This paper describes the physiological functions of ku-ding-cha, a traditional bitter tea beverage that has been consumed in South China for a long time. Ku-ding-cha made from species in the genus Ilex, Aquifoliaceae and the genus Ligustrum, Oleaceae have been used in China as a diuretic and remedy for sore throat, weight loss and hypertension. Recent studies have demonstrated that triterpenes and triterpenoid glycosides in ku-ding-cha from the genus Ilex exhibit anti-arteriosclerosis, anti-obesity, anti-allergy and anti-cancer effects, and that phenylpropanoid glycosyl esters of phenylethanoid glycosides in ku-ding-cha from the genus Ligustrum exhibit anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, hepato-protective and anti-proliferative activities. Similar effects to those described above of the phenylethanoid glycosides and tea catechins are expected from ku-ding-cha of the genus Ilex, which contains a large amount of chlorogenic acids. We also demonstrated that ku-ding-cha has the ability to capture allyl mercaptan and allyl methyl sulfide in vivo. In conclusion, further investigations are necessary to more effectively use ku-ding-cha for maintaining our health.
A survey for determing the relationship of the consciousness and eating behavior concerning functional foods was carried out in July and October 2005 involving 334 female university and college students and 211 of their mothers in the Hyogo and Osaka areas. The student's mothers had a better dietary behavior than the students. Compared to the departments concerning dietary behavior, students in the food sciences had a better understanding of functional foods than students in other departments. Mothers took more dietary supplement pellets than their daughters. Other department's students took more dietary supplements than the students in the department of food sciences. The rate of mothers who recognized the term “functional food” and “food for specified health uses” was higher than that of their daughters. That of the students in the food science department was higher than those in the other departments. The percentage of daughters who want to use functional foods was higher than the percentage of their mothers. In the same way the percentage of food science students was higher than that of the other students. It was observed that subjects who repeatedly ate foods for specific health uses did not tend to skip meals and eat out, and had better dietary behavior and attitudes. However, it was observed that mothers who repeatedly ate such foods tended to take dietary supplement.
We investigated the relationship between the temperature of the preservation of fresh eggs and the degree of freshness; the eggs were preserved in 10, 23 and 28°C and were examined to determine how the deterioration occurs in terms of the HU values, the egg yolk index and the egg white pH. It was discovered that the deterioration at 28°C was the most drastic. In addition, it was also discovered that eggs, which were within 10 days before the due date in markets, were deteriorated. From the above investigation, it is our recommendation that the eggs are refrigerated immediately after they are laid, in order to preserve their freshness.
The effective use of the tablecloth color to produce a comfortable dining space was examined under different brightnesses. The tablecloth color was shown to produce not only a comfortable, but suitable atmosphere that changes one's emotion depending on the TPO. The stronger the brightness, the more characteristic tablecloth color was strengthened, especially yellow. In a dark room with dim light, the characteristics of the tablecloth color diminished. In order to promote one's appetite and conversation, yellow, beige and white tablecloths were effective under a high brightness. In order to produce a healing space, a beige tablecloth under 400-600 lux was suggested to be most recommended. The effective use of the tablecloth color and illuminance were shown to be useful to change a diner's emotion and to improve the diner's QOL.
Edible parts of three vegetables with different tissue characteristics, i.e. pumpkin flesh, carrot root and asparagus stem, were frozen at -40°C in a refrigerator regulated at -45°C. After thawing, their fractural properties were examined. The ice crystal spaces formed in the tissues during freezing were observed using a light microscope and a transmission electron microscope. The pumpkin flesh with a higher specific gravity formed smaller ice crystals in its extracellular spaces. Most of intracellular ice crystal spaces in the pumpkin flesh were formed at -5°C. In the frozen and thawed carrot pieces, large ice crystal spaces were observed in the extracellular spaces and the rupture strain values were increased. In the frozen and thawed asparagus stems, large ice crystal spaces were observed in the area surrounding the vascular bundles which were scattered in the pith parenchyma. As a result, the rupture strain values were increased both in the upper and lower parts. The cells of the collenchyma tissue surrounding the pith in the upper part were cracked by the ice crystal formation, but no crack was observed in the lower part of the stem, and the rupture stress values in the lower part were higher than those in the upper part. The differences in the amounts of vegetable components, such as starch and soluble substances, and the varieties of the tissue structures also affected the ice crystal formation in the frozen vegetables, which eventually influences their fractural properties after thawing.
Adequate intake of nutrition is important for bone formation and the prevention of osteoporosis. Since youth is a critical period for developing and maintaining maximal bone density (peak bone mass), nutritional education related to bone metabolism is needed for young people. In this study, we examined the relationship between the level of knowledge related to bone metabolism and dietary behavior in Japanese university students. A self-completed questionnaire was administered to 277 male and 228 female university students. The questionnaire consisted of items regarding knowledge about bone metabolism, and frequency of food intake. A significantly higher percentage of female students knew that “the life-style disease like osteoporosis could prevent by improvement of diet” compared to that of male students (p<0.001). The percentage of students who knew that calcium is one of the most important nutrients for bone metabolism was 95.0% for males and 98.2% for females, while only 14.0% of male and 18.2% of female knew that vitamin K is related to bone metabolism. We compared the frequency of food intake and divided the students by whether they were concerned about eating as much calcium-containing foods as they could. 36.7% of male and 50.0% of female were concerned about eating calcium-containing foods, while 61.5% of male and 46.9% of female were not concerned about that. For males, the frequencies of consuming milk, yoghurt, and other vegetables were significantly higher in students who were concerned about eating calcium-containing foods. For females, the frequencies of consuming milk, yoghurt, green vegetables, and non-green vegetables were significantly higher. Our findings suggest that the positive attitude for a calcium intake is important for the increase of calcium-containing food intake frequency.
Skim milk is one of the foods recommended to provide calcium and protein without increasing fat and energy intake. In this study, we investigated consumer knowledge concerning skim milk and experience of consuming skim milk. A self-completed questionnaire survey was conducted among 594 students, 86 younger adults excluding students (under 40 years old), and 77 middle-aged adults (40-59 years old). A significantly higher percentage of middle-aged adults (90.9%) were aware “Skim milk” compared to that of students (51.2%) and younger adults (63.2%) (p<0.001). The percentages of middle-aged adults who knew that “skim milk is made by skimming fat and moisture from milk”, and “skim milk is rich in protein and calcium” were significantly higher than that of students and younger adults (p<0.01, p<0.05, respectively). Moreover, a significantly higher percentage of middle-aged adults had experienced drinking skim milk compared to that of students and younger adults (p<0.01). These results indicated that students and younger adults do not know very much about the positive features of skim milk and have little experience consuming it. Our findings suggest that it is important to focus on educating youth about the advantages of adding skim milk to their dietary lifestyle.
Soy-yogurt is produced from a mixture of okara and soy milk by lactic acid bacteria that is present in fermented vegetable food. In order to clarify the availability of the soy-yogurt as a functional food, its physiological effect was investigated using 5-week old male Sprague-Dawley rats fed a soy-yogurt diet. The levels of plasma and hepatic cholesterol significantly decreased in the group fed the soy-yogurt compared to the control group. The hepatic triglyceride in the rats fed the soy-yogurt showed a tendency of decrease compared to the control group. The amount of fecal bile acid in the group fed the soy-yogurt increased more than that of the control group. These results suggest that the soy-yogurt is beneficial for preventing hypercholesterolemia and a fatty liver. Therefore, the soy-yogurt is proposed to be useful as a functional food for the prevention of lifestyle-related diseases.