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History of Agriculture

Talking about agroindustry in present days, we also talking about agriculture it self. Agriculture and farming activity is start almost a thousand years ago. Pinpointing the absolute beginnings of agriculture is problematic because the transition away from purely hunter-gatherer societies, in some areas, began many thousands of years before the invention of writing. Nonetheless, Archaeobotanists/Paleoethnobotanists have traced the selection and cultivation of specific food plant characteristics, such as a semi-tough rachis and larger seeds, to just after the Younger Dryas (about 9,500 BC) in the early Holocene in the Levant region of the Fertile Crescent.

Limited anthropological and archaeological evidence both indicate a grain-grinding culture farming along the Nile in the 10th millennium BC using the world's earliest known type of sickle blades. There is even earlier evidence for conscious cultivation and seasonal harvest: grains of rye with domestic traits have been recovered from Epi-Palaeolithic (10,000+ BC) contexts at Abu Hureyra in Syria, but this appears to be a localised phenomenon resulting from cultivation of stands of wild rye, rather than a definitive step towards domestication. By 8000 BC, farming was in practice in Anatolia.

By 7000 BC it reached Mesopotamia, by 6000 BC the Nile River, and by 5000 BC, it had spread to India. Around the same time, agriculture was developed independently in China. Maize was first domesticated from teosinte in the Americas around 3000-2700 BC. In these contexts lie the origins of the eight so-called founder crops of agriculture: first emmer and einkorn wheat, then hulled barley, peas, lentils, bitter vetch, chick peas and flax. These eight crops occur more or less simultaneously on PPNB sites in this region, although the consensus is that wheat was the first to be sown and harvested on a significant scale.
Ancient Egyptia Farmer

There are many sites that date to between ca. 8,500 BC and 7,500 BC where the systematic farming of these crops contributed the major part of the inhabitants' diet. From the Fertile Crescent agriculture spread eastwards to Central Asia and westwards into Cyprus, Anatolia and, by 7,000 BC, Greece. Farming, principally of emmer and einkorn, reached northwestern Europe via southeastern and central Europe by ca. 4,800 BC (see, among others, Price, D. [ed.] 2000. Europe's First Farmers. Cambridge University Press; Harris, D. [ed.] 1996 The Origins and Spread of Agriculture in Eurasia. UCL Press).

The reasons for the earliest introduction of farming may have included climate change, but possibly there were also social reasons (e.g. accumulation of food surplus for competitive gift-giving). Most certainly there was a gradual transition from hunter-gatherer to agricultural economies after a lengthy period when some crops were deliberately planted and other foods were gathered from the wild. Although localised climate change is the favoured explanation for the origins of agriculture in the Levant, the fact that farming was 'invented' at least three times, possibly more, suggests that social reasons may have been instrumental.

Full dependency on domestic crops and animals did not occur until the Bronze Age, by which time wild resources contributed a nutritionally insignificant component to the diet. If the operative definition of agriculture includes large scale intensive cultivation of land, mono-cropping, organized irrigation, and use of a specialized labour force, the title "inventors of agriculture" would fall to the Sumerians, starting ca. 5,500 BC. Intensive farming allows a much greater density of population than can be supported by hunting and gathering and allows for the accumulation of excess product to keep for winter use or to sell for profit. The ability of farmers to feed large numbers of people whose activities have nothing to do with material production was the crucial factor in the rise of standing armies. The agriculturalism of the Sumerians allowed them to embark on an unprecedented territorial expansion, making them the first empire builders. Not long after, the Egyptians, powered by effective farming of the Nile valley, achieved a population density from which enough warriors could be drawn for a territorial expansion more than tripling the Sumerian empire in area.

Agriculture in the Middle Ages
The Middle Ages owe much of its development to the advances made by the Muslims. As early as the ninth century, a modern agricultural system became central to economic life and organization in the Muslim land. The great cities of the Near East, North Africa and Spain, Artz explains, were supported by an elaborate agricultural system that included extensive irrigation and an expert knowledge of the most advanced agricultural methods in the world. The Muslims introduced of what was to become an agricultural revolution based on four key areas:

• Development of a sophisticated system of Irrigation using machines such as Norias, newly invented water raising machines, dams and reservoirs. With such technology they managed to greatly expand the exploitable land area.

• The adoption of a scientific approach to farming enabled them to improve farming techniques derived from the collection and collation of relevant information throughout the whole of the known world. Farming manuals were produced in every corner of the Muslim world detailing where, when and how to plant and grow various crops. Advanced scientific techniques allowed people like Ibn al-Baytar to challenge the elements by growing plants, thousands of miles from their origins that could never have been imagined to grow in a semi-arid or arid climate. The introduction and acclimatization of new crops and breeds and strains of livestock into areas where they were previously unknown.

• Incentives based on new approach to land ownership and labourers' rights, combining the recognition of private ownership and the rewarding of cultivators with a harvest share commensurate with their efforts.

• The introduction of new and a variety of crops transforming private farming into a new global industry exported everywhere including Europe. Spain received (apart from a legendary high culture), and what she in turn transmitted to most Europe, all manner of agricultural and fruit-growing processes, together with a vast number of new plants, fruit and vegetables that we all now take for granted. These new crops included sugar cane, rice, citrus fruit, apricots, cotton, artichokes, aubergines, saffron... Others, previously known, were developed further. Muslims also brought to that country lemons, oranges, cotton, almonds, figs and sub-tropical crops such as bananas and sugar cane were grown on the coastal parts of the country, many to be taken later to the Spanish colonies in the Americas. Also owing to the Muslim influence, a silk industry flourished, flax was cultivated and linen exported, and esparto grass, which grew wild in the more arid parts, was collected and turned into various types of articles.

Late Middle Ages
The invention of a three field system of crop rotation during the Middle Ages vastly improved agricultural efficiency. After 1492 the world's agricultural patterns were shuffled in the widespread exchange of plants and animals known as the Columbian Exchange. Crops and animals that were previously only known in the Old World were now transplanted to the New and vice versa. Perhaps most notably, the tomato became a favorite in European cuisine, with maize and the potato widely grown, while certain wheat strains quickly took to western hemisphere soils and became a dietary staple even for native North, Central and South Americans.

By the early 1800s agricultural practices, particularly careful selection of hardy strains and cultivars, had so improved that yield per land unit was many times that seen in the Middle Ages and before, especially in the largely virgin lands of North and South America. With the rapid rise of mechanization in the 20th century, especially in the form of the tractor, the demanding tasks of sowing, harvesting and threshing could be performed with a speed and on a scale barely imaginable before. These advances have led to efficiencies enabling certain modern farms in the United States, Argentina, Israel, Germany and a few other nations to output volumes of high quality produce per land unit at what may be the practical limit.
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Why Organic Farming Hard to Apply?

All aspects of organic farming and organic food are under debate. Environmentalists, food safety advocates, various consumer protection, social justice and labor groups, small independent farmers, and a growing number of food consumers are ranged against agribusiness and current government agricultural policies.

The controversy centers on the overall value and safety of chemical agriculture, with organic farming popularly regarded as the "opposite" of modern, large-scale, chemical-based, vertically integrated, corporate food production. As public awareness increases, there are a number of obstacles to an easy grasp of the overall situation.

In recent decades, food production has moved out of the public eye. In developed nations, where most of the world's wealth, consumption, and agricultural policy-making are centered, many are unaware of how their food is produced, or even that food, like energy, is not unlimited. If the methods used to produce food are rapidly destroying the capacity for continued production, then sustainable, organic farming is as crucial a topic as renewable energy and pollution control. This proposition is at the center of most organic farming issues.

It is useful to make a distinction between organic farming and organic food. Whether organic food is tastier, safer or more nutritious has little to do with the effects of chemical agriculture on the environment. In any case, most food dollars are spent on processed food products, the manufacture of which is beyond the scope of farming. There are separate food and farming issues and lumping the two together only confuses the discussion.

The distinction between organic farming and organic certification is also important. Defining organic farming with checklists of acceptable and prohibited inputs and practices elicits similar criticisms as those leveled at chemical farming. With rules come exceptions, whether well-intentioned or purely profit-oriented, and critics hold that this can only undermine organic principles. What is "more-or-less organic"? Certification also allows agribusiness to lobby for favorable definitions—anything that can be approved becomes "organic".

Of course, the issues, particularly the social ones, will shift if agribusiness fully adapts to and dominates organic farming, and (in early 2005) this is the current trend. Then, large-scale, certified organic farms would probably operate much more like conventional farms do today. Environmental benefits may accrue from a change in types of pesticides and fertilizer used, more crop diversity, and the like, but if the overall agribusiness philosophy remains essentially unchanged, "organic farming" could become the norm, without any great environmental or social improvements.

The following topics may be argued from both sides.
READ MORE - Why Organic Farming Hard to Apply?


Tips to Help Our Environtment Sustainability

We as a citizens have a responsibilty. A responsible citizens need to put in some efforts to do our bit at the grass root level. This can be easily done by inculcating some simple ways to help the environment in our day to day life. Though the efforts might look insignificant when seen individually, together they can have a strong impact on the environment. Bellow are The following tips for ways to help our Environtment :

Ways to Help the Environment at Home
What better place to initiate your efforts to save environment than at home? You can contribute your bit to save the planet by following some of the most simple steps. Reduce, reuse and recycle is by far the best motto when it comes to saving environment. Most of the things we use today, are derived from non renewable sources which are bound to get over some day. We can save them only by reducing their use, using them to their potential and recycling them, if possible. These things include fossil fuels, paper, water etc. Another important step towards helping the environment would be using less electricity. This can be done by switching off the various products, which work on electricity, when not in use. Lowering the temperature of your thermostat, replacing incandescent light bulb with a CFL, using less hot water, switching to bicycle when possible. This simple yet effective ways can yield positive results when practiced by the whole world. Read more on sustainable living ideas.

Ways to Help the Environment at School
They say that kids of today, are the future of tomorrow, and hence inculcating, at the young age, the need of working towards saving the environment is bound to make them responsible citizens of tomorrow. Though, their efforts, in the beginning, would be small, they will turn out to be helpful when taken as a whole, in the long term. Kids can help by planting trees, not wasting paper, making sure that they use water properly, not wasting electricity and spreading awareness about these simple ways to save the environment in their neighborhood. Planting trees can help in bringing about the much needed stability in the environment, while not wasting resources will make sure that we will use them efficiently. Inculcating these easy ways, in kids at a tender age, to help the environment will make them realize the seriousness of the issue more efficiently.

Ways to Help the Environment from Global Warming
One of the biggest hazard lurking for the planet Earth is that of global warming. Though the debate about global warming effects on Earth continues, we can start making some simple efforts, so that, we don't repent if the calamity finally descends on us tomorrow. Human induced global warming is basically caused due to a range of human activities, including use of fossil fuels to deforestation. Though the problems may sound to be quite devastating it doesn't necessarily mean that you as an individual can't do anything about it. The simple efforts though which you can contribute to save the environment include, walking or cycling instead of using a vehicle, taking shower for a less period, using less electricity, planting trees, switching to alternative fuels which are environment friendly etc. This will not just help in curbing global warming, but will also help in curbing several other environmental issues, including air and water pollution.
READ MORE - Tips to Help Our Environtment Sustainability

illustration of simple cycle of biomass

Biomass, in the energy production industry, refers to the living biological material or a new die that can be used as a source of fuel or for industrial production. Generally, biomass refers to plant materials that are kept for use as biofuel, but can also include plant or animal matter used for production of fibers, chemicals, or heat. Biomass may also include biodegradable wastes that can be burned as fuel. Biomass does not include organic material that has been transformed by geological processes into substances such as coal or petroleum.Biomass is usually measured by dry weight. Read more about biomass here.

Bellow are illustration of a simple cycle of biomass :
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Bamboo Clothes, Comfort and Style the Green Way

Today, some people are looking for clothing which has traits like being hypoallergenic, soft but durable, and harmonious with the earth. But at the same time human beings still desire their clothing to look nice when they wear it. Does that sound too demanding? It isn't too much of a demand for bamboo organic clothing to meet. Furthermore, bamboo organic clothes is made of organic fabric that wicks moisture--and bacteria--away from your skin.

Since the bamboo is botanically classified as a grass, it is one of the world's most sustainable resources and good for clothing material as it can be obtained in large quantities. Harvesting the bamboo grasses for mass production of bamboo organic clothing will never harm the ecosystem as the grasses can replenish on its own each three to 5 years. This is the reason why bamboo organic clothing materials are now the most hard to beat rival of cotton clothing materials. Even now as you are reading cotton is being rivaled for market share, as more and more people are needing durable long lasting and soft clothing.

There are many benefits related to the utilization of bamboo organic clothing. The garments are very sturdy and may last for longer period of wash and wear. The bamboo fabrics are totally comfortable to wear because they're soft and smooth to the skin as if you're wearing silk. No insecticides and chemicals were used in growing the grass and in producing the bamboo clothing. Bamboo is truly the cotton for the new century.

Those who have tried the fabrics of bamboo clothing are dazzled of the quality of the clothes. The bamboo organic clothing can absorb the moisture from the skin without giving possibilities for bacteria to accumulate. Even if they're under the heat of the sun, this type of clothing stays snug to wear as the fabric has a natural breathability characteristic. When worn during high temperature seasons, the material of bamboo organic clothing will permit the perspiration to evaporate, therefore avoiding body odor and skin irritation.

Another good thing with the bamboo fabrics is that the products are really sturdy to not fray out so easily even after longer times of wash and wear. There is no need to handwash, it is sturdy enough to last through many cycles of the washer and dryer. Bamboo is simple to scrub, as the dirt in bamboo organic clothing simply loosens up when washed. When you use bamboo clothing in the sun, you'll get protection from ultraviolet rays without o irritation to the skin. Bamboo organic clothing is truly an one-of-a-kind-clothing available that is safe for everybody, even for small babies.

Compared to cotton clothes, bamboo organic clothes don't need any artificial chemicals to treat the fabrics from any pests and bacteria. Because of this it will not also cause harmful effects to the folks that wear the garments nor does it harm the environment. Now that the fashion trend has been progressing awfully fast, different types of garments made from bamboo are available in varied styles for all blokes, women and children. The nice thing with bamboo organic clothes is that despite its luxurious quality, everyone can still afford it because of its cost-efficiency.

The fashionable quality, the comfort, the softness of bamboo, as well as the sturdiness, and the cost-efficiency might be the reasons for you to make the switch to bamboo organic clothing. You will not only get to wear comfort on your skin, you also will be helping to save the environment from being exhausted by choosing clothes made from bamboo materials. 

Source :
READ MORE - Bamboo Clothes, Comfort and Style the Green Way


Hand sanitizing spray using peppermint oil

Food safety constitutes a growing concern for regulatory agencies, producers and the public due to the incidence of foodborne illness caused by enteric human pathogens in various food products at retail and commercial food service facilities. In recent years,

outbreaks of illness linked to the consumption of food have been increasing. A number of these outbreaks have also been linked to packaging, pre-washing and cleanliness of workers. Employees who are in direct contact with food is a major factor in foodborne illness. Because there is a constant risk of spreading pathogens via hand contact and food surfaces, hygiene measures are important for these surfaces. Washing hands with sanitizing solutions is the only step where a reduction in spoilage microorganisms and potential pathogens can be achieved. However, limited scientific information is available on the efficacy of many disinfection methods for reducing the populations of pathogenic bacteria on hand.

Escherichia coli, coliform and Staphylococcus aureus are living on human skin and in food. E. coli especially is used as reliable indicator of fecal contamination and as a possible presence of enteropathogenic and/or toxigenic microorganisms which constitute a public health hazard. E. coli is one of the main inhabitants of the intestinal tract of most mammalian species, including humans and birds. Moreover, the presence of fecal coliforms in food indicates post-sanitization or post-process contamination, often caused by a lack of hand hygiene on the part of food handlers. S. aureus is also among the most common causes of foodborne illnesses.
Foodborne disease caused by S. aureus is typically due to enterotoxin ingestion preformed in food by the enterotoxigenic strain.

A conventional method of hand sanitizing procedures is washed with plain water or water containing a sanitizer, such as chlorine. Chlorine has however, a minimal effect in killing bacteria on these surfaces. In recent years, essential oils as a natural compound have been studied for potential uses in hand protection. Over the past few years, increasing consumer demand for more natural, “synthetic preservative-free” products, has led the food industry to consider the incorporation of natural preservatives in a range of products. The use of natural antimicrobial compounds has the advantage of being more
acceptable to the consumers as these are considered as “non chemical”.

The effect of peppermint oil on Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and coliform species. Both Escherichia coli and coliform were inhibited on hands. The spray hand sanitizer of peppermint oil appears to have good preventive treatment with regard to pathogens on hands and would have wider
application in food safety.
Source:Asian Journal of Food & Agro-Industry
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Recycling unused Plastic for better Environtment

The confusion over what we can and cannot recycle continues to confound consumers. Plastics are especially troublesome, as different types of plastic require different processing to be reformulated and re-used as raw material. Some municipalities accept all types of plastic for recycling, while others only accept jugs, containers and bottles with certain numbers stamped on their bottoms.

Recycling by the Numbers
The symbol code we’re familiar with—a single digit ranging from 1 to 7 and surrounded by a triangle of arrows—was designed by The Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) in 1988 to allow consumers and recyclers to differentiate types of plastics while providing a uniform coding system for manufacturers.

Easy Plastics to Recycle
The easiest and most common plastics to recycle are made of polyethylene terephthalate (PETE) and are assigned the number 1. Examples include soda and water bottles, medicine containers, and many other common consumer product containers. Once it has been processed by a recycling facility, PETE can become fiberfill for winter coats, sleeping bags and life jackets. It can also be used to make bean bags, rope, car bumpers, tennis ball felt, combs, cassette tapes, sails for boats, furniture and, of course, other plastic bottles.

Number 2 is reserved for high-density polyethylene plastics. These include heavier containers that hold laundry detergents and bleaches as well as milk, shampoo and motor oil. Plastic labeled with the number 2 is often recycled into toys, piping, plastic lumber and rope. Like plastic designated number 1, it is widely accepted at recycling centers.

Plastics Less Commonly Recycled
Polyvinyl chloride, commonly used in plastic pipes, shower curtains, medical tubing, vinyl dashboards, and even some baby bottle nipples, gets number 3. Like numbers 4 (wrapping films, grocery and sandwich bags, and other containers made of low-density polyethylene) and 5 (polypropylene containers used in Tupperware, among other products), few municipal recycling centers will accept it due to its very low rate of recyclability.

Another Useful Plastic to Recycle
Number 6 goes on polystyrene (Styrofoam) items such as coffee cups, disposable cutlery, meat trays, packing “peanuts” and insulation. It is widely accepted because it can be reprocessed into many items, including cassette tapes and rigid foam insulation.

Hardest Plastics to Recycle
Last, but far from least, are items crafted from various combinations of the aforementioned plastics or from unique plastic formulations not commonly used. Usually imprinted with a number 7 or nothing at all, these plastics are the most difficult to recycle and, as such, are seldom collected or recycled. More ambitious consumers can feel free to return such items to the product manufacturers to avoid contributing to the local waste stream, and instead put the burden on the makers to recycle or dispose of the items properly. But in these day using a bioplastic is more effective for keeping environtment clean.
READ MORE - Recycling unused Plastic for better Environtment


Disadvantage using Organic Pesticide

In the previous article about biopesticide, im discussing about the benefits of using a biopesticide to environment. but actually there is a loss if we use even organic pesticides, this is the result of study. Consumers shouldn't assume that, because a product is organic, it's also environmentally friendly.

A new University of Guelph study reveals some organic pesticides can have a higher environmental impact than conventional pesticides because the organic product may require larger doses.

Environmental sciences professor Rebecca Hallett and PhD candidate Christine Bahlai compared the effectiveness and environmental impact of organic pesticides to those of conventional and novel reduced-risk synthetic products on soybean crops.

"The consumer demand for organic products is increasing partly because of a concern for the environment," said Hallett. "But it's too simplistic to say that because it's organic it's better for the environment. Organic growers are permitted to use pesticides that are of natural origin and in some cases these organic pesticides can have higher environmental impacts than synthetic pesticides often because they have to be used in large doses."

The study, which is published today in the journal PloS One, involved testing six pesticides and comparing their environmental impact and effectiveness in killing soybean aphids – the main pest of soybean crops across North America.

The two scientists examined four synthetic pesticides: two conventional products commonly used by soybean farmers and two new, reduced-risk pesticides. They also examined a mineral oil-based organic pesticide that smothers aphids and another product containing a fungus that infects and kills insects.

The researchers used the environmental impact quotient, a database indicating impact of active ingredients based on such factors as leaching rate into soil, runoff, toxicity from skin exposure, consumer risk, toxicity to birds and fish, and duration of the chemical in the soil and on the plant.

They also conducted field tests on how well each pesticide targeted aphids while leaving their predators -- ladybugs and flower bugs -- unharmed.

"We found the mineral oil organic pesticide had the most impact on the environment because it works by smothering the aphids and therefore requires large amounts to be applied to the plants," said Hallett.

Compared to the synthetic pesticides, the mineral oil-based and fungal products were less effective, as they also killed ladybugs and flower bugs, which are important regulators of aphid population and growth.

These predator insects reduce environmental impact because they naturally protect the crop, reducing the amount of pesticides that are needed, she added.

"Ultimately, the organic products were much less effective than the novel and conventional pesticides at killing the aphids and they have a potentially higher environmental impact," she said. "In terms of making pest management decisions and trying to do what is best for the environment, it's important to look at every compound and make a selection based on the environmental impact quotient rather than if it's simply natural or synthetic. It's a simplification that just doesn't work when it comes to minimizing environmental impact."
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Biosolar from Unused Coffee Grounds

Scientists in Nevada have reported that coffee grounds can provide an alternative biosolar materials for cars and trucks that are cheap, plentiful, and environmentally friendly.

In a recent study, Mano Misra, Susanta Mohapatra, and Narasimharao Kondamudi said that the main obstacle of widespread use of biosolar is a low willingness-quality raw materials to produce this new energy. Coffee grounds contain 11-20% oil by weight. This amount is equivalent to the traditional biosolar raw materials such as palm oil or soybeans.

The farmers produce more than 16 billion pounds of coffee throughout the world each year. Production of coffee grounds from espresso, cappuccino, and coffee, java often end up in the trash or used as fertilizer. However, scientists estimate that the actual coffee grounds have the potential to add 340 million gallons of fuel supply biosolar to the world.

To validate this, scientists are collecting coffee grounds from a retail provider of the fast food and coffee to extract the oil. They then use a simple process nan cheaper to modify 100 percent of its oil to biosolar.

Results from this coffee-based fuel - which has a smell the coffee - have a great advantage in terms of stability compared to traditional biosolar because high antioxidant content in coffee said the researchers. Solid waste remaining from this conversion can be converted into ethanol or used as compost. The researchers estimate that this process can generate revenue of more than $ 8 million dollars in America alone. They plan to develop a small scale factory to produce and test experimental fuel in the timeframe of six to eight months into the future.

Biosolar is a market that is being stretched. Experts estimate that the annual global production of biosolar will reach three billion gallons in 2010. This fuel can be made from soybean oil, palm oil, peanut oil and other vegetable oils, animal fats and even used frying oil from fast food restaurants. Biosolar can also be added to regular diesel fuel. Also this product can be used as a separate product and is used as an alternative fuel for diesel engines.
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Environmentally friendly jets engine with biofuels

David Shonnard, Robbins Chair Professor of Chemical Engineering, analyzed the carbon dioxide emissions of jet fuel made from camelina oil over the course of its life cycle, from planting to tailpipe. “Camelina jet fuel exhibits one of the largest greenhouse gas emission reductions of any agricultural feedstock-derived biofuel I’ve ever seen,” he said. “This is the result of the unique attributes of the crop–its low fertilizer requirements, high oil yield, and the availability of its coproducts, such as meal and biomass, for other uses.”

Camelina sativa originated in Europe and is a member of the mustard family, along with broccoli, cabbage and canola. Sometimes called false flax or gold-of-pleasure, it thrives in the semi-arid conditions of the Northern Plains; the camelina used in the study was grown in Montana.

Oil from camelina can be converted to a hydrocarbon green jet fuel that meets or exceeds all petroleum jet fuel specifications. The fuel is a “drop-in” replacement that is compatible with the existing fuel infrastructure, from storage and transportation to aircraft fleet technology. “It is almost an exact replacement for fossil fuel,” Shonnard explained. “Jets can’t use oxygenated fuels like ethanol; they have to use hydrocarbon replacements.”

Shonnard conducted the life cycle analysis for UOP LLC, of Des Plaines, Ill., a subsidiary of Honeywell and a provider of oil refining technology. In an April 28 release, it cited Boeing executive Billy Glover, managing director of environmental strategy, who called camelina “one of the most promising sources for renewable fuels that we’ve seen.”

“It performed as well if not better than traditional jet fuel during our test flight with Japan Airlines earlier this year and supports our goal of accelerating the market availability of sustainable, renewable fuel sources that can help aviation reduce emissions,” Glover said. “It’s clear from the life cycle analysis that camelina is one of the leading near-term options and, even better, it’s available today.”

Because camelina needs little water or nitrogen to flourish, it can be grown on marginal agricultural lands. “Unlike ethanol made from corn or biodiesel made from soy, it won’t compete with food crops,” said Shonnard. “And it may be used as a rotation crop for wheat, to increase the health of the soil.”

Tom Kalnes is a senior development associate for UOP in its renewable energy and chemicals research group. His team used hydroprocessing, a technology commonly used in the refining of petroleum, to develop a flexible process that converts camelina oil and other biological feedstocks into green jet fuel and renewable diesel fuel.

As to whether we will all be flying in plant-powered aircraft, his answer is, “It depends.”

“There are a few critical issues,” Kalnes said. “The most critical is the price and availability of commercial-scale quantities of second generation feedstocks.” Additionally, more farmers need to be convinced to grow a new crop, and refiners must want to process it.
“But if it can create jobs and income opportunities in rural areas, that would be wonderful,” he said.
READ MORE - Environmentally friendly jets engine with biofuels


South Africa, Using Nematodes for Bioinsecticides

Bioinsecticide are biodegradable (environment friendly), non toxic and cost effective. Some of these bioinsecticide, introduced in the USA in 1950's, are based on Bacillus thuringiensis. Bioinsecticides are a highly desirable alternative to conventional chemical-based insecticides. Bioinsecticides are environmentally friendly, compatible with other pest control agents and are also commercially viable.

Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) are being recognised as important biological control agents for a wide variety of insect pests. EPNs are insect-parasitic nematodes. Like all nematodes, they are simple roundworms with long, cylindrical shaped bodies. EPNs are small nematodes, ranging in length from 0.4mm to 1.1mm. There are many attributes that make EPNs commercially suitable as biological control agents of insect pests. They have a host range that includes the majority of insect orders and families and they kill their host within 48 hours of infection. In addition, they can be easily cultured on a large scale on artificial media (in vitro culture) and the infective juvenile stage obtained from in vitro culture can be stored for long periods of time. Finally, and possibly most importantly, the infective juvenile stage can withstand high pressures and thus can be applied in the field using conventional spray application procedures.

EPN-based bioinsecticides will have many advantages over currently used chemical insecticides. Most importantly there will be a reduction in the social costs that incur from the accumulation of chemical insecticides in the food chain and in ground water. The use of such bioinsecticides will also greatly reduce the farmworker health risks associated with the application of chemical insecticides.

Entomopathogenic nematode (EPN)-based bioinsecticides have the potential for commercialisation in South Africa since indigenous EPNs can be mass- produced at low cost. Only indigenous EPNs will be used to develop EPN-based bioinsecticides and these bioinsecticides will only be sold to the South African market. Indigenous EPNs are suited for the control of local insect pests because they are adapted to local environmental conditions and are natural regulators of insect populations.

The broad activity of an EPN-based bioinsecticide allows for the target of several markets. Such a bioinsecticide will control insect pest communities that occupy the subterranean and semi-subterranean zone during at least one part of their life-cycle. All vegetable and fruit farmers as well as maize, wheat, sugarcane, cotton and groundnut farmers in South Africa can benefit from EPN-based bioinsecticides. Commercial golf course greens-keepers are also a potential market.

A number of indigenous EPN strains have already been isolated during Sarah's Masters research. These strains were isolated from soil samples collected within South Africa. Once a soil sample is obtained, larvae from the Greater Waxmoth (Galleria mellonella) are place in the soil. Any dead larvae are removed from the soil seven days later. If the larvae have been infected with entomopathogenic nematodes, the infective juvenile stage of the nematode will begin emerging from the dead larvae. These juveniles are collected and stored temporarily in water. The life cycle of entomopathogenic nematodes begins with the infective juvenile stage. The infective juvenile is the only stage of the lifecycle that is adapted to survive in the environment (usually soil) for an extended length of time. They remain in this free-living state until they locate a suitable host.

At least two of the already isolated strains have the potential for development as bioinsecticides. They are highly pathogenic strains and thus have been cultured with ease in the laboratory.

A number of steps are first required before commercialisation and appearance of these and other nematode strains as bioinsecticides on the market. Firstly, laboratory based screening trials of the nematode strains against a range of insect pests will be performed. Field based screening trials will then be conducted using those nematode strains showing the most potential for successful biological control. Following this, a pilot production plant is to be set up for the mass production of the nematode strains that have passed the screening trails. In conjunction with this, nematode storage systems, the best transport method and several application technologies will be designed and tested. The final step in the commercialisation process will be large-scale field trial applications of the selected entomopathogenic nematode strains.

Source: Sarah Taylor, WITS University
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Ecofriendly unsing Biotechnology in Paper Industry

Paper are the product that produce in most massive number. In common technology production of paper ussually using a wood. Manufacture of paper from wood involves :
  1. wood processing,
  2. pulping,
  3. bleaching and
  4. sheet formation.
Pulping of wood (preferably from softwood with 3 - 5 mm long fibres, but rarely from hardwood with 1.5 mm long fibres) requires separation of the wood fibres from each other, which are then reformed into a sheet.
The wood fibres are glued together with the help of lignin and separation of these fibres is described as chemical pulping, when lignin is removed by degradation and is described as mechanical pulping, when fibres are mechanically teared apart. Both these methods of pulping are used.

Mechnical pulping gives higher yields and is cheap, but the quality of paper produced is relatively poor, turning yellow on exposure to sunlight. Further, the mechanical pulping requires lot of electrical energy. These difficulties can be overcome through the use of biotechnology.

The chemical pulp is also subjected to bleaching, in order to remove residual lignin leading to satisfactory increase in the brightness of paper. This bleaching step creates numerous toxic derivatives of lignin that constitutes environment hazard.

Using Biochemical Pulping 
In a recent report it was shown that a treatment of aspen chips (aspen is a wood; wood is received by pulp mills in two forms, logs or chips, the latter being more popular) with Phanerochaete chrysosporium before craft pulping (sulphate process) gives improved tensile strength (resistance to rupture by a force parallel to sheet) and burst strength (resistance to rupture by force perpendicular to sheet), but decreased tear strength (resistance to elongation under transverse shear), brightness and yield.

Brightness may be improved later by bleaching. More research and experimentation is needed before biochemical pulping becomes a reality and used in paper industry.

Using Biological Lignin Degradation 
In the pulping process, degradation of lignin can be achieved through treatment with microbes, of which lignolytic fungi are the most important. A biological step can be integrated, in pulping process, both in chemical pulping as well as in mechanical pulping. Three ways have been suggested for this purpose.
It may be seen that the biological step may be a pre treatment or a post de filtration, to remove lignin. However, the use of a biological step in lignin degradation is still at the level of research and experimentation.
Its use at industrial scale is seen as a distinct possibility due to successful results already obtained in several experiments. To support research in this area, a Biopulping Consortium (funded by 20 companies), was established in USA in 1987.
READ MORE - Ecofriendly unsing Biotechnology in Paper Industry

Change Environment with Biopesticide

 Biopesticides are certain types of pesticides derived from such natural materials as animals, plants, bacteria, and certain minerals. For example, canola oil and baking soda have pesticidal applications and are considered biopesticides. At the end of 2001, there were approximately 195 registered biopesticide active ingredients and 780 products. Biopesticides fall into three major classes:

  1. Microbial pesticides consist of a microorganism (e.g., a bacterium, fungus, virus or protozoan) as the active ingredient. Microbial pesticides can control many different kinds of pests, although each separate active ingredient is relatively specific for its target pest[s]. For example, there are fungi that control certain weeds, and other fungi that kill specific insects.
  2. The most widely used microbial pesticides are subspecies and strains of Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt. Each strain of this bacterium produces a different mix of proteins, and specifically kills one or a few related species of insect larvae. While some Bt's control moth larvae found on plants, other Bt's are specific for larvae of flies and mosquitoes. The target insect species are determined by whether the particular Bt produces a protein that can bind to a larval gut receptor, thereby causing the insect larvae to starve.
  3. Plant-Incorporated-Protectants (PIPs) are pesticidal substances that plants produce from genetic material that has been added to the plant. For example, scientists can take the gene for the Bt pesticidal protein, and introduce the gene into the plant's own genetic material. Then the plant, instead of the Bt bacterium, manufactures the substance that destroys the pest. The protein and its genetic material, but not the plant itself, are regulated by EPA.
  4. Biochemical pesticides are naturally occurring substances that control pests by non-toxic mechanisms. Conventional pesticides, by contrast, are generally synthetic materials that directly kill or inactivate the pest. Biochemical pesticides include substances, such as insect sex pheromones, that interfere with mating, as well as various scented plant extracts that attract insect pests to traps. Because it is sometimes difficult to determine whether a substance meets the criteria for classification as a biochemical pesticide, EPA has established a special committee to make such decisions.
What are the advantages of using biopesticides?
using bioBiopesticides will provide many benefits compared to use of artificial pesticides. The advantage are biopesticides not damage the environment and no danger to plants or humans. The other benefit will describe in the following sections:
  • Biopesticides are usually inherently less toxic than conventional pesticides.
  • Biopesticides generally affect only the target pest and closely related organisms, in contrast to broad spectrum, conventional pesticides that may affect organisms as different as birds, insects, and mammals.
  • Biopesticides often are effective in very small quantities and often decompose quickly, thereby resulting in lower exposures and largely avoiding the pollution problems caused by conventional pesticides.
  • When used as a component of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs, biopesticides can greatly decrease the use of conventional pesticides, while crop yields remain high.
  • To use biopesticides effectively, however, users need to know a great deal about managing pests.
READ MORE - Change Environment with Biopesticide


Bioprospecting, Active Compounds from Marine

Since 100 years ago, application of chemical engineering supported by the success of recombinant bioassay (bioassay) in vitro shifts the method of bioprospecting in developing pharmaceutical products. Interpreted as a simplification of bioprospecting in the exploration of new chemical compounds from living things in nature to the next through the screening proposed as a candidate biological akitivitas pharmaceutical ingredients.

With a chemical engineering recombinant, dozens of pharmaceutical products released to the market each year. This recombinant chemical products synthesized by modifying the random molecule from a chemical compound that has been successful role as a drug. Examples of chemical products includes several types of recombinant semisynthetic antibiotics such as penicillin, cephalosporin, kanamycin, rifamycin, lincomycin, etc..

Pharmaceutical companies rely heavily on chemical engineering recombinant, for various strategic reasons. Among other things, first, in an effort to develop new drugs, companies do not rely on natural ingredients. Second, capital invested in chemical engineering for a recombinant of new drug candidates is not as spectacularly as bioprospecting. Third, freedom from conflict with the supplier of natural raw materials such as bioprospecting.

Fully recombinant product is a result of chemical chemical engineering laboratory work on messing about with a carbon-carbon bond or other constituent elements, as well as modify its stereochemistry to mengkreasi a group of molecules that have different bioactive compounds with molecular origin before experienced recombination.

However, products of chemical engineering of recombinant pharmaceutical results was not spared from criticism of natural materials experts. Fenical (expert natural ingredients from the sea) commented recombinant chemical products is an example of an artificial product that has no roots in the function nature. The reason is, because it is chemically recombinant product innovation solely chemical engineers, assisted by molecular model design, guided by bioinformatics, which the expert molecular and fragment clusters mengkreasi new non-natural clusters that have biological activity, to be developed as new drug. The molecular structure results in general recombinant techniques taklah complicated chemical molecular structure of natural materials.

The uniqueness of Marine Habitat
There is a tendency of resistance of some bacterial pathogens to antibiotics is now commonly applied, coupled with the emergence of new diseases such as HIV-AIDS world's leading pharmaceutical to find new alternative sources of drugs, apart from the application of chemical engineering and quarrying recombinant sources of natural materials which gradually began to terrestrial worn.

With a unique marine ecosystem is believed to save seabrek potential source of new pharmaceuticals with new molecular structure (the novel) and also a new pharmacological mechanism. Skeptical whether these expectations? Presumably not, given the following facts that distinguish biotic marine ecosystems with terrestrial ecosystems.

First, in the marine ecosystem is the largest part of wandering biosphere on earth. Consequently the sea remains a habitat for creatures ranging from the most primitive and the ecosystem with the greatest biodiversity. Second, a unique marine ecosystem because of the communication, signal delivery, food processing, and defense of marine living beings, all of which took place in a column of water. Third, the variety and complexity of the macro-and micro-organisms is greater than other ecosystems. In other words represent the genetic diversity of sea creatures (phylogenetic) and the diversity of complex chemical constituents as well. Fourth, life at sea was dominated by microorganisms such as nanoplankton, mikroalgae, bacteria, archaea, and fungi that control more than 90% of chemical cycles in the ocean. Fifth, marine microorganisms has not been much studied compared to terrestrial microorganisms residents.

Approximately 40-50% drug in the market of chemical products derived from natural materials. Even a tenth of the 25 top selling pharmaceutical products derived from natural ingredients. Some chemistry of natural substances that have been converted to this drug is extracted from microorganisms, plants, and makroorganisme sea. Chemical uniqueness of marine natural products have been known since the 14th century in the traditional medicine of China and Japan. In both these countries have applied to extract sea horses for the treatment of various diseases including: treatment of impotence, respiratory diseases, kidney, liver and so on. But if dikomparasikan with a history of ethnobotany (traditional medicinal plants) in terrestrial ecosystems, is the use of natural ingredients from the sea for traditional medicine is very little.

Secondary Metabolites
Therefore, without guided by tracing the story of ethnobotany, collecting samples of sea creatures to be explored bioaktif compounds that effort really random and somewhat speculative, is solely motivated by the physical disability that sea creatures escape from predators. Instead, these sea creatures secrete secondary metabolites that can be paralysis for predators, or to make predators and competitors do not stand to be around, or just a camouflage.

Prospect isolation of secondary metabolites with new chemical structures which have bioactivity in sea creatures, both living in the vicinity, bersimbiose, or with coral reefs berasosisi probability reaches 300 to 400 times more likely, compared with mainland residents creatures. Until now, marine taxonomic experts, the new successfully identified 10% of residents living biodiversity of coral reefs (Bruckner, 2002).

Can it be imagined such a mega-chemical potential of natural materials which can be extracted from the sea! In coral reef ecosystems have still not fully revealed its contents. Marine abiotic characters differ not only spatially (horizontally) between coastal and offshore areas, but also vary vertically (water column). For coral reefs, Indo Pacific region (Indonesia, Philippines, northern Australia, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, etc.) menghabitati more species of coral and other creatures than the inhabitants of coral reef ecosystems of coral reef ecosystems in other regions of the earth

Moreover, if reviewed, other marine-specific ecological niches, such as hydrothermal vents, deep-sea, hypersaline lagoons, methane gas sparger seabed, Antarctica and Artika sea, mangrove forest, etc, will increasingly make us transfixed on the chemical potential of natural materials and extreme characters to remember specific abiotic be adapted by the inhabitants of the sea creatures niche (niche) is a unique ecology in order to maintain its existence.

Marine Natural Products Chemistry bioprospecting
Conscious of these huge marine potentials, the two countries economic giant, the United States and Japan, are competing to invest in extracting natural materials from the sea (marine natural products / MNP). Japan to spend U.S. $ 1 billion per year (80% came from industry). Japanese experts of natural ingredients that extract 100 species of coral reef sponge residents found 20% of the sponge contains a unique new bioactive compounds. United States who invest smaller in the MNP has also been some success with as many as 170 dipatenkannya new bioactive compound since 1983.

Cephalosporin, an antibiotic that was originally isolated from the fungus Cephalosphorium sp. derived from sea water samples collected in Cagliari, Italy in the 40s, Ara-A (Vidarabin, Vidarabin Thilo) and anti-viral drug Ara-C (Cytarabin, Alexandria, Udicil) anti-cancer drug developed analog synthesis of compounds pilot (lead structure) arabinose-e nucleosid Cryptotethya crypta isolated from sponges collected in the Caribbean Sea in the year 50's are some examples of drugs developed from natural ingredients the sea and has successfully developed commercially (Faulkner 2002).

Ziconotide, agents, pain killers (pain killer) that was isolated from Conus magnus (cone snail) has undergone phase III clinical trials (late phase) was developed by Elan Pharmaceuticals, and Ecteinascidin 743 (anti-cancer), which is extracted from Ecteinascidia turbinata (tunicate) also currently undergoing phase III clinical trials, coupled with dozens of other bioactive compounds that are either in clinical trials phase I and II and are still in preclinical evaluation stage, and the isolation of hundreds of new bioactive compounds from the sea each year to add a long story and the uniqueness of the potential magnitude of natural materials sea as drug candidates.

Biodiversity vs. Intellectual Proper Right
The trend shift in extracting medicines from chemical engineering recombinant to bioprospecting in recent decades of intrigue and raises new conflicts between pharmaceutical companies with third world countries where most of the world's biodiversity resources originated. Intensive efforts livelihoods of natural materials by the pharmaceutical industry was shadowed by the reluctance of developing countries supplying the raw material.

Especially after the ratification of the Convention on Biological Diversity (Biological Diversity) by 140 countries at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro (1992), which gave the concept of holding nations on their property rights to indigenous species. This concept is a powerful sword for politicians biodiversity countries in negotiating with the owner of the pharmaceutical industry of developed countries in terms of chemical utilization of natural materials.

The concept of this reason, a little more guts loosen the pharmaceutical industry and chemists of natural ingredients developed countries in building collaboration with the owner of the country's biodiversity, given the expectations of the country's biodiversity will be royalty owners and revenue that will be obtained.

While bioprospecting is a risky business, and no guarantee of the return of capital was invested. However, developed countries, is not less ingenious concept of biological diversity to compensate for this by proposing the concept of intellectual property rights (intellectual property).

No less than U.S. $ 350 million to be spent and about 10 years old should be taken to transform the new bioactive compounds from natural materials into commercial drugs. So it must be formulated with the ideal model of benefit sharing that can be pocketed by the owners of pharmaceutical companies and the country's biodiversity, so that excesses that arise from bioprospecting can be minimized, so this mega-biodiversity can be explored together to kemashlahatan dedicated to the human race!
READ MORE - Bioprospecting, Active Compounds from Marine


Gelatin, a versatile protein

Gelatin is a protein substance derived from collagen, a natural protein present in the tendons, ligaments, and tissues of mammals. It is produced by boiling the connective tissues, bones and skins of animals, usually cows and pigs. Gelatin's ability to form strong, transparent gels and flexible films that are easily digested, soluble in hot water, and capable of forming a positive binding action have made it a valuable commodity in food processing, pharmaceuticals, photography, and paper production.

As a foodstuff, gelatin is the basis for jellied desserts; used in the preservation of fruit and meat, and to make powdered milk, merinque, taffy, marshmallow, and fondant. It is also used to clarify beer and wine. Gelatin's industrial applications include medicine capsules, photographic plate coatings, and dying and tanning supplies.

Until the mid-nineteenth century, making gelatin was a laborious task. Calves' feet were loaded into a large kettle that was then placed over a fire. The feet were boiled for several hours after which the liquid was strained and the bones were discarded. After setting for 24 hours, a layer of fat would rise to the top. This was skimmed off and discarded. Sweeteners and or flavorings were added to the liquid and it was poured into molds and allowed again to set.

By the 1840s, however, some producers were grinding the set gelatin into a fine powder or cutting it into sheets. One of them was Charles B. Knox, a salesman from Johnston, New York, who hit on the idea of making gelatin more convenient after watching his wife Rose make it in their kitchen. Knox packaged dried sheets of gelatin and then hired salesmen to travel door-to-door to show women how to add liquid to the sheets and use it to make aspics, molds, and desserts. In 1896, Rose Knox published Dainty Desserts, a book of recipes using Knox gelatin.

The first patent for a gelatin dessert was issued in 1845 to industrialist and inventor Peter Cooper. Cooper had already made a name for himself as the inventor of the Tom Thumb steam engine. He had also made a fortune in the manufacture of glue, a process similar to that for making gelatin.

In 1897, Pearl B. Wait, a carpenter and cough medicine manufacturer, developed a fruit-flavored gelatin. His wife, May Davis Wait, named his product Jell-O. The new product was not immediately popular and Wait sold the rights to the process to Orator Francis Woodward, owner of the Genesee Food Company, for $450. Sales continued to limp along until 1902 when an aggressive advertising campaign in Ladies Home Journal magazine generated enormous interest. Sales jumped to $250,000.

The use of gelatin in food preparation increased six-fold in the 40-year period from 1936-1976. Today, 400 million packages of Jello-O are produced each year. Over a million packages are purchased or eaten each day.

In the field of photography, gelatin was introduced in the late 1870s as a substitute for wet collodion. It was used to coat dry photographic plates, marking the beginning of modern photographic methods. Gelatin's use in the manufacture of medicinal capsules occurred in the twentieth century.

Raw Materials
Animal bones, skins, and tissue are obtained from slaughterhouses. Gelatin processing plants are usually located nearby so that these animal byproducts can be quickly processed.

Acids and alkalines such as caustic lime or sodium carbonate are used to extract minerals and bacteria from the animal parts. They are either produced in the food processing plant or purchased from outside vendors.

Sweeteners, flavorings, and colorings are added in the preparation of food gelatin. These can be in liquid or powdered forms and are purchased from outside vendors.

The Manufacturing Process
  • Inspection and cutting 
  • When the animal parts arrive at the food processing plant, they are inspected for quality. Rotted parts are discarded. Then, the bones, tissues, and skins are loaded into chopping machines that cut the parts into small pieces of about Sin (12.7cm) in diameter. 
  • Degreasing and roasting 
  • The animal parts are passed under high-pressure water sprays to wash away debris. They are then degreased by soaking them in hot water to reduce the fat content to about 2%. A conveyer belt moves the degreased bones and skins to an industrial dryer where they are roasted for approximately 30 minutes at about 200° F (100° C). 
  • Acid and akaline treatment 
  • The animal parts are soaked in vats of lime or some other type of acid or akali for approximately five days. This process removes most of the minerals and bacteria and facilitates the release of collagen. The acid wash is typically a 4% hydrochloric acid with a pH of less than 1.5. The alkaline wash is a potassium or sodium carbonate with a pH above 7. 
  • Boiling 
  • The pieces of bone, tissue, and skin are loaded into large aluminum extractors and boiled in distilled water. A tube running from the extractor allows workers to draw off the liquid that now contains gelatin. The liquid is sterilized by flash-heating it to about 375° F (140° C) for approximately four seconds. 
  • Evaporating and grinding 
  • From the extractor, the liquid is piped through filters to separate out bits of bone, tissue or skin that are still attached. From the filters, the liquid is piped into evaporators, machines that separate the liquid from the solid gelatin. The liquid is piped out and discarded. The gelatin is passed through machines that press it into sheets. Depending on its final application, the gelatin sheets are passed through a grinder that reduces them to a fine powder.  
  • Flavoring and coloring 
  • If the gelatin is to be used by the food industry, sweeteners, flavorings, and colorings may be added at this point. Pre-set amounts of these additives are thoroughly mixed into the powdered gelatin.
The packaging process is automated, with preset amounts of gelatin poured into overhead funnels through which the gelatin flows down into bags made of either polypropylene or multi-ply paper. The bags are then vacuumed sealed.

Quality Control
Gelatin manufacturers must adhere to stringent national and international food processing requirements. These regulations include but are not limited to cleanliness of the plant, equipment and employees; and allowable percentages of additives, flavorings, and colorings.

Automated and computerized technologies allow the processors to preset and monitor ingredient amounts, time and temperature, acidity and alkalinity, and flow levels. Valves are installed along pipelines to allow for continuous sampling of the product.

Gelatin is processed to varying "bloom" values that measure the gel strength or firmness. The desired strength corresponds to the manner in which the gelatin will be used. The bloom value is technically measured and monitored throughout the production process.

The Future
Since 1986 when the presence of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease, was reported in Great Britain, there has been much concern about the processing of beef bones for the production of gelatin. In 1989, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the importation of cattle from the Department of Agriculture's list of of BSE-designated countries. However, a 1994 FDA ruling allowed the continued importation of bones and tissues for the production of pharmaceutical grade gelatin.

By 1997, however, the FDA held hearings to reconsider its decision. After interviewing gelatin processors, the agency found that while gelatin has not been implicated in the spread of BSE, officials are not convinced that the manufacturing processing is extracting all possible agents that are responsible for the disease. It was generally agreed that beef sources carry more of a risk than those from pork, that bones carry a higher risk than skins, and that alkaline processing is more effective than the acid-extraction method. These findings will certainly affect the gelatin-processing industry in the next century.
Source: Harvey Lang, Jenifer, ed. Larousse Gastronomique. New York: Crown Publishers, 1988, reprinted 1998.
READ MORE - Gelatin, a versatile protein


Chitosan the Ultimate Nutrition

Chitosan is a linear polysaccharide with a composition of glucosamine (composed of randomly distributed β-(1-4)-linked D-glucosamine (deacetylated unit) and N-acetyl-D-glucosamine (acetylated unit)). Chitosan is widely used in commercial biomedical world. Chitosan is actually derived from the polysaccharide fibers of shellfish, shrimp, crabs and others. Chitosan has the capacity to bind lipids and fats. Most importantly, because chitosan is not digestible in its consumption, the chitosan itself does not contain calories. When drunk, chitosan attaches itself to the intestinal tract, and binds the fat that passes in the gut until absorbed by blood, because the fat that is not tied into the bloodstream, the fat is considered "can not be digested" by the body, so the fat will be excreted through digestive tract. Fibre needed as one who has played an important substance to clean the digestive tract, especially colon. Chitosan is a fiber that is useful to clean the intestines, stimulates the digestive process, and make healthy gut and helps reduce fat absorption.

Commercial chitosan is derived from the shells of shrimp and other sea crustaceansChitosan is produced commercially by deacetylation  of chitin  , which is the structural element in the exoskeleton  of crustaceans (crabs, shrimp, etc.) and cell walls of fungi. The degree of deacetylation (%DD) can be determined by NMR spectroscopy, and the %DD in commercial chitosans is in the range 60-100 %.

In agriculture, chitosan is used primarily as a plant growth enhancer, and as a substance that boosts the ability of plants to defend against fungal infections. It is approved for use outdoors and indoors on many plants grown commercially and by consumers. The active ingredient is found in the shells of crustaceans, such as lobsters, crabs, and shrimp, and in certain other organisms. Given its low potential for toxicity and its abundance in the natural environment, chitosan is not expected to harm people, pets, wildlife, or the environment when used according to label directions. Chitosan can also be used in water processing engineering as a part of a filtration process. Chitosan causes the fine sediment particles to bind together and is subsequently removed with the sediment during sand filtration. Chitosan also removes phosphorus, heavy minerals, and oils from the water. Chitosan is an important additive in the filtration process. Sand filtration apparently can remove up to 50% of the turbidity alone while the chitosan with sand filtration removes up to 99% turbidity

Chitosan supplements are used to manage and maintain weight with the workings of chitosan to absorb as much fat 3-6 times its own weight before the fat is absorbed in the body to be excreted through the process of defecation. Pure chitosan in the diet can also burn 30 calories a day. Chitosan also has the effect of changing or eliminating ineffective minerals in the food that keeps your body healthy. In the world of biomedical, chitosan is used in wound dressings for blood clotting and has anti-bacterial properties.
READ MORE - Chitosan the Ultimate Nutrition


Introduction of Biochar

Biochar is charcoal created by pyrolysis  of biomass, and differs from charcoal only in the sense that its primary use is not for fuel, but for biosequestration or atmospheric carbon capture and storage.  Charcoal is a stable solid rich in carbon content, and thus, can be used to lock carbon in the soil. Biochar is of increasing interest because of concerns about climate change caused by emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHG). Carbon dioxide capture also ties up large amounts of oxygen and requires energy for injection (as via carbon capture and storage), whereas the biochar process breaks into the carbon dioxide cycle, thus releasing oxygen as did coal formation hundreds of millions of years ago. Biochar is a way for carbon to be drawn from the atmosphere and is a solution to reducing the global impact of farming (and in reducing the impact from all agricultural waste). Since biochar can sequester carbon in the soil for hundreds to thousands of years, it has received considerable interest as a potential tool to slow global warming. The burning and natural decomposition of trees and agricultural matter contributes a large amount of CO2 released to the atmosphere. Biochar can store this carbon in the ground, potentially making a significant reduction in atmospheric GHG levels; at the same time its presence in the earth can improve water quality, increase soil fertility, raise agricultural productivity and reduce pressure on old growth forests.

Current biochar projects are small scale and make no significant impact on the overall global carbon budget, although expansion of this technique has been advocated as a geoengineering approach. As trees pull down carbon dioxide and release oxygen very efficiently they are already well suited to geoengineering. Further research is in progress, notably by the University of Georgia, which has a dedicated research unit. Agrichar is produced by Best Industries in Australia.

The approach which favors applications that benefit the poorest is gaining traction: in May 2009, the Biochar Fund received a grant from the Congo Basin Forest Fund to implement its concept in Central Africa. In this concept, biochar is a tool used to simultaneously slow down deforestation, increase the food security of rural communities, provide renewable energy to them and sequester carbon.
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Benefit of Bioethanol Stove

People frequently ask about the advantages of bio ethanol stove over traditional wood-burning fireplaces or kerosene stove. Bioethanol stove is the latest breakthrough from the traditional stove-burner. with the use of bioethanol stove is expected we can obtain many advantages. advantage in can not only obtained by the wearer but also the entire mankind. The following is a list of advantages of bioethanol stove :

It is eco friendly and what is bio ethanol?
It is an organic alcohol produced by the fermentation of plants, often sugar cane, wheat, or corn. It is considered a renewable energy. It is eco friendly in virtue of the neutral emission of CO2 during combustion. By neutral emission, I mean that the CO2 emitted by burning is the same quantity of CO2 absorbed by the plant while it is growing.
READ MORE - Benefit of Bioethanol Stove

Handmade Biodiesel at Home

Fuel prices have been incessantly increasing over the years, and it does't look like rising gas costs are going to stop anytime soon. This is precisely why so many people are searching for alternative sources to regular fuel.

The great thing about biodiesel is that it is actually renewable and clean-burning. We all know how our environment has been suffering with those fuel emissions that come from our cars. With biodiesel, you no longer have to worry about such emissions. And the best thing is that making biodiesel at your house is actually very possible.

What Is Biodiesel?
Biodiesel is actually fuel that uses vegetable oil for its base. Yes you read that right - vegetable oil, that same vegetable oil that you throw out after a number of uses. For one thing, vegetable oil is naturally produced, so you won't have to dig very deep into the earth's core just to get some fuel for personal consumption. This is what happens with the production of regular crude oil today, you know. And by avoiding this altogether, you can also lend another helping hand towards the preservation of our environment. Also, you must not forget how fuel that is petroleum-based comes with aromatics and sulfur, which is why their emissions just add up to the pollution in our atmosphere. Biodiesel does not have these components at all, leaving the burning process of fuel way cleaner that that with traditional diesel.

How Biodiesel Is Made
Biodiesel is actually produced via a process known as transesterification. What happens here is that fat is actually extracted from vegetable oil first. The byproducts would then be glycerin and methyl esters. The best way to learn how to make biodiesel at home is to start small. Prepare a small batch of this natural fuel first so that you can familiarize yourself with the whole process. Here are the ingredients you will need: 200 ml methanol, lye, and 1 liter vegetable oil. First, you have to dissolve your lye in your methanol. This actually produces sodium methoxide. Upon the creation of sodium methoxide, you should then mix this with your vegetable oil. Continue mixing them for roughly 20 minutes. You can use your blender here. Just make sure to set it on low.

Once blending is done, leave the mixture to sit for roughly eight hours. During this period, glycerin should have separated from the rest of the mixture, settling at the bottom of the container. After the 8-hour waiting period, your byproduct should be rid of glycerin already. You can then start enjoying the fruits of your labor. Really, making biodiesel at home is as easy as that.(
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Influence of Nanotechnology

According to the Helmut Kaiser Consultancy, the nanofood market has increased from a value of USD2.6 bn in 2003 to USD5.3 bn in 2005; and it is expected to soar to USD20.4 bn in 2015. This trend is a clear indication that nanotechnology will progress within the food & drink industry, and all companies, should they wish not to lose out, need to stay on top of this dynamic development.

Indeed “nanotechnologies” is probably more of a correct term to use these days, as there are such a wide span of different nano technologies and applications. “Nano-technologies” is crossing many technology boundaries as the scientists from disciplines such as chemistry, physics and other pure sciences to medical, materials, sensors and food to name a few, interact to link their researches together. Developments in the food and drink areas are at a at very early stage and are currently being shaped by progress in other areas, most specifically the pharmaceutical industry. Currently the main uses for nanotechnologies in food & drink applications are in packaging and in the

health/nutraceutical supplements areas, and it is expected that the use of nanotechnologies will not only increase within these two areas in the immediate future, but will also expand into other areas, such as ingredient functionality, emulsions and sensors.

Examples in packaging
An example for the packaging industry is the use of nano-silver. Because of its antimicrobial properties, nano-silver has been used to coat packaging materials and inner surfaces of fridges and dishwashers, as well as being incorporated into plastic food containers. Another example is the use of nanoclays, which can be incorporated into plastic bottles for drinks – preventing oxygen from migrating through the plastic bottle walls and destabilising the drink and therefore extending the product shelf life.

With respect to the health supplement areas, the use of nano-sized droplets has been found to increase the efficacy of certain nutraceuticals or health agents. These are generally prepared either by emulsion technology or by micelle encapsulation technology. For example, the antiinflammatory properties of curcumin were found to be enhanced if the emulsion droplet size was reduced below 100nm (Wang et al, 2008, Food Chemistry, Vol 108:
20). Nano-encapsulation is reported to improve solubility properties and enhance bioavailability, and an example is the Canola Active Oil, produced by Shemen Industries; this oil product contains nanocapsules or nanomicelles of phytosterols, which are thought to reduce the uptake of cholesterol from the digestive system.

While the use and benefits of nanotechnologies is extolled in published research / academic papers, there has been some technology transfer into real food and drinks products. A database of all commercial products claiming to use nanotechnology can be found by accessing the website set up by the Project on Emerging Nano-technologies (“PEN”) organisation, which is based in the USA. Within the website - there are six inventories, and one of these is specifically set up for the food & drink industry. A cooking oil and chocolate shake are some of the products listed. The chocolate slim shake is a dietary product, where silica nano-particles are
included that are coated with cocoa particles to give a creamy chocolate taste with reduced fat content.

The application of nanotechnologies to standard ingredients such as salt, fat and biopolymers to produce foods with improved properties should not pose any danger as it is thought that they will be broken down in the body in the usual way. This needs to be emphasised to the media and consumers, so that the development of new foods benefiting from nanotechnologies can proceed. Examples of inorganic nanoparticles that could be a risk include silver, titanium and silica, and the main concern is that these are not normally eaten and metabolised. Thus, it is certainly sensible for the food & drink industry to look at the use and safety of these inorganic nanoparticles. The use
of silica nanoparticles as centres for diet products, such as the commercial Chocolate SlimShake, has raised the question as to whether and how these products should be regulated.

Examples of products that contain nanoparticles resulting from the manufacturing processes include margarines, toffees, chocolate and cheese. For example, toffee is made up of fat droplets surrounded by a thin nanoscale protein membrane in a matrix of sugar containing milk protein. The stability of the interface is important, as it controls the fat droplet size and hence the sensory properties, such as texture and creaminess. Understanding how the
properties of foods change with size of the ingredients and then manufacturing foods with controlled size and structure, should allow improvements to properties that are of benefit to the consumer. In addition, this approach allows for development of healthier foods, which is of concern to the Western world where many suffer from obesity and related diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and coronary heart disease. The use of nanotechnologies
can lead to the development of products that are lower in fat, sugar and salt, and can help overcome technical and sensory problems that food developers come across when using conventional methods. An example is the development of lower fat foods that taste as good as the higher fat products. Using technology to put nanosized water droplets inside fat droplets which are then inside a continuous water phase (a water in oil in water (WOW)
system) can produce mayonnaise that is much lower in fat but tastes as good as the high fat product. Figure 1 shows an image of a WOW emulsion under the microscope, where the fat is white and the water black.

Another example is the particle size reduction of salt crystals. There is a strong move from government agencies to lower the amount of salt in the consumer’s diet as the current intake is considered too high and dangerous for health. Studies at Leatherhead Food International have shown that the size of salt particles dominates the salt intensity and how quickly the salt is tasted. Smaller (micro-sized) salt particles were found to be tasted faster and with
higher intensity than standard sized table salt. This observation is due to the increase in surface area giving a change in properties. By using smaller, and potentially nano-sized, salt particles, the level of salt in products
such as crisps and snacks could be reduced, giving a healthier product.

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Nanotechnology and Agriculture

The realization that there are small things in the world that are not visible to the naked eye extends back into human history. Today's developments are addressing the size range below these dimensions. Because a typical structure size is in the nanometer range, the methods and techniques are defined as nanotechnology.  The prefix "nano," derived from the Greek "nano" signifying "dwarf," is becoming increasingly common in scientific literature. "Nano" is now a popular label for much of modern science, and many "nano-" words have recently appeared in dictionaries, including: nanometer, nanoscale, nanoscience, nanotechnology, nanostructure, nanotube, nanowire, and nanorobot. Although the idea of nanotechnology: producing nanoscale objects and carrying out nanoscale manipulations, has been around for quite some time, the birth of the concept is usually linked to a speech by Rachard Feyman at the December 1959 meeting of the American Physical Society where he asked, "What would happen if we could arrange the atoms one by one the way we want them?"

Application Nanotechnology in Agriculture
In the agricultural sector, nanotech research and development is likely to facilitate and frame the next stage of development of genetically modified crops, animal production inputs, chemical pesticides and precision farming techniques. While nano-chemical pesticides are already in use, other applications are still in their early stages, and it may be many years before they are commercialized. These applications are largely intended to address some of the limitations and challenges facing large-scale, chemical and capital intensive farming systems. This includes the fine-tuning and more precise micro-management of soils; the more efficient and targeted use of inputs; new toxin formulations for pest control; new crop and animal traits; and the diversification and differentiation of farming practices and products within the context of large-scale and highly uniform systems of production.
      Table 1. Nano agrochemicals under development
Type of product
Product name & manufacturer
Nano content
Super" combined
fertilizer and
Pakistan-US Science
and Technology Cooperative Program
Nano-clay capsule contains growth stimulants and biocontrol agents
Because it can be designed for slow release of active ingredients, treatment requires only one application over the life of the crop

Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (India) and Technologico de Monterry (Mexico)

Designed to attack the seed
coating of weeds, destroy soil seed banks and prevent weed germination
Pesticides, including
Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization
Nano-encapsulated active ingredients
Very small size of nanocapsules increases their potency and may enable targeted release of active ingredients

Source: (Rajeew Kumar, G.B.Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, Pantnagar-Uttrakhand)
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