147 research outputs found

    Exploring the Role of Green Microbes in Sustainable Bioproduction of Biodegradable Polymers

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    Research efforts have shifted to creating biodegradable polymers to offset the harmful environmental impacts associated with the accumulation of non-degradable synthetic polymers in the environment. This review presents a comprehensive examination of the role of green microbes in fostering sustainable bioproduction of these environment-friendly polymers. Green microbes, primarily algae and cyanobacteria, have emerged as promising bio-factories due to their ability to capture carbon dioxide and utilize solar energy efficiently. It further discusses the metabolic pathways harnessed for the synthesis of biopolymers such as polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) and the potential for genetic engineering to augment their production yields. Additionally, the techno-economic feasibility of using green microbes, challenges associated with the up-scaling of biopolymer production, and potential solutions are elaborated upon. With the twin goals of environmental protection and economic viability, green microbes pave the way for a sustainable polymer industry.</p

    Listeria monocytogenes Biofilms in Food-Associated Environments:A Persistent Enigma

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    Listeria monocytogenes (LM) is a bacterial pathogen responsible for listeriosis, a foodborne illness associated with high rates of mortality (20–30%) and hospitalisation. It is particularly dangerous among vulnerable groups, such as newborns, pregnant women and the elderly. The persistence of this organism in food-associated environments for months to years has been linked to several devastating listeriosis outbreaks. It may also result in significant costs to food businesses and economies. Currently, the mechanisms that facilitate LM persistence are poorly understood. Unravelling the enigma of what drives listerial persistence will be critical for developing more targeted control and prevention strategies. One prevailing hypothesis is that persistent strains exhibit stronger biofilm production on abiotic surfaces in food-associated environments. This review aims to (i) provide a comprehensive overview of the research on the relationship between listerial persistence and biofilm formation from phenotypic and whole-genome sequencing (WGS) studies; (ii) to highlight the ongoing challenges in determining the role biofilm development plays in persistence, if any; and (iii) to propose future research directions for overcoming these challenges

    Impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on food safety attitude, knowledge, and behavior

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    The potential impact of the virus on food safety during the COVID-19 outbreak has posed a critical challenge to governments, the food industry, and consumers worldwide. The aim of this study is to evaluate the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of adult people regarding food safety during the COVID-19 outbreak. It is a cross-sectional study which is based on internet survey data of 1049 residents from seven regions of Turkey. The survey includes questions about the level of knowledge and attitude toward food safety during the COVID-19 outbreak. It has been observed that over 90% of the participants have correct knowledge about what to do in food shopping during the COVID-19 process. 56.6% of the participants stated that COVID-19 can be transmitted through food or food packaging, 81.0% stated that food packages should be disinfected in order to be protected from COVID-19 and 37.7% stated that COVID-19 is more resistant than other bacteria or viruses. While the presence of gender (p = 0.748) and chronic disease (p = 0.181) does not affect the number of correct answers to questions about food safety during the COVID-19 process, education (p &lt; 0.001) and age group (p &lt; 0.001) do. Those who are in the COVID-19 risk group and those living with the individual(s) in the COVID-19 risk group (respectively; p = 0.036, p = 0.033). Turkish consumers had a high level of knowledge about food safety, positive attitudes, frequent hand hygiene, cleaning and sanitizing activities, and adherence to social seclusion standards when shopping or dining out

    From Waste to Plate:Exploring the Impact of Food Waste Valorisation on Achieving Zero Hunger

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    Hunger (811 million people, 2020) and food waste (931 million tonnes annually, 2020) are long-standing interconnected challenges that have plagued humankind for centuries. Food waste originates from various sources, including consumption habits and failures within the food supply chain. Given the growing concerns regarding food insecurity, malnutrition, and hunger, there is a pressing need to recover and repurpose as much food waste as possible. A growing body of knowledge identifies the valorisation (including upcycling) of food waste as one of the strategies to fight hunger by positively impacting food availability and food security. This paper evaluates the potential role of food waste valorisation, including upcycling, in reducing global hunger. A literature search was conducted to examine how converting food waste into value-added products, such as food formulations and farming inputs, can contribute to increasing food availability. The benefits of waste-to-food operations in improving food availability through producing food ingredients and products from materials that would have been wasted or discarded otherwise were discussed.info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersio

    Eggshell and Seashells Biomaterials Sorbent for Carbon Dioxide Capture

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    This review aims to explore the application of natural and renewable bioceramics such as eggshell and seashells in carbon dioxide (CO2) capture from power plant flue gas. CO2 capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) is considered a means to deliver low carbon energy, decarbonising industries, power plants and facilitates the net removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. The stages involved include CO2 capture, transport of the captured CO2, utilisation and secure storage of the captured CO2. This chapter reports the use of eggshell and seashells biomaterials as an adsorbent to separate CO2 from other gases generated by power plants and industrial processes. The capture of carbon dioxide by adsorption is based on the ability of a material to preferentially adsorb or carbonate CO2 over other gases. In light of this, calcined eggshell and seashells biomaterial rich in calcium carbonate from which calcium oxide (94%) can be obtained have demonstrated a strong affinity for CO2. These biomaterials are abundant and low-cost alternative to zeolite, activated carbon and molecular sieve carbon. The mechanism of CO2 capture by eggshell and seashells derived CaO adsorbent comprises of a series of carbonation-calcination reactions (CCR): calcium oxide (CaO) reacts with CO2 resulting in calcium carbonate (CaCO3), which releases pure CO2 stream upon calcinations for sequestration or utilisation, and as a consequence, the biomaterial is regenerated. Findings reveal that these biomaterials can hold up to eight times its own weight of CO2 from flue gas stream. It was also found that the combination of 2 M acetic acid and water pretreatment improved the reactivity and capture capacity of the biomaterial for successive regeneration over four cycle’s usage. Unlike activated carbon, these biomaterials are considered stable for high-temperature adsorption through carbonation

    Assessing the vulnerability of food supply chains to climate change-induced disruptions

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    Climate change is one of the most significant challenges worldwide. There is strong evidence from research that climate change will impact several food chain-related elements such as agricultural output, incomes, prices, food access, food quality, and food safety. This scoping review seeks to outline the state of knowledge of the food supply chain's vulnerability to climate change and to identify existing literature that may guide future research, policy, and decision-making aimed at enhancing the resilience of the food supply chain. A total of 1526 publications were identified using the SCOPUS database, of which 67 were selected for the present study. The vulnerability assessment methods as well as the adaptation and resilience measures that have been employed to alleviate the impact of climate change in the food supply chain were discussed. The results revealed a growing number of publications providing evidence of the weakening of the food supply chain due to climate change and extreme weather events. Our assessment demonstrated the need to broaden research into the entire food supply chain and various forms of climatic variability because most studies have concentrated on the relationships between climatic fluctuations (especially extreme rainfall, temperatures, and drought) and production. A lack of knowledge about the effects of climate change on the food supply chain and the underlying socio-economic consequences could result in underperformance or failure of the food supply chain.</p

    Unlocking the Green Economy in African Countries:An Integrated Framework of FinTech as an Enabler of the Transition to Sustainability

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    The emergence of new transformational technology, known as the fourth industrial revolution, has crucially opened a new window to green economic growth. The transition to low carbon, green economy, and green sustainability has gained momentum simultaneously in developed and developing countries. The greening policy echoes the pending climate change and its entrenching disruptions. Financial technology, or FinTech seems to be a promising direction in unlocking the green dilemma; to be concrete, FinTech and the green economy are separately documented in the literature. Against this background, the current study investigates the intersection between green economic growth and FinTech by conducting a systematic-cum-bibliometric analysis of published papers in the Scopus database with the goal of first examining the role and opportunities of implementing green FinTech as a stimulus for transition towards green economic growth in African countries and, second, identifying knowledge gaps and future policy and research directions by developing an integrated framework to help African countries in the transition to green economic growth and green FinTech. The results illustrate an increasing trend in research attention towards the green FinTech concept and its relationship with green economic growth, climate change, and greening rules and standards. A deep inspection of the mined papers indicates that future research trajectories are oriented into five different mainstreams: technology and instruments in digital finance; regulation, policies, and green FinTech; climate risk mitigation through FinTech; FinTech and environmental quality; green finance and climate change mitigation. Based on these research directions, an integrated framework was conceptualised that aims to deliver green economic growth using FinTech as a vehicle of transition for African countries

    Prospect of acute hepatitis E virus outbreak in the context of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Africa:A contingency plan

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    Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is the primary cause of acute viral hepatitis in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). It is transmitted by oral-faecal route via contaminated water or animal products, which is more pronounced in SSA, where inadequate hygiene measures, low socioeconomic situation, and frail healthcare system increase HEV susceptibility. During the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19), numerous initiatives concerning viral hepatitis relief in SSA are implemented. However, national programs do not support most services and are neglected when national and local attention rests on the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, during the COVID-19 pandemic, hepatitis E prevention and control programs were affected in low-income countries due to economic losses. Therefore, an interdisciplinary approach should be adopted to mitigate HEV infections during COVID-19
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