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November-December 2005



Review Articles

Heavy metals biosorption by mushrooms, 

Nilanjana Das

IPC code; Int. cl.7 ¾  A01G 1/04, B01D 53/64






Effect of lamellarin alkaloid mixture obtained from marine Ascidian Didemnum obscurum and its synergistic action with Beauveria bassiana on Culex quinquefasciatus (Say) larvae, 

M Srinivasa Rao, Sunil Misra, U Suryanarayana Murty, Y Venkateswarlu and M Srinivasulu

IPC code; Int. cl.7 ¾ A61K 35/00, A01N 25/00                                                           


Production kinetics and functional properties of carboxymethyl sorghum starch, 
V V Shinde

IPC code; Int. cl.7 ¾ A23L 1/0522, C08B 30/00, C08L 3/00                                 



Marine natural products in drug discovery, 

Narsinh L Thakur, Archana N Thakur and Werner E G Müller

IPC code; Int. cl.7 ¾ A61K 35/00, A61K 35/66, A61P, A61P 35/00                            


Natural polymers and their applications, 

S Shanmugam, R Manavalan, D Venkappayya, K Sundaramoorthy, V M Mounnissamy, S Hemalatha and T Ayyappan

IPC code; ¾ C08B 37/00, C09J 105/00 


Green Page: Articles

Cultivation prospects of endangered species Celastrus paniculatus Willd., 

Kanti Rekha, M K Bhan, S S Balyan and A K Dhar

IPC code; Int. cl.7 ¾ A61K 35/78, A01G 1/00, A01G 17/00, C11B 1/00                    


 Moist sand conditioning to minimize loss of viability in cocoa (Theobroma cacao Linn.) seed, 
C Vanitha, K Ramamoorthy, A Vijayakumar and K Sivasubramaniam
IPC code; Int. cl.7
¾ A01G 1/00, A01G































Explorer Article

Herbal remedies of Madugga tribes of Siruvani forest, South India, 

E Soudahmini, Ganesh M Senthil, L Panayappan and Madhu C Divakar

IPC code: Int. cl.7 ¾  A61K 35/78                                                                                 







Ayurvedic Tips

Alopecia and its Ayurvedic management,  
Dr. Aashish S Phadke                                






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Particle board from bagasse                                                                                           Improving the quality of Jaggery                                                                                  











Agro-Technology & Consultancy services of Fragrance & Flavour Development Centre                                                                                                                 Technology for the production of Sweet (Madhura) Sorghum Syrup                           







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Review Articles


Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, November – December 2005, 454-459


Heavy metals biosorption by mushrooms


Nilanjana Das


The use of absorbents of biological origin has emerged in the last decade as one of the most promising alternatives for the control of environmental pollution caused by heavy metals. A number of methods, viz. chemical precipitation, evaporation, electroplating, ion exchange, membrane, processes, etc. exist for the removal of heavy metals from liquid wastes. All these methods are expensive and have shortcomings such as incomplete removal of metals, limited tolerance to pH change, moderate or no metal selectivity, production of toxic sludge or other products that also need disposal. Fruiting bodies of macrofungi (mushrooms) may be considered ideal for the purpose of biosorption of heavy metals because their potentiality for heavy metal uptake have already been proved. Biosorption can become a good weapon in the fight against toxic metals threatening the environment. In the present article, selective uptake of heavy metal ions by wild and cultivated mushrooms, factors influencing heavy metal uptake and effects of heavy metal uptake on growth and productivity of mushrooms have been discussed as an important aspect of heavy metal management strategies.


Key words: Heavy metals, Environmental pollution, Biosorption, Mushrooms.


IPC code; Int. cl.7 ¾  A01G 1/04, B01D 53/64




Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, November – December 2005, 460-465


Effect of lamellarin alkaloid mixture obtained from marine Ascidian Didemnum obscurum and its synergistic action with Beauveria bassiana on Culex quinquefasciatus (Say) larvae


M Srinivasa Rao, Sunil Misra, U Suryanarayana Murty*, Y Venkateswarlu and M Srinivasulu


A preliminary laboratory trial was undertaken to determine the bioefficacy of lamellarin alkaloid mixture (LMA), obtained from the Indian Ascidian, Didemnum obscurum against II and III stage of Culex quinquefasciatus (CQ) larvae. For this study, Esfenvalrate (EFV) a synthetic pyrithroid was taken as positive control. Both these compounds at different concentrations caused mortality of II and III instar of CQ larvae between 48 to 96 hours. When compared the toxicity efficacy of these compounds, EFV was shown to be more toxic than the LMA. From the synergistic study, II and III instar larvae were exposed to LC50 of Beauveria bassiana (Bb) along with the lowest concentration of LMA (1ppm) and EFV (0.05ppm), which showed a significant increase in the morality rate within 48 hours. Between these two compounds tested, EFV is a known neurotoxic agent and hence not advisable to apply on mosquito control. As LMA is reported for its many biologically important properties, it also showed larvicidal activity against CQ larvae. From this study, it is concluded that synergistic action of B. bassiana along with LMA can be utilized for mosquito control operations. The detailed results are discussed in this paper.


Key words: Culex quinquefasciatus; esfenvalrate; Didemnum obscurum; Lamellarin alkaloids mixture; Beauveria bassiana.


IPC code; Int. cl.7 ¾ A61K 35/00, A01N 25/00


Natural Product Radiance
Vol.4, November – December 2005, 466-470


Production kinetics and functional properties of carboxymethyl sorghum starch

V V Shinde

The suitability of sorghum as a starch source and its chemical modification to carboxymethyl starch was investigated. The reaction conditions during modification of starch such as reaction time and pH of the reaction medium were optimized. Reaction time of 90 minutes at a pH of 10.5 results in maximum yield of carboxymethyl starch. The functional properties of carboxymethyl starch like swelling power, solubility characteristics and rheological properties were also studied. The solubility and swelling power of modified starch were maximum at 70°C. The viscosity of carboxymethyl starch was found to be several folds lower as compared to native starch. The Sorghum genotype AK-809 starch is comparable to corn in its starch content.

Keywords: Sorghum, Starch, Carboxymethyl starch.

IPC code; Int. cl.7 ¾ A23L 1/0522, C08B 30/00, C08L 3/00


Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, November – December 2005, 471-477


Marine natural products in drug discovery

Narsinh L Thakur, Archana N Thakur  and Werner E G Müller


Marine organisms comprise approximately a half of the total biodiversity, thus offering a vast source to discover useful therapeutics. In recent years, a significant number of novel metabolites with potent pharmacological properties have been discovered from the marine organisms. Although, there are only few marine derived products currently in the market, several marine natural products are now in clinical trials. Current research activities, while primarily within the academic laboratories, have generated convincing evidence that marine natural products have an exceedingly bright future in the discovery of life saving drugs.

Keywords: Marine natural products, Marine organisms, Microorganisms, Novel metabolites, Drugs.

IPC code; Int. cl.7 ¾ A61K 35/00, A61K 35/66, A61P, A61P 35/00


Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, November – December 2005, 478-481


Natural polymers and their applications


S Shanmugam, R Manavalan, D Venkappayya , K Sundaramoorthy ,

V M Mounnissamy , S Hemalatha and T Ayyappan


The products from natural sources have become an integral part of human health care system because of some side effects and toxicity of synthetic drugs. Applications of natural polymers in pharmacy are comparable to the synthetic polymers and they possess wide scope in food and cosmetic industries. The present paper gives a state-of-the-art of available information on naturally available polymers and their versatile uses.


Keywords: Natural polymers, Pharmacy, Xanthan gum, Chitosan, Ispaghula, Sterculia gum, Gelatin, Acacia, Agar, Carrageenan.

IPC code; ¾ C08B 37/00, C09J 105/00




Green Page: Article


Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, November – December 2005, 482-486


Cultivation prospects of endangered species Celastrus paniculatus Willd., 


Kanti Rekha, M K Bhan, S S Balyan and A K Dhar



Celastrus paniculatus Willd. is an important Ayurvedic medicinal plant gaining popularity in the primary healthcare systems and in herbal drug formulations. Its seed oil is reported to be beneficial in stimulating intellect and sharpening the memory. It has also been reported as nervine tonic, rejuvenant, anti-depressant, anti-oxidant, free radical scavenger, etc. Over-exploitation of the plant has put this species in endangered category. Work was initiated on its cultivation and the results obtained are presented in the paper. Maximum seed germination of 74.75% was achieved after Gibberellic acid treatment (350mg/l) and survival rate of seedlings was 73.72%. Plants raised from seeds flowered and set fruits in the 3rd year. The cytological study confirmed chromosome number of the species as 2n=46. Meiotic studies revealed regular formation of 23 bivalents per PMC. The species, however, exhibited seed shattering character. Chemical analysis of seeds of six accessions raised at experimental farm was also done to compare percentage of oil yield and other properties of wild and cultivated samples. The seeds on solvent extraction yield 55% (w/v) thick, pinkish red coloured and faintly aromatic oil. The cultivation practices/procedure developed will serve as a reliable and reproducible protocol for cultivation of this species.


Keywords: Celastrus paniculatus, Malkanguni, Free radical scavenger, Nervine tonic, Endangered, Cultivation, Seed oil.

IPC code; Int. cl.7 ¾ A61K 35/78, A01G 1/00, A01G 17/00, C11B 1/00



Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, November – December 2005, 487-491


Moist sand conditioning to minimize loss of viability in cocoa (Theobroma cacao Linn.) seed

C Vanitha, K Ramamoorthy, A Vijayakumar and K Sivasubramaniam


Conditioning of cocoa seeds using five per cent moist sand impregnated with Jalsakthi 10 per cent solution in polyvinyl bags minimized the rate of drying and loss of viability up to 40 days under ambient conditions. The leakage of solutes was more in untreated seeds. The lowest safe moisture contents to retain 50 per cent viability and above appears to be 22 per cent.


Key words: Cocoa, Jalsakthi, Theobroma cacao, seed viability, Moist sand.

IPC code; Int. cl.7 ¾ A01G 1/00, A01G 17/00.


Explorer: Articles


Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, November – December 2005, 492-499


Herbal remedies of Madugga tribes of Siruvani forest, South India

E Soudahmini, Ganesh M Senthil, L Panayappan and Madhu C. Divakar*


Information on 102 plant species and tribal (Maduggas) prescriptions for therapeutic uses of each species and plant parts employed is presented in this paper. As the traditional herbal remedies are based on ancestral knowledge and empiric experiences, these types of ethnomedical survey appeared to be useful for the research on medicinal plants.


Keywords : Herbal remedies, Medicinal plants, Madugga tribes, Siruvani forest, Tamil Nadu, South India.

IPC code: Int. cl.7 ¾  A61K 35/78


Classified Digests


Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, November – December 2005, 502

Immobilization of yeast on dried raisin berries for use in dry white wine-making

Cell immobilization for wine-making has been extensively studied during the past three decades due to a number of technical and economic advantages over free cell systems. Taking into account that the raw material for wine making is grapes, it was thought that it would be interesting to use grape products, such as residual grape skins, as a support for the immobilization in wine-making. Scientists from Greece and UK carried out studies to investigate the suitability of raisins as immobilization supports, suitable for wine-making at ambient and low temperatures, that would lead to a dry white wine of improved aroma profile that could be characterized as novel. Cells of a commercial Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain (Uvaferme 299) were immobilized on dried raisin berries (Sultanina variety) to produce an immobilized biocatalyst for use in dry white wine-making. The immobilised biocatalyst was found to be suitable for wine making at ambient temperatures (15–25 °C). The wines produced had low volatile acidities and low methanol and acetaldehyde contents, while volatile by-products showed no statistically significant differences from wines produced by free cells. The immobilized cell system had a good operational stability for more than 4 months. Sensory evaluation revealed differences between wines produced by immobilized and free cells.

Grape raisins are materials suitable for yeast immobilization. They are cheap, readily available, of food grade and their use needs no pretreatment. The immobilized biocatalyst shows good stability, which makes its use possible at industrial scale. The alcohol-tolerant yeast strain used was not negatively affected by the immobilization and the biocatalyst support produced wines with special flavour, improved quality due to low volatile acidity, low acetaldehyde and ability to decrease use of SO2 [Tsakiris A, Bekatorou A, Psarianos C, Koutinas AA,  Marchant R and Banat IM, Immobilization of yeast on dried raisin berries for use in dry white wine-making, Food Chem, 2004, 87 (1), 11-15].


Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, November – December 2005, 503

Effect of processing conditions on the stability of Annatto dye

Annatto is a natural colouring material, extracted from the pericarp of the seeds of Bixa orellana Linn. plant. Annatto dye is an orange-yellow pigment extensively used in dairy products. Studies were carried out by scientists at Central Food Technological Research Institute, Resource Centre, Habshiguda, Hyderabad to determine the stability of bixin (oil-soluble dye) during different treatments and processing in traditional foods of India. The annatto dye was exposed to heat treatments in a baking oven at 100, 150 and 180°C for time periods up to 60min; deep fat heating at 160, 180 and 200°C for periods ranging from 30 to 120s; microwave oven at 300 and 700W for periods ranging from 15 to 60s; and in a pressure cooker for a 15 min period. The losses in bixin concentration during these experiments were compared with the losses of bixin in the preparation of products like cakes, chegodis, biscuits and fried rice. The mass fractions of bixin lost were maximum when the dye was exposed directly to heating in a baking oven (0.54) and in deep fat heating (0.47). The mass fraction of bixin lost was 0.30 in cakes and negligible losses were observed in biscuits (0.015). In case of the deep fat fried snack, the dye leached in to the oil, which resulted in maximum loss (0.65). Microwaves did not affect the bixin in the dye when exposed directly or in the products. Pressure cooking resulted in mass fractions of bixin lost (0.25–0.33) comparable to those of other products.

The studies showed that the Annatto dye in the oil-soluble form (bixin) could effectively be used in most of the bakery products and non-deep fat fried traditional foods to impart an eye appealing colour. In all the experiments, the losses increased with increase in applied concentrations. The retention of the dye was quite high at temperatures below 180°C. In case of deep fat heating experiment, the losses were high in the chegodi snack product due to leaching of dye into oil medium. This problem can be obviated by using water-soluble dye (norbixin) to prevent leaching of dye into oil medium. Application of norbixin would give a uniform colour to the fried rice product. During preparation of different products, loss in bixin was similar in baking and pressure cooking but it was negligible when exposed to microwaves. The losses of bixin in the dye were higher when exposed directly to the processing conditions than in the processed products [Prabhakara Rao PG, Jyothirmayi T, Balaswamy K, Satyanarayana A and Rao DG, Effect of processing conditions on the stability of annatto (Bixa orellana L.) dye incorporated into some foods, LWT-Food Sci Technol, 2005, 38 (7), 779-784].



Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, November – December 2005, 505

Development of partially defatted soy flour and dhal

Soybean, being a rich source of protein and fat, seems to be the right substitute for solving the problem of protein-energy malnutrition. Soybean has been used as a food for a long time, but only in this century, it has been subjected to a variety of processing technologies. It is a fairly new crop for Indian consumers and few resources have been directed toward enhancing utilization of soybean in the daily diets of people in the country. Soybeans can be processed into various products, namely, oil, flours, protein concentrates and isolates and other fermented products. There has been a considerable interest in defatted soybeans, due to their high protein value and increased shelf-life, resulting from minimization of oil rancidity. Since the literature regarding defatting of soy dhal is limited, the present study was undertaken by researchers at Department of Foods and Nutrition, CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, India.

Defatted soy flour is a common form in which soybeans can be incorporated in various indigenous food preparations. The procedure for defatting soy dhal and flour has been standardized in the present investigation. Soy flour was soaked in petroleum ether and chloroform:methanol (1:15) for 12 hours. For extraction of fat from soy dhal, hexane and petroleum ether (1:15) were used. In addition, soy dhal was subjected to processing treatments such as pressing, steaming and soaking. The decrease in fat content was significantly (P<0.05) higher when soy flour was treated with petroleum ether. Soaking soy dhal in hexane (24 hours) followed by shaking for 4 hours resulted in maximum reduction in fat content of soy dhal. Processing treatments significantly decreased the fat content by 27.52-47.39% compared to the control.

Overall, pressing and steaming, followed by soaking soy dhal in hexane and petroleum ether, significantly decreased the fat content by 25.21-47.39%. Thus, it may be concluded that defatted soy flour, produced by the above method, may be used as dietary protein supplement in various products. Soy flour can be defatted by 77%, however, soy dhal can be maximally defatted by 9% using different organic solvents. Processing treatments, especially steaming, pressing and soaking in hexane and petroleum ether, seemed beneficial for maximum extraction of fat from soy dhal. Further, there is a need to study whether such defatted soy dhal can be used for development of products having consumer acceptability [Khetarpaul Neelam, Grewal Raj Bala, Goyal Rajni and Garg Renu, Development of partially defatted soy flour and dhal, Food Chem, 2004, 87 (3), 355-359].

Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, November – December 2005, 505

High dietary fiber powder from lemon juice by-products

Citrus juice industries produce an important quantity of by-products, which are mainly used for animal feeds, however, because of their high fiber content they can be used as a good source of dietary fiber.

Lemon [Citrus limon (Linn. ) Burm.f. cv ‘Fino’] juice industry by-products were used to obtain high dietary fiber powder. The effect of processing variables (direct drying and washing previous to drying) on functional properties, fiber content and type, microbial quality and physicochemical properties of the fiber were evaluated by researchers of Spain. The obtained fiber powder had good functional, microbial quality and favorable physicochemical characteristics to be used in food formulations. Processing conditions affected fiber composition and properties. Water holding capacity was enhanced by washing (7g water/g non-washed fiber powder; 12.6 g water/g washed fiber powder) and slightly decreased by the reduction in fiber particle size. Oil holding capacity (6.7 g oil/g fiber powder) was not affected by those factors. Acid detergent and neutral detergent fibers were highest in powder from washed lemon residue (23.73 and 32.91%, respectively). aw was lowest in washed lemon fiber powder (0.13). Washing prevented fiber browning during drying as reflected in colour parameters. Washing water rinsed green components. Drying was the responsible for the decrease of bacterial populations (approx. 90% reduction in microbial counts). Thus, high dietary fiber lemon powder obtained from lemon by-products has good functional and microbial quality, as well as favourable physicochemical characteristics to be used in food formulations (as meat, dairy and bakery products) [Lario Y, Sendra E, García-Pérez J, Fuentes C, Sayas-Barberá E, Fernández-López J and Pérez-Alvarez JA, Preparation of high dietary fiber powder from lemon juice by-products, Innov Food Sci Emerg Technol, 2004, 5 (1), 113-117].



Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, November – December 2005, 506


Determination of sweetness of intact Mango

Mango (Mangifera indica Linn.) is an important tropical fruit having a huge demand in world markets. India produces around 11·4 million tonnes of mangoes annually while contributing meagerly in the world market, mainly because of lack of precision in sorting methods based on internal quality. Consumer preference is mainly driven by sweetness. Increase in total soluble solids (TSS), carotenoid pigments and decrease in acidity are some indicators of sweetness of mango. Presently most consumers determine these by experiencing surface firmness, gloss, aroma, flavour, etc., which is often misleading.

Currently, non-destructive techniques for quality evaluation have gained momentum. These techniques, particularly for fruits and vegetables, are quick and easy to use. Scientists working at Central Institute of Post-harvest Engineering & Technology, PAU, Ludhiana and Abohar, Punjab, India explored the potential of a non-destructive method for predicting sweetness in term of total soluble solids using a handheld. Calibration models for different groups of wavelengths in the visual range for prediction of total soluble solids (TSS) using partial least-squares regression (PLS), principal component regression (PCR), and multiple linear regression (MLR) methods with respect to reflectance and its second-order derivatives, smoothing and multiplicative scatter correction (MSC), were developed and tested with validation sample sets. The MLR model of original spectra in the wavelength range of 440-480nm was found to be the best. The standard error of calibration (SEC), validation (SEP) and correlation coefficients were found to be 1·91 Brix, 1·97 Brix and 0·90, respectively. Similarity in SEC and SEP values and satisfactorily high correlations between predicted and measured values, however, indicated that the developed model has potential for the prediction of the TSS of intact mango non-destructively using the visual spectra, but for commercial use, it must include more mango varieties for better and more robust calibration [Jha SN, Chopra S and Kingsly ARP, Determination of Sweetness of Intact Mango using Visual Spectral Analysis, Biosyst Eng, 2005, 91 (2), 157-161].


Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, November – December 2005, 507

Infrared drying of apple slices

Drying is one of the oldest methods of food preservation. One of the ways to shorten the drying time is to supply heat by infrared radiation. This method of heating is especially suitable to dry thin layers of material with large surface exposed to radiation. Infrared radiation has some advantages over convective heating. Heat transfer coefficients are high, the process time is short and the cost of energy is low.


Researchers at Department of Food Engineering and Process Management, Warsaw Agricultural University (SGGW), Warsaw, Poland carried out studies to investigate heat and mass transfer during infrared drying of apple slices and compare it with convective drying.

Laboratory dryer was designed in such a way that drying could be done either with infrared energy or by convection. It was equipped with near-infrared radiators with peak wavelength at 1200 nm. The energy efficiency of the infrared dryer was between 35 and 45%. Apple slices were dried with infrared energy and by convection under equivalent conditions. Kinetics of infrared drying was dependent on the distance between emitters and the heat-irradiated surface and air velocity. Drying kinetics was inversely proportional to both the distance and the air velocity. It was found that both surfaces of apple slice participate in water evaporation. However, the heat-irradiated surface evaporates much more water than that not heated by infrared energy until 80% of water is removed from the material. At the final stages of drying, there is no difference between upper and bottom surfaces of the apple slice as far as the flux of evaporated water is concerned. Comparison of infrared drying with convective drying done at equivalent parameters showed that time of the process can be shortened by up to 50% when heating is done with infrared energy.

Thus, infrared drying of apple slices is an effective method of water removal. Drying with application of infrared energy is much faster than convective drying done under equivalent parameters. Drying kinetics depends on the distance between infrared energy emitters and the heat-irradiated surface, and the air velocity as well. The air velocity is an important variable, since air flowing over the surface cools it down and lowers its temperature. Hence, the effect of air velocity on kinetics of infrared drying of apple slices is opposite to that observed during convective drying. Adjusting distance between infrared emitters and the slice surface as well as air velocity, a temperature of the material undergoing drying can be easily controlled. Both short time of drying and ease of control of material temperature are advantages of the use of infrared energy in food dehydration [Nowak Dorota and Lewicki Piotr P, Infrared drying of apple slices, Innov Food Sci Emerg Technol, 2004, 5 (3), 353-360].

Insecticide/ Pesticides

Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, November – December 2005, 508


Antifungal peptide Ar-AMP from amaranth (Amaranthus retroflexus L.) seeds

The scientists at Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Moscow, Russia have isolated a 30-residue antimicrobial peptide Ar-AMP from the seeds of amaranth, Amaranthus retroflexus Linn. essentially by a single step procedure using reversed-phase HPLC, and its in vitro biological activities were studied. The complete amino acid sequence of Ar-AMP was determined by Edman degradation in combination with mass spectrometric methods. In addition, the cDNA encoding Ar-AMP was obtained and sequenced. The cDNA encodes a precursor protein consisting of the N-terminal putative signal sequence of 25 amino acids, a mature peptide of 30 amino acids and a 34-residue long C-terminal region cleaved during post-translational processing. According to sequence similarity the Ar-AMP belongs to the hevein-like family of antimicrobial peptides with six cysteine residues. In spite of the fact that seeds were collected in 1967 and lost their germination capacity, Ar-AMP retained its biological activities. It effectively inhibited the growth of different fungi tested: Fusarium culmorium (Smith) Sacc., Helminthosporium sativum, Alternaria consortiale Fr., and Botrytis cinerea Pers. caused morphological changes in Rhizoctonia solani Kühn at micromolar concentrations and protected barley seedlings from H. sativum infection [Lipkin Aleksey, Anisimova Veronika, Nikonorova Aleksandra, Babakov Aleksey Aleksey, Krause Eberhardt, Bienert Mikhael, Grishin Eugene  and Egorov Tsezi, An antimicrobial peptide Ar-AMP from amaranth (Amaranthus retroflexus L.) seeds, Phytochemistry, 2005, 66(20), 2426-2431].





Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, November – December 2005, 509


Effect of packaging materials and storage conditions on sunflower oil quality


The scientists at Turkey have evaluated the effect of packaging materials and storage conditions on sunflower (Helianthus annuus Linn.) oil quality. During experiment glass and polyethylenterephthalate (PET) bottles filled with sunflower oil were stored under both light and dark and with/without headspace to determine the effects of light, air, packaging materials and storage time on the stability of sunflower oil. Peroxide value (PV), free fatty acids, soap content and iodine number were measured to determine stability of sunflower oil every 3months until 9 months. Glass bottles recorded lower oxidation values than oils packaged in PET. The oxidation proceeded faster in packages stored in light than in darkness, and in those with headspace. The best quality oil was found stored in the dark, free of air and packed in glass and then in PET. Even though glass gave the best protection against oxidation, PET bottles offer adequate protection (especially in the dark). This study showed that air, packaging and storage time all have an effect on the stability of sunflower oil [Kucuk M and Caner C, Effect of packaging materials and storage conditions on sunflower oil quality, J Food Lipids, 2005, 12, 222-231].


Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, November – December 2005, 513


Microwave heating and conventional roasting of cumin seeds

Processing and preservation of spices are important for assuming the quality of the end-product. Microwave processing and cooking of foods is a recent development, which is gaining momentum in household as well as large-scale food applications. Processing of spices using microwaves is a newer dimension. This alternative methodology is preferred, due to the convenience and ease of handling. In Indian tradition, most of the spices are subjected to roasting before addition to food preparations. Cuminum cyminum Linn. is one widely used spice. Crushed cumin seeds are used as a condiment in a variety of dishes. Cumin seeds contain volatile oil (2-5%) that imparts the characteristic aroma to the seeds. In the present study which is conducted at Plantation Products, Spices and Flavour Technology Department, Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore, India, cumin seeds are subjected to heating by microwaves, using various power levels and conventional roasting at different temperatures. The conditions were standardized in both methods. Conventionally roasted and microwave heated samples were compared; the optimum condition in the former method was found to be 125°C for 10 minutes and in the latter method, the best condition was found to be 730 W for 10 minutes. Under these conditions, the yields of the volatile oils were similar in both cases. Physicochemical properties, such as refractive index, for both sample oils, showed no significant difference from the fresh sample. The volatile oils distilled from these samples were analysed by GC and GC–MS. The results indicated that the microwave-heated samples showed better retention of characteristic flavour compounds, such as aldehydes, than did the conventionally roasted samples. Earlier GC reports showed the presence of only cuminaldehyde as the major aldehyde present in Indian cumin oil. But the present studies resulted in identification of two more aldehydes (p-mentha-1, 3-dien-7-al, p-mentha-1,4-dien-7-al) in Indian cumin oil. Thus, the microwave treatment, inspite of losing terpene hydrocarbons, retained aldehydes in the volatile oil, making microwaves the best choice as an alternative-heating medium for processing [Behera Sushmita, Nagarajan S and Rao L Jagan Mohan, Microwave heating and conventional roasting of cumin seeds (Cuminum cyminum L.) and effect on chemical composition of volatiles, Food Chem, 2004, 87 (1), 25-29].


Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, November – December 2005, 515

Hypocholesterolemic and antiatherosclerotic effect of flax lignan

Hypercholesterolemia, low HDL-C and oxygen radicals have been implicated in the development of atherosclerosis. Lignan complex isolated from flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum Linn., Linseed, Hindi ¾ Alsi) contains secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDG), 3-hydroxy-3methylglutaric acid (HMGA) and cinnamic acids. SDG and cinnamic acids are antioxidants and HMGA is a hypocholesterolemic agent. Antioxidants are known to reduce hypercholesterolemic atherosclerosis. Researchers at Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Sask., Canada carried out studies to determine if lignan complex reduces (i) serum cholesterol, (ii) oxidative stress and (iii) atherosclerosis in hypercholesterolemic rabbits. Rabbits were assigned to four groups: Group I, control; Group II, lignan complex control (lignan complex, 40mg/kg body wt daily orally); Group III, 0.5% cholesterol; Group IV, 0.5% cholesterol diet+lignan complex, (40mg/kg body wt daily orally). Blood samples were collected before (time 0) and after 1 and 2 months of experimental diets for measurement of serum triglycerides (TG), total cholesterol (TC), LDL-C, HDL-C and serum malondialdehyde (MDA), a lipid peroxidation product. At the end of the protocol, the aorta was removed for measurement of atherosclerotic plaques, MDA and aortic tissue chemiluminescence (Aortic CL), a marker of antioxidant reserve. Rabbits in Group III developed atherosclerosis (50.84±6.23% of the intimal surface of the aorta was covered with atherosclerotic changes) which was associated with an increase in the serum TG, TC, LDL-C, HDL-C, MDA and aortic MDA and antioxidant reserve. Lignan complex reduced the development of atherosclerosis by 34.37% and this was associated with a decrease in serum TC by 20%, LDL-C by 14%, TC/HDL-C by 34%, serum MDA by 35% and aortic MDA by 58%. Serum HDL-C was elevated by 30% in hypercholesterolemic rabbits and by 25% in normocholesterolemic rabbits with lignan complex. Lignan complex did not affect the TC and LDL-C and serum MDA in the normocholesterolemic rabbits. However, it increased the aortic MDA in the normocholesterolemic rabbits.

The results suggest that diet-induced hypercholesterolemic atherosclerosis is associated with an increase in the oxidative stress and that lignan complex reduced the extent of atherosclerosis by reducing oxidative stress and serum total cholesterol, LDL-C and TC/HDL-C ratio, and raising serum HDL-C. Lignan complex isolated from flaxseed may, therefore, be beneficial in preventing hypercholesterolemic, atherosclerosis and reducing risk factors for coronary artery disease [Kailash Prasad, Hypocholesterolemic and antiatherosclerotic effect of flax lignan complex isolated from flaxseed, Atherosclerosis, 2005, 179 (2), 269-275].


Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, November – December 2005, 518

Vasodilator activity of the aqueous extract of Viscum album

Viscum album Linn., commonly known as Mistletoe, is an evergreen parasitic plant widely distributed throughout the globe. It was firstly used for the treatment of epilepsy and dermatitis in Europe. Later, it was believed to have hypotensive, vasodilator, cardiac depressive, sedative, antispasmodic, anticancer and antidiabetic activities. This study conducted by scientists at Department of Pharmacology, National Institute of Cardiology “Ignacio Chávez”, Mexico is an attempt to elucidate the vasodilating activity and a possible mechanism using the Langendorff's isolated and perfused heart model.

The aqueous extract of leaves showed a significant coronary vasodilator activity on the Langendorff's isolated and perfused heart model. The data obtained suggest that the aqueous extract of leaves contains some biologically active principles that may act as inducers of the nitric oxide/soluble guanylate cyclase pathway.

It is observed that the aqueous extract of leaves, at a dose 0.8 mg/kg of guinea pig heart, possesses significant vasodilator activity on the Langendorff's isolated and perfused heart model. The result of this study seems to support that the vasodilator effect of the aqueous extract is due to the increase in nitric oxide [Tenorio FA, Valle L del, González A and Pastelín G, Vasodilator activity of the aqueous extract of Viscum album, Fitoterapia, 2005, 76 (2), 204-209].

Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, November – December 2005, 521

Pomegranate extract improves a depressive state and bone properties in menopausal syndrome

Pomegranate, Punica granatum Linn. is known to contain estrogens (estradiol, estrone and estriol) and showed estrogenic activities in mice. The Japanese scientists investigated whether pomegranate extract is effective on experimental menopausal syndrome in ovariectomized mice. Prolongation of the immobility time in forced swimming test, an index of depression, was measured 14 days after ovariectomy. The bone mineral density (BMD) of the tibia was measured by X-ray absorptiometry and the structure and metabolism of bone were also analyzed by bone histomorphometry. Administration of pomegranate extract (juice and seed extract) for 2 weeks to ovariectomized mice prevented the loss of uterus weight and shortened the immobility time compared with 5% glucose-dosed mice (control). In addition, ovariectomy-induced decrease of BMD was normalized by administration of the pomegranate extract. The bone volume and the trabecular number were significantly increased and the trabecular separation was decreased in the pomegranate-dosed group compared with the control group. Some histological bone formation/resorption parameters were significantly increased by ovariectomy but were normalized by administration of the pomegranate extract. These changes suggest that the pomegranate extract inhibits ovariectomy-stimulated bone turnover. It is thus conceivable that pomegranate is clinically effective on a depressive state and bone loss in menopausal syndrome in women [Mori-Okamoto Junko, Otawara-Hamamoto Yoko, Yamato Hideyuki and Yoshimura Hiroyuki, Pomegranate extract improves a depressive state and bone properties in menopausal syndrome model ovariectomized mice, J Ethnopharmacol, 2004, 92 (1), 93-101].



Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, November – December 2005, 523

Effect of freeze-chilling on the quality of cooked green beans and carrots

Ready-meals are items of convenience and life styles, and are consumed predominantly by one-person households, working couples, and increasingly by the elderly. Chilled ready-meals are perceived to be of better quality than frozen meals. One of the main problems with chilled ready-meals, however, is their relatively short shelf-life, and frozen ready-meals are bought more often due to their longer shelf-life. Freeze-chilling of food involves freezing and frozen storage followed by thawing and chilled storage.

The effect of freeze-chilling on the quality of cooked green beans and carrots was examined by Redmond and others. They also studied the effect of long and short-term frozen storage prior to thawing. Three process treatments were used in the short-term trial; chill, freeze-chill and freeze. The products were tested for firmness, colour, centrifugal drip loss, total viable count (TVC) and taste panel acceptability. Results showed that freeze-chilling and freezing led to softer cooked carrots (P<0.001) than chilling. However, freeze-chilling and freezing had no effect on the texture of cooked green beans (P>0.05) but led to significantly higher drip losses than chilling (P<0.001). Freeze-chilling and chilling led to paler green beans but this was not reflected in the taste panel acceptability scores. No difference in TVC was found between any of the process treatments for cooked carrots or green beans. In general, frozen storage (−25°C) for up to 12 months had no effect on firmness, drip loss, colour, total viable count or sensory acceptability of freeze-chilled cooked carrots and green beans compared to freezing [Redmond GA, Gormley TR and Butler F, The effect of short- and long-term freeze-chilling on the quality of cooked green beans and carrots, Innov Food Sci Emerg Technol, 2004, 5 (1), 65-72].

In Brief

Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, November – December 2005, 524

Drying of ginger, turmeric and guduchi in solar-biomass hybrid drier

At Center for Rural Development and Technology, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, India an integral type natural convection solar drier has been fabricated and coupled with a biomass stove. Experiments have been conducted to test the performance of the drier by drying of Zingiber officinale Rosc. (ginger), Curcuma longa Linn. (turmeric) and Tinospora cordifolia (Willd.) Miers. ex Hook. f. & Thoms. (guduchi) during the summer climate in Delhi. It was found that, during the load test for ginger, 18 kg of fresh product with an initial moisture content of 319.74(db)% was dried to a final moisture content of 11.8(db)% within 33hours. Similarly, moisture content of turmeric and guduchi were reduced from 358.96 to 8.8 and 257.45 to 9.67(db)% during 36 and 48hours of drying, respectively. The drying of these products has also been studied under ‘solar-only’ and open sun in the same climatic conditions and the results indicate that for all the products, drying is faster, and is within 33–48hours in hybrid drier, against 72–120hours in ‘solar-only’ operation of the same drier and 192–288hours in open sun. Efficiency of the drier during its two mode (solar and biomass separately) of operation has been estimated and quality evaluation of under-studied products showed that developed drier is suitable for the drying of these products. The developed drier is a simple system, which can be manufactured locally and can be used for drying of other agricultural products [Jaishree Prasad and Vijay VK, Experimental studies on drying of Zingiber officinale, Curcuma longa l. and Tinospora cordifolia in solar-biomass hybrid drier, Renewable Energy, 2005, 30(14), 2097-2109].


Natural Product Radiance

Vol.4, November – December 2005, 524


Gossypol from some wild Malvaceae species

   The researchers in Mexico analyzed ten species of family Malvaceae for their seed and leaf gossypol content by HPLC. The results showed that gossypol is common in most of the Malvaceae family, but its concentration varies among the species and also among the varieties of the same specie. It has been found that Hampea integerrina Schldt., had two fold more gossypol in its seeds than Gossypium hirsutum Linn., from which the compound was initially isolated and its antifertility effect studied. The toxic effects of gossypol earlier observed against several parasitic protozoa and viruses makes these findings very important, since the Malvaceae specimens studied here have been used in traditional medicine against scalp infection, dysentery, gonorrhea and as antiseptic. On the other hand, it is also noteworthy that in Hibiscus sabdariffa Linn., flower, traditionally used in refreshing drinks, no gossypol was detected in its seeds or leaves [Sotelo Angela, Villavicencio H, Montalvo I and Gonzalez-Garza, Gossypol content on leaves and seeds from some wild Malvaceae species, Afr J Trad Comp Alt Med, 2005, 2(1), 4-12].


Forthcoming Conferences, Seminars, Exhibitions and Trainings


1. International Symposium on Advances in Organic Chemistry (INSOC 2006), 9 - 12 January 2006, Kerala, India, Dr. C. V. Asokan, School of Chemical Sciences, Mahatma Gandhi University Kottayam, Kerala, India; Website


2. International Conference on Ethnopharmacology and Alternative Medicine and Fifth Annual Conference of National Society of Ethnopharmacology, 20 - 22 January 2006, Amala Nagar, Thrissur, India, Dr. K. K. Janardhanan, Organizing Secretary, Amala Cancer Research Centre, Phone: 91-487 2307950/2307868, Fax: 91 487 2307868, E-mail:; Website:


3. International Conference on Biodiversity of Insects: Challenging Issues in Management and Conservation, 30 January to 3 February 2006, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India, Professor Dr. K Murugan, Department of Zoology, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore-641 046, India, Website:


4. PANACEA2006, 3 - 5 February, 2006, Mumbai, India, Mini Chakravarty, Ms. Tanushree Seishido Communications, A-102, Divyastuti Apts, Divyalok Township, Filmcity Road, Goregaon (East), Mumbai – 400 063. India, Phone: +91-22-28410164, Fax: +91-22-28496372, E-mail:; Website:


5.Conference on Urban Health Initiatives, 9 - 11 February 2006, Surat, Dr. (Mrs.) Vikas K. Desai, Medicine Department,Government Medical College, Surat, Gujarat, India; Website: http://www.uhiindia@org


6. National Symposium on Tribal Health, 21-23 February, 2006, Jabalpur, India, Dr. V. G. Rao, Organising Secretary, Regional Medical Research Centre for Tribals (ICMR), Nagpur Road, P. O. Garha, Jabalpur-482 003, Phone: ( 0761) 2370800/818, 2672239, 2672447, Fax: 2672 835, E-mail:; Website :

7. International Conference on Drug Discovery: Perspectives and Challenges, and International Satellite Symposium on Medicinal Plants and Functional foods in the management of Diabetes, Obesity and Cardiovascular Diseases, 24 - 26 February 2006, Lucknow, India, Dr. PMS Chauhan, Indian Society of Chemists and Biologists (ISCB) CDRI, Lucknow-226 001, India, Fax: (91)-(522)-223-405, Phone (O): 5222 212 411 - 18, ext 4332, E-mail:,; Website:

8. POST HARVEST 2006, 3-5 March, 2006, Hyderabad, India, Unitech Exhibitions Private Limited # 3, 2nd Canal Cross Road, Gandhi Nagar, Adyar, Chennai 600 020, India, Phone: +91-44-24405493/94 Fax: +91-44-24405492, E-mail:,; Website:


9. 1st International Buyer-Seller Meet and conference on Herbs & Medicinal Plants, 6-7 March, 2005, The Ashok, New Delhi, Mr. Reyazuddin, Dy-Manager - Events & Promotion, Indian Agribusiness Systems Pvt. Ltd., Mobile Phone: 9868513618, Phone: +91-011-39537502, TeleFax: +91-011-26283336, E-mail:;


10. Healthcare 2006, 25 - 26 March 2006 New Delhi, India, Dr. Nazish E Azmi, National Healthcare Foundation, E-mail: nationalhealthcarefoundation@hotmail.


11. Bangalore Bio 2006, 7-9 June 2006, Bangalore, India, UNI Building, Thimmaiah Road, Millers Tank Bed, Vasanthnagar Bangalore 560 052, Phone: +91-80-51131 912/13, Fax: +91-80-5113 1914; C-16, 'Tarang', 19, I.P. Extension,Mother Dairy Road, Patparganj, Delhi 110 092, Phone: +91-11-2278 4280, Fax: +91-11-2272 1746; Website:


12. BGCI's 6th International Congress on Education in Botanic Gardens, “The Nature of Success: Success for Nature”, 10-14 September 2006, Oxford, UK, University of Oxford Botanic Gardens, Website:

13. International Conference on Biotechnology in Water Management, 18 September to 21 October 2006, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India, Prof. P. S. Navaraj, Yadava College, Madurai, E-mail:



14. ICONS II, 13-15 October 2006, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, Dr. R. Thara, Schizophrenia Research Foundation; Website: http://


15. First International Meeting on Cassava Plant Breeding and Biotechnology ,1-5 December 2006, Brasilia, Brazil, Mr. Nagib Nassar, E-mail:; Website: