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Dias L.G.,Polytechnic Institute of Bragança | Dias L.G.,University of Trás os Montes e Alto Douro | Alberto Z.,Polytechnic Institute of Bragança | Alberto Z.,Instituto Superior Polytechnic do Kuanza Sul | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Food Measurement and Characterization | Year: 2015

Natural mineral waters (still), effervescent natural mineral waters (sparkling) and aromatized waters with fruit-flavors (still or sparkling) are an emerging market. In this work, the capability of a potentiometric electronic tongue, comprised with lipid polymeric membranes, to quantitatively estimate routinely quality physicochemical parameters (pH and conductivity) as well as to qualitatively classify water samples according to the type of water was evaluated. The study showed that a linear discriminant model, based on 21 sensors selected by the simulated annealing algorithm, could correctly classify 100 % of the water samples (leave-one out cross-validation). This potential was further demonstrated by applying a repeated K-fold cross-validation (guaranteeing that at least 15 % of independent samples were only used for internal-validation) for which 96 % of correct classifications were attained. The satisfactory recognition performance of the E-tongue could be attributed to the pH, conductivity, sugars and organic acids contents of the studied waters, which turned out in significant differences of sweetness perception indexes and total acid flavor. Moreover, the E-tongue combined with multivariate linear regression models, based on sub-sets of sensors selected by the simulated annealing algorithm, could accurately estimate water’s pH (25 sensors: R2 equal to 0.99 and 0.97 for leave-one-out or repeated K-folds cross-validation) and conductivity (23 sensors: R2 equal to 0.997 and 0.99 for leave-one-out or repeated K-folds cross-validation). So, the overall satisfactory results achieved, allow envisaging a potential future application of electronic tongue devices for bottled water analysis and classification. © 2015 Springer Science+Business Media New York

Arrobas M.,Polytechnic Institute of Bragança | Aguiar P.,Instituto Superior Polytechnic do Kuanza Sul | Rodrigues M.A.,Polytechnic Institute of Bragança
Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science | Year: 2015

Specialization within agriculture has been a key factor in increasing farm income. The production systems have become increasingly simple, since farmers only grow a small number of crops which have a favourable market price. However, monocultural systems require increasing use of agrochemicals leading to unsustainable environmental costs. In this work, the soil fertility of two plots in a crop rotation previously grown for 5 years as pasture or maize monoculture was evaluated. In the pasture, the upper 0–20 cm soil layer sequestered 17.4 Mg organic C ha−1 and accumulated 403 kg N ha−1 more than under maize monoculture. Analytical data from pot experiments showed that soil samples from the pasture plot released significantly more mineral N than soil samples from the maize monoculture. Maize dry matter (DM) yields in 2012 and 2013 were 15.3 and 10.0 Mg ha−1 in the pasture plot and 8.8 and 8.4 Mg ha−1 in the maize monoculture plot. Nitrogen recoveries by maize were 175.4 and 68.0 kg ha−1 in the pasture and 78.3 and 50.3 kg ha−1 in the maize monoculture plot. The pool of organic matter accumulated during the pasture phase immobilized important nutrients which benefited the succeeding crop as the organic substrate was mineralized. © 2015 Taylor & Francis

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