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Kaunas, Lithuania

Vytautas Magnus University ) is a public university in Kaunas, Lithuania. The university was founded in 1922 during the interwar period as an alternate national university. Initially it was known as the University of Lithuania, but in 1930 the university was renamed to Vytautas Magnus University, commemorating 500 years of death of Vytautas the Great, the Lithuanian ruler, well known for the nation's greatest historical expansion in the 15th century.It is one of the leading universities of Lithuania, has now about 8,700 students, including Master and Ph.D. candidates. There are slightly fewer than 1000 employees, including approximately 70 professors. Wikipedia.


Grazuleviciene R.,Vytautas Magnus University
Environmental health : a global access science source | Year: 2014

The aims of this study were to explore associations of the distance and use of urban green spaces with the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and its risk factors, and to evaluate the impact of the accessibility and use of green spaces on the incidence of CVD among the population of Kaunas city (Lithuania). We present the results from a Kaunas cohort study on the access to and use of green spaces, the association with cardiovascular risk factors and other health-related variables, and the risk of cardiovascular mortality and morbidity. A random sample of 5,112 individuals aged 45-72 years was screened in 2006-2008. During the mean 4.41 years follow-up, there were 83 deaths from CVD and 364 non-fatal cases of CVD among persons free from CHD and stroke at the baseline survey. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression models were used for data analysis. We found that the distance from people's residence to green spaces was not related to the prevalence of health-related variables. However, the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and the prevalence of diabetes mellitus were significantly lower among park users than among non-users. During the follow up, an increased risk of non-fatal and fatal CVD combined was observed for those who lived ≥629.61 m from green spaces (3rd tertile of distance to green space) (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.36), and the risk for non-fatal CVD-for those who lived ≥347.81 m (2nd and 3rd tertile) and were not park users (HR = 1.66) as compared to men and women who lived 347.8 m or less (1st tertile) from green space. Men living further away from parks (3rd tertile) had a higher risk of non-fatal and fatal CVD combined, compared to those living nearby (1st tertile) (HR = 1.51). Compared to park users living nearby (1st tertile), a statistically significantly increased risk of non-fatal CVD was observed for women who were not park users and living farther away from parks (2nd and 3rd tertile) (HR = 2.78). Our analysis suggests public health policies aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles in urban settings could produce cardiovascular benefits. Source


Saulis G.,Vytautas Magnus University
Food Engineering Reviews | Year: 2010

Using of pulsed electric fields (PEF) for killing of microorganisms in liquid foods is a promising new nonthermal food processing and preservation technology. However, to implement and optimize this technology, a good understanding of the actual mechanisms that govern microbial inactivation by this technique is required. Here, fundamentals of cell electroporation, which is considered as underlying phenomenon of food processing technology, are discussed. The whole process of the cell electroporation (food processing) by PEF is divided into the following four main stages: (1) building the transmembrane potential up by the applied external electric field, (2) creation of small metastable hydrophilic pores, when the transmembrane potential has been built up; (3) evolution of the pore population- the change in the number and/or sizes of pores- during an electric treatment; and (4) post-treatment stage consisting of the processes that take place after the electric treatment (leakage of intracellular compounds, pore shrinkage and disappearance, etc.). The current knowledge of the processes taking place during each of the above stages as well as the factors influencing them is discussed. Theoretical considerations are illustrated with the experimental data available. © 2010 Springer Science + Business Media, LLC. Source


Kaskoniene V.,Vytautas Magnus University | Venskutonis P.R.,Kaunas University of Technology
Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety | Year: 2010

In view of the expanding global market, authentication and characterization of botanical and geographic origins of honey has become a more important task than ever. Many studies have been performed with the aim of evaluating the possibilities to characterize honey samples of various origins by using specific chemical marker compounds. These have been identified and quantified for numerous honey samples. This article is aimed at summarizing the studies carried out during the last 2 decades. An attempt is made to find useful chemical markers for unifloral honey, based on the analysis of the compositional data of honey volatile compounds, phenolic acids, flavonoids, carbohydrates, amino acids, and some other constituents. This review demonstrates that currently it is rather difficult to find reliable chemical markers for the discrimination of honey collected from different floral sources because the chemical composition of honey also depends on several other factors, such as geographic origin, collection season, mode of storage, bee species, and even interactions between chemical compounds and enzymes in the honey. Therefore, some publications from the reviewed period have reported different floral markers for honey of the same floral origin. In addition, the results of chemical analyses of honey constituents may also depend on sample preparation and analysis techniques. Consequently, a more reliable characterization of honey requires the determination of more than a single class of compounds, preferably in combination with modern data management of the results, for example, principal component analysis or cluster analysis. © 2010 Institute of Food Technologists®. Source


The article analyses the practical problems of the law enforcement of the retail trade of alcohol. It is based on the data of scientific literature, legal acts, and 15 semi-structured qualitative interviews with the experts who conduct the supervision and control of the retail trade of alcohol at the Drug, Tobacco and Alcohol Control Department, the State Food and Veterinary Service, police commissariats, and municipal administration licensing departments. The research concludes that the reactive control is conditioned by the residents' complaints about the harm caused by illegal trade and abuse of alcohol. The complaints that the holders of alcohol retail trade licenses violate the technical requirements included in the license, e.g. for the storage location or the type of alcohol sold, are very rare. The efficiency of reactive supervision and control is hindered by the undefined amount of alcohol consumed in the location and the unrestricted carrying of alcohol in an open container, the illegitimacy of the method of secret shopper, and the restrictions imposed on inspections checking for illegal alcohol. Meanwhile, the proactive control is still emerging, because the information is being gathered and inspections are planned, but there are no clear goals associated with damage control or evaluation of inspection efficiency. Source


Stravinskiene V.,Vytautas Magnus University
Journal of Environmental Engineering and Landscape Management | Year: 2011

The article presents the results of the research pertaining to forest litter and the composition of peat topsoil microelements, as well as the composition and projection coverage of undergrowth, herbaceous and bryophyte species specific to the vicinity of the cement factory Akmen's cementas are presented. Increased amounts of strontium, barium, titanium, manganese, copper, chromium, nickel and boron in forest litter and the upper 10 cm peat layer (up to 6 km from the pollution source) were established. 53 plant species were observed. The greater part (75-81%) of them are vascular plants. It was indicated that the diversity of vegetation species at different distances (0.5-1.0, 3.0-3.5 and 5.5-6.0 km) from the pollution source varies. Species of broadleaved trees and shrubs (Quercus robur L., Betula pendula Roth., Frangula alnus Mill., Corylus avellana L.), resistant to the impact of alkaline dust, are more outspread near the pollution source. Nearby the pollution source (0.5-1.0 km), Campylium stellatum Lange and Campylium sommerfeltii Lange, were found. At the farthest distances from the plant, the typical for Myrtillo-oxalidosa site type moss Hylocomium splendens (Hedw.) Schimp., Rhytidiadelphus triquetrus (Hedw.) Warnst, and herbs Epilobium palustre L., Vaccinium myrtillus L., Moehringia trinervia (L.) Clairv. were observed. Total coverage of vegetation species varied from 35.5±1.9% at the closest to the pollution source distance to 19.6±2.1% at the 3.0-3.5 km distance. It is significantly (p < 0.05) less in comparison to the control (51.9±2.2%). The greatest part (43-72%) of the coverage in different squares of the vegetation study consisted of herbs and undergrowth plants. © 2011 Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (VGTU) Press Technika. Source

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