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Ås, Norway

Olsen N.V.,Nofima Materials AS
British Food Journal

Purpose: The overall aim of this research is to increase understanding of consumers' barriers in relation to convenience food. While the motivation for consuming convenience food has been investigated frequently, few studies have investigated the barriers. Design/methodology/approach: Three focus group studies, exploring consumers' ready-to-heat (RTH) meal dilemmas, were conducted in Norway. Findings: The frequency of barriers and four narratives are presented, and the results indicate that consumers face bottom-up dilemmas related to barriers like sensory perception, health, economy, and managing relationships; and/or top-down value dilemmas related to traditions, quality of life and environmental barriers when considering convenience food consumption. Research limitations/implications: This research contributes to the current body of literature, which mainly focuses on drivers of convenience demand, by elaborating on barriers and dilemmas for convenience choice. Practical implications: The findings imply how marketers should communicate with the convenience market. Marketing managers need to understand which barriers to break or what dilemmas to discuss when communicating with the RTH market. Originality/value: By structuring focus group interviews according to the individual respondents ("who said what") and by presenting the data as narratives, the paper shows a new way to analyze focus group interviews. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Source

There is convincing evidence that a large intake of vegetables and fruits reduces the risk of several chronic diseases. The health-promoting effects could be due to bioactive phytochemicals in addition to nutrients. Experiments with cell cultures, animal models and humans have revealed several bioactivities. A direct antioxidant effect in the body may be insignificant for phytochemicals that are anti-oxidants in vitro. Instead, health-promoting phytochemicals can act by other mechanisms, e.g., change activity of enzymes in drug metabolism, modulate signalling pathways, inhibit tumour growth or initiate apoptosis in cancer cells. The beneficial intake levels of various phytochemicals are not yet known. For intake calculations and dietary recommendations, it is important to know the effect of pre- and post-harvest conditions and treatments on the final levels before ingestion. In general vegetables and fruits lose their content of vitamin C postharvest, and more so during suboptimum conditions. Glucosinolates and dietary fibre are relatively stable, whereas phenolic constituents and carotenoids vary in behaviour depending upon species, ripening stage and the specific compound. Atmospheres with lowered O2 and elevated CO 2 concentration reduce the loss rate of vitamin C and can change the storage behaviour of several constituents such as flavonols and anthocyanins. The effect of incident light postharvest is little investigated, but increases in phenolics are possible. Non-bruising mechanical stress could also be of significance, but very few results are available. Furthermore, the level of constituents at harvest can affect the storage behaviour. It is usually not possible to assess health-related quality of vegetables and fruits by our senses. Therefore, rapid and non-destructive methods to assess health-related properties are needed. Only a few methods have been developed so far. Source

Zadraznik T.,Agricultural Institute of Slovenia | Hollung K.,Nofima Materials AS | Egge-Jacobsen W.,University of Oslo | Meglic V.,Agricultural Institute of Slovenia | Sustar-Vozlic J.,Agricultural Institute of Slovenia
Journal of Proteomics

The majority of common bean plants are cultivated under drought conditions. Maintaining crop yields under drought stress is thus one of the biggest challenges facing bean production. In order to improve our understanding of the complex mechanisms involved in the response of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) to drought stress, a proteomic approach was used to identify drought-responsive proteins in leaves of two cultivars differing in their response to drought, Tiber and more sensitive Starozagorski čern. 2D-DIGE was used to compare differences in protein abundance between control and stressed plants. Fifty-eight proteins whose abundance changed significantly were identified by LC-MS/MS in Tiber and 64 in Starozagorski čern. The majority of identified proteins were classified into functional categories that include energy metabolism, photosynthesis, ATP interconversion, protein synthesis and proteolysis, stress and defence related proteins. Details of the function of the identified proteins and their abundance profiles in Tiber and Starozagorski are discussed. Interactions between identified proteins were demonstrated by bioinformatics analysis, enabling a more complete insight into biological pathways and molecular functions affected by drought stress. The results form the basis for a further understanding of the biochemical mechanisms of drought response in common bean. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source

Schirmer B.C.,Nofima Materials AS | Schirmer B.C.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Langsrud S.,Nofima Materials AS
Meat Science

The aim of this paper was to evaluate the effect of a novel CO2 packaging method in combination with organic acids on the microbial growth in fresh pork meat. Fresh pork fillet was packed with a small amount of 100% CO2 (initial gas/product ratio 0.2/1.0) and a brine solution containing citric acid (3% w/w, pH 5), acetic acid (1% w/w, pH 5) or a combination of both. Microbial counts and composition in the product were determined. CO2, citric acid and acetic acid each reduced total growth after four weeks of storage and delayed the onset of microbial growth. Combinations of treatments increased the effects and microbial growth in samples packed with a combination of CO2 and both acids was negligible even after 35 days. However, the addition of citric acid to the packages led to significant precipitation in the brine. Analysis of the bacterial flora showed that lactic-acid bacteria dominated the flora in samples packed with CO2 while vacuum-packed samples contained high numbers of Pseudomonas sp. and yeast. As all CO2 dissolved in the product within hours after packaging, the outer appearance of the package was that of a vacuum-package. As a result, this novel packaging method combined the advantages of modified atmosphere packaging (antimicrobial effect of CO2) and vacuum packaging (low space requirement). © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Schirmer B.C.,Nofima Materials AS | Schirmer B.C.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Langsrud S.,Nofima Materials AS
Journal of Food Science

The aim of this study was to investigate the inhibitory effect of natural antimicrobials on the growth of typical spoilage bacteria from marinated pork. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of thymol, cinnamaldehyde, allyl isothiocyanate, citric acid, ascorbic acid, a rosemary extract, and a grapefruit seed extract against Lactobacillus algidus, Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Leuconostoc carnosum, Carnobacterium maltaromaticum, Carnobacterium divergens, Brochothrix thermosphacta, and Serratia proteamaculans were determined in a microplate assay. Combinations of antimicrobials were tested and several combinations showed synergistic effects in inhibiting bacterial growth. Single and combined antimicrobials were added to vacuum-packed pork meat to evaluate preserving effects. Antimicrobial concentrations of up to 10 times the MIC values showed no effect on total bacterial growth in vacuum packed pork meaning that although most antimicrobials inhibited the growth of spoilage bacteria in vitro, results from the microplate assay could not be transferred to the meat system. Most natural antimicrobials possess strong odor and flavor that limit their use as a food preservative. In conclusion, this study showed that the use of natural antimicrobials in meat products is limited and that bacterial quality and shelf life was not enhanced under the chosen conditions. © 2010 Institute of Food Technologists®. Source

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