National Research Institute on Food and Nutrition

Rome, Italy

National Research Institute on Food and Nutrition

Rome, Italy
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van der Valk J.,University Utrecht | Brunner D.,Zet Center for Alternative and Complementary Methods to Animal Testing | De Smet K.,Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products | Fex Svenningsen A.,University of Southern Denmark | And 7 more authors.
Toxicology in Vitro | Year: 2010

Quality assurance is becoming increasingly important. Good laboratory practice (GLP) and good manufacturing practice (GMP) are now established standards. The biomedical field aims at an increasing reliance on the use of in vitro methods. Cell and tissue culture methods are generally fast, cheap, reproducible and reduce the use of experimental animals. Good cell culture practice (GCCP) is an attempt to develop a common standard for in vitro methods. The implementation of the use of chemically defined media is part of the GCCP. This will decrease the dependence on animal serum, a supplement with an undefined and variable composition. Defined media supplements are commercially available for some cell types. However, information on the formulation by the companies is often limited and such supplements can therefore not be regarded as completely defined. The development of defined media is difficult and often takes place in isolation. A workshop was organised in 2009 in Copenhagen to discuss strategies to improve the development and use of serum-free defined media. In this report, the results from the meeting are discussed and the formulation of a basic serum-free medium is suggested. Furthermore, recommendations are provided to improve information exchange on newly developed serum-free media. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Acquistucci R.,National Research Institute on Food and Nutrition | Turfani V.,National Research Institute on Food and Nutrition | Aureli G.,Agricultural Research Council
European Food Research and Technology | Year: 2011

Eleven barley landraces (Hordeum vulgare L.) grown under the same climatic and soil conditions according to the same organic protocol and corresponding malt samples were considered in this study. In order to assess the modification induced by the mashing process on barley samples cultivated under the same conditions, the enzymatic activity of alpha and beta-amylase was determined in all samples. In addition, the modification induced by the germination process on the protein pattern was also investigated by SDS-PAGE. Barley samples resulted different both in protein content and in amylase quality and quantity; these differences, evidently related to genetic factors, also were found in malt samples. Although two bands at 41-42 kDa and 55-58 kDa were found in the Betamyl extracts analysed by SDS-PAGE, only the 55-58 kDa had discriminating ability, and for this reason, it could be considered in order to evaluate barley suitability for beer production. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.


Finamore A.,National Research Institute on Food and Nutrition | Roselli M.,National Research Institute on Food and Nutrition | Britti M.S.,National Research Institute on Food and Nutrition | Merendino N.,University of Tuscia | Mengheri E.,National Research Institute on Food and Nutrition
Journal of Nutrition | Year: 2012

Probiotics may modulate the host immune response by mechanisms not yet fully understood. We evaluated the modulation of intestinal and systemic antigen-specific immune response by Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) or Bifidobacterium animalis MB5 in tolerized and immunized rats. Three groups of rats received orally LGG, B. animalis, or PBS (control) for 28 d. Each group was divided into two subgroups of tolerized or immunized rats receiving orally ovalbumin (OVA; 7 mg) or PBS on d 7, 9, and 11. All rats were immunized with OVA (300 μg) on d 14 and 21. In tolerized rats, the OVA-induced proliferative response of mesenteric lymph nodes (MLN) and spleen cells did not differ from control, indicating that the two probiotics maintained the tolerance. LGG and B. animalis in immunized rats reduced the OVAinduced proliferative response in MLN (P < 0.01) but not in spleen, whereas the proliferative response to anti-CD3 and concanavalin A of MLN and spleen cells as well as the delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction were not affected by probiotic treatment, indicating OVA-specific hyporesponsiveness restricted to intestinal immunity. This hyporesponsiveness was associated with CD4 +CD25 +Foxp3 + T cell expansion (P < 0.01) and increased IL-10 and TGFβ after LGG (P < 0.05), and increased apoptosis after B. animalis (P < 0.001) in MLN. In conclusion, we report a novel activity of LGG and B. animalis in inducing OVA-specific hyporesponsiveness in MLN of OVA-immunized rats that can be useful for a therapeutic strategy to prevent undesirable reactions to immunogenic antigens in the gut. © 2012 American Society for Nutrition.


Natella F.,National Research Institute on Food and Nutrition | Lorrain B.,National Research Institute on Food and Nutrition | Prasad A.K.,University of Delhi | Parmar V.S.,University of Delhi | And 2 more authors.
Biochimie | Year: 2010

The antioxidant activity of eight synthetic 4-methylcoumarins was systematically studied. The antioxidant capacity was measured using: (i) a competition kinetic test, to measure the relative capacity to quench peroxyl radical; (ii) the in vitro oxidative modification of human low-density lipoprotein, initiated by AAPH or catalyzed by copper. In both models, the ortho-OH substitutes were found to be better antioxidant than the meta one. The most efficient antioxidant was the 7,8-dihydroxy-4-methylcoumarin and the corresponding diacetoxy-substituted was unexpectedly a good antioxidant. Finally, the presence of an ethoxycarbonylethyl substituent at the C-3 position increased the antioxidant capacity of both 7,8-dihydroxy-4-methylcoumarin and 7,8-diacetoxy-4-methylcoumarin. © 2010 Elsevier Masson SAS.


Ruberti I.,National Research Council Italy | Sessa G.,National Research Council Italy | Ciolfi A.,National Research Council Italy | Possenti M.,National Research Institute on Food and Nutrition | And 2 more authors.
Biotechnology Advances | Year: 2012

The success of competitive interactions between plants determines the chance of survival of individuals and eventually of whole plant species. Shade-tolerant plants have adapted their photosynthesis to function optimally under low-light conditions. These plants are therefore capable of long-term survival under a canopy shade. In contrast, shade-avoiding plants adapt their growth to perceive maximum sunlight and therefore rapidly dominate gaps in a canopy. Daylight contains roughly equal proportions of red and far-red light, but within vegetation that ratio is lowered as a result of red absorption by photosynthetic pigments. This light quality change is perceived through the phytochrome system as an unambiguous signal of the proximity of neighbors resulting in a suite of developmental responses (termed the shade avoidance response) that, when successful, result in the overgrowth of those neighbors. Shoot elongation induced by low red/far-red light may confer high relative fitness in natural dense communities. However, since elongation is often achieved at the expense of leaf and root growth, shade avoidance may lead to reduction in crop plant productivity. Over the past decade, major progresses have been achieved in the understanding of the molecular basis of shade avoidance. However, uncovering the mechanisms underpinning plant response and adaptation to changes in the ratio of red to far-red light is key to design new strategies to precise modulate shade avoidance in time and space without impairing the overall crop ability to compete for light. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.


Le Donne C.,National Research Institute on Food and Nutrition | Piccinelli R.,National Research Institute on Food and Nutrition | Sette S.,National Research Institute on Food and Nutrition | Leclercq C.,National Research Institute on Food and Nutrition
International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition | Year: 2011

A critical analysis of existing food consumption databases was performed with particular regard for their current and potential use for the assessment of dietary exposure to additives, flavourings and residues of food contact materials. Within the European Food Consumption Validation project (EFCOVAL), a questionnaire on critical aspects of such datasets was developed and administered to researchers responsible for the collection/analysis of national food consumption data in European countries. Information collected was complemented through a review of the literature and of grey publications in order to provide an inventory of the main food consumption surveys performed in Europe from 1994 to 2007, for a total of 23 countries and 37 surveys. It appeared that existing European food consumption surveys have as a main objective the assessment of nutrient intake in the population. On the other hand, most of the databases were shown to be used also for the purpose of dietary exposure assessment. © 2011 Informa UK, Ltd.


Natella F.,National Research Institute on Food and Nutrition | Scaccini C.,National Research Institute on Food and Nutrition
Nutrition Reviews | Year: 2012

Coffee consumption has been associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. This association does not depend on race, gender, geographic distribution of the study populations, or the type of coffee consumed (i.e., caffeinated or decaffeinated). This review discusses the strength of this relationship, examines the possibility that the pattern of coffee consumption could influence the association, and evaluates the possible relationship between coffee consumption and other risk factors associated with diabetes. Particular attention is paid to the identification, on the basis of the scientific evidence, of the possible mechanisms by which coffee components might affect diabetes development, especially in light of the paradoxical effect of caffeine on glucose metabolism. In addition to the role of coffee in reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the possible role of coffee in the course of the illness is explored. Finally, the possibility that coffee can also affect the risk of other forms of diabetes (e.g., type 1 diabetes and gestational diabetes) is examined. © 2012 International Life Sciences Institute.


Sette S.,National Research Institute on Food and Nutrition | Le Donne C.,National Research Institute on Food and Nutrition | Piccinelli R.,National Research Institute on Food and Nutrition | Mistura L.,National Research Institute on Food and Nutrition | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition | Year: 2013

Introduction: To promote healthy food consumption patterns, information is required on the contribution of food groups to total nutrient intake. The objective of this paper is to identify the main dietary sources of nutrients in the diet of the population in Italy. Methods: Data collected through individual food records within the INRAN-SCAI 2005-06 survey were required. The final sample included 3323 subjects aged 0.1-97.7 years. Results: The percentage contributed by each food category to the intake of energy, dietary fibre and of 26 nutrients was calculated. Above 3 years of age, the main contributors to macro- and micro-nutrient intakes were similar among the various age-sex groupings with few exceptions. Conclusion: These data might be used to develop specific strategies for Italy in order to increase the intake of dietary fibre and to decrease that of total fats and of sugars in the population. © 2013 Informa UK Ltd.


Durazzo A.,National Research Institute on Food and Nutrition | Turfani V.,National Research Institute on Food and Nutrition | Azzini E.,National Research Institute on Food and Nutrition | Maiani G.,National Research Institute on Food and Nutrition | Carcea M.,National Research Institute on Food and Nutrition
Food Chemistry | Year: 2013

Total phenols (TPC) and antioxidant properties were determined in chick-pea, green and red lentils and sweet chestnut flours, in both aqueous-organic extracts and their residues, by the Folin Ciocalteau method and by the FRAP assay, respectively. Plant lignans were quantified in flours by means of HPLC. In addition, the FRAP of plant lignans (secoisolariciresinol, lariciresinol, isolariciresinol, pinoresinol, matairesinol), their mixture and enterolignans (enterodiol and enterolactone) were determined. In all flours, the highest TPC values were found in the residue. Specific and varietal significant differences were observed in all parameters. The highest TPC (737.32 and 1492.93 mg/100 g d.w.) and FRAP (140.32 and 101.25 μmol/g d.w.) values were reached by green lentils in both aqueous-organic extract and residue, respectively. Sweet chestnuts had the highest total lignans (980.03 μg/100 g d.w.). It was also found that the plant lignans standards have a higher antioxidant activity than enterolignans standards and that matairesinol has the highest activity. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


D'Evoli L.,National Research Institute on Food and Nutrition | Morroni F.,University of Bologna | Lombardi-Boccia G.,National Research Institute on Food and Nutrition | Lucarini M.,National Research Institute on Food and Nutrition | And 3 more authors.
Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity | Year: 2013

Fruit- and vegetable-derived foods have become a very significant source of nutraceutical phytochemicals. Among vegetables, red chicory (Cichorium Intybus L. cultivar) has gained attention for its content of phenolic compounds, such as the anthocyanins. In this study, we evaluated the nutraceutical effects, in terms of antioxidant, cytoprotective, and antiproliferative activities, of extracts of the whole leaf or only the red part of the leaf of Treviso red chicory (a typical Italian red leafy plant) in various intestinal models, such as Caco-2 cells, differentiated in normal intestinal epithelia and undifferentiated Caco-2 cells. The results show that the whole leaf of red chicory can represent a good source of phytochemicals in terms of total phenolics and anthocyanins as well as the ability of these phytochemicals to exert antioxidant and cytoprotective effects in differentiated Caco-2 cells and antiproliferative effects in undifferentiated Caco-2 cells. Interestingly, compared to red chicory whole leaf extracts, the red part of leaf extracts had a significantly higher content of both total phenolics and anthocyanins. The same extracts effectively corresponded to an increase of antioxidant, cytoprotective, and antiproliferative activities. Taken together, these findings suggest that the red part of the leaf of Treviso red chicory with a high content of antioxidant anthocyanins could be interesting for development of new food supplements to improve intestinal health. © 2013 Laura D'evoli et al.

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