Tag Archives: 7-1

Microbiological assessment of keropok lekor production in Kuala Terengganu and Marang, Malaysia

Haslinda Wan Hamat1,2, Mohd Nizam Lani2*, Yusnita Hamzah2, Rozila Alias3, Zaiton Hassan4

1Food Safety and Quality Laboratory, Terengganu Health State Department, Kg. Bukit Tunggal, Terengganu, Malaysia

2School of Food Science and Technology, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT), Terengganu, Malaysia

3International Halal Institute Universiti Selangor, Seksyen 7, 40000 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia

4Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM), Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia


Keropok lekor is a popular Terengganu heritage traditional snack and its microbiological safety is one of the important aspects should be of concern. Thus, the present study was carried out to assess microbiological status of keropok lekor, and its production premises in Kuala Terengganu and Marang. A total of 136 samples were collected randomly from eight premises (in three replicates) comprising of raw materials, food contact surfaces and ready to eat (RTE). All samples were analysed for aerobic plate count (APC), total coliforms (TC) count, Escherichia coli and detection of foodborne pathogens. Results showed that the APC and TC count in raw materials (fish flesh, sago starch, ice, dough and chilli paste) ranged from below the detection limit (< 1.0 log10 CFU/g) to 6.7 log10 CFU/g and 4.6 log10 CFU/g, respectively. While, food contact surfaces have the APC and TC in the range of < 1.0 to 6.4 log10 CFU/cm2 and < 1.0 to 4.1 log10 CFU/cm2, respectively. The food handlers hand swabs had APC and TC counts between 2.2 to 6.4 log10 CFU/cm2 and < 1.0 to 4.4 log10 CFU/cm2, respectively. RTE keropok lekor and dipping sauce contained APC in 1.8 to 5.5 log10 CFU/g and < 1.0 to 5.1 log10 CFU/g range, respectively. TC was detected as unsatisfactory level (> 1.7 lo    g10 CFU/g) in three keropok lekor samples. E. coli was found in 10.29% of samples and all of them were non-diarrheagenic serotypes. Two RTE keropok lekor and display containers were contaminated with E. coli. Coagulase positive staphylococci, Salmonella and Vibrio parahaemolyticus were detected in four, two and one samples, respectively, with none of them found to have Vibrio cholerae and Listeria monocytogenes. High prevalence of indicator organisms in food contact surfaces and food handlers hand indicated that hygiene practices were not well implemented. The unsatisfactory levels of presence of APC, TC and E. coli in RTE keropok lekor also described cross contamination due to inadequate hygiene practices after cooking process.

Keywords: Cross contamination, Food contact surfaces, Food handlers, Hygiene, Indicator organisms

Impact of okra yellow vein mosaic virus on the physiology of okra crop and its management

Muhammad Ahmad Zeshan1*, Yasir Iftikhar1, Safdar Ali2, Maryam Yousaf1, Nadeem Ahmed3,  Muhammad Usman Ghani4

1Department of Plant Pathology, College of Agriculture, University of Sargodha, Sargodha, Pakistan

2Department of Plant Pathology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan

3Department of Plant Pathology, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Agriculture, Multan, Pakistan

4Institute of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan


Okra plants infected with okra yellow vein mosaic virus (OYVMV) were observed in the field for assessment of disease incidence and disease severity. Virus confirmation was done by whitefly inoculation, chip and leaf patch grafting. Electrolyte leakage and membrane stability index was calculated by recommended methods. The disease was managed by applying the mixture of buprofezin (0.001%), neem extract (0.005%) and citric acid (0.0003%). Parbhani kranti variety was most infected while Green wonder was less infected. More electrolytes leakage was recorded in infected plants while minimum in healthy plants. Neem extract was the more significant in reducing disease incidence by deterring the whiteflies from the okra crop. Citric also gave good results by repairing the plants cell damage and boosting the defense mechanism.

Keywords: Electrolyte, Geminivirus, Management, Okra, OYVMV, SAR, Whitefly

Effect of different drying methods on antioxidant properties, stevioside and rebaudioside A contents of stevia (Stevia rebaudiana bertoni) leaves

Ariffah Abdul Halim, Zamzahaila Mohd Zain, Aidilla Mubarak, Fauziah Tufail Ahmad*

School of Food Science and Technology, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT), 21030 Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia


The effect of different drying treatments of stevia leaves on antioxidant activity, ferric reducing power (FRAP), total phenolic content as well as stevioside and rebaudioside A content were evaluated. Drying treatments that were applied were oven drying (80°C and 60°C), sun drying, microwave drying and freeze drying. Results of all samples were compared with fresh leaves. Antioxidant activity of dried leaves was evaluated using DPPH radical scavenging activity and ferric reducing power (FRAP) by spectrophotometer. Stevioside and rebaudioside A content were evaluated using HPLC. Among all drying treatments, microwave was found to be the highest in scavenging the DPPH radical activity with no significant different with freeze dried and fresh leaves (P> 0.05). Inhibitory concentration at 50% of microwaved leaves was the lowest compared to other dried leaves. In addition to that, microwave dried leaves exhibit highest total phenolic content at 53.95 ± 2.83 mg/g gallic acid equivalent. As for stevioside and Rebaudioside A, no degradation happened in comparison with fresh leaves after drying treatment. Stevioside appeared to be higher in content than rebaudioside A. This indicate that microwave can be good drying method, without altering the stevioside and rebaudioside A content inside the leaves, thus maintaining the sweetening properties of the leaves.

Keywords: Stevia, Drying methods, Antioxidant properties, Stevioside, Rebaudioside 

Phytochemical, antioxidant and anticancer properties of honey and black seed mixture on MCF-7 cell lines

Kua Min Ping1, Murni Islamiah2, Norhayati Hadi1,3, Hayati Mohd Yusof1, 2*

1School of Food Science and Technology, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21030 Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia

2Institute Marine Biotechnology, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21030 Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia

3School of Nutrition and Dietetic, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA), Hafsah Block, Gong Badak Campus, 21030 Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia


Breast cancer is a leading cause of death of women in Malaysia, accounting for 17.7% of all cancer cases reported and 31.1% of all female cases. Chemotherapy drugs are effective in breast cancer treatment but may cause physiological and psychological distress to the patient. Therefore, an alternative way to provide better anticancer treatment with less side effects is important. Honey and black seed have been reported to show strong anticancer and antioxidant properties. Thus, in the present study, methanolic extracted honey and black seed mixture (ME), aqueous extracted honey and black seed mixture (AE) and mixture of methanolic extracted honey and aqueous extracted black seed (ME+AE) were evaluated for their anticancer and antioxidant properties. Antioxidant properties of the mixtures were determined using 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhdrazyl (DPPH) free radical scavenging assay and the half maximal effective concentration (EC50) were determined. Meanwhile, anticancer properties of the mixtures were evaluated on MCF-7 breast cancer cell line. Results revealed, in the antioxidant assays, the EC50 values of AE, ME and ME+AE mixture were 4.15 mg/mL, 2.47 mg/mL and 4.17 mg/mL, respectively. In the anticancer study, there was no significant difference (p>0.05) between extraction methods on the cytotoxicity of MCF-7 cell line. The IC50 values obtained from different extraction method range between 13.27 µg/mL to 16.45 µg/mL. The presence of bioactive compounds such as alkaloid, flavonoid, phenol, tannin and saponin in honey and black seed mixture might contribute to its high cytotoxic activity. Therefore, the use of honey and black seed mixture as a health supplement for its of anticancer and antioxidant benefits should be considered.

Keywords: MCF-7, Black seed, Honey, Anticancer, Antioxidant, Phytochemical properties 

Effect of drying temperatures on antioxidant properties of Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum)

NG Khai Shin1, Zamzahaila Mohd Zin2, Nurmahani Mohd Maidin1, Mohd Aidil Adhha Abdullah3Mohamad Khairi Zainol1*

1School of Food Science and Technology, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia

2Centre for Fundamental and Liberal Education, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia

3School of Fundamental Science, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia


This study was carried out to determine the effect of oven drying temperatures on antioxidant properties of Napier grass. Fresh samples of Napier grass were oven dried at 50, 60, 70, 80 and 90 °C for 7 h. Fresh and dried samples were extracted with water (95 °C, 30 min) and the extracts were analysed for total phenolic content (TPC) assay, total flavonoid content (TFC) assay, diphenyl-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH) assay, Ferric reducing antioxidant potential (FRAP) assay, ferric thiocyanate (FTC) method and thiobarbituric acid (TBA) method. The data show significant changes in TPC and TFC of Napier grass. DPPH radical scavenging activity of all the samples were significantly increased after drying. Ferric reducing potential of fresh Napier grass extract (71.31 ± 1.30) and samples dried at 50 °C (66.62 ± 2.77) and 90 °C (65.58 ± 5.98) were not significant. Sample dried at 50 °C showed no significant difference with that of fresh Napier grass extract in FTC and TBA assay indicating it is a recommended drying temperature in preserving antioxidants. The results suggested that Napier grass extract possess high antioxidant properties and it can be potent natural antioxidants. It also shows that sample dried at 50 °C have the greatest antioxidant properties.

Keywords: Antioxidant activity, Oven drying, Pennisetum purpureum


Protein modeling and evolutionary analysis of Calmodulin Binding Transcription Activator (CAMTA) gene family in Sorghum bicolor

Rashid Mehmood Rana1, Saima Saeed1, Fahad Masoud Wattoo1, Muhammad Waqas Amjid1,  Muhammad Azam Khan2

1Department of Plant Breeding & Genetics, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan

2Department of Horticulture, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan


Calmodulin Binding Transcription Activator (CAMTA) family is present in almost all plants and in many animals. CAMTA are named so due to the presence of specific calmodulin binding domain which is an important Ca2+ transducer. Multiple sequence alignment and phylogenetic analysis of CAMTA proteins in Sorghum bicolor, Oryza sativa, Zea mays, Glycine max and Arabidopsis thaliana showed highly conserved sequence and evolutionary similarity. In Sorghum bicolor six CAMTA proteins were identified to be located in nucleus. These proteins were named on the basis of their location on the chromosomes. Alignment and phylogenetic tree clearly indicates close similarity in monocot and dicot ancestry which appears on the same clade but diverged from each other with time. Almost all CAMTA proteins share same domain organizations. A highly conserved motif sequence in these species was identified which might play some important functional roles. In order to understand structural and DNA binding patterns of SbCAMTA proteins, 3-D models of proteins structure and their domains revealed many important DNA binding residues playing their role in protein-protein interaction and structural modification.. A further detailed study of the CAMTA protein members in sorghum may explore their mode of interaction and exact function in signaling mechanism under abiotic stresses.

Keywords: Binding residues, Calmodulin, Dicots, Evolution, Monocots, Proteins

Nutraceutical evaluation and antioxidant potential of red kidney bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) and chickpea (Cicer arietenum) seed coats

Uswatun Hasanah Zaidan1,2*, Noria Ab Karim1, Syahida Ahmad1, Siti Salwa Abd Ghani3Mohd Izuan Effendi Halmi4

1Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, UPM, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

2Halal Products Research Institute, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Putra Infoport, UPM, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

3Department of Agriculture Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, UPM, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

4Department of Land Management, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, UPM, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia


Legumes have become increasingly in demand due to the rich nutrient compositions and phytochemicals of pulses. However, the seed coats of some legume food products were removed prior consumption causing the food loss its nutritional value. The red kidney bean, RKB (Phaseolus vulgaris) and chickpea, CP (Cicer arietenum) which are the common beans among population were investigated in this study. Seed coats of these beans were analysed for the nutritional composition, phenolic compound and antioxidant properties. Carbohydrate was the major macronutrient in both seed coats. RKB and CP seed coats showed statistically significant composition of moisture, fat, protein and fibre. The caloric value of RKB seed coat (2.63 kcal/g) is higher than CP seed coat (2.29 kcal/g). Nevertheless, CP seed coat is a better source of fibre (27%) than RKB seed coat. Total phenolic content (TPC) of RKB seed coat was 12.14 mg GAE/g, which is much higher than in CP seed coat (0.25 mg GAE/g). Interestingly, the seed coat of RKB has strong antioxidant potency with DPPH assay (IC50 = 105.18 µg/ml) comparable to standard Trolox (IC50 = 96.42 µg/ml), which is much lower than the seed coat of CP (IC50 = 606.12 µg/ml). In addition, the antioxidant activity was highly correlated with TPC content of both seed coats. These properties make the seed coat of both beans are excellent candidates of potent nutraceutical.

Keywords: Antioxidant, Chickpea bean, Nutritional composition, Phenolic compounds, Red kidney bean

Chemical and functional properties of rose cactus (Pereskia bleo) mucilage as affected by different purification mediums

Nurul Farhanah Mohd Aluwi1, Nor Hayati Ibrahim1*, Yusnita Hamzah1, Mohd Zul Helmi Rozaini2


1School of Food Science and Technology, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT), Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia

2Institute of Marine Biotechnology, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT), Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia


Rose cactus (Pereskia bleo) leaves contain a complex polysaccharide called mucilage, which its functionality in foods should be better explored. This study aimed to investigate the effects of different purification mediums on the chemical and functional properties of rose cactus mucilage (RCM). Crude mucilage from leaves of rose cactus was extracted by using 0.14 M NaOH solution at 70°C. Three different purification mediums were employed i.e. isopropanol, saturated barium hydroxide and Fehling solution to obtain mucilage that pure in chemical composition with improved functional properties. Of all mediums, saturated barium hydroxide significantly (p < 0.05) gave the highest recovery yield (52.61%) of RCM, with the best properties especially in terms of crude protein content (26.01%), solubility at 60°C (87.19%), water holding capacity (WHC) (393.88%) and also with emulsifying capacity and emulsion stability (at 1% solution) of 14.11% and 10.44%, respectively. The values were also significantly (p < 0.05) higher than those recorded for crude mucilage. Fourier transformed infrared spectra revealed that RCM was characterized by a β-(1à4)-D-glucosidic main backbone while galactose, mannose, arabinose and uronic acid were four important monosaccharides identified. The findings signify that purification using saturated barium hydroxide could be used to improve the chemical and functional properties of RCM ensuring its wider application in the food industry.

Keywords: Rose Cactus Mucilage, Purification, Chemical Properties, Functional Properties

Optimization of enzymatic hydrolysis condition of edible bird’s nest using Protamex to obtain maximum degree of hydrolysis

Amiza Mat Amin, Khuzma Din*, Kee Chow Hui

School of Food Science and Technology, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT), Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia


This study reported on the optimization of enzymatic hydrolysis condition of edible bird’s nest (EBN) using Protamex® to obtain maximum degree of hydrolysis degree (DH). Besides, the proximate analyses of soaked cleaned raw EBN and its lyophilized hydrolysate powder prepared under optimum condition (suggested in this study) were also compared. Response surface methodology (RSM) was employed using a three-level face-centered Central Composite Design (CCD) at four different parameters, namely temperature (40-60oC), concentration of Protamex® (0.5-1.5%), pH (5.5-9.5) and hydrolysis time (2-6 hr). It was found that a quadratic fit could explain the effect of these four variables on the DH of EBN.  The optimum condition was obtained at temperature 59.9°C, pH of 6.3, Protamex® concentration of 2% and hydrolysis time of 5.4 hr.  The DH achieved under this optimum condition (33.88%) was close to the predicted DH (34.11%). It was found that the lyophilized EBN hydrolysate powder prepared under the optimum condition gave similar protein and carbohydrate content, but lower fat content and higher ash content as compared to cleaned raw EBN.

Keywords: Degree of hydrolysis, Edible bird’s nest, Enzymatic hydrolysis, Protamex