Agricultural products exhibit a “buffering nature” during autoclaving and fermentation processes: i.e., the final pH of agricultural product medium after Monascus fermentation maintains a certain value. The protein content of agricultural products strongly affects the buffering capacity and an extremely low final pH, below 3, can be achieved by the selection of agricultural products with low protein content, such as rice meal and cornmeal. This low pH can be used to inhibit citrinin biosynthesis during Monascus fermentation. Thus, optimal selection of agricultural products with low protein content may provide a novel strategy to inhibit citrinin production in submerged culture of Monascus anka at a low initial pH for the production of Monascus pigments. pH values ranging from 2.6 to 3 can be maintained in Monascus fermentation using cornmeal/wheat starch (30:30 g/L) as substrate at initial pH 2.5, where the concentration of intracellular pigments reaches 45 AU at 470 nm while citrinin is undetectable by TLC analysis.
In this paper, a low cost sensor system has been designed to automatically compute the volume and surface area of axi-symmetric agricultural products such as eggs, lemons, limes and tamarillos. This sensor system is based on a low-cost image sensor and a low-cost programmable microcontroller. We have demonstrated that an unsupervised image-processing algorithm can generate reliable results by capturing just one image of the axi-symmetric object from a fixed projection. The volume and surface area are computed by approximating the object as a sum of elementary right conical frustums. The analytical and experimental results suggest that this automated sensor system is potentially a good alternative to manual measurements for axi-symmetric agricultural products, with an overall cost of under US$50.
Conventional heating or drying involves exposure of food and agricultural products such as grains, fruits, vegetables to high temperature and for long times, which can result in serious damage to flavour, colour and nutrients of the treated material. In recent years, microwave drying has gained popularity as an alternative drying method for a wide variety of food and agricultural products. The food industry is now a major user of microwave energy, especially in the drying of pasta and post-baking of biscuits. Microwave treatment can greatly reduce the drying time of the biological products without quality degradation. The principle of microwave heating and drying, experimental results of quality characteristics of microwave-treated grains, fruits and vegetables, and the drawbacks of microwave heat treatment are described.
A direct competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (dc-ELISA) for the analysis of emamectin residues in agricultural products was developed using a prepared mouse monoclonal antibody. The working range was 0.3-3.0 ng/mL, and the 50% inhibition concentration (IC50) was 1.0 ng/mL. The assay was sufficiently sensitive for analysis of the maximum residue limits in agricultural products in Japan (>0.1 μg/g). Emamectin residues contain the following metabolites: the 4''-epi-amino analogue, the 4''-epi-(N-formyl)amino analogue, the 4''-epi-(N-formyl-N-methyl)amino analogue, and the 8,9-Z isomer. The dc-ELISA reacted with these compounds at ratios of 113, 55, 38, and 9.1% of the IC50 value of emamectin benzoate. Seven kinds of vegetables were spiked with emamectin benzoate at concentrations of 15-300 ng/g, and the recoveries were 91-117% in the dc-ELISA. The dc-ELISA results agreed reasonably well with results obtained by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) using spiked samples and actual (incurred) samples. The results indicate that the dc-ELISA was useful for the analysis of emamectin benzoate residues in agricultural products.
In this study, a new prediction model for fluidized bed drying is proposed. This correlation model has been developed by using Rayleigh dimensional analysis m ethod. To obtain experimental results, a fluidized bed drying set-up was constructed and used in batch conditions. The prediction performance of the proposed model has been tested by using some agricultural products such as corn, bean, and chickpea. A good agreement is observed between the experimental and the model results. Correlation coefficient (R 2 ) and root mean square error (RMSE) values were obtained as acceptable. In addition, another fluidized bed drying data were collected from the literature and used for showing the prediction performance of the model. Comparative evaluation results show that the proposed model can be used in prediction of moisture ratio (MR) for agricultural products. The absence of a general model for MR prediction in literature makes the proposed model valuable.
Most of transitional (former socialist) countries still suffer from underdeveloped market mechanisms. In order to provide support for development of modern market mechanisms for the market of agricultural products, government experts within the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry designed institutional information support - Market Information System in Agriculture of the Republic of Croatia - TISUP. This system is organised in order to prevent one of the most important market failures - insufficient and delayed dissemination of information that is crucial for the normal functioning of the market. The paper explores the functioning of the whole system and provides a general conceptional framework for understanding both market information systems and markets of agricultural products in Croatia and some other relevant countries/regions.
A free trade agreement (FTA) between SACU and Mercosur would be significant globally, as it would be a truly “south-south” relationship between three of the developing world's emerging agricultural powers, namely Argentina, Brazil and South Africa. In this article, the GTAP database and the associated general equilibrium model is used to assess the potential welfare and trade gains from such an agreement. The results show that there are comfortable welfare gains for South Africa derived from a better use of land, labour and capital (enhanced allocative efficiency); increased net investment increasing the amount of capital employed in the economy; and a small contribution from increased labour employment. These gains are negated somewhat by terms of trade that go against South Africa. However, an FTA with Mercosur is not good for the South African agriculture sector. Imports of agricultural products increase dramatically, mostly in terms of increased imports of secondary (processed) agricultural products. Export gains are modest, but are largely from trade creation rather than trade diversion. Furthermore, there are marginal reductions in the prices of all agricultural products, which benefits consumers but harm producers. Overall, the FTA is bad news for South Africa's commercial farmers. Whether small-scale and emerging farmers benefit depends on whether they are food deficit or food surplus producers.
This study provides the first complete framework for the valuation of ecosystem services of agroforestry and uses a tree-based intercropping (TBI) system in southern Québec, Canada, as a case study. Ten ecosystem services were estimated, all of which were of interest and directly applicable to most agricultural systems worldwide: nutrient mineralization, water quality, soil quality, pollination, biological control, air quality, windbreak, timber provisioning, agriculture provisioning, and climate regulation. A mix of mathematical models for the quantification and economic valuation of various ecosystem services were used. The results revealed a total annual margin of $2,645� ha⁻¹� y⁻¹ (averaged over 40� years). The economic value of combined non-market services was $1,634� ha⁻¹� y⁻¹, which was higher than the value of marketable products (i.e. timber and agricultural products). An analysis of the present value suggested that agricultural products ranked highest among the ecosystem services taken singularly, followed by water quality, air quality, climate regulation, and soil quality maintenance. Total economic value of all ecosystem services for the rotation period was $54,782� ha⁻¹, only one third of which was contributed by agricultural products. Although the total value of the ecosystem services provided by TBI was high, farmers only benefited from agricultural and timber products. Thus, government incentives are needed to interest farmers in adopting practices that benefit society as a whole.
The significant link between farms and supermarkets has a far-reaching influence on the circulation pattern and traceability of agricultural products and supermarket business structure. This article presents a new platform called the integrated wireless traceability terminal (WTT) solution for agricultural products traceability information collection and packaging procedure integration. It collects traceability data such as package weight, field number, and other origin information about the corresponding address of farm or company. Meanwhile, it will print a traceability label which is used by the consumer or administrators to query traceability information through the internet. A test evaluation of the WTT solution is performed during vegetable harvest time in a large organic agricultural products company. Compared to the current traditional packaging procedure, a statistical analysis shows that this solution not only decreases the packaging time (total time for packing a package) about 15%, but also reduces the total material cost by approximately 37%. In addition, the traceability content is more detailed and precise than traditional method. These results suggest that the WTT solution can be reliably used for packaging agricultural products and traceability information acquisition.
Biodiversity is one of the important aspects of Agricultural Heritage Systems and some consumers might be willing to pay a higher price for agricultural commodities that are produced in a way that conserves biodiversity. If so, whether can market-oriented policies to promote adding the value of biodiversity to agricultural products be used to conserve biodiversity? Our study focuses on consumer reactions to “life brand” product, which is labeled as “Stork-raising rice” in Toyooka City in Japan, produced environmentally-friendly agricultural practices for the revival of extinct stork. Using data of choice experiment and Latent Segment model, we analyzed whether these agricultural products can achieve higher market prices. The results showed that consumer, who had knowledge that stork populations had been revived because of changes in agricultural practice, are willing to buy expensive rice that improve biodiversity conservation for stork. However, consumers who bought this rice because of a preference for reduced-pesticide or organic food, without knowledge of revived stork history, were not willing to do so. The majority of agricultural product consumers in Japan are this type of consumer. Thus, the promotion of biodiversity conservation by only “life brand” agricultural products is not enough. Therefore, government support and public activities are indispensable for biodiversity conservation.