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Saleem S.A.,Agriculture Research Institute | Pervaiz Khan M.,Agriculture Research Institute | Saddozai A.A.,National Agricultural Research Council | Baloch A.K.,Gomal University
Acta Horticulturae

Research was conducted to investigate the impact of microwave (Mw) radiation for stimulating the ripening of 'Dhakki' date dates. The date fruits picked at four sub-khalal (doka) maturity stages well below the on-set of ripening, were radiated for 10 to 50 s at three microwave power levels of low (210 W), low medium (360 W) and medium (480 W) intensity. The radiated samples along with nonradiated control were placed for ripening/curing at 40°C under fluorescent light, dark or sun. The effectiveness of a treatment was evaluated by estimating ripeness (%) after 24, 48, 120 and 144 h incubation. Ripening/curing of the dates increased gradually during the incubation displaying no difference in the rate whether incubated under dark or light. However, the Mw radiation boosted up the date forming process seven times, reducing the curing period sharply from 288 h for the control samples to 40 h for the samples that were Mw radiated for 50 s at 480 W. The stage of maturity of the dates also offered a positive response to the ripening process thereby enhancing yield of the product substantially, and the maturity level at the late doka stage with hardness level of 180-200 mm Hg cm -2 believed the attractive maturity range for the ripening. Moreover, the radiation at 480 W facilitated early harvesting of dates prior to attaining optimum maturity stage thereby saving at least two weeks hanging period of the fruits on the tree, and hence the damage by monsoon rain is expected to be reduced whilst the desirable qualities of the dates held intact. However, exposing the dates beyond 480 W manifested heat roasting and caused an undesirable baked flavour. Source

Saleem S.A.,Agriculture Research Institute | Baloch A.K.,Gomal University | Saddozai A.A.,National Agricultural Research Council
Acta Horticulturae

The possibility of employing deep freeze technology was explored so as to enhance the performance of 'Dhakki' date cultivar at the doka stage. The fruits harvested at the fully matured hard, yellow and astringent stage were stored at 10, 0 and -15°C for one year, and examined for hardness, visual appearance and mold resistance. Subsequent performance of the doka was evaluated in terms of curing/drying period, quality, yield, and shelf stability of the product at the accelerated temperature of 40°C. The doka maintained at 10°C became mold infested just after 3 months storage, while those at the lower temperatures remained sound during the study period. Moreover the doka on thawing developed characteristics similar to the dong form resulting in color change from yellow to golden brown, sweeter in taste, and softer in texture. Subsequent curing/drying caused the product's patchy and loose skin with gritty mouth feel, the feature however slightly improved on lowering the freeze temperature. Treatment with the optimum doze of potassium hydroxide introduced a product with enhanced quality, yield, and stability. Leaving doka frozen below 0°C until required for further processing additionally offers sound proposition for streamlining the availability of fresh dates for an extended period besides reducing post-harvest losses, facilitating the marketing and bringing price stability of dates. Source

Saleem S.A.,Agriculture Research Institute | Saddozai A.A.,National Agricultural Research Council | Asif M.,Directorate of Planning | Baloch A.K.,Gomal University
Acta Horticulturae

The most promising and locally developed 'Dhakki' date cultivar (Phoenix dactylifera L.) of Dera Ismail Khan, is considered amongst the few world-leading cultivars. Small seeded mature fruit has a substantially large size (5-6 cm long and 2-3 cm thick) and heavy weights (20-25 g/fruit). Though astringent at doka (khalal) stage, it develops a fine texture and relish taste on ripening, and fetches a high price on the market. 'Dhakki', a crop of national importance is facing diversified problems. Coincidence of ripening period with the stormy monsoon season is the most damaging factor for 'Dhakki', which is a late cultivar suffering quality degradation and post harvest losses of enormous amounts. Further, the product becomes awfully contaminated and fermented using traditional techniques of exposing the fruits on mats to the sun at open air. The aim of the study was to induce a well advanced rapid artificial ripening in 'Dhakki' fruits harvested at firm and astringent doka stage, and complete curing/drying before the fall of monsoon. Brine and vinegar acid has been investigated as ripening initiator/accelerator, applied individually and/or in combined form at 0.25 to 3.5% concentration. The doka immersed in a treatment solution for 5 min was ripened/cured in an aerated incubator at 38 to 40°C for 72 h. Observing changes in color shade, fruit weight, pulp, texture, total soluble solids, appearance and the extent of ripening assessed the efficiency of the treatment. All of the treatments induced ripening of varying degree, however, 2% brine appeared highly effective for inducing accelerated ripening. The process caused 75% excessive yield with premium quality product and saved 2-3 weeks period required for attaining the dong (rutab) stage, besides overcoming the expected excessive damages caused by monsoon and insect/bird attack. Source

Wahid M.,COMSATS Institute of Information Technology | Wahid M.,National Agricultural Research Council | Mahjabeen I.,COMSATS Institute of Information Technology | Baig R.M.,COMSATS Institute of Information Technology | Kayani M.A.,COMSATS Institute of Information Technology
Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention

Most of the exogenous and endogenous chemical compounds are metabolized by enzymes of xenobiotic processing pathways, including the phase I cytochrome p450 species. Carcinogens and their metabolites are generally detoxified by phase II enzymes like glutathione-S-transferases (GST). The balance of enzymes determines whether metabolic activation of pro-carcinogens or inactivation of carcinogens occurs. Under certain conditions, deregulated expression of xenobiotic enzymes may also convert endogenous substrates to metabolites that can facilitate DNA adduct formation and ultimately lead to cancer development. In this study, we aimed to test the association between deregulation of metabolizing genes and brain tumorigenesis. The expression profile of metabolizing genes CYP1A1 and GSTP1 was therefore studied in a cohort of 36 brain tumor patients and controls using Western blotting. In a second part of the study we analyzed protein expression of GSTs in the same study cohort by ELISA. CYP1A1 expression was found to be significantly high (p<0.001) in brain tumor as compared to the normal tissues, with ~4 fold (OR=4, 95%CI=0.43-37) increase in some cases. In contrast, the expression of GSTP1 was found to be significantly low in brain tumor tissues as compared to the controls (p<0.02). This down regulation was significantly higher (OR=0.05, 95%CI=0.006-0.51; p<0.007) in certain grades of lesions. Furthermore, GSTs levels were significantly down-regulated (p<0.014) in brain tumor patients compared to controls. Statistically significant decrease in GST levels was observed in the more advanced lesions (III-IV, p<0.005) as compared to the early tissue grades (I-II). Thus, altered expression of these xenobiotic metabolizing genes may be involved in brain tumor development in Pakistani population. Investigation of expression of these genes may provide information not only for the prediction of individual cancer risk but also for the prevention of cancer. Source

Bhatti S.,University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences | Sadeeq-ur-Rahman,University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences | Zaman M.Q.,University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences | Qureshi Z.A.,National Agricultural Research Council | And 3 more authors.
Pakistan Journal of Zoology

We assessed toxic effects associated with sorghum feeding to rabbits. For this purpose 18 rabbits of almost same body weight and age were randomly divided into three groups (six animals per group) designated as A, B and C. Animals of each group were caged separately providing similar and standard environmental conditions. Group A (control) was fed on grass; group B was fed on sorghum stalks and group C was fed on sorghum leaves. Hematological studies revealed erythrocytopenia, leukocytopenia, decreased hemoglobin and lowered erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) in group B as compared to group A and C from day 10 to 30 of the experiment. Biochemical analysis revealed methemoglobinemia and high level of liver enzymes alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) of group B as compared to group A and C from day 10 to 30 of the experiment. This indicates that these hematological abnormalities may be associated with sorghum stalk feeding in experimental rabbits. Further we analyzed the nitrate level of sorghum stalk, leaves and grass which we used in our experiments. We determined its highest level (1480ppm) in sorghum stalk as compared to sorghum leaves (850ppm) and grass (736ppm). We can not rule out that nitrate in sorghum stalk led to the observed toxicity, but this needs further investigation, Taken together, our observations show that sorghum stalks are more toxic than sorghum leaves when fed to laboratory animals like rabbits. Copyright 2011 Zoological Society of Pakistan. Source

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