Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 13

Search results for: Ana Vulić

13 Biological Activity of Bilberry Pomace

Authors: Gordana S. Ćetković, Vesna T. Tumbas Šaponjac, Sonja M. Djilas, Jasna M. Čanadanović-Brunet, Sladjana M. Stajčić, Jelena J. Vulić

Abstract:

Bilberry is one of the most important dietary sources of phenolic compounds, including anthocyanins, phenolic acids, flavonol glycosides and flavan-3-ols. These phytochemicals have different biological activities and therefore may improve our health condition. Also, anthocyanins are interesting to the food industry as colourants. In the present study, bilberry pomace, a by-product of juice processing, was used as a potential source of bioactive compounds. The contents of total phenolic acids, flavonoids and anthocyanins in bilberry pomace were determined by HPLC/UV-Vis. The biological activities of bilberry pomace were evaluated by reducing power (RP) and α-glucosidase inhibitory potential (α-GIP), and expressed as RP0.5 value (the effective concentration of bilberry pomace extract assigned at 0.5 value of absorption) and IC50 value (the concentration of bilberry pomace extract necessary to inhibit 50% of α-glucosidase enzyme activity). Total phenolic acids content was 807.12 ± 25.16 mg/100 g pomace, flavonoids 54.36 ± 1.83mg/100 g pomace and anthocyanins 3426.18 ± 112.09 mg/100 g pomace. The RP0.5 value of bilberry pomace was 0.38 ± 0.02 mg/ml, while IC50 value was 1.82 ± 0.11 mg/ml. These results have revealed the potential for valorization of bilberry juice production by-products for further industrial use as a rich source of bioactive compounds and natural colourants (mainly anthocyanins).

Keywords: bilberry pomace, phenolics, antioxidant activity, reducing power, α-glucosidase enzyme activity

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12 Characterization of Caneberry Juices Enriched by Natural Antioxidants

Authors: Jelena Vulić, Jasna Čanadanović-Brunet, Gordana Ćetković, Sonja Djilas, Vesna Tumbas Šaponjac

Abstract:

Caneberries (raspberries and blackberries) are among the most popular berries in the world, which are consumed as fresh and processed to juice, jams, confitures and other products or as ingredients for different foods. These fruits are known as a rich source of phenolic compounds such as phenolic acids and anthocyanins. Antioxidant activity (AA) of caneberry juices was improved by addition of phenolic compounds which were extracted from two raspberry cultivars (Rubus idaeus, cv. 'Willamette' (RW) and 'Meeker' (RM)) and two blackberry cultivars (Rubus fruticosus, cv. 'Čačanka' (BC) and 'Thornfree' (BT)) pomace, a by-product in juice processing. The total phenolic contents in raspberry and blackberry pomace extracts were determined spectrophotometrically using the Folin-Ciocalteu reagens. The phenolic concentrations in caneberries (RW, RM, BC and BT) pomace extracts were 43.67 ± 2.13 mg GAE/g, 26.25 ± 1.18 mg GAE/g, 46.01 ± 3.26 mg GAE/g and 61.59 ± 1.14 mg GAE/g, respectively. In order to obtain enriched juices, phenolic compounds were applied at concentration of 0.05 mg GAE/ 100 ml. Antioxidant activities of caneberry juices and caneberry enriched juices were measured using stable 1.1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radicals. AADPPH of RW, RM, BC and BT juices and enriched juices with addition of 0.01 µg GAE/ml, changed from 37.12% to 93.01%, 23.26% to 91.57%, 53.61% to 95.65% and 52.06% to 93.13%, respectively, while IC50 values of RW, RM, BC and BT juices and enriched juices were diminished 6.33, 19.00, 6.33 and 4.75 times, respectively. Based on the obtained results it can be concluded that phenolic enriched juices were significantly more effective on DPPH radicals. Caneberry juices enriched with waste material are a good source of natural pigments and antioxidants and could be used as functional foods.

Keywords: caneberry, enriched juice, phenolic antioxidant, DPPH radical

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11 Antioxidant Property of Honey with Dried Cherry

Authors: Jasna M. Čanadanović-Brunet, Gordana S. Ćetković, Jelena J. Vulić, Sonja M. Djilas, Vesna T. Tumbas Šaponjac, Sladjana M. Stajčić

Abstract:

Honey serves as a source of natural antioxidants, which are effective in reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, immune-system decline, cataracts, different inflammatory processes, and also prevent deteriorative oxidation reactions in foods such as enzymatic browning of fruit and vegetables. Honey is a natural saturated sugar solution, but it also contains certain minor constituents, proteins, enzymes, amino and organic acids, lipids, vitamins, phenolic acids, flavonoids and carotenoids. It is consumed in its natural form alone, but also in combination with nuts and various kinds of dried fruits. The aim of this research was to investigate the contribution of dried cherry on phenols (TPh) and flavonoids (Fl) contents and antioxidant activities of honey. Phenolic compounds in Serbian polyfloral (PH), linden (LH) and acacia (AH) honey and also in their mixtures with dried cherry, in 40% mass concentrations (PH40; LH40, AH40), were determined. In comparison to honey, TPh increased 2.25 times for LH40, 2.16 times for AH40 and 1.45 times for PH40, while Fl increased 2.81-fold for PH40, 1.21-fold for LH40 and 1.44-fold for AH40. Antioxidant activity was investigated with two assays, DPPH test and reducing power (RP), and expressed as EC50DPPH and RP0.5 values. The EC50DPPH values were: EC50PH40 = 1.16 mg/ml; EC50LH40= 1.42 mg/ml and EC50AH40= 1.69 mg/ml, while RP0.5 were: RP0.5PH40 = 15.05 mg/ml; RP0.5LH40 = 16.09 mg/ml and P0.5AH40 = 17.60 mg/ml. Our results indicate that supplementation of polyfloral, linden and acacia honey with 40% dried cherry improves antioxidant activity of honey by enriching the phenolic composition.

Keywords: antioxidant activity, dried cherry, honey, phenolics

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10 Chemical Composition and Antioxidant Activity of Fresh Chokeberries

Authors: Vesna Tumbas Šaponjac, Sonja Djilas, Jasna Čanadanović-Brunet, Gordana Ćetković, Jelena Vulić, Slađana Stajčić, Milica Vinčić

Abstract:

Substantial interest has been expressed in fruits and berries due to their potential favourable health effects and high content of polyphenols, especially flavonoids and anthocyanins. Chokeberries (Aronia melanocarpa) are dark berries, similar to blackcurrants, that have been used by native Americans both as a food resource and in traditional medicine for treatment of cold. Epidemiological studies revealed positive effects of chokeberries on colorectal cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and various inflammatory conditions. Chokeberries are well known as good natural antioxidants, which contain phenolic compounds, flavonoids, anthocyanidins and antioxidant vitamins. The aim of this study was to provide information on polyphenolic compounds present in fresh chokeberries as well as to determine its antioxidant activity. Individual polyphenolic compounds have been identified and quantified using HPLC/UV-Vis. Results showed that the most dominant phenolic acid was protocatechuic acid (274.23 mg/100 g FW), flavonoid rutin (319.66 mg/100 g FW) and anthocyanin cyanidin-3-galactoside (1532.68 mg/100 g FW). Generally, anthocyanins were predominant compounds in fresh chokeberry (2342.82 mg/100 g FW). Four anthocyanins have been identified in fresh chokeberry and all of them were cyanidin glicosides. Antioxidant activity was determined using spectrophotometric DPPH assay and compared to standard antioxidant compound vitamin C. The resulting EC50 value (amount of fresh chokeberries that scavenge 50% of DPPH radicals) is 0.33 mg vitamin C equivalent/100 g FW. The results of this investigation provide evidence on high contents of phenolic compounds, especially anthocyanins, in chokeberries as well as high antioxidant activity of this fruit.

Keywords: chokeberry, polyphenols, antioxidant, DPPH radicals

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9 The Development of Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry Method for Citrinin Determination in Dry-Fermented Meat Products

Authors: Ana Vulic, Tina Lesic, Nina Kudumija, Maja Kis, Manuela Zadravec, Nada Vahcic, Tomaz Polak, Jelka Pleadin

Abstract:

Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites produced by numerous types of molds. They can contaminate both food and feed so that they represent a serious public health concern. Production of dry-fermented meat products involves ripening, during which molds can overgrow the product surface, produce mycotoxins, and consequently contaminate the final product. Citrinin is a mycotoxin produced mainly by the Penicillium citrinum. Data on citrinin occurrence in both food and feed are limited. Therefore, there is a need for research on citrinin occurrence in these types of meat products. The LC-MS/MS method for citrinin determination was developed and validated. Sample preparation was performed using immunoaffinity columns, which resulted in clean sample extracts. Method validation included the determination of the limit of detection (LOD), the limit of quantification (LOQ), recovery, linearity, and matrix effect in accordance to the latest validation guidance. The determined LOD and LOQ were 0.60 µg/kg and 1.98 µg/kg, respectively, showing a good method sensitivity. The method was tested for its linearity in the calibration range of 1 µg/L to 10 µg/L. The recovery was 100.9 %, while the matrix effect was 0.7 %. This method was employed in the analysis of 47 samples of dry-fermented sausages collected from local households. Citrinin wasn’t detected in any of these samples, probably because of the short ripening period of the tested sausages that takes three months tops. The developed method shall be used to test other types of traditional dry-cured products, such as prosciuttos, whose surface is usually more heavily overgrown by surface molds due to the longer ripening period.

Keywords: citrinin, dry-fermented meat products, LC-MS/MS, mycotoxins

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8 Phenolic Composition and Antioxidant Property of Honey with Dried Apricots

Authors: Jasna Čanadanović-Brunet, Gordana Ćetković, Sonja Djilas, Vesna Tumbas-Šaponjac, Jelena Vulić, Sladjana Stajčić

Abstract:

Honey, produced by the honeybee, is a natural saturated sugar solution, which is mainly composed of a complex mixture of carbohydrates. Besides this, it also contains certain minor constituents, proteins, enzymes, amino and organic acids, lipids, vitamins, phenolic acids, flavonoids and carotenoids. Honey serves as a source of natural antioxidants, which are effective in reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, immune-system decline, cataracts, and different inflammatory processes. Honey is consumed in its natural form alone, but also in combination with nuts and various kinds of dried fruits (plums, figs, cranberries, apricots etc.). The aim of this research was to investigate the contribution of dried apricot addition to polyphenols and flavonoids contents and antioxidant activities of honey. Some individual phenolic compounds in Serbian polyfloral honey (PH), linden honey (LH) and also in their mixtures with dried apricot, in 40% mass concentrations (PH40; LH40), were identified and quantified by HPLC. The most dominant phenolic compound was: gallic acid in LH (11.14 mg/100g), LH40 (42.65 mg/100g), PH (7.24 mg/100g) and catehin in PH40 (11.83 mg/100g). The antioxidant activity of PH, LH, PH40 and LH40 was tested by measuring their ability to scavenge hydroxyl radicals (OH) by electron spin resonance spectroscopy (ESR). Honey samples with 40% dried apricot exhibited better antioxidant activity measured by hydroxyl radical scavenging activity. The EC50 values, the amount of antioxidant necessary to decrease the initial concentration of OH radicals by 50%, were: EC50PH=3.36 mg/ml, EC50LH=13.36 mg/ml, EC50PH40=2.29 mg/ml, EC50 LH40=7.78 mg/ml. Our results indicate that supplementation of polyfloral honey and linden honey with dried apricots improves antioxidant activity of honey by enriching the phenolic composition.

Keywords: honey, dried apricot, HPLC, hydroxyl radical

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7 Extraction and Encapsulation of Carotenoids from Carrot

Authors: Gordana Ćetković, Sanja Podunavac-Kuzmanović, Jasna Čanadanović-Brunet, Vesna Tumbas Šaponjac, Vanja Šeregelj, Jelena Vulić, Slađana Stajčić

Abstract:

The color of food is one of the decisive factors for consumers. Potential toxicity of artificial food colorants has led to the consumers' preference for natural products over products with artificial colors. Natural pigments have many bioactive functions, such as antioxidant, provitamin and many other. Having this in mind, the acceptability of natural colorants by the consumers is much higher. Being present in all photosynthetic plant tissues carotenoids are probably most widespread pigments in nature. Carrot (Daucus carota) is a good source of functional food components. Carrot is especially rich in carotenoids, mainly α- and β-carotene and lutein. For this study, carrot was extracted using classical extraction with hexane and ethyl acetate, as well as supercritical CO₂ extraction. The extraction efficiency was evaluated by estimation of carotenoid yield determined spectrophotometrically. Classical extraction using hexane (18.27 mg β-carotene/100 g DM) was the most efficient method for isolation of carotenoids, compared to ethyl acetate classical extraction (15.73 mg β-carotene/100 g DM) and supercritical CO₂ extraction (0.19 mg β-carotene/100 g DM). Three carrot extracts were tested in terms of antioxidant activity using DPPH and reducing power assay as well. Surprisingly, ethyl acetate extract had the best antioxidant activity on DPPH radicals (AADPPH=120.07 μmol TE/100 g) while hexane extract showed the best reducing power (RP=1494.97 μmol TE/100 g). Hexane extract was chosen as the most potent source of carotenoids and was encapsulated in whey protein by freeze-drying. Carotenoid encapsulation efficiency was found to be high (89.33%). Based on our results it can be concluded that carotenoids from carrot can be efficiently extracted using hexane and classical extraction method. This extract has the potential to be applied in encapsulated form due to high encapsulation efficiency and coloring capacity. Therefore it can be used for dietary supplements development and food fortification.

Keywords: carotenoids, carrot, extraction, encapsulation

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6 Comparison of Fatty Acids Composition of Three Commercial Fish Species Farmed in the Adriatic Sea

Authors: Jelka Pleadin, Greta Krešić, Tina Lešić, Ana Vulić, Renata Barić, Tanja Bogdanović, Dražen Oraić, Ana Legac, Snježana Zrnčić

Abstract:

Fish has been acknowledged as an integral component of a well-balanced diet, providing a healthy source of energy, high-quality proteins, vitamins, essential minerals and, especially, n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LC PUFA), mainly eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5 n-3 EPA), and docosahexaenoicacid, (22:6 n-3 DHA), whose pleiotropic effects in terms of health promotion and disease prevention have been increasingly recognised. In this study, the fatty acids composition of three commercially important farmed fish species: sea bream (Sparus aurata), sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) and dentex (Dentex dentex) was investigated. In total, 60 fish samples were retrieved during 2015 (n = 30) and 2016 (n = 30) from different locations in the Adriatic Sea. Methyl esters of fatty acids were analysed using gas chromatography (GC) with flame ionization detection (FID). The results show that the most represented fatty acid in all three analysed species is oleic acid (C18:1n-9, OA), followed by linoleic acid (C18:2n-6, LA) and palmitic acid (C16:0, PA). Dentex was shown to have two to four times higher eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) acid content as compared to sea bream and sea bass. The recommended n-6/n-3 ratio was determined in all fish species but obtained results pointed to statistically significant differences (p < 0.05) in fatty acid composition among the analysed fish species and their potential as a dietary source of valuable fatty acids. Sea bass and sea bream had a significantly higher proportion of n-6 fatty acids, while dentex had a significantly higher proportion of n-3 (C18:4n-3, C20:4n-3, EPA, DHA) fatty acids. A higher hypocholesterolaemic and hypercholesterolaemic fatty acids (HH) ratio was determined for sea bass and sea bream, which comes as the consequence of a lower share of SFA determined in these two species in comparison to dentex. Since the analysed fish species vary in their fatty acids composition consumption of diverse fish species would be advisable. Based on the established lipid quality indicators, dentex, a fish species underutilised by the aquaculture, seems to be a highly recommendable and important source of fatty acids recommended to be included into the human diet.

Keywords: dentex, fatty acids, farmed fish, sea bass, sea bream

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5 Phytochemical Content and Bioactive Properties of Wheat Sprouts

Authors: Jasna Čanadanović-Brunet, Lidija Jevrić, Gordana Ćetković, Vesna Tumbas Šaponjac, Jelena Vulić, Slađana Stajčić

Abstract:

Wheat contains high amount of nutrients such as dietary fiber, resistant starch, vitamins, minerals and microconstituents, which are building blocks of body tissues, but also help in the prevention of diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes. Sprouting enhances the nutritional value of whole wheat through biosynthesis of tocopherols, polyphenols and other valuable phytochemicals. Since the nutritional and sensory benefits of germination have been extensively documented, using of sprouted grains in food formulations is becoming a trend in healthy foods. The present work addressed the possibility of using freeze-dried sprouted wheat powder, obtained from spelt-wheat cv. ‘Nirvana’ (Triticum spelta L.) and winter wheat cv. ‘Simonida’ (Triticum aestivum L. ssp. vulgare var. lutescens), as a source of phytochemicals, to improve the functional status of the consumer. The phytochemicals' content (total polyphenols, flavonoids, chlorophylls and carotenoids) and biological activities (antioxidant activity on DPPH radicals and antiinflammatory activity) of sprouted wheat powders were assessed spectrophotometrically. The content of flavonoids (216.52 mg RE/100 g), carotenoids (22.84 mg β-carotene/100 g) and chlorophylls (131.23 mg/100 g), as well as antiinflammatory activity (EC50=3.70 mg/ml) was found to be higher in sprouted spelt-wheat powder, while total polyphenols (607.21 mg GAE/100 g) and antioxidant activity on DDPPH radicals (EC50=0.27 mmol TE/100 g) was found to be higher in sprouted winter wheat powders. Simulation of gastro-intestinal digestion of sprouted wheat powders clearly shows that intestinal digestion caused a higher release of polyphenols than gastric digestion for both samples, which indicates their higher bioavailability in the colon. The results of the current study have shown that wheat sprouts can provide a high content of phytochemicals and considerable bioactivities. Moreover, data reported show that they contain a unique pattern of bioactive molecules, which make these cereal sprouts attractive functional foods for a health-promoting diet.

Keywords: wheat, sprouts, phytochemicals, bioactivity

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4 Distribution of Antioxidants between Sour Cherry Juice and Pomace

Authors: Sonja Djilas, Gordana Ćetković, Jasna Čanadanović-Brunet, Vesna Tumbas Šaponjac, Slađana Stajčić, Jelena Vulić, Milica Vinčić

Abstract:

In recent years, interest in food rich in bioactive compounds, such as polyphenols, increased the advantages of the functional food products. Bioactive components help to maintain health and prevention of diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular and many other degenerative diseases. Recent research has shown that the fruit pomace, a byproduct generated from the production of juice, can be a potential source of valuable bioactive compounds. The use of fruit industrial waste in the processing of functional foods represents an important new step for the food industry. Sour cherries have considerable nutritional, medicinal, dietetic and technological value. According to the production volume of cherries, Serbia ranks seventh in the world, with a share of 7% of the total production. The use of sour cherry pomace has so far been limited to animal feed, even though it can be potentially a good source of polyphenols. For this study, local variety of sour cherry cv. ‘Feketićka’ was chosen for its more intensive taste and deeper red color, indicating high anthocyanin content. The contents of total polyphenols, flavonoids and anthocyanins, as well as radical scavenging activity on DPPH radicals and reducing power of sour cherry juice and pomace were compared using spectrophotometrical assays. According to the results obtained, 66.91% of total polyphenols, 46.77% of flavonoids, 46.77% of total anthocyanins and 47.88% of anthocyanin monomers from sour cherry fruits have been transferred to juice. On the other hand, 29.85% of total polyphenols, 33.09% of flavonoids, 53.23% of total anthocyanins and 52.12% of anthocyanin monomers remained in pomace. Regarding radical scavenging activity, 65.51% of Trolox equivalents from sour cherries were exported to juice, while 34.49% was left in pomace. However, reducing power of sour cherry juice was much stronger than pomace (91.28% and 8.72% of Trolox equivalents from sour cherry fruits, respectively). Based on our results it can be concluded that sour cherry pomace is still a rich source of natural antioxidants, especially anthocyanins with coloring capacity, therefore it can be used for dietary supplements development and food fortification.

Keywords: antioxidants, polyphenols, pomace, sour cherry

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3 Polyphenol Stability and Antioxidant Properties of Freeze-Dried Sour Cherry Encapsulates

Authors: Gordana Ćetković, Vesna Tumbas Šaponjac, Jasna Čanadanović-Brunet, Sonja Đilas, Slađana Stajčić, Jelena Vulić, Mirjana Jakišić

Abstract:

Despite the recommended amount of daily intake of fruits, the consumption in modern age remains very low. Therefore there is a need for delivering valuable phytochemicals into the human body through different foods by developing functional food products fortified with natural bioactive compounds from plant sources. Recently, a growing interest rises in exploiting the fruit and vegetable by-products as sources of phytochemicals such as polyphenols, carotenoids, vitamins etc. Cherry contain high amounts of polyphenols, which are known to display a wide range of biological activities like antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial or anti-carcinogenic activities, improvement of vision, induction of apoptosis and neuroprotective effects. Also, cherry pomace, a by-product in juice processing, can also be promising source of phenolic compounds. However, the application of polyphenols as food additives is limited because after extraction these compounds are susceptible to degradation. Microencapsulation is one of the alternative approaches to protect bioactive compounds from degradation during processing and storage. Freeze-drying is one of the most used microencapsulation methods for the protection of thermosensitive and unstable molecules. In this study sour cherry pomace was extracted with food-grade solvent (50% ethanol) to be suitable for application in products for human use. Extracted polyphenols have been concentrated and stabilized on whey (WP) and soy (SP) proteins. Encapsulation efficiency in SP was higher (94.90%), however not significantly (p<0.05) from the one in WP (90.10%). Storage properties of WP and SP encapsulate in terms of total polyphenols, anthocyanins and antioxidant activity was tested for 6 weeks. It was found that the retention of polyphenols after 6 weeks in WP and SP (67.33 and 69.30%, respectively) was similar. The content of anthocyanins has increased in WP (for 47.97%), while their content in SP has very slightly decreased (for 1.45%) after 6-week storage period. In accordance with anthocyanins the decrease in antioxidant activity in WP (87.78%) was higher than in SP (43.02%). According to the results obtained in this study, the technique reported herewith can be used for obtaining quality encapsulates for their further use as functional food additives, and, on the other hand, for fruit waste valorization.

Keywords: cherry pomace, microencapsulation, polyphenols, storage

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2 Ochratoxin-A in Traditional Meat Products from Croatian Households

Authors: Jelka Pleadin, Nina Kudumija, Ana Vulic, Manuela Zadravec, Tina Lesic, Mario Skrivanko, Irena Perkovic, Nada Vahcic

Abstract:

Products of animal origin, such as meat and meat products, can contribute to human mycotoxins’ intake coming as a result of either indirect transfer from farm animals exposed to naturally contaminated grains and feed (carry-over effects) or direct contamination with moulds or naturally contaminated spice mixtures used in meat production. Ochratoxin A (OTA) is mycotoxin considered to be of the outermost importance from the public health standpoint in connection with meat products. The aim of this study was to investigate the occurrence of OTA in different traditional meat products circulating on Croatian markets during 2018, produced by a large number of households situated in eastern and north Croatian regions using a variety of technologies. Concentrations of OTA were determined in traditional meat products (n = 70), including dry fermented sausages (Slavonian kulen, Slavonian sausage, Istrian sausage and domestic sausage; n = 28), dry-cured meat products (pancetta, pork rack and ham; n = 22) and cooked sausages (liver sausages, black pudding sausages and pate; n = 20). OTA was analyzed by use of quantitative screening immunoassay method (ELISA) and confirmed for positive samples (higher than the limit of detection) by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method. Whereas the bacon samples contaminated with OTA were not found, its level in dry fermented sausages ranged from 0.22 to 2.17 µg/kg and in dry-cured meat products from 0.47 to 5.35 µg/kg, with in total 9% of positive samples. Besides possible primary contamination of these products arising due to improper manufacturing or/and storage conditions, observed OTA contamination could also be the consequence of secondary contamination that comes as a result of contaminated feed the animals were fed on. OTA levels obtained in cooked sausages ranged from 0.32 to 4.12 µg/kg (5% of positives) and could probably be linked to the contaminated raw materials (liver, kidney and spices) used in the sausages production. The results showed an occasional OTA contamination of traditional meat products, pointing that to avoid such contamination on households these products should be produced and processed under standardized and well-controlled conditions. Further investigations should be performed in order to identify mycotoxin-producing moulds on the surface of the products and to define preventative measures that can reduce the contamination of traditional meat products during their production on households and period of storage.

Keywords: Croatian households, ochratoxin-A, traditional cooked sausages, traditional dry-cured meat products

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1 Towards Bridging the Gap between the ESP Classroom and the Workplace: Content and Language Needs Analysis in English for an Administrative Studies Course

Authors: Vesna Vulić

Abstract:

Croatia has made large steps forward in the development of higher education over the past 10 years. Purposes and objectives of the tertiary education system are focused on the personal development of young people so that they obtain competences for employment on a flexible labour market. The most frequent tensions between the tertiary institutions and employers are complaints that the current tertiary education system still supplies students with an abundance of theoretical knowledge and not enough practical skills. Polytechnics and schools of professional higher education should deliver professional education and training that will satisfy the needs of their local communities. The 21st century sets demand on undergraduates as well as their lecturers to strive for the highest standards. The skills students acquire during their studies should serve the needs of their future professional careers. In this context, teaching English for Specific Purposes (ESP) presents an enormous challenge for teachers. They have to cope with teaching the language in classes with a large number of students, limitations of time, inadequate equipment and teaching material; most frequently, this leads to focusing on specialist vocabulary neglecting the development of skills and competences required for future employment. Globalization has transformed the labour market and set new standards a perspective employee should meet. When knowledge of languages is considered, new generic skills and competences are required. Not only skillful written and oral communication is needed, but also information, media, and technology literacy, learning skills which include critical and creative thinking, collaborating and communicating, as well as social skills. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the needs of two groups of ESP first year Undergraduate Professional Administrative Study students taking ESP as a mandatory course: 47 first-year Undergraduate Professional Administrative Study students, 21 first-year employed part-time Undergraduate Professional Administrative Study students and 30 graduates with a degree in Undergraduate Professional Administrative Study with various amounts of work experience. The survey adopted a quantitative approach with the aim to determine the differences between the groups in their perception of the four language skills and different areas of law, as well as getting the insight into students' satisfaction with the current course and their motivation for studying ESP. Their perceptions will be compared to the results of the questionnaire conducted among sector professionals in order to examine how they perceive the same elements of the ESP course content and to what extent it fits into their working environment. The results of the survey indicated that there is a strong correlation between acquiring work experience and the level of importance given to particular areas of law studied in an ESP course which is in line with our initial hypothesis. In conclusion, the results of the survey should help lecturers in re-evaluating and updating their ESP course syllabi.

Keywords: English for Specific Purposes (ESP), language skills, motivation, needs analysis

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