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Rosalizan M.S.,Rice and Industrial Crops Research Center | Ahmad Tarmizi S.,Rice and Industrial Crops Research Center | Osman M.,Rice and Industrial Crops Research Center | Rasali M.,Rice and Industrial Crops Research Center | Mohd. Shukri M.A.,Strategic Resource Research Center
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2013

Misai kucing (Orthosiphon stamineus) is one of the priority herbs under the Entry Point Projects (EPP) of the National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs) which has been identified by Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), Malaysia. Most herbs including misai kucing are always consumed in dried form, so drying is the most important process in herbal preparation. Efficient drying technique needs to be established in order to produce herbal products of a premium quality for maximum health benefits. Improper drying will cause reduction in product quality especially the content of bioactive compounds. Continuous drying is the most common method used by herbs producers in Malaysia and its effect on phytochemical content is well documented. However, there is a need to explore other drying technique such as adopting intermittent cooling process during drying for highest retention of phytochemicals in herbs. Stopping the drying process temporarily and putting the material under ambient condition is called intermittent cooling or ambient resting. So, this paper discusses the possibility to adopt intermittent cooling during drying of misai kucing. The effect of intermittent cooling time during drying on phytochemicals retention in misai kucing was investigated using a cabinet dryer. Intermittent cooling of 2 h during drying showed better retention of phytochemical contents in misai kucing as compared with continuous drying. The drying time and drying rate were not significantly affected by intermittent cooling treatment. Intermittent cooling for 2 h showed better retention of total flavonoid and rosmarinic acid contents. The level of rosmarinic acid which is the marker compound of misai kucing remained high after 2 h treatment. Source

Haron S.H.,National University of Malaysia | Ismail B.S.,National University of Malaysia | Mispan M.R.,Strategic Resource Research Center | Rahman N.F.A.,University Technology of MARA | And 2 more authors.
ARPN Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences | Year: 2015

The presence of pesticide residues in the surface water of Bertam River located amidst the agricultural areas of Cameron Highlands in Pahang, Malaysia was monitored from May to October in 2014. The sampling sites were located at 10 sampling points along the Bertam River in the agricultural areas. The method of extraction of the insecticides (organophosphate/pyrethroid) from the water samples consist of solid phase extraction followed by gas chromatography (with electron capture detector, ECD). As expected, insecticides, namely cypermethrin and chlorpyrifos were found in the surface water of Bertam River. High level concentrations of insecticides in the surface water were observed during the period from May to October 2014, a period which included both seasons (wet and dry seasons). The highest concentration of 2.66 μg/ml and 1.23μg/ml for cypermethrin was observed during the wet and dry seasons respectively. This could be due to the frequent usage of the above-mentioned insecticides coupled with contamination that could have originated from the application sites. Meanwhile, the lowest concentration detected in the surface water was for chlorpyrifos (0.11μg/ml and 0.17μg/ml) during the dry and wet seasons, respectively. © 2006-2015 Asian Research Publishing Network (ARPN). Source

Khalid K.,University Technology of MARA | Ali M.F.,University Technology of MARA | Rahman N.F.A.,University Technology of MARA | Mispan M.R.,Strategic Resource Research Center | And 3 more authors.
ARPN Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences | Year: 2015

Hydrologic models are particularly useful tools in enabling the modeler to investigate many practical and significant issues that arise during planning, design, operation, and management of water resources systems. Distributed models should pass through a careful calibration procedure before they are utilized as the process of decision-making aids in the planning and administration of water resources. Although manual approaches are still repeatedly used for calibration, they are tedious, time-consuming and have the need of experienced personnel. This paper describes a semi-automatic approach for calibrating long term daily streamflow periods estimated by the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) hydrological model. Optimization of three different sets of spatial input parameters were tested using SUFI-2 algorithms by firstly focusing on the sets of the groundwater inputs parameter. The second set is for the soil input parameters and the final set consists of 21 SWAT input parameters that reflect sensitivity on the streamflow simulation. For Langat river basin, the Rchrg-dp.gw, GW_Delay.gw and CN2.mgt were found to be most sensitive input parameters. SOL_AWC.sol was established to be the most sensitive to soil input parameter and followed by SOL_BD.sol and SOL_K.sol. On the final sets, it was shown that the three input parameters of OV_N.hru, SL_SUBBSN.hru, and HRU_SLP.hru were included as sensitive parameters in addition to the previous parameters. The next step should be conducting a long-term continuous hydrological modeling into SWAT 2012 model with all the selected sensitive SWAT input parameters in order to finalize the objective functions for the watershed. © 2006-2015 Asian Research Publishing Network (ARPN). Source

Mohd Shukri M.A.,Strategic Resource Research Center | Mirfat A.H.S.,Strategic Resource Research Center | Erny Sabrina M.N.,Strategic Resource Research Center | Razali M.,Strategic Resource Research Center | Salma I.,Strategic Resource Research Center
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2013

Consumption of fruits and vegetables can play important roles in the prevention of chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Based on epidemiological studies, eating five portions of fruits or vegetables daily can reduce the risk of these diseases. This also applies to Malaysian fruits and vegetables including underutilised plant species. Based on ethnobotanical studies, many of the underutilised fruits and traditional vegetable species are the source of food and medicine for some communities in Malaysia. The species have great potential, however, they are under exploited and not fully utilised. Research and development (R&D) in Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI), especially on the bioprospection of underutilised fruits, indicated several potential species, such as ceri Terengganu (Lepisanthes fruiticosa), dabai (Canarium odontophyllum), kebayau (Dactyodes rostmta), sentul (Sandoricum macropodum) and tengkawang (Garcinia bancana). Traditional vegetables conserved in several MARDI germplasms such as gajus (Anacardium occidentale), beluntas (Pluchea indica), salam (Eugenia polyanthia) and mata ayant (Ardisia crispa) were identified to be the potential species for health benefits. In identifying the potential, several parameters were studied i.e., nutritional values (vitamins), phenolic compounds, antioxidant activity and mineral content. The paper reports on the nutritional quality and potential of Malaysian underutilised fruits and traditional vegetables that can generate additional income to the farmers, provide micro- and macro-nutrients for healthy consumption and for future commercial plantation to produce agrobiodiversity products such as juice, snacks or supplements (medicine). Source

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