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    17506 research outputs found

    Shelf-life of green asparagus using cassava and chitosan blend coating

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    Polysaccharide coating is a biodegradable alternative to conventional packings used for delaying senescence in vegetables. This work investigated the properties of cassava and chitosan biopolymeric film and its use as edible coatings to preserve the shelf-life (7 °C and 70% relative humidity (RH)) of green asparagus, with previous cold storage (1 °C and 90% RH) for 7 days. Based on a previous assessment of the films obtained from a) cassava (2.5%), b) chitosan (0.5%), and c) a blend of cassava-chitosan (Cassava+) (2.5 + 0.5%), it could be verified that cassava-chitosan blend films showed improved barrier property (water vapor transmission rate (WVTR) of 38.06 g/(m2.h)) and mechanical properties, with tensile strength of 0.021 MPa, elongation at break of 1.93% and Young’s module of 0.011 MPa. Cassava+ based coating resulted in a lower weight loss and colour L* parameter and minimized textural changes in basal-section of commercial green asparagus spears during a shelf-life of seven days (7 °C and 70% RH), with previous cold storage. All coated spears maintained overall higher carbohydrate levels than the control, except to sucrose which gradually decreased in basal sections and increased in the apical sections of asparagus spears, irrespective of treatment. Edible coating did not affect asparagine concentrations which steadily increased throughout the shelf-life of the spears. The blend (Cassava+) kept for a longer the green asparagus quality. However, spears under a shelf-life of seven days (7 °C and 70% RH), with previous cold storage under 1 °C and 90% RH conditions, developed tip-rot physiological disorder

    Understanding practices which foster inclusion: views from the top

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    Purpose This study aims to deepen our understanding of how inclusionary practices are used within organizations and how they satisfy specific inclusion needs. Design/methodology/approach We adopt a qualitative research design, reporting on data from semi-structured interviews conducted with 15 diversity and inclusion (D&I) directors/leads and using a thematic approach to analysis. Findings Our study expands understanding of inclusion practices, showing that they are not uniformly implemented and that practices may satisfy both needs to belong and differences valued, with interviewees prioritizing belonging. Well-being and career development are seen as important inclusion practices demonstrating support and appreciation of difference, thus as inputs, not outputs, of inclusion challenging existing assumptions. Inclusionary practices are malleable, and their impact depends critically on the leaders involved and their commitment to EDI. Originality/value Our study shows how practices satisfy inclusion needs and that the implementation of practices varies depending on the leaders involved

    Cybersecurity 4.0: safeguarding trust and production in the digital food industry era

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    The food industry is vital manufacturing sector globally, with an ever-increasing reliance on digitalisation and technology-driven processes. However, this advancement introduces inherent cyberattack risks, encompassing data breaches and system disruptions, which can severely impact production and disrupt the entire food chain. Consequently, cyber threats can evoke fear and mistrust among consumers, potentially tarnishing a company's brand. This paper presents a comprehensive research methodology, including an extensive literature review and a detailed survey, aimed at assessing the current state of cybersecurity within the food industry. The problem at hand is the industry's apparent lack of robust cybersecurity measures to protect against the growing threat landscape, which this research aims to address. Our findings reveal a clear gap in cybersecurity preparedness within the food industry, with potential vulnerabilities that could be exploited by cyber adversaries. In response, we propose a specialised security framework designed to mitigate these risks. The framework is built upon a thorough analysis of the industry's existing cybersecurity posture and the identification of both current and emerging cyber threats. The contribution of this research relies in the development of a security framework that strengthens the industry's cyber defenses, thereby enhancing its competitive advantage. The framework emphasizes the importance of continuous employee education and training as a cornerstone for improving the security environment. Enhancing the security environment through ongoing employee education and training is crucial for fostering consumer trust and enabling seamless growth within the industry. By adopting a proactive approach to cybersecurity, the food industry can ensure the sustainability and reliability of its operations in the face of evolving cyber threats

    Coupling green hydrogen production to community benefits: a pathway to social acceptance?

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    Hydrogen energy technologies are forecasted to play a critical supporting role in global decarbonisation efforts, as reflected by the growth of national hydrogen energy strategies in recent years. Notably, the UK government published its Hydrogen Strategy in August 2021 to support decarbonisation targets and energy security ambitions. While establishing techno-economic feasibility for hydrogen energy systems is a prerequisite of the prospective transition, social acceptability is also needed to support visions for the ‘hydrogen economy’. However, to date, societal factors are yet to be embedded into policy prescriptions. Securing social acceptance is especially critical in the context of ‘hydrogen homes’, which entails replacing natural gas boilers and hobs with low-carbon hydrogen appliances. Reflecting the nascency of hydrogen heating and cooking technologies, the dynamics of social acceptance are yet to be explored in a comprehensive way. Similarly, public perceptions of the hydrogen economy and emerging national strategies remain poorly understood. Given the paucity of conceptual and empirical insights, this study develops an integrated acceptance framework and tests its predictive power using partial least squares structural equation modelling. Results highlight the importance of risk perceptions, trust dynamics, and emotions in shaping consumer perceptions. Foremost, prospects for deploying hydrogen homes at scale may rest with coupling renewable-based hydrogen production to local environmental and socio-economic benefits. Policy prescriptions should embed societal factors into the technological pursuit of large-scale, sustainable energy solutions to support socially acceptable transition pathways

    Vision-based autonomous UGV detection, tracking, and following for a UAV

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    This study proposes a methodology for unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) navigation in off-road environments where GPS signals are not available. The Husky-A200 at Cranfield University, United Kingdom has been used as a UGV in this research project. Due to the limited field of vision of UGVs, a UAV-UGV collaboration approach was adopted. The methodology involves five steps. The first step is divided into three phases: The aerial images of UGV from UAV are generated in the first phase. In the second phase, the UGV is detected and tracked using computer vision techniques. In the third phase, the relative pose (position and heading) between the UAV and UGV is estimated continuously using visual data. In the second step, the UAV maintain a fixed location (position and heading) relative to the UGV. The third step involves capturing aerial images from the UAV‘s mounted camera and transmitting it to the ground station instantly to create a global traversability map that classifies terrain features based on their traversability. In the fourth step, additional sensors such as LiDAR, radar, and IMU are used to refine the global traversability map. In the final step, the UGV navigates automatically using the refined traversability map. This study will focus on the first two steps of the methodology, while subsequent studies will address the remaining steps

    Experimental and numerical investigation of the aerodynamic characteristics of high-performance vehicle configurations under yaw conditions

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    This study investigates the impact of yaw conditions on the aerodynamic performance and flow field of three high-performance vehicle model configurations by means of wind tunnel testing and unsteady Reynolds-Averaged Navier–Stokes-based computational fluid dynamics simulations. While yaw effects on automotive vehicles have been explored, the effects on far more complex flow fields of high-performance vehicles remain insufficiently researched. This paper reveals that yaw conditions have a significant negative influence both downforce and drag performance. Spoiler and rear wing devices enhance downforce but increase the vehicle's sensitivity to yaw. Furthermore, yaw conditions significantly alter vortex structures and local flow velocities, affecting downstream flow behavior. Surface pressure measurements on the slant confirm these findings and highlight notable yaw effects and upstream effects from spoiler and rear wing devices. Wake analyses through total pressure measurements show that yaw induces a substantial deviation from straight-line wake characteristics, which become dominated by an inboard rotating vehicle body vortex. Overall, this research enhances the understanding of the effects of yaw conditions on high-performance vehicle aerodynamics and provides valuable data for future vehicle aerodynamics research in real-world operating conditions

    Going Platinum: The European Journal of Soil Science at 75

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    The European Journal of Soil Science (EJSS) is published by Wiley on behalf of the British Society of Soil Science (BSSS) to fulfil its original mission to ‘publish an annual publication’. The Journal for Soil Science published its first issue in March 1949 (Figure 1, left) before a change of name to the European Journal of Soil Science (EJSS) in 1994. The current issue (Volume 75, Issue 2, March-April 2024; Figure 1, right) therefore marks our 75th Anniversary. In this Editorial, we (the Senior Editorial Team of the EJSS; Figure 2) review briefly how the journal has evolved over the last three-quarters of a century and look forward to both the challenges and opportunities that the future holds

    Biomonitoring for workplace exposure to copper and its compounds is currently not interpretable

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    This paper sets out to explore the requirements needed to recommend a useable and reliable biomonitoring system for occupational exposure to copper and its inorganic compounds. Whilst workplace environmental monitoring of copper is used to measure ambient air concentrations for comparison against occupational exposure limits, biological monitoring could provide complementary information about the internal dose of workers, taking into account intra-individual variability and exposure from all routes. For biomonitoring to be of reliable use for copper, a biomarker and the analytical ability to measure it with sufficient sensitivity must be identified and this is discussed in a range of matrices. In addition, there needs to be a clear understanding of the dose-response relationship of the biomarker with any health-effect (clinical or sub-clinical) or, between the level of external exposure (by any route) and the level of the copper biomarker in the biological matrix being sampled, together with a knowledge of the half-life in the body to determine accurate sampling times. For many biologically non-essential metals the requirements for reliable biomarkers can be met, however, for ‘essential’ metals such as copper that are under homeostatic control, the relationship between exposure (short- or long-term) and the level of any copper biomarker in the blood or urine is complex, which may limit the use and interpretation of measured levels. There are a number of types of biomarker guidance values currently in use which are discussed in this paper, but no values have yet been determined for copper (or its inorganic compounds) due to the complexity of its essential nature; the US The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has however indicated that it is considering the development of a biological exposure index for copper and its compounds. In light of this, we present a review of the reliability of current copper biomarkers and their potential use in the occupational context to evaluate whether there is value in carrying out human biomonitoring for copper exposure. Based on the available evidence we have concluded that the reliable use of biomonitoring of occupational exposure to copper and its application in risk assessment is not possible at the present time

    Advancing the digital frontier in agri-food supply chains

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    EditorialIn recent years, the agri-food industry has witnessed a transformative wave propelled by digital technologies, revolutionizing the way we perceive and manage the entire supply chain. This special issue delves into the intricate landscape of digital solutions and their profound impact on enhancing transparency, security, and efficiency within agri-food supply chains

    Implicit and conventional large eddy simulation of flow around a circular cylinder at Reynolds number of 3900

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    The implicit Large Eddy Simulation (iLES) incorporating an unstructured 3rd-order Weighted Essential Non-Oscillatory (WENO) reconstruction method and the conventional Large Eddy Simulation with Wall Adapting Local Eddy-Viscosity (WALE) are investigated on the flow around a circular cylinder at a Reynolds number of 3900. Simulations are carried out in the framework of open-source package OpenFOAM with a 2nd-order Euler implicit time integration and Pressure-Implicit Splitting-Operator (PISO) algorithm is used for the pressure-velocity coupling. The results are compared to the high fidelity experiment and DNS data, and demonstrated a favourable performance for iLES with a 3rd-order WENO scheme on the instantaneous flow structure. The conventional LES on the prediction of mean surface pressure coefficient and velocity profiles on the wake can be beneficial by reducing the effect of Rhie-Chow interpolation. The spectral analysis reveals that the current simulations are also capturing Von Karman shedding frequencies and shear layer frequencies. Finally, distinct features of iLES and LES are discussed

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