Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

Search results for: Yohnny Campana

4 Roads and Agriculture: Impacts of Connectivity in Peru

Authors: Julio Aguirre, Yohnny Campana, Elmer Guerrero, Daniel De La Torre Ugarte


A well-developed transportation network is a necessary condition for a country to derive full benefits from good trade and macroeconomic policies. Road infrastructure plays a key role in the economic development of rural areas of developing countries; where agriculture is the main economic activity. The ability to move agricultural production from the place of production to the market, and then to the place of consumption, greatly influence the economic value of farming activities, and of the resources involved in the production process, i.e., labor and land. Consequently, investment in transportation networks contributes to enhance or overcome the natural advantages or disadvantages that topography and location have imposed over the agricultural sector. This is of particular importance when dealing with countries, like Peru, with a great topographic diversity. The objective of this research is to estimate the impacts of road infrastructure on the performance of the agricultural sector. Specific variables of interest are changes in travel time, shifts of production for self-consumption to production for the market, changes in farmers income, and impacts on the diversification of the agricultural sector. In the study, a cross-section model with instrumental variables is the central methodological instrument. The data is obtained from agricultural and transport geo-referenced databases, and the instrumental variable specification utilized is based on the Kruskal algorithm. The results show that the expansion of road connectivity reduced farmers' travel time by an average of 3.1 hours and the proportion of output sold in the market increases by up to 40 percentage points. The increase in connectivity has an unexpected increase in the districts index of diversification of agricultural production. The results are robust to the inclusion of year and region fixed-effects, and to control for geography (i.e., slope and altitude), population variables, and mining activity. Other results are also very eloquent. For example, a clear positive impact can be seen in access to local markets, but this does not necessarily correlate with an increase in the production of the sector. This can be explained by the fact that agricultural development not only requires provision of roads but additional complementary infrastructure and investments intended to provide the necessary conditions so that producers can offer quality products (improved management practices, timely maintenance of irrigation infrastructure, transparent management of water rights, among other factors). Therefore, complementary public goods are needed to enhance the effects of roads on the welfare of the population, beyond enabling them to increase their access to markets.

Keywords: Regional Development, agriculture devolepment, market access, road connectivity

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3 Poly(N-Vinylcaprolactam-Co-Itaconic Acid-Co-Ethylene Glycol Dimethacrylate)-Based Microgels Embedded in Chitosan Matrix for Controlled Release of Ketoprofen

Authors: Simone F. Medeiros, Jessica M. Fonseca, Gizelda M. Alves, Danilo M. Santos, Sérgio P. Campana-Filho, Amilton M. Santos


Stimuli responsive and biocompatible hydrogel nanoparticles have gained special attention as systems for potential applications in controlled release of drugs to improve their therapeutic efficacy while minimizing side effects. In this work, novel solid dispersions based on thermo- and pH-responsive poly(N-vinylcaprolactam-co-itaconic acid-co-ethylene- glycol dimethacrylate) hydrogel nanoparticles embedded in chitosan matrices were prepared via spray drying for controlled release of ketoprofen. Firstly, the hydrogel nanoparticles containing ketoprofen were prepared via precipitation polymerization and their stimuli-responsive behavior, thermal properties, chemical composition, encapsulation efficiency and morphology were characterized. Then, hydrogel nanoparticles with different particles size were embedded into chitosan matrices via spray-drying. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analyses were performed to investigate the particles size, dispersity and morphology. Finally, ketoprofen release profiles were studied as a function of pH and temperature. Chitosan/poly(NVCL-co-IA-co-EGDMA)-ketoprofen microparticles presented spherical shape, rough surface and pronounced agglomeration, indicating that hydrogels nanoparticles loaded with ketoprofen modified the surface of chitosan matrix. The maximum encapsulation efficiency of ketoprofen into hydrogel nanoparticles was 57.8% and the electrostatic interactions between amino groups from chitosan and carboxylic groups from hydrogel nanoparticles were able to control ketoprofen release. The hydrogel nanoparticles themselves were capable to retard the release of ketoprofen-loaded until 48h of in vitro release tests, while their incorporation into chitosan matrix achieved a maximum percentage of drug release of 45%, using a mass ratio of chitosan: poly(NVCL-co-IA-co-EGDMA equal to 10:7, and 69%, using a mass ratio of chitosan: poly(NVCL-co-IA-co-EGDMA equal to 5:2.

Keywords: chitosan, hydrogel nanoparticles, poly(N-vinylcaprolactam-co-itaconic acid-co-ethylene- glycol dimethacrylate), ketoprofen, spray-drying

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2 Study of Polyphenol Profile and Antioxidant Capacity in Italian Ancient Apple Varieties by Liquid Chromatography

Authors: A. M. Tarola, R. Preti, A. M. Girelli, P. Campana


Safeguarding, studying and enhancing biodiversity play an important and indispensable role in re-launching agriculture. The ancient local varieties are therefore a precious resource for genetic and health improvement. In order to protect biodiversity through the recovery and valorization of autochthonous varieties, in this study we analyzed 12 samples of four ancient apple cultivars representative of Friuli Venezia Giulia, selected by local farmers who work on a project for the recovery of ancient apple cultivars. The aim of this study is to evaluate the polyphenolic profile and the antioxidant capacity that characterize the organoleptic and functional qualities of this fruit species, besides having beneficial properties for health. In particular, for each variety, the following compounds were analyzed, both in the skins and in the pulp: gallic acid, catechin, chlorogenic acid, epicatechin, caffeic acid, coumaric acid, ferulic acid, rutin, phlorizin, phloretin and quercetin to highlight any differences in the edible parts of the apple. The analysis of individual phenolic compounds was performed by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) coupled with a diode array UV detector (DAD), the antioxidant capacity was estimated using an in vitro essay based on a Free Radical Scavenging Method and the total phenolic compounds was determined using the Folin-Ciocalteau method. From the results, it is evident that the catechins are the most present polyphenols, reaching a value of 140-200 μg/g in the pulp and of 400-500 μg/g in the skin, with the prevalence of epicatechin. Catechins and phlorizin, a dihydrohalcone typical of apples, are always contained in larger quantities in the peel. Total phenolic compounds content was positively correlated with antioxidant activity in apple pulp (r2 = 0,850) and peel (r2 = 0,820). Comparing the results, differences between the varieties analyzed and between the edible parts (pulp and peel) of the apple were highlighted. In particular, apple peel is richer in polyphenolic compounds than pulp and flavonols are exclusively present in the peel. In conclusion, polyphenols, being antioxidant substances, have confirmed the benefits of fruit in the diet, especially as a prevention and treatment for degenerative diseases. They demonstrated to be also a good marker for the characterization of different apple cultivars. The importance of protecting biodiversity in agriculture was also highlighted through the exploitation of native products and ancient varieties of apples now forgotten.

Keywords: Characterization, Biodiversity, polyphenols, antioxidant activity, Apple, HPLC-DAD

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1 Recent Advances in the Valorization of Goat Milk: Nutritional Properties and Production Sustainability

Authors: A. M. Tarola, R. Preti, A. M. Girelli, P. Campana


Goat dairy products are gaining popularity worldwide. In developing countries, but also in many marginal regions of the Mediterranean area, goats represent a great part of the economy and ensure food security. In fact, these small ruminants are able to convert efficiently poor weedy plants and small trees into traditional products of high nutritional quality, showing great resilience to different climatic and environmental conditions. In developed countries, goat milk is appreciated for the presence of health-promoting compounds, bioactive compounds such as conjugated linoleic acids, oligosaccharides, sphingolipids and polyammines. This paper focuses on the recent advances in literature on the nutritional properties of goat milk and on innovative techniques to improve its quality as to become a promising functional food. The environmental sustainability of different methodologies of production has also been examined. Goat milk is valued today as a food of high nutritional value and functional properties as well as small environmental footprint. It is widely consumed in many countries due to high nutritional value, lower allergenic potential, and better digestibility when compared to bovine milk, that makes this product suitable for infants, elderly or sensitive patients. The main differences in chemical composition between a cow and goat milk rely on fat globules that in goat milk are smaller and in fatty acids that present a smaller chain length, while protein, fat, and lactose concentration are comparable. Milk nutritional properties have demonstrated to be strongly influenced by animal diet, genotype, and welfare, but also by season and production systems. Furthermore, there is a growing interest in the dairy industry in goat milk for its relatively high concentration of prebiotics and a good amount of probiotics, which have recently gained importance for their therapeutic potential. Therefore, goat milk is studied as a promising matrix to develop innovative functional foods. In addition to the economic and nutritional value, goat milk is considered a sustainable product for its small environmental footprint, as they require relatively little water and land, and less medical treatments, compared to cow, these characteristics make its production naturally vocated to organic farming. Organic goat milk production has becoming more and more interesting both for farmers and consumers as it can answer to several concerns like environment protection, animal welfare and economical sustainment of rural populations living in marginal lands. These evidences make goat milk an ancient food with novel properties and advantages to be valorized and exploited.

Keywords: Animal Welfare, Bioactive Compounds, Sustainable Production, Nutritional Quality, goat milk

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