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Wageningen, Netherlands

Luijsterburg B.,Top Institute Food and Nutrition | Luijsterburg B.,TU Eindhoven | Goossens H.,TU Eindhoven
Resources, Conservation and Recycling | Year: 2014

The global plastics production has increased annually and a substantial part is used for packaging (in Europe 39%). Most plastic packages are discarded after a relatively short service life and the resulting plastic packaging waste is subsequently landfilled, incinerated or recycled. Laws of several European and Asian countries require that plastic packaging waste collected from households has to be sorted, reprocessed, compounded and reused. These recycling schemes typically produce milled goods of poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET), poly(ethylene) (PE), isotactic poly(propylene) (PP), mixed plastics, and agglomerates from film material. The present study documents the composition and properties of post-consumer polyolefin recyclates originating from both source separation and mechanical recovery from municipal solid refuse waste (MSRW). The overall composition by Fourier transform-infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) were determined and compared with the sorting results of the sorted fractions prior to the reprocessing into milled goods. This study shows that the collection method for the plastic packaging waste has hardly any influence on the final quality of the recyclate; however, the sorting and reprocessing steps influence the final quality of the recyclate. Although the mechanical properties of recyclate are clearly different than those of virgin polymers, changes to the sorting and reprocessing steps can improve the quality. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Steele J.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Broadbent J.,Utah State University | Kok J.,University of Groningen | Kok J.,Top Institute Food and Nutrition
Current Opinion in Biotechnology | Year: 2013

It has been known since the 1960s that lactic acid bacteria are essential for the development of cheese flavor. In the ensuing 50 years significant research has been directed at understanding the microbiology, genetics and biochemistry of this process. This review briefly covers the current status of cheese flavor development and then provides our vision for approaches which will enhance our understanding of this process. The long-term goal of this area of research is to enable technology (i.e. cultures and enzymes) that results in consistent rapid development of cheese variety-specific characteristic flavors. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Ras R.T.,Unilever | Streppel M.T.,Wageningen University | Draijer R.,Unilever | Zock P.L.,Unilever | Zock P.L.,Top Institute Food and Nutrition
International Journal of Cardiology | Year: 2013

Background: Flow-mediated dilation (FMD) is an accepted technique to quantify endothelial function and has shown to have prognostic value for future cardiovascular disease (CVD). The predictive strength of FMD in CVD patients compared to populations not diagnosed for CVD warrants further investigation. We systematically reviewed prospective studies that investigated the association between brachial FMD and future cardiovascular events, with particular focus on the role of underlying health status. Methods: To obtain eligible studies, several literature databases were systematically searched through March 2011. Pooled overall risk estimates were calculated separately for continuous risk estimates for CVD (per 1% higher FMD) and for categorical risk estimates for CVD (having high vs. low FMD), based on random-effects models. Results: A total of 23 studies including 14,753 subjects were eligible for inclusion in the meta-analysis. For studies reporting continuous risk estimates, the pooled overall CVD risk was 0.92 (95%CI: 0.88; 0.95) per 1% higher FMD. The observed association seemed stronger (P-value < 0.01) in diseased populations than in asymptomatic populations (0.87 (95%CI: 0.83; 0.92) and 0.96 (95%CI: 0.92; 1.00) per 1% higher FMD, respectively). For studies reporting categorical risk estimates, the pooled overall CVD risk for high vs. low FMD was similar in both types of populations, on average 0.49 (95%CI: 0.39; 0.62). Conclusions: Our findings show that brachial FMD is inversely associated with future CVD events, with some indications for a stronger relation in diseased populations. Endothelial dysfunction may be considered relevant for classifying subjects in terms of CVD risk. © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Mols M.,University of Groningen | Mols M.,Wageningen University | Abee T.,Wageningen University | Abee T.,Top Institute Food and Nutrition
Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2011

Coping with acid environments is one of the prerequisites for the soil saprophytic and human pathogenic lifestyle of Bacillus cereus. This minireview highlights novel insights in the responses displayed by vegetative cells and germinating spores of B. cereus upon exposure to low pH as well as organic acids, including acetic acid, lactic acid and sorbic acid. Insights regarding the possible acid-inflicted damage, physiological responses and protective mechanisms have been compiled based on single cell fluorescence microscopy, flow cytometry and transcriptome analyses. © 2011 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Grimbergen A.J.,University of Groningen | Siebring J.,University of Groningen | Siebring J.,Top Institute Food and Nutrition | Solopova A.,University of Groningen | And 2 more authors.
Current Opinion in Microbiology | Year: 2015

Bet-hedging is an evolutionary theory that describes how risk spreading can increase fitness of a genotype in an unpredictably changing environment. To achieve risk spreading, maladapted phenotypes develop within isogenic populations that may be fit for a future environment. In recent years, various observations of microbial phenotypic heterogeneity have been denoted as bet-hedging strategies, sometimes without sufficient evidence to support this claim. Here, we discuss selected examples of microbial phenotypic heterogeneity that so far do seem consistent with the evolutionary theory concept of bet-hedging. © 2015.

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