Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 5

Search results for: Thobile A. N. Nkosi

5 Quantification of Lawsone and Adulterants in Commercial Henna Products

Authors: Ruchi B. Semwal, Deepak K. Semwal, Thobile A. N. Nkosi, Alvaro M. Viljoen

Abstract:

The use of Lawsonia inermis L. (Lythraeae), commonly known as henna, has many medicinal benefits and is used as a remedy for the treatment of diarrhoea, cancer, inflammation, headache, jaundice and skin diseases in folk medicine. Although widely used for hair dyeing and temporary tattooing, henna body art has popularized over the last 15 years and changed from being a traditional bridal and festival adornment to an exotic fashion accessory. The naphthoquinone, lawsone, is one of the main constituents of the plant and responsible for its dyeing property. Henna leaves typically contain 1.8–1.9% lawsone, which is used as a marker compound for the quality control of henna products. Adulteration of henna with various toxic chemicals such as p-phenylenediamine, p-methylaminophenol, p-aminobenzene and p-toluenodiamine to produce a variety of colours, is very common and has resulted in serious health problems, including allergic reactions. This study aims to assess the quality of henna products collected from different parts of the world by determining the lawsone content, as well as the concentrations of any adulterants present. Ultra high performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS) was used to determine the lawsone concentrations in 172 henna products. Separation of the chemical constituents was achieved on an Acquity UPLC BEH C18 column using gradient elution (0.1% formic acid and acetonitrile). The results from UPLC-MS revealed that of 172 henna products, 11 contained 1.0-1.8% lawsone, 110 contained 0.1-0.9% lawsone, whereas 51 samples did not contain detectable levels of lawsone. High performance thin layer chromatography was investigated as a cheaper, more rapid technique for the quality control of henna in relation to the lawsone content. The samples were applied using an automatic TLC Sampler 4 (CAMAG) to pre-coated silica plates, which were subsequently developed with acetic acid, acetone and toluene (0.5: 1.0: 8.5 v/v). A Reprostar 3 digital system allowed the images to be captured. The results obtained corresponded to those from UPLC-MS analysis. Vibrational spectroscopy analysis (MIR or NIR) of the powdered henna, followed by chemometric modelling of the data, indicates that this technique shows promise as an alternative quality control method. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to investigate the data by observing clustering and identifying outliers. Partial least squares (PLS) multivariate calibration models were constructed for the quantification of lawsone. In conclusion, only a few of the samples analysed contain lawsone in high concentrations, indicating that they are of poor quality. Currently, the presence of adulterants that may have been added to enhance the dyeing properties of the products, is being investigated.

Keywords: Lawsonia inermis, paraphenylenediamine, temporary tattooing, lawsone

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4 Effects of Bacterial Inoculants and Enzymes Inoculation on the Fermentation and Aerobic Stability of Potato Hash Silage

Authors: B. D. Nkosi, T. F. Mutavhatsindi, J. J. Baloyi, R. Meeske, T. M. Langa, I. M. M. Malebana, M. D. Motiang

Abstract:

Potato hash (PH), a by-product from food production industry, contains 188.4 g dry matter (DM)/kg and 3.4 g water soluble carbohydrate (WSC)/kg DM, and was mixed with wheat bran (70:30 as is basis) to provide 352 g DM/kg and 315 g WSC/kg DM. The materials were ensiled with or without silage additives in 1.5L anaerobic jars (3 jars/treatment) that were kept at 25-280 C for 3 months. Four types of silages were produced which were: control (no additive, denoted as T1), celluclast enzyme (denoted as T2), emsilage bacterial inoculant (denoted as T3) and silosolve bacterial inoculant (denoted as T4). Three jars per treatment were opened after 3 months of ensiling for the determination of nutritive values, fermentation characteristics and aerobic stability. Aerobic stability was done by exposing silage samples to air for 5 days. The addition of enzyme (T2) was reduced (P<0.05) silage pH, fiber fractions (NDF and ADF) while increasing (P < 0.05) residual WSC and lactic acid (LA) production, compared to other treatments. Silage produced had pH of < 4.0, indications of well-preserved silage. Bacterial inoculation (T3 and T4) improved (P < 0.05) aerobic stability of the silage, as indicated by increased number of hours and lower CO2 production, compared to other treatments. However, the aerobic stability of silage was worsen (P < 0.05) with the addition of an enzyme (T2). Further work to elucidate these effects on nutrient digestion and growth performance on ruminants fed the silage is needed.

Keywords: by-products, digestibility, feeds, inoculation, ruminants, silage

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3 Geography Undergraduates 360⁰ Academic Peer Learning And Mentoring 2021 – 2023: A Pilot Study

Authors: N. Ayob, N. C. Nkosi, R. P. Burger, S. J. Piketh, F. Letlaila, O. Maphosa

Abstract:

South African higher tertiary institution have been faced with high dropout rates. About 50 to 60% of first years drop out to due to various reasons one being inadequate academic support. Geography 111 (GEOG 111) module is historically known for having below 50% pass rate, high dropout rate and identified as a first year risk module. For the first time GEOG 111 (2021) on the Mahikeng Campus admitted 150 students pursuing more than 6 different qualifications (BA and BSc) from the Humanities Faculty and FNAS. First year students had difficulties transitioning from secondary to tertiary institutions as we shifted to remote learning while we navigate through the Covid-19 pandemic. The traditional method of teaching does not encourage students to help each other. With remote learning we do not have control over what the students share and perhaps this can be a learning opportunity to embrace peer learning and change the manner in which we assess the students. The purpose of this pilot study was to assist GEOG111 students with academic challenges whilst improving their University experience. This was a qualitative study open to all GEOG111, repeaters, students who are not confident in their Geographical knowledge and never did Geography at high school level. The selected 9 Golden Key International Honour Society Geography mentors attended an academic mentor training program with module lecturers. About 17.6% of the mentees did not have a geography background however, 94% of the mentees passed, 1 mentee had a mark of 38%. 11 of the participants had a mark >60% with one student that excelled 70%. It is evident that mentorship helped students reach their academic potential. Peer learning and mentoring are associated with improved academic performance and allows the students to take charge of their learning and academic experience. Thus an important element as we transform pedagogies at higher learning institutions.

Keywords: geography, risk module, peer mentoring, peer learning

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2 Characterisation of Extracellular Polymeric Substances from Bacteria Isolated from Acid Mine Decant in Gauteng, South Africa

Authors: Nonhlanhla Nkosi, Kulsum Kondiah

Abstract:

The toxicological manifestation of heavy metals motivates interest towards the development of a reliable, eco-friendly biosorption process. With that being said, the aim of the current study was to characterise the EPS from heavy-metal resistant bacteria isolated from acid mine decant on the West Rand, Gauteng, South Africa. To achieve this, six exopolysaccharide (EPS) producing, metal resistant strains (Pb101, Pb102, Pb103, Pb204, Co101, and Ni101) were identified as Bacillus safensis strain NBRC 100820, Bacillus proteolyticus, Micrococcus luteus, Enterobacter sp. Pb204, Bacillus wiedmannii and Bacillus zhangzhouensis, respectively with 16S rRNA sequencing. Thereafter, EPS was extracted using chemical (formaldehyde/NaOH) and physical (ultrasonification) methods followed by physicochemical characterisation of carbohydrate, DNA, and protein contents using chemical assays and spectroscopy (FTIR- Fourier transformed infrared and 3DEEM- three-dimensional excitation-emission matrix fluorescence spectroscopy). EPS treated with formaldehyde/NaOH showed better recovery of macromolecules than ultrasonification. The results of the present study showed that carbohydrates were more abundant than proteins, with carbohydrate and protein concentrations of 8.00 mg/ml and 0.22 mg/ml using chemical method in contrast to 5.00 mg/ml and 0.77 mg/ml using physical method, respectively. The FTIR spectroscopy results revealed that the extracted EPS contained hydroxyl, amide, acyl, and carboxyl groups that corresponded to the aforementioned chemical analysis results, thus asserting the presence of carbohydrates, DNA, polysaccharides, and proteins in the EPS. These findings suggest that identified functional groups of EPS form surface charges, which serve as the binding sites for suspended particles, thus possibly mediating adsorption of divalent cations and heavy metals. Using the extracted EPS in the development of a cost-effective biosorption solution for industrial wastewater treatment is attainable.

Keywords: biosorbent, exopolysaccharides, heavy metals, wastewater treatment

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1 Inner and Outer School Contextual Factors Associated with Poor Performance of Grade 12 Students: A Case Study of an Underperforming High School in Mpumalanga, South Africa

Authors: Victoria L. Nkosi, Parvaneh Farhangpour

Abstract:

Often a Grade 12 certificate is perceived as a passport to tertiary education and the minimum requirement to enter the world of work. In spite of its importance, many students do not make this milestone in South Africa. It is important to find out why so many students still fail in spite of transformation in the education system in the post-apartheid era. Given the complexity of education and its context, this study adopted a case study design to examine one historically underperforming high school in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga Province, South Africa in 2013. The aim was to gain a understanding of the inner and outer school contextual factors associated with the high failure rate among Grade 12 students.  Government documents and reports were consulted to identify factors in the district and the village surrounding the school and a student survey was conducted to identify school, home and student factors. The randomly-sampled half of the population of Grade 12 students (53) participated in the survey and quantitative data are analyzed using descriptive statistical methods. The findings showed that a host of factors is at play. The school is located in a village within a municipality which has been one of the poorest three municipalities in South Africa and the lowest Grade 12 pass rate in the Mpumalanga province.   Moreover, over half of the families of the students are single parents, 43% are unemployed and the majority has a low level of education. In addition, most families (83%) do not have basic study materials such as a dictionary, books, tables, and chairs. A significant number of students (70%) are over-aged (+19 years old); close to half of them (49%) are grade repeaters. The school itself lacks essential resources, namely computers, science laboratories, library, and enough furniture and textbooks. Moreover, teaching and learning are negatively affected by the teachers’ occasional absenteeism, inadequate lesson preparation, and poor communication skills. Overall, the continuous low performance of students in this school mirrors the vicious circle of multiple negative conditions present within and outside of the school. The complexity of factors associated with the underperformance of Grade 12 students in this school calls for a multi-dimensional intervention from government and stakeholders. One important intervention should be the placement of over-aged students and grade-repeaters in suitable educational institutions for the benefit of other students.

Keywords: inner context, outer context, over-aged students, vicious cycle

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