affected populations of a gregarious species like reindeer, CWD is likely to lead to population decline in the long-term.

Experiences from North America indicate that prions aggregate in the environment, making eradication of the disease extremely difficult once it has been allowed to develop and become endemic. It is therefore important that efficient measures are implemented at the VKM Report 2017:9 9 earliest opportunity in order to have a realistic chance of eradicating local occurrence of CWD and preventing further spread.

Contagious CWD found in a confinable population, such as many wild reindeer herds, should be managed by eradication of the host population, fallowing of the area (> 5 years), and restocking from a healthy population.

The report explains that culling of the Nordfjella reindeer herd is a necessary, immediate response to the current situation. However, as part of an adaptive management strategy, this measure should be under active review and may be revised in the event that new cases of CWD are discovered.

In contrast, in continuous populations, such as most red deer, moose, and roe deer populations, spatially targeted culling within a defined containment zone should be used to control a CWD outbreak. Confinement of CWD-infected populations should be increased where possible and contact with other populations of cervids restricted, for example by fencing, herding, enhancing natural or man-made obstacles, or decreasing the densities of the relevant cervid populations.

Potential “hotspots” for disease transmission (supplementary salt-licks, supplementary feeding sites etc.) should be eliminated in areas with CWD as well as the surrounding areas, and should further be considered for other parts of the country. Precautionary measures should be implemented to prevent anthropogenic spread of the disease.

Finally, increasing the national surveillance of CWD in cervids is essential to ensure that there is a comprehensive basis for future evidence-based management. This is required to ensure that cases and spread of disease are identified as soon as possible, as late discovery will limit the chances for successful eradication of CWD in Norway.

Open Access Grey Literature

CWD in Norway

Michael Tranulis, Morten Tryland, Georg Kapperud, Eystein Skjerve, Roar Gudding, Danica Grahel-Ogden, Karl Eckner, Jørgen Lassen, Judith Narvhus, Truls Nesbakken, Lucy Robertson, Jan Thomas Rosnes, Olaug Taran Skjerdal, Line Vold, Siamak Yazdankhah, Yngvild Wastson

European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, Page 301-302
DOI: 10.9734/ejnfs/2019/v9i330070

The Norwegian Food Safety Authority (NFSA) and Norwegian Environmental Authority (NEA) asked the Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety (Vitenskapskomiteen for mattrygghet, VKM) for an opinion on factors associated with the introduction of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) to Norway. VKM appointed a working group consisting of two members of the Panel on Biological Hazards, one member of Panel on Animal Health and Welfare, and two external experts to prepare the answer to the questions. The Panel on Biological Hazards has reviewed and revised the draft prepared by the working group and approved the opinion.

CWD was diagnosed in March 2016 in a wild reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) from the Nordfjella mountain area in Norway and in May and June in two mooses (Alces alces) in Selbu in South Trøndelag County, approximately 300 km north from the first case.

There is currently no information to determine the origin(s) of CWD agents in Norway. However, the sporadic or genetic (somatic mutation) occurrence of prion disease in cervids cannot be excluded, nor can introduction from North America or other countries. Furthermore, there is no evidence that it has not been circulating at low levels in the Norwegian cervid populations for years, but has not previously been identified. In this scientific opinion, information on prion diseases in general, and CWD in particular, is presented in the light of experiences with this disease in North America.

Prions are among the most resilient pathogens known and dissemination of prions into ecosystems is likely to result in long-term problems. Prions bind strongly to soil and remain infectious. In CWD, prions are present in most peripheral organs and also shed into the environment via saliva, faeces, and urine, as well as with the placenta. CWD transmits easily among cervids, either through direct contact, or indirectly via the environment. Migration of animals is relevant for the spread between areas. Strain diversification might occur in CWD and may influence transmission properties of the agents.

Clinical signs of CWD are non-specific and do not alone enable confirmation of the diagnosis. Analysis of tissue from the brainstem at the level of the obex by approved methods is necessary for diagnosis of CWD. Prion infectivity is assessed by bioassays, often involving transgenic mice. In vitro conversion assays, like protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA), provide sensitive quantification of converting activity, which is a good approximation of infectivity.

Genetic variation (polymorphisms) in the gene that encodes PrP (PRNP) can modulate sensitivity towards CWD. The level of such genetic variation in Norwegian wild and semi-domesticated cervids is currently unknown.

 Cattle and sheep are at very low risk of developing CWD and it is highly unlikely that prion diseases in sheep or cattle are the origin of CWD.

 Although transmission of CWD to humans has never been known to occur, and animals other than cervids have not been found to be infected, indicating a species barrier, this possibility cannot be excluded. Thus, measures for reduction of human exposure are recommended. Taking into account uncertainties regarding the plasticity of the CWD agents and the lack of transmission data from the Norwegian isolates, this scientific opinion considers the zoonotic risk of CWD to be very low.

Open Access Grey Literature

Degradation and Mobility of Pesticides in Norwegian Soils

Ole Martin Eklo, Marit Almvik, Halvard Hole, Åge Arild Nyborg, Marianne Stenrød, Katrine Borgå, Hubert Dirven, Merete Grung, Jan Ludvig Lyche, Marit Låg, Asbjørn Magne Nilsen, Line Emilie Sverdrup, Torsten Källqvist

European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, Page 303-305
DOI: 10.9734/ejnfs/2019/v9i330071

In this report the following topic of pesticides and fate in Norway has been outlined covering: 1. Factors influencing degradation of pesticides. 2. Description and update of datasets on soil and climate in agricultural areas. 3. Normalization of field degradation data as input for modelling fate. 4. Use of degradation data from Norway in model scenarios.

Norwegian laboratory degradation studies indicate that increased soil organic carbon content enhances degradation rates of pesticides that show low sorption (e.g. metalaxyl, bentazone) ,due to increased microbial activity. Whereas pesticides that sorb moderately to strongly to soil (e.g. boscalid, propiconazole), display reduced degradation as organic carbon increases as a consequence of sorption and reduced bioavailability.

Recent DegT50 field studies display a large variation in fungicide degradation rates from Klepp in the south to Tromsø in the north. For the mobile herbicide bentazone, no effect of climate was observed, as degradation rates were coherent at all sites, probably due to rapid leaching. The climate (temperature) seems to be more determinate for fungicide degradation rates than the soil type. Fungicide degradation was slow at two northern sites having low soil temperatures, even though microbial biomass was hugely different at the sites. How soil temperature and moisture affects microbial activity and diversity in various soils, climates and crops is important for the understanding of degradation capacity in Norwegian soils and fields. Microbial activity could be related to both soil, climate and crops/cropping regime – as well as to the nature of the soil organic matter.

The fact that DegT50 values are very much shorter than laboratory values at the same reference conditions, may point to some systematic error in the normalization procedure (e.g. the default simplifications in the Walker and Arrhenius equations), or that the parameters affecting degradation in the laboratory are different from the parameters that affect degradation in the field. Consequently, lab-derived and field-derived DegT50matrix values should be compared and interpreted with care.

The large variations in normalized DegT50 values obtained in field studies in Norway as well as in other regions in Norway cannot be explained by differences in the associated parameters characterizing the soil and microbial community. It is therefore not possible to determine if a certain field study is more or less representative for “Norwegian conditions”. As a conservative approach, the highest, normalized DegT50 from the European field studies should be selected for the Norwegian risk assessment independent on geographic vicinity. As an alternative, when a sufficient number of data are available, a high percentile (e.g 80 or 90-percentile) should be used rather than the geomean.

Each agricultural region in Norway is dominated by one specific soil type for each region. Albeluvisol, Cambisol, Umbrisol, Stagnosol and Histosol in respectively Eastern Norway south, Eastern Norway north, Rogaland, Trøndelag and North of Norway. New updates for Norway include especially Umbrisols and Histosols rich in organic matter. Albeluvisols, Cambisols and Stagnosols are representing the main soil types in the agricultural area in Norway. These are also included in the groundwater (Rustad and Heia) and surface water scenarios (Syverud) developed for Norway. Experience from pesticide fate in the organic rich soils on the south west coast and north of Norway is limited.

Compared to the “normal” temperature and precipitation from 1961 to 1990 with a “new normal” from 1991 to 2014, the climate has changed. For the five described agricultural areas in Norway, annual temperature has increased in average 1 degrees for all five regions and seasons for the new normal. The rainfall has increased for all seasons and regions except for the Northern Norway (Holt in Tromsø) and summer season at Kvithamar (Trøndelag) with lower precipitation in June to September. Annually the precipitation has increased approximately 100 mm in average.

The existing Norwegian scenarios in groundwater and surface water seem to be representative in the meaning of covering the main soil types in the central agricultural areas in South Eastern Norway. However there are no scenarios covering areas of South West and North of Norway containing soil with high organic content, slow degradation and heavy rainfall. Vulnerable areas are not included in these scenarios as the idea of the representativity of soil was to include the main soil types covering the most of the agricultural production areas. The vulnerable areas deals with smaller areas and has to be treated separately. Vulnerable areas are areas with high groundwater levels and sandy soil and mobile pesticides. Hilly areas with clay soil represent high risk of surface runoff with strongly sorbed pesticides. We are lacking experience from areas with high content of organic matter causing slow degradation, combined with heavy rainfall.

 A database with representative soils and climates for various crops should be established in Norway and utilized in a targeted risk assessment approach. Then, the degradation of pesticides to be used in for example fruit/berry cropping, could be evaluated in respect to representative and vulnerable soils and climates in fruit/berry regions in Norway.

A correct risk assessment of pesticide degradation in Norwegian agricultural soils should take the varying climatic zones, the diversity in agricultural soils and crops in Norway into consideration before formulated pesticides are approved. Risk assessment should be based on soils and climates most prevalent for the crop to which the pesticide is to be applied, in addition, vulnerable areas with slow degradation and/or high leaching/runoff risk should be recognized.

Open Access Grey Literature

Genotoxic Assessment of the Metabolite M-11 of Mepanipyrim, the Active Ingredient in the Plant Protection Product FRUPICA SC

Hubert Dirven, Jan Ludvig Lyche, Marit Låg, Asbjørn Magne Nilsen, Katrine Borgå, Ole Martin Eklo, Merete Grung, Line Emilie Sverdrup, Torsten Källqvist

European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, Page 306-307
DOI: 10.9734/ejnfs/2019/v9i330072

The VKM Panel for plant protection products considered Frupica SC in a meeting on 25.11.2010, and found the active ingredient problematic with regard to carcinogenic effects and possible genotoxicity. M11 is a metabolite of mepanipyrim which is the active ingredient the plant protection product Frupica SC. The Norwegian Food Safety Authority has asked the applicant for further assessment of the genotoxic potential of the metabolite M11. The applicant has submitted a rat liver in vivo Comet assay of the metabolite, and the panel has been requested to consider if the genotoxic properties of mepanipyrim and the metabolite M11 is adequately documented.

 The metabolite M11 caused positive findings in in vitro studies for bacterial mutation and chromosomal aberrations. Three in vivo studies (Micronucleus, unscheduled DNA synthesis and Comet assay) did not show evidence of genotoxicity. Based on the documentation available, VKMs Panel on Plant Protection Products concludes that mepanipyrim and the metabolite M11 should not be considered genotoxic in vivo. The lack of demonstrated in vivo genotoxicity makes it likely that mepanipyrim induces liver tumors in rats and mice by a mechanism that involves a threshold below which tumors are not expected to develop. This conclusion is strengthened by the finding of a promoter-like behavior of mepanipyrim for induction of gamma-glutamyl-transpeptidase positive foci in rat liver.

Open Access Grey Literature

Health Risk Assessment of a Food Supplement Containing Lactobacillus reuteri Protectis®

Judith Narvhus, Jørgen Lassen, Danica Grahel-Ogden, Karl Eckner, Georg Kapperud, Truls Nesbakken, Lucy Robertson, Jan Thomas Rosnes, Olaug Taran Skjerdal, Eystein Skjerve, Line Vold, Siamak Yazdankhah, Yngvild Wastson

European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, Page 308-309
DOI: 10.9734/ejnfs/2019/v9i330073

The Norwegian Scientific Commitee for Food Safety (VKM) appointed a working group of experts to answer a request from the Norwegian Food Safety Authority regarding health risk assessment of Lactobacillus reuteri Protectis® in a food supplement intended for use by infants and young children. The mandate of this health risk assessment was not to evaluate the health claims related to the products as such health claims are assessed by EFSA.

The specific strain DSM 17938 is a “daughter strain” of the strain ATCC 55730 which was originally isolated from normal human milk. ATCC 55730 harbours two plasmids carrying transferable resistance genes against tetracycline and lincosamides respectively. The “daughter strain” DSM 17938 was established in 2008 by curing the ATCC 55730 for these plasmids, but is in all other respects claimed to be identical to ATCC 55730 and bioequivalence of the two strains has been suggested. The strain DSM 17938 was still resistant to tetracycline (although at a considerably lower level than ATCC 55730) and a number of other antibiotics, but these resistances were all considered being intrinsic by FBO. The absence of possible transferable/mobile genes has, to our knowledge, not been confirmed in later studies.

We are not aware of any data indicating that L. reuteri has been the cause of serious human diseases – and none of the studies examined has reported any adverse or undesirable short time effects. It has also been used in preterm infants with dosage corresponding to the actual recommended doses - without reporting any adverse, short term reaction. There is therefore no evidence leading to consider the strain DSM 17938 at the dosage recommended as unsafe.

However, more long-term data are still lacking and the long-term safety for the age groups considered in this assessment cannot be established. As evidence is accruing that the early microbial composition of the infant gut is important for the development of the gut flora and the immune system of the growing child, it is not possible to exclude that a daily supply of a particular bacterial strain over a prolonged period of time to an immature gastro-intestinal tract may have long-term, albeit still unknown, adverse effects on it’s development.

As the long-term data are lacking it is not possible to answer whether the amount of the food supplement or the age of the infant or young child is of importance.

However, if later long-term data should reveal any adverse reaction, it is reasonable to assume that the actual age group will be the most vulnerable.

As the safety was not entirely established, the question of whether there are any vulnerable groups (i.e. premature, infants or children with diseases) where there are health risks associated with the intake of Lactobacillus reuteri Protectis®, as a food supplement was not considered.

Open Access Grey Literature

Microorganisms in Biostimulants

Erik Joner, Eystein Skjerve, Leif Sundheim, Arne Tronsmo, Yngvild Wastson, Karl Eckner, Georg Kapperud, Jørgen Fredrik Lassen, Judith Narvhus, Truls Nesbakken, Lucy Robertson, Jan Thomas Rosnes, Olaug Taran Skjerdal, Line Vold

European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, Page 310-311
DOI: 10.9734/ejnfs/2019/v9i330074

In March 2016, the EU Commission presented a proposal for new regulations on fertilising material. The regulation includes product rules for a wide range of organic and inorganic products. Microbial biostimulants is one of the categories of products that are included. Biostimulants, in the draft EU regulation, are defined as fertilising materials that affect nutrient processes independently of the product's own nutrient content and with the purpose of improving nutrient utilisation, tolerance for abiotic stress or quality of the crop. Positive list in which species of these bacterial genera are listed: Azotobacter spp, Rhizobium spp., Azospirillum spp and Mycorrhizal fungi are a part of the regulation.

Since the import and use of these organisms are the responsibility of both the Norwegian Food Safety Authority and the Norwegian Environment Agency, they asked VKM to submit a joint report on effects on health (humans, plants and animals), biodiversity and dispersal, quality of agricultural land and on soil environment.

Conclusions:

Health risks:

Based upon our literature review, we have found no indication of any specific diseases in plants, animals or humans induced by the discussed microorganisms. A few reported cases of human disease are caused through wound infections or injections in immunocompromised patients. These represent a situation where any microorganism may induce infections and is not specific for the agents discussed in this report. In summary, the risk of any disease caused by the discussed microorganisms is considered negligible.

Environmental risks:

In soil the biodiversity, competition, adaptation and functional redundancy of microorganisms are extremely high. This means that introduced microorganisms have a very small chance for establishing, and even less so for affecting biodiversity and soil functioning. Introduction of nitrogen fixing species or fungi that can transport P to plants (mycorrhiza) will lead to an increase in the primary production. However, even a large increased activity for these processes will not outcompete naturally occurring symbiotic N-fixation or growth of inherently non-mycorrhizal plant species. Thus, the risks associated with introduced non-pathogenic microorganisms are very low.

Open Access Original Research Article

A Comparative Study on the Effectiveness of Coating and Dusting Technologies on Fortification of Acha (Digitaria exilis) Grains

Chinedu Ann Chika, E. Atawodi Sunday, Umeh Chisom Charles, Kahu Jerry Chechet

European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, Page 210-219
DOI: 10.9734/ejnfs/2019/v9i330059

Background: Reports have shown that consumption of acha (Digitaria exilis) is beneficial to both diabetic and hypertensive patients considering its low glycaemic index, if fortified could assist to improve health and in combating hidden hunger.

Aims: This work was aimed at establishing the technology of fortifying acha (Digitaria exilis) grains with vitamin A, Iron, copper and zinc by comparing the effectiveness of coating and dusting technologies and analysing the vitamin A, iron, zinc and copper levels of acha grains fortified by both methods.

Methodology: Vitamin A was quantified by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) method, while iron, zinc and copper were quantified using Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS) method. 

Results: Vitamin A was undetected in unfortified grain, but present at 29,904.18 IU/kg and 29,657.66 IU/kg in coated and dusted grains respectively. The iron content(58 mg/kg) in unfortified grain increased by 22% and 15% for coated and dusted respectively, Copper increased by 25% and 14%  and Zinc by 32% and 45% with coating and dusting respectively.

Conclusion: This study suggests that coating is a more promising technology for fortifying acha grains with Vitamin A, iron and copper, which will assist in delivering these critical micronutrients in the vulnerable population and also be used as a strategy for dietary improvement.

Open Access Original Research Article

Fungal and Mycotoxin Contamination of Stored Maize in Kogi, Northcentral Nigeria: An Implication for Public Health

O. N. Akoma, C. C. Ezeh, K. I. Chukwudozie, C. C. Iwuchukwu, D. O. Apeh

European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, Page 220-232
DOI: 10.9734/ejnfs/2019/v9i330061

The maize value chain in the Kogi State and most parts of the country from where maize is purchased into the State lacks mechanisms that ensure grain quality and safety. Against the above-backdrop, this study was designed to evaluate toxigenic fungi and associated mycotoxins in maize produced within different agro-zones of Kogi State. Harvested and stored maize seeds under different storage conditions were collected from three different zones (Zone B Bassa, Zone C Lokoja, and Zone D Idah) and cultured. Different fungal species were isolated by culturing using the spread plate technique on potato dextrose agar (PDA) and identified microscopically. Mycotoxin production by isolated fungi was subsequently evaluated for Deoxynivalenol (DON) contamination using the High-Performance Liquid Chromatography technique (HPLC). The outcome of the study was statistically analysed using simple frequencies and percentages. Aspergillus spp. and Penicillium spp. were the fungi found to be associated with the stored seeds in Kogi, while Fusarium spp. Mucor spp. and Rhizopus spp. were the field fungi identified. Of the thirteen samples collected, the most common genera were Aspergillus (isolated from 41.67% of the evaluated samples), Fusarium (27%) and in a lesser extent Rhizopus spp. (8.33%). The result also shows DON was detected in 92.3% of the stored maize samples, making it one of the widespread mycotoxin contaminants of maize grain. Implications of this study for human and animal health and economic development were discussed and appropriate recommendations made especially for adoption of proper storage technology among small-scale farmers for improved maize quality and safety.

Open Access Original Research Article

Caloric Substitution of Diets with Apple Pomace was Determined to be Safe for Renal and Bone Health Using a Growing Rat Model

R. Chris Skinner, Joseph C. Gigliotti, Katherine H. Taylor, Derek C. Warren, Vagner A. Benedito, Janet C. Tou

European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, Page 248-259
DOI: 10.9734/ejnfs/2019/v9i330063

Aims: To determine the safety of caloric substitution with 10% (g/kg) apple pomace to a healthy or Western diet.

Study Design: Growing (age 22-29 days) female Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned (n=8 rats/group) to consume a purified standard rodent diet (AIN-93G), AIN-93G/10% g/kg apple pomace (AIN/AP), Western diet, or Western/10% g/kg apple pomace (Western/AP) diets for 8 weeks.

Results: Histological evaluation showed renal interstitial hypercellularity in rats fed AIN/AP, Western, and Western/AP diets. However, there were no effects on renal expression of oxidative stress and inflammatory genes or serum measures of kidney damage and function among diet groups. Apple pomace was also high in calcium which can affect calcium balance. Dietary calcium consumption was highest (P < .001) in rats consuming Western/AP. However, there were no significant differences in calcium absorption and retention among diet groups. Further, there was no evidence of renal calcification. There were also no impacts on femoral calcium, total mineral content, size or strength.

Conclusions: Based on the results, apple pomace consumption was safe for renal and bone health in a rodent model, regardless of diet quality. Future preclinical studies should be conducted to further determine the efficacy and safety of apple pomace.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Sorghum-tigernut Ibyer (A Traditional Gruel) on the Fasting Blood Glucose Levels of Alloxan-induced Diabetic Rats

Shalem Shiekuma, Moses Ukeyima, Msendoo, Janet Ahuah, Idoko Blessing, Terzungwe Tughgba

European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, Page 260-268
DOI: 10.9734/ejnfs/2019/v9i330065

Background: There is growing interest in the use of natural foods in the management of chronic diseases like diabetes. Ibyer is a fibre rich gruel consumed amongst the Tiv people of Benue State made from whole sorghum or millet flours.

Aim: The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of sorghum-tigernut ibyer on the fasting blood glucose levels and body weight of alloxan monohydrate-induced diabetic rats.

Methods: Sorghum flour (SF) and tigernut flour (TNF) were blended at different proportions (100:00; 90:10; 80:20; 70:30) for the purpose of ibyer production. The flour samples were subjected to proximate analysis using standard analytical procedures, the sensory attributes of ibyer produced from the different flour samples was evaluated on a 9-point hedonic scale. Thirty (30) male Wistar rats (100–180 g body weight) were grouped into five (1-5) each group containing six rats. They were induced with diabetes by injecting them with 150ml/kg of body weight with alloxan monohydrate dissolved in saline water (0.9% NaCl) except for group 1. Blood samples were collected from the tail of the rats, prior to induction, 48hrs after induction and 72 hrs after three days of continuous feeding with test diet. Fasting blood glucose was measured using a standard glucometer and test strips.

Results: The sensory attributes indicated that ibyer produced from the flour samples were generally acceptable. Fasting blood glucose levels after 72 hrs of feeding were found to be lowered more in groups giving flours with a higher proportion of Tigernut.

Conclusion: The results indicated that sorghum-tigernut ibyer exerted hypoglycaemic effect on the experimental animals.

Open Access Original Research Article

Serum Vitamin A Content among Malnourished and Healthy Children in Kisangani City, DRC

F. Lusamaki Mukunda, E. Solomo, Mosisi Moleka, Omekomba Konde, L. E. Likaka, Bosuandole Litua, A. Kayisu Kalenga, S. Batina Agasa, C. Kayembe Tshilumba

European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, Page 269-276
DOI: 10.9734/ejnfs/2019/v9i330066

Summary: Vitamin A is an essential micronutrient needed by the body for various physiological functions. Its deficiency is associated with several functional disorders. The objective of this study is to determine blood vitamin A levels in malnourished and healthy children.

Methods: It is a cross-sectional analytical study, consisting of determining the vitamin A content in the blood of children suffering from malnutrition and those in good nutritional status. Our sampling was casual and 59 children aged 6 to 59 months were retained. Among them 30 healthy children chosen from those attending preschool consultation at U HC and 29 malnourished children from those followed at M TNU for the management of malnutrition. The serum vitamin A assay was performed according to the method described by Tietz. Children with serum vitamin A level below 30 μg / 100 ml had vitamin A deficiency and those with a serum level greater than or equal to 30 μg / 100 ml had good vitamin A status. Percent, average and standard deviation calculations were performed. The Chi square statistical test was used to compare serum vitamin A content in healthy and malnourished children, as well as other maternal parameters for a significance level of 0.05. 

Results: from 59 children examined, 30 or 50.8% were 6-17 months old, the average age was 21.9 ± 13 months. 45.7% had a serum retinol level between 50-59 μg/100 ml; the average value was 46.84 μg ± 14.27.  The prevalence of VAD was 20.3% and this deficit was more marked in children aged 6-17 months that is 50% (P<0.014). Among 12 children with VAD, 10 or 83.3% were the wealthy and two were the malnourished, the difference was statically significant (P< 0.011).

Conclusion: Vitamin A deficiency remains a major health problem in the DRC. This affect all children regardless of their current nutritional status. Supplementation with this vitamin remains one of the palliative solutions.

Open Access Original Research Article

Comparative Evaluation of Antioxidant Potential in Thermally Processed, Underutilized Food Grains of the Himalayan Region

Anuradha Dutta, Pushpa Shukla, Soni Tilara, Nivedita Prasad, Raushan Khan, Shweta Suri, S. B. Bharadwaj

European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, Page 277-286
DOI: 10.9734/ejnfs/2019/v9i330067

Aims: To determine the bioactive components and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) in selected underutilized crops of the Himalayan region viz. Barnyard millet, Grain amaranth, Rice bean, Black soybean and Horsegram.

Study Design: Experimental design (Lab experiment).

Place and Duration of Study: Department of Foods and Nutrition, College of Home Science, G. B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar, Uttarakhand, in the year 2016-18.

Methodology: We applied different processing techniques (covered pan cooking and pressure cooking) in the underutilized crops and analyzed the total phenol, total flavonoids and total antioxidant capacity (Ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay and (2, 2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) (DPPH) by using standard methods.

Results: It was found that black soybean had highest phenolic content after both thermal treatments (3233.76 mg GAE/100 g for pan cooked and 1883.11 mg GAE/100 g for pressure cooked samples) and TAC by both FRAP (6423.76 mg TE/100 g for pan-cooked and 4415.58 mg TE/100 g for pressure cooked) and DPPH (536.41 and 453.98 mg TE/100g for pan and pressure cooked samples, respectively) method. Among raw samples, rice bean contained the highest flavonoid content and TAC by FRAP assay. In contrast, raw grain Amaranth showed the lowest phenolic content. Further, pressure cooking was found to be better for barnyard millet, while in pulses, pan cooking yielded the best results (in terms of increased value/lower losses).

Conclusion: It can be concluded that among pulses pan cooked black soybean was found to have a good store of bioactive compounds as compared to rice bean and horse gram. The pressure cooking method was found to be suitable for millet like a barnyard.

Open Access Original Research Article

Antibacterial Properties of the Predominant Microorganisms Isolated from Fermenting Cassava Tubers during fufu Production against Selected Enteropathogenic Bacteria

Kehinde Tope, Adegbehingbe, Soji, Fakoya, Bello, Oluyemi, Marcus, Bartholomew Saanu, Adeleke, Olatomide Samuel, Fagbohun, Damola Olabanji, Adejoro

European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, Page 287-296
DOI: 10.9734/ejnfs/2019/v9i330068

Aim: This research investigated the antibacterial activities of the predominant microorganisms isolated from fermenting cassava mash during fufu production against selected enteropathogenic bacteria.

Methodology: Microbiological analysis was carried out on the mash on daily basis during the three-day fermentation period. The pH, TTA and temperature of the fufu were also evaluated. The antibacterial activities of dominant microorganisms from the mash were assayed against the isolated microorganisms and test isolates using disc and agar diffusion methods.

Results: The bacteria isolated from the fermenting mash include Bacillus subtilis, Lactobacillus fermentum, L. plantarum, Pediococcus acidilactici, Micrococcus luteus and Staphylococcus aureus while the fungi were Aspergillus flavus, A. niger, A. fumigatus, Geotrichum candidum, Penicillium expansum and Rhizospus stolonifer. The predominant microorganisms were L. plantarum, L. mesenteroides, A. niger, A. fumigatus and G. candidum. The total bacterial, lactic acid bacterial and fungal counts increased from 2.5X105 cfu/ml, 2.0X105 cfu/ml and 1.5X103 cfu/ml to 7.6X106 cfu/ml, 6.7X106 cfu/ml and 1.0X106 cfu/ml respectively. The temperature of cassava mash increased from 26°C to 30°C. The pH decreased from 6.80 to 4.22 while the total titratable acidity increased from 0.70% to 0.94%. Escherichia coli, P. mirabilis, S. typhimurium and S. aureus were inhibited by  L. plantarum and L. mesenteroides while E. agglomerans and K. pneumoniae were resistant to L. plantarum and L. mesenteroides respectively. Aspergillus niger and G. candidum inhibited S. aureus but E. agglomerans, K. pneumoniae, P. mirabilis and S. typhimurium were not affected. Enterobacter agglomerans, E. coli, P. mirabilis and S. aureus were inhibited by A. fumigatus while K. pneumoniae and S. typhimurium were resistant.

Conclusion: These results suggested that consumption of fufu and other fermented cassava tubers could enhance less susceptibility to diseases caused by the test bacteria and fufu may be recommended for people suffering from infections caused by these microorganisms.

Open Access Review Article

Reducing Acrylamide Exposure: A Review of the Application of Sulfur-Containing Compounds - A Caribbean Outlook

Dahryn A. Augustine, Grace-Anne Bent

European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, Page 192-209
DOI: 10.9734/ejnfs/2019/v9i330058

Acrylamide, a known neurotoxin, reproductive toxin, genotoxin, probable carcinogen, hepatotoxin, and immunotoxin, has sparked intense curiosity due to its prominent presence in thermally processed, carbohydrate-rich foods. Acrylamide formation occurs via the Maillard reaction at temperatures ≥100ºC. Thorough investigations on acrylamide mitigation through the application of sulfur-containing compounds to raw materials, and during food processing have been conducted. Although prominent results in acrylamide reduction have been observed, limitations are considered. These limitations involve the social and economic challenges of a population, such as the Caribbean. This study seeks to answer just how effective the application of sulfur-containing compounds is in reducing acrylamide exposure, especially when this applies to a developing region.

Open Access Review Article

Response of Bioactive Phytochemicals in Vegetables and Fruits to Environmental Factors

Jingwen Xu, Xiaoyu Su, Yonghui Li, Xiuzhi Sun, Donghai Wang, Weiqun Wang

European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, Page 233-247
DOI: 10.9734/ejnfs/2019/v9i330062

This review focused on the influence of environmental systems and/or factors including high tunnel, UV and visible light, fertilization, and irrigation on bioactive compounds in vegetables and fruits. Most studies reported that high tunnel reduced chicoric acid and luteolin in vegetables including lettuce and pac choi, and fruits including raspberry and tomato versus open field, although a few studies demonstrated that high tunnel did not significantly impact on the bioactive compounds. Light including UV such as photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), UV-A, and UV-B, and visible light especially red and blue light, significantly stimulated biosynthesis of anthocyanins, flavonoids, and phenolics, and promoted their contents in vegetables such as onion and spinach, and fruits for example blueberry and strawberry. The effect of fertilization including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium on bioactive phytochemicals (carotenoids, flavonoids, polyphenols) in vegetables (broccoli, kale) or fruits (tomato) varied among the cultivars. Water deficit usually increased anthocyanins, flavonoids, and phenolic acids in vegetables such as lettuce and red beet, and fruits including grape and pomegranate. Taken together, the bioactive compounds in vegetables and fruits in response to environmental factors were species- and varieties- dependent. The negative effect of environmental factors on bioactive compounds in vegetables and fruits can be overcome by selecting appropriate cultivars, while the positive effect can be further manipulated in horticultural production for potential consumer’s health benefits.