In this review, we show novel methods for utilizing lignocellulosic biomass, polysaccharides, and lignin. Firstly, the simultaneous enzymatic saccharification and comminution (SESC) of plant materials is described as an extraction method for lignocellulosic biomass that does not require toxic reagents or organic solvents. Secondly, we demonstrate the material utilization of non-deteriorated lignocellulosic biomass extracted by SESC, such as for sugar and ethanol synthesis, and as a heatproof filler. Finally, we exhibit the use of a functional monomer (e.g., in disinfection chemicals, cesium chelation, and building blocks for polymers), 2-pyrone-4,6-dicarboxylic acid, derived from lignin via metabolic degradation.
During ancient times in China, bee pollen was used for skin whitening and beauty. Around 70% of substances in bee pollen are biologically active, such as proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and fatty acids, phenolic compounds, vitamins and bioelements.
This review describes the cosmeceutical properties of bee pollen and the mechanism of its active components action, its beneficial influence on human skin. As a natural bee product, bee pollen may effectively enhance protective mechanisms against skin aging, skin dryness, ultraviolet B radiation, oxidative damage, inflammatory and melanogenesis, which are involved in a wide range of negative effects on human skin, thus they have attracted attention for health and cosmetic applications.
Edible oil adulteration has been a considerable problem worldwide, and rapid detection methods should be established. In this study, a validation method for edible oil adulterated with used frying oil (UFO) was introduced through Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. The spectral region of 6000–400 cm−1 was determined through FTIR by using a disposable polyethylene film, and absorption profiles at 1550–650 cm−1 region could be used for detection analysis. A qualitative analysis model was established through discriminant analysis, and edible oil adulteration with more than 1% content of UFO could be qualitatively analyzed. A quantitative analysis model was also created through partial least squares regression. When the actual value was more than 1.5%, the predicted and actual values showed good linear correlation. FTIR coupled with chemometric analysis is a useful tool to detect edible oil adulteration.
Concentration of polyunsaturated fatty acids ethyl esters (FAEE) by urea complexation from Echium oil was studied. Different variables involved in the process were investigated: amount and particle size of urea, solvent volume and ratio (hexane/ethanol), load of FAEE and reaction time. Hence, the main goal was to optimize SDA concentration (%) and yield (%) of stearidonic acid (SDA, 18:4 ω-3) and other bioactive FAEE. Similar behaviors were observed in fractionation between α-linolenic (ALA)-linoleic (LA), and γ-linolenic (GLA)-stearidonic (SDA) acids, attributed to similarities on their chemical structures, due to the position of the double bonds. At laboratory scale, the optimal conditions were 3 g urea (powder), 3.6 mL of hexane, 0.54 mL of ethanol and 800 mg of FAEE, during 20 h at 25°C. A scaling-up at pilot plant was carried out twice, obtaining more than 100 g of a final product, with ~29% SDA concentration and ~78% yield. Besides, after two washings with water, ethyl carbamates (urethanes) were not detected in the final product. Thus, a mixture of FAEE with about 85% of bioactive fatty acids with anti-inflammatory properties was obtained, which can be a high added-value product with great potential for the synthesis of functional lipids and nutraceuticals.
Rapid large-area printing techniques are required to fabricate superhydrophobic surfaces of polymer films on solid substrates. Here, we report a double-spray technique for fabrication of mixed phase-separated films of polystyrene (PS), poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), and PS-b-PMMA. The surface wettability of the films changes to superhydrophobic by immersing the samples in cyclohexane, which is a good solvent for only PS. The rinsing process forms nanostructures in the remaining PMMA films that have flat surfaces before the rinsing treatment. The highest contact angle is about 150° on the film with a PMMA ratio of 0.2. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy shows that a small amount of PS remains on the surface of the PMMA films, making the films superhydrophobic. Addition of PS-b-PMMA to the PS/PMMA films forms smaller phase-separated structures than those in the original PS/PMMA films because of an increase in the compatibility between PS and PMMA. The contact angle hysteresis in the films decreases with increasing PS-b-PMMA ratio, indicating an increase in the homogeneity of the phase-separated structures.
In this study, an N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC)-based metallosurfactant (MS), NHC-PdMS, was synthesized, where Pd(II) was bound to the NHC framework via a robust Pd–carbene bond with NEt3 as a co-ligand. Surface tension measurements revealed that the critical micelle concentration (CMC) of NHC-PdMS (1.8×10–4 M) was one order of magnitude lower than that of its MS precursor (imidazolium bromide). Coordination of the MS precursor and NEt3 to Pd(II) also influenced micelle size; the hydrodynamic diameters of NHC-PdMS and the MS precursor were observed to be 25.8±5.6 nm and 2.5±0.3 nm, respectively. Furthermore, small angle X-ray scattering measurements indicated that NHC-PdMS exhibited liquid crystalline behavior above 26 wt%, with a spacing ratio of 1:2:3 for the first, second, and third Bragg peaks. To understand the role of the reactive interface, NHC-PdMS was also applied to aqueous catalytic reactions. Owing to its low CMC value, a catalytic amount of NHC-PdMS (3 mol%) provided the reactive interface, which facilitated the aqueous Mizoroki–Heck reaction of various aryl iodides and styrene in good yields (72–95%). These results suggest that MS formation results in a drastic change in selfassembling properties, which are important for the development of highly reactive chemical interfaces in water.
We evaluated the friction properties of five cosmetic sponges on artificial skin using sinusoidal motion-friction evaluation system. No significant difference was observed in the pleasant score of the five sponges when these sponges were rubbed on the skin surface. The sponges were classified into three groups based on their tactile feel. Their characteristic tactile textures were moist-soft-slippery, moist-dry-rough, and moist feels. The slippery feel was found to depend on the thickness of the sponge’s cell wall, its surface tension, and the change in friction coefficient in the dynamic friction process. These findings are useful in the design of cosmetic sponges.
Two novel types of non-aqueous bioconversion systems using fungal spores, either adsorbed on the surface of a filter pad or entrapped in calcium alginate beads, were constructed and applied for a model reaction: reduction of benzil to benzoin by Aspergillus sojae NBRC 32074. The spores adsorbed on a filter pad catalyzed the reduction in some toxic organic solvents, such as methylcyclohexane (log P: 3.61) and din-butyl ether (3.21). For the relationship between the reduction activity and the log P value of the organic solvent, a highly positive correlation (R2: 0.815) was observed. Surprisingly, the reduction proceeded in the more hydrophilic and toxic tert-butyl acetate (log P: 1.76). Glycerol was selected as the best hydride source. The higher the glycerol content, the more the benzoin was produced. While the production of benzil by spores was lower than that by mycelia in harmless di-n-hexyl ether (log P: 5.12), mycelia could not catalyze the reduction in the toxic tert-butyl acetate. In contrast, the spores entrapped in the calcium alginate beads could catalyze the reduction. Although the reduction by alginate-entrapped spores could be stably repeated 5 times in di-n-hexyl ether without a decline in the reduction activity, it was observed that the reduction activity of the spores gradually decreased after repeated reduction in tert-butyl acetate.
Phosphatidylserine (PtdSer) is mainly derived from the bovine brain cortex or soybean lecithin. We investigated macrophage uptake behavior and the anti-inflammatory response induced by liposomes containing bovine brain- (B-PSL) or soybean-derived PtdSer (S-PSL). The size of B-PSL and S-PSL was very similar. There were no significant differences in the uptake of B-PSL and S-PSL by Raw 264.7 macrophage cells. Addition of B-PSL or S-PSL decreased the production of the inflammatory cytokines, IL-1α, IL-6 and TNF-α, in lipopolysaccharide-treated Raw 264.7 cells, but there were no differences between them. These results suggest that S-PSL may be used as an anti-inflammatory agent.
Accumulation of abdominal fat triggers metabolic syndrome, which is a cluster of metabolic abnormalities, such as dyslipidemia, glucose intolerance, insulin resistance or hyperinsulinemia, and hypertension, that leads to the development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Mushrooms have been used as a foodstuff and folk medicine worldwide. Among these mushrooms, Sparassis crispa (SC) is a relatively newly cultivated edible and medicinal mushroom, which has been reported to have anti-diabetic and anti-hypertensive properties. However, little is known about the anti-obesity and anti-hyperlipidemic properties of SC. In the present study, we investigated the effects of dietary SC on lipid metabolism and energy expenditure in Sprague-Dawley rats with diet-induced obesity and diabetes, and conducted respiratory gas analysis to determine how energy metabolism is altered by SC. After feeding periods of 3 and 7 weeks, dietary SC had significantly reduced hepatic triacylglycerol and cholesterol contents in a dose-dependent manner. These changes were attributable to suppression of fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis in the liver and increased insulin sensitivity in the body. In addition, after a feeding period of 6 weeks, dietary SC significantly increased energy expenditure through carbohydrate oxidation, reducing abdominal fat mass after 7 weeks. In conclusion, our results indicate that in addition to the previously reported anti-diabetic and anti-hypertensive activities, dietary SC exhibits anti-obesity and anti-hyperlipidemic activities that help protect against metabolic syndrome.
PURPOSE: Xanthophylls that exist in various vegetables and fruits have beneficial actions, such as antioxidant activity and an anti-metabolic syndrome effect, and daily intake of xanthophylls could play an important role in preventing lifestyle-related diseases. We investigated whether intake of xanthophylls from red paprika could decrease the abdominal fat area in the healthy overweight volunteers with a body mass index (BMI) ranging from 25 to < 30 kg/m2.
METHODS: In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study, 100 healthy volunteers were assigned to oral administration of paprika xanthophyll capsules (containing 9.0 mg of paprika xanthophylls) or placebo capsules for 12 weeks. The primary endpoint was the effect of paprika xanthophyll intake on the abdominal visceral fat area (VFA) as determined by computed tomography. The secondary endpoints were as follows: 1) changes of the abdominal subcutaneous fat area (SFA), total fat area (TFA), and BMI; 2) changes of lipid metabolism parameters, glucose metabolism parameters, and other blood parameters.
RESULTS: After 12 weeks, VFA was smaller in the paprika xanthophyll group than in the placebo group. In the paprika xanthophyll group, there was a significant decrease of SFA, TFA, and BMI after 12 weeks compared with baseline, and the reduction of SFA, TFA, and BMI was significantly greater in the paprika xanthophyll group than in the placebo group. Moreover, total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol decreased significantly in the paprika xanthophyll group, but not in the placebo group. No adverse effects were caused by intake of paprika xanthophyll capsules.
CONCLUSIONS: Intake of paprika xanthophylls for 12 weeks significantly reduced the abdominal fat area and BMI in healthy overweight volunteers without causing any adverse effects. These findings suggest that paprika xanthophyll is a safe food ingredient that improves lipid metabolism and reduces abdominal fat. Trial registration: UMIN-CTR UMIN000021529
In this study, acidic deep eutectic solvents (DESs) have been studied as catalyst in transesterification of soybean oil with methanol to produce biodiesel. p-Toluenesulfonic acid-based deep eutectic solvent (P-DES), composed of p-toluenesulfonic acid and choline chloride (1:3, mol/mol), was found to be an efficient transesterification catalyst for biodiesel production. The optimum conditions for the transesterification process were as follows: 8% P-DES catalyst, 8:1 molar ratio of methanol to oil, reaction temperature of 110°C and 2 h reaction time. The transesterification yield could reach 98.66±0.17%. And the P-DES exhibited as a heterogeneous catalyst after the reaction, which could be separated easily. And P-DES could remove the trace amount of by-product (glycerol) in the final biodiesel product, making this process more simple and cleaner.
The wettability efficiency of TiO2-coated Ti substrate wafers was improved using a microwave/UV pre-treatment method. With the assistance of microwave heating, TiO2 substrates coating with P25 completely achieved super hydrophilic state within 5 min, which is twice as fast compared with only UV irradiation condition. Moreover, when the microwave power was increased, improvement in the wettability activity was observed. Apart from P25, coating with brookite also resulted in a good performance. The contact angle was 0° with only 10 min of irradiation.